Mark 13: Bible Study Guide

Early Morning Worship/ Theme: Signs of the Times/ Key Word: Watch

Key Text: “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13:37)

Heart Questions: How many Books in the Bible deals with End Time Prophecy? How many chapters in the Gospels address this crucial subject? What is Mark 13 all about? What response do you think this chapter should inspires us to do?

In a Nutshell: There are many prophecies in the Bible. The Book of Daniel and Revelation deals with prophecies of the End. In the Gospels, there are three chapters which talks about Signs of the End –Mathew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. John, the beloved disciples, does not have such chapter in his volume; but has dedicated the entire Book to deal with that subject: the Book of Revelation.

Mark 13 is best known as “the Olivet Discourse.” Here, Jesus does the speaking, while the disciples, the listening. He talks about the destruction of the temple and its implications (1-4); The flow of history until the Second Coming (5–13); The sign of His Coming and the End of the Age (14-37). We are going to study the chapter a little later, but for now, I want to stress one point: Every Sign that Christ spoke of has been fulfilled! The only sign that is yet to be fulfilled is this – “the sign of the Son of Man” in the clouds (Mt 24:30). Beloved, when Christ appears, it will be “too late!” Why? Because when He comes, “His Reward is with Him” (Rev. 22:12), meaning, it a Payday! But the most frightening reason is this: “no one knows the Day, or the Hour” (Mt 24:36). You ask—“What must I do now?” Watch and Pray; Prepare to meet your God, O Israel (Amos 4:12); Repent Ye and Believe the Gospel Mk 1:15)… for the Kingdom of God is near! Would you heed Christ’s invitation, as we close this worship session? — “Watch therefore, for you do not know when the Master of the house is coming—in the Evening, at Midnight, at the Crowing of the rooster, or in the Morning—lest, coming suddenly, He find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13:35–37, NKJV)

Today’s Promise: The Angels said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11, NKJV) The Apostle John testifies: “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.” (Revelation 1:7, NKJV)

Something to Thank God For: 1. When Adam sinned, we lost the paradise; But when the Second Adam (Jesus Christ) conquered sin and death, we regained the lost paradise and now have eternal Life!/ 2. Jesus is preparing a place for us (Jn 14:1-3)/ 3. Jesus is coming to take us home (Isa. 25:9).

Issues to Pray For: 1. Bible Study Guides in the Gospel of Mark/ 2. Those who are still undecided to make the right choice for Christ “now” before it is too late! (Joshua 24:14-15a)/ 3. Watch! Wake up from sleep; “for now Salvation is nearer to us than when we believed” (Rom 13:11).

My dear friends, it is Time to Pray! (See Prayer Requests above). Feel free to share a Song, or any Burden you might have, and together, we will seek the LORD in Prayer. May the Lord Bless us all, as we ‘Begin a New Day with Jesus!’ Amen.

Our Respond: TIS ALMOST TIME FOR THE LORD TO COME! (SDAH 212).

1/ Tis almost time for the Lord to come, I hear the people say; The stars of heaven are growing dim, It must be the breaking of the day.

[Refrain] – O it must be the breaking of the day! O it must be the breaking of the day! The night is almost gone, The day is coming on; O it must be the breaking of the day!”

2/ The signs foretold in the sun and moon, In earth and sea and sky, Aloud proclaim to all mankind, The coming of the Master draweth nigh.

3/ It must be time for the waiting church, To cast her pride away, With girded loins and burning lamps, To look for the breaking of the day.

4/ Go quickly out in the streets and lanes, And in the broad highway; And call the maimed, the halt, and blind,To be ready for the breaking of the day.

41-BSG-13D: TODAY’S CHAPTER

Mark 13: Bible Reading Plan/ The Book of Mark 13/ Theme: The Olivet Discourse.

Mark 13 (NKJV) — 1 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!” 2 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.” 3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?” 5 And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 6 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many. 7 But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows. 9 “But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. 11 But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 “So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not” (let the reader understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let him who is on the housetop not go down into the house, nor enter to take anything out of his house. 16 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 17 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 18 And pray that your flight may not be in winter. 19 For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be. 20 And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days. 21 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand. 24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven. 28 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near—at the doors! 30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. 32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning—36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!

41-BSG-13J: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.

Bible Study Guide/ Mark 13, (41-BSG-13J)/ Questions and Answers.

Opening Remarks: “This chapter in Mark, like its parallels (Matt. 24; Luke 21), has been a challenge for interpreters over the centuries. Is Jesus speaking about the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, or the events preceding the Second Coming, or a combination of the two? Many students of the Gospels believe the passage combines the two events, constituting the events surrounding the fall of Jerusalem into a prefiguration of what will happen at the return of Christ.” – [Jon L. Dybdahl, Ed., Andrews Study Bible Notes, (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2010), 1317].

Exploration: On the world conditions before the Second Coming, read –(Matthew 23–25, 37–39; Luke 21:25–27; 1 Thess. 5:3; 2 Tim. 3:1–5; 2 Pet. 3:3–4).

[1] What impressed the disciples as they were leaving the temple? (1) – The manner of stones and the magnificent structures of Tempe.

[2] How did Jesus answer the Disciples and what prophecy did Jesus make to them? (2) — “You see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be loosened and torn down.” (Mark 13:2, AMP)

[3] Jesus’ prediction brings up two questions in the minds of His disciples. Identify the two questions (3–4) –

A: “And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,

B: “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” (Mark 13:3–4, ESV)

[4] What did Jesus say on the rise of false prophets? (5-6) — “And Jesus began to tell them, Be careful and watchful that no one misleads you [about it]. Many will come in [appropriating to themselves] the name [of Messiah] which belongs to Me [basing their claims on the use of My name], saying, I am [He]! And they will mislead many.” (Mark 13:5–6, AMP)

[5] What would characterize the world just before the end of Age? (8) — “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines and calamities. This is but the beginning of the intolerable anguish and suffering [only the first of the birth pangs].” (Mark 13:8, AMP)

[6] What would happen to the followers of Jesus Christ? (9) — “But look to yourselves; for they will turn you over to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake as a testimony to them.” (Mark 13:9, AMP)

[7] What must be first proclaimed among all nations? (10) — “And the good news (the Gospel) must first be preached to all nations.” (Mark 13:10, AMP)

“Turmoil and disaster will occur until Jesus returns. But none of these are an indicator that He is just about to arrive. The only such indicator is that the gospel is preached to all the nations. But only God will know when this sign is fulfilled. Following Jesus means that we will preach the gospel even though we do not know when the task will be done.” – [Jon L. Dybdahl, Ed., Andrews Study Bible Notes, (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2010), 1318].

[8] What promise does Jesus make to His followers? (11) — “Now when they take you [to court] and put you under arrest, do not be anxious beforehand about what you are to say nor [even] meditate about it; but say whatever is given you in that hour and at the moment, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 13:11, AMP)

[9] What did Jesus say would happen to brothers, fathers, and children at this time? (12-13a) — “And brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; and children will take a stand against their parents and [have] them put to death. And you will be hated and detested by everybody for My name’s sake.” (Mark 13:12–13, AMP)  

[10] What promise does Jesus make to His faithful children during that time? (13b) — “but he who patiently perseveres and endures to the end will be saved (made a partaker of the salvation by Christ, and delivered from spiritual death).” (Mark 13:13, AMP)

[11] What is the abomination of desolation? (14) – The phrase “abomination of desolation” is taken from the book of Daniel (Dan. 9:26–27), and it refers to, among other things, the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome that took place in A.D. 70.

NOTE — “After the fall of Jerusalem and before the Second Coming of Christ the church was to go through oppression and persecution, as predicted in Dan. 7:21–26. Jesus promised that God in His sovereignty and love would limit the duration of that experience.” – [Jon L. Dybdahl, Ed., Andrews Study Bible Notes, (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2010), 1284].

[12] What four-fold warning does Jesus tell the people when they see the abomination of desolation? (Mk 13:14, 15, 16, 17)

A: “But when you see the abomination of desolation mentioned by Daniel the prophet standing where it ought not to be—[and] let the one who reads take notice and consider and understand and heed [this]—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” (Mark 13:14, AMP)

B: “Let him who is on the housetop not go down into the house nor go inside to take anything out of his house;” (Mark 13:15, AMP)

C: “And let him who is in the field not turn back again to get his mantle (cloak).” (Mark 13:16, AMP)

D: “And alas for those who are pregnant and for those who have nursing babies in those days!” (Mark 13:17, AMP)

[13] In light of this impending tragedy (“Great Tribulation”), Jesus instructs: “pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.” Why? (18-19; cf. Mt 24:20).

The Answer is in verse 18-19. — “Pray that it may not occur in winter, For at that time there will be such affliction (oppression and tribulation) as has not been from the beginning of the creation which God created until this particular time—and positively never will be [again].” (Mark 13:18–19, AMP)

NOTE — In those days there will be tribulation (13:19. “This and the immediately preceding verses seem to have reference to the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. However, the persecution of God’s people continues in the tribulation of the 1,260-year period (Rev. 12:13–14) until the time of the Second Coming (Mark 13:24–27). Just before Christ’s arrival, evil will be at its worst, as in the days of Noah (Gen. 6:1–7).” — [Jon L. Dybdahl, Ed., Andrews Study Bible Notes, (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2010), 1318].

[14] What will God do? How do you see God’s mercy in the midst of this “Great Tribulation?” (20) –“And unless the Lord had shortened the days, no human being would be saved (rescued); but for the sake of the elect, His chosen ones (those whom He picked out for Himself), He has shortened the days.” (Mark 13:20, AMP)

[15] What should Christians remember when they hears reports of Miracle workers and Messiahs? (21-23) –“And then if anyone says to you, See, here is the Christ (the Messiah)! or, Look, there He is! do not believe it. False Christs (Messiahs) and false prophets will arise and show signs and [work] miracles to deceive and lead astray, if possible, even the elect (those God has chosen out for Himself). But look to yourselves and be on your guard; I have told you everything beforehand.” (Mark 13:21–23, AMP)

[16] What would happen “in those days,” –after that “Great Tribulation” time? (24-25) –“But in those days, after [the affliction and oppression and distress of] that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; And the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.” (Mark 13:24–25, AMP)

[17] What one elegant sign will be seen in the whole world? (26) –“And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great (kingly) power and glory (majesty and splendor).” (Mark 13:26, AMP)

[18] What will happen in connection with Jesus coming then? (27) –“And then He will send out the angels and will gather together His elect (those He has picked out for Himself) from the four winds, from the farthest bounds of the earth to the farthest bounds of heaven.” (Mark 13:27, AMP)

[19] How does the Parable of the Fig Tree reiterate the certainty of Christ’s return? (28-29) — “Now learn a lesson from the fig tree: as soon as its branch becomes tender and it puts forth its leaves, you recognize and know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things happening, you may recognize and know that He is near, at [the very] door.” (Mark 13:28–29, AMP)

[20] When Christ says “this generation will not pass away until all these things take place” (Mk 13:30); to whom do these words concern? The people living when these signs and events begin.

[21] How long is a “generation” anyway? (30) — The word “generation” can be understood as a race or people. This may be a promise that the Jewish race will not perish before history comes to a conclusion.

NOTE — “A generation was considered to span about 40 years. But the word generation may also mean “race of people.” Since many of the signs of Jesus’ coming occurred in the first century, the word may refer to the final generation alive when the last of the signs are fulfilled. Or perhaps it refers to the Jewish race itself, which has survived against all odds and will exist at Jesus’ return.”— [NIV Quest Study Bible, Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2011 by Zondervan/ (Mark 13:30)]

[22] What shocking claim does Jesus make? (31) –“Heaven and earth will perish and pass away, but My words will not perish or pass away.” (Mark 13:31, AMP) Jesus made the amazing claim of uttering eternal words. This is certainly enough to establish His claim to deity.

[23] Who alone knows the exact time of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ? (32) –“But of that day or that hour not a [single] person knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mark 13:32, AMP)

[24] What is to be our chief concern while we wait for Jesus to return? (35-37) —“Therefore watch (give strict attention, be cautious and alert), for you do not know when the Master of the house is coming—in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrowing, or in the morning— [Watch, I say] lest He come suddenly and unexpectedly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to everybody: Watch (give strict attention, be cautious, active, and alert)!” (Mark 13:35–37, AMP)