When Yeshua (Jesus) taught on the end times, He did so on the Mount of Olives. This teaching is sometimes called the “Olivet Discourse”. I believe He chose this location on purpose.
As He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
To understand the significance of this location, we need merely to compare two passages of Scripture. The first one is from Acts at the time of His ascension:
When He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight…
Yeshua stood on the Mount of Olives. He gave last instructions to His disciples; He blessed them; and then rose up from the Mount of Olives into heaven. The angels then told the disciples that He would come back in a similar manner.
“This same Yeshua who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
Then they returned from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem…
The second passage is from Zechariah and has to do with His return:
And in that day, His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east.
As Yeshua’s feet lifted off the Mount of Olives at His ascension, so will they “touch down” on the Mount of Olives at His return. He went up; He will come down. If we believe in a literal resurrection and a literal ascension, so should we believe in a literal Second Coming.
Once I was sharing the gospel with a Jewish friend here in Israel. I claimed that Yeshua is alive today. “Where is He then?” came the obvious question.
When I said that Yeshua was in heaven, my friend laughed at me.
I said, “May I ask you a question?”
“Do you believe in the Tenach (Old Testament)?”
“May I ask you another question?”
“Where is the prophet Elijah today?”
There was a brief pause. Then my friend smiled and said, “That’s a good question!”
For many Jews the idea of a literal ascension of the Messiah is a new concept. I have been surprised to learn that the idea of a literal Second Coming and a literal Millennial Kingdom is a new concept for many Christians.
Once I had the privilege of hearing Don and Martha Finto give an overview of their half a century in ministry. I’ll never forget how the eminently elegant Martha Finto described her first encounter with the “Jesus movement” in the 1960’s:
“I was sitting in church on the front pew, with my white gloves and my pill box hat. All of a sudden a young man with torn blue jeans, no shoes, who apparently hadn’t bathed in quite a while, came up the aisle and sat down on the floor next to me.”
Don went on to describe the various waves they had been through. First was the Jesus movement. Then came the charismatic movement (Don used to tell his fundamentalist relatives, “Many of you are going to be surprised to see me in heaven one day.”) Then came the use of musical instruments in the church. (They came from a denomination which viewed that as nearly blasphemous.) Then came their revelation about Israel and the Jewish roots of the faith.
I asked Don which was the hardest transition. His answer startled me: “None of those. The most difficult part was after all that, when I heard all of you speaking about a literal millennial kingdom of Messiah on earth.”
Why is it that so many Christians have been indoctrinated against a literal millennial kingdom? There are pages and pages of prophecies about Messiah’s reign on earth. To me this mistake is clearly of demonic origin. The Bible states that when Yeshua returns to earth to reign for a 1,000 years, the devil will be thrown into a pit, and afterwards into the lake of fire.
The New Covenant scriptures six times refer to Satan as the temporary god of this world. When Yeshua returns, Satan’s reign is over. That’s why Satan has such a vested interest in convincing Christians of a “pie in the sky” only view of the end times. Don’t you believe it! Yeshua really does come back. The dead will be raised. Satan will be evicted from the planet. Yeshua will actually reign on this earth.
If Yeshua’s Second Coming is only mystic – only floating in the heavenlies – there would be no mention of His body touching the earth at any location. But the Bible says that His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives: literal feet, a literal location, a literal Second Coming and a literal millennial kingdom.
“Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” – Amen.
Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.
He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.
Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.