An earthquake in a developed country with well developed business networks is hugely different from the experiences in developing countries.
Two days after the earthquake a number of supermarkets were open for business. Service stations were selling petrol and gas.
Trucks and diggers operated by roading companies arrived two days after the quake to remove silt from the streets. Unfortunately, they are not making much progress, because there is thousands of tonnes to be moved.
Although the local port is closed, oil companies trucked fuel supplies from another port 100 miles away. There is plenty of petrol, so people can still get around in their cars, provided they avoid the streets and bridges that are closed.
Five days after the earthquake, a supermarket on the edge of the most damaged area has plenty of bread and milk. And stacks of bottled water. You could buy all you wanted without restriction. Torches and batteries were still available. I am puzzled where all the stock comes from, given the high volumes of sales. Their supply chains are amazing. This is the wonder of the free economy.
I have also been amazed at the human kindness. Neighbours who have probably hardly spoken are now helping each other and sharing what they have. Thousands of students are walking the streets with shovels and wheelbarrows carting the silt out of yards and putting it on the street.
Tonight, a helicopter flew in cooked meals to a park round the corner. Young women were walking around the street with wheel barrows giving them out to anyone who wanted one. They had been cooked in a small town 15 kilometres away. this was all organised by a few people who got together to do something to help.
We still have no electricity, water, or sewerage. The lines company is having to put in a new overhead line, because underground cables are to damaged too repair quickly. They are aiming to do this task, which would normally take four weeks in a week. So we might be without electricity for a week. Not sure how long water will be, because many of the pipes are damaged.
Life is still good. We used to take our family tenting when they were young, so we are used to doing without electricity. We have a small gas cooker for boiling water and a gas barbecue, so we can cook food. I managed to buy a Porta Potti on eBay (TradeMe) yesterday, so that deals with the most pressing problem. A friend of a friend has lent us a portable generator, so we can now boil water and charge cell phones, which is a bonus. Had coffee and toast for breakfast this moring which was lovely.
We have plenty of water. A local milk company has twenty milk tankers bringing in bulk water from outside the city for washing and other needs. It is available in big tanks spread around the city. Many people have put a tank on the back of their pickup truck or car trailer, gone and got water and parked it in the street where it is easy for people to get. Many streets seem to have one. I presume the people must have bought the tanks themselves. This water is not suitable for drinking, but there is plenty of bottled water available from the supermarkets for drinking.
Other people are much worse off than we are.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
An earthquake in a developed country with well developed business networks is hugely different from the experiences in developing countries.
The houses in Christchurch are all built with timber framing, so they do not collapse in an earthquake. When they have brick or block cladding, it is just a veneer that does not support the roof trusses. So even if the cladding cracks or fall off, the timber framing holds the roof up.
Many of the roofs are corrugated iron or metal tiles, so they stand up to shaking well. Some have concrete tiles, which tend to shake off in an earthquake. I visited one yesterday, on which the top half of the tiles had slipped off.
In the eastern suburbs of Christchurch, the most serious problem is liquefaction. This occurs when the pressure of the earthquake forces water out of the earth, sometimes from 10 to 15 feet below. It brings find particles of sand to the surface. When the water runs away, large heaps of silt are left behind.
Under asphalt streets the water pressures cause huge bubbles to occure, so what was a smooth street is now a bumpy obstacles cause. The storm water drains have pushed up, because the access vents to stick six inches up above street level (see the photos below).
In the last twenty years, most houses have been built on a solid concrete pad, called a floating foundation. When the liquefaction occurs under the house it can cause serious problems. In some cases the concrete pad crack in half when one end of the house drops and the other rises. When this happens, the water and silt push up through the cracks and fill the rooms with mess.
So although the houses look okay from the outside, they can have seriously damaged foundations. If the cracking is too serious and the foundation is too twisted, the house cannot be prepared and will have to be demolished.
Older houses were built on short wooden or concrete piles. They cope with the liquefaction better, but often the earthquake shifts them off their piles. The house my daughter is renting was built this way. The house appears to have moved forward about three inches. It is still standing fine, but until a builder can get underneath and look, it is not clear whether the foundation is holding up okay.
Last night we saw the house below that had dropped about a foot into the ground, when the liquefaction washed out the earth under its concrete foundation.
Round the corner, power poles have dropped down into the earth when liquefaction occurred, and are now only half their previous height.
Labels: Earthquake Christchurch
Friday, February 25, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
I have been silenced by the second Christchurch earthquake.
I was acutally in Wellington in meetings for my work, when the earthquake struck, but my wife was at home. I flew back to Christchurch 24 after the quake struck. All my family and friends are safe.
Our house only has minor damage. A couple of doors that will not shut.
We have no electricity, no water, no sewage, no internet and intermitent telephone, so life will be interesting for the next few weeks.
Our street looks like a four-wheel drive track with huge humps and big holes and silt everywhere.
We had half a tonne of silt in our back yard. Liquifaction that came up out of ground. An army of university students arrived this morning. Ten students armed with shovels and wheel barrows carted out the silt and put in a heap on the street. Contractors with trucks and loaders are carting it away.
Our fridge emptied onto the floor. And the walk-in pantry flowed out like Niagra falls. All crockery fell on the floor too.
Thank you all for your prayers.
Labels: Earthquake Christchurch
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
God speaks into the context of our experience. He uses the images, words and places with which we are familiar when he does speak to us. When prophets communicate their words, they used words and images with which their listeners are familiar. All the prophets did this.
Sometimes God gives a seer a vision, so he can show things that go beyond familiar words and images. The seen has to translate what he saw using the words and images with which he was familiar. John’s Revelation is a good example of this. Here is a description of something he saw.
At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne (Rev 4:2-3).I doubt that John saw jaspars, rubies and emeralds. These are physical things and John had been given a glimpse into the spiritual world. John saw something that was beyond is earthly experience, so he was trying to describe the indescribable. He used images of the most beautiful things he knew to describe the wonder of the spiritual world, but even this gives just a hint of its glory.
At other times, God uses images just to strengthen the power of communication. Audio-visual communication is often more effective that written communication. We remember things that we see better.
The biblical prophets used everyday language and context to describe what they saw, but they were also very clear about what was a revelation from God and what was a description of their response or their experience.
Monday, February 21, 2011
1 Cor 13:9-12 is often used as an excuse for mediocre prophecy.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears…..For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.Paul is explaining our human situation, not providing an excuse for weak prophecy. We see in part, because God does not reveal everything to his people. He only gives each person the small part that he wants them to have.
The common saying that we always see through a “dark glass”. That is not Paul's message. He is actually explaining the difference between our situation now and that in the next life. Because we live in the physical world, we miss most of the important spiritual stuff that is going in. Human minds just cannot comprehend the glory of the new heaven and new earth.
The Lord speaks clearly. He only gives us each person a small part of the big picture, be he gives it to us very clearly. Because, we are human, we may not always receive it as clearly as he has given it, but often if our heart is right, we do. We can often get our small part of his total revelation very clearly.
The prophet’s role is to share their part clearly, not explain to explain all parts dimly. If all the prophets give their part clearly, God’s people will get what we need. If every prophet give the entire picture dimly, we will just get confusion.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
The news media are claiming that the people of Egypt want freedom and democracy. They have already had democracy. Unfortunately, it was the kind of democracy where the ruling powers gets 97% of the vote, billions of dollars in wealth, and the people get poverty, and harassment if they complain.
The Egyptians don’t want freedom, they want western democracy, and its spoils.
Western democracy works like this. The government provides cradle to grave security, guarantees jobs for everyone, and ensures that food is cheap. If political leaders do not deliver all this stuff, they are chucked out at the next election, and replaced by a group who promise to do a better job. Politicians get rich by getting a good deal on their memoirs. This is what the Egyptians want, and who can blame them.
It is not freedom, but the people of the west do not want freedom either. The responsibility that freedom brings is far too scary in a world without faith.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Luke 14:7-10 is relevant to sharing prophecy and vison.
When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, Jesus told them this parable: When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests.Prophetic people are often tempted to find a higher place at the banquet for their words and vision. They do this in various ways.
Pushy prophets manipulating their words to the top table hurt the gospel.
The authority of the prophetic comes from the witness of the Spirit in the heart of the reader/hearer.
It is best to present our words and visions in a humble way near the bottom of the table. Then the Holy Spirit can move them up to the top of the table if he wishes.
Friday, February 18, 2011
This is a comment on a comment on a previous post, but it is an important topic, so I will post it separately.
Being shown images by the Holy Spirit is as important as hearing words. It is just another way of communicating.
God does not speak in images just to suit the learning style of the seer. He communicates this way for the benefit of all his people, so the images are not the property of the seer to be kept for himself.
If a Christian has been given words or shown images by the Holy Spirit, then the vision should be recorded as accurately as possible. This is what the biblical prophets did. Daniel and John described what they saw (sometimes not very well, because human language was not up to it).
The Christian should pray about whether and when to share the vision. Often the Lord does not give permission to share until some time after the vision is received. Receiving a vision does not constitute permission to share.
Once permission to share has been given, the vision should be described as accurately possible. In my view, it is best to describe what you saw “I saw…..” Any contextual information or interpretation should presented separately. “I believe this means…..” This approach has several benefits.
I understand that in these experiences distinguishing what the Sprit is showing from what the person already know is difficult, but it is also really important. Just as it can be difficult to distinguish the voice of the Spirit from the words that pop out of your own mind. However, learning to distinguish the two is critical for sharpening the prophetic gifting. Unfortunately many prophetic people do not bother trying.
People can then apply what you have seen to their situation, which may be different from yours.
If in a particular situation, the Christian has struggled to distinguish the two, there is nothing wrong with saying that to the readers. It does not diminish a gifting to be humble. The Holy Spirit is capable of highlighting what he wants people to see or hear (that should not be taken as an excuse for prophetic laziness).
The safest way to keep the description accurate is to write it down as soon as it is received. If too much time passes by, the memory dims and extraneous stuff can creep into the description of the vision.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
A reader asked about giving prophecies in the first person. This happened quite frequently in the Old Testament, so it is still a legitimate way to speak. However, it demands a higher level of certainty. It should only be done, if the prophet is absolutely certain that they are saying the exact words of the Lord. That level of confidence will be relatively rare, so this method of speaking should not be common.
Humility is always better than presumption. If the person prophesying is not totally certain, it is probably better to be humble and speak in the third person.
Speaking in the first person, should never be used as a literary device to make a prophecy sound impressive. This is done far too often. I would not want to be accountable for using God’s name in vain in this way.
We should remember that the authority of a prophecy does not come from the eloquence of the words. Authority comes from the Holy Spirit quickening the word in the heart of the listener or reader. Therefore, it is best to be humble in the way we present our words and let the Holy Spirit lift them up, if the thinks the word is important. He can do that if he chooses.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
When I read many of the words on prophetic lists like the Elijah List and Open Heaven, I find it hard to distinguish between human wisdom and true words from God. Many of the words have good applications of the scriptures and others provide good insight into what is happening in the world, but none seem to be very different from what would be heard in many Sunday sermons, if the pastor seeks the Lord about what he should say to his flock. Calling these words prophetic, not only devalues the meaning of the word prophetic, it makes it hard to dig out the genuine word from the Lord.
Most prophetic people have studied the scriptures for most of their lives. They usually have a passion for God’s Kingdom and are keen observers of all that is going on in the world. This puts them in a good place to comment on what is happening in current events or to develop sound applications of the scriptures. Their wisdom is often be really insightful and worth sharing (often more relevant than the editorial writers who dominate the websites of news organisations), but it is not the word of the Lord, so it is misleading to label it prophetic.
A prophet must learn to distinguish between what they receive from the Lord and what comes from their own wisdom. If they are unable to do that, they are on a very slippery slope, which can easily lead to disaster. Prophets should be very clear about the source of their words. If a word comes from the Lord, the prophet can say so. If it a prophetic of their wisdom and experience, they should label it as wisdom. If they are not sure, it is better to be modest than to exalt their wisdom above its place.
When prophets do not distinguish between their human wisdom and a word from the Lord, the word prophetic is depreciated and confusion follows. The true word from the Lord, which his people need to hear, to easily gets lost in the “prophetic slush”.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Nothing is automatic.
The Church and Society flow in parallel to each other.
If society is going downhill, it is because the church is not doing its job. It has stopped being salt and light for the world.
Many Christians believe that God can change this situation by sending traumatic judgments against society. If God hits society hard enough with earthquakes, hurricanes, and economic collapse, society will repent and be turned around. However, unless the church is changed, shaking society achieves nothing. It will just carry on downhill, because it does not know anything better.
If the church has copied society, it will be shaken too, and may even collapse.
Many Christians assume God is going to transform the world with storms, earthquakes and famines. We have had just had a bad earthquake. Some people are forecasting a stronger quake soon, unless people repent. Where there have been hurricanes, they are predicting worse hurricanes until people repent. These people do not understand how God works.
God does not transform society by whacking it with a stick. He does not change society by belting it harder and harder, over and over again. That just makes it sour.
To change society, God must begin by transforming his church. Then when he shakes society, his revitalised church can be salt and light and begin to impact society and shape it into a new direction.
Repentance comes from hearing the gospel of grace. Faith is a fruit of the Spirit. Only people can share the gospel. The Holy Spirit is carried in the hearts of believers. He can only get to the hearts of unbelievers, if his people are carrying him into their midst.
God can only transform society through a living body that carries the Holy Spirit, as he is works in society. Until he gets a body that is up to the task, he will not waste time shaking society.
Reaping What We Sow
That does not mean that world will not see more earthquakes and other disasters. When a society turns away from God, it eventually loses his blessing and protection. However, there is an interim period, where peace and prosperity continues, based on a backlog of faith from the faith of previous generations. Unfortnately, that legacy of blessing eventually runs out, and we begin to experience what our lack of faith deserves.
When God withdraws his protection, the enemy is free to do his stuff, and it is not nice. This is what we are seeing now in many parts of the Western world. Storms and earthquakes, wars and crashes are not God’s tools to change society. They are evidence that we have given evil a free hand in our society.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
The Kingdom of God will not be established by force. The popular idea of Jesus sitting in Jerusalem and using an “iron fist” to crush all opposition is repulsive and contrary to the gospel. What is more, it would not work. Jesus would not be able to eliminate evil by sitting on a throne in Jerusalem. He could control those in the immediate vicinity, but those further abroad would escape his power. His followers could track evil people down and "zap" them, but that would just increase their hostility to Jesus. He might be able to gain control of the world, but it would not be very pleasant place to live.
For Jesus to rule the earth from Jerusalem, the church would have to become a giant bureaucracy. The saints would take orders from Jerusalem so there would not place for initiative and exercise their talents. Being a cog in a giant bureaucracy does not sound like the hope to which we were called. In a bureaucratic age, this idea appeals to men who do not wish to take responsibility, but God would prefer men to be responsible, and exercise authority in obedience to the Word and the Spirit. Unfortunately, Christians still have the yearning for a messiah with a rocket launcher who will “blow away” their enemies.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
The Beast of Revelation is not a person. It is a nation that dominates the world, just as Rome, Greece, Persia, Babylon, Egypt and Assyria did in the past. Giving the name “Antichrist” to the Beast of Revelation and Daniel has no basis in the scriptures. Their beasts are nations that dominate huge empires. Renaming the Beast turns a nation into a person, which is misleading and wrong.
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
The Antichrist is not a future ruler of the world sets himself up to rule the world from a throne in the temple in Jerusalem. The word antichrist is only used four times in the whole Bible, and each time in the letters of John. He writes that many antichrists have already come and explains that the title refers to any person who spreads false belief about Jesus.
Monday, February 07, 2011
Yesterday was Waitangi Day, a national day of celebration looking back to the treaty a treaty agreed between Maori Chiefs and the British crown in 1840. This event marked the founding of New Zealand.
The day began with a dawn service in the treaty grounds at Waitangi, where the treaty was signed. The service is attended by various political leaders and religious dignitaries and the Prime Minsiter lead a prayer. A retired Anglican minister and Maori elder Gray Theodore, who was born Te Kerei Tiatua, was to lead the final hymn. He stunned the thousand people in attendance, when he shared a vision that he had received thirty-eight years ago. Here is some of what he said,
Whenever we hear the news broadcast or televised on TV, all they say is hee is the news; and its often good news and bad news. So with the word of the Lord, it’s good news and bad news. I wish I didn’t have to say this, what I have to say. I have seen the destruction of Wellington… thirty-eight years ago. A terrible earthquake is going to hit Wellington.I am not sure if this was all he said, but it is all that was broadcast on video.
The Lord has shown me the harbour (with) water going out and coming back as a Tsunami. I have seen the Lord ride the waters out and bring it back, and the waves started to seethe from Kaiapoi to Kaikoura… from the south east of the South Island, it started to move up.. it got to Wellington and Parliament, and went up the North Island toward Whanganui and Taranaki.
I have seen body bags in the streets of Wellington. I have seen the army called into Wellington. I have seen houses on the hills of Wellington – some of them disappeared. Last of all I want you to know this, and you can judge me for what it’s worth. I have seen the roof of the Beehive lying in the debris of the streets of Wellington.
No time was given in terms of years, and I have waited thirty-eight years to say this. The only indication given was the month of June.
Later Mr Theodore told a journalist that he had had the vision 38 years ago and had "run from it" ever since. He said he had been to Wellington (the capital city) with the intention of warning the Government twice before but events intervened to stop him – including when another minister fell dead in his arms and he had to take over his service. The third opportunity, yesterday, was biblically correct, as the Lord always spoke three times.
The Prime Minister said that he would not be taking much from it.
The leader of the Maori Party scoffed and joked about going overseas in June.
When a prophetic warning comes out a national event attended by public officials, it should be taken seriously. God prefers to speak in public.
Gray Theodore is not a flake. I heard him speak once, and he seemed sensible and down to earth. He is a trusted pastor and Maori elder, who has served faithfully in the church for a long time. I am sure he did not share the vision likely.
I have very little confidence in prophecies shared after the event. When a word of warning is given in advance, I sit up and take notice, because that is they way the Lord works.
Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing I would like to know what else Gray shared. He mentioned good news, so I would like to know what he meant by that. I would like to understand more about the context of the vision and if any conditions were attached to its fulfilment.
without revealing his plan
to his servants the prophets (Amos 2:7).
I also wonder if the fulfilment is physical or spiritual. The roof of the Beehive (the government office building) lying amongst the debris might symbolise the collapse of government.
The Tribulation is not the next big event. The world still has to go through a Season of Distress, but the "greatest tribulation" occurred, when Jerusalem was besieged and destroyed by the Roman armies in AD 70. Jesus said that the desolation would be unequalled ever (Matt 24:20-22). On the other hand, tribulation is actually a normal part of the Christian life (John 16:33, Acts 14:22).
Sunday, February 06, 2011
The last of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel came after the 69th week as would be expected, which means that the prophecy was totally fulfilled between the birth of Jesus and the destruction of Jerusalem. We do not need to insert a huge unbiblical gap to twist this passage into giving Satan authority for a seven-year tribulation (ditto for the Abomination of Desolation).
Saturday, February 05, 2011
Tomorrow is Waitangi day in New Zealand. This day commemorates an event that was pivotal to the founding of our nation. New Zealand is unique in that it was founded on a covenant or treaty between the indigenous Maori people and the British Crown. This covenant provided the possibility of the two peoples living together in harmony.
Unfortunately the covenant made at Waitangi was broken when the British government confiscated substantial tracts of Maori land.
Breaking a covenant is really serious. The ninth commandment says.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor (Exodus 20:16).Bearing false witness includes lying to a court, slander of character, fraud, ignoring a contract and breaking a covenant.
The failure of successive governments to honour the Treaty of Waitangi was disobedience to the ninth commandment that put New Zealand under a curse. For a more detailed explanation of the reason, see Treaty of Waitangi, where I explain how Joshua and Saul's experience with the Gibeonites provides principles for understanding and resolving broken treaties.
Ahab and Jez is relevant too.
Recent governments have established the Waitangi Tribunal, a judicial process for remedying the situation right and making restitution. This has turned away the curse. Christian should be really thankful for this change.
The Binding of Satan is not a future event, because he was destroyed by the cross. The reason Satan still seems to be so active is that the church has failed to realise the full extent of what Christ has achieved. The church has the police power to enforce Jesus judicial victory over Satan, so he will continue to act up until the church forces him to recognise the sentence that was passed against him. He will not be bound in some future event, but when the church begins using the authority that Jesus has given us.
The Millennium is not a future event. This number 1000 is used to indicate that God’s people are to reign throughout the present age, from Pentecost to the Parousia. The use of such a large number also indicates that this age will go on for a long time.
I cannot understand why the people of Egypt think they can have a new President.
Someone should tell the protesters the way things are. They live in the Middle East. Their President is selected by the Whitehouse.
Hilary Clinton failed in her own Presidential bid, so she gets to choose the next general to be Egyptian president as a consolation.
Friday, February 04, 2011
The doctrine that Jesus will return to establish the Kingdom is Satan’s best lie. He has used this lie to cripple the church, by fooling us into believing that the church will not come during this season. He has fooled us into believing that we can sit back and wait, because Jesus will come and so it for us. Unfortunately, that is a false hope.
Thursday, February 03, 2011
The Last Days are finished. Most Christian find this hard to accept, because they confuse the last days (plural) of the Jewish nation with the last day (singular) when Jesus will return. The last days refer to the period of time between the ministry of Jesus and the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
The claim that we are in the last days is really quite arrogant, when coming from a church that is so flabby. Those who think that the modern church is going to complete everything that God has planned for the church in this age have a fairly truncated understanding of what he plans to do.
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
The people of Tunisia and Egypt are demonstrating great hope. Unfortunately they have placed their hope in things that are bound to fail.
The people of these countries believe that democratic governments are the answer to their problems. The Egyptians have demonstrated particularly strong faith in their military forces. These are both false hopes.
The people protesting want jobs and they want cheaper food. Democratic governments do not produce jobs. Employment is produced by employers. What these countries need is entrepreneurs and employers who can create employment.
Food shortages are emerging all over the world. Government subsidies for biofuels have exacerbated the situation. For the next few years, rising food prices will be the norm. Poorer countries will suffer most, as the rich countries make sure that there is food on their tables.
Egypt and Tunisia cannot escape this problem. Democratic governments will not be able to hold down the price of food forever, as attempts to control prices will lead to shortages.
Whatever political change occurs in these countries, their economic situation is like to decline. The jobs and cheaper food for which people are desperate, will not suddenly emerge. The promises of political leaders are a false hope.
Many American Christians are afraid that an Islamic government will emerge in Egypt.
I find this odd. 90 percent of Americans claim to be Christian. Half of these are serious, even if the other half is nominal and secular. Therefore, it is natural that Christianity will have an strong influence on American government.
More than 90 percent of Egyptians claim to be Moslem. I presume that at least half of these are serious, even if the many are nominal and secular. Therefore, it is only natural that they would want a strong influence in their government. A pro-American secular government is an unnatural fit with their faith.
Americans expect their government to be influenced by their religion, so why shouldn't Egyptians expect the same.
Religion influencing government is not the problem. That is understandable. The real problem is that the people of Egypt have chosen the wrong religion
There is only one thing that can change the religion in Egypt. The gospel of Jesus.
If American Christians are unhappy with what is happening in Egypt, they should stop supplying teargas canisters and training to the Egyptian security forces and get serious about taking the gospel to the Egyptian people.
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Jesus Big Prophecy does not give signs of the second coming. Earthquakes and wars are not a sign of the second coming. Matt 24:1-35, Mark 13:1-31, Luke 21:5-36 describe events leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem. These events have already taken place. Jesus was answering the disciples question about when the temple would be smashed. When Jesus goes onto the second question about signs of his parousia, he states clearly that there will be no signs.