As He was leaving the Temple, one of His disciples exclaimed, 'Look, Rabbi, what wonderful stones! what wonderful buildings!'
'You see all these great buildings?' Jesus replied; 'not one stone will be left here upon another--not thrown down.'
He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite to the Temple, when Peter, James, John, and Andrew, apart from the others asked Him,
'Tell us, When will these things be? and what will be the sign when all these predictions are on the point of being fulfilled?'
So Jesus began to say to them: 'Take care that no one misleads you.
Many will come assuming my name and saying, 'I am He;' and they will mislead many.
But when you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed: come they must, but the End is not yet.
For nation will rise in arms against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These miseries are but like the early pains of childbirth.
'You yourselves must be on your guard. They will deliver you up to Sanhedrins; you will be brought into synagogues and cruelly beaten; and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to be witnesses to them for me.
But the proclamation of the Good News must be carried to all the Gentiles before the End comes.
When however they are marching you along under arrest, do not be anxious beforehand about what you are to say, but speak what is given you when the time comes; for it will not be you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.
'Brother will betray brother to be killed, and fathers will betray children; and children will rise against their parents and have them put to death.
You will be objects of universal hatred because you are called by my name, but those who stand firm to the End will be saved.
'As soon, however, as you see the Abomination of Desolation standing where he ought not' --let the reader observe these words--'then let those in Judaea escape to the hills;
let him who is on the roof not come down and enter the house to fetch anything out of it;
and let not him who is in the field turn back to pick up his outer garment.
And alas for the women who at that time are with child or have infants!
'But pray that it may not come in the winter.
For those will be times of suffering the like of which has never been from the first creation of God's world until now, and assuredly never will be again;
and but for the fact that the Lord has cut short those days, no one would escape; but for the sake of His own People whom He has chosen for Himself He has cut short the days.
'At that time if any one says to you, 'See, here is the Christ!' or 'See, He is there!' do not believe it.
For there will rise up false Christs and false prophets, displaying signs and prodigies with a view to lead astray--if indeed that were possible--even God's own People.
But as for yourselves, be on your guard: I have forewarned you of everything.
'At that time, however, after that distress, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not shed her light;
the stars will be seen falling from the firmament, and the forces which are in the heavens will be disordered and disturbed.
And then will they see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
Then He will send forth the angels and gather together His chosen People from north, south, east and west, from the remotest parts of the earth and the sky.
'Learn from the fig-tree the lesson it teaches. As soon as its branch has become soft and it is bursting into leaf, you know that summer is near.
So also do you, when you see these things happening, be sure that He is near, at your very door.
I tell you in solemn truth that the present generation will certainly not pass away without all these things having first taken place.
Earth and sky will pass away, but it is certain that my words will not pass away.
'But as to that day or the exact time no one knows--not even the angels in Heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
Take care, be on the alert, and pray; for you do not know when it will happen.
It is like a man living abroad who has left his house, and given the management to his servants--to each one his special duty--and has ordered the porter to keep awake.
Be wakeful therefore, for you know not when the master of the house is coming--in the evening, at midnight, at cock-crow, or at dawn.
Beware lest He should arrive unexpectedly and find you asleep.
Moreover, what I say to you I say to all--Be wakeful!'