Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Karaoke - O Holy Night

Saturday, 27 November 2021

2028 - The Year of the Lord Jesus's Return?

Matthew 24:32-34 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

Analysis: The parable of the fig tree is about the restoration of Israel as a nation. The following scriptures are evidence of this as we will soon see: 

Jeremiah 8:12-13 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.

13 I will surely consume them, saith the Lord: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them.

Analysis: Israel were not ashamed of their abomination (false prophecy) and so God said that they would fall amongst those who fall. Then God speaks of consuming them and the way in which it is done is through no grapes, figs or leaves to remain. Symbolic language is evident here because the context of that language is the consummation/judgement of Israel, not the consummation of physical fruits. The old testament often utilises this kind of symbolism to represent a greater reality. In this case the vine and fig tree are stripped of their fruits which is Israel losing what God gave them. So the fig tree here represents Israel. 

Hosea 9:10 I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.

Analysis: Israel is found like grapes in the wilderness and it's fathers as the firstripe (earliest ripened fruit) in the fig tree at her [Israel's] first time. In this case Israel is represented as grapes and Israel is "in the fig tree" implying oneness with the fig tree. So the fig tree also represents Israel then since there is no division between the two.

Luke 13:4-9 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?

5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?

8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:

9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

Analysis: The sinners who fell in the tower of Siloam were not worse sinners than those in Jerusalem but without repentance those present with Jesus would perish He taught. Then Jesus proceeds to use a parable of a fig tree that has no fruit on it and explains that if the fig tree bears no fruit after a year the dresser of the vineyard will cut it down (also see John 15:1-2). The context of the fig tree is those in Jerusalem (Israel/the Jews) and those sinners (Galileans) who fell. Since we have two groups in view/contrast it makes sense that those who need to repent also is Israel. And the fig tree parable connected to this would only represent Israel not the Galileans. It is another illustration of why Israel is not exempt from the need for repentance.

Matthew 23:37-39 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Analysis: Jerusalem (representing national Israel) is addressed by Jesus as being the persecutor of the prophets and that they would not allow Him to gather up their children. So then their house (nation) is left desolate (deserted/empty) and for/because of this Jesus says they (the nation) would not see Him again till they say "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord". This is important because if Israel is destroyed then Matthew 24:32 would be relevant to tell us of their restoration. Not only that, but Jesus says they [Israel] won't see Him till later which is hinting at His second coming which is precisely in view in Matthew 24:3, 30-34.

Final comments in regards to Matthew 24:32-34:

Matthew 24:32-34 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

Analysis: Jesus says that this generation (the one which sees the fig tree restored) will not pass till all these things be fulfilled. Let's say that the fig tree does not represent Israel for a moment. What we see then is that the fig tree represents "all these things" that are seen are the signs of the end and Christ's coming (Matthew 24:3). But if this is so then nothing is "near, even at the doors" since all would be fulfilled already including the second coming of Christ. But if we take the parable of the fig tree to be about Israel then what Jesus is saying is that when we see the restoration of Israel as a nation then the end and the second coming is near within the time frame of one generation. 1948 was the time in which Israel was restored as a nation, and if the generation is eighty years (Psalm 90:10) then 2028 will be the year of the Lord's return. Is it coincidence also that Matthew 24:22 and 31 has parallels with Psalm 90:10? Both passages speak of days being cut off/shortened and flying away. You can be the judge of whether that is a coincidence..

For now this should suffice to justify the conclusion that Jesus will come in 2028. In a future article I will talk about why He will return on one of the days of the Jewish feast of Trumpets and how the phrase "that day and hour knoweth no man" is based on this feast with a particular meaning different from what many think it means. To finish off I will quote the Psalm that predicts the restoration of Israel back to worshipping God in a single generation:

Psalm 102:16-18 When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.

17 He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.

18 This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

One Home Church - Union in Home Fellowship

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Street Preaching Videos - Ben Nigro at Lower Hutt - Nov 24 2021

Friday, 19 November 2021

Meditation in the Jesus Prayer

Have you ever considered meditating in prayer and do you know what I mean by this? It can be easily intimidating that other eastern religions promote forms of meditation for us to even consider meditation from a Christian perspective. However it is undeniable that the Holy Scriptures speak about it: 

Genesis 24:63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming.

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Psalm 63:6 When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.

Meditation is to focus yourself upon a particular thing and in this sense even workers do this to avoid distraction to see their task complete. In the context of the Jesus Prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner) it is to focus on your prayer. This is a prayer I try to use many times during the day and it brings to me focus on Christ with His mercy for me. And it is not the mere words that makes the impact, rather it is that continual focus in love for my Lord as I desire oneness with Him. I will now share how I go about prayer and hopefully through this you may also apply to your life what I have written about:

1 - Close off all external distractions. In the time of the quiet I cut off what I see, what I hear and feel externally by letting go of my focus on those things. It does not go away, however like clouds over us it is passes and it largely not noticed. 

2 - Close off all internal distractions. After I have achieved the first stage of closing off distractions I seek to deal with internal distractions. I bring my attention solely to the Jesus Prayer which I repeat in a consistent rhythm either verbally or in my mind and out of the heart I seek mercy so that I will enter into greater oneness with my Lord. 

3 - Rejoicing. Thankfully I rejoice inwardly in His presence knowing that the presence of Christ is greatly manifested in me and the enveloping peace around the letter (me) is a seal from the attacks of the demons which are temptations which lose it's grip upon me. 

4 - Persistence. After the presence of God emanating His divine nature (properties) upon me is what I seek. I force myself into prayer because the demons try hard to pull me down because they know that those who grow in purity they will see God (Matthew 5:8). Force is needed, and it comes from courage to know that when we knock on the door of Christ (John 10:9) it will be opened unto us (Matthew 7:7). He is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25) and without giving up in our prayers He shall grant us life more abundantly (John 10:10-11).

5 - Repeat. Simply repeat. More can be said about this perhaps in another article or even a video. I do confess that I am a beginner in this arena but as increase in this the oneness with God and division from the world is manifestly clear in the fruit produced. 

Helpful quotes

(Sayings of St Anthony the Great)

Do not focus on your old sins, lest the war will be renewed on you. Do not remember your carelessness and your pleasures in the time of your laziness; do not talk about them so that they do not become a stumble.

Seek repentance all the time, and don’t leave yourself to laziness for one single moment.

Whoever has not experienced temptation cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven,

Karaoke - O Holy Night