Questions And Answers


Our Lord’s Great Prophecy


How did Christ feel concerning Jerusalem?


     “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,

     Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” 

Luke 19:41,42


In what words did he foretell of its destruction?


     For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, 

     And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. 

Luke 19:43,44


What pitiful appeal did He make to the impenitent city?


     “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!”

Matthew 23:37


As He was about to leave the temple, what did He say?


      “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”

Luke 23:38 


Comment- The Jews filled up their cup of iniquity by their final rejection and crucifiction of Christ, and their persecution of His followers after His resurrection.


Ref. Matthew 23:29-35

Acts 4-8


Hearing these words, what questions did the disciples ask?


      “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

Matthew 24:3


Comment- The overthrow of Jerusalem and the Jewish nation is a type of the final destruction of all the cities of the world, and of all nations.  The description of the two event seem to be blended.  Chris’s prophetic words reached beyond Jerusalem’s destruction to the final conflagration; they were spoken not for the early disciples only but also for those who were to live during the closing scenes of the world’s history.  Christ gave definite signs, both of the destruction of Jerusalem and of His second coming.


Did Christ indicate that either event was imminent?


      “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 

     For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 

     And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”

Matthew 24:46


What did He say of the wars, famines, pestilence, and earthquakes that were to precede these events?


      “All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

Matthew 24:8


Comment- These were to precede and culminate in the overthrow, first, of Jerusalem, and finally of the whole world in a dual application.


What would be the experience of His people?


      “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. 

       And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 

       And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”

Matthew 24:9-12


Who did He say would be saved?


      “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”

Matthew 24:13


When did Christ say the end would come?


     “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.”

Matthew 24:14


Comment- Before the fall of Jerusalem, Paul carried the gospel to Rome—then the capital of the world.  He wrote of the saints at “Ceasar’s household”, (Philippians 4:22) and further said the gospel had been “preached to every creature which is under heaven.” Colossians 1:23


What would be a sign of the fall of Jerusalem?


      “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.”

Luke 21:20


When the sign appeared what were the disciples to do?


      “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”

Matthew 24:15,16


Comment- In A.D. 66, when Cestius came against the city, but unaccountably withdrew, the Christians discerned in this the sign foretold by Christ, and fled.  (Eusebius, church history, book 3, chapter 5), while 1,100,000 Jews are said to have been killed in the terrible siege in A.D.70.  Here is a striking lesson on the importance of studying the prophecies and heeding the signs of the times.  Those who believed Christ and watched for the sign which He had foretold were saved while the unbelieving perished.  So in the end of the world the watchful and believing will be delivered, while the careless and unbelieving will be snared and taken.


Ref.  Matthew 24:36-44

         Luke 21:34-36

        1 Thessalonians 5:1-6


When the sign appeared how suddenly were they to flee?


       “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.”

Matthew 24:17,18


How did Christ further show His care for His disciples?


      “But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.”

Matthew 24:20 


Comment- Flight in winter would entail discomfort and hardship; an attempt to flee on the Sabbath would doubtless meet with difficulty.

     The prayers of Christ’s followers were heard.  Events were so overruled that neither Jew nor Romans hindered their flight.  When Cestius retreated, the Jews pursued his army, and the Christians thus had an opportunity to leave the city.  The country was cleared of enemies, for at the time of this siege, the Jews had assembled at Jerusalem for the Feast Of Tabernacles.  Thus the Christians of Judea were able to escape unmolested, and in the autumn, a most favorable time for flight.


What trying experience did Christ Then foretell?


      “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

Matthew 24:21


     “And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. 

     And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee: 

     So that] the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave: 

     So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates. 

     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 young one that cometh out from between her feet, 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. 

     If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; 

     Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance. 

     Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee.”

Deuteronomy  28:52-60


Comment- Over the centuries there have been many times of persecution of the Christians.  All these tribulations occurred under either pagan or papal Rome.


Ref. Daniel 7:25



For whose sake would the period be shortened?


     “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.”

Matthew 24:22


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


Against what deceptions did Christ Then warn us?


      “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.”

Matthew 24:23,24


What signs of the end would be seen in the heavens?


     “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring.”

Luke 21:25


When were the first of these signs to appear?


      “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.”

Matthew 24:29


Comment- On the 19th of May, 1780, this prophecy was fulfilled.    

     "Almost, if not altogether alone, as the most mysterious and as yet unexplained phenomenon of its kind, . . . stands the dark day of May 19, 1780,--a most unaccountable darkening of the whole visible heavens and atmosphere in New  England."--R. M. Devens, Our First Century, page 89.    

     An eyewitness living in Massachusetts describes the event as follows: "In the morning the sun rose clear, but was soon overcast. The clouds became lowery, and from them, black and ominous, as they soon appeared, lightning flashed, thunder rolled, and a little rain fell. Toward nine o'clock, the clouds became thinner, and assumed a brassy or coppery appearance, and earth, rocks, trees, buildings, water, and persons were changed by this strange, unearthly light. A few minutes later, a heavy black cloud spread over the entire sky except a narrow rim at the horizon, and it was as dark as it usually is at nine o'clock on a summer evening. . . .    

     "Fear, anxiety, and awe gradually filled the minds of the people. Women stood at the door, looking out upon the dark landscape; men returned from their labor in the fields; the


carpenter left his tools, the blacksmith his forge, the tradesman his counter. Schools were dismissed, and tremblingly the children fled homeward. Travelers put up at the nearest farmhouse. 'What is coming?' queried every lip and heart. It seemed as if a hurricane was about to dash across the land, or as if it was the day of the consummation of all things.    

     "Candles were used; and hearth fires shone as brightly as on a moonless evening in autumn. . . . Fowls retired to their roosts and went to sleep, cattle gathered at the pasture bars and lowed, frogs peeped, birds sang their evening songs, and bats flew about. But the human knew that night had not come. . . .    

     "Dr. Nathanael Whittaker, pastor of the Tabernacle church in Salem, held religious services in the meeting-house, and preached a sermon in which he maintained that the darkness was supernatural. Congregations came together in many other places. The texts for the extemporaneous  sermons were invariably those that seemed to indicate that the darkness was consonant with Scriptural prophecy. . . . The darkness was most dense shortly after eleven o'clock."--The Essex Antiquarian, April, 1899, vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 53, 54. "In most parts of the country it was so great in the daytime, that the people could not tell the hour by either watch or clock, nor dine, nor manage their domestic business, without the light of candles. . . .    

     "The extent of this darkness was extraordinary. It was observed as far east as Falmouth. To the westward it reached to the farthest part of Connecticut, and to Albany. To the southward, it was observed along the seacoasts; and to the north as far as the American settlements extend."--William Gordon, History of the Rise, Progress, and Establishment of the Independence of the U.S.A., vol. 3, p. 57.    

     The intense darkness of the day was succeeded, an hour or two before evening, by a partially clear sky, and the sun appeared, though it was still obscured by the black, heavy mist. "After sundown, the clouds came again overhead, and

it grew dark very fast." "Nor was the darkness of the night less uncommon and terrifying than that of the day;  notwithstanding there was almost a full moon, no object was discernible but by the help of some artificial light, which, when seen from the neighboring houses and other places at a distance, appeared through a kind of Egyptian darkness which seemed almost impervious to the rays."--Isaiah Thomas, Massachusetts Spy; or, American Oracle of Liberty, vol. 10, No. 472 (May 25, 1780). Said an eyewitness of the scene: "I could not help conceiving at the time, that if every luminous body in the universe had been shrouded in impenetrable shades, or struck out of existence, the darkness could not have been more complete."--Letter by Dr. Samuel Tenney, of Exeter, New Hampshire, December, 1785 (in Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, 1792, 1st series, vol. 1, p. 97). Though at nine o'clock that night the moon rose to the full, "it had not the least effect to dispel the deathlike shadows." After midnight the darkness disappeared, and the moon, when first visible, had the appearance of blood.   

     May 19, 1780, stands in history as "The Dark Day." Since the time of Moses no period of darkness of equal density, extent, and duration, has ever been recorded. The description of this event, as given by eyewitnesses, is but an echo of the words of the Lord, recorded by the prophet Joel, twenty-five hundred years previous to their fulfillment: "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come." Joel 2:31.    

     Christ had bidden His people watch for the signs of His advent and rejoice as they should behold the tokens of their coming King. "When these things begin to come to pass," He said, "then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." He pointed His followers to the budding trees of spring, and said: "When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things  come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand." Luke 21:28, 30, 31. 

GC 308 

Said Jesus: "The stars shall fall from heaven." Matthew 24:29. And John in the Revelation declared, as he beheld in vision the scenes that should herald the day of God: "The stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind." Revelation 6:13. This prophecy received a striking and impressive fulfillment in the great meteoric shower of November 13, 1833. That was the most extensive and wonderful display of falling stars which has ever been recorded; "the whole firmament, over all the United States, being then, for hours, in fiery commotion! No celestial phenomenon has ever occurred in this country, since its first settlement, which was viewed with such intense admiration by one class in the community, or with so much dread and alarm by another." "Its sublimity and awful beauty still linger in many minds. . . . Never did rain fall much thicker than the meteors fell toward the earth; east, west, north, and south, it was the same. In a word, the whole heavens seemed in motion. . . . The display, as described in Professor Silliman's Journal, was seen all over North America. . . . From two o'clock until broad daylight, the sky being perfectly serene and cloudless, an incessant play of dazzlingly brilliant luminosities was kept up in the whole heavens."--R. M. Devens, American Progress; or, The Great Events of the Greatest Century, ch. 28, pars. 1-5.    

     "No language, indeed, can come up to the splendor of that magnificent display; . . . no one who did not witness it can form an adequate conception of its glory. It seemed as if the whole starry heavens had congregated at one point near the zenith, and were simultaneously shooting forth, with the velocity of lightning, to every part of the horizon; and yet they were not exhausted--thousands swiftly followed in the tracks of thousands, as if created for the occasion."--F. Reed, in the Christian Advocate and Journal, Dec. 13, 1833. "A more correct picture of a fig tree casting its figs when blown by a mighty wind, it was not possible to behold."--"The Old Countryman," in Portland Evening Advertiser, Nov. 26, 1833.    

     In the New York Journal of Commerce of November 14, 1833, appeared a long article regarding this wonderful phenomenon, containing this statement: "No philosopher or scholar has told or recorded an event, I suppose, like that of yesterday morning. A prophet eighteen hundred years ago foretold it exactly, if we will be at the trouble of understanding stars falling to mean falling stars, . . . in the only sense in which it is possible to be literally true."    

     Thus was displayed the last of those signs of His coming, concerning which Jesus bade His disciples: "When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors." Matthew 24:33. After these signs, John beheld, as the great event next impending, the heavens departing as a scroll, while the earth quaked, mountains and islands removed out of their places, and the wicked in terror sought to flee from the presence of the Son of man. Revelation 6:12-17.     

     Many who witnessed the falling of the stars, looked upon it as a herald of the coming judgment, "an awful type, a sure forerunner, a merciful sign, of that great and dreadful day." --"The Old Countryman," in Portland Evening Advertiser, Nov. 26, 1833. Thus the attention of the people was directed to the fulfillment of prophecy, and many were led to give heed to the warning of the second advent. 

GC 333-334 


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


      “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring, men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”

Luke 21:25,26


What was to be the next great event after these signs?


      “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

Luke 21:27 


Ref.  Matthew 24:30


When these things begin to happen, what shall we do?


      “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”

Luke 21:28 


When the trees put forth their leaves, what do we know?


      “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh.”

Matthew 24:32


What do we likewise know after these signs are seen?


     “So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.”

Luke 21:31


What did Christ say of the certainty of this prophecy?


      “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 

       Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

Matthew 24:34,35


Comment- What Christ foretold of the destruction of Jerusalem came true to the very letter.  Likewise we may be assured that what He has said about the end of the world will as certainly and as literally be fulfilled.


What moral conditions would precede Christ’s second advent?


      “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 

     For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 

       And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”

Matthew 24:37-39


What important admonition has Christ given us?


      “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”

Matthew 24:44


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


      “But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 

      And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 

       The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 

       And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Matthew 24:48-51