Chapter 10 Desire of Ages — Chapter 78

The Church “Then”. . . . . .and the Church Now

by Terry S. Ross

DA 741: “ ‘And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him. ’”

Who are the “they” in this quotation? Christ died for us all because we need a saviour but the Ancient Adventist Church should not have been the ones to murder Him.

DA 742: “The crowd that followed the Saviour saw His weak and staggering steps, but they manifested no compassion. They taunted and reviled Him because He could not carry the heavy cross. Again the burden was laid upon Him, and again He fell fainting to the ground. His persecutors saw that it was impossible for Him to carry His burden farther. They were puzzled to find any one who would bear the humiliating load. The Jews themselves could not do this, because the defilement would prevent them from keeping the Passover. None even of the mob that followed Him would stoop to bear the cross.”

No one who refuses to bear the humiliating load of Christ’s cross will share in the glory of Christ’s crown. Even though the “church” was literally killing the Son of God, they would continue business as usual and looked forward to keeping the Passover which represented the very Person whom they were killing! They had become so blind that they couldn’t recognize the Truth even when it was actually right before them! Do not be fooled into believing that something like this could not happen in the Seventh- day Adventist “Church.” It not only can happen, it has happened, and is happening for the last time right now.

DA 742- 43: “Not a few women are in the crowd that follow the Uncondemned to His cruel death. Their attention is fixed upon Jesus. Some of them have seen Him before. Some have carried to Him their sick and suffering ones. Some have themselves been healed. The story of the scenes that have taken place is related. They wonder at the hatred of the crowd toward Him for whom their own hearts are melting and ready to break. And notwithstanding the action of the maddened throng, and the angry words of the priests and rulers, these women give expression to their sympathy. As Jesus falls fainting beneath the cross, they break forth into mournful wailing.

“This was the only thing that attracted Christ’s attention. Although full of suffering, while bearing the sins of the world, He was not indifferent to the expression of grief. He looked upon these women with tender compassion. They were not believers in Him; He knew that they were not lamenting Him as one sent from God, but were moved by feelings of human pity. He did not despise their sympathy, but it awakened in His heart a deeper sympathy for them. ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, ’ He said, ‘weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. ’ From the scene before Him, Christ looked forward to the time of Jerusalem’s destruction. In that terrible scene, many of those who were now weeping for Him, were to perish with their children.”

Even these non- believing women are amazed at the hatred that the Conference Leadership has toward Christ! But Jesus tells them that they should be weeping for themselves. Why? He was looking forward and He knew that most of the people in the crowd would continue to be influenced by the apostate conference men who would continue to say “The ship is going through.” They, in turn, would continue to believe this and would be destroyed with that particular ship because it, in truth, was not the ship that was going through.

DA 743: “From the fall of Jerusalem the thoughts of Jesus passed to a wider judgment. IN THE DESTRUCTION OF THE IMPENITENT CITY HE SAW A SYMBOL OF THE FINAL DESTRUCTION TO COME UPON THE WORLD. He said, ‘Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry? ’ By the green tree, Jesus represented Himself, the innocent Redeemer. God suffered His wrath against transgression to fall on His beloved Son. Jesus was to be crucified for the sins of men. WHAT SUFFERING, THEN, WOULD THE SINNER BEAR WHO CONTINUED IN SIN? ALL THE IMPENITENT AND UNBELIEVING WOULD KNOW A SORROW AND MISERY THAT LANGUAGE WOULD FAIL TO EXPRESS.”

If Jerusalem is a symbol of the bigger destruction of the world, what then can we learn? Who made up the populace of that city? The headquarters of the “church” was also the headquarters of Rome in that part of the country. We will find in the near future that the headquarters of modern Rome will be located not too far from the Adventist structure’s headquarters. As they worked hand in hand for the destruction of Christ, in the future they will work hand in hand for the destruction of God’s last day people. This may be difficult to believe but not any more difficult than two thousand years ago. Only those who took God (Jesus) at His Word escaped the destruction of Jerusalem. We can expect that a similar group of believers that will escape the destruction to come, as it surely will.

Leaders who teach their congregations that they can continue in sin and cannot stop sinning either knowingly or unknowingly are leading these people to eternal damnation. If we truly love others, the exposure of this deadly heresy must take place and be openly challenged. People must be given the opportunity to know the truth to stop listening to the lies of these agents of Satan.

DA 743: “Of the multitude that followed the Saviour to Calvary, many had attended Him with joyful hosannas and the waving of palm branches, as He rode triumphantly into Jerusalem. But not a few who had then shouted His praise because it was popular to do so, now swelled the cry of ‘Crucify Him! crucify Him! ’ When Christ rode into Jerusalem, the hopes of the disciples had been raised to the highest pitch. They had pressed close about their Master, feeling that it was a high honor to be connected with Him. Now in His humiliation they followed Him at a distance. They were filled with grief, and bowed down with disappointed hopes. How were the words of Jesus verified: ‘All ye shall be offended because of Me this night; for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. ’ (Matt. 26: 31).”

To follow Christ for political reasons because it’s popular to do so or for any other reason than from conviction based on a love for God and His truth, will prove to be fatal! Every single person whose motivation and actions fall below the standard WILL betray, forsake, and be lost!

DA 744: “The Saviour made no murmur of complaint. His face remained calm and serene, but great drops of sweat stood upon His brow. There was no pitying hand to wipe the death- dew from His face, nor words of sympathy and unchanging fidelity to stay His human heart. While the soldiers were doing their fearful work, Jesus prayed for His enemies, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. ’ His mind passed from His own suffering to the sin of His persecutors, and the terrible retribution that would be theirs. No curses were called down upon the soldiers who were handling Him so roughly. No vengeance was invoked upon the priests and rulers, who were gloating over the accomplishment of their purpose. Christ pitied them in their ignorance and guilt. He breathed only a plea for their forgiveness, — ‘for they know not what they do. ’”

Here Jesus wonderfully demonstrates the balance of warfare and welfare. While He had exposed His enemies and denounced them with scathing rebukes, He had no human feelings of vengeance toward them, but only pity. He would have gladly forgiven them if they had repented; He had no pleasure in the thoughts of their future destruction. Today, although we are to do the same work, we can be guilty of murder ourselves if we enjoy the destruction of our enemies. We must do what we do for the purposes of salvation, not for the purpose of destruction. Jesus had the perfect balance of “not blind, nor bitter.”

DA 744- 45: “Had they known that they were putting to torture One who had come to save the sinful race from eternal ruin, they would have been seized with remorse and horror. BUT THEIR IGNORANCE DID NOT REMOVE THEIR GUILT; for it was their privilege to know and accept Jesus as their Saviour. Some of them would yet see their sin, and repent, and be converted. Some by their impenitence would make it an impossibility for the prayer of Christ to be answered for them. Yet just the same God’s purpose was reaching its fulfillment. Jesus was earning the right to become the advocate of men in the Father’s presence.

“That prayer of Christ for His enemies embraced the world. It took in every sinner that had lived or should live, from the beginning of the world to the end of time. Upon all rests the guilt of crucifying the Son of God. To all, forgiveness is freely offered. ‘Whosoever will’ may have peace with God, and inherit eternal life.”

Here is yet another description of the modern Adventist “Church.” No one has greater opportunity to learn about Jesus and His truth than those in the Adventist movement. The majority are ignorant of the weightier matters, but willfully so. Their ignorance will not be valid during the judgement period, but it does explain why they do what they do. Some, during this time of ongoing education, will see the truth, repent and be converted. Others (the majority) because of stubbornness, willful blindness, wanting to be popular, and love for cherished idols will refuse to be converted. This group is the reason why God inspired Sister White to write that we have more to fear from within than without.

DA 745: “Pilate then wrote an inscription in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, and placed it upon the cross, above the head of Jesus. It read, ‘Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews. ’ This inscription irritated the Jews. In Pilate’s court they had cried, ‘Crucify Him! ’ ‘We have no king but Caesar. ’ (John 19: 15.) They had declared that whoever should acknowledge any other king was a traitor. Pilate wrote out the sentiment they had expressed. NO OFFENSE WAS MENTIONED, EXCEPT THAT JESUS WAS THE KING OF THE JEWS. THE INSCRIPTION WAS A VIRTUAL ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE ALLEGIANCE OF THE JEWS TO THE ROMAN POWER. IT DECLARED THAT WHOEVER MIGHT CLAIM TO BE THE KING OF ISRAEL, WOULD BE JUDGED BY THEM WORTHY OF DEATH. The priests had overreached themselves. When they were plotting the death of Christ, Caiaphas had declared it expedient that one man should die to save the nation. Now their hypocrisy was revealed. In order to destroy Christ, they had been ready to sacrifice even their national existence.”

You will notice that the only offense charged to Jesus was, in fact, the truth. You will also notice that the Jews’ (Ancient Adventists who were in apostasy) allegiance was with Rome and not God. To declare that the truth of Christ was above the traditions of Rome meant sure death. In the not too distant future, the true and faithful who will stand for God’s Word and declare that the traditions of Rome are not valid will face the death decree. Until it’s forever too late, the other group who declares that the traditions of Rome are above God’s Word will also face the death decree. It is up to you to decide which death decree you want to face.

DA 746- 49: “And Satan with his angels, in human form, was present at the cross. The archfiend and his hosts were co- operating with the priests and rulers. The teachers of the people had stimulated the ignorant mob to pronounce judgment against One upon whom many of them had never looked, until urged to bear testimony against Him. Priests, rulers, Pharisees, and the hardened rabble were confederated together in a Satanic frenzy. Religious rulers united with Satan and his angels. They were doing his bidding.”

Just as Jesus was completing the first phase of the plan of salvation, Satan and his angels, in human form, appeared to deceive all who could be deceived. The same deception will take place just as Jesus is bringing the final phase of salvation to a close. We are told in Revelation and the book Great Controversy that Satan will appear as an angel of light to deceive the nations.

Most Adventists I’ve met realize that Satan will personate Christ in order to deceive, but I have met very few Adventists who understand that Satan will not come alone. Did you realize that he will bring the apostles with him? Let’s read it here in Great Controversy page 557: “The apostles, as personated by these lying spirits, are made to contradict what they wrote at the dictation of the Holy Spirit when on earth.” Maybe you can better understand that unless we have the mind of Christ, which can only be obtained by following Him all the way, this deception to come will be overpowering. Only those who are fully connected with Christ will make it through this time. The preparation time which we are now enjoying is quickly disappearing and we had better be paying attention.

DA 749: “In their mockery of the Saviour, the men who professed to be the expounders of prophecy were repeating the very words which inspiration had foretold they would utter upon this occasion. Yet in their blindness they did not see that they were fulfilling the prophecy.”

This same blindness is even now being repeated. This prophecy is having its fulfillment in our day. In their blindness, the leaders are preaching toward their own doom and fulfilling the prophecy of their own destruction.

DA 753: “Upon Christ as our substitute and surety was laid the iniquity of us all. He was counted a transgressor, that He might redeem us from the condemnation of the law. The guilt of every descendant of Adam was pressing upon His heart. The wrath of God against sin, the terrible manifestation of His displeasure because of iniquity, filled the soul of His Son with consternation. All His life Christ had been publishing to a fallen world the good news of the Father’s mercy and pardoning love. Salvation for the chief of sinners was His theme. But now with the terrible weight of guilt He bears, He cannot see the Father’s reconciling face. The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour in this hour of supreme anguish pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man. So great was this agony that His physical pain was hardly felt.

“SATAN WITH HIS FIERCE TEMPTATIONS WRUNG THE HEART OF JESUS. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God, that their separation was to be eternal. CHRIST FELT THE ANGUISH WHICH THE SINNER WILL FEEL WHEN MERCY SHALL NO LONGER PLEAD FOR THE GUILTY RACE. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.”

Every soul who takes a stand for Jesus in these last days will have to go through a similar experience in their own sphere which He had to go through. But especially will the 144,000 understand by experience what price Jesus paid for our salvation. During the time of trouble after probation closes, this group will feel a similar anguish of soul that wrung the heart of their Saviour. This will be a terrible ordeal but in the end it will separate this group from any other in the entire universe. Theirs will be an elevated experience known only to them and their Lord.

On the other side of the coin, those who choose apostasy instead of Christ will feel a deepened terror that was only felt by those who killed Christ. There will not be another group of human beings who share in this same terror. To make a profession of Adventism and turn from what it really means (especially for the leadership) is serious business. Oh, Brothers and Sisters, we do not want to be a part of this “church!” To one day face the reality of this truth and know that eternity was in the palms of our hands, yet be forever lost! The terror will be indescribable. Let us choose rather to place our feeble selves in the hands of a caring Father for He will see us through the trouble ahead. I have always said that no one will escape persecution in the end anyway. A small group will be persecuted by man and Satan. The larger group will be persecuted by God. Let us choose the right group in which to be persecuted.

DA 756: “In silence the beholders watched for the end of the fearful scene. The sun shone forth; but the cross was still enveloped in darkness. Priests and rulers looked toward Jerusalem; and lo, the dense cloud had settled over the city, and the plains of Judea. The Sun of Righteousness, the Light of the world, was withdrawing His beams from the once favored city of Jerusalem. The fierce lightnings of God’s wrath were directed against the fated city.”

Jesus Christ Who had raised up Jerusalem with His own power had the power to reject it. According to this history, the fierce lightnings of God’s wrath will be directed against the apostate people of Jerusalem — Apostate Adventists.

DA 756: “Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father’s acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father’s favor was withdrawn. BY FAITH, CHRIST WAS VICTOR.”

All immediate evidence suggested that the Heavenly Father had forsaken His Son, but Christ’s personal life experience with God had developed the faith that was victorious over all the assaults of Satan. This faith, the faith OF Jesus Christ, identifies His true people who ARE HIS TRUE CHURCH.

DA 756- 57: “Never before had the earth witnessed such a scene. The multitude stood paralyzed, and with bated breath gazed upon the Saviour. Again darkness settled upon the earth, and a hoarse rumbling, like heavy thunder, was heard. There was a violent earthquake. The people were shaken together in heaps. The wildest confusion and consternation ensued. In the surrounding mountains, rocks were rent asunder, and went crashing down into the plains. Sepulchers were broken open, and the dead were cast out of their tombs. Creation seemed to be shivering to atoms. Priests, rulers, soldiers, executioners, and people, mute with terror, lay prostrate upon the ground.

“When the loud cry, ‘It is finished, ’ came from the lips of Christ, the priests were officiating in the temple. It was the hour of the evening sacrifice. The lamb representing Christ had been brought to be slain. Clothed in his significant and beautiful dress, the priest stood with lifted knife, as did Abraham when he was about to slay his son. With intense interest the people were looking on. But the earth trembles and quakes; for the Lord Himself draws near. With a rending noise the inner veil of the temple is torn from top to bottom by an unseen hand, throwing open to the gaze of the multitude a place once filled with the presence of God. In this place the shekinah had dwelt. Here God had manifested His glory above the mercy- seat. No one but the high priest ever lifted the veil separating this apartment from the rest of the temple. He entered in once a year to make an atonement for the sins of the people. But lo, this veil is rent in twain. The most holy place of the earthly sanctuary is no longer sacred.

“All is terror and confusion. The priest is about to slay the victim; but the knife drops from his nerveless hand, and the lamb escapes. Type has met antitype in the death of God’s Son. The great sacrifice has been made. The way into the holiest is laid open. A new and living was is prepared for all. No longer need sinful, sorrowing humanity await the coming of the high priest. Henceforth the Saviour was to officiate as priest and advocate in the heaven of heavens. It was as if a living voice had spoken to the worshipers: There is now an end to all sacrifices and offerings for sin. The Son of God is come according to His word, ‘Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God. ’ ‘By His own blood’ He entereth ‘in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. ’ (Heb. 10: 17; 9: 12).”

This terror and confusion spoken of in Desire of Ages is the same that will be on the earth and in the hearts of apostate pastors, leaders, and all who reject God’s warnings and mercies. The scenes that you have studied in this book are now being repeated and will continue to follow the same course viewed two thousand years ago.

When the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom at the command of God, it was a signal and an invitation to all to understand that no pastor or priest would stand between man and God save Jesus Christ alone. In this study, inspiration has clearly demonstrated that God is not bound to any pastor, Conference Worker, Conference Leader, General Conference, or a people once chosen.

This book has been written in the honest hope that all who read it will come to a better understanding of not only what has been, but what is and what will be. The author of this book is convinced that our loving Saviour, Jesus Christ, is warning us about events just now happening and those about to happen so we are not deceived. We also understand that many statements in this book are “hard sayings,” but it is just as imperative that we take them into our lives as it was for the disciples.

“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” says God’s Word, for we are told in the Spirit of Prophecy that the majority will be lost because they refused to take God at His Word.

Wherever you are or whatever you’re doing, no matter where your present loyalties lie, we would plead with you to take this study most seriously. If our understanding of the past is correct, we believe that your very life depends on how you choose to react to what you have read.

It’s decision time, dear Brothers and Sisters. What will it be? Will you go to man for your salvation or to God? Your destiny hangs upon your answer. Choose ye this day….

Copyright © 1999 Servants of the Saviour
Terry & Cathy Ross

Table of Contents
Acknowledgements and Forward
Chapter 1 Desire of Ages — Chapter 63
Chapter 2 Desire of Ages — Chapter 64
Chapter 3 Desire of Ages — Chapter 65
Chapter 4 Desire of Ages — Chapters 66 & 67
Chapter 5 Desire of Ages — Chapters 68 & 69
Chapter 6 Desire of Ages — Chapters 70, 71 & 72
Chapter 7 Desire of Ages — Chapter 73
Chapter 8 Desire of Ages — Chapters 74 & 75
Chapter 9 Desire of Ages — Chapters 76 & 77
Chapter 10 Desire of Ages — Chapter 78

Bible Study Guides – Deliverance from Destruction

June 14 – 20, 2020

Key Text

“Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known My name” (Psalm 91:14).

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 613–634.


“God will destroy the wicked from off the earth. But the righteous will be preserved in the midst of these commotions, as Noah was preserved in the ark. God will be their refuge, and under His wings shall they trust.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 110.



  • What is the condition of the whole earth as a result of sin? Romans 8:22.

Note: “The sin of man has brought the sure result—decay, deformity, and death. Today the whole world is tainted, corrupted, stricken with mortal disease. The earth groaneth under the continual transgression of the inhabitants thereof.

“The Lord’s curse is upon the earth, upon man, upon beast, upon the fish in the sea, and as transgression becomes almost universal the curse will be permitted to become as broad and as deep as the transgression.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1085.

“As the ‘whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together’ (Romans 8:26, 22), the heart of the infinite Father is pained in sympathy. Our world is a vast lazar house, a scene of misery that we dare not allow even our thoughts to dwell upon. Did we realize it as it is, the burden would be too terrible. Yet God feels it all. In order to destroy sin and its results He gave His best Beloved, and He has put it in our power, through co-operation with Him, to bring this scene of misery to an end. ‘This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come’ (Matthew 24:14).” Education, 263, 264.



  • What is God’s plan regarding the earth? Revelation 21:5; Isaiah 65:17.

Note: “The earth promised to the meek will not be like this, darkened with the shadow of death and the curse. … ‘There shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him’ … (Revelation 22:3).

“There is no disappointment, no sorrow, no sin, no one who shall say, I am sick; there are no burial trains, no mourning, no death, no partings, no broken hearts; but Jesus is there, peace is there. There ‘they shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall He guide them’ (Isaiah 49:10).” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 17, 18.

  • How should we respond to God’s plans for the future? What is said about those who dwell there? 2 Peter 3:13.

 Note: “There will soon be a new heaven and new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. The Lord has instructed me that our physical and mental and moral powers will, under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, be trained to carry on the work in all purity, in all goodness, without one thread of Satan’s science brought in to spoil the pattern Christ has given us. The powers and faculties that have been sanctified in righteousness will be employed, strengthened, and prepared to do the works of Heaven’s appointment.” The Upward Look, 97.

“As a people are we sufficiently considering this warning? If we neglect to take heed, if we regard the warning with indifference, if we allow earthly, temporal things to take our attention, and we lose our realization of the essential character of prayer, we shall be found among those who are not accounted worthy to escape. The righteousness of Christ should be our first consideration. The service of God should be our first business.” The Signs of the Times, December 5, 1895.

  • What further blessings will God bestow upon the faithful? Isaiah 65:21, 22, 25.



  • Before God can make things new, what must first happen to the old? 2 Peter 3:10; Isaiah 51:6.
  • What means will God use to destroy the world? 2 Peter 3:6, 7. Who will perish in this destruction? Luke 3:17.

Note: “The feet of the wicked will never desecrate the earth made new. Fire will come down from God out of heaven and devour them—burn them up root and branch. Satan is the root, and his children are the branches.

“The same fire from God that consumed the wicked purified the whole earth. The broken, ragged mountains melted with fervent heat, the atmosphere also, and all the stubble was consumed. Then our inheritance opened before us, glorious and beautiful, and we inherited the whole earth made new.” Maranatha, 351.

  • How should this knowledge of God’s plans of destruction affect our daily life? 2 Peter 3:11, 12, 14.

Note: “There are attractions on every hand to draw the mind away from the contemplation of the coming of our Lord and Saviour; but it is absolutely necessary to bear in remembrance that ‘the great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly’ (Zephaniah 1:14). The God of Heaven has multiplied warnings, entreaties, and instructions, that we may be prepared to stand in the time of the overwhelming destruction. We are not left in darkness. Those who meditate and act upon the instructions that God has given will cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit. They will keep in mind the command to ‘be diligent’ (2 Peter 3:14), to be holy in all their conversation and life. …

“We are approaching the time when the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and we must make haste to depart from all iniquity, that our calling and election may be made sure. We are looking for new heavens and a new earth wherein the righteous shall dwell throughout eternity.” The Signs of the Times, February 10, 1888.



  • How will the righteous be protected during the time when God begins to pour out His judgments upon the earth? Psalm 27:5; 91:4; Isaiah 26:20.

Note: “There are troublous times before us; the judgments of God are coming upon our world. The nations of the earth are to tremble. There will be trials and perplexities on every hand; men’s hearts will fail them for fear. And what shall we do in that day? Though the earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and be removed like a cottage, if we have made God our trust, He will deliver us.” Sons and Daughters of God, 354.

“The eye of God, looking down the ages, was fixed upon the crisis which His people are to meet, when earthly powers shall be arrayed against them. Like the captive exile, they will be in fear of death by starvation or by violence. But the Holy One who divided the Red Sea before Israel, will manifest His mighty power and turn their captivity. ‘They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him’ (Malachi 3:17).” The Great Controversy, 634.

“Before the Son of man appears in the clouds of heaven, everything in nature will be convulsed. Lightning from heaven uniting with the fire in the earth, will cause the mountains to burn like a furnace, and pour out their floods of lava over villages and cities, molten masses of rock, thrown into the water by the upheaval of things hidden in the earth. There will be mighty earthquakes and great destruction of human life. But as in the days of the great deluge Noah was preserved in the ark that God had prepared for him, so in these days of destruction and calamity, God will be the refuge of His believing ones.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, 309, 310.

  • What attributes of God can give us assurance for that time? 1 Timothy 1:17.
  • How do we know that God will always be ready to help His followers? Psalm 121:4–8.



  • Which promises show God to be a refuge for us today? Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 9:9.

Note: “In the Psalm David speaks of God’s being a refuge and a strong tower, a refuge and a fortress; unto Him we can run and we can be saved. How precious is the thought that God is our refuge and that He will be our helper in all times and in all places, and that in every emergency we have God with us. He says that He will give His angels charge over us to keep us in all our ways.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 2, 58, 59.

  • How can we have confidence in God? Psalms 62:7, 8; 46:1–3; 57:1.

Note: “No one need despond who commits his soul to Jesus. We have an all-powerful Saviour.” The Upward Look, 321.

“True prayer engages the energies of the soul and affects the life. He who thus pours out his wants before God feels the emptiness of everything else under heaven. …

“Your prayers may rise with an importunity that will not accept denial. That is faith.” In Heavenly Places, 73.



1    What has God done to end the misery of sin on this earth? How can I do my part?

2    What will the new earth be like? What about its inhabitants?

3    What dual purpose does the fire have upon this old world?

4    As everything in nature is turned out of its course before Jesus’ second coming, what will happen to God’s people?

5    In what situations will God be a refuge and help to His people?

Copyright 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Pride and Destruction

August 30, 2009 – September 5, 2009

Key Text

“Thou [wast] perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” Ezekiel 28:15.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 35–41; The Great Controversy, 493–499.


“The first sinner was one whom God had greatly exalted. He is represented under the figure of the prince of Tyrus flourishing in might and magnificence.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 387.

1 How do the Scriptures depict the character and destiny of Lucifer? Ezekiel 28:6, 9. Why did Satan resent God’s law?

Note: “Under the symbol of the king of Tyrus, the Scriptures give us a description of the character and destiny of the first great rebel against the law of God. He who knows the end from the beginning, had his laws and commandments before the world was created, and Satan chose to question his claims before the angels of heaven, because the law set forth the Omnipotent as the only true and living God, and forbade the worship of any other being.” The Signs of the Times, September 24, 1894.

2 Why have the deceptions of Satan always been so alluring? Ezekiel 28:11–14. What counsel and warning is given us concerning Ezekiel 28?

Note: “I ask our people to study the twenty-eighth chapter of Ezekiel. The representation here made, while it refers primarily to Lucifer, the fallen angel, has yet a broader significance. Not one being, but a general movement, is described, and one that we shall witness. A faithful study of this chapter should lead those who are seeking for truth to walk in all the light that God has given to His people, lest they be deceived by the deceptions of these last days.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1162.

3 How does Inspiration summarize the steps of Satan’s rebellion? Ezekiel 28:15.

Note: “Little by little Satan came to indulge the desire for self-exaltation. … Though all his glory was from God, this mighty angel came to regard it as pertaining to himself. Not content with his position, though honored above the heavenly host, he ventured to covet homage due alone to the Creator. Instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections and allegiance of all created beings, it was his endeavor to secure their service and loyalty to himself.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1162.

4 Why was Satan’s behavior displeasing to God? Ezekiel 28:16–18, first part. What attitude are we urged to cultivate?

Note: “In this place ‘traffick’ is the emblem of corrupt administration. It denotes the bringing of self-seeking into spiritual offices. Nothing in spiritual service is acceptable to God except the purposes and works that are for the good of the universe. To do good to others will redound to the glory of God.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1163.

5 How did God deal with Satan? Revelation 12:7–9.

Note: “God could have destroyed Satan and his sympathizers as easily as one can cast a pebble to the earth; but He did not do this. Rebellion was not to be overcome by force. Compelling power is found only under Satan’s government. The Lord’s principles are not of this order. His authority rests upon goodness, mercy, and love; and the presentation of these principles is the means to be used. God’s government is moral, and truth and love are to be the prevailing power.” The Desire of Ages, 759.

6 What is prophesied about Satan’s influence in the last days? II Thessalonians 2:7–9; I Peter 5:8.

Note: “[II Thessalonians 2:7, 8; Ezekiel 28:2, 6–10 quoted.] The time is fast approaching when this scripture will be fulfilled. The world and the professedly Protestant churches are in this our day taking sides with the man of sin. … The great issue that is coming will be on the seventh-day Sabbath.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1163.

“Satan has originated fables with which to deceive. He commenced in heaven to war against the foundation of God’s government, and since his fall he has carried on his rebellion against the law of God, and has brought the mass of professed Christians to trample under their feet the fourth commandment, which brings to view the living God. He has torn down the original Sabbath of the Decalogue, and substituted in its place one of the laboring days of the week.

“The great original lie which he told to Eve in Eden, ‘Ye shall not surely die,’[Genesis 3:4] was the first sermon ever preached on the immortality of the soul. That sermon was crowned with success, and terrible results followed. He has brought minds to receive that sermon as truth, and ministers preach it, sing it, and pray it.

“No literal devil, and probation after the coming of Christ, are fast becoming popular fables.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 342.

7 What did Satan declare? Isaiah 14:12–14. How can we overcome the tendency toward pride and ambition? James 4:6, 7, 10.

Note: “Christians should regard it as a religious duty to repress a spirit of envy or emulation. They should rejoice in the superior reputation or prosperity of their brethren, even when their own character or achievements seem to be cast in the shade. It was the pride and ambition cherished in the heart of Satan that banished him from heaven. These evils are deeply rooted in our fallen nature, and if not removed they will overshadow every good and noble quality and bring forth envy and strife as their baleful fruits.

“We should seek for true goodness rather than greatness. Those who possess the mind of Christ will have humble views of themselves. They will labor for the purity and prosperity of the church, and be ready to sacrifice their own interests and desires rather than to cause dissension among their brethren.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 242, 243.

8 What struggle is before us? Ephesians 6:11–13.

Note: “Satan’s aim had been to reproduce his own character in human beings. No sooner was man created than Satan resolved to efface in him the image of God, and to place his stamp where God’s should be. And he has succeeded in instilling into the heart of man the spirit of envy, of hatred, of ambition. In this world he has set up a kingdom of darkness, of which he, the leader in guilt, is prince. He desired to usurp the throne of God. Failing in this, he has worked in darkness, in crookedness, in deception, to usurp his place in the hearts of men. He has set up his throne between God and man, to appropriate the adoration that belongs to God alone.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1119.

9 What will be the end of Satan? Ezekiel 28:18, last part, 19; Revelation 20:10; Malachi 4:1–3.

Note: “Satan’s rebellion was to be a lesson to the universe through all coming ages, a perpetual testimony to the nature and terrible results of sin. The working out of Satan’s rule, its effects upon both men and angels, would show what must be the fruit of setting aside the divine authority. It would testify that with the existence of God’s government and His law is bound up the well-being of all the creatures He has made. Thus the history of this terrible experiment of rebellion was to be a perpetual safeguard to all holy intelligences, to prevent them from being deceived as to the nature of transgression, to save them from committing sin, and suffering its punishment.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1162.

10 In what sense will the universe be safe after the destruction of Satan? Nahum 1:9.

Note: “The whole universe will have become witnesses to the nature and results of sin. And its utter extermination, which in the beginning would have brought fear to angels and dishonor to God, will now vindicate His love and establish His honor before the universe of beings who delight to do His will, and in whose heart is His law. Never will evil again be manifest. Says the word of God: ‘Affliction shall not rise up the second time.’ Nahum 1:9. The law of God, which Satan has reproached as the yoke of bondage, will be honored as the law of liberty. A tested and proved creation will never again be turned from allegiance to Him whose character has been fully manifested before them as fathomless love and infinite wisdom.” The Great Controversy, 504.

“The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all, flow life and light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love.” Ibid., 678.

Additional Reading

“When men and women can more fully comprehend the magnitude of the great sacrifice which was made by the Majesty of heaven in dying in man’s stead, then will the plan of salvation be magnified, and reflections of Calvary will awaken tender, sacred, and lively emotions in the Christian’s heart. Praises to God and the Lamb will be in their hearts and upon their lips. Pride and self-esteem cannot flourish in the hearts that keep fresh in memory the scenes of Calvary. This world will appear of but little value to those who appreciate the great price of man’s redemption, the precious blood of God’s dear Son. All the riches of the world are not of sufficient value to redeem one perishing soul. Who can measure the love Christ felt for a lost world as He hung upon the cross, suffering for the sins of guilty men? This love was immeasurable, infinite.

“Christ has shown that His love was stronger than death. He was accomplishing man’s salvation; and although He had the most fearful conflict with the powers of darkness, yet, amid it all, His love grew stronger and stronger. He endured the hiding of His Father’s countenance, until He was led to exclaim in the bitterness of His soul: ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ [Matthew 27:46.] His arm brought salvation. The price was paid to purchase the redemption of man, when, in the last soul struggle, the blessed words were uttered which seemed to resound through creation: ‘It is finished.’ [John 19:30.]”

“Many who profess to be Christians become excited over worldly enterprises, and their interest is awakened for new and exciting amusements, while they are coldhearted, and appear as if frozen, in the cause of God. Here is a theme, poor formalist, which is of sufficient importance to excite you.

“Eternal interests are here involved. Upon this theme it is sin to be calm and unimpassioned. The scenes of Calvary call for the deepest emotion. Upon this subject you will be excusable if you manifest enthusiasm. That Christ, so excellent, so innocent, should suffer such a painful death, bearing the weight of the sins of the world, our thoughts and imaginations can never fully comprehend. The length, the breadth, the height, the depth, of such amazing love we cannot fathom. The contemplation of the matchless depths of a Saviour’s love should fill the mind, touch and melt the soul, refine and elevate the affections, and completely transform the whole character. The language of the apostle is: ‘I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.’ [I Corinthians 2:2.] We also may look toward Calvary and exclaim: ‘God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.’ [Galatians 6:14.]” Testimonies, vol. 2, 212, 213.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

The New Jerusalem and the City of Destruction

My family and I received the call to the New Jerusalem and it is just too good for us to turn down. We didn’t want to go without telling friends and family. We read about it in Revelation 21:10, 11: “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” If you could only see a picture of it—the grass is a living green, the flowers, the beauty—it’s all there, anything that you could ever want, or imagine.

Paul tried to describe it, but look what he says, “As it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for them.” I Corinthians 2:9. You can’t imagine it, Paul says; it’s beyond description the things that God has prepared for us.

Abraham caught a glimpse of this city in his mind’s eye. “By faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he should afterward receive for an inheritance, and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in a land of promise as in a foreign country.” He never really became a citizen; it was a foreign country to him. The whole rest of his life he was a foreigner, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise. “For he waited for a city that has real foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Hebrews 11:8–10.

Why did Abraham leave his relatives, friends and the comfortable home where he had lived? When Abraham caught a glimpse of that city, he said, “Lord, however you lead, wherever you lead, I’m going. I am following.” And there the Lord led him away from his comfortable surroundings, his boyhood friends, work acquaintances from his job and all that he had established there. He led them away and he went out and he lived in tents. Imagine, for the rest of his life, in tents, moving here and there, having to pitch a tent every place he stopped. See Genesis 12.

As Abraham was journeying, his cattle began to increase. His nephew Lot was with him, and his cattle increased. Soon Lot’s herdsmen and Abraham’s herdsmen got into arguments because of all the cattle, and the watering situation. See Genesis 13.

Abraham came to Lot, who was the younger man, and he said, “Listen, Lot. We’re headed for a city. Let’s not argue or have our herdsmen argue. You go any place you want; you can stay here, or take anything you want. I’ll take anything that’s left.” See Genesis 13. Abraham knew that this wasn’t his home. It did not matter whether he was in the valley or ravines. Wherever he was, it was only a temporary place for him.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we had that same attitude in the church, and in church offices, and church duties, and all these things? This world is as a temporary journeying place with temporary duties until we get to our heavenly home. Abraham showed an unselfish attitude. I wish we could all live in tents, maybe not literal tents, but like Abraham lived, that we would see our houses and our dwelling places as only temporary abodes.

If we could only break away from the hypnotic trance of this world like Abraham did. If we could just get our eyes beyond that car or cars or whatever it may be in our driveways or out on the curb that is holding our affections. Oh, that we could take our affections away from our wardrobes, our homes or whatever else that may consume our time and our planning. They are all going to burn together. The Rolls Royce will burn just as well as the Volkswagen. The Taj Mahal is going to burn right along with the row houses of Washington, D.C. They are all but temporary dwellings whether people realize it or not. We do not own anything in this life; we just lease it. We are temporary sojourners and are just living here for a little while. I believe with all my heart that it’s not that far away.

We have received two calls. One of them is to the city of destruction which is an easy call and has a lot of temporary benefits. Even though it is an easy call, the retirement is lousy. Let me tell you about that call.

To accept that call, you do not really have to do anything. You can either sit down and watch television or go out and work hard earning a living. You can eat and drink and marry and give in marriage just like they did before the flood, and you’ve got the call. It is all paid for; the journey is paid for. The devil has your ticket and your name is written right on it. It is yours; you have got it. You can be basically a good person, outwardly. You can be a social person or a cultured person; whatever you want and it is all yours.

The only way you can forfeit that call is to take the cross of Jesus Christ. Take Him as your Saviour and as your Lord and your Master and take His cross for your cross. That is the only way you can forfeit the call. Other than that, it is yours for the taking. It’s all paid for; the way is free. The Devil has paid the way. It’s an easy call. There’s only one sad thing about that call. A whole lot of people have that ticket which is made out for the city of destruction, but think they are going to the New Jerusalem.

Jesus said, “Not every one who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, look, we have a ticket to heaven; look at all these things we did. We prophesied in the name of Jesus. In your name, Lord, we cast out demons. We did many wonders in the name of Jesus, in your name, Jesus. And then I’ll declare to them, says Jesus, I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21–23).

They thought they had a ticket that was stamped to the New Jerusalem and it was to the city of destruction. What a disappointment that is. Jesus says in verses 13 and 14, “Enter by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way.” You see, it is an easy way. It can encompass all your peculiarities and all of your prejudices. It can encompass all of your traditions and all of the things you think you should do. It is a broad way and many there be that go in thereat. But, remember, it is the broad way and leads to the city of destruction. The way to the New Jerusalem is narrow and the way is difficult.

Did Jesus really say it is difficult to get to heaven? Yes He did. He said it over and over again, but He has given us the strength, and it is the way that He has paid for. He wants everyone to make it and promises to be our personal guide, but it is not the easy way. It is the difficult way that leads to life and there are few who find it.

As I said, this way to the city of destruction is the easy way. But the retirement is lousy. Let me tell you about that retirement. The next moment, according to the Bible, after they die, those on that road wake up a thousand years later, a thousand years too late.

The centuries have passed by as in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, because when you are unconscious, totally dead, you know not the passing of time. The Bible says the dead know not anything. The Bible says they are asleep. Jesus said they are asleep but to them it is instantaneous; instantly they are awake. There they are outside of the New Jerusalem. One moment they are here; maybe in an auto accident, a heart attack, or something happens, and instantly they are in a new place, outside the New Jerusalem, in the city of destruction.

In Revelation 20:7, 8, it says, “Now when one thousand years are expired, Satan will be released from his prison, And he will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them to the battle: whose number is as the sand of the seas.”

Here we have the two great cities of earth, the New Jerusalem and the city of destruction. There was a time when God’s people lived in tents while those in Sodom, Gomorrah and Babylon built great and beautiful cities where they made their homes. But now the tables are reversed. Now it is God’s people who are in the city and it is those who have followed Satan who are all living in tents out there in tent city, out there in the city of destruction, in the country of Gog and Magog.

In Revelation 20:12, we find there is going to be a great white throne set up above the city: “And I saw the dead, both small and great, standing before God; and books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged according to their works by the things which were written in those books.”

What a time that is going to be when all the inhabitants who have ever lived on earth from the beginning to the end are all going to be at one place at one time—all the good and also the wicked. Some in tent city and some in the New Jerusalem. You will be there and I will be there; whatever our beliefs, we will all be there. Whatever our lives are like or whatever our habits are like, or wherever we are planning on going, we will all be there—every one of us. All of the inhabitants of earth are to meet at one place at one time. Do you ever wonder what it would be like to wake up outside the New Jerusalem?

You know it can happen in just a moment of time. Maybe you are driving down the road and all of a sudden someone swerves out, coming the opposite way in front of you and you get that panic feeling that comes up over you. You reach for that brake, your eyes open wide, and there’s that sound—an instantaneous split second crash sound of crashing metal, and instantly you wake up. You thought you were in the car. You pinch yourself. Where am I? And for a moment your thoughts go back to where they were, about what you were planning to fix for supper that night. Oh, the accident; I never made it home. My family. Where are they? Oh, no, my existence is over, and I’m a member of the church. My dear friend, that will be a heartache that will pierce so deep that there will be no remedy if you wake up in the wrong place. That will be a heartache that will go deeper than anything we’ve ever known or experienced before. And there is going to be no cure, no remedy. I will tell you, friends, that unless we are having a deeper experience than a lot of us are, that is a nightmare that ought to haunt us every night and every day because it is going to be a reality; it is going to happen. Jesus said that the way to destruction, to that city of destruction, is broad and it is easy, but the way to the city of God, to the New Jerusalem, is a narrow way. It does not matter what tradition is, what human opinion is, or what everyone else is doing. No, the only way to get there is God’s way. The only way is the narrow way.

There are many people who have a lot of false hopes today. They can sing songs about going to the New Jerusalem and get all excited about it, be happy and smiling. A lot of people are giving false assurances today, but there are a lot of people going to be disappointed. A lot of people who think they are going there, are not.

We have got to become like Jesus to go there, not only in name, but also in character. I John 3:2, 3 says, “Beloved, now are we the children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be: but we know this, that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” What a high calling. There is only one way to become pure like Jesus, and that’s by spending time with Him every day.

How do we break the shackles? We all know that we must spend time with God. Somehow when we sit down, we fall asleep. It’s just like we are shackled with shackles of iron. How can we ever break through the shackles and really develop a relationship with Jesus Christ?

II Corinthians 3:18 says, “We all with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory into glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Are you being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ? There is no transformation without beholding, and we become what we behold. “By beholding, we become changed,” Wesley said.

If we are spending more time beholding television, the newspaper, the magazines of this world, and listening to rock radio, rock music and all these things of the world, than we are with God and His word, I can assure you we are not being transformed into Jesus’ image. We are being transformed by what we are beholding, by what we are seeing. There is no way we are going to the city of the New Jerusalem if we are spending more time with the things, the entertainments, and the attractions of this world than we are with our Lord Jesus Christ, because where the heart is, there is where we are going to spend time.

Are we being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ? That is the question. Are you less easily offended today than you were a year ago? Are you conquering those thoughts in your mind, those thoughts of pride and of self-emulation? That is a serious question because God reads the thoughts, and He reads the heart. Is your love all wrapped up in fashion and sports, and the things of this world, or is your love changing so that those things are losing their glitter? Where are your affections or your conversation? Do you love to talk about Jesus, or is your conversation all about this world?

We all have a call, and there is a position that God has waiting for us. It is an administrative position with great responsibility, if we will accept the call. Look at Revelation 3:21: “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me in My throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with My Father on His throne.” In Revelation 20:4, “I saw thrones and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. And I saw the souls of them that had been beheaded for the witness of Jesus Christ and the word of God who had not worshipped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on his forehead or his hands and they lived and they reigned with Christ a thousand years.”

The Bible reveals that those who are saved are going to judge. Paul says we are even going to judge angels, the fallen angels, of course. Now, Jesus, of course, and the angels, the Bible reveals, are judging. God goes through and judges enough to know who is righteous and who is lost. The judgment of the lost, other than the fact that they are lost, is given into the hands of the saints. The Bible reveals that there are different punishments for different people.

The Devil has always accused Jesus of being a tyrant, intolerable, and being unjust. No one is going to be able to tell God He is unjust, tyrannical, or any of these other things, because He is not doing the judging. He is giving it into the hands of human beings who will judge their own parents, their own children, their own relatives, their own kinsmen, their own neighbors. The saved will be doing the judging and you know they are going to be fair.

Just imagine being able to see yourself in your living room and there see your son and your daughter and can see their thoughts. You see the angels struggling for their souls and there is the great controversy going on. You see the convictions of their lives and then to your horror you see yourself sitting there watching television while the great controversy is going on for your children, while they are under conviction. There you are earning money, hurrying to get ready for the Sabbath, hurrying to get ready for church, hurrying for everything, and they are not there. You think, Oh, if I could live my life over again, but you can’t. Later you were converted, but it was too late.

You look out your windows and you see your neighbors. You go outside the door and you can see their thoughts, wondering about your religion, what made you tick. There you see the angels in a great controversy for their souls and you are unconcerned. Then a thought flashes into your mind that you are going to meet them again; you are going to have to look into their eyes at the end of the millennium. You are all going to be there together. There your children are going to look up into your eyes. There you are in the city, and there they are in the city of destruction. Oh, if you had only helped them. There are your neighbors saying, If you had only told me; why didn’t you tell me?

There’s going to be anger and resentment outside the city. There are going to be tears for lost opportunities, tears for loved ones, tears for family.

Today is the day to make sure of our calling. Today is the day to do our witnessing. Today is the day to talk with our sons and our daughters and our next door neighbors. Tomorrow it may be too late. Today is the day to give money for the spread of the gospel. Today is the day to make an appointment to meet together on that other shore. Look at Revelation 22:14. It says, “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” Verse 17 says, “And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come.” Here is the call, friends, He’s calling today. He says, “Come. Come. And let him who hears say, Come. And let him who is thirsty and whosoever desires, let him take of the water of life freely.”

You need to make an appointment to meet around that great white throne by the river of life that flows from that crystal white throne. Today is the day to accept that call. We have all received the call. Today is our day of probation. Today is the day that God has given us life to make our calling and election sure. We are but sojourners in this earth. Let him who accepts the call, give the call.

Pastor Marshall Grosboll, with his wife Lillian, founded Steps to Life. In July 1991, Pastor Marshall and his family met with tragedy as they were returning home from a camp meeting in Washington State, when the airplane he was piloting went down, killing all on board.

Neglectful Blindness in the Light of Truth

Often people put their trust in things that turn out to be not so trustworthy. This is one of the most common human experiences, and also one of our greatest disappointments. Some put their trust in the government, some in the church, the military, or the court system while others trust only in their own mind. As human beings, we have a seemingly insatiable desire to know what is going to happen in the future. The God of the Bible gives a challenge in Isaiah 45 and 46. He challenges those who are worshipping all other gods. He says, “Prove your case. Who can tell the future? I can tell the end from the beginning.”

In the Bible, we find the only accurate prophecies from ancient times dealing with not only up to the present, but to things that have not yet happened.

The disciples of Jesus also enquired about the future.

A few days before His crucifixion, Jesus left the Jewish temple in Jerusalem for the last time. He had just denounced the hypocrisy of the Jewish leaders and of the nation as a whole and as He was leaving He made this pronouncement. He said, “See, your house is left to you desolate.” Matthew 23:38.

This was not an arbitrary decree but Jesus explained why. He said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets, and stones those who are sent to you, how often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” Verse 37.

He then went on and told them, “You are not going to see me anymore, until you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Verse 39. Here He referred to what they will say in the resurrection at the last day. He then walked out of the temple, and with His disciples went out of the city, up into the Mount of Olives where they sat down overlooking the temple. See Matthew 24:1.

This temple they saw was not the original which had been built by Solomon. Great stores of material had been gathered by King David for the first temple and built according to the plans that had been given him by divine inspiration; however, David was not allowed to build it himself. See I Chronicles 28:12, 19.

David’s son, Solomon, who was declared to be the wisest of Israel’s monarchs, completed the task. The building is reputed to have been the most magnificent building that the world has ever seen. However, because of the apostasy of the Jewish people, God allowed that building to be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. About 500 years before Christ was born the Jews, returning from captivity to a land that had been largely desolated during their absence, rebuilt the temple.

This second temple was not nearly as magnificent as the first and when the people, the old men who had seen the first temple, saw it, they wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes (Ezra 3:12).

Describing the second temple the Bible says, “The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts: and in this place I will give peace, says the Lord of hosts.” Haggai 2:9.

The prophet explained how that was going to happen. “For thus says the Lord of hosts; Once more, it is a little while, I will shake heaven, the earth, the sea, and dry land; And I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the desire of all nations: and I will fill this temple with glory, says the Lord of hosts.” Haggai 2:6, 7.

Though the second temple did not have the visible tokens of the glory of God like the first one did, it was honored and was more highly exalted because in this second temple there came the desire of all nations. The Man of Nazareth taught and healed in its sacred enclosure. The presence of Christ alone made it more glorious than the first.

But Israel had put from her God’s proffered gift. And that day, when the humble Teacher had passed out from the temple for the last time, Jesus said, “Your house is left to you desolate.”

Now the disciples were filled with awe and wonder and astonishment as they heard Christ speaking these words, and as He was going out of the temple they tried to draw His attention to the wonderful architecture and to the skill and to the wonderful and expensive materials that had constructed this temple.

“Then as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!” Mark 13:1.

The temple walls were made with white marble. They were fitted together so tightly that, according to tradition, you could not stick a knife between them. From a distance it was a gorgeous sight and looked like one solid piece of white marble. The disciples attempted to draw Jesus’ attention to this marvelous building that He had just said was left to the Jewish people, desolate. “And Jesus answered and said to him, Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Verse 2.

At this the disciples were in a state of astonishment. They thought that if Jerusalem would be overthrown, Jesus must be talking about the events associated with His personal coming back to this world in temporal glory, to take the throne of universal empire, to punish the impenitent Jews and to break off the Roman yoke. Jesus had told them that He was going to come back to this world a second time. So when He mentioned the judgments that were going to come upon Jerusalem their minds reverted to that coming. “Now as he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when will these things be? and what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?” Matthew 24:3.

Fortunately, in mercy, the future was veiled from the disciples. If they had known that in just a few more days their Lord and Master would be tried, scourged and crucified and also that for most of them, within their own lifetime, Jerusalem and the temple would be totally destroyed with not one stone being left upon another, they would have been filled with horror and unable to think logically or analytically about anything. They would have been overwhelmed, so Jesus simply presented to them an outline of the prominent events that were to take place before the destruction of Jerusalem and before the close of time. The prophecy He uttered had a two-fold meaning; firstly it had to do with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, but it also had to do with the terrors of the last great day.

Jesus declared to His listening disciples the judgments that were going to fall upon apostate Israel and especially the vengeance that would come upon them for their rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah. Before this dreaded hour would come there would be unmistakable signs that would precede the awful climax. This would come swiftly and suddenly.

He warned, “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, (whoever reads, let him understand).” Matthew 24:15.

Luke records this in literal terms and in the most graphic language. Jesus said, “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.

“Then let those in Judea flee to the mountains; let those who are in the midst of her depart; and let not those who are in the country enter her.” Luke 21:20, 21.

In other words, when they would see the idolatrous standards of the Roman armies set up on the holy ground around Jerusalem, then the followers of Christ were to find safety in flight.

This is an interesting command that Jesus gives. He told them that when they saw the Roman army surrounding Jerusalem they were to flee.

But how were the Christians to flee from Jerusalem if there were Roman armies surrounding and besieging it? Jesus did not explain how it would happen; He just gave them instructions what they were to do. He told them they were not even to take time to return home to get a garment but when they had the opportunity they were to immediately flee.

At the time that Jesus spoke those words the city of Jerusalem was a highly fortified city and any person who publicly foretold that Jerusalem would be destroyed and there would not be one stone left upon another at the temple would have been regarded as Noah was when he predicted a worldwide flood. They would have been considered a crazed alarmist and out of their mind. But Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Matthew 24:35.

Because of her sins, wrath had been denounced against Jerusalem and her stubborn unbelief rendered her doom certain. This is exactly what the Lord predicted was going to happen in Jerusalem through the prophet Micah hundreds of years before it happened. “Hear this, you heads of the house of Jacob, and rulers of the house of Israel, who abhor justice, and pervert all equity. Who build up Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with iniquity. Her heads judge for a bribe, her priests teach for pay, and her prophets divine for money: yet they lean on the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? no harm can come to us.” Micah 3:9–11.

Notice that these people who are living in wickedness say, “We are God’s people.”

There are people today who say they are Christians and that no harm can come to them, yet they are not living a Christlike life but live directly contrary to the way Jesus said to live. Jesus said to the people in His day, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and you don’t do what I say?” Luke 6:46.

Because they were living like the devil while claiming to be God’s own people their outcome was predicted: “Therefore because of you, Zion shall be plowed like a field. Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, and the mountain of the temple like the bare hills of the forest.” Micah 3:12.

This prophecy described the condition of the Jewish nation in the time of Christ. Although they were proud of their self-righteousness,, they were living in sin and were transgressing the principles of the law of God. They hated Christ because of His purity. His holiness was a living rebuke to the way that they were living and they accused Jesus of being the cause of their troubles. They knew that He was sinless. Jesus said, “Which of you convicts me concerning sin?” John 8:46.

They had no answer, but they condemned Him to death because they said His death was necessary for the security of their nation. “If we let him alone like this, everyone will believe in him: and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation. And then, do you not consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish?” John 11:48, 50.

As Micah had predicted, they built up Zion with bloodshed and Jerusalem with iniquity, and yet, even though they had killed their Saviour, who reproved their sins, because of their self-righteousness they still claimed to be the people of God, His favored people, and expected the Lord to deliver them from their enemies.

This same thing has happened many times through earth’s history and is still happening today. Many people claim that they are God’s people but refuse to follow His instructions. They make a profession without reflecting His character; they do not walk as He walked, or live as He lived.

For nearly forty years after A.D. 31 when Jesus predicted this destruction, the judgments against Jerusalem were delayed. God is wonderfully long-suffering. The murderers of His Son were given almost forty years to consider the evidence and see the development of the Christian church and what was happening in the world. For two generations the fathers, mothers and children had opportunity to evaluate the character of Christ.

But when the time came that the children also rejected not only the light that their parents had, but also additional light that they themselves had received, the cup of their iniquity was full. The long-suffering of God toward Jerusalem just confirmed the Jews in their stubborn impenitence and eventually God gave them up.

When God sees that no matter what evidence He gives a person they still refuse to submit, there is no way they can be saved. He finally gives up and leaves them over to their own control. The Holy Spirit ceases to plead with them because they have committed the unpardonable sin and have come under the control of another spirit.

In their hatred toward the disciples of Jesus, the Jews rejected God’s last offer of mercy to His chosen people. His protection was removed and also His restraining power upon Satan and his angels who came to totally control God’s chosen people. Her children had spurned the grace of Christ, the only One who could deliver her.

There now was no safety anywhere. Friends and kindred betrayed one another and uncontrolled passions made the people tyrants.

False accusations made their lives uncertain. They had said, “Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.” Isaiah 30:11. And now their desire was granted. The fear of God no longer disturbed them. Satan was at the head of the nation and the highest civil and religious authorities were under his control and sway. All kinds of awful things happened but the leaders still said, “This city cannot be destroyed; it is God’s own city. We are not afraid that this city will be destroyed; God won’t ever let it happen.”

So the multitudes believed, right to the last, that the Most High was going to deliver them from their adversaries. But, they had spurned the Divine protection and now they had no defense. They were rent by internal dissentions and her children were slain by another’s hands.

All the predictions that Jesus gave concerning Jerusalem were fulfilled right to the letter. They learned the truth of His words—As you measure to somebody else it will be measured to you again. See Matthew 7:2.

There were many signs that occurred before the destruction of Jerusalem, showing that something awful was going to take place.

One of the most interesting fulfillments of prophecy when you look at that historical event of the destruction of Jerusalem is that you will find that not one Christian perished in the city. Jesus had given His disciples warning and every one who listened to the warning was saved. This is what Jesus had said to them:

“When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those in Judea flee to the mountains; let those who are in the midst of her depart; and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things that are written may be fulfilled.” Luke 21:20–22.

The Romans under the general Cestius surrounded the city, about A.D. 66. It was the time of the Feast of Tabernacles and there were people from throughout the world who were gathered in Jerusalem during this siege. Unexpectedly, Cestius abandoned the siege when everything seemed to be in his favour. These events were so overruled that neither the Jews nor the Romans did anything to hinder the flight of the Christians. Upon the retreat of Cestius the Jews sallying from Jerusalem pursued after his retiring army and while both forces were thus engaged, the Christians had an opportunity to leave the city unmolested.

Also, at this time the country had been cleared of enemies who might have endeavoured to intercept them. At the time of the siege the Jews had been gathered together in Jerusalem and thus the Christians throughout the land were able to make their escape without hindrance.

It is interesting that Jesus gave a command that would seem impossible to be fulfilled and yet the opportunity to escape was there, just as He told them. All those who listened and obeyed the command of Jesus were saved; not one perished in the destruction of Jerusalem. They fled without delay to a place of safety beyond Jordan.

Read Matthew 24 carefully. The destruction of Jerusalem was used by Jesus as a symbol of what will happen to the entire world who rejects the authority of God and His law and the gospel of Jesus Christ at the end of time.

The Bible says, “Flee from the wrath to come.” Matthew 3:7.

If you are willing to listen to the instructions that Jesus gives in His word, then at the end of the world you will not be among the nations that mourn because they then realize that they have been worshipping the anti-christ and not the true Christ.

You can be saved. You do not have to be destroyed in the destruction of the world that is coming. Jesus said it like this:

“Watch therefore: for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore, you also be ready: for the Son of man is coming at an hour when you do not expect.” Matthew 24:42–44.

Jesus is coming, and He is coming in our time.

Pastor John Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by e-mail at:, or by telephone at: (316) 788–5559.