March 1st Mark 13 The Last days
1: And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! 2: And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 3: And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4: Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? 5: And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: 6: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 7: And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. 8: For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows. 9: But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them. 10: And the gospel must first be published among all nations. 11: But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. 12: Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. 13: And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 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. 17: But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 18: And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. 19: For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. 20: And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. 21: And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: 22: For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. 23: But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. 24: But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 25: And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 26: And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27: And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. 28: Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: 29: So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. 30: Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. 31: Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. 32: But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. 33: Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. 34: For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. 35: Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: 36: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. 37: And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
The Disciples are very excited to show Christ the buildings of the Temple shining in all their glory in the sunshine. Christ responds by saying you see all these buildings – soon there will not be left one stone upon another. This fantastic prophecy was fulfilled in AD 70 when the Temple was burnt down and as the gold ran into every joint so the Temple was plundered taking every stone of another to find the gold. They ask him, ‘When will this happen and what will be the sign of thy coming?’ Christ begins by saying be careful that you are not deceived by false Christ’s – there will be many. Christ speaks prophetically as if the disciples will personally go through these experiences. It is quite possible that they did live to see the destruction of Jerusalem. In this passage Christ’s prophesy is centred on Israel’s state before God and the Gospel that Christ describes is the gospel of repentance to Israel. Christ goes right on to describe the tribulation period as if the Church era will not occur. It is still a mystery as he speaks. After describing the terrible events of the Tribulation he then describes his coming in great power and Glory. He will come in a way that no man can duplicate. His coming will be in the heaven like lightening which flashes from on end of the heaven to the other. Then Christ will gather the Elect (Israel) from where they are scattered in the earth and will carry them to Israel. Christ says when you see all these things come to pass then you will know that the kingdom is near. He says that this generation (those living in that day) will not be killed until they see the kingdom come. Christ states clearly that NO ONE knows the time of Christ’s coming, so predictions of his coming are worthless. The chief characteristic of those who are waiting for Christ’s coming in glory is watchfulness. Watchfulness is living under the law in a state of spiritual anticipation whereby the righteous live faithfully in obedience to the law. How different to those of us in the church who look for the coming of the Lord to catch us away to glory. We do not watch so that we might be found worthy. Rather we wait because we are accepted in the beloved.