Nearing the End of the Beginning: Part 2 | Pastor Mike Fortune | January 5, 2019


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  1. For the obvious not oblivious (Luke 21:20; Daniel 9:26; Luke 21:21-24; Quotes; Deuteronomy 28:49-53; Quote; Isaiah 46:9-10)
  2. To confirm not confuse (Luke 21:25a; Mark 13:24-25; Quotes; Joel 2:31; Quote; Revelation 6:12; Quote; Luke 21:25b; 2 Timothy 3:2-5; Luke 21:25c-28; Quotes; John 14:29)

Luke 21:20

20 And when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you will know that the time of its destruction has arrived.


Daniel 9:26

26 And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.


Luke 21:21-24

21 Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. Those in Jerusalem must get out, and those out in the country should not return to the city. 22 For those will be days of God’s vengeance, and the prophetic words of the Scriptures will be fulfilled. 23 How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. For there will be disaster in the land and great anger against this people. 24 They will be killed by the sword or sent away as captives to all the nations of the world. And Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles until the period of the Gentiles comes to an end.


The Great Controversy p.29

All the predictions given by Christ concerning the destruction of Jerusalem were fulfilled to the letter. Signs and wonders appeared, foreboding disaster and doom. In the midst of the night an unnatural light shone over the temple and the altar. Upon the clouds at sunset were pictured chariots and men of war gathering for battle. The priests ministering by night in the sanctuary were terrified by mysterious sounds; the earth trembled, and a multitude of voices were heard crying: “Let us depart hence.” The great eastern gate, which was so heavy that it could hardly be shut by a score of men, and which was secured by immense bars of iron fastened deep in the pavement of solid stone, opened at midnight, without visible agency.


The Great Controversy p.30

For seven years a man continued to go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, declaring the woes that were to come upon the city. By day and by night he chanted the wild dirge: “A voice from the east! a voice from the west! a voice from the four winds! a voice against Jerusalem and against the temple! a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides! a voice against the whole people!" This strange being was imprisoned and scourged, but no complaint escaped his lips. To insult and abuse he answered only: “Woe, woe to Jerusalem!” “woe, woe to the inhabitants thereof!” His warning cry ceased not until he was slain in the siege he had foretold.



The ancient Christian historian wrote that Christians fled to Pella in response to “an oracle given by revelation” - History of the Church, 3.5.3



Halley’s comet inspired both fascination and horror in its early observers. The celestial visitor was often considered a bad omen, and it was linked to everything from the death of kings to natural disasters. The historian Flavius Josephus described the comet of 66 A.D. as a “star resembling a sword” and considered it a portent of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. -


Norval Geldenhuys

From the commencement of the history of the Jewish nation, God through His servants warned them clearly that if they behaved unfaithfully and wickedly they would reap disastrous retribution. Cf. especially the striking words of Deuteronomy 28:15-68. There is almost no form of calamity that visited the Jews during the Roman-Jewish war, not mentioned here in Deuteronomy. - cited from David Guzik's commentary on Luke 21 from


Deuteronomy 28:49-53

49 “The Lord will bring a distant nation against you from the end of the earth, and it will swoop down on you like a vulture. It is a nation whose language you do not understand, 50 a fierce and heartless nation that shows no respect for the old and no pity for the young. 51 Its armies will devour your livestock and crops, and you will be destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine, olive oil, calves, or lambs, and you will starve to death. 52 They will attack your cities until all the fortified walls in your land—the walls you trusted to protect you—are knocked down. They will attack all the towns in the land the Lord your God has given you. 53 “The siege and terrible distress of the enemy’s attack will be so severe..."


The Great Controversy p.30

Not one Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem. Christ had given His disciples warning, and all who believed His words watched for the promised sign. After the Romans under Cestius had surrounded the city, they unexpectedly abandoned the siege when everything seemed favorable for an immediate attack. The besieged, despairing of successful resistance, were on the point of surrender, when the Roman general withdrew his forces without the least apparent reason. But 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...Without delay they fled to a place of safety—the city of Pella, in the land of Perea, beyond Jordan.


Isaiah 46:9-10

9 Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. 10 Only I can tell you the future before it even happens.


Luke 21:25a

25 And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. 


Mark 13:24-25

24 At that time, after the anguish of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, 25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 


Desire of Ages p.631

The Saviour gives signs of His coming, and more than this, He fixes the time when the first of these signs shall appear: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days...At the close of the great papal persecution, Christ declared, the sun should be darkened, and the moon should not give her light. Next, the stars should fall from heaven. 


Desire of Ages p.630

For more than a thousand years such persecution as the world had never before known was to come upon Christ’s followers. Millions upon millions of His faithful witnesses were to be slain. Had not God’s hand been stretched out to preserve His people, all would have perished. “But for the elect’s sake,” He said, “those days shall be shortened [Matthew 24:22].


David Brown

In the thirteenth century was established that most terrible of all engines of the papacy, the Inquisition. “Babylon the great” was “drunken with the blood of the saints.” The mangled forms of millions of martyrs cried to God for vengeance upon the apostate power. The persecution of the church did not continue throughout the entire period of the 1260 years. God in mercy to His people cut short the time of their fiery trial. Through the influence of the Reformation, the persecution was brought to an end prior to 1798. -


Joel 2:31

31 The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and terrible day of the Lord arrives.


Timothy Dwight

The 19th of May, 1780, was a remarkable dark day. Candles were lighted in many houses; the birds were silent and disappeared, and the fowls retired to roost...A very general opinion prevailed, that the day of judgment was at hand." - Connecticut Historical Collections, compiled by John Warner Barber (2nd ed.; New Haven: Durrie & Peck and J.W. Barber, 1836) p. 403


Revelation 6:12

12 I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood. 13 Then the stars of the sky fell to the earth like green figs falling from a tree shaken by a strong wind.


Frederick Douglass

I witnessed this gorgeous spectacle, and was awestruck. The air seemed filled with bright descending messengers from the sky. It was about daybreak when I saw this sublime scene. I was not without the suggestion, at that moment that it might be the harbinger of the coming of the Son of Man; and in my then state of mind I was prepared to hail Him as my Friend and Deliverer. I had read that the ‘stars shall fall from heaven,’ and they were now falling. I was suffering very much in my mind...I was looking away to heaven for the rest denied me on earth" (


Luke 21:25b

25 And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil.


2 Timothy 3:2-5

2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!


Luke 21:25c-28

25 And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. 26 People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then everyone will see the Son of Man  coming on a cloud with power and great glory.  28 So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!


Most Recent Tsunami

A surprise tsunami after a volcanic eruption caught holiday makers by surprise [December 22, 2018]. More than 280 people are known to have been killed and more than 1,000 injured after a deadly tsunami struck without warning around 9:30 p.m. local time in Indonesia's Sundra Strait, which includes the popular islands of Sumatra and Java. The nearly 10-foot wave is thought to have been caused by an underwater landslide...In itself, the relatively small eruption and subsequent tsunami is unlikely to rank among the deadliest natural disasters in recent years - Barbie Latza Nadeau "Angry Child of Krakatoa’ Tsunami Struck Indonesia Without Warning" 12.23.18 9:26 AM ET


Most Devastating Tsunami

On December 26, 2004, the third-largest earthquake ever recorded by seismograph occurred deep beneath the Indian Ocean, producing the energy equivalent of twenty-three thousand Hiroshima-type atomic bombs. It registered 9.1 magnitude on the Richter scale, and the shock waves produced tsunami waves more than one hundred feet in height, traveling five hundred miles per hour and reaching a radius of three thousand miles. This deadliest tsunami in history claimed 227,898 lives but one people group living right in its path miraculously survived without a single casualty. - Mark Batterson, Whisper, pp.95-96


John 14:29

I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe. - John 14:29