Jesus and the Mount of Olives

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The Creation Concept

Mount of Olives

Sign of his coming

Armies around Jerusalem

Zechariah's astonished horses

W. L. Alexander on Zech. 12

The valley of the mountains

What is the abomination of desolation?

Prophecy and literalism

Daniel vindicates Jesus!

A unique generation

Lowe's Commentary on Zechariah 14

Zechariah 14 Cross References

Zechariah 14 and 70 AD


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Jesus and the Mount of Olives [33 page pdf file]

The valley of the mountains

There are some remarkable parallels between the prophecy Jesus gave his disciples on the Mount of Olives, recorded in Matthew 24, and the prophecies included in Zechariah 12-14. Corresponding passages are compared in this article.

Jesus stood on the Mount of Olives

Matthew 24:3
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Zechariah 14:4
And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east.

When Jesus stood upon the Mount of Olives, he partly fulfilled the prophecy in Zechariah 14:4.

The church is overcome by false teachers

The church's struggle against error is compared to warfare, and we are taught by Paul to "put on the whole armour of God." [Ephesians 6:11, 13]

Matthew 24:4-5
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:11
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Zechariah 14:2
For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished...

Zechariah refers to women being ravished, as may occur in military invasions. However, his prophecy may be applied to the spiritual seduction of Christians. The city of Jerusalem represents the church, as shown in the New Testament. And, there is immorality amongst those who profess to be Christians.

Jesus said that few enter the "strait gate," but many follow the broad road that leads to destruction.

Matthew 7:13-14
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Iniquity abounds

Matthew 24:12
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Zechariah 14:2
... and half of the city shall go forth into captivity ...

Many Christians are taken captive by sin. Zechariah said the sheep would be scattered; two thirds of them would be "cut off."

Zechariah 13:8-9
And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.

A promise to those who are faithful

Matthew 24:13
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Zechariah 14:5
... and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

Recognizing the fulfillment of prophecy, is a source of comfort to the believer. Jesus said, "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." [Luke 21:28]

Judgment of the enemies of the church

Matthew 24:15
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

Zechariah 14:3
Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

Recognizing the "abomination of desolation" probably involves understanding what prophecy reveals about the state of the church. Daniel refers to it in Daniel 9:27, "and upon the wing of abominations shall come one that maketh desolate." (ASV) The "the wing of abominations" indicates flawed interpretations of prophecy. Daniel 11:45 says, referring to the antichrist, "And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him." The "holy mountain" refers to the kingdom of God, the church. John shows this refers to a spirit, and he refers to "that spirit of antichrist."  [1 John 4:3]

The church receives power

Matthew 24:30
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven.

Zechariah 12:8
In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.

In Acts 15:16 the church is identified with the house of David.

Horses are astonished

Zechariah 12:2-4
Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.

Horses represent people with no understanding. "Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee." [Psalm 32:9]

The saints flee to the mountains

Matthew 24:16
Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

Zechariah 14:5
And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah:

The mountains are symbolic of the promises of God, and the covenants, and prophecies of scripture. The valley of the mountains is symbolic of the true interpretation of the Olivet discourse, which applies it to the present, not to 70 AD, as preterists say, or to a future seven year tribulation, as dispensationalists say. The saints abandon error, when Christ reveals the truth. (That is what not going back to fetch our clothes refers to.)

The light is affected

Matthew 24:29
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light.

Zechariah 14:6-7
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.

This light is spiritual understanding. People are in spiritual darkness, even though today we are flooded with information. The sun becoming dark represents symbolic of the gospel being obscured, for example by the ET doctrine.

Nations mourn

Matthew 24:30
... and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn.

Zechariah 12:10
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

There is a striking contrast between "all the tribes of the earth" on the one hand, and the "house of David" and the inhabitants of Jerusalem on the other. However, Zechariah refers to the church, which consists of people of every nation, who are included in the house of David, and the heavenly Jerusalem, by faith in Christ.

Living waters go forth from the church to the world

Matthew 24:14
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations.

Zechariah 14:8
And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.

The gospel shows how men may obtain the "living water," which Jesus promised to those who believe in him. [John 7:38] The gospel is to be preached in all the world.

Christ reigns over the earth

Matthew 24:30
... and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Zechariah 14:9
And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.

Christ reigns in his church, and his power is evident among the saints of all ages, who are called elsewhere a "cloud of witnesses." He also rules over the earth.

Copyright © 2010, 2014 by Douglas E. Cox
All Rights Reserved.