From Heaven With Love

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Chapter 69—Signs of the Second Coming of Christ

This chapter is based on Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21:5-38.

Christ's words to the priests and rulers, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate” (Matthew 23:38), had struck terror to their hearts. The question kept rising in their minds as to the import of these words. Could it be that the magnificent temple, the nation's glory, was soon to be a heap of ruins? HLv 421.1

The foreboding of evil was shared by the disciples. As they passed with Him out of the temple, they called His attention to its strength and beauty. The stones of the temple were of the purest marble, some of almost fabulous size. A portion of the wall had withstood the siege by Nebucadnezzar's army. In its perfect masonry it appeared like one solid stone dug entire from the quarry. HLv 421.2

The view before Christ was indeed beautiful, but He said with sadness, I see it all. You point to these walls as apparently indestructible; but listen: The day will come when “there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” HLv 421.3

When He was alone, Peter, John, James, and Andrew came to Him. “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Jesus did not answer by taking up separately the destruction of Jerusalem and the great day of His coming. He mingled the description of these two events. Had He opened to His disciples future events as He beheld them, they would have been unable to endure the sight. In mercy He blended the description of the two great crises, leaving the disciples to study out the meaning for themselves. When He referred to the destruction of Jerusalem, His prophetic words reached beyond that event to that day when the Lord shall rise out of His place to punish the world for their iniquity. This entire discourse was given, not for the disciples only, but for those who should live in the last scenes of this earth's history. HLv 421.4

Christ said, “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Many false messiahs will appear, declaring that the time of the deliverance of the Jewish nation has come. These will mislead many. Christ's words were fulfilled. Between His death and the siege of Jerusalem many false messiahs appeared. The same deceptions will be practiced again. HLv 422.1

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end [of the Jewish nation as a nation] is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there will be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” The rabbis will declare that these signs are the token of the advent of the Messiah. Be not deceived; the signs that they represent as tokens of their release from bondage are signs of their destruction. HLv 422.2

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for My name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” All this the Christians suffered. Fathers and mothers betrayed their children, children their parents. Friends delivered friends up to the Sanhedrin. The persecutors killed Stephen, James, and other Christians. HLv 422.3

Through His servants, God gave the Jewish people a last opportunity to repent. He manifested Himself in their arrest and trial, yet their judges pronounced on them the death sentence. By killing them, the Jews crucified afresh the Son of God. So it will be again. The authorities will make laws to restrict religious liberty. They will think they can force the conscience, which God alone should control. This work they will continue till they reach a boundary over which they cannot step. God will interpose in behalf of His loyal, commandment-keeping people. HLv 422.4

When persecution takes place, many stumble and fall, apostatizing from the faith they once advocated. Those who apostatize in time of trial will, to secure their own safety, bear false witness and betray their brethren. Christ has warned us of this, that we may not be surprised at the unnatural, cruel course of those who reject the light. HLv 423.1

Christ told His disciples how to escape the ruin to come on Jerusalem: “When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.” This warning was given to be heeded forty years after, at the destruction of Jerusalem. The Christians obeyed the warning, and not one perished in the fall of the city. HLv 423.2

“Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day,” Christ said. He who made the Sabbath did not abolish it. The Sabbath was not rendered null and void by His death. Forty years after His crucifixion it was still to be held sacred. HLv 423.3