As Jerusalem was about to be destroyed in 70 A.D. the Jews still maintained their belief that they were in perfect safety for God would certainly protect His people and would not allow a whole nation to be destroyed and dispersed abroad. But did the prayers by the great numbers of people who came together to worship and keep the Passover by the millions cause the hand of God to save his once chosen people when the Roman General Titus besieged the city during the time of the feast day? This was God’s true people and they had gathered by the millions for worship but that did not stop the carnage and destruction of the final siege. Josephus reported that 1.1 million people died in the siege of the unholy city.
Will God’s people be saved in the last days because they are comprised of great numbers, because they are too important for God to cast off even if they apostatize and fail to keep their pure and holy faith? History declares that God will start with Just a few if the church departs from the faith. Jesus choose two and said follow me, and Jesus found a few fisherman and said follow me, he saw a tax collector and said follow me, and Christ rebuilt His church starting over with just 12 men. Twelve men… do you really believe that in the last days God could begin with just a few digits and advance His church right up to the second coming? You will never believe it if you put your ideas, or your church’s concepts above the bible for that is not faith in exercise. To exercise faith you must have courage to believe God’s word alone, and to place a value on His word above every other influence until you trust that word, rest in that word and love the word.
The devil may impress some to believe that we don’t have time to build and start over again and that God must use the developed church of the day to finish the work. Those who believe that must ignore and reject the fact that from the time the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the little group of praying disciples and that small number of believers grew to the time the gospel had advanced to the then known world was a very, very short time. The word of God is “quick and powerful” it has no limitations. (Heb. 4:12) Where did Jesus find His first disciples? He found them in the then known apostate church that had formed a organization against God and killed each messenger sent to them until the final message along with it’s messenger was then too slain. Where did God call His disciples to? He called them out of the organization to stand with Christ alone and we are to abide and find our strength there also which is in Christ alone. (Song “We Are Not Alone”)
How did the little group of true believers advance? They (the disciples) were not to adopt the dress of the religious teachers, nor use any guise in apparel to distinguish them from the humble peasants. They were not to enter into the synagogues and call the people together for public service; their efforts were to be put forth in house-to-house labor. They were not to waste time in needless salutations, or in going from house to house for entertainment. But in every place they were to accept the hospitality of those who were worthy, those who would welcome them heartily as if entertaining Christ Himself. They were to enter the dwelling with the beautiful salutation, “Peace be to this house.” Luke 10:5. That home would be blessed by their prayers, their songs of praise, and the opening of the Scriptures in the family circle. So shall it be in the last days as God’s servants go forth in the power of the Holy Spirit. It will begin in a very small way and swell to a large number and a loud cry..
Do we understand the warning that the Jews did not which caused them to be destroyed in 70 A.D. The words of Christ just before His final rejection and crucifixion by the chosen people had been spoken. “Behold your house is left unto you desolate”. Matthew 23:38″ Hear the warning from Christ… “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea 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. Luk 21:20 “. Did you know this verse has an application for our day?
Lets look at it…” And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation (which shall be establish at the end of the world), spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Mat 24:14 -22
Christ gave His disciples a sign of the ruin to come on Jerusalem, and He told them how to escape: “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. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” This warning was given to be heeded forty years after, at the destruction of Jerusalem. The Christians obeyed the warning, and not a Christian perished in the fall of the city.
“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, nailing it to His cross. The Sabbath was not rendered null and void by His death. Forty years after His crucifixion it was still to be held sacred. For forty years the disciples were to pray that their flight might not be on the Sabbath day.
From the destruction of Jerusalem, Christ passed on rapidly to the greater event, the last link in the chain of this earth’s history,—the coming of the Son of God in majesty and glory. Between these two events, there lay open to Christ’s view long centuries of darkness, centuries for His church marked with blood and tears and agony. Upon these scenes His disciples could not then endure to look, and Jesus passed them by with a brief mention. “Then shall be great tribulation,” He said, “such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” For more than a thousand years such persecution as the world had never before known was to come upon Christ’s followers. Millions upon millions of His faithful witnesses were to be slain. Had not God’s hand been stretched out to preserve His people, all would have perished. “But for the elect’s sake,” He said, “those days shall be shortened.”
Threaded through the scriptures is a fabric of truth which reveal that God’s children stand alone in the face of tests and trials. We are tested individually just as we are saved by Christ individually and not in groups. If we were saved as a body of believers then we could be tested as a team and group but alas we are saved and tested and tried alone. We also find that when trails came in the bible there wasn’t a lot of group support to encourage the true believer to step forward and risk his life for Christ.
Jesus suffered and died alone, Stephen died alone, John was exiled to Patmos alone, and the two examples of God’s end time movement: John the Baptist, and Elijah stood alone. Is God calling us to gain strength to stand alone in the last days also? Have we not relied upon many props instead of Christ alone? God is causing events to take place that His true followers may gain the experience of trusting in Him alone. Does it seem to you my friend that you are alone… we are never alone God is with us always.
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9” When we go through trials “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalms 46:1) When we think we are rejected Jesus said, “…I will never leave you or forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
There is absolutely no safety in numbers our trusting and following a crowd. Crowds normally lack courage they gather because of the comfort gained in being associated with the group which is why crowds are much easier to control than individuals. Remaining with a system in which God’s word describes the activities which they operate by as sin (who are not planning to change but move forward in sin) because of the uncomfortably of standing alone is to promote cowardice instead of character development into the image of Christ resulting in the loss of your soul. Remember it was a crowd who cried out “let Him be crucified. Matthew 27:22”. Now is the time for personal development in Christ and to set your will on the side of the will of God. Jesus says to us, “Whoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Mark 8:34)
People order their lives based on what they value or esteem and as fears and phobias enter their lives gaining control they form those fear based values. Such as honoring man before God, outward compliance when convicted otherwise until conviction dies, loss of freedom of speech through not protesting and standing for liberties. Once these fears gain control then in a practical sense they become their idols or their gods. If we fear loss of prosperity or being poor then riches may become our god as so many today worship the god of prosperity as they bow and lower themselves to scrape to save every nickle and invest it to secure their future.
Observing cowardice we see that fear based motives give undue honor to man exalting his position to the seat in the mind where God along belongs and destroys the ability to know the true God. It is a foundation of the new religion where believers are attempting the impossible of honoring man and God at the same time which always results in false religious standards, easier ways than God has established and idolatry.
There are benefits in this world that people often are afraid of losing and it’s those fears that will cause the forfeiture of heaven. The bible actually says people lose heaven over fear: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death Rev_21:8. This is an extension of the fearful. The fearful become unbelieving and the unbelieving who don’t trust God to meet their needs take things into their own hands and obey their own cowardice thus becoming murderers. So you see the transition in steps down is the same way we advance in our sanctified life as we move step by step in advancing degrees of perfection or we reduce ourselves through the weak flesh following its own dictates which if they are our own motivates (man produced and not God inspired) and do not stem from God then they must have the characteristics that are not God’s and are opposite of God.
Your friends may communicate things that touch your fears, if you aren’t approved, liked, accepted, validated, recognized as being in the group, the fear of living outside the accepted, the approved can cause stress. You may lose future opportunities at your job if you go against the standards of leaders and others at your work place. The climate of fear was so strong during the days of Christ in the working religious institutions of the Jews that it had captivated and controlled the normal classes of people. They feared being cast out of the synagogue, they feared standing outside of the rabbinical approval so much so that no one would confess that Jesus was the Christ. “These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue John_9:22.”
So this is the same climate we are in today where people fear their leaders, fear their pastors lest they not be accepted and lose friendships, lose position and influence. Just as the prophets had to come before the people and show them how they had become respecters of persons so it will be done today and it will be proclaimed that this is man worship and even though it is being done under the name of “the church” it is not accepted as true service to God. God is a God of principles and moral values that are unchangeable and eternal in nature and to accept a man’s sayings because he holds a position of leadership when he is operating against God’s principles is man worship. It is the idolatry of the age.
If our actions are cowardice then we are beholding something other than the Creator who is strength, who is courage, who always imparts faith and courage. We need to go back and spend time with Jesus and develop faith and courage in His power to stand alone regardless of the results, to maintaining truth at all cost without concern of those who oppose that truth. We must stand and reveal that we are a believer in the Living God who’s law of 10 commandments we honor above man as man’s guide. We are saved through faith, and it is faithless to tremble before man.
This is a major problem today as one of the diseases increasing faster than any other is anxiety know as panic attacks and this anxious state is experienced by dread, fright, alarm, panic, terror, trepidation, anticipation of danger. Anxiety is on the rise because without beholding the Creator God, Jehovah who had the courage to suffer and die our death on the cross, Christ who experienced the ultimate pain taking the guilt of our sins and suffering the Father separating Himself as He took the curse of being made sin at Calvary we have lost our vantage point. By not maintaining this prominent view of God in our lives mans succumbs to fear. Remember God has nothing to do with fear; not one speck of fear. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2Ti_1:7”
Now this is the reason the last gospel message given to the world begins with, “Fear God…Fear God (the bible says), and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters Rev. 14:7. We can give no glory to God whatsoever while fearing man for the true worship of Jehovah always puts man in his proper sphere and position. But this is what the people are doing today, they bow down to those who control the assets in the church, those who own the buildings, who have the money to build and control the brick walls that the church met and worships in.
What did Christ tell his followers about this? After Christ pronounced the curse upon the ruling church of His day and he transferred the blessings of God’s presence to His new church leaving the old church system void of the influence of His Spirit forever the disciples were unable to comprehended the words which were spoken and received them as horror to their ears. That the religous system of the Jews would come to an end they could not at this time consider or accept. Christ words spoken in Matthew 23:38 “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” They could not comprehend that God would withdraw and allow the desolation, destruction, catastrophe, to come upon the church and nation. So as Christ pronounced the blow and walked outside the synagogue the disciples accosted him with the words, look at the beautiful walls, look at the temple, aren’t they grand, but what did Jesus say, “And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down Mat_24:2 .” All of it Jesus said will come to absolute ruin
It was as if Jesus was saying no matter what these men do as leaders, no matter how much material wealth and power they possess it is all coming to nothing and there is not a thing anyone can do to stop it, it will be destroyed. So Jesus gave the prophecy of destruction of the church to the disciples explaining to them the last chance to depart from the church and the city or be destroyed along with it. Jesus next said, “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 which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
Mat 24:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes Mat 24:15-18 ”
And what happened concerning that prophecy? The leaders 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 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 to you again. Mat. 7:2” .
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. The promised sign had been given to the waiting Christians, and now an opportunity was offered for all who would, to obey the Saviour’s warning. Events were so overruled that neither Jews nor Romans should hinder the flight of the Christians. Upon the retreat of Cestius, the Jews, sallying 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 country 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 Jordan. 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 spirit of stubborn resistance to the Romans 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 been 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 a 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. The most inhuman tortures were inflicted by those in power, to force from the want-stricken people the last scanty supplies which they might have concealed. And these cruelties were not infrequently practiced by men who were themselves well fed, and who were merely desirous of laying up a store of provision for the future. Thousands perished from famine and pestilence. Natural affection seemed to have been destroyed. Husbands robbed their wives, and wives their husbands. Children would be seen snatching the food from the mouths of their aged parents. The question of the prophet, “Can a woman forget her sucking child?” received the answer within the walls of that doomed city: “The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people.Isaiah 49:15, Lamentations 4:10” . Again was fulfilled the warning prophecy given fourteen centuries before: “The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, … and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates. Deut. 28: 56-57”.
The Roman leaders endeavored to strike terror to the Jews and thus cause them to surrender. Those prisoners who resisted when taken, were scourged, tortured, and crucified before the wall of the city. Hundreds were daily put to death in this manner, and the dreadful work continued until, along the Valley of Jehoshaphat and at Calvary, crosses were erected in so great numbers that there was scarcely room to move among them. So terribly was visited that awful imprecation uttered before the judgment seat of Pilate: “His blood be on us, and on our children. Mat. 27:25”. Titus would willingly have put an end to the fearful scene, and thus have spared Jerusalem the full measure of her doom. He was filled with horror as he saw the bodies of the dead lying in heaps in the valleys. Like one entranced, he looked from the crest of Olivet upon the magnificent temple and gave command that not one stone of it be touched. Before attempting to gain possession of this stronghold, he made an earnest appeal to the Jewish leaders not to force him to defile the sacred place with blood. If they would come forth and fight in any other place, no Roman should violate the sanctity of the temple. Josephus himself, in a most eloquent appeal, entreated them to surrender, to save themselves, their city, and their place of worship. But his words were answered with bitter curses. Darts were hurled at him, their last human mediator, as he stood pleading with them.
The Jews had rejected the entreaties of the Son of God, and now expostulation and entreaty only made them more determined to resist to the last. In vain were the efforts of Titus to save the temple; One greater than he had declared that not one stone was to be left upon another. The blind obstinacy of the Jewish leaders, and the detestable crimes perpetrated within the besieged city, excited the horror and indignation of the Romans, and Titus at last decided to take the temple by storm. He determined, however, that if possible it should be saved from destruction. But his commands were disregarded. After he had retired to his tent at night, the Jews, sallying from the temple, attacked the soldiers without. In the struggle, a firebrand was flung by a soldier through an opening in the porch, and immediately the cedar-lined chambers about the holy house were in a blaze. Titus rushed to the place, followed by his generals and legionaries, and commanded the soldiers to quench the flames. His words were unheeded. In their fury the soldiers hurled blazing brands into the chambers adjoining the temple, and then with their swords they slaughtered in great numbers those who had found shelter there. Blood flowed down the temple steps like water.
Thousands upon thousands of Jews perished. Above the sound of battle, voices were heard shouting: “Ichabod!”—the glory is departed. “Titus found it impossible to check the rage of the soldiery; he entered with his officers, and surveyed the interior of the sacred edifice. The splendor filled them with wonder; and as the flames had not yet penetrated to the holy place, he made a last effort to save it, and springing forth, again exhorted the soldiers to stay the progress of the conflagration. The centurion Liberalis endeavored to force obedience with his staff of office; but even respect for the emperor gave way to the furious animosity against the Jews, to the fierce excitement of battle, and to the insatiable hope of plunder. The soldiers saw everything around them radiant with gold, which shone dazzlingly in the wild light of the flames; they supposed that incalculable treasures were laid up in the sanctuary.
A soldier, unperceived, thrust a lighted torch between the hinges of the door: the whole building was in flames in an instant. The blinding smoke and fire forced the officers to retreat, and the noble edifice was left to its fate. “It was an appalling spectacle to the Roman —what was it to the Jew? The whole summit of the hill which commanded the city, blazed like a volcano. One after another the buildings fell in, with a tremendous crash, and were swallowed up in the fiery abyss. The roofs of cedar were like sheets of flame; the gilded pinnacles shone like spikes of red light; the gate towers sent up tall columns of flame and smoke. The neighboring hills were lighted up; and dark groups of people were seen watching in horrible anxiety the progress of the destruction: the walls and heights of the upper city were crowded with faces, some pale with the agony of despair, others scowling unavailing vengeance.
The shouts of the Roman soldiery as they ran to and fro, and the howlings of the insurgents who were perishing in the flames, mingled with the roaring of the conflagration and the thundering sound of falling timbers. The echoes of the mountains replied or brought back the shrieks of the people on the heights; all along the walls resounded screams and wailings; men who were expiring with famine rallied their remaining strength to utter a cry of anguish and desolation. “The slaughter within was even more dreadful than the spectacle from without. Men and women, old and young, insurgents and priests, those who fought and those who entreated mercy, were hewn down in indiscriminate carnage. The number of the slain exceeded that of the slayers.
The legionaries had to clamber over heaps of dead to carry on the work of extermination.”—Milman, The History of the Jews, book 16. After the destruction of the temple, the whole city soon fell into the hands of the Romans. The leaders of the Jews forsook their impregnable towers, and Titus found them solitary. He gazed upon them with amazement, and declared that God had given them into his hands; for no engines, however powerful, could have prevailed against those stupendous battlements. Both the city and the temple were razed to their foundations, and the ground upon which the holy house had stood was “plowed like a field. Jeremiah 26:18”.
In the siege and the slaughter that followed, more than a million of the people perished; the survivors were carried away as captives, sold as slaves, dragged to Rome to grace the conqueror’s triumph, thrown to wild beasts in the amphitheaters, or scattered as homeless wanderers throughout the earth. The Jews had forged their own fetters; they had filled for themselves the cup of vengeance. In the utter destruction that befell them as a nation, and in all the woes that followed them in their dispersion, they were but reaping the harvest which their own hands had sown. Says the prophet: “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself;” “for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Hosea 13:9, 14:1”.
Their sufferings are often represented as a punishment visited upon them by the direct decree of God. It is thus that the great deceiver seeks to conceal his own work. By stubborn rejection of divine love and mercy, the Jews had caused the protection of God to be withdrawn from them, and Satan was permitted to rule them according to his will. The horrible cruelties enacted in the destruction of Jerusalem are a demonstration of Satan’s vindictive power over those who yield to his control. We cannot know how much we owe to Christ for the peace and protection which we enjoy. It is the restraining power of God that prevents mankind from passing fully under the control of Satan.
The disobedient and unthankful have great reason for gratitude for God’s mercy and long-suffering in holding in check the cruel, malignant power of the evil one. But when men pass the limits of divine forbearance, that restraint is removed. God does not stand toward the sinner as an executioner of the sentence against transgression; but He leaves the rejectors of His mercy to themselves, to reap that which they have sown. Every ray of light rejected, every warning despised or unheeded, every passion indulged, every transgression of the law of God, is a seed sown which yields its unfailing harvest. The Spirit of God, persistently resisted, is at last withdrawn from the sinner, and then there is left no power to control the evil passions of the soul, and no protection from the malice and enmity of Satan.
The destruction of Jerusalem is a fearful and solemn warning to all who are trifling with the offers of divine grace and resisting the pleadings of divine mercy. Never was there given a more decisive testimony to God’s hatred of sin and to the certain punishment that will fall upon the guilty. The Saviour’s 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 His 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. 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 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. Matt. 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. 2 Thes 2:8.
Like Israel of old the wicked destroy themselves; they fall by their iniquity. By a life of sin, they have placed themselves so out of harmony with God, their natures have become so debased with evil, that the manifestation of His glory is to them a consuming fire. 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. Luke 21:25. Mat. 24:29, Mk 13:24-26, Rev. 6:12-17.”
Those who behold these harbingers of His coming are to “know that it is near, even at the doors. Mat. 24:33”. “Watch ye therefore,” are His words of admonition. (Mark 13:35) They that heed the warning shall not be 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. 1 Thessalonians 5:2-5”. The world is no more ready to credit the message for this time than were the Jews to receive the Saviour’s warning concerning Jerusalem. Come when it may, the day of God will come unawares to the ungodly. When life is going on in its unvarying round; when men are absorbed in pleasure, in business, in traffic, in money-making; when religious leaders are magnifying the world’s progress and enlightenment, and the people are lulled in a false security—then, as the midnight thief steals within the unguarded dwelling, so shall sudden destruction come upon the careless and ungodly, “and they shall not escape. . .