01-06-2006, 03:08 PM #1
Now, learn the lesson of the fig tree
THings seem to be excellerating, is summer near, I dont know.
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. [Matthew 24:32-36]
"Learn a parable of the fig tree; When its branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near."
Now I want you to know folks, I donít know beans about a fig tree, from personal experience. But I do know enough to know about winter and summer, that trees lose their leaves in the winter, right? And when leaves start coming back you that what? Summerís near! Summerís near. Thatís the whole point of verse 32. When the branch is tender, it puts forth leaves, summer is near. Alright?
"So likewise, when you see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors." Well, what is near? Well, all of the previous part of the chapter is talking about the events of the coming of Christ. And itís simply saying, when you begin to see these things come to pass, what things? Well the tribulation, the great tribulation, verse 21, the abomination of desolations spoken of by Daniel verse 15, where the antichrist desecrates the sacred place. When you see verse seven, nation rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom, famines, pestilence, earthquake, various things, false Christs and false prophets, when all of these elements of the end time begin to come to pass, then you know that summer is near. You know that the time for the arrival of the Son of Righteousness is very near.
Then in verse 34 he introduces another element and says, "This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." And the question is what generation?
Maybe the safest answer is the generation that is alive when all of these things begin to happen. Itís going to happen so fast that theyíll see the end. And I think thatís really true, you know the tribulation is short isnít it? And in fact the first three and half years of the tribulation is basically a time of peace. And itís in the middle of the tribulation, that all of a sudden the seven seals are opened and the seven trumpets are blown and the seven vials are poured out, and in a rapid fire, almost staccato succession of a tremendous cataclysmic events, "bang, bang, bang, bang," in three and a half years the holocaust of the whole world takes place. So that the generation that is alive when these things begin to come, just like the people who are alive when the fig tree puts forth itís leaves, are the same people who are going to be around when the summer comes because one follows so quickly on the other. And this is the way itís going to be, heaven and earth might pass away but my word shall not pass away. In other words, you can believe this.
Now thereís one other belief here, and this is one thatís been discussed and itís a possible one. The word "generation", genea is a word that means race, people, nation, generation, a very, very broad word, itís like our word people, it can mean anything. And some say that the fig tree here is Israel, have you heard that view? The fig tree is Israel and thatís true in the Bible. Very often Israel is a fig tree. And the generation that is alive when the fig tree puts forth its buds, or its leaves will not pass away till all these things come to pass. And so they say the generation that is alive when the fig tree puts forth its leaves, or comes out of the night of its winter. And of course you know as well as I do, that in I think in May of 1948, Israel became a nation didnít they? And many Bible scholars believed that the fig tree put forth its leaves, that the night of the winter of Israelís history was ended and Israel began new life. And they became a nation duly, a constituted autonomous nation. And the fig tree put forth its leaves and the generation that is alive to see that will not all die off until all the events of the end come to pass. Which if thatís the proper interpretation and some believe it is, although you cannot be dogmatic about it, it is a possible interpretation, then the generation that is alive as of 1948 will be alive when the the things of the return of Christ take place.
Now you get into the discussion of how long is a generation. And some people say 40 years, and some people say 60 years and some people say 30 years. If itís 30 years, itís too late. They keep raising their date. I noticed that David Wilkerson just revised his vision. Did you see that? He had a vision, you remember at the conference in Minneapolis, and he predicted that the whole thing would come to pass by 1978, and he has now revised his vision. This is the revised vision. And the reversed version, or perverse vision or something. But anyway heís revising his vision upwards into the Ď80ís. If itís 30 years itís behind us if itís 40 years itís going to be 1988 but I donít really know.
I do know this if you go to verse 36, itís very helpful. It says, "But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." So I donít know why people keep setting dates, because they donít know. And every time I hear someone do that I canít believe that they would do that! Why do people do that when it says here...I heard a guy the other day say on the television, they were interviewing him...you know if youíre not sick to start with when you stay home, just watch Christian television and you will be. I mean then youíll really be sick. When you hear the stuff that goes on--itís unbelievable! Unbelievable. Anyway I donít want to get into too much of that, but this guy was saying that the Lord must come in the next two years. You know just in defiance of scripture and so we donít know when, but the generation thatís alive when it begins to come to pass will be alive when it fully comes to pass because itís going to happen so fast, thatís one view. The other view is that the ones that are alive when Israel is born will see the fullness of the end. So either way folks, things are happening so fast in our day and age--Iím not predicting when the Lordís going to come but man Iíll tell you...Somebody said to me, "What has to happen before He can come?" And I said nothing but the trumpet and when that happens weíre gone. Because there are no parts of the puzzle left out. None.
01-06-2006, 03:08 PM #2
John Macarthur, sorry
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