After Jesus talked about the destruction of the temple both in the Gospel of Matthew, Mark and Luke, it appears from the questions of Jesus’ disciples, that they thought, that the destruction of Jerusalem with its temple would also be the beginning of the end of the world, the appointed time.
This is reflected in the use of “we” by Paul in 1 Cor. 15:51-52 and 1 Thess. 4:15-16:
WEB (1 Corinthians 15:51-52) 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.
WEB (1 Thessalonians 4:15-16) 15 For this we tell you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left to the coming of the Lord, will in no way precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with God’s trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first,
According to our study of Daniel, Jesus speaks in this section not only about the destruction of Jerusalem by a devastating army, but also about the tribulation in the last days. (Daniel 11:31,35 – Jerusalem and Daniel 11:40,12:1 – the last days)
WEB (Daniel 11:31,35) 31 Forces shall stand on his part, and shall profane the sanctuary, even the fortress, and shall take away the continual burnt offering, and they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate. 35 Some of those who are wise shall fall, to refine them, and to purify, and to make them white, even to the time of the end; because it is yet for the time appointed.
WEB (Daniel 11:40,12:1) 40 At the time of the end shall the king of the south contend with him; and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass through.
12:1 “At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who stands for the children of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who shall be found written in the book.
So this part from the Gospels must be understood as a combination of two prophecies.
Before the destruction of Jerusalem took place (66-70 AD), the disciples had to leave “immediately and without hesitation “ after seeing the sign of the disgusting thing. (Matthew 24:15-22).
Before natural disasters in the last days are beginning, the disciples also have to leave ‘immediately and without hesitation “. (Luke 17:26-35) (Rev. 16:17-21)
We understand this combined prophecy in this way, that Jesus wants to achieve, that for the apostles and disciples, the preaching of the good news would remain as an urgent matter.
Last days according to Matthew (according to Mark, is practically the same)
WEB (Matthew 24:1-3) 1 Jesus went out from the temple, and was going on his way. His disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple. 2 But he answered them, “Don’t you see all of these things? Most assuredly I tell you, there will not be left here one stone on another, that will not be thrown down.” 3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?”
a) When will these things happen, such as the destruction of the temple
b) What is the sign of Your (Jesus) coming
c) What is the sign of the end of the age
a) Matthew 24:15-16 Destruction of Jerusalem + Temple
WEB (Matthew 24:15-22) 15 Then when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, shalt see standing in the holy place – let him who reads it, then pay attention! – 16 then let those in Judea flee to the mountains.
b) Matthew 24:23-31 The sign of Jesus’ coming
WEB (Matthew 24:23-31) 23 If anyone then says to you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe it not: 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders, so that – if it were possible – even the elect would be deceived. 25 See, I have told you in advance! 26 If you then against you shall say: Behold, He is in the desert, go not Run: behold, he is in the secret chambers, believe it not: 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and is visible to the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcass is, there the vultures will gather. 29 And immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken violently. 30 And then in heaven the sign of the Son of man: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory . 31 And he shall send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other end thereof.
c) Matthew 24:4-8 Beginning of woes of distress
WEB (Matthew 24:4-8) 4 Jesus answered them, “Be careful that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will lead many astray. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you aren’t troubled, for all this must happen, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines, plagues, and earthquakes in various places. 8 But all these things are the beginning of birth pains.
c) Matthew 24:8-14 The great tribulation and persecution
WEB (Matthew 24:9-14) 9 Then they will deliver you up to oppression, and will kill you. You will be hated by all of the nations for my name’s sake. 10 Then many will stumble, and will deliver up one another, and will hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will arise, and will lead many astray.12 Because iniquity will be multiplied, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end, the same will be saved. 14 This Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
c) Matthew 24:17-22 The end of the world
WEB (Matthew 24:17-22) 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take out things that are in his house. 18 Let him who is in the field not return back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are with child and to nursing mothers in those days! 20 Pray that your flight will not be in the winter, nor on a Sabbath, 21 for then there will be great oppression, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever will be. 22 Unless those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved. But for the sake of the chosen ones, those days will be shortened.
Last days according to Luke
WEB (Luke 21:5-7) 5 And when some of the temple said he with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God was adorned, he said, 6 As for these things that you’re watching, The days will come when not one stone on the other stone will be left not be thrown down. 7 And they asked him, Teacher, when will that be and what is the sign that these things will happen?
a) When will these things happen, such as the destruction of the temple
b) What is the sign when these things will happen
a) Luke 21:20-24 Destruction of Jerusalem + Temple
WEB (Luke 21:20-24) 20 Furthermore, when YOU enclosed Jerusalem with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those in the midst of her, pull out, and let those who are in the lands located, not enter; 22 For these are the days in which justice is fulfilled, that all that is written is fulfilled. 23 Woe to the pregnant women and those suckling a baby in those days! For there will be great distress on the land and wrath upon this people, 24 and they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall the nations be trampled until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled .
b) Luke 21:8-19 beginning of woes of distress and persecution
WEB (Luke 21:8-16) 8 He said, “Watch out that you don’t get led astray, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I AM,’ and, ‘The time is at hand.’ Therefore don’t follow them. 9 When you hear of wars and disturbances, don’t be terrified, for these things must happen first, but the end won’t come immediately.” 10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines, and plagues in various places. There will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you up to synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for my name’s sake. 13 It will turn out as a testimony for you. 14 Settle it therefore in your hearts not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to withstand or to contradict. 16 You will be handed over even by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. Some of you they will cause to be put to death. 17 You will be hated by all men for my name’s sake. 18 And not a hair of your head will perish.
b) Luke 21:25-28 The sign of Jesus’ coming
WEB (Luke 21:25-28) 25 There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and on the earth anxiety of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the waves; 26 men fainting for fear, and for expectation of the things which are coming on the world: for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 But when these things begin to happen, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near.”
The rapture of the first fruits, the saints, in heaven
WEB (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) 15 For this we tell you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left to the coming of the Lord, will in no way precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with God’s trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first, 17 then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. So we will be with the Lord forever.
WEB (1 Corinthians 15:51-52) 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. (The 7th trumpet) For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.
WEB (Revelation 7:1-4,9) 1 After this, I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth, or on the sea, or on any tree. 2 I saw another angel ascend from the sunrise, having the seal of the living God. He cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was given to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying, “Don’t harm the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, until we have sealed the bondservants of our God on their foreheads!”4 I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel:
(These are the saints of the New Covenant, afterwards followed by the great multitude)
9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes, peoples, and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.
WEB (Matthew 24:31) 31 He will send out his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together his chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
WEB (Luke 21:27-28) 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 But when these things begin to happen, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near.”
The rapture of a great multitude in heaven
WEB (Revelation 16:12,15) 12 The sixth poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates. Its water was dried up, that the way might be made ready for the kings that come from the sunrise. 15 “Behold, I come like a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his clothes, so that he doesn’t walk naked, and they see his shame.”
WEB (Matthew 24:40-42) 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one will be left; 41 two women grinding at the mill, one will be taken and one will be left. 42 Watch therefore, for you don’t know in what hour your Lord comes.
WEB (Luke 17:26-35) 26 As it happened in the days of Noah, even so will it be also in the days of the Son of Man. 27 They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise, even as it happened in the days of Lot: they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but in the day that Lot went out from Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from the sky, and destroyed them all. 30 It will be the same way in the day that the Son of Man is revealed. 31 In that day, he who will be on the housetop, and his goods in the house, let him not go down to take them away. Let him who is in the field likewise not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife! 33 Whoever seeks to save his life loses it, but whoever loses his life preserves it. 34 I tell you, in that night there will be two people in one bed. The one will be taken, and the other will be left. 35 There will be two grinding grain together. One will be taken, and the other will be left.”
Read more at: 3. Revelation, the 7 seals