"What would you like for your 40th Anniversary present?" Captain Butterfly had asked me.
"Well" I said, "What I would really really like is if you would watch "Walk by Faith not by Sight" with me one evening."
Yes, he would. And last night we watched it together. Which cheered me up no end. I can only hope he enjoyed it. It is made by The Watchtower Society and was released at the Conventions last year.
It is based on the fulfillment of that extraordinary prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem.
At Luke 20:2-23, Jesus said: “Furthermore, when you see Jerusalem surrounded by encamped armies, then know that the desolating of her has drawn near. Then let those in Ju‧de′a begin fleeing to the mountains, and let those in the midst of her withdraw, and let those in the country places not enter into her; because these are days for meting out justice, that all the things written may be fulfilled. Woe to the pregnant women and the ones suckling a baby in those days! For there will be great necessity upon the land and wrath on this people; and they will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled."
Odd because you would suppose that it would be too late to flee once Jerusalem was surrounded by encamped armies.
However, history records how the prophecy was fulfilled. Following a Jewish revolt against Rome in 66 C.E. the Roman legate of Syria, Cestius Gallus, had assembled the twelfth legion of the Roman army, along with considerable auxiliary forces, to put down the rebellion. Arriving before the walls of Jerusalem during the festival of booths, Roman forces soon penetrated even to the heavily fortified temple walls. With apparent victory close at hand, Gallus suddenly and seemingly without valid reason ordered retreat. Jewish forces went in pursuit. Their attacks forced the retiring Romans to abandon the bulk of their baggage and their heavy siege equipment. Convinced that God had delivered them, rejoicing Jews struck coins bearing inscriptions such as “Jerusalem the Holy.”
However, followers of Christ remembered his prophecy and traditional sources indicate that the Christians forsook Jerusalem and Judea at that time. Ecclesiastical historian Eusebius of the third and fourth centuries C.E. writes: “The whole body, however, of the church at Jerusalem, having been commanded by a divine revelation, given to men of approved piety there before the war, removed from the city, and dwelt at a certain town beyond the Jordan, called Pella.” Epiphanius of the same general period states that ‘the Christians who dwelt in Jerusalem, being forewarned by Christ of the approaching siege, removed to Pella.’
History tells us what happened next, and the point of the DVD is to remind us how vital it is to listen to Jehovah, and to his Messiah, and obey them.
The Book of Daniel, in the 70 weeks prophecy, also warns that Jerusalem and the Temple will be desolated, after the Messiah has been "cut off" in death.
A very hot day today. And a cherry picker has been whirring away outside doing the re-pointing, so we couldn't have the windows open.