Ellen G. White Writings

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Humble Hero, Page 293

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, “See! Your house is left to you desolate” (Matthew 23:38), had struck terror in their hearts. The question kept rising in their minds about what these words might mean. Could it be that the magnificent temple, the nation’s glory, was soon to be a heap of ruins?

The disciples also shared this sense of approaching evil. As they walked out of the temple with Jesus, they called His attention to its strength and beauty. The stones of the temple were of the purest marble, some of almost incredible size. A portion of the wall had withstood the siege by Nebuchadnezzar’s army. In its perfect masonry it appeared like one solid stone dug whole from the quarry.

The view Christ saw 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 ‘not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.’”

When He was alone, Peter, John, James, and Andrew came to Him. “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Jesus did not answer by speaking separately of the destruction of Jerusalem and the great day of His coming. He mingled the description of these two events. If He had opened to His disciples the future events as He saw 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 will come to punish the world for their iniquity. Jesus gave this entire discourse not just for the disciples but for those who would live in the last scenes of this earth’s history.

Christ said, “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” Many false messiahs will appear, declaring that the time of deliverance for 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 arise again.

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