Does This Rebelís Rebuttal Destroy Ron Beaulieu's Warning Message?

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Dear Reader,

I received the following post entitled: Ronís Theory Destroyed, on the SDAIssues e-group forum from a person who rebels daily trying in vain to disprove my warning message.I will respond after the reading of the posting.I will not cite the name of the poster, because he has requested that I not use his name, and after you have read the entire response, you might guess at why he would rather his name not be given.Here is the post:

Ron,

Your call out message holds no weight with all the evidence I supplied from EGW....NONE. Your understanding of the context of Jerusalem in EGW's writings at the end time is wrong.

 

But seeing as you want only Biblical evidence for this, let's open God's Holy Word. Mat. Mark. Luke. Three accounts of fleeing. Now are you going to tell this forum that not only Jerusalem, but the whole of Judaea refers to the SDA church!? Please note that the fleeing is not only from Jerusalem but concerns any body living in Judaea. From the housetops in Judea. From the fields in Judaea. From Jerusalem in Judaea!!!! What do you want people to understand by your message.....? Judaea, of which Jerusalem was in, both comprise God's church, the TEMPLE??? We are to flee both Jerusalem and Judaea......???? EGW and now the Bible. Problems on all fronts with your "Most Loved Call Out Message"!  

 

Mat 24:15 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:)16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

 

Mark 13:14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:15 And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house:16 And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.

 

Luke 21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.21 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.

 

Spiritual things are Spiritually discerned. I suggest that before continuing to call people out of God's Body, you first start reading God's word personally, prayerfully, reverently, for the wisdom of this world is truly foolishness to God.

 

And before you start calling Judaea, Jerusalem - here's Strongs :  Judaea = "he shall be praised"

 

1) in a narrower sense, to the southern portion of Palestine lying on this side of the Jordan and the Dead Sea, to distinguish it from Samaria, Galilee, Peraea, and Idumaea

 

2) in a broader sense, referring to all Palestine

 

Signed____________

 

Ronís Response: 

 

Letís investigate the matter further to determine whether or not my teachings on Matthew 24 and Ezekiel 9 are "destroyed" by the rebelís arguments.  They sound like the preterism of Dennis Kean or some Catholic.  Marsha (the SDA convert to Catholicism), might well come up with the posterís arguments, but they are totally false from any sound SDA interpretation and especially God's and Ellen White's.  I will prove Dennis and Marsha wrong at the same time by the end-time context of Daniel 8 and 11, which both mention the abomination of desolation in an END-TIME CONTEXT and Matthew 24:15, refers to Daniels mention of the Abomination of Desolation and Matthew 24:21 mentions the end-time as well.  

 

Let's look a bit deeper into Ellen White's teachings on the experience of Jerusalem, circa A.D. 70, and her reapplication of that experience at the end-time, as I had time for only a brief elaboration yesterday.

 

I rendered the following quote yesterday, which is sufficient, but will add quite a bit more from Scripture and Ellen White. 

 

Ellen White on Matthew 24.-- "When He referred to the destruction of Jerusalem, His prophetic words reached beyond that even to the final conflagration in that day when the Lord shall rise out of His place to punish for their iniquity, when the earth shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.  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."  E.G. White, Desire of Ages, p. 628. 

 

First I will deal with Matthew 24:15, and the Abomination of Desolation.  Rebel would have you believe that the Abomination of Desolation occurred only once in A.D. 70.  This is not what Scripture teaches in Daniel and Revelation.  The Abomination of Desolation was Roman soldiers on Jewish soil said Ellen White.  She paralleled that to the Sunday law at the end-time. That also relates to the no buy and sell time in Scripture.

 

15 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:)  

 

The transgression of desolation in Daniel 8 is the same thing.  That is where Daniel the prophet speaks of the desolation: 

 

Dan 8:13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain [saint] which spake, How long [shall be] the vision [concerning] the daily [sacrifice], and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? 

 

Just as an interesting aside, the site of the sanctuary, the Dome of the Rock, in Jerusalem, is still trodden under foot by Islamic Gentiles.  There is transgression of desolation that desolates the Sanctuary until sin is brought to an end. This proves that the sanctuary was not cleansed in 1844, but began to be cleansed.

 

Dan 11:31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily [sacrifice], and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. 

 

Dan 12:11 And from the time [that] the daily [sacrifice] shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, [there shall be] a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

 

 Is Daniel speaking in terms (context) of the end-time in Daniel 8?  We'll let Daniel answer: 

 

17 So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision. Daniel 8:17.

 

Daniel gets a lot more specific!

 

19 And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.  

 

When is the indignation? 

 

 Daniel 8:19 - And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.  

 

 Daniel 11:30 - For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.

 

The indignation involves a making void of the Holy Covenant, the Ten-Commandment Covenant.  That is the only covenant that extends to the end-time and this is proof that it does!  Take note Marsha.  There will be no law against love which is the only covenant you say exists in the New Testament. 

 

 Daniel 11:36 - And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.  

 

Who has had indignation against the holy covenant?  Rome!  Marsha and Brandon think that it is the Jews.  The Jews have not had indignation against the holy covenant. 

 

Hebrews 10:27 - But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 

 

Revelation 14:10 - The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:  

 

Obviously, the indignation is at the final pouring out of the wrath of God. 

 

Ellen White on the Abomination of Desolation 

 

 Chap. 172 - The Sign to Leave Large Cities

 

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. Matt. 24:15, 16.  

 

Jesus declared to the listening disciples the judgments that were to fall upon apostate Israel, and especially the retributive vengeance that would come upon them for their rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah. Unmistakable signs would precede the awful climax. The dreaded hour would come suddenly and swiftly. And the Saviour warned his followers: "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 Judea flee into the mountains." [MATT. 24:15, 16.] When the idolatrous standards of
                                                                            27
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 sign should be seen, judgment was to follow so quickly that those who would escape must make no delay. He who chanced to be upon the housetop must not go down through his house into the street; but he must speed his way from roof to roof until he reach the city wall, and be saved "so as by fire." Those who were working in the fields or 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. {4SP 26.2} 

 

†††† The time is not far distant, when, like the early disciples, we shall be forced to seek a refuge in desolate and solitary places. As the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman armies was the signal for flight to the Judean Christians, so the assumption of power on the part of our nation [the United States] in the decree enforcing the papal sabbath will be a warning to us. It will then be time to leave the large cities, preparatory to leaving the smaller ones for retired homes in secluded places among the mountains. {Mar 180.1} Also, 5T, 464. 

 

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}

 

 †††† As the approach of the Roman armies was a sign to the disciples of the impending destruction of Jerusalem, so may this apostasy be a sign to us that the limit of God's forbearance is reached, that the measure of our nation's iniquity is full, and that the angel of mercy is about to take her flight, never to return. The people of God will then be plunged into those scenes of affliction and distress which prophets have described as the time of Jacob's trouble. The cries of the faithful, persecuted ones ascend to heaven. And as the blood of Abel cried from the ground, there are voices also crying to God from martyrs' graves, from the sepulchers of the sea, from mountain caverns, from convent vaults: "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" {5T 451.2} 

 

†††† The Lord is doing His work. All heaven is astir. The Judge of all the earth is soon to arise and vindicate His insulted authority. The mark of deliverance will be set upon the men who keep God's commandments, who revere His

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 452

law, and who refuse the mark of the beast or of his image. {5T 451.3} 

 

Conclusions:

 

       Matthew 24:15 speaks of the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet.

       Daniel the prophet speaks of the abomination of desolation as occurring at the time of the end, in the last end of the indignation.

       God speaks of the indignation as His final cup of indignation at the end of all things.

       Matthew 24:15 thus refers to all the world because the final cup of God's indignation at the abomination of desolation, the Sunday Law, a tampering with the holy covenant, is poured out on all the world, not just Jerusalem or Judea.

       I wonder NOT how Ellen White concluded that Matthew 24 applied at the end time!

       There can be no doubt that the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, was a fulfillment of Ezekiel 9, because of Ezekiel 22:17-31.

       Ezekiel 5:9 cf. Matthew 24:21, is proof that Ezekiel 9 is fulfilled again at the end time, for God does the worst thing He ever does at the end.

       Thus, when Ellen White said in the Great Controversy, p. 25, that the destruction of Jerusalem, circa A.D. 70, was a prefigure, we can only conclude that the only antitypical fulfillment to that prefigure must begin at His Sanctuary, 5T, 211, then the other fallen churches, and then the disobedient, unrepentant world. 

 

Additional End-time Material 

 

†††† For years I have been given special light that we are not to center our work in the cities. The turmoil and confusion that fill these cities, the conditions brought about by the labor unions and the strikes, would prove a great hindrance to our work. Men are seeking to bring those engaged in the different trades under bondage to certain unions. This is not God's planning, but the planning of a power that we should in no wise acknowledge. God's Word is fulfilling; the wicked are binding themselves up in bundles ready to be burned. {Mar 180.2} 

 

†††† The trades unions and confederacies of the world are a snare. Keep out of them, and away from them, brethren. Have nothing to do with them. Because of these unions and confederacies, it will soon be very difficult for our institutions to carry on their work in the cities. . . . Educate our people to get out of the cities into the country, where they can obtain a small piece of land, and make a home for themselves and their children. . . . {Mar 180.3}

 

Iím thinking of the World Confederation (Council) of Churches.

 

 †††† Erelong there will be such strife and confusion in the cities, that those who wish to leave them will not be able. {Mar 180.4}

 

 †††† We are not to locate ourselves where we will be forced into close relations with those who do not honor God. . . . A crisis is soon to come in regard to the observance of Sunday. . . . {Mar 180.5}

 

 ††† The Sunday party is strengthening itself in its false claims, and this will mean oppression to those who determine to keep the Sabbath of the Lord. . . . {Mar 180.6}

 

†††† If in the providence of God we can secure places away from the cities, the Lord would have us do this. There are troublous times before us. {Mar 180.7}

 

††††

February 20, 1901 Words of Warning

 

Christ foretold the destruction of Jerusalem, as well as of the temple. His words were spoken in the hearing of a large number of people; but when He was again alone, Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to Him, saying, "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?" {ST, February 20, 1901 par. 1} 

 

†††† Jesus did not answer His disciples by taking up separately the destruction of Jerusalem, and the last great day of His coming. The city of Jerusalem represented the world, and the utterances regarding its destruction are to be connected with the world's more terrible destruction. In speaking of Jerusalem, His prophetic words reached beyond that event to the conflagration that will take place in that day when the Lord shall rise "out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity." The description of the two events is mingled, and the entire subject is a warning to those who shall live in the last scenes of earth's history. {ST, February 20, 1901 par. 2} 

 

†††† "Take heed that no man deceive you," Christ said. "For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." False messiahs will appear, claiming to work miracles, and declaring that 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. But this warning is given to those also who live in this age of the world. The same deceptions practised prior to the destruction of Jerusalem will be practised again. The events that took place at the overthrow of Jerusalem will be repeated. {ST, February 20, 1901 par. 3}

 

The overthrow of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, was a fulfillment of Ezekiel 9.It began at the House of God, the Temple, then moved to destroy the city proper, says Josephus, and eye-witness Jewish historian.So it will be in the final manifestation of Ezekiel 9 which Ellen White said is literal[RB1] , and begins at His Sanctuary, 5T, 211[RB2] .

 

†††† "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 is not yet." Prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, there were rumors of wars. Men wrestled for the supremacy. Emperors were murdered. Those supposed to be standing next the throne were slain. "All these things must come to pass," Christ said, "but the end is not yet. {ST, February 20, 1901 par. 4}

 

†††† "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows." The rabbis, Christ said, would declare that the signs that appeared were tokens of the advent of the Messiah. But be not deceived; they are the beginning of His judgments. The people have not repented, and been converted, that I should heal them. The signs that they argue are tokens of their release from bondage, are signs of their approaching destruction. {ST, February 20, 1901 par. 5}

 

†††† "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. Mothers and fathers betrayed their children; children betrayed their parents. Friends delivered their friends up to the Sanhedrin. {ST, February 20, 1901 par. 6}

 

Ronís commentary:Better not to be friends with those who are members of the modern day Sanhedrin, and there is only one body that could parallel that order!Is this why Ellen White told us when to fear and shun them[RB3] ?

 

†††† Thru the apostles God gave the Jewish people a last opportunity to repent. He manifested Himself thru His witnesses, in their arrest, in their trial, and in their imprisonment. He had told His disciples that they would be delivered up to councils; but He told them also that they were not to be anxious as to how they might vindicate the truth, for He would give them a wisdom that all their adversaries could not gainsay nor resist. Yet their persecutors wrought out their purpose in killing Stephen, Paul, Peter, and other Christians, men of whom the world was not worthy. In killing them the Jews crucified afresh the Son of God. {ST, February 20, 1901 par. 7}

 

†††† On every occasion that persecution takes place, the witnesses make decisions, either for Christ or against Him. Those who show sympathy for the men wrongly condemned, and are not bitter against them, show their attachment to Christ. {ST, February 20, 1901 par. 8}

 

†††† "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many." False prophets and false Christs did arise, deceiving the people, and leading great numbers into the desert. Magicians and sorcerers, claiming miraculous power, drew the people after them into the mountain solitudes. But this prophecy was spoken also for the last days. This sign is a sign of the second advent. Satanic agencies will be prepared to deceive and to delude. {ST, February 20, 1901 par. 9}

 

†††† "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." In times of trial many will be offended because the principles of truth cut directly across their practise or their income. Many will stumble and fall. They have professed to love the truth; but they will then show that they had no vital union with the True Vine. They will be cut away, as branches that bear no fruit, and will be bound up with unbelievers. "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." {ST, February 20, 1901 par. 10}

 

†††† "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 Judea flee into the mountains; let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house; neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes." This warning was given to be heeded forty years after, at the destruction of Jerusalem. The Christians obeyed, and not one of them perished in the destruction of the city. {ST, February 20, 1901 par. 11}

 

†††† "But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day." Christ, who made the Sabbath, did not abolish it, nailing it to His cross. The fourth commandment was not rendered null and void by His death. It was to be held sacred forty years after His death; even as long as the heavens and the earth remain, so long will it hold its claim upon the human family. {ST, February 20, 1901 par. 12}

 

Ronís Commentary:If the abomination of desolation of Matthew 24 applies at the end-time, as we have well documented, what about the ďSabbath dayĒ part?Remember, that is the part involved with the indignation against the Holy Covenant[RB4] .

 

†††† "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth; behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Here, again, the warning concerning Jerusalem is blended with the warning of the second advent. {ST, February 20, 1901 par. 13}

 

†††† The disciples heard Christ's words; but they did not fully understand them. They did not know why He connected the perils at the overthrow of Jerusalem with the perils attending His second advent. The Holy Spirit must guide them into all truth, bringing to their remembrance all things that Christ had said to them. But those who live in this age may understand the general warning, and should appropriate it, applying it to the period where it belongs. {ST, February 20, 1901 par. 14}

 

†††† "This Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mrs. E. G. White.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††-

{ST, February 20, 1901 par. 15}

 

 

December 20, 1898 Words of Warning.--No. 2.

-

Mrs. E. G. White.

-

 

†††† "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted," Christ continued, "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 betrayed their parents; friends delivered their friends to the Sanhedrin. Until he himself was converted, Saul of Tarsus was exceedingly bitter against all who believed in Christ. He then began to preach Christ and him crucified, and the enemies of the gospel caused him and Silas to be whipped, and thrown into prison. {RH, December 20, 1898 par. 1}

 

†††† Through the apostles, God gave the Jewish people a last opportunity to repent. But they turned away from every entreaty. In the arrest, the trial, and the imprisonment of his witnesses, God manifested himself. He gave them words to speak, and a tongue and voice with which to vindicate the truth and acknowledge him as the Son of God. They were men of whom the world was not worthy, yet their judges pronounced on them the death sentence. They were not allowed to live and serve their God. By killing them, the Jews crucified afresh the Son of God. {RH, December 20, 1898 par. 2}

 

†††† So it will be again. But it is over the seventh-day Sabbath that the battle will be fought. The authorities of this world will rise up in their pride and power to make laws to restrict religious liberty. They will assume a right that is God's alone, and, like Nebuchadnezzar, will think that they can force the conscience, which only God can control. Even now they are making a beginning, and this they will carry forward till they reach a boundary over which they can not step. Then God will interpose in behalf of his loyal, commandment-keeping people. {RH, December 20, 1898 par. 3}

 

†††† Christ told his disciples that they would be delivered up to councils; but he told them, also, that they were not to be anxious as to how they should vindicate the truth; for he would give them a mouth and wisdom that all their adversaries could not gainsay nor resist. These words were fulfilled at the trial of Stephen, and at the trial of Paul, who made Felix tremble as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come. {RH, December 20, 1898 par. 4}

 

†††† Whenever persecution takes place, the spectators make decisions either for or against Christ. Because of persecution, many will be offended. The principles of the truth cut directly across their practise, and they will stumble and fall, apostatizing from the faith they once advocated. Many who have professed to love the truth will then show that they have no vital union with the True Vine. They will be cut away, as branches that bear no fruit, and will be bound up with unbelievers, scoffers, and mockers. {RH, December 20, 1898 par. 5}

 

†††† Those who apostatize in time of trial will bear false witness and betray their brethren, to secure their own safety. They will tell where their brethren are concealed, putting the wolves on their track. Christ has warned us of this, that we may not be surprised at the cruel, unnatural course pursued by friends and relatives. "Little children, it is the last time," John writes, "and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us." {RH, December 20, 1898 par. 6}

 

Ronís Commentary:When John wrote:ďThey went out from us,Ē did he mean that they went out from the apostate Jewish church organization, our out from the gathered out remnant of Christís followers[RB5] ?

 

†††† "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many." False Christs did arise, deceiving the people, and leading great numbers into the desert. Magicians and sorcerers, claiming miraculous power, drew the people after them into the mountain solitudes. But this prophecy was also spoken for the last days. Companies inspired by Satan will be formed to deceive and delude. This will be a sign of the second advent. {RH, December 20, 1898 par. 7}

 

†††† "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 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, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth, let him understand), then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains [let there be no presumptuous dallying]: let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything 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." Forty years afterward, at the siege of Jerusalem, the Christians obeyed this warning; and not a Christian perished in the destruction of the city. {RH, December 20, 1898 par. 8}

 

†††† "Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day." Christ made the Sabbath, and he never abolished it. The Sabbath was not rendered null and void by the crucifixion, as many claim. Christ's death on the cross is an unanswerable argument in favor of the changeless character of every precept of God's holy law. {RH, December 20, 1898 par. 9}

 

†††† "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets," Christ said; "I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." As the head of the human family, he lived every precept, every jot, every tittle, of the law. He lived in humanity the life that he requires his followers to live, and therefore there is no excuse for any one to fail of reaching the standard of perfection. {RH, December 20, 1898 par. 10}

 

†††† Christ emphasizes his words: "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." So long as the heavens and the earth remain, so long will the Sabbath of the fourth commandment hold its claim on the human family. {RH, December 20, 1898 par. 11}

 

†††† The Sabbath was given to the world as the memorial of creation. "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy," God says. "Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man servant, nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." {RH, December 20, 1898 par. 12}

 

†††† God gave explicit directions concerning his Sabbath. "Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep," he declared; "for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. . . . Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh he rested, and was refreshed." {RH, December 20, 1898 par. 13}

 

†††† But human lawmakers speak, saying: Verily, the first day of the week shall ye keep, because it is the world's sabbath. The churches keep this day holy, and those under our supervision shall keep it also, because it is so ordained on our statute-books. We have chosen Sunday as the sabbath, and men must keep it. {RH, December 20, 1898 par. 14}

 

†††† But this day so universally exalted is a spurious sabbath, a common working-day. It is accepted in the place of the day that the Lord has blessed and sanctified; but the sure result of this course may be seen in the punishment which fell upon Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron. As priests of God, these men had been commanded to offer always the fire of God's own kindling, which was kept burning before God day and night. This was ever to be strictly observed. But Nadab and Abihu drank wine too freely; and because of this their minds were not keen, but confused, and they were unable to distinguish between the sacred and the common. They took their censers, "and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord." {RH, December 20, 1898 par. 15}

 

†††† God has given full directions regarding his law, so that none need be left in darkness, unless they choose darkness rather than light. But the apostasy of the Jewish nation represents the apostasy that will be made by the world in the last days. Just as the Jews chose darkness in regard to the message that Christ came to the world to bring, so men today are choosing darkness. Sanctified and blessed by God, the Sabbath was designed to be the great memorial of creation, and a blessing to mankind. But men are trampling it underfoot. It is the test of today, as Christ was the test when he was in our world in human form. It will ever stand unmoved, a rock of offense to the Christian world, as was Christ to the Jewish nation. As the rejection of Christ decided the eternal destiny of the Jews, so the rejection of God's holy memorial will decide the fate of many professing Christians. {RH, December 20, 1898 par. 16}

 

†††† Men may ignore the Sabbath, they may trample it under their feet; but they can not make it less binding upon them. No one has any excuse for accepting the rubbish that has been piled upon the Sabbath of the Lord. No one has any excuse for accepting a human sabbath, created by him whom God designates as the "man of sin," who shall think to change times and laws. He thinks to, but he does not do it; although he may think thus to show his supremacy over God, he can not change God's law; this is God's prerogative only. God is over all kings and rulers. He is God, and besides him there is none else. {RH, December 20, 1898 par. 17}

 

†††† The statutes of the Lord are to be reverenced and obeyed. God is supreme authority; and when his law is set aside as a matter of no consequence, the transgressor must surely bear the results of his own sin, though God bears long with him. {RH, December 20, 1898 par. 18}

 

 

Chapter I.

 

Destruction of Jerusalem.

 

†††† "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." [LUKE 19:43, 44.] {4SP 17.1}

 

†††† From the crest of Olivet, Jesus looks upon Jerusalem. Fair and peaceful is the scene spread out before him. In the midst of gardens and vineyards and green slopes studded with pilgrims' tents, rise the terraced hills, the stately palaces, and massive bulwarks of Israel's capital. The daughter of Zion seems in her pride to say, "I sit a queen, and shall see no sorrow;" as lovely now, and deeming herself as secure in Heaven's favor, as when, ages before, the royal minstrel sung, "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion," "the city of the great King." [PS. 48:2.] In full view are the magnificent buildings of the temple. The rays of the setting sun light up the snowy whiteness of its marble walls, and gleam from golden gate and tower

 

Ronís Commentary:Notice that these words: ďI sit a queen and shall see no sorrow, are words applied to Babylon in Revelation 18[RB6] .Like mother, like daughter.And remember, this was a prefigure of the SDA church, p. 25, The Great Controversy, which begins at His Sanctuary, 5T, 211.

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and pinnacle. "The perfection of beauty" it stands, the pride of the Jewish nation. What child of Israel could gaze upon the scene without a thrill of joy and admiration! But far other thoughts occupy the mind of Jesus. "When he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it." [LUKE 19:41.] Amid the universal rejoicing of the triumphal entry, while palm branches wave, while glad hosannas awake the echoes of the hills, and thousands of voices declare him king, the world's Redeemer is overwhelmed with a sudden and mysterious sorrow. He, the Son of God, the Promised One of Israel, whose power has conquered death, and called its captives from the grave, is in tears, not of ordinary grief, but of intense, irrepressible agony. {4SP 17.2}

 

†††† His tears were not for himself, though he well knew whither his feet were tending. Before him lay Gethsemane. Not far distant was the place of crucifixion. Upon the path which he was soon to tread must fall the horror of great darkness as he should make his soul an offering for sin. Yet it was not a contemplation of these scenes that cast the shadow upon him in this hour of gladness. No forebodings of his own superhuman anguish clouded that unselfish spirit. He wept for the doomed thousands of Jerusalem,--because of the blindness and impenitence of those whom he came to bless and save. {4SP 18.1}

 

†††† The history of a thousand years of privilege and blessing, granted to the Jewish people, was unfolded to the eye of Jesus. The Lord had made Zion his holy habitation. There prophets had unsealed their rolls and uttered their warnings. There

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priests had waved their censers, and daily offered the blood of slain lambs, pointing forward to the Lamb of God. There had Jehovah dwelt in visible glory, in the shekinah above the mercy-seat. There rested the base of that mystic ladder connecting earth with Heaven,--that ladder upon which angels of God descended and ascended, and which opened to the world the way into the holiest of all. Had Israel as a nation preserved her allegiance to Heaven, Jerusalem would have stood forever, the elect metropolis of God. But the history of that favored people was a record of backsliding and rebellion. They had resisted Heaven's grace, abused their privileges, slighted their opportunities. {4SP 18.2}

 

†††† Amid forgetfulness and apostasy, God had dealt with Israel as a loving father deals with a rebellious son, admonishing, warning, correcting, still saying in the tender anguish of a parent's soul, How can I give thee up? When remonstrance, entreaty, and rebuke had failed, God sent to this people the best gift of Heaven; nay, he poured out to them all Heaven in that one gift. {4SP 19.1}

 

†††† For three years the Son of God knocked at the gate of the impenitent city. He came to his vineyard seeking fruit. Israel had been as a vine transplanted from Egypt into a genial soil. He dug about his vine; he pruned and cherished it. He was unwearied in his efforts to save this vine of his own planting. For three years the Lord of light and glory had gone in and out among his people. He healed the sick; he comforted the sorrowing; he raised the dead; he spoke pardon and peace to the repentant. He gathered about him the weak and

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the weary, the helpless and the desponding, and extended to all, without respect to age or character, the invitation of mercy: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." [MATT. 11:28.] {4SP 19.2}

 

†††† Regardless of indifference and contempt, he had steadfastly pursued his ministry of love. No frown upon his brow repelled the suppliant. Himself subjected to privation and reproach, he had lived to scatter blessings in his path, to plead with men to accept the gift of life. The waves of mercy, beaten back by the stubborn heart, returned in a tide of untiring love. But Israel had turned from her best friend and only helper. The pleadings of his love had been despised, his counsels spurned, his warnings ridiculed. {4SP 20.1}

 

†††† The hour of grace and reprieve was fast passing; the cup of God's long-deferred wrath was almost full. The cloud of wrath that had been gathering through ages of apostasy and rebellion, was about to burst upon a guilty people, and He who alone could save them from their impending fate had been slighted, abused, rejected, and was soon to be crucified. When Christ should hang on Calvary's cross, Israel's day as a nation favored and blessed of God would be ended. The loss of even one soul is a calamity in comparison with which the gain of a world sinks into insignificance; but as Christ looked upon Jerusalem, the doom of a whole city, a whole nation, was before him; that city, that nation which had once been the chosen of God,--his peculiar treasure. {4SP 20.2}

 

†††† Prophets had wept over the apostasy of Israel. Jeremiah wished that his eyes were a fountain of tears, that he might "weep day and night for the

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slain of the daughter of his people." What, then, was the grief of Him whose prophetic glance took in, not years, but ages? He beholds the destroying angel hovering over the ancient metropolis of patriarchs and prophets. From the ridge of Olivet, the very spot afterward occupied by Titus and his army, he looks across the valley upon the sacred courts and porticoes, and with tear-blinded eyes he sees, in awful perspective, the walls surrounded by alien armies. He hears the tread of the hosts mustering for battle. He hears the voice of mothers and children crying for bread in the besieged city. He sees her holy and beautiful house, her palaces and towers, given to the flames, and where once they stood, only a heap of smoldering ruins. {4SP 20.3}

 

†††† He looks down the ages, and sees the covenant people scattered in every land, like wrecks on a desert shore. He sees in the temporal retribution about to fall upon her children, but the first draught from that cup of wrath which at the final Judgment she must drain to its dregs. Divine pity, yearning love, finds utterance in the mournful words: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" [MATT. 23:37.] Oh that thou, a nation favored above every other, hadst known the time of thy visitation, and the things that belong unto thy peace! I have stayed the angel of justice, I have called thee to repentance, but all in vain. It is not merely servants, delegates, and prophets, whom thou hast refused and

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rejected, but the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer. If thou art destroyed, thou art alone responsible. "Ye will not come to me that ye might have life." {4SP 21.1}

 

†††† Christ saw in Jerusalem a symbol of a world hardened in unbelief and rebellion, and rushing on to meet the retributive judgments of God. The woes of a fallen race, pressing upon his soul, forced from his lips that exceeding bitter cry. He saw the record of sin traced in human misery, in tears and blood; his heart was moved with infinite pity for the afflicted and suffering ones of earth; he yearned to relieve all. But he knew that even his hand might not turn back the incoming tide of human woe; few would seek their only source of help. He was willing to suffer and to die to bring salvation within their reach; but few would come to him that they might have life. {4SP 22.1}

 

†††† The Majesty of Heaven in tears! the Son of the infinite God troubled in spirit, bowed down with anguish! The scene filled all Heaven with wonder. That scene reveals to us the exceeding sinfulness of sin; it shows how hard a task it is, even for infinite power, to save the guilty from the consequences of transgressing the law of God. Jesus, looking down to the last generation, saw the world enclosed in a deception similar to that which caused the destruction of Jerusalem. The great sin of the Jews was their rejection of Christ; the great sin of the Christian world would be their rejection of the law of God, the foundation of his government in Heaven and earth. The precepts of Jehovah would be despised and set at naught. Millions in bondage to sin, slaves of Satan, doomed to suffer the second death, would refuse to listen to the words of truth in their day of visitation. Terrible blindness! strange infatuation!

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{4SP 22.2}

 

†††† Two days before the Passover, when Christ had for the last time departed from the temple, after denouncing the hypocrisy of the Jewish rulers, he again went out with his disciples to the Mount of Olives, and seated himself with them upon a grassy slope overlooking the city. Once more he gazed upon its walls, its towers and palaces. Once more he beheld the temple in its dazzling splendor, a diadem of beauty crowning the sacred mount. {4SP 23.1}

 

†††† A thousand years before had the psalmist magnified God's favor to Israel in making her holy house his dwelling-place: "In Salem is his tabernacle, and his dwelling-place in Zion." [PS. 76:2.] "He chose the tribe of Judah, the Mount Zion which he loved. And he built his sanctuary like high palaces." [PS. 78:68, 69.] The first temple had been erected during the most prosperous period of Israel's history. Vast stores of treasure for this purpose had been collected by King David, and the plans for its construction were made by divine inspiration. Solomon, the wisest of Israel's monarchs, had completed the work. This temple was the most magnificent building which the world ever saw. Yet the Lord had declared by the prophet Haggai, concerning the second temple, "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former." "I will shake all nations, and the Desire of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts." [HAG. 2:9, 7.] {4SP 23.2}

 

†††† After the destruction of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar, it was rebuilt about five hundred years before the birth of Christ, by a people who from a lifelong captivity had returned to a wasted and almost

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deserted country. There were then among them aged men who had seen the glory of Solomon's temple, and who wept at the foundation of the new building, that it must be so inferior to the former. The feeling that prevailed is forcibly described by the prophet: "Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?" [HAG. 2:3.] Then was given the promise that the glory of this latter house should be greater than of the former. {4SP 23.3}

 

†††† But the second temple had not equaled the first in magnificence; nor was it hallowed by those visible tokens of the divine presence which pertained to the first temple. There was no manifestation of supernatural power to mark its dedication. No cloud of glory was seen to fill the newly erected sanctuary. No fire from Heaven descended to consume the sacrifice upon its altar. The shekinah no longer abode between the cherubim in the most holy place; the ark, the mercy-seat, and the tables of the testimony were not to be found therein. No voice sounded from Heaven to make known to the inquiring priest the will of Jehovah. {4SP 24.1}

 

†††† For centuries the Jews had vainly endeavored to show wherein the promise of God, given by Haggai, had been fulfilled; yet pride and unbelief blinded their minds to the true meaning of the prophet's words. The second temple was not honored with the cloud of Jehovah's glory, but with the living presence of One in whom dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily,--who was God himself manifest in the flesh. The "Desire of all nations" had indeed come to his

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temple when the Man of Nazareth taught and healed in the sacred courts. In the presence of Christ, and in this only, did the second temple exceed the first in glory. But Israel had put from her the proffered gift of Heaven. With the humble Teacher who had that day passed out from its golden gate, the glory had forever departed from the temple. Already were fulfilled the Saviour's words, "Your house is left unto you desolate." [MATT. 23:38.] {4SP 24.2}

 

†††† The disciples had been filled with awe and wonder at Christ's prediction of the overthrow of the temple, and they desired to understand more fully the meaning of his words. Wealth, labor, and architectural skill had for more than forty years been freely expended to enhance its splendors. Herod the Great had lavished upon it both Roman wealth and Jewish treasure, and even the emperor of the world had enriched it with his gifts. Massive blocks of white marble, of almost fabulous size, forwarded from Rome for this purpose, formed a part of its structure; and to these the disciples had called the attention of their Master, saying, "See what manner of stones and what buildings are here!" [MARK 13:1.] {4SP 25.1}

 

†††† To these words, Jesus made the solemn and starting reply, "Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." [MATT. 24:2.] {4SP 25.2}

 

†††† With the overthrow of Jerusalem the disciples associated the events of Christ's personal coming in temporal glory to take the throne of universal empire, to punish the impenitent Jews, and to break from off the nation the Roman yoke. The Lord had

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told them that he would come the second time. Hence at the mention of judgments upon Jerusalem, their minds revert to that coming, and as they are gathered about the Saviour upon the Mount of Olives, they ask, "When shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" [MATT. 24:3.] {4SP 25.3}

 

†††† The future was mercifully veiled from the disciples. Had they at that time fully comprehended the two awful facts,--the Redeemer's sufferings and death and the destruction of their city and temple,--they would have been paralyzed with horror. Christ presented before them an outline of the prominent events to transpire before the close of time. His words were not then fully understood; but their meaning was to be unfolded as his people should need the instruction therein given. The prophecy which he uttered was twofold in its meaning: while foreshadowing the destruction of Jerusalem, it prefigured also the terrors of the last great day. {4SP 26.1}

 

†††† Jesus declared to the listening disciples the judgments that were to fall upon apostate Israel, and especially the retributive vengeance that would come upon them for their rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah. Unmistakable signs would precede the awful climax. The dreaded hour would come suddenly and swiftly. And the Saviour warned his followers: "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 Judea flee into the mountains." [MATT. 24:15, 16.] When the idolatrous standards of

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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 sign should be seen, judgment was to follow so quickly that those who would escape must make no delay. He who chanced to be upon the housetop must not go down through his house into the street; but he must speed his way from roof to roof until he reach the city wall, and be saved "so as by fire." Those who were working in the fields or 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. {4SP 26.2}

 

†††In the reign of Herod, Jerusalem had not only been greatly beautified, but by the erection of towers, walls, and fortresses, added to the natural strength of its situation, it had been rendered apparently impregnable. He who would at this time have foretold publicly its destruction, would, like Noah in his day, have been called a crazed alarmist. But Christ had said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." [MATT. 24:35.] Because of her sins, wrath had been denounced against Jerusalem, and her stubborn unbelief rendered her doom certain. {4SP 27.1}

 

†††† The Lord had declared by the prophet Micah: "Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity. They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof

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teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money; yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us." [MICAH 3:9-11.] {4SP 27.2}

 

†††† How exactly did these words describe the corrupt and self-righteous inhabitants of Jerusalem! While claiming to rigidly observe the law of God, they were transgressing all its principles. They hated Christ because his purity and holiness revealed their iniquity; and they accused him of being the cause of all the troubles which had come upon them in consequence of their sins. Though they knew him to be sinless, they had declared that his death was necessary to their safety as a nation. "If we let him thus alone," said the Jewish leaders, "all men will believe on him; and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation." [JOHN 11:48.] If Christ were sacrificed, they might once more become a strong, united people. Thus they reasoned, and they concurred in the decision of their high priest, that it would be better for one man to die than for the whole nation to perish. {4SP 28.1}

 

†††† Thus had the Jewish leaders "built up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity." And yet, while they slew their Saviour because he reproved their sins, such was their self-righteousness that they regarded themselves as God's favored people, and expected the Lord to deliver them from their enemies. "Therefore," continued the prophet, "shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest." [MICAH 3:12.] {4SP 28.2}

 

†††† For forty years after the doom of Jerusalem had

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been pronounced by Christ himself, the Lord delayed his judgments upon the city and the nation. Wonderful was the long-suffering of God toward the rejecters of his gospel and the murderers of his Son. The parable of the unfruitful tree represented God's dealings with the Jewish nation. The command had gone forth. "Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?" [LUKE 13:7.] but divine mercy had spared it yet a little longer. There were still many among the Jews who were ignorant of the character and the work of Christ. And the children had not enjoyed the opportunities or received the light which their parents had spurned. Through the preaching of the apostles and their associates, God would cause light to shine upon them; they could see how prophecy had been fulfilled, not only in the birth and life of Christ, but in his death and resurrection. The children were not condemned for the sins of the parents; but when, with a knowledge of all the light given to their parents, the children rejected the additional light granted to themselves, they became partakers of the parents' sins, and filled up the measure of their iniquity. {4SP 28.3}

 

†††† The long-suffering of God toward Jerusalem, only confirmed the Jews in their stubborn impenitence. In their hatred and cruelty toward the disciples of Jesus, they rejected the last offer of mercy. Then God withdrew his protection from them, and removed his restraining power from Satan and his angels, and the nation was left to the control of the leader she had chosen. Her children had spurned the grace of Christ, which would have enabled them to subdue

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their evil impulses, and now these became the conquerors. Satan aroused the fiercest and most debased passions of the soul. Men did not reason; they were beyond reason,--controlled by impulse and blind rage. They became Satanic in their cruelty. In the family and in the nation, alike among the highest and the lowest classes, there was suspicion, envy, hatred, strife, rebellion, murder. There was no safety anywhere. Friends and kindred betrayed one another. Parents slew their children, and children their parents. The rulers of the people had no power to rule themselves. Uncontrolled passions made them tyrants. The Jews had accepted false testimony to condemn the innocent Son of God. Now false accusations made their own lives uncertain. By their actions they had long been saying, "Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us." [ISA. 30:11.] Now their desire was granted. The fear of God no longer disturbed them. Satan was at the head of the nation, and the highest civil and religious authorities were under his sway. {4SP 29.1}

 

†††† The leaders of the opposing factions 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

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their power more firmly, they bribed false prophets to proclaim, even when 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! {4SP 30.1}

 

†††† 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." {4SP 31.1}

 

†††† Signs and wonders appeared, foreboding disaster and doom. A comet, resembling a flaming sword, for a year hung over the city. An unnatural light was seen hovering over the temple. Upon the clouds were pictured chariots mustering for battle. Mysterious voices in the temple court uttered the warning words, "Let us depart hence." The eastern gate of the inner court, which was of brass, and so heavy that it was with difficulty shut by a score of men, and having bolts fastened deep into the firm pavement, was seen at midnight to be opened of its own accord. {4SP 31.2}

 

†††† 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 by night he chanted the wild dirge, "A voice from the

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east; a voice from the west; a voice from the four winds; a voice against Jerusalem and the temple; a voice against the bridegroom and the bride; and a voice against all the people." This strange being was imprisoned and scourged; but no complaint escaped his lips. To insult and abuse he answered only, "Woe to Jerusalem! woe, woe to the inhabitants thereof!" His warning cry ceased not until he was slain in the siege he had foretold. {4SP 31.3}

 

†††† Not one Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem. Christ had given his disciples warning, and all who believed his words watched for the promised sign. After the Romans had surrounded the city, they unexpectedly withdrew their forces, at a time when everything seemed favorable for an immediate attack. In the providence of God the promised signal was thus given to the waiting Christians, and without a moment's delay they fled to a place of safety,--the refuge city Pella, in the land of Perea, beyond Jordan. {4SP 32.1}

 

†††† Terrible were the calamities which fell upon Jerusalem in the siege of the city by Titus. The last desperate assault was made at the time of the passover, when millions of Jews had assembled within its walls to celebrate the national festival. Their stores of provision, which if carefully preserved would have been sufficient to supply 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. Great numbers of the people would steal out at night, to appease their hunger by devouring herbs and wild plants growing

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outside the city walls, though they were often detected, and punished with torture and death. Some would gnaw the leather on their shields and sandals. 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. {4SP 32.2}

 

†††† Thousands perished from famine and pestilence. Natural affection seemed to have been utterly destroyed. 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?" [ISA. 49:15.] 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." [LAM. 4:10.] {4SP 33.1}

 

†††† 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 fulfilled the profane prayer uttered forty years before, "His blood be on us, and on our children." [MATT. 27:25.] {4SP 33.2}

 

†††† Titus would willingly have put an end to the fearful scene, and thus have spared Jerusalem the full

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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. {4SP 33.3}

 

†††† 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 at night to his tent, 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 chambers about the holy house were in a blaze. Titus rushed to the place,

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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 were heard voices shouting, "Ichabod!"--the glory is departed. {4SP 34.1}

 

†††† The fire had not reached the holy house itself when Titus entered, and, beholding its unsurpassed splendor, he was impelled to a last effort for its preservation. But in his very presence, a soldier thrust a lighted torch between the hinges of the door, and in an instant the flames burst out within the sanctuary. As the red glare revealed the walls of the holy places, glittering with gold, a frenzy seized the soldiers. Goaded on by a desire for plunder, and filled with rage by the resistance of the Jews, they were beyond control. {4SP 35.1}

 

†††† The lofty and massive structures that had crowned Mount Moriah were in flames. The temple towers sent up columns of fire and smoke. As the lurid tide rolled on, devouring everything before it, the whole summit of the hill blazed like a volcano. Mingled with the roar of the fire, the shouts of the soldiers, and the crash of falling buildings, were heard the frantic, heart-rending cries of old and young, priests and rulers. The very mountains seemed to give back the echo. The awful glare of the conflagration lighted up the surrounding country, and the people gathered upon the hills, and gazed in terror upon the scene.

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{4SP 35.2}

 

†††† 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 as a field." More than a million of the people were slaughtered; 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. {4SP 36.1}

 

†††† The Jews had forged their own fetters; they had loaded for themselves the cloud 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. Their sufferings are often represented as a punishment visited upon them by the direct decree of God. This is a device by which 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. {4SP 36.2}

 

†††† We cannot know how much we owe to Christ for

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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 rejecters 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 turning away the pleadings of divine mercy. Never was given a more decisive testimony to God's hatred of sin, and to the certain punishment that will fall upon the guilty. {4SP 36.3}

 

†††† The Saviour's prophecy concerning the visitation of judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment, of which that terrible scene was but a faint shadow. The second advent of the Son of God is foretold by lips which make no mistake: "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

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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 destroyed with the brightness of his coming. [2 THESS. 2:8.] {4SP 37.1}

 

†††† Let men beware lest they neglect the lesson conveyed to them in the words of Christ. He has declared that he will come the second time, to gather his faithful ones to himself, and to take vengeance on them that reject his mercy. 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 his people of the day of final destruction, and given them signs of its approach, that all who will may flee from the wrath to come. Those who behold the promised signs are to "know that it is near, even at the door." "Watch ye therefore," are his words of admonition. "If thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief." {4SP 38.1}

 

†††† The world is no more ready now to credit the warning than were the Jews in the days of our Saviour. Come when it may, the end 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." {4SP 38.2}

 

God bless the diligent study of His Word,

 

Ron Beaulieu

 


 [RB1]"Study the 9th chapter of Ezekiel. These words will be literally fulfilled yet the time is passing, and the people are asleep. They refuse to humble their souls and to be converted. Not a great while longer will the Lord bear with the people who have such great and important truths revealed to them, but who refuse to bring these truths into their individual experience. The time is short. God is calling will YOU hear? Will YOU receive His message? Will YOU be converted before it is too late? Soon, very soon, every case will be decided for eternity. Letter 106, 1909, pp. 2, 3, 5, 7. (To "The churches in Oakland and Berkeley, September 26, 1909.)" E. G. White Manuscript Releases Volume One, p. 260.

 

 [RB2]Begin at My Sanctuary --Here we see that the church--the Lord's sanctuary--was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God's power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say: The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus 'Peace and safety is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God's people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would

not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all perish together. E. G. White, Testimonies, Vol. 5, 211.

 

 [RB3]Fear and Shun "'They that forsake the law praise the wicked.' Proverbs 28:4. When those who are uniting with the world, yet claiming great purity, plead for union with those who have ever been the opposers of the cause of truth, we should fear and shun them as decidedly as did Nehemiah. Such counsel is prompted by the enemy of all good. It is the speech of timeservers, and should be resisted as resolutely today as then. Whatever influence would tend to unsettle the faith of God' people in His guiding power, should be steadfastly withstood." E.G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 660.

 

 [RB4]Daniel 11:30 - For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.

 [RB5]

 "Christ was a protestant...The Reformers date back to Christ and the apostles. They came out and separated themselves from a religion of forms and ceremonies. Luther and his followers did not invent the reformed religion. They simply accepted it as presented by Christ and the apostles." E.G. White, Review and Herald, vol. 2, 48, col. 2.

 

 "The Sanhedrin had rejected Christ's message and was bent upon His death therefore Jesus departed from Jerusalem, from the priests, the temple, the religious leaders, the people who had been instructed in the law, and turned to another class to proclaim His message, and to gather out those who should carry the gospel to all nations.

As the light and life of men was rejected by the ecclesiastical authorities in the days of Christ, so it has been rejected in every succeeding generation. Again and again the history of Christ's withdrawal from Judea has been repeated. When the Reformers preached the word of God, they had no thought of separating themselves from the established church but the religious leaders would not tolerate the light, and those that bore it were forced to seek another class, who were longing for the truth. In our day few of the professed followers of the Reformers are actuated by their spirit. Few are listening for the voice of God, and ready to accept truth in whatever guise it may be presented. Often those who follow in the steps of the Reformers are forced to turn away from the churches they love, in order to declare the plain teaching of the word of God. And many times those who are seeking for light are by the same teaching obliged to leave the church of their fathers, that they may render obedience." E.G. White, Desire of Ages, 232.

 

 [RB6]Rev 18:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.