Sunday, March 28, 2010

Memorial Bible Reading (Events on Nisan 11)

I'm a whole Nisan day behind! (sorry) The following illustrations are from (chapters 110 & 111 of The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived)

(Jesus foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem, and advising his disciples to "keep on the watch" for the sign of his presence, and of the "Last Days")

(Jesus pointing out to his disciples the needy widow at the temple who gave all she had)

Memorial Bible reading:
(Events on Nisan 11)

Luke 21:1-36
Now as he looked up he saw the rich dropping their gifts into the treasury chests. Then he saw a certain needy widow drop two small coins of very little value there, and he said: “I tell YOU truthfully, This widow, although poor, dropped in more than they all did. For all these dropped in gifts out of their surplus, but this [woman] out of her want dropped in all the means of living she had.”

Later, as certain ones were speaking concerning the temple, how it was adorned with fine stones and dedicated things, he said: “As for these things that YOU are beholding, the days will come in which not a stone upon a stone will be left here and not be thrown down.” Then they questioned him, saying: “Teacher, when will these things actually be, and what will be the sign when these things are destined to occur?” He said: “Look out that YOU are not misled; for many will come on the basis of my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The due time has approached.’ Do not go after them. Furthermore, when YOU hear of wars and disorders, do not be terrified. For these things must occur first, but the end does not [occur] immediately.”

Then he went on to say to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another pestilences and food shortages; and there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs. “But before all these things people will lay their hands upon YOU and persecute YOU, delivering YOU up to the synagogues and prisons, YOU being haled before kings and governors for the sake of my name. It will turn out to YOU for a witness. Therefore settle it in YOUR hearts not to rehearse beforehand how to make YOUR defense, for I will give YOU a mouth and wisdom, which all YOUR opposers together will not be able to resist or dispute. Moreover, YOU will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of YOU to death; and YOU will be objects of hatred by all people because of my name. And yet not a hair of YOUR heads will by any means perish. By endurance on YOUR part YOU will acquire YOUR souls.

“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.

“Also, there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth anguish of nations, not knowing the way out because of the roaring of the sea and [its] agitation, while men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But as these things start to occur, raise yourselves erect and lift YOUR heads up, because YOUR deliverance is getting near.”

With that he spoke an illustration to them: “Note the fig tree and all the other trees: When they are already in the bud, by observing it YOU know for yourselves that now the summer is near. In this way YOU also, when YOU see these things occurring, know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I say to YOU, This generation will by no means pass away until all things occur. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.
“But pay attention to yourselves that YOUR hearts never become weighed down with overeating and heavy drinking and anxieties of life, and suddenly that day be instantly upon YOU as a snare. For it will come in upon all those dwelling upon the face of all the earth. Keep awake, then, all the time making supplication that YOU may succeed in escaping all these things that are destined to occur, and in standing before the Son of man.”

*extra info*
Chapter 111 of the 'Greatest Man' book:
Although Jesus’ prophecy has a limited fulfillment prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., the major fulfillment of it takes place during his presence and the conclusion of the system of things. A careful review of world events since 1914 reveals that Jesus’ momentous prophecy has been undergoing its major fulfillment since that year.
Another part of the sign that Jesus gives is the appearance of “the disgusting thing that causes desolation.” In 66 C.E. this disgusting thing appears in the form of the “encamped armies” of Rome that surround Jerusalem and undermine the temple wall. “The disgusting thing” is standing where it ought not. In the major fulfillment of the sign, the disgusting thing is the League of Nations and its successor, the United Nations. This organization for world peace is viewed by Christendom as a substitute for God’s Kingdom. How disgusting! In time, therefore, the political powers associated with the UN will turn on Christendom (antitypical Jerusalem) and will desolate her...

(it's interesting to note that almost all of the 'major' religions today, (not just Christian ones), have given their support to the United Nations, declaring it to be the last hope for mankind to achieve "peace and security" ... here's a related excerpt from: chapter 34 of Revelation - It's Grand Climax At Hand!:

In an effort to bolster the hopes of mankind, the United Nations proclaimed 1986 to be an “International Year of Peace,” with the theme “To Safeguard Peace and the Future of Humanity.” Warring nations were called upon to lay down their weapons, at least for one year. What was their response? According to a report by the International Peace Research Institute, as many as five million people were killed as a result of wars during 1986 alone! Though some special coins and commemorative stamps were issued, most of the nations did little about pursuing the ideal of peace in that year. Nevertheless, the world’s religions—always anxious for a fine rapport with the UN—set about publicizing the year in various ways.
On January 1, 1986, Pope John Paul II praised the work of the UN and dedicated the new year to peace. And on October 27, he assembled the leaders of many of the world’s religions at Assisi, Italy, to pray for peace...Many of the participants worshipped Christendom’s Trinity. Buddhists, Hindus, and others chanted prayers to gods without number. In all, 12 “religious families” assembled, being represented by such notables as the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Buddhism’s Dalai Lama, a Russian Orthodox metropolitan, the president of Tokyo’s Shinto Shrine Association, African animists, and two American Indians decked out in plumed headdresses.

back to the Greatest Man book...

As Tuesday, Nisan 11, draws to a close, Jesus continues the discussion with his apostles regarding the sign of his presence in Kingdom power and of the end of the system of things. He warns them about chasing after false Christs. Attempts will be made, he says, “to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones.” But, like farsighted eagles, these chosen ones will gather to where the true spiritual food is to be found, namely, with the true Christ at his invisible presence. They will not be misled and be gathered together to a false Christ.

False Christs can make only a visible appearance. In contrast, Jesus’ presence will be invisible. It will occur during a frightful time in human history, as Jesus says: “The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light.” Yes, this will be the blackest period of mankind’s existence. It will be as if the sun were darkened during the daytime, and as if the moon did not give its light by night. “The powers of the heavens will be shaken,” Jesus continues. He thus indicates that the physical heavens will take on a foreboding appearance. The heavens will not simply be the domain of birds, but they will be filled with warplanes, rockets, and space probes. The fear and violence will exceed anything experienced in previous human history...

So that his disciples who would be living during the last days could determine the nearness of the end, Jesus gives this illustration: “Note the fig tree and all the other trees: When they are already in the bud, by observing it you know for yourselves that now the summer is near. In this way you also, when you see these things occurring, know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I say to you, This generation will by no means pass away until all things occur.”
Thus, when his disciples see the many different features of the sign being fulfilled, they should realize that the end of the system of things is near and that God’s Kingdom will soon wipe out all wickedness. In fact, the end will occur within the lifetime of the people who see the fulfillment of all the things Jesus foretells!