The Great Controversy Chapter 1: The Destruction of Jerusalem – Pastor Ted Wilson
– This week, Pastor Ted Wilson discusses the first chapter of The Great Controversy by Ellen White, entitled “The Destruction of Jerusalem.” –
Here, we find Jesus on the Mount of Olives, gazing down on Jerusalem and its temple, weeping while saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you, and close you in on every side, and level you and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another because you did not know the time of your visitation” (Luke 19:42-44, NKJV).
Knowing the walls of Jerusalem were high and fortified, how could this destruction be possible?
Forty years after that instance, the prophecy was fulfilled: “It was an appalling spectacle…The whole summit of the hill which commanded the city blazed like a volcano. One after another, the buildings fell in with a tremendous crash and were swallowed up in the fiery abyss. The roofs of cedar were like sheets of flame; the gilded pinnacles shone like spikes of red light; the gate towers sent up tall columns of flame and smoke. The neighboring hills were lighted up; and dark groups of people were seen watching in horrible anxiety the progress of the destruction…The shouts of the Roman soldiery as they ran to and fro, and the howlings of the insurgents who were perishing in the flames, mingled with the roaring of the conflagration and the thundering sound of falling timbers…all along the walls resounded [with] screams and wailing” (Ellen White, The Great Controversy, page 34).
Amazingly, no Christians died in the destruction. How did they escape?
Christ gave His disciples a warning: “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are 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, NKJV). They believed these words and watched for the promised sign.
Then, under the command of Cestius, the Romans surrounded the city of Jerusalem. But later, they withdrew. “God’s merciful providence was directing events for the good of His own people. The promised sign had been given to the waiting Christians, and now an opportunity was offered for all who would, to obey the Saviour’s warning” (Ellen White, The Great Controversy, page 30). All who heeded this warning had already fled when the Romans returned under the command of Titus.
These scenes will be repeated in a much bigger way. “The Saviour’s prophecy concerning the visitation of judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment, of which that terrible desolation was but a faint shadow. In the fate of the chosen city, we may behold the doom of a world that has rejected God’s mercy and trampled upon His law…Terrible have been the results of rejecting the authority of Heaven. But a scene yet darker is presented in the revelations of the future,” Ellen White continued on page 36.
Nevertheless, we don’t have to fear. Jesus “has warned the world of the day of final destruction and has given [us] tokens of its approach, that all who will may flee from the wrath to come” (page 37).
Do you believe the end is near? Do you see the signs of Jesus’ second coming? Are you ready for it?
“Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper” (2 Chronicles 20:20, NKJV).