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BIBLE STUDY on the Gospel of Mark
Theme: Olivet Discourse; parable of the fig tree; parable of the man on a trip.
There are no miracles in this chapter, but there is a lot of action. Mark's Gospel is a Gospel of action and he placed much emphasis on miracles. But in this chapter the action is future action. The action really has not come to a standstill, but it is off in the distance. It records the end of the age events. The catastrophic events of the Great Tribulation are given, and the Second Coming of Christ is clearly described. This is action from the divine power of God, which is much greater than man-made atomic power.
The Olivet Discourse, which we find in this chapter, is a parallel account with Matthew 24. Mark’s version is much shorter than Matthew’s version. Study both for best results. This, as a rule has been generally true of Mark, except in some notable instances where he gives the longest account of an incident. In general, his policy is to abbreviate everything and give rapid action.
This outline may help:
#1. Destruction of the Temple Foretold (verses 1-4).
#2. False Christs, Wars, Earthquakes, and Famines (verses 5-8)
#3. Persecution of the Apostles (verses 9-13)
#4. Prophecy of the Great Tribulation (verses 14-23)
#5. Proclaiming His Second Coming (verses 24-27)
#6. Parable of the fig tree (verses 28-33)
#7. Parable of the Man on a Trip (verses 34-37)
* * * OLIVET DISCOURSE * * *
The Destruction of the Temple Foretold
Occasion of the Prediction (Mark 13:1-4)
Mark 13:1 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! (KJV)
And as he went out of the temple . . . some versions read "as they went out". When Christ Jesus went out of the temple, His apostles went with Him.
One of his disciples . . . it may be Peter, who was usually very forward, and commonly the mouthpiece of the rest. Matthew and Luke represent the apostles in general, as stressing to Christ, the beauty and grandeur of the temple, as this disciple did . . . who
Saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here . . . the Temple, had been repaired by Herod, and was quite a beautiful building, according to the account the Jews give of it, and its stones were of an enormous size. Josephus, the Jewish historian says "In that temple,", "were several stones which were forty-five cubits in length, five in height, and sixth in breadth;" that would be more than seventy feet long, ten feet wide, and eight feet high. These huge stones, were used mainly in building the high wall on the east side, from the base to the top of the mountain. It is also said that they were beautifully painted with variegated colors. (Mat.24:1).
Some would naturally ask the question, as to why the apostles would make such a statement. I think we must go back a bit. Matthew 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. (KJV) . . . The Lord Jesus had pronounced a coming desolation on the Temple. The apostles were puzzled because there was a a magnificence and splendor about the Temple and the surrounding buildings. I think that they were amazed at its beauty, and they wanted to be sure that He noticed it. So one of them said, "Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!"
Mark 13:2 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. (KJV)
And Jesus answering said unto him . . . or unto them, and He makes a reply.
Seest thou these great buildings . . . how beautiful and strong they are. Do you think they will be here for a long time? Do you think that the destruction of them is impossible? Then He goes on . . .
There shall not be left one stone upon another . . . this prediction had a full and remarkable completion. It is not only confirmed by Josephus, who relates, that both the city and Temple were dug up, and laid level with the ground; but also by other Jewish writers; who tell us that on the ninth of Ab, a day prepared for punishments, Turnus Rufus the wicked, "ploughed up the temple", and all round about it, to fulfil what is said, "Zion shall be ploughed as a field" (Mic.1:6; 3:12; Ps.79:1; 107:34; Jer.26:18) . . . and fulfills what Christ Jesus says here as well . . . “there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
In this Passage we see a striking example of the difference between the style of Mark and that of Matthew. Mark is more specific, saying that "one of his disciples" said "Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here," and that Jesus "said to him, Seest thou," etc.; while Matthew, in his more indefinite manner, says that "his disciples" called his attention to the buildings, and that he said "See ye not all these things?" (Compare Mat.24:1-2).
Mark 13:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, (KJV)
And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives . . . on the east of Jerusalem,
Over against the temple . . . where He could have a full view of it; the eastern wall of the Temple being lower than the rest. (Mat.24:3).
Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, asked him privately . . . apart from the rest of the apostles, these being, especially the first three, His favorites, and were very familiar with Him.
Here again Mark is more specific than Matthew; for he says, "the disciples came to him privately," while Mark states that it was "Peter, James, John, and Andrew." This is one time that Andrew was in company with the "chosen three," when they were apart from the other apostles; but even here, he is separated in the arrangement of the names, from his brother Peter, and put last, as being the least ‘in the limelight’ of the four.
The Lord Jesus asks them a question. They had asked Him to look at the buildings because they wanted to make sure that He had not missed them. Now He asks them, "Do YOU really see them?" He is teaching a great spiritual lesson here. He says everything that they see, will all come down. The things they see shall pass away. As you look around you, whatever buildings that you see, no matter how beautiful, shall pass away, because they are temporary. Do you see that things are NOT eternal?
Mark 13:4 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? (KJV)
Tell us when shall these things be? . . . when will the Temple will be destroyed, and these fine buildings shall be demolished, and not one of these large stones shall be left upon another. They wanted to know WHEN this would happen. Matthew 24:3 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? (KJV) . . . these two questions are put together, because they thought it would be at the same time, and immediately follow the destruction of the Temple. That He was come in the flesh, and was the TRUE Messiah, they firmly believed. He was with them, and they expected He would continue with them, for they had no idea of His leaving them, and Coming again. Any time that He spoke of His dying and rising from the dead, they could not comprehend it. They just did not understand it . . . so this Coming of His, the sign of which, they ask, is not to be understood of His Coming a second time to judge the world, at the last day; but of His Coming in His Kingdom and glory.
The first question, "When shall these things be?" . . . when one stone shall not be left upon another . . . is not answered in the Gospel of Matthew. We find it in the Gospel of Luke, and we find some of it in the Gospel of Mark. Why is it not in Matthew's Gospel? Because Matthew is the Gospel of the Kingdom; it presents the King. The destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 has something to do with this age in which we live, but it has nothing to do with the distant future when the King would come, so Matthew does not carry that part of the Olivet Discourse.
Let's look at our Lord's answer to the first question, as recorded in Luke's Gospel: "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Lk.21:20-24).
Without a doubt, many of those who heard the Lord Jesus say these things were present in A.D. 70 when the Roman armies surrounded the city, laid siege to it, cut it off from the rest of the world, then finally breached the wall and got in. What the Romans did was horrifying. They literally demolished the city. It was the worst destruction in its history, much more devastating than that carried out by Nebuchadnezzar over six centuries earlier. When the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70, the first part of the Olivet Discourse was fulfilled.
The next two questions asked by the apostles in Matthew were these: "What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world age?" . . . the Lord Jesus is going to answer the apostles' questions in their chronological and logical order. He will answer their last question first and their second question last.
The first thing the Lord deals with is the sign of the end of the world, or the end of the age. The world will never come to an end. The old world will pass away and a new Earth will be brought into view. New Heaven, new Earth: (Isa.65:17; 66:22; Pet.3:13; Rev.21:1). It will be like our trading in an old car for a new one. You have a new car because you traded your old one in and got a new one. It will be likewise with the Lord, when He trades in the old, wicked world for a brand, spanking, new one, pure and clean! The world will NEVER come to an end. But it SHALL come to the end of an age, and that is the word the disciples are using in their question to the Lord Jesus.
In this Olivet Discourse, when Christ speaks of His Coming, He is referring to His Return to the Earth to establish His Kingdom. The church is NOT in the picture at all. In fact, by the end of the age, the TRUE church will have been removed (1 Thes.4:13-18), and it will be the last days of the nation Israel. Jesus is speaking about the Great Tribulation period and He so labels it in this discourse (verses 21 and 29).
And what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? . . ."and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?" They no doubt looked upon the date of all these things as one and the same, and their notions of the things themselves were as confused as of the times of them. Our Lord takes His own way of meeting their questions
Matthew records three questions asked of Christ:
#1. When shall these things be? or when will Jerusalem be destroyed? This is not answered in Matthew chapters 24 & 25, or Mark chapter 13; it is answered only in Luke 21:12-24.
#2. What shall be the sign of Thy coming? This is answered in Matthew 24:4-27, Mark 13:5-23 and Luke 21:8-11,256-26.
#3. When will the end of the world be? This is answered in Matthew 24:27; 25:46; Mark 13:24-37; and Luke 21:27-38.
Mark always puts in a little something extra that we do not get in the other Gospels. We would not have known it was these four men who actually were selected as the committee who asked Jesus the questions, but in Mark they are named.
False Christs, Wars, Earthquakes, and Famines (Mark 13:5-8)
Mark 13:5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: (KJV)
And Jesus answering them began to say,. . . His four apostles, Peter, John, James, and Andrew.
Take heed lest any man deceive you . . . the Lord Jesus warns us time and again, NOT to be deceived by false teachers, here as well as several other New Testament Passages. Do NOT be deceived: (Mat.24:4; Mk.13:5-6,22; Lk.21:8; 2 Cor.11:13-15; Eph.4:14; 5:6; Col.2:8,18; 2 Thes.2:3; 2 Pet.2:1-3; 1 Jn.4:1). Many deceivers today PRETEND to have words coming from God. BEWARE! Christ knew His apostles were in danger of being ensnared by these monsters; and so He gives them this realistic advice and warning. This goes for us as well.
Mark 13:6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (KJV)
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many . . . 1st sign . . . taking upon themselves the Name of the Messiah: saying, I am Christ. We find this is a constant warning . . . a warning against false Christs. My friend, this is a great danger today!
There are false Christs all around us! Consider the Christ of liberalism . . . he is an antichrist! He is NOT the real Christ of the Bible! Do you really think that liberals preach the Christ of the Bible? NO way! They absolutely do NOT. The Christ they preach was NOT virgin born, never performed a miracle, did NOT shed His Blood for the sins of the world, was NOT raised bodily from the grave, did NOT ascend into Heaven, and is NOT coming again bodily. There is NO Jesus like that in the Bible?
The Jesus of the Bible was virgin born, He DID perform miracles and He most certainly DID shed His precious Blood for the sins of the world (1 Pet.1:18-19). He WAS raised bodily from the grave and He DID ascend into Heaven and IS coming back again. That is what the Bible says, and the Bible is the Word of God. Believe it my friend.
The liberal is talking about another Christ, another Jesus (2 Cor.11:4; Gal.1:7-8). Any other Christ, is an antichrist (1 Jn.2:18,22; 4:3; 2 Jn.1:7). There are many antichrists. I mention the one of liberalism, but there are many counterfeits out there today claiming to be Christ. The Lord Jesus did right to warn us about that.
I think on that day, when the Lord looked down from the Mount of Olives, He looked down to the end of the age . . . to the Great Tribulation period. Near the end of the age many deceivers will claim to be Christ. We have them with us now, for there are many antichrists, but as we get closer to the end of the age, this shall increase. In the end, there shall come the foretold Antichrist who will oppose Christ and set himself up as the only authority (Dan.7:20-26; 2 Thes.2:3).
Mark 13:7 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. (KJV)
And when ye shall hear of wars, and rumours of wars . . . 2nd sign . . . wars and rumors of wars are not the sign that we have reached the end of the age. I think that the Lord is building a bridge, from where the apostles were to the end of the age. It is easy to think that major wars pinpoint the fact that we are at the end of the age. They are not! There have been many major wars in the past few thousand years and only about two hundred years of peace. We have come a long way from World War II, and the end of the age still has not come. We shall hear about wars and rumors of wars, but we should not be troubled because all these things must come to pass. Man will NEVER solve the problem of war. The League of Nations could NOT solve this problem, and the United Nations will NOT be able to solve it either. There will be NO peace until the Prince of Peace (Isa.9:6) comes.
For all these things must come to pass . . . these wars, the reports of them, the panic because of them; the commotions and killings, the terrible destructions by the sword must be. They are determined by God, predicted by Christ, and brought upon the Jews by their own wickedness; and suffered in righteous judgment, for their sin.
But the end is not yet . . . the end of the Jewish economy; the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, but NOT the end of the world. The Jewish nation, would continue, and did continue after these disturbances in it.
Be not troubled . . . do not be anxious, keep up your work, keep preaching the Gospel, without being worried about the occurrence of things.
For such things must needs be . . . being declared by God through the Old Testament, foretold by Christ, and made necessary by the sins of the people (Dan.9:26).
But the end shall not be yet . . . these wars and the reports of them and the panic because of them; the commotions and horrible massacres, the terrible devastations by the sword must be, and will continue. But the end is not yet . . . the end of the Jewish economy; the destruction of Jerusalem, meaning not the end of the world, but the end of Jerusalem and the Temple. The Jewish state, which was to continue, and did continue after these disturbances in it.
Wars and false Christs, characterize the whole age. No TRUE believer should be disturbed by wars. They are NOT the sign of the end of the age. Neither antichrists nor wars indicate that we are at the end of the age. "Antichrists" refers NOT to the Antichrist, although all of these false Christs are pointing to the final Antichrist (Rev.13).
Mark 13:8 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. (KJV)
For nation shall rise against nation . . . the nations of the world shall be one against another, the Gentiles against the Jews, and the Jews against Gentiles.
And kingdom against kingdom . . . different words saying the same thing.
And there shall be earthquakes in divers places . . . earthquakes in different places all through the Earth. And earthquakes in divers places . . . earthquakes sometimes mean political commotions., but literally, they are tremors or shakings of the Earth, and often shake cities and towns to ruin. The Earth opens, and houses and people sink erratically to destruction. Many of these are mentioned as preceding the destruction of Jerusalem. Josephus, who had probably never heard of this prophecy, and who certainly would have done nothing to show its fulfillment, records the phenomenon and signs which he says preceded the destruction of the city. He says a star resembling a sword, stood over the city, and a comet that continued a whole year. At the feast of unleavened bread, during the night, a bright light shone round the altar and the temple, so that it seemed to be bright day, for half an hour. The eastern gate of the temple, of solid brass, fastened with strong bolts and bars, and which had been shut with difficulty by twenty men, opened in the night of its own accord. A few days after that feast, he says, "before sunsetting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armour were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities." A great noise, as of the sound of a multitude, was heard in the temple, saying, "let us remove hence." Four years before the war began, the son of Artanus, a plebeian and a husbandman, came to the feast of the tabernacles, when the city was in peace and prosperity, and began to cry aloud, "A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegroom and the brides, and a voice against this whole people!" He was scourged, and at every stroke of the whip he cried, "Woe, woe to Jerusalem!" This cry he says, was continued every day for more than seven years, until he was killed in the siege of the city, exclaiming, "Woe, woe to myself also."-Jewish Wars, B. vi. ch. v.
Earth swallowed them up: (Num.16:30,32; 26:10; Deut.11:6; Ps.106:17)
And there shall be famines . . . especially in Judea, as it was in the times of Claudius Caesar, and at the siege of Jerusalem.
And troubles . . . civic and private ones of countless kinds, such as uproars, incitement to rebellion, murders, etc.
These are the beginnings of sorrows . . . just like a woman with child, whose pains before, although they are the beginnings of what shall come after, are not to be compared with those that immediately precede, and come with the birth of the child. So all those troubles, which would happen some time before the destruction of Jerusalem, would be very light afflictions, in comparison of what would be immediately before, and with that desolation. (Mat.24:7-8).
Today, people feels they are so civilized because they have so many gadgets to make life easier. They think they are making the world a wonderful place. BUT . . . what about all the pollution? IF mankind continues at the rate they are going, the Earth will be uninhabitable before too long. And too, before long, unless wars cease, and famines that follows, they are going to starve to death.
Persecution of the Disciples (Mark 13:9-13)
Mark 13:9 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. (KJV)
But take heed to yourselves . . . I think this could refer to the security of their lives, not the doctrine of the Gospel. The advice is, take care of themselves, as much as lay in them, for they would come into the hands of the persecuting Jews, and be exposed to danger, when IF they would take heed, the danger might be avoided.
For they shall deliver you up to councils . . . their greater and lesser Sanhedrim; the one consisting of 71 persons, the other of 23, and the least of only 3. It was before the greater of these, Peter and John were brought, soon after the ascension of Christ.
And in the synagogues ye shall be beaten . . . with forty stripes save one, as the Apostle Paul was, five times (2 Cor.11:24).
And ye shall be brought before rulers . . . governors of Roman provinces, as the apostle Paul was, before Gallio, Festus, and Felix (Acts 18:12; 24:27; 25:14).
And kings for my sake . . . for the sake of professing Christ, and preaching His Gospel; as some of the apostles were, before Herod, Agrippa, Nero, Domitian, and others.
For a testimony against them . . . against both the Jewish rulers and Gentile kings before whom they would be brought, and bear a testimony for Christ, and against the Jews, who should bring them there.
The predictions contained in Mark 1:9-13 are almost parallel in Matthew 10:17-22, where all are found except the one in verse 11 . . . that "the gospel must first be published among all nations." In Matthew 10, Jesus was speaking to His apostles concerning their future work as apostles. It is NOT a mistake in Mark to reproduce these predictions here; because it is almost certain that Jesus Himself repeated them because they were as well suited to this discourse as to that other. This appears not only from the fact that Mark quotes them as being uttered on this occasion, but from the fact that Matthew, in the parallel paragraph, quotes language that is clearly just an shortened version of what Mark quotes Jesus more fully. Matthew 24:9 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. (KJV)
Mark 13:10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations. (KJV)
And the Gospel must first be published among all nations . . . the Gospel of which Christ was the Author, the Subject, and the Preacher of . . . this Gospel "must be published". And this Gospel of the kingdom . . . the Gospel of the Kingdom is what John the Baptist preached . . . "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Mat.3:2). And the Lord Jesus began His ministry with that same message . . . "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Mat.4:17). He also sent His apostles out with that message (Mat.10). But in Matthew 11:28, the Lord's message changed to "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." And in Matthew 20:28, He said that He had come to give His life a ransom for many. But during the Tribulation period the Gospel of the Kingdom will again be preached. I do not think it is for us today, because we are to preach the Gospel of the grace of God. Is the Gospel of the Kingdom another gospel? (Gal.1:6-7). No, it is not. It is the SAME Gospel with a different emphasis. We have no right to say that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand because we do NOT know that. BUT . . . when the Great Tribulation period begins, the people then will know that they are very close to the end, even though they will not know the day nor the hour. Therefore, the message will be, "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand," which Christ Himself preached, and which He sent His apostles to preach, in all the cities of Judah; by which means men were brought into the kingdom of the Messiah, or Gospel dispensation; and pointed out the saints' fitness for the Kingdom of Heaven, and their right unto it.
Shall be preached in all the world . . . not only in Judea, where it was now confined, and that by the express orders of Christ Himself; but in all the nations of the world, for which the apostles had their commission enlarged, after our Lord's resurrection; when they were bid to go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature (Acts 1:8); and when the Jews stubbornly refused the Gospel from them, the apostles turned to the Gentiles. Before the destruction of Jerusalem, it was preached to all the nations under the heavens; and churches were planted in most places, through the ministry of it.
For a witness unto all nations . . . meaning either for a witness against all who should reject it; or as a testimony of Christ and salvation, unto all who would believe in Him.
And then shall the end come . . . not the end of the world, as the versions read, and others understand it; but the end of the Jewish state, the end of the city and Temple. The universal preaching of the Gospel all over the world was the last sign, of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Do you believe that there is more than one way of salvation? More than one Way to Heaven? If you do, you are WRONG according to the Bible. God has always had just ONE Way to become His child, and ONE Way to go where He is. And that is JESUS, His only begotten Son.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV)
Acts 4:10-12 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (KJV) . . . Neither is there salvation in any other! NO other Way, except JESUS!
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV) . . . I pray that you NEVER belittle God’s Son, Jesus, and NEVER reject Him!
There is ONLY ONE WAY that God saves people . . . and that is the cross of Christ. Unless you go to the foot of the cross of Jesus, in sheer humility, and accept His Offering that He made for you, you are NOT saved! Every offering before Christ went to the cross and died for you and me, looked forward to the cross of Christ, and every remembrance since He has come, looks back to the cross of Christ.
John the Baptist not only said, "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Mat.3:2), but he also said, "... Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (Jn.1:29). John identified JESUS as the Offering made in OUR place! Before the Christ came, everyone who had come to God on HIS terms was saved on credit. They were forgiven on the basis of the future death of Christ on the cross. In the Old Testament God NEVER saved anyone by the Law. At the heart of the Mosaic system was the sacrificial system. They brought a lamb to God because the Law revealed that they were lawbreakers, that they were not obeying God, and that they needed to have a substitute to pay the penalty of their sins. The Law was given "... that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God" (Rom.3:19). My friend, you and I break God’s Law every day! We are sinners who desperately need a Saviour. We must believe God (1 Jn.5:10-13), accept what Jesus did on the cross for us, and receive Him as our Saviour BEFORE He comes as the Sovereign of this Universe when He will be your Judge.
Mark 13:11 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. (KJV)
But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak . . . lead to councils and courts, delivering them up to kings and rulers, to the civil magistrate, to be punished. Do not be anxious beforehand in a stressful way. Do not worry about an apology for yourselves, and your own innocence, and in defense of the Gospel.
Neither do ye premeditate . . . do not think ahead as to what to answer, for you know not what the accusations will be, and God will furnish you with a reply that shall be adapted to the occasion. Do not worry before your trial, for the Holy Spirit will help you (Mat.6:25; 10:17-20).
But whatsoever shall be given you in that hour . . . whatever you need at that time, shall be immediately be put into your minds and hearts.
That speak ye . . . freely and boldly, with no fear of men.
For it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost . . . this is a Promise from God, who CANNOT lie (Tit.1:2), that they would be motivated; and therefore their defenses recorded in the Acts of the Apostles are the words of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:4; 4:8,31, 6:10). There could be no more clear Promise that they would be under an unfailing guidance of the Holy Ghost, Who is God! They were not sufficient in themselves to make the important statements of religion which were required. God would give them power, and words which they would speak with a wisdom, boldness, force and skill, which NO other men have ever done, full proof that these illiterate fishermen were under the influence of the Holy Ghost. (Mat.10:19-20). Acts 6:10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. (KJV)
Apostles speak through the Holy Ghost: (Acts 4:8-14; 5:29-33; 6:10; 7:55-56; 26:2-11; 28:25; 2 Tim.4:17; 1 Pet.1:12; 2 Pet.1:21).
Holy Ghost IS God: (Mat.28:19; Jn.14:26; 15:26; 2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:2; 1 Jn.5:7)
Mark 13:12 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. (KJV)
Now the brother shall betray the brother to death . . . suggesting that brothers would give up in a treacherous manner his own brother to be put to death, because of his attachment to Jesus (Mic.7:6). Because of the hatred of the Gospel, brothers will overcome all the natural ties of brotherhood, and give up their own relatives to be burnt or crucified. Possibly nothing could more clearly show the awful evil of those times, as well as the natural opposition of the heart to faith in Christ.
And the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death . . . shocking and unnatural things. The Coming of Christ into the world divided mankind. It did NOT bring unity. When one person in a family accepts Christ and another family member does not, there is a division. I can verify this! 1 Cor.1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (KJV) . . . Luke 12:51-53 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: 52 For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. 53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. (KJV) . . . If there were there no evidence that this had been done, it could hardly be credible. The ties which bind brothers and sisters, and parents and children together are very strong, and it is hard to believe that division of feelings on religious subjects would make them forget they are related. Yet history assures us that this has been done. Since it is so, how awful it is with the evil that is in the human heart against faith in Christ Jesus! This terrible opposition to God and His Gospel, has induced, or can induce people to turn against the most close relationships, and deliver the best of friends to torture and death. To add to the horrors of this, those who were put to death in past persecution were tormented in the most awful ways that human minds could come up with. They were crucified; thrown into boiling oil; burnt at the stake; roasted slowly over coals; forced to drink melted lead; torn in pieces by beasts of prey; covered with pitch and burned to give light in the gardens of Nero.
As dreadful as this prediction was, it was fulfilled; and incredible as it seems, parents and children, and husbands and wives, were wicked enough to deliver up each other to these cruel modes of death because of unbelief of the Gospel. This is the utter opposition of the heart of man to the Gospel of Jesus Christ! That hostility will overcome the strong ties of natural affection, and will be satisfied with nothing less than to show its power. BEWARE!!! There can be NO slight opposition to the Gospel of God. Any opposition is too much opposition! This shows the sad corruption of human nature, its enmity to the Gospel of Christ, and the confirmed malice and hatred of Satan against Christ and His love and His Gospel and His people. (Mat.10:21). http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Books,%20Tracts%20&%20Preaching/Printed%20Books/FBOM/fbom-intro.htm
Mark 13:13 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. (KJV)
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake . . . this is for the most part directed to His apostles, for this was to be the lot of the apostles, that they would not only be ill-treated by others, but their close friends and relatives’ love would be turned to hatred towards them. They would be the result of the malice and wrath of men, or of the biggest part of the Jews, and all wicked men who refused to believe God and had rejected the Messiah. This hatred that they would be exposed to, would not be on account of any ill will to their persons; or because of any evil or immorality committed by them; but solely for the Name of Christ, in whom they believed, by whom they were called, of which they made a profession, and zealously preached His Gospel.
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved . . . there are millions who make a profession of faith and trust in Christ, despite the violent persecutions of wicked men. While many are deceived by the false teachers that shall arise; there will a few who stick it out (Mat.7:14). The same shall be saved . . . WHO is it who endures to the end? The Book of Revelation tells us that God will stop all the forces of nature and of evil while He seals a certain number of people (Rev.7). So WHO is it that is going to endure to the end (Mat.10:22)? It will be those whom He seals! The Good Shepherd . . . in all ages . . . will bring His sheep through to the end. When He starts with a hundred sheep, He will come through with a hundred sheep (Mat.18:12).
What about someone who was very active in the church and has backslidden into sin. Is he/she saved? I do not know, only Almighty God knows. We will have to wait to see what happens on Judgment Day!
Think about it this way: pigs will always in the end, wind up in the pigpen, and the prodigal sons will all find their way back to the Father's house (Lk.15). It is confusing to find a son in a pigpen and a pig in the Father's house. 2 Peter 2:22 . . . . . . and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. (KJV) . . . It is my opinion that there are many well washed sows (pigs) that are in the churches today . . . and too, that there are some sons (sheep) that are knee deep in a horrible sloppy pigpen somewhere. No matter how much a pig may scrub, in the end, he would never be able to stay in the Father's House. Sooner or later he would go back to the pigpen where he belonged. It is the same with the “son” . . . he might backslide, fall back into a sloppy, filthy pig pen, but he/she would NOT stay there! He would eventually go back to his Fathers house. "He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." Sometimes a son, a Christian, will get into a pigpen, but since he is a son, he will get out someday. WHY? Because he has a wonderful Shepherd. "The same shall be saved." I absolutely believe in “OSAS” . . . once saved, always saved . . . I do NOT mean that all these people who PROFESS to be “Christians” . . . but do not POSSESS Christ in their heart. These are deceivers, false prophets, hypocrites. But anyone who sincerely has believed God (1 Jn.5:10-13), and accepted God’s only begotten Son as their Saviour and Lord (Jn.3:16), IS saved (Jn.5:24). You cannot be sure, and neither can I . . . BUT God knows these people, these “sons” and these are the ones who shall endure to the end. The same shall be saved . . . if not with a temporal in this life, it shall be with an everlasting salvation. (Mat.10:22; 24:13).
The Last Sign, and the Time for Flight (Mark 13:14-20)
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: (KJV)
But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation . . . when the Roman army encompassed Jerusalem, it was an abomination to the Jews, and a sign of their destruction,.
Spoken of by Daniel the prophet . . . in Daniel. Daniel 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (KJV)
Standing where it ought not . . . I think that in the Great Tribulation, the devil’s Antichrist shall set up an image in the Temple (Rev.13:12-15), causing worship of Almighty God to cease. Whatever this abomination of desolation is, it shall be set up in the holy place of the Temple, which shall be an utter abomination to Almighty God.
Let him that readeth understand . . . either the Passage in Daniel, or the quote of it by Mark, when he shall see this come to pass. It may refer to the written prophecy in Daniel, and to the Gospel, which might be read before this event came to pass.
Then let them that be in Judea flee to the mountains . . . those who are in Jerusalem, or in any of the cities and towns of Judea, let them leave as soon as possible, to the mountains where they may be more safe from the destructions of the Roman army. This has to do with people who are in Judea. The Lord is giving that prophecy to those people, not to us. When this sign takes place, let them that are in the city of Jerusalem, get away. Those who are in any other parts of Judea, in any of the towns or cities, do not go to Jerusalem, thinking they may be safe there, in so strong and fortified a place, but let them flee elsewhere (Lk.2:21). It is observed, that many did flee about this time; and it is remarked by several interpreters, and which Josephus takes notice of with surprise, that Cestius Gallus having advanced with his army to Jerusalem, and plagued it, all of a sudden, without any cause, stopped the siege, and withdrew his army, when the city might have been easily taken. This has to mean that a signal was given and a chance given to the Christians, to make their escape: which they did, going over Jordan, as Eusebius says, to a place called Pella. Then when Titus came a few months later, there was not one Christian in the city, for they had fled, just as they are here bidden to . . .
Flee into the mountains . . . or any place of shelter and refuge. Destruction would not only visit the city, but would extend to the surrounding part of Judea. The mountains . . . in the mountains of Palestine, caves abound, a safe retreat for those pursued. All through the ages these caves were the favorite places of robbers; and were also resorted to by those in danger. In the mountains they would be safe. Caves: (Gen.19:30; 23:9,19; 25:9; 49:30; 50:13; Josh.10:16-18,22-23,27; Judg.6:2; 1 Sam.13:6; 22:1; 24:3; 2 Sam.23:13; 1 K.19:9; 1 Chron.11:15; Isa.2:19; Eze.33:27; Jn.11:38; Heb.11:38; Rev.6:16) (Mat.24:16).
This is the beginning of the Great Tribulation. The first three and a half years of it are relatively quiet; as it is the false peace of the Antichrist. Then, in the midst of the week, there shall appear this "abomination of desolation" spoken of by Daniel the prophet. It will stand where it should NOT be . . . in the Holy Place of the Temple! IF Mark had said to the Romans that the abomination of desolation would stand in the Holy Place, they would have said, "Where is that?" He says it will stand where it should not stand. That is more understandable to many of us too. We need to understand that the Holy Place was given only to the nation Israel. It was a specific place in the Temple on earth (Ex.26:33-34). The church has no Holy Place.
Abomination of desolation: (Dan.8:13; 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Mat.24:15; Mk.13:14; Rev.11:2; 13:12-15).
Whoso readeth, let him understand . . . there are some denominations that do not teach or preach from the Old Testament. How SAD! Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (KJV)
Three Reasons for Studying the Old Testament:
#1. To compare ideas (Rom.10:6-8).
#2. To show matching cases (Rom.2:24; 8:36; 9:27-29; 11:2-10; 15:21).
#3. To clarify a doctrinal point (Rom.1:17; 4:6-8,18-21; 9:20-21; 10:15; 15:3).
Whoever reads the prophecy of Daniel; will understand the meaning of it, WITH the Holy Spirit’s help . . . and will see and know for certain, how to escape the desolating judgment, unless he is given up to spiritual blindness and hardness of heart . . . which was the case of the vast majority of the Jews. My friends, let us pray for them, that they see the Truth.
Mark 13:15 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: (KJV)
And let him that is on the house top . . . housetops in Palestine are like our porch or patio. Remember that the Lord is speaking to the people in Palestine, not to you and me. Housetops were for both pleasure and for private meditation and prayer (Acts 10:9), for social conversation, and sometimes for public preaching (Mat.10:27). The warning here does not apply to us; for we do not spend our time on our housetops!
Not come down to take anything out of his house . . . I think this could mean that he who is on the housetop when this calamity strikes the city, should flee without delay . . . he should not even take time to take any clothing from his house, because so sudden would be the calamity, that any delay would endanger his life.
Not go down into the house . . . by way of the stairs, or ladder indoors.
Neither enter therein to take any thing out of his house . . . being come down from the house top by stairs, or a ladder which was usual, do not take anything along with him, that might be useful in his flight, and journey, and stay abroad. (Mat.24:17).
Mark 13:16 And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. (KJV)
And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment . . . this refers to people working in the fields. If a worker left his jacket at the end of the row when it got hot, and the word comes that the abomination of desolation has appeared, he is not to go back and get it, but to flee as quickly as possible. (Mat.24:18).
Mark 13:17 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! (KJV)
But woe to them that are with child . . . not that it would be a crime for them to be with child, or a judgment on them; for it was always counted a blessing to be fruitful, and bear children. This expresses the miserable circumstances these would be in, who, by reason of their heavy burdens, would not be able to go as quickly. This reveals the Lord’s great care and concern for mothers and little children. It will be a time when one should not have children.
And to them that give suck in those days . . . the mother’s love will not allow them to leave them their children behind, but the children will be a great hindrances to their speedy flight. So these mothers are worse off than that of men on the house top, or in the field, who could much more easily leave their goods and clothes, than their children, as well as they had more agility and strength to flee. (Mat.24:19).
Mark 13:18 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. (KJV)
And pray ye that your flight be not in winter . . . the destruction was coming. It could not be prevented. Yet it was right to pray for an easing of circumstances, that it might be as mild as possible. So too, we know that calamity is before us; sickness, pain, bereavement and death, are in our path; yet although we know that these things must come upon us, it is right to pray that they may come in as mild a manner as may be consistent with the will of God. We all must die; but it is good and right to pray that the pains of our dying may be neither long nor severe. In the winter . . . because of the cold, storms and wind. For these who are forced to take up residence in caves, would be much worse. Matthew adds: Neither on the sabbath day . . . journeys were prohibited by the law on the Sabbath (Ex.16:29). Remember that these are Jews who observe the Sabbath day, which is Saturday. This is yet another proof that Christ is speaking directly to the Jewish people. I do not observe the Sabbath, I observe the day of rest as Sunday because my Lord rose from the dead on that day. (Mat.24:20).
Mark 13:19 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. (KJV)
For in those days shall be affliction . . . Matthew words this verse a little differently: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. It means the same thing.
For in those days shall be affliction . . . this is urged as a reason for their speedy flight; since the calamity that would come upon those who would remain in the city, that through the sword, famine, pestilence, murders, robberies.
Such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be . . .the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah, the bondage of the children of Israel in Egypt, their captivity in Babylon, and all their distresses and afflictions in the times of the Maccabees, were nothing to be compared with the calamities which befell the Jews in the siege and destruction of Jerusalem. Great desolations have been made in the besieging and at the taking of many famous cities, as Troy, Babylon, Carthage but none of them are to be mentioned with the deplorable case of this city. Whoever reads Josephus' account will be fully convinced of this; and readily join with him, who was an eyewitness of it, when he says, that "never did any city suffer such things, nor was there ever any generation that more abounded in malice or wickedness.'' And all this came upon them for their impenitence and infidelity, and for their rejection and murdering of the Son of God; for as never any before, or since, committed the sin that they did, or ever will, so there never did or will, the same calamity befall a nation, as it did to them. The siege of the Romans, the fury of the fanatics and the rebellious rage of different parties among the Jews themselves; the ravage of the sword, both within and without, together with dreadful plagues and famines . . . Such as was not from the beginning of the creation, which God created, unto this time, neither shall be . . . the Great Tribulation shall be the worst devastation this Earth’s population has ever known. WHY? Because of God’s holy and righteous WRATH against sin!
Consider the following:
The Tribulation is a time period, yet to come, when the Lord will accomplish at least two phases of His plan:
#1. He will complete His punishment of the nation Israel. Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. (KJV) . . . Do you SEE what Almighty God shall do? See: http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_book_of_daniel.htm
#2. He will judge the unbelieving, godless inhabitants of the Earth (Revelation 6-18). The length of the Tribulation is seven years, determined by understanding the seventy weeks of Daniel (Dan.9:24-27). The Great Tribulation is the last half of the Tribulation period, three and one-half years in length. It is distinguished from the Tribulation period because the Beast, or Antichrist, will be revealed, and the wrath of God will greatly intensify at that time. I think it is important for us to understand that the Tribulation and the Great Tribulation are not one and the same. The Tribulation refers to the full seven-year period while the “Great Tribulation” refers to the second half of the Tribulation. It is Christ Jesus Himself who used the phrase "Great Tribulation" when referring to the last half of the Tribulation. (Mat.24:21).
Mark 13:20 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. (KJV)
And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved . . . those days of tribulation which began at the siege of Jerusalem, cannot refer to the times before it, and the shortening of them by it, which were very dreadful and appalling through the murders and robberies of the cut-throats and fanatics. This has to be after the siege began, which were very distressing to those that were within the city; and which if they had not been shortened, or if the siege had been lengthened out further, there should no flesh be saved. If the calamities of the siege would be lengthened, none of the nations would be preserved alive. All the inhabitants of Judea would perish. The war, famine, and pestilence would entirely destroy them.
But for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days . . . the elect here no doubt means Christians (Rom.1:7; Eph.1:4; 1 Thes.1:4; 1 Pet.1-2). The word elect means to choose. It is given to Christians because they are "chosen to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth" (2 Thes.2:13). It is very likely that in Jerusalem and the adjoining parts of Judea, there were many who were true believers of Christ. So, because of them, to keep them alive, and to make them the instruments of spreading the Gospel, the Lord said those days would not be lengthened out, nor to bring about their destruction. It is stated by Josephus, (Jewish Wars, book i. chap. 12, 1) that Titus at first resolved to reduce the city by famine, he therefore built a wall around it, to keep any provisions from being carried in, and any of the people from going out. The Jews, however, drew up their army near the walls, engaged in battle, and the Romans pursued them, provoked by their attempts, and broke into the city. The affairs of Rome also at that time demanded the presence of Titus there and, contrary to his original intention, he pressed the siege, and took the city by storm . . . thus shortening the time that it would have been occupied in reducing it by famine. This was for the benefit of the "elect." So the designs of wicked men, intended by them for the destruction of the people of God, are intended by God for the good of His chosen people. (Mat.24:22).
Other Warnings against False Christs (Mark 13:21-23)
Mark 13:21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: (KJV)
And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not . . . the Jews expected their Messiah to deliver them from Roman oppression. In the time of these great calamities they would anxiously look for Him. Many would claim to be the Messiah. Many would follow these deceivers. Many would rejoice in believing that He had come, and would call on others to follow them. Jesus says: Believe him not . . . the apostles had evidence that the Messiah had already come, and they are not to be deceived by the unlikely pretensions of others. Either at the time when the siege shall begin, and the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place; or during the days of tribulation, while the siege lasted; or after those days were shortened, and the city destroyed, and the Roman army was gone with their captives. The destruction of Jerusalem was an abominable desolation, but it was NOT the one of which Daniel spoke in Dan.9.27. It would have been impossible for Titus to have made a covenant with Israel after the Temple was destroyed, and then in the middle of the ‘week’ of that covenant (after 1260 days . . . about 3 years and 5½ months) to have put an end to sacrifice and offering. Because after the Temple was destroyed, there was NO sacrifice and offering to abolish since there was NO Temple.
The second reason Titus could not have been the “prince who is to come” is that Jesus prophesied that “the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel,” will happen after the Gospel has been preached to all nations, at the time of the end. Will it be preached by angels in the last days? (Rev.14:6-7).
Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. (KJV)
For false Christs and false prophets shall rise . . . false Christs are people claiming to be the Messiah. False prophets are people claiming to be the Prophet spoken of by Moses (Deut.18:15), or people pretending to declare the way of deliverance from the Romans, and calling the people to follow them (verse 6). As there did, both before and after the destruction of Jerusalem.
And shall show signs and wonders . . . make a big show of doing them, although they really did NOT do them, because they CANNOT! They simply gave themselves up to sorcery and magic. Much of this going on in today’s world. BEWARE!!!
To seduce, if it were possible, even the elect . . . the elect are those who were chosen in Christ, unto eternal life. It is a result to all those who truly believe in Him, and were persistent followers of Him. For TRUE believers, this was not possible . . . although such was the power of the deception of these false Christs and false prophets, that there really was an obvious danger of it, IF it were not for the power and grace of God. (Mat.24:24).
The elect are those who keep their faith in Christ, and who, even though they might be bewildered and distressed by the signs and wonders of the pretenders, could NOT be deceived into accepting false Christs. The believer in Jesus in all ages and in all countries have this advantage . . . NO pretender anywhere can present credentials equal to Jesus, nor give us reason for any confidence in them as we have in Jesus. A TRUE believer, one of the elect, has the Holy Spirit residing within them. The devil CANNOT deceive the Holy Spirit! (Jn.14:16-17; Rom.5:5; 8:9).
Please do not miss what the Lord He is saying here. The so-called ability to work miracles in our day should be looked upon with great suspicion, because the next great miracle worker will NOT be Christ; he will be Antichrist with his false prophet.
"If it were possible they shall deceive the very elect." WHO are the elect? In the Scriptures there are two elect groups: the elect of the nation Israel and the elect of the church. We have to use common sense to determine which group is meant. Who has our Lord been talking about up to this point? ISRAEL. So, Israel is the elect in this verse as well . . . I think it is the Christian Jews that Jesus is speaking to. Jesus is not talking about the church of today. But I do think there is something here for us today as well. We must remember that you can fool some of the people some of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time . . . BUT . . . you cannot fool God's children all of the time. It cannot be done.
Mark 13:23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. (KJV)
But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things . . . about the false Christs and false prophets, for although the purposes of God, concerning the salvation of His elect, cannot be frustrated. His Promises are to be trusted (Tit.1:2), His grace is effective and fascinating, and His power irrepressible. And although the salvation of His chosen ones is 100% certain; yet it pays them to be on guard against every deception and temptation, and to make use of all means available (faith, prayer) for their perseverance. (Mat.24:25).
Coming of the Son of Man (Mark 13:24-27)
Mark 13:24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, (KJV)
But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened . . . I do not think that the images used here are to be taken literally, but symbolically. They are often used by the sacred writers to mean any great calamities, such as the darkening of the sun and moon, and the falling of the stars would be an inexpressible calamity, so any great catastrophe, any overturning of kingdoms or cities, or dethroning of kings and princes, is represented by the darkening of the sun and moon, and by some terrible convulsion in the elements. The destruction of Babylon is foretold in similar terms (Isa.13:10); and of Tyre (Isa.24:23). The slaughter in Bozrah and Idumea is predicted in the same kind of language (Isa.34:4). Also see: (Isa.50:3; 60:19-20; Eze.32:7; Joel 2:30-31; 3:15; Amos 5:20; Acts 2:20; 2 Pet.3:10; Rev.6:12). Luke’s version to this description in Matthew is as follows: Luke 21:25-26 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; 26 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. (KJV) . . . Perplexity means doubt, anxiety; not knowing what to do to escape. Their fears would be so great that it would take away their courage and strength. So the Shekinah, or glory of the divine majesty was withdrawn, and all the symbols of the divine presence were gone, when the Temple was destroyed . . . and the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light. (Mat.24:29).
And the moon shall not give her light . . . this is also symbolic, and refers to the
ceremonial law; the moon, the Jewish church is said to have under her feet (Rev.12:1), so called because the observance of new moons was one part of it, and the Jewish festivals were regulated by the moon; and too, because like the moon, it was variable and changeable. When the Temple was destroyed, the daily sacrifice ceased, and so it has been ever since; the Jews regarded it unlawful to offer sacrifice in a strange land, or upon any other altar than that of Jerusalem; and are to this day without a sacrifice.
Matthew indicates the time of the Second Coming by the expression, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days; while Mark uses the words, "In those days;" while Luke has at this point no note of time. The two expressions used by Matthew and Mark are equal, and they are also indefinite. (Mat.24:29).
Mark 13:25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. (KJV)
And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken . . . the Jewish Rabbis and doctors, who fell away (apostatized) from the written Word of God, compiled their "Misna" or oral law, their book of traditions, and set it up ABOVE the Bible, like Catholics do today. The ordinances of the legal dispensation, which were shaken before, now were so shaken as to be removed. See: (Hag.2:6; Heb.12:26-27).
Stars symbolize great teachers of the church, apostles and evangelists (Rev.1:20). When the apostles were dethroned by the Roman apostasy, “the stars fell from heaven,” symbolically. Other stars, great church lights who apostatized, also fell from Heaven in another sense.
And the powers of the heavens shall be shaken . . . the falling of stars, those meteors which are called falling stars by the common people, was considered an omen of evil times. It is my understanding that all of the above things will literally take place at Christ's Second Coming to the Earth (Zec.14:1-5; Rev.19:11-21).
Mark 13:26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. (KJV)
And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory . . . I think this could refer more directly to His Coming at the last day, although I think it may also mean that the evidence of His Coming to destroy Jerusalem shall then be seen. In the clouds of Heaven . . . Christ Jesus ascended in a cloud (Acts 1:9), and He shall return in like manner (Acts 1:11). With great power . . . power, so obvious in the destruction of Jerusalem, by the wonders that preceded it, and by the devastation of the Temple and city. In the day of judgment, His Almighty power shall be SO obvious, by consuming the material world (2 Pet.3:7,10,12), by raising the dead (Jn.5:29-30; 1 Cor.15:52); by changing those who may be alive when He shall come (1 Thes.4:17; 1 Cor.15:52); by bringing the affairs of the world to a close, and receiving the righteous to Heaven (Mat.25:34; 1 Cor.15:57), and by sending the wicked, however numerous or however strong, to Hell (Mat.25:41,46; Mk.9:44,46,48-49; Lk.16:26; Jn.5:29; 2 Thes.1:8-9; Rev.14:10-11; 20:10,15; 21:8). Great glory. The word glory here means the visible display of His honor and majesty . . . Shekinah, see verse 24. This glory will be manifested by the manner of His Coming, and by the presence of the angels of God. And then shall they see the Son of man . . . at the destruction of Jerusalem, the sign or evidence of His Coming was found in the fulfillment of His predictions.
At the end of the world, the sign of His Coming will be His Personal appearance with the glory of His Father and the holy angels (1 Thes.4:16; Lk.21:27; Mat.25:31; 26:64; Acts 1:11). And, as Matthew says: All then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn . . . meaning all the tribes or people of the land of Judea shall mourn at the great calamities coming upon them at the destruction of Jerusalem, and/or all the nations of the world shall wail when He comes on Judgment Day or both! ALL the wicked shall mourn at the prospect of their doom (Rev.1:7). The cause of their wailing on Judgment Day shall mainly be that they have pierced, killed and rejected the Saviour, and that they deserve the condemnation that is coming to them (Jn.3:17-19; 19:37; Zec.12:10-12; Rev.1:7).
Mark 13:27 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. (KJV)
And then he shall send his angels, and shall gather together his elect . . . Matthew says: Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (KJV) . . . And he shall send his angels . . . angels are literally, messengers, (Lk.7:24; 9:52). The word is often applied to anything that God employs to rescue His people from danger (Ps.104:4). But angels usually refer to the race of creatures more exalted than man, who are often employed in the work of man's rescue from ruin, and his salvation (Heb.1:14). In either of these senses, it might here refer to deliverance granted to His people in the calamities of Jerusalem. But this seems to refer rather to the end of the age; and no doubt its principal application was intended to be to the gathering of His elect, on Judgment Day. Matthew adds: With a great sound of a trumpet . . . Jewish assemblies used to be called together by the sound of a trumpet (Lev.25:9; Num.10:2; Judg.3:27). When they spoke of calling together an assembly, they spoke also of doing it by sounding a trumpet. Our Saviour, speaking to Jews, used language to which they were accustomed, and described the assembling of the people at the last day in language which they were accustomed to use in calling assemblies together. It is not certain that He meant that this would be literally so, but only to indicate the certainty that the world would be assembled together. Similar language is often used, when speaking of the Rapture (1 Thes.4:16; 1 Cor.15:52).
And shall gather together his elect from the four winds . . . the angels shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other . . . the elect means Christians, the chosen of God. I think this means at the end of the age, but IF this refers to the destruction of Jerusalem, it means, God shall send forth His angels themselves; and gather Christians into a place of safety, so that they shall not be destroyed with the non-believing Jews. There is reason to believe that not one Christian perished in the destruction of that city, God having in various ways secured their escape, so that they fled to Pella, where they dwelt when the city was destroyed. IF this refers to the last judgment, as it doubtless in a primary or secondary sense does, then it means that He will send His angels to gather His chosen, His elect, together from ALL places (Mat.13:39-43). This shall be done before the living shall be changed (1 Cor.15:51-52; 1 Thes.4:16-17). From the four winds . . . that is, from the four quarters of the globe . . . east, west, north and south. The Jews expressed those quarters by the winds blowing from them. Four winds: (Job 1:19; Jer.49:36; Eze.37:9; Dan.7:2; 8:8; 11:4; Zec.2:6; Mat.24:31; Mk.13:27; Rev.7:1). From one end of heaven . . . (Mat.24:31). The expression means that they shall be gathered from all parts of the Earth where they are scattered. The word Heaven is here used to mean the visible heavens or the sky, meaning that through the whole world He would gather them. The elect spoken of in this verse is still the nation Israel. The prophets in the Old Testament foretold of a miracle that would bring the Jews back into their land. The Lord will come in Person to receive the church with the sound of a trumpet, and His voice will be like that of an archangel. He will not need any help to gather His church together. He died for the church, and He will bring it to Himself all on His own. When the Lord says that the "angels... shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other," we can be certain that He is talking about the nation Israel. Ministering angels have always been connected with Israel.
The expression, "from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven," is taken from the ancient conception of the Earth as a vast plain extending in length from east to west, and in width from north to south, and terminating where Earth and sky come together. From the utmost part of the earth, in one direction, to the remotest part of the sky where it touches the earth on the other, is the meaning of the expression. Matthew uses an equal expression, "from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
Parable of the Fig-tree (Mark 13:28-31)
Mark 13:28 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: (KJV)
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near . . . the Lord Jesus was now up on the Mount of Olives, in one part of where fig trees were very plentiful. Israel is a symbol, or comparison to the fig tree, which was a tree well known in Judea. Its putting forth its branches, leaves and fruit, was known by everyone there. When its branch is yet tender . . . you know that summer is near. I honestly cannot see how the fig tree could symbolize anything except the nation Israel. I think that the Lord is using the fig tree as a symbol of that land.
Fig tree, symbol of Israel: (Jer.24; Joel 1:7,12; Nah.3:12; Hos.9:10; Mat.21:19-20; 24:32; Mk.11:20-21; 13:28).
Mark 13:29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. (KJV)
So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors . . . when you see "these things" you will know that it (the destruction of Jerusalem) is nigh. The comparison is unclear until we determine what things are included in "these things," previously mentioned, and what is meant by the it which was to be near when "these things" had been seen. The last event of the series is the Coming of the Son of Man, and was accompanied by the darkening of the heavenly bodies, and the gathering together of the saints. This event, then, was to be near when the others had been seen. In the same way, when they see what Jesus had predicted, the signs around Jerusalem, then they would know that its destruction is at hand. It is my belief, that we should keep our eyes on the fig tree. She is the main viewpoint in these the last days. Keep your eyes on Israel.
Know that it is nigh, even at the doors . . . meaning that the Son of Man’s Coming is near, even at the doors; and so the fig tree putting forth its leaves, is a sign that summer is not only near, but is already come, for the Scripture divides the whole year only into just two parts, summer and winter. Summer and winter: (Gen.8:22; Ps.74:17; Isa.18:6; Amos 3:15; Zec.14:8). Jesus says that these calamities and desolations on the Jews, were a sign that the Son of Man was coming, was in the gates, displaying His power and His glory. The redemption and deliverance of the people of God was at hand, from the persecutions of the Jews; for until the destruction of Jerusalem, the persecutions of the Christians was mainly from the Jews. The Kingdom of God, or a more enlarged state of the Gospel dispensation was near; the winter of the legal dispensation (Law) was over, the summer of the Gospel dispensation was come, through the preaching of John the Baptist, Christ and His apostles. The general spread of the Gospel now went all over the Gentile world. The Second Coming of Christ, will be a summer of joy and comfort to all the saints. They will enjoy full redemption and salvation . . . the winter of sorrows, afflictions, and persecutions, coldness, darkness and desertion, will be over. The sun shall no more go down, nor the moon withdraw itself (Isa.60:20), for the Lord will be the Everlasting Light of His people (Rev.21:23). The meaning of this parable is also in the parallel in Matthew 24:32-51. The nation Israel is God's timepiece.
Mark 13:30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. (KJV)
Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done . . . this quote of Jesus about the end times is found in Mat.24:34; Mk.13:30; Lk.21:32. The key to understanding what Jesus means is the context . . . we must understand the verses that surround this one, especially the verses right before it. In Mat.24:4-31, Jesus speaks of FUTURE events. The generation of people living when those events occur is the generation that Jesus speaks of "not passing" until He returns. Jesus had already told those living during His earthly ministry that the Kingdom had been taken from them (Mat.21:43). It seems that Matthew 24-25 should be seen as speaking of a FUTURE time. I think that the word “generation” refers to the people alive in the future when the events of Matthew 24-25 will occur. Basically, Jesus is saying that, once the events of the end times begin, they all will happen quickly. This idea is echoed in other Scriptures (Mat.24:22; Mk.13:20; Rev.3:11; 22:7,12,20).
The Jews shall NOT stop being a separate people, until all the advice and warnings of God relative to them and the Gentiles is fulfilled. Some translate this generation, to mean the persons who were then living, that they would not die before these signs took place . . . but although this was true as to the calamities that fell upon the Jews, and the destruction of their city, government and Temple, yet the Lord Jesus mentions Jerusalem's continuing to be under the power of the Gentiles until the fullness of the Gentiles should come in (Lk.21:24), until ALL the nations of the world would receive the Gospel of Christ, after which the Jews themselves would finally be turned to God and saved (Rom.11:26). The meaning here by these people is to consider the few years which preceded the destruction of Jerusalem, understanding that the care taken by God’s Divine plan to preserve the Jews as a distinct (separate) people, and yet He keeps them out of their own land, and from their Temple service. The apostle John probably lived to see these things come to pass (Mat.16:28; Jn.21:22).
The war began, as Josephus says, Ant.b.xx.c.11.s.1, in the second year of the government of Gessius Florus, who succeeded Albinus, successor of Porcius Festus, mentioned in Acts 24:27, in the month of May, in the twelfth year of Nero, and the seventeenth of Agrippa, mentioned in Acts 25 & 26, that is, in May, A.D. 66.
The Temple was burnt August 10, A.D. 70, the same day and month on which it had been burnt by the king of Babylon: Josephus, Ant.b.xx.c.11.s.8. The city was taken September 8, in the second year of the reign of Vespasian, or the year of Christ 70. Ant. b. vi. c. 10.
That was the end of the siege of Jerusalem, which began, as Josephus several times observes, about the fourteenth day of the month Nisan, or our April. See: War, b.v.c.3.s.1, c.13.s.7; b.vi.c.9.s.3. Another remark: There is also an ancient inscription to the honor of Titus, "who, by his father's directions and counsels, had subdued the Jewish nation and destroyed Jerusalem, which had never been destroyed by any generals, kings, or people, before."
Till all these things were fulfilled . . . Matthew 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. (KJV) . . . Which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom . . . there are several thoughts on this statement. #1. Because all the disciples died before Christ's Return, many believe that Jesus' Words were fulfilled at the Transfiguration when Peter, James and John saw His glory (Mat.17:1-3). #2. Others say this statement refers to the Resurrection (Mat.28; Mk.16; Lk.24; Jn.20) and Ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:9-11). #3. Still others believe that the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and the beginning of Christ's church fulfilled Jesus' Words. In any of the above, there were certain apostles and most likely, some of the people that were eyewitnesses to the power and glory of Christ's Kingdom. I must go along with #1. I think that this verse belongs with Matthew chapter 17 because the account of the transfiguration of Jesus explains what He meant when He made this statement.
A TRUE disciple of Christ is one that follows Jesus in loving duty, and shall follow Him to glory. A TRUE disciple is one that walks the same way that Christ Jesus walked, being led by His Spirit (Rom.8:9), and walks in His steps, and walks where ever He leads us. A TRUE disciple denies self, which is a most difficult lesson indeed, but IF we desire to imitate out Lord and Master, we must do what He did, and Jesus certainly did deny self! We are to take up our cross, meaning the troubles that befalls us. Each of us have our own particular cross, we are not to think that we could bear another's cross better than our own. Our cross has been selected for us, and we must make the best of it. We are NEVER alone in carrying this cross! He is always just a prayer away! We must always remember this.
If we will take on the Name and credit of a disciple of Christ Jesus (Christian), we must follow Christ in the work and duty of a disciple, IF we are to be worthy of Him. We must remember that all worldly things are WORTHLESS when compared with eternal life, so we must cast off all lusts of the body. Thousands upon thousands lose their souls for the smallest gain or the most worthless indulgence, and worse, often from mere laziness and negligence. Consider this: Whatever it is that men forsake Christ for that is the price for which Satan buys their souls. My dear friend, one lone soul is worth more than all the world has to offer! Christ Jesus knew the price of souls, for it is He that redeemed them. Christ would never underrate the world, for He made it. Christ, Creator: (Jn. 1:3,10; Gen.1:1,26; Ps.33:6; 102:25; Isa.45:12,18; Eph.3:9; Col.1:16-17; Heb. 1:2-3,10-12; 3:3-4; Rev.4:11). .
The dying transgressor CANNOT purchase one hour's delay to seek mercy for his perishing soul. Let us be aware of the value of our souls, and know that Christ and Christ alone is the only Saviour of them.
1 John 2:16-17 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (KJV)
Men of the world scheme and plan generation after generation, but they do NOT consider the approaching, non-stoppable, overwhelming and most certain event of Christ's Second Coming, which shall do away with EVERY human scheme, and set aside FOREVER all that God forbids. Judgment will be a very surprising a day, like the Flood was to the old world. We must first apply this to temporal judgments, especially that which was then speeding upon the nation and people of the Jews. BUT, what about eternal judgment? What was the state of the old world when the Flood came? They thought that they were secure and they were careless (Gen.6:5). They knew not, until the Flood came; and they believed not. Do people today realize that all earthly things must shortly pass away? We should NOT set our eyes and hearts so much upon them as we do. Judgment Day is NOT further off just because people dismiss it from their minds! What words can more strongly describe the suddenness of our Saviour's Coming! The next scheduled event on God’s calendar is the Rapture. We do NOT know when it shall be! We must WATCH! (Mat.24:42-43; 25:13; Mk.13:33-35,37; Lk.21:36). Men will be at their respective businesses, and suddenly the Lord of glory will appear in the sky. Women will be doing their work, but when He appears, every work will be laid aside. One shall be taken, another left behind. Are you prepared to meet Him? Are you ready to stand before him? What is this Judgment Day to the wicked world? To those left behind? It means these must go through the Great Tribulation period (Rev.6-18). Have you ever considered this fact?
So many interpretations on "this generation". It could refer to the nation of Israel, teaching the indestructibility of this people. Or "this generation" could refer to a generation of people and their total life span. In that case it would mean that those who saw the beginning of these events would also see the conclusion of them. Or "this generation" could refer to the people living when all these things takes place in the future. The meaning would then be: "The generation on Earth when these things begin to take place will still be on earth when they are all completed; all these things will take place within the span of one generation."
More on generations:
The generation of Israelites that left Egypt did not survive to enter Canaan; it died out in the wilderness . . . all the adults except Joshua and Caleb (Num.26:65; 32:12). WHY? Because it refused to accept the Word of God communicated through Moses. Therefore it is called "this evil generation" (Deut.1:35), and "a warped and crooked generation" (Duet.32:5). Likewise the generation to which Jesus ministered is to called "a wicked generation" (Lk.11:29), and "this adulterous and sinful generation" (Mk.8:38), because of its unbelief and unresponsiveness. "The men of Nineveh," said Jesus, "will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here" (Lk.11:32). The hopeless record of its predecessors would fall on it "Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all" (Lk.11:51). The phrase "this generation" is found far too often on Jesus' lips in this literal sense for us to suppose that it all of a sudden takes on a different meaning in the saying which we are now exploring.
Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. (KJV)
Heaven and earth shall pass away . . . the strongest possible expression of the divine authority by which He spoke; not as Moses or Paul might have said of their own inspiration, for such language would be unsuitable in any merely human mouth, whereas anything said by Christ shows the certainty and irreversibleness of His predictions, as it follows:
But my words shall not pass away . . . which is true of ALL the Words Christ ever spoke, and here especially relates to those He had just delivered, concerning all the calamities that should come upon the Jewish nation. (Mat.24:35). Isaiah 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. (KJV)
Mark 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. (KJV)
But of that day, and of that hour . . . of Jerusalem's destruction, for that is what Christ Jesus been speaking. His Words relate to what was said before.
Knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven . . . the statement that no man knoweth of that day, "no, not the angels which are in heaven," is not to be understood as implying that angels have some foreknowledge; for they do NOT.
Neither the Son . . . the declaration that the Son knows it not, is much more surprising, but we must accept it as true, for God cannot lie (Tit.1:2). It simply reveals that it was one of the limitations which Jesus assumed in becoming the Son of man, and was a limitation of His foreknowledge. He knew MUCH, for He predicted much, every detail in reference to His Second Coming . . . EXCEPT the time it will take place.
This very remarkable statement regarding "the Son" is peculiar to Mark. Whether it means that the Son was not at that time in possession of the knowledge referred to, or simply that it was not among the things which He had received to communicate . . . has been a matter of much controversy even among the most firm believers, in the proper Divinity of Christ.
Christ Jesus, as the Son of man knew it NOT . . . although He DID know it as the Son of God, who knows all things. So, from His human nature He had no knowledge of any thing future. Any knowledge He had of future things in his humanity, He had from His deity.
But the Father . . . who has the times and seasons in His own power, for the executing of any particular judgment on a nation. (Mat.24:36). But my Father only . . . to the exclusion of all creatures, angels and men; but NOT to the exclusion of Christ as God, who, as such, is omniscient; nor of the Holy Spirit, who is acquainted with the deep things of God (1 Cor.2:10), the secrets of His Heart (1 Cor.14:25). This has to be understood of Christ as the Son of Man, and NOT Christ as the Son of God; for as such, He lay in the bosom of the Father (Jn.1:18), and knew ALL His purposes and designs.
Mark 13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. (KJV)
Take ye heed, watch and pray . . . this seems to be the principal reason why the day and hour of Jerusalem's destruction, although known by the Father, was not made known to any man, nor to the angels, nor to the Son of Man in the days of His flesh, nor by Him when on Earth; that His people might be on guard, against false Christs and false prophets, and their deception; and watch unto prayer, lest they fall into temptation, and that day should come upon them unawares.
For ye know not when the time is . . . the exact and precise time: for although the people of God had notice of it, and knew it was at hand, and did make their escape out of Jerusalem. But the unbelieving Jews were blinded, and in the dark about it to the very last. So it shall be with the Rapture of the church (1 Thes.4:13-18). (Mat.24:42).
Parable Of The Man On A Trip (13:34-37)
Mark 13:34 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. (KJV)
For the son of man is as a man taking a far journey . . . WHO is the MAN? It is Jesus. The example so far is similar to that in the opening part of the parable of the talents (Mat.25:14-15).
Who left his house . . . and his goods in it, to the care and management of others during his absence.
And gave authority to his servants . . . to govern his house, and exercise power one over another, according to their different stations. His servants . . . that is, those that He judged to be worthy of such a trust. These represent the apostles, Christian ministers and ALL professing Christians.
And to every man his work . . . which he was to do, while he was gone, and to give him an account of when he returned. They were to take care that His house was not broken open by thieves, and plundered of the substance that was in it. So too Christ, when He ascended on high, went to Heaven, the land afar off; left his house, his church, particularly in Judea, and at Jerusalem, to the care of His apostles, and gave authority to them to govern it, according to the laws, rules and directions arranged by Him. Each man was assigned his particular work, for which He gave him proper gifts and abilities.
And commanded the porter to watch . . . and He ordered the porter to be on watch, not Peter only, but all the apostles and ministers, whose business it is to watch over themselves, and the souls of men committed to their care.
The plan of this parable is to teach that those who improve their talents or ability in the cause of Christ, who improve them to their own salvation and in doing good to others shall be rightfully rewarded . . . BUT, all those who neglect their talents, and who neither secure their own salvation nor do good to others, shall be punished.
There is a universal application to all mankind. From the time of the Creation of mankind, each individual has been entrusted with resources of time and material wealth. Everything we have comes from God and everything we have belongs to Him. We are entrusted with certain things in our lives, and we are responsible for using those resources so that they increase in value. And as Christians, we have in addition the most valuable resource of all . . . the Word of God. If we believe and understand Him, and apply His Word as good stewards, we are a blessing to others and the value of what we do multiplies. We are accountable to the Lord for the use of His resources.
I think the going into a far country represents the Lord Jesus going into Heaven. He has given to all of us, talents to improve. His goods . . . His property representing the offices, abilities, and opportunities for doing good, which He has given to His professed followers. The Parable of the Talents in Matthew impresses on them the weight of that responsibility and the serious consequences of neglecting to understand and apply His instructions. There is also a message of warning to all mankind, be they Jews or Gentiles.
Mark 13:35 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: (KJV)
Watch ye therefore . . . against false Christs, and false prophets; over yourselves, and the whole church; for the words are particularly addressed to the apostles of Christ.
For ye know not when the master of the house cometh . . . when Christ, of whom the whole family in Heaven and in Earth is named, who is a Son in His own house, is a High Priest over the house of God, and Lord of His church and people, whom He has purchased with His precious Blood (1 Pet.1:18-19), and provides for with His grace (2 Cor.12:9), and by His Spirit (Jn.14:16), when He will come and bring His wrath upon the unbelieving to the uttermost.
At even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning . . . this agrees with the division of the night among the Jews, who speak of the first watch, the middle of the night, the cock crowing, and morning, as different from each other.
The Romans also divided the night in like manner, into evening, the dead of the night, or midnight, cock crowing, and the morning. The reference seems to be to the time of the president of the Temple's coming into it, who managed the affairs of it, and appointed to each priest his work.
Mark 13:36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. (KJV)
Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping . . . unexpected, unaware, lazy in the exercise of grace, and negligent in the performance of duty; unprepared for His coming, and unfit for His service. The parabolic language is still kept up. As the apostles were to occupy a position in the church, was more like that of the porter in the supposed house, He tells them to keep watch all through the night, lest at any hour He should come and find them asleep.
Do you think for us that watching, means to stand with folded hands looking into the sky for the coming of Jesus? Absolutely NOT! We are to be diligently engaged, each of us about the work given to us to do.
I believe that this not only applied to the Jews to keep watch for the signs of the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, but also for us today in watching for the Coming of the Lord Jesus in the clouds, at the Rapture, to remove the church, before the Tribulation period.
1 Thes. 4:13-18 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (KJV)
We must keep careful watch as to how we live, for we do NOT know when He will come in the clouds to takes us home. Pay attention to your words, your actions and your obedience to the Lord. When He comes, you do not want Him to find you in a place He would be ashamed of.
Mark 13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. (KJV)
And what I say unto you . . . the four disciples, Peter, James, John, and Andrew, who came privately to Him, and ask questions of Him, which was what caused this long sermon (Mk.13:3-4).
I say unto all . . . meaning all the rest of His apostles, and all His disciples and followers in Jerusalem and in all Judea; who were all concerned about these things.
Watch . . . be on guard, cast off all laziness and negligence, because they knew not how soon the Son of Man would come, and all these evil things would be brought upon the Jewish nation, city and Temple.
As I said above, this same advice is suitable to saints in all ages, times, and places, because of the various snares, temptations and evils, that they are liable to, the suddenness of death, and the uncertainty of the Second Coming of Christ, which begins with the Rapture of the church.
This parable concludes Mark's account of the Olivet Discourse. Jesus applied this parable to Himself in relationship to His Second Coming. There is a responsibility of God's people in view of the fact that Jesus will absolutely demand a report at His return. Besides praying and watching is the fact we must be working for the cause of Christ. This instruction is for you and me today also. We can watch in anxiety, or we can watch in fear. But the TRUE child of God is to be watching, looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing. We must watch in joyful anticipation. Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; (KJV)
Gospel of Mark
ch.1 . . ch.2 . . ch.3 . . ch.4 . . ch.5 . . ch.6 . . ch.7 . . ch.8 . . ch.9. . ch.10 . . ch.11 . . ch.12 . .ch.13 . . ch.14 . . ch.15 . . ch.16