Study Lesson 13
The Fig Tree End Time Warning
Scripture To Consider:
“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. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it [Matthew 24.30-31] is near, even at the doors.”
“Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away, till all these things are fulfilled. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Matthew 24.32-36
A Few Words Of Warning:
What To Learn From The Fig Tree End Time Warning
Jeremiah, an Old Testament prophet, more than twenty-five hundred years earlier in Jeremiah 24, prophesied of a final restoration of the nation of Israel as a fruitful fig tree. According to Jesus, could Israel’s rebirth as a nation in 1948 be a major moment in end time events?
Jesus said, “Now learn this parable from the fig tree. When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer [harvest time] is near. So you also when you see all these things [things spoken of in Matthew 24], know that it [Matthew 24.30-31, Christ’s appearing and the gathering of His saints] is near, even at the doors.”
Jesus also warned, “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away, till all these things [things thus far spoken of in Matthew 24] are fulfilled.” Could Jesus have been speaking of the generation of His early disciples that He first exposed these end time events to? Did that early generation, alive at the time of Jesus, see all the things Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24? The gospel accounts record that in Matthew there were earthquakes at or around the time of Jesus’ death. Luke reports that the sun was darkened at the time of Jesus’ death.
But there is no mention of the moon not giving its light. There is no mention of stars falling from the heavens, or the heaven’s being shaken. And there is no mention of the hearing of a great sound of a trumpet, or the coming of the Son of Man with power and great glory. And there certainly is no mention of the end time gathering of God’s elect true end time believers from the four winds of the earth or from one end of heaven to the other, as mentioned in Matthew 24.29-31.
Therefore, no matter how many letters are after our name or because we have attended the so-called best and oldest theological seminaries or denominational bible colleges, which survive to maintain pre-determined doctrines of men; we cannot altar the facts of Scripture. Scripture can never become a patchwork quilt for which to design more favorable theology, creeds, and highly protected false doctrine. Scripture must coincide with Scripture. Doctrine must always align itself accurately with the written, preserved, and revealed Word of God; otherwise, many may be led astray unto eternal destruction. We cannot deviate from Scripture!
Therefore, Jesus was indeed speaking of future end time events. Was Jesus saying then, that the generation that will be alive and sees Israel, the fig tree of the bible, become a nation on May 14, 1948, and begins to prosper and thrive after being scattered across the entire globe for centuries; for that generation to sit up and to take serious notice of the words of Jesus? That is exactly what many recent evangelicals believe. And much has happened in the world since 1948. Much has happened in the re-born nation of Israel since 1948.
And much has also happened in the end time aligning of worldwide economic, political, religious, and military systems. But the question should be, have we learned anything from the lesson taught by Jesus concerning the fig tree, whether Jesus was speaking of Israel as a nation or not? Many in places and positions of power and wealth around the world have built their personal doomsday bunkers, while Jesus has been and continues to silently but convincingly building His kingdom in the hearts and minds of faithful enduring believers in every generation.
Something To Consider:
Which Generation Will Not Pass Away
Jesus proclaimed, “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away, till all these things are fulfilled.” And if many evangelicals are correct in their interpretation of this Scripture, the end time clock is indeed ticking loud and clear.
Many claim that the generation spoken of by Jesus who witnesses the rebirth of the nation of Israel on May 14, 1948, ended in 1988. This wrongful miscalculation of forty years equaling a generation simply clouded the consensus of many evangelicals. It was back to the drawing boards, graphs, charts, and rewriting of many books that found their way to the bargain basements of bookstores around the world and especially in America.
Since then, it has been taught that the correct number of years rightfully equaling a generation should be considered seventy (70) years. That would project the end time time table to approximately 2018, with many prior to 2018 thinking the fig tree warning was still possible to be fulfilled as interpreted. But what has happened to millions of believer’s fragile faith, now that 2018 has come and gone, and the Lord has not returned?
And worse, what happens when millions upon millions of these same believers finally realize that the subtraction of seven (7) years from the date of 2018, for what many have without biblical evidence, claimed to be the length of what many call the great tribulation, which leaves us with the date of 2011, which has already come and gone by several years?
And so, many should be scampering back to their drawing boards, great seven-year tribulation graphs, and unbiblical but denominational end time charts of enchantment which display an unreal end time scenario, according to Jesus. And yet, tucked away and in plain sight, as if for safe keeping in the book of Genesis, is God’s personal and biblical definition of a generation. In Genesis 15.13, we are graciously given front row seats to listen in on a private and personal conversation between the LORD and Abraham of old.
What follows are the words of the LORD being spoken to Abraham. “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land [Egypt] that is not theirs, and will serve them [Egyptians], and they [Egyptians] will afflict them [Abraham’s descendants] four hundred years… But in the fourth generation they shall return here…”
In other words, if this Scripture we are considering does give details of the approximate timing or the outside perimeters of Christ’s certain end time return, then scripturally speaking, the borders of the end time might be set at approximately 2048 or any time prior to that date. And therefore, according to Scripture, a generation equals one hundred years, or any time prior to that time.
Something More To Consider:
Which Believers Will Be Found Faithful
What if many evangelical believers and religious theologians are not correct, and Jesus was not referencing the fig tree to Israel’s rebirth as a nation in 1948? What then of the fragile faith of millions upon millions who only listen to what the latest and greatest appearing on the scene teaching is, rather than their searching the Scriptures for themselves? Human nature reveals that many do easily become discouraged and disappointed. And according to Jesus, many will be deceived and led astray by false christs and false prophets by thinking Jesus will never return, or that He is delaying His return to gather His elect.
When this happens, and according to the Word of God, it does happen, many will begin to eat and drink with drunkards and begin to mistreat one another. But Jesus declared that the generation who sees all these things, things thus far spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24; the increase of wars, rumors of wars, the rising evil tide of many false prophets, famines, pestilences, and a growing intensity and frequency of earthquakes, that this generation who sees all these things shall not pass away until all these things are fulfilled. Of this we can be sure, for we have the very Word of God spoken by Jesus.
Is our generation who is alive now on planet earth, the end time generation that Jesus declared would not pass away without it seeing and experiencing the completion of these end time exposed events? Think about it for a moment! If Jesus comes in our lifetime, will we be found worthy to escape the Revelation prophesied wrath of God? If Jesus comes in our lifetime, will we be found busy about our Father’s spiritual kingdom building and enlarging business?
A Few Final Words:
Will We Be Found By Jesus Enduring To The End
Will we be found faithfully looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the pain of the cross, despising the shame of the cross, and who has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God the Father, interceding on our behalf? The answer cannot simply and automatically be yes and Amen. For in Luke 18.8, Jesus asked an astounding and often overlooked rhetorical appearing question of the spiritual atmosphere of the end time and of His coming, by proclaiming, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He [Jesus] really find faith on the earth?”
Therefore, at His second coming, will we be found by Jesus being watchful, prayerful, and faithfully enduring to the end? Or will we and millions of others alive on planet earth at the time of Christ’s coming, be shamefully found succumbing to the numbing effect of the compromising and falsely consoling messages of the many end time false prophets and false teachers, greedy for gain, religious but not spiritual, so-called leaders leading many astray?
May God send America and the rest of the world a true and great end time awakening, and yet, we must pray, Your will be done O LORD on earth as it is in heaven! Or has God already sent a great delusion as promised in 2 Thessalonians unto those who refuse to believe the truth, but would rather believe the lie of the lawless one?
Will we be among those who receive the love of the truth of God’s Word, that we might be saved? Or will we be destined to eternal destruction by being condemned for not believing the truth and yet, having pleasure in unrighteousness? The coming of the lawless one is upon us!
As the Christmas season approaches, will we be found standing fast in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ? Will we allow Christ to comfort us in the midst of such abounding lawlessness that surrounds us in this 21st century generation? Will we allow the Holy Spirit of God to establish us in every good word and work as we near the end of this age?
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, teach us the importance of the end time fig tree warning. Help us to be found faithful by Jesus, prepared, and watching for His return. May we be found by Jesus enduring to the end thereby being saved, according to His own Word. In Him Always, Amen!