Two days prior to his crucifixion, as he sat on the Mount of Olives, Jesus Christ foretold the coming destruction of Jerusalem. Our Lord's disciples had been admiring the beautiful buildings of the Temple which had been newly renovated, at great expense, by the Herods. How amazed they must have been when Jesus told them, "There shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down." Their curiosity aroused, the disciples inquired, "When shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" If we fast forward our Lord's response to these inquiries, we find Jesus Christ prophesying, "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all these things be accomplished."

Jesus Christ based his short-term prophecy upon a long-term prophecy of Daniel. It is evident our Lord wanted his disciples to both read and understand Daniel's original prophecy regarding this unprecedented "time of trouble" (Dan. 12:1-13). Jesus warned his disciples, "When therefore ye see the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place, then let them that are in Judaea flee unto the mountains, for then shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. But immediately after the tribulation of those days they shall see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send forth his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all these things be accomplished" (cf. Matt. 24:1-34).

If we compare these prophecies of Jesus Christ and Daniel, we discover "the great tribulation" anticipated by our Lord was a short period of 1290 days (43 months) accomplished within his apostles' own generation. From a slightly different perspective, the apostle John envisioned this period of unprecedented "great tribulation" consuming a period of 42 months, or 1260 days (Rev. 7:14; 11:2, 3; 12:6; 13:5). This "time of trouble" in Judaea culminated in the destruction of the Temple and the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. This is a critical point to ponder, for the short-term Olivet Prophecy of Jesus Christ was the foundation upon which many of the other short-term prophecies of the New Testament were based. -DEL