The Fate of Jerusalem Foretold
Then Jesus, leaving the temple, was proceeding on His way, when His disciples came up to point out the buildings of the temple. Jesus then said to them, "Do you not see all these? I tell you indeed, that a stone will not here be left upon a stone, otherwise than in ruins."
Afterwards, when He was resting upon the Mount of Olives, His disciples approached Him privately, asking, "Tell us when this will be; and what is the signal of Your presence, and the completion of this age."
"Take care," said Jesus, in reply to them, "that none may deceive you. For many will come in My Name, asserting, 'I am the Messiah'; and will lead many astray. Then you will hear of wars and rumours of wars: attend and fear not; for all must come — but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines and plagues, and frequent earthquakes. All these, however, only begin the agonies. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and will murder you; and you will be hated by all the heathen through My Name. And then many will abandon it; and will betray one another, and hate one another. And many false prophets will make their appearance, and multitudes will be misled. And through the abounding lawlessness, sympathy for the many will be chilled. But whoever holds out to the end will be saved. The good news of the Kingdom, however, shall be proclaimed throughout the whole Empire, as a witness to all nations; and then the end will come.
"When, therefore, you shall see the desolating beast, foretold through the prophet Daniel, take up his position on holy ground1 — let the reader comprehend — then let those in Judea fly to the hills; and he who is upon his balcony not descend to take anything from his house; and the man in the field not turn back to take up his cloak.
"But alas for those with child, and those who nurse in those days! Pray, however, that your flight may not come during the winter, nor upon a Rest-day; for there shall then be wide-spread affliction, such as has not been known since the beginning of the world until now, no, nor will ever be known again. And if those times were not cut short, not a man would be saved; but for the sake of the chosen ones, those times will be cut short.
Future Signs Described
"Then if any should say to you, 'Look! the Messiah is here,' or 'there,' do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will make their appearance; and will give out great and terrible omens, so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen. However, I have forewarned you. Therefore, if they tell you to 'Look! He is in the desert!' go not out; 'Come into the private apartments!' do not believe it. For as the lightning bursts out with a flash from east to west, in like manner will the presence of the Son of Man be. Where the corpses are, there the vultures will assemble.
"But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, the moon will fail to give her light, the stars will fall from the sky, the powers of the heavens will be shaken: and then will appear the signal of the Son of Man in the sky, and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn when they see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of the heaven, with power and full rectification. And He will send out His messengers with a loud and powerful bugle; and they will collect all His chosen from the four winds, from end to end of the heavens.
The Lesson of the Fig-tree
"Now learn from the fig-tree its lesson: When its branches become soft, and the leaves sprout, you recognise that the summer is near. In the same way, you also, when you see all these, know that this is near, aye, close to the gates. I tell you indeed, that this present generation shall not pass away until all these arrive. The heaven and the earth may fade away; but My declarations will never pass away.
The Necessity of Watching
"About the exact time, however, and the hour, none knows — not even the messengers of heaven; but My Father alone. And as in the days of Noah, so will also be the appearance of the Son of Man. For as they were, in the days before the Flood, eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day arrived for Noah to enter the ark, and they would not understand until the Flood came and carried all away; so also Will be the appearing of the Son of Man. Then two men may be in the field; one is taken, and one is left. Two women may be grinding in the mill; one is taken, and one is left. Keep guard, therefore; for you know not what hour your Lord may come. But recognise this, that if the master of the house had known at what time the thief would come, he would have kept awake, and not permitted his house to be dug through. On account of this, be ready! because it may be that the Son of Man will appear at a time you do not expect.
Faithful and Unfaithful Servants
"Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom his master can place over his household, to give them their provision with promptitude? Happy will be that servant if his master shall find him thus engaged upon his arrival. I tell you indeed, that he will appoint him over all his possessions. But if some unfaithful servant should say in his heart, 'My master delays his arrival'; and should begin to ill-use his fellow-servants, and eat and carouse with the drunkards: the master of that servant will come upon a day he did not expect, and at an hour he is not thinking of, and will dismiss him, and send him about his business, to associate with the vagabonds. Then there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Transcribed by Mark Hicks on 01-01-2015