Our Lord’s great prophecy- Why did the Lord have to destroy Jerusalem?

How did Christ feel concerning Jerusalem?

Luke 19 .41-42 He beheld the city and wept over it

John 11.35   Jesus wept

Note- the tears of Jesus were not in anticipation of his own suffering. Just before Him was Gethsemane where soon the horror of a great darkness would over shadow him. The sheep gate also was in sight, through which for centuries the beasts for sacrificial offering had been led. This gate was soon to open for Him, the great Antitype, toward whose sacrifice for the sins of the world all these offerings had pointed. Nearby was Calvary, the scene of his approaching agony. Yet it was not because of those reminders of his cruel death that the Redeemer wept and groaned in anguish of spirit. His was no selfish sorrow. The thought of his agony did not intimidate that noble, self sacrificing soul. It was  the sight of Jerusalem that pierced the heart of Jesus –Jerusalem that had rejected the Son of god and scorned his love ,that refused to be convinced by his mighty miracles and was about to take his life. He saw what she was in her guilt of rejecting her Redeemer, and what she might have been had she accepted him who alone could heal her wound. He had come to save her; how could he give her up? [desire of Ages pg 576]

In what words did he foretell its destruction?

Luke 19.43-44   For the days shall come upon thee that thine enemies

Isaiah 29.3-10    I will camp against thee round about and will lay siege

Jeremiah 6.3-10   The Shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her

1 kings 9.7-9     I cut off Israel out of the land which I give him

Micah 3.12      Shall Zion for your Sake be plowed afield and Jerusalem    

Matthew24.2    These things not be left here one stone upon another

Mark 13.2     Seest thou these great buildings, there shall not be thrown

Luke 21.6-8 As for these things which ye behold the days will come

Daniel 9.24    Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and the holy city

Luke 1.68,78   He hath visited and redeemed his people

Note –But the bright picture of what Jerusalem might have been fades from the Savior’s sight. He realizes what she now is under the Roman yoke, bearing the frown of God, doomed to his retributive Judgment. He takes up the broken thread of his lamentation: “But now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” Christ came to save Jerusalem with her Christian, but Pharisaical pride, hypocrisy, Jealousy, and malice had prevented him from accomplishing his purpose. Jesus knew the terrible retribution which

would be visited upon the doomed city. He saw Jerusalem encompassed with armies, the besieged Inhabitants driven to starvation and death, mothers feeding upon the dead bodies of their own children, and both parents and children snatching the last morsel of food from one another, natural affection being destroyed by the gnawing pangs of hunger. He saw that the stubbornness of the Jews, as evinced in their rejection of his salvation, would also lead them to refuse submission to the Invading armies.

What pitiful appeal did he make to the Impenitent city?

Matthew 23.37   O Jerusalem, Jerusalem thou that killest the prophets

Matthew 15:1-3,7-14  In vain do they worship me

2 chronicles 24.21   they conspired against him, stoned him

Psalm17.8 Keep me as the apple of the eye

What would be a sign of the fall of Jerusalem?

Luke 21.20  ye shall see Jerusalem compassed armies

Matthew 24.15  When ye therefore shall see the Abomination

Luke 23.29   Behold the days are coming in which say Blessed the barren

Matthew 13.14 By hearing ye shall hear and shall not understand

Note—The history of more than a thousand years of God‘s favor and guardian care, manifested to the chosen people, was open to the eye of Jesus. There was mount Moriah where the son of promise an unresisting victim had been bound to the altar –emblem of the offering of the Son of God .There the covenant of blessing ,the  glorious Messianic promise, had been confirmed to father of the faithful. Genesis 22.,9 16-18. There the flames of the sacrifice ascending to heaven from the threshing floor of Ornan had turned aside the sword of the destroying angel [1chronicles 21] fitting the symbol of the Savior’s sacrifice and mediation for guilty men. Jerusalem had been honored of God above all the earth. The lord had chosen Zion, ‘’he had desired it for his habitations ‘’Psalm 132.13. There, for ages, holy prophets had uttered their messages of warning. There priests had waved their censers, and the cloud of incense, with the prayers of worshippers, had ascended before God. There the blood of slain lambs had been offered, pointing forward to the lamb of God, thus Jehovah had revealed His presence in the cloud of glory  above the mercy seat. There rested the base of that mystic ladder connecting earth with heaven [Genesis28.12; John1.51]-that ladder upon which angels of God descended and ascended, and which opened to the world the way onto the holiest of all. Had Israel as a nation presented her allegiance to heaven, Jerusalem would have stood forever, the elect of God. Jeremiah 17.21-25. But the history of that favored people was a record of backsliding and rebellion. They had resisted heaven’s grace, abused their privileges, and slighted their opportunities.

Note –Although Israel had “mocked the messengers of God and despised His words , and misused his prophets [2chronicles 36.16 ], he had still manifested himself to them ,as “the Lord God , merciful and gracious ,longsuffering ,and abundant in goodness and truth ‘’[ Exodus 34.6]notwithstanding repeated rejections ,his mercy had continued its pleadings. With more than a father’s pitying love for the son of his care ,God had “sent to them by his messengers ,rising up betimes and sending ; because he had compassion on his people ,and on his dwelling place.” 2chronicles 36.15. When remonstrance, entreaty and rebuke had failed, He sent to them the best gift of heaven; nay, he poured out all heaven in that one gift.

 The son of God himself was sent to plead with the Impenitent city .It was Christ that had brought Israel as a goodly vine out of Egypt Psalm 80.8 [the Great Controversy pg 18-19]

When the sign appeared, what were the disciples to do?

Matthew 24.15-16 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation stand in the holy place

Mark 13.14-16 Abomination standing where it ought not to

Luke 21.26   Men’s heart failing them for fear, powers of heaven shall be shaken

 Note-“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]then let them that be in Judea flee into the mountains,” Matthew 24.15-16.In A.D 66, when Cestius came against the city but unaccountably  withdrew, the Christians discerned in this the sign foretold  by Christ and fled [Eusebius,  church history  book 3, chap 5,]while 1,100,000 Jews are said to have been killed in the terrible siege in A.D 70.Here is a striking lesson on the Importance of studying the prophesies and heeding the signs of the times. Those who believed Christ and watched for the sign which he had foretold were saved, while the unbelieving perished. So in the end of the world the watchful and believing will be delivered, while the careless and unbelieving will be snared and taken. [See Matthew 24.36-44; Luke 21.34-36; 1Thessalonians5.1-6] Bibles Reading pg 132]

When the sign appeared, how suddenly were they to flee?

Matthew24.17-18 let him which is on the house top not come down to take anything out of his house

Note- the Savior warned his followers, “when ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet stand in the holy place [whose readeth, let him understand] then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains Matthew 24.15-16; luke 21.20-21 When the Idolatrous standard of the Romans should be set up in the holy ground, which extended some furlongs outside the city walls, then the followers of Christ were to find safety in flight. When the warning signs should be seen, those who would escape must make no delay. Throughout the land of Judea, as well as in Jerusalem itself, the signal for flight must be immediately obeyed. He who chanced to be upon the housetop must not go down into his house, even to save his most valued treasure. Those who were working in the fields and vineyards must not take time to return for the outer garment laid aside, while they should be toiling in the heat of the day. They must not hesitate a moment lest they be involved in the general destruction.

 In the reign of Herod, Jerusalem had not only been greatly beautified but by the erection of towers, walls, and fortresses adding to the natural strength of its situation, it had been rendered apparently impregnable. He who would at this times have foretold publicly its destruction would be like Noah in his day that has been called a crazed alarmist. But Christ had said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24.35. Because of her sins, wrath had been denounced against Jerusalem, and her stubborn unbelief rendered her doom certain.

How did Christ further show his care for his disciples?

Matthew 24:20 But pray that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day

Note-Flight in winter would entail discomfort and hardship; an attempt to flee on the Sabbath would doubtless meet with difficulty; however the prayers of Christ’s followers were heard.  Events were so overruled that neither Jew nor Romans hindered their flight. When Cestius retreated, the Jews pursued his army, and the Christians thus had an opportunity to leave the city. The country was cleared of enemies, for at the time of this siege, the Jews had assembled at Jerusalem for the feast of Tabernacles. Thus the Christians of Judea were able to escape unmolested, and in the autumn, a most favorable time for flight [Bible Reading pg 132]

Note-[Great controversy pg 30-31] the promised sign had been given to the waiting Christians, and now an opportunity was offered for all who would, to obey the Savior’s warning. Upon the retreat of cestius, the Jews from Jerusalem, pursued after his retiring army; and while both forces were thus fully engaged, the Christians had an opportunity to leave the city. At this time the county also had been cleared of enemies who might have endeavored to intercept them. At the time of the siege, ,the Jews were assembled at Jerusalem to keep the feast of tabernacles, and thus the Christians throughout the land were able to make their escape unmolested. Without delay they fled to a place of safety –the city of Pella, in the land of Perea beyond Jordon.

 The Jewish forces, pursuing after cestius and his army, fell upon their rear with such fierceness as to threaten them with total destruction. It was with great difficulty that the Romans succeeded in making their retreat. The Jews escaped almost without loss, and with their spoils returned in triumph to Jerusalem. Yet this apparent success brought them only evil. It inspired them with that spirits of stubborn resistance to the Roman which speedily brought unutterable woe upon the doomed city.

Terrible were the calamities that fell upon Jerusalem when the siege was resumed by Titus. The city was invested at the time of the Passover, when millions of Jews were assembled within its walls. Their stores of provision, which if carefully preserved would have supplied the Inhabitants for years, had previously be destroyed through the jealousy and revenge of the contending factions, and now all the horrors of starvation were experienced. A measure of wheat was sold for talent. So fierce were the pangs of hunger that men would gnaw the leather of their belts and sandals and the covering of their shields. Great numbers of the people would steal out at night to gather wild plants growing outside the city walls, though many were seized and put to death with cruel torture, and often those who returned in safety were robbed of what they had gleaned at so great peril.

Matthew 24.21   then shall be great tribulation, as was not since the beginning of world

Note- Following the destruction of Jerusalem came the persecution of the Christians under pagan emperors during the first three centuries of the Christian era. Later came the greater and more terrible persecution during the long centuries of papal supremacy, foretold in Daniel 7.25 and Revelation 12.6. All these tribulation occurred under either pagan or papal Rome [Bible reading pg 133][great controversy pg30].

 For seven years a man continued to go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, declaring the woes that were to come upon the city. By day and night he chanted the wild dirge: a voice from the east! a voice from the west! a voice from the four winds! a voice against Jerusalem!, he chanted and against the temple! a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides! a voice against the whole people!-Ibid this strange being was imprisoned and scourged, but no complaint escaped his lips. To insult and abuse; he answered only: “woe ,woe to Jerusalem! woe ,woe to the inhabitants thereof!” His warning cry ceased not until he was slain in the siege he had foretold

Note- Not one Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem. Christ had given his disciples warning, and all who believe his words watched for the promised sign. “when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies,’ said  Jesus, “then know that the desolation thereof it nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out.’’ Luke 21.20. After the Romans under cestius had surrounded the city, they unexpectedly abandoned the siege when everything seemed favorable for an immediate attack. The besieged despairing of successful resistance, were on the point of surrender when the roman general withdrew his forces without the least apparent reason. But God’s merciful providence was directing events for the good of his own people.

For whose sake would the period be shortened?

Matthew 24.22   But for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened

Isaiah 65.8-9      As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, destroy it not; for a blessing is in it so will I do for my servants sake

Note-Through the influence of reformation of the sixteenth century and the movement which grew out of it, the power of the papacy to enforce its decrees against those it pronounced heretics was gradually lessened, until persecution ceased almost wholly by the middle of the eighteenth century, before the 1260 years ended.

Note-but in that day, as in the time of Jerusalem’s destruction ,God’s people will be delivered everyone that shall be found written among the living Isaiah 4.3  [to highlight] Christ has declared that he will come the second time to gather his faithful ones to himself. 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 and he shall send 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 ‘’ Matthew 24.30-31. Then shall they that obey not the gospel be consumed with the spirit of his mouth and be destroyed with the brightness of his coming. 2thessalonians 2.8 Like Isaiah of old the wicked destroy themselves as they fall by their iniquity. By a life of sin, they have placed themselves so out of harmony with God, their nations have become so debased with evil, that the manifestation of this glory is to them a consuming fire.

Matthew 22.24 false prophet, If possible they shall deceive

Mark 13.21-23 If any man shall say to you, lo here is Christ, believe not

Luke 17.23-24   they shall say to you see have or see there go not after them

Deuteronomy 13.1-4 If there arise among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams

Zechariah 10.2   Idols have spoken vanity and the diviners have seen a lie

2thessalonians 2.9   even his coming is after the working of satan with all power and signs and lying wonders

Revelation 13.13-14    he doeth great wonders so that he maketh fire come down

2 timothy 2.18-19    who concerning the truth have erred, resurrection is  past

Note- the leader of the opposing faction, at times united to plunder and torture their wretched victims, and again they fell upon each other’s, forces and slaughtered without mercy. Even the sanctity of the temple could not restrain their horrible ferocity. The worshipers were stricken down before the altar, and the sanctuary was polluted with the bodies of the slain. Yet in their blind and blasphemous presumption the instigators of this hellish work publicly declared that they had no fear that Jerusalem would be destroyed, for it was God’s own city to establish their power more firmly, they bribed false prophets to proclaim even while Roman legions were besieging the temple, that the people were to wait for deliverance from God. To the last, multitudes held fast to the belief of that the most high would interpose for the defeat of their adversaries. But  Israel had spurned the divine protection, and now she had no defense. Unhappy Jerusalem rent by internal dissensions, the blood of her children slain by one another’s hands crimsoning her streets, while alien armies beat down her fortifications and slew her men of war! All the predictions given by Christ concerning the destruction of Jerusalem were fulfilled to the letter. The Jews experienced the truth of his words of warning, “with what measure ye mete it shall be measured you again.” Matthew 7.2.

Note- Signs and wonders appeared, foreboding disaster and doom. In the midst of the night an unnatural light shone over the temple and the altar. Upon the clouds at sunset, were pictured chariots and men of war gathering for battle. The priests ministering by night in the sanctuary were terrified by mysterious sounds; the earth trembled, and a multitude of voice was heard crying, “let us depart hence.” The great eastern gate, which was so heavy that it could hardly be shut by a score of men and which was secured by immense bars of Iron fastened deep in the pavement of solid stone, opened at midnight without visible agency—Milman, The history of the Jews, book13]the great controversy pg 29.30]

                Signs in the sun, moon and stars

What sign of the end would be seen in the heaven?

Luke 21.25   there shall be signs in the sun and in the moon, in the stars

Matthew 24.29  Immediately after Tribulation those day, sun be darkened

2peter 3.10,12    the day of the lord will come as a thief in the nights

Note—let men beware lest they neglect the lesson conveyed to them in the words of Christ. As he warned his disciples of Jerusalem’s destruction, giving them a sign of the approaching ruin, that they might make their escape, so he has warned the world of the day of final destruction and has given them tokens of its approach, that all who will may flee from the wrath to come Jesus declares: “ There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations.” Luke21.25; Matthew24.29; Mark13.24-26; Revelation6.12-17. Those who behold these harbingers of His coming are to know “that it is near, even at the door.” Matthew 24.33; Mark13.35 they that heed the warning shall not left in darkness, that that day should overtake them unawares. But to them that will not watch, “the day of the lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” 1thessalonions 5.2-5  the world is no more ready to credit the message for this time than were the Jews to receive the Saviors’ warning concerning Jerusalem. Come when it may, the day of god will come unawares to the ungodly. When life is going on in it unvarying round; when man are absorbed in pleasure, in business, in traffic,in money-making; when religious leaders are  magnifying the world’s  progress and enlightenment, and the peoples are lulled in a false security-then, as the midnight thief steals within the unguarded dwellings, so shall sudden destruction come upon the careless and ungodly “and they shall not escape.” [verse 3] great controversy pg 37-38]

When were the first of these sign to appear?

Matthew 24.29   Immediately after the tribulation of these day the sun, darkened

Note—But in those days after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened and the power that are in heaven shall be shaken.’ Mark 13.24-25.Compare Joel 2.30-31; 3.15,Isaiah 13.10;Amos 8.9

Note- within the 1260years, but after the persecution

[about the middle of the eighteenth century] the signs of his coming began to appear.

  A wonderful darkening of the sun and moon the remarkable dark day of May 19, 1780 is described by Samuel Williams of Harvard. The professors relates that the obscuration approached with the clouds from the south west “between the hours of ten and eleven .A.M.

and continued unto the middle of the next night, varying

in degree and duration in different localities. In some places persons could not see to read common print in the open air, for several hours.’’ Although this was not generally the case, candles were lighted up in the house: –the birds having sung their evening, songs, disappeared, and become silent- the fowls retired to the roost the cocks were crowing all around, as at  break of day: –objects could not be distinguished but at a very little distance – and everything bore the appearance and gloom of night [see memoirs of the American Academy of arts and sciences [through 1783,  vol,pp 234,235] the darkness of the following evening was probably as gross as ever has been observed since the  Almighty fiat gave birth to light. It wanted only palpability to render it as extraordinary, as that which over spread the land of Egypt in the days of Moses—If every luminous body in the universe had been shrouded in impenetrable shades, or struck out of existence ,the darkness could not have been more complete. A sheet of white paper held within a few inches of the eyes were equally invisible with the blackest velvet-Samuel tannery, letter [1785 in collections of the Massachusetts Historical society part1,  vol-  [ 1792ed ]pg 97-98. timothy Dwight, president  of Yale, remembered that a very general opinion prevailed, that the day of judgment was at hand the [Connecticut] House of representatives being unable to transact their business, adjourned ,  “but the council lighted candles, preferring, as a member said, to be found at work if the  Judgment  were approaching [see john W.Barbar, Connecticut Historical collections [2nd ed,1836]p403

[2]   Remarkable display of falling stars

Note—the morning   of November 13th,1833 says an eyewitness a Yale astronomer was rendered memorable by an exhibition of the phenomenon called shooting stars

, which was probably more extensive and magnificent than any similar one hitherto recorded—probably no celestial phenomenon has ever occurred in this country since its first settlement which was viewed with so much admiration and delight by one class of spectators, or with so much astonishment and fear by another class –Denison Olmsted in the American Journal of science and Arts, Vol 25[1834],pp36

3,364

                      World Condition Preparation

What were to be the signs on earth of Christ’s coming ?

Luke 21.25-26   there shall  be signs  in the sun, and in  the moons and in the stars

[2] What was to be  the next great  event after  these signs

Matthew 24.30    when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves’ summer is near

[3]  When these  things begin  to happen   what should we do

Luke 21.28     Looking and lift up your heads, for redemption draweth nigh

[4] When the tree put forth their leaves, what do we know

Matthew 24.32      Now learn a parable of the fig tree, putteth forth leaves, summer is near

 [5] What do we like wise know after these sign are seen?

Luke 21.31    So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, the kingdom is nigh hand

Note—The saviors’ prophecy concerning the visitation of Judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment of which that terrible desolation was but a faint shadow. In the fate of the chosen city we may behold the doom of a world that has rejected God’s mercy and trampled upon this law. Dark are the records of human misery that earth has witnessed during its long centuries of crime. The heart sickens and the mind grows faint in contemplation. Terrible have been the results of rejecting the authority of heaven. But a scene yet darker is presented in the revelations of the future the records of the past,-the long procession of  tumults, conflicts and revolutions, the battle “of the warrior—with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood [Isaiah 9.5]—what are these, in contrast with the terrors of that day when the restraining spirit of God shall be wholly withdrawn from the wicked ,no longer to hold in check the outburst of human passion and satanic wrath! the world will then  behold, as never before, the results of Satan’s rule.

[6] What did Christ say of the certainty of this prophecy?

Matthew 24:34-35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, my words shall not

Matthew 16.28   some standing who not see death

Isaiah 51.6     heaven pass away, my salvation shall be forever and my righteousness

Matthew 5.18    Till heaven and earth pass one Jot or one little shall no. pass

Note—What Christ foretold of the destruction of Jerusalem came through to the very letter. Likewise may we be assured that what he has said about the end of the world will as certainly and as literally be fulfilled.

[7] What moral conditions would precede Christ’s Second Advent?

Matthew 24.37-39 the days that were before the flood, eating, drinking,

Note—[Great Controversy pg 337-339]-from age to age the warning which God has sent to the world by his servants have been received with like Incredulity and unbelief. When the iniquity of the antediluvian moved from him to bring a flood of water upon the earth, he first made know to them his purpose that they might have opportunity to turn from their evil ways. For a hundred and twenty years was sounded in their ears the warning to repent, lest the wrath of God be manifested in their destruction. But the message seemed to them an idle tale, and they believed it not. Emboldened in their wickedness they mocked the messenger of God, made light of his entreaties and even accused him of presumption. How dare one man stand up against all the great men of the earth? If Noah’s message were true, why did not all the world see it and believe it?, one man’s assertion against the wisdom of thousands! they would not credit the warning, nor would they seek shelter in the ark.

Scoffers pointed to the things of nature,-to the unvarying succession of the seasons, to the blue skies that had never poured out rain, to the green fields refreshed by the soft dews of night, and they cried out: “Doth he not speak parables?” in contempt they declared the preacher of righteousness to be a wild enthusiast; and they went on, more eager in their pursuit of pleasure, more intent upon their evils ways, than before. But their unbelief did not hinder the predicted events. God bore long with their wickedness giving them ample opportunity for repentance;  but at the appointed  time his Judgments were visited upon the rejecters of his mercy Christ declare that there will exist similar unbelief concerning his second coming. As the people of Noah’s day “knew not until the flood came, and took them all away: so”, in the words of our savior, “shall also the coming of the son of man be.” Matthew 24.39. When the professed people of god are uniting with the world, living as they live, and joining with in forbidden pleasures; when the luxury of the world becomes the luxury of the church; when the marriage bells are chiming and all are looking forward to many years of worldly prosperity then, suddenly as the lightning flashes from the heavens, will come the end of their bright visions and delusive hopes [great controversy pg 338-39]

[8] What Important admonition has Christ given us?

 Matthew 24.44 be ye also ready for in such an hour as ye think

Matthew 25.13   Watch therefore for ye know neither the day nor the hour

What will be the experience of those who say in their hearts that the lord is not soon coming?

Matthew 24:45-51            The evil servant said in his heart, the Lord delayeth his coming

Note: The proclamation of a definite time for Christ’s coming called forth great opposition from many of all classes, from the minister in the pulpit down to the most reckless, heaven daring sinner. The words of prophecy were fulfilled: “there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying; ‘where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 2 peter 3.-4. Many who professed to love the Savior declared that they had no opposition to the doctrine of the second advent; they merely objected to the definite time. But God’s all seeing eye read their hearts. They did not wish to hear of Christ’s coming to judge the world in righteousness. They had been unfaithful servants, their works would not bear the inspection of the heart-searching God, and they feared to meet their lord. Like the Jews at the time of Christ’s first advent they were not prepared to welcome Jesus. They not only refused to listen to the plain arguments from the Bible, but ridiculed those who were looking for the lord. Satan and his angels exulted and flung the taunt in the face of Christ and holy angels that his professed people had so little love for him that they did not desire his appearing.

No man knoweth the day nor the hour was the argument most often brought forward by rejecters of the advent faith. The scriptures is: “of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” Matthew 24.36. A clear and harmonious explanation of this text was given by those who were looking for the lord, and the wrong use made of it by their opponents was clearly shown. The words were spoken by Christ in the memorable conversation with his disciples upon Olivet after he had for the last time departed from the temple the disciples had asked the question: “what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Jesus gave them signs, and said: “When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near even at the doors.” verse 3, 33. One saying of the Savior must not be made to destroy another. Though no man knoweth the day nor the hour of His coming, we are instructed and required to know when it is near. We are further taught that to disregard His warning, and refuse or neglect to know when His advent is near, will be as fatal for us as it was for those who lived in the days of Noah not to know when the flood was coming. And the parable in the same chapter, contrasting the faithful and the unfaithful servant and giving the doom of him who said in his  heart, “My Lord delayeth His coming,” shows in what light Christ will regard and reward those whom He finds watching and teaching His coming and those who denying it.    Watch therefore,” He says “Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He cometh shall find him so doing.” verse 42-46. “If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come upon thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” Revelation 3:3

Paul speaks of a class to whom the Lord’s appearing will come unawares. The day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them… and they shall not escape.” But he adds, to those who have given heed to the Saviour’s warning: “ye brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of the light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2-5

NOTE: Thus it was shown that scripture gives no warrant for men to remain in ignorance concerning the nearness of Christ’s coming. But those who desired only as an excuse to reject the truth closed their ears to this explanation and the words, “no man knoweth the day nor the hour” continued to be echoed by the bold scoffer and even by the professed minister of Christ. As the people were roused, and began to enquire the way of salvation, religious teachers stepped in between them and the truth, seeking to quiet their fears by falsely interpreting the word of God. Unfaithful watchmen united in the work of the great deceiver, crying, peace, peace when God had not spoken peace. Like the Pharisees in Christ’s day, many refused to enter the kingdom of heaven themselves, and those who were entering in they hindered. The blood of these souls will be required at their hand. (Great Controversy pg 370-372)

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