In 445BC, with one Bible week equating to seven years (a prophetic year being 360 days), God commanded that seventy weeks each of 7 years, would be determined upon Israel, that is … 70 weeks x 7 years = 490 years (Daniel 9:24-27).
This time frame is broken into four time periods of (a) 7 weeks + (b) 62 weeks + (c) the mystery church age of about 2,000 years + (d) 1 week = 70 weeks and is explained as follows:
#1. Seven weeks of years is 7 x 7 = 49 years … the time it takes to restore and build Jerusalem from 445BC to 396BC.
#2. Sixty two weeks of years is 62 x 7 = 434 years … the time from the building of Jerusalem in 396BC to Christ being cut off at the cross in 32AD.
#3. The church age of approximately 2,000 years
#4. One week of years is 1 x 7 = 7 years … this is the seven years of tribulation of God’s wrath upon the earth, that takes place after the rapture … called Daniel’s 70th week.
“THE FIG TREE” parable Matthew 24:32-34
parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth
leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see
these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say
you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things
REALLY GOT US CONFUSED NOW JESUS!”
If Israel had difficulty hearing and seeing parables, they must have been really confused over this parable of the fig tree.
one of the most important chapters of the Bible, Matthew 24 has this
conflicting paradox … here’s Jesus talking a sprouting, healthy, shiny,
leafed tree that is placed along side the most dire of set world events
could imagine … as follows …
“ … many shall come in my name … wars and rumours of wars … nation shall rise against nation … kingdom against kingdom … famines, pestilences, and earthquakes … they deliver you up … kill you … hated of all nations … many be offended … betray one another … hate one another … false prophets … iniquity shall abound … love of many shall wax cold … the abomination of desolation … Lo, here is Christ … false Christs … false prophets … great signs and wonders … deceive the very elect … the sun be darkened … moon shall not give her light … the stars shall fall from heaven … he shall send his angels … gather together his elect …” (Matthew 24:5-31) and so on.
TWO QUESTIONS WERE …
“What’s the sign of your coming back again Jesus?”
“What’s the sign of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3)
So he simply tells them.
Jesus says “Watch out for these dreadful things that will happen, because when you see them you will know that I am coming back and that will be the end of the world as you know it!”
Surely the disciples would have said “Well … that does not make sense Jesus!”
Israel is represented by two trees of the olive and the fig ... with the first always remaining alive (Hebrew 13:5). When Christ entered Jerusalem he cursed the fig tree not the olive tree (Matthew 21:19) meaning from that time forward, Israel was to be cast aside as a nation. They would be as dead and withered.
In a nutshell, Christ with this parable, states that when he comes back a second time to rescue Israel (Revelation 19), of which they would not have known about at that time, he will be taking the curse off Israel … that is … they will no longer be cast aside as a withered and dead tree, but from this time forth, he will be sitting on David’s throne, and Israel will be the head and not the tail anymore!
What group of people does this refer to?
How long is a generation of people?
Is a generation 60 years or seventy years?
Is it from 1948 when Israel becomes a nation?
Is it from the 1960’s and 1970’s with all Israel’s wars against the Arabs going foward?
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ‘GENERATION’ AND ‘GENERATIONS’?
People see a word like generation and immediately assume it means generations as in people and ancestors … as in an ancestral line … as we have with Jesus Christ which lists his ancestors … that is … the generations, his ancestors, that came before him (Matthew 1:1-17).
But we see the distinction between the two words ‘generation’ (Matthew 1:1) and ‘generations’ (Matthew 1:17). In other words Christ’s generation contains his ancestral generations … the latter being a subset of the former.
So in the first chapter of Matthew, there is the generation, the coming into being, the process involved, the bringing into existence of Christ … along with the generations of people that came before him … his ancestral line.
Hence we see two different meanings to these words.
An example would be a certain electric motor that can generate power … that is there is a generation of power from the motor. And of course, there can be various amounts of power that can be generated … that is … there are various generations of power that can come from the machine. But no-one would assume that this refers to the previous models, the generations of motors, manufactured previously.
Another example is …
Israel is a state, that is, a nation.
Now one might ask “What is the state of Israel?” … meaning what are the conditions in Israel like? That is, what is happening in Israel today … what are the economic, political or social factors operating in Israel?
can you see the difference?
In the parable, this generation simply means the generation of the fig tree … NOT a line of ancestors, NOT a generation of people, and NOT a specific time period of people.
So on one hand Israel will be confronted the catastrophic events (Matthew 24:5-31) but are to be encouraged that Christ is coming back after this. The following diagram may help:
1. Fig leaves represent a type of human righteousness and used as a shield to hide human sins (Genesis 3:7). These leaves are large, velvety, attractive and soft to the human skin ... as is man’s religion. Not fit to stand in the presence of God, man manufactures his own religious programmes he thinks will be sufficient. Fig leaves shrink to about one quarter of their size, thereby failing to hide the parts they should. So it is with human religions, as they are not sufficient to cover man’s sin.
2. There are two trees that represent Israel – the olive and the fig, with the former representing Israel from a spiritual aspect, and the fig tree as a nation.
3. In the Lord cursing the fig tree but not the olive tree (Matthew 21:19), Christ lays no hope in the survival of the nation of Israel … at that point in time. His cursing signified the coming destruction of the nation of Israel … for about 2,000 years.
olive tree, being spiritual Israel, and being the hardiest of trees,
impossible to destroy and will always survive (Hebrews 13:5) … Christ
cursed the olive tree.
4. Indeed, during Israel’s seven years of tribulation, we have the two live olive trees, Moses and Elijah (Revelation 11:4; Zechariah 4:3-6) being upheld by God amidst their enemies.
5. It can be said that we see evidence of budding of Israel’s fig leaves today, with Israel being established as a nation in 1948 and having its own postage, coinage, government and educational institutions and so on, and one day we know that Israel will expel all foreign interference, destroy the Moslem dome of the rock, and Christ will rule and reign from David’s throne in Jerusalem.
But this is incorrect to the real meaning of the budding fig leaves. Indeed the context is to be found with Israel IN the seven years of tribulation.
1. the fig tree = the fig tree represents Israel.
2. When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh There are several points here:
(a) The context of this parable is the time of the seven years of tribulation that takes place after the Christian rapture, for both the world and for Israel.
(b) The nation of the fig tree of Israel has been cursed by Christ (Matthew 21:19) but now will now be eventually revived, starting with Israel having its eyes being opened in the seven years of tribulation (Zechariah 12:10) … thereby signalling the end of that world and the return of Christ.
This is the
prophecy of future history foretold, for Israel and the rest of the
tender fig trees, and coming into full bloom, are approaching
(d) The word ‘fruit’ is not mentioned in the parable, so the fruit will become evident after Christ’s 2nd coming.
(e) So after Israel’s eyes being opened, the branches of the fig tree will still be young and the leaves will be sprouting … but there will be no fruit at that time … but will come in the 1,000 year reign to follow with Christ on David’s throne. It will be Christ’s fruit.
(e) So this is about Israel watching and waiting, with discernment, and knowing the time of when the end of the world is nigh and Christ will return.
equivalent is something like this … when any farmer sees the changing
moon phases, dew forming on the ground, increased rain and so on and so
and he puts all these things together, and says “There is a change of
coming.” In other words he puts ‘two and two together’ to ascertain the
(f) With no fruit mentioned there are plenty of leaves, which means the fig tree is alive and growing … that is … Israel, as a nation, will come alive at the end seven years of tribulation.
(g) Indeed their eyes will be opened by the Lord (Zechariah 12:10) … but as a nation will not have time for fruitful works. Israel’s branch at this time will be very tender as the parable says, is producing leaves … but with no fruit.
(h) But as we will see, there will be individuals, one in the field and one in the mill (Matthew 24:40-41), that will have produced fruit before the 2nd coming of the Lord in Revelation chapter 19 … and will raptured before his coming.
(i) This section of the parable warns Israel to use discernment and see that the ‘summer is nigh’ … that is … the seven year tribulation world is coming to an end with Christ about to return.
(j) So the situation is this … Israel has been a dead fig tree nation (Matthew 21:19) up to the time when God opens their eyes (Zechariah 12:10), and they begin to bud leaves on their tender branches just before Christ’s 2nd coming.
3. So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors = these things are very close to happening and will be a certainty and are imminent. This will be also evidenced by the two witnesses of Elijah and Moses (Revelation 11:4)
4. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled = Confusion over this parable has its source in semantics and linguistics … that is … the meaning of a word is in its context … it will be the generation of the fig tree as previously explained, not generations of people.
5. till all
these things be
What are these things? These things are as have been mentioned …
come in my name … wars and rumours of wars … nation shall rise against
kingdom against kingdom … famines, pestilences, and earthquakes … they
you up … kill you … hated of all nations … many be offended … betray
another … hate one another … false prophets … iniquity shall abound …
many shall wax cold … the abomination of desolation … Lo, here is
false Christs … false prophets … great signs and wonders … deceive the
elect … the sun be darkened … moon shall not give her light … the stars
fall from heaven … he shall send his angels … gather together his elect
24:3-31) … and
6. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away = in other words all the words of this parable will be fulfilled before heaven and earth pass away … and they will ... but not just yet … but all the words of this parable will come about before that happens. In other words, it will be impossible that heaven and earth shall pass away before these things come to pass.
7. But of that day and hour knoweth no man = only the Father knows.
But doesn’t say week or month does it?
Israel will know they are on ‘the verge’ of something very, very near … it might be this week … or next?
8. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be = Revelation chapter 19.
9. For as in the days that were before the flood = the flood occurred in 2340BC
10. they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that noe entered into the ark = the Gentiles were having a good time and carrying on as usual.
We must remember this will be the general populace of people of the world, and not the righteous ones, Jewish and Gentile, that will be raptured just before the 2nd coming.
11. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be, not the Son of God = see Revelation 19:19-21.
The Son of God comes in the air for the Christians at their rapture, but this will be a physical coming of Christ onto the earth … actual horse and rider on the ground!
12. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left = this will be the rapture of the individual righteous ones … either Gentile or Jewish just before the 2nd coming of Christ.
13. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come = it’s getting real close now … it doesn’t mention day as in verse 36 (Matthew 24:36). This happens JUST before the 2nd coming of Christ … to the hour … that day!
14. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
Just suppose the man of the house had heard that a thief would break into his house after 12.30 am and before 12.45 am, he would sit up, watch and wait and be ready for the thief to break into his house.
15. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh = so Israel needs to know that when all the above things start to happen, then the Son of man will be returning.
There is a parallel application of this parable for Christians today.
Christians are asking “When will the end of this world be?”
“When will you be coming back Jesus?”
There will be two world endings and two comings of Jesus Christ.
The following diagram may help:
Dear Reader, do you know when the 1st rapture will happen” … that is … when Christians will be taken off the earth with the return of the Son of God (1 Thessalonians 4:16)? You want to go with this lot! You won’t want to miss it!
Be warned … the time is very near with
1. Ukraine and Russia going to war … soon to be joined together with Sudan, Iran, Libya, Turkey to attack Israel after the Christian rapture!
2. China (kings of the East) flexing its muscles!
3. Europe is about to announce its leader … antichrist!
Dear Reader, you won’t want to be around for the seven years of God’s wrath and tribulation being poured out on the earth! Go in the 1st rapture!
I keep doing things that I don’t want to do.
It’s like there’s a criminal inside of me making me do things I hate doing!
I hate myself! I’m a sinner!
It’s like I’m a schizophrenic … there’s two sides to me.
I want to do the right thing but I can’t!
I want to be good! You have to set me free from my sins!
They’re killing me!
I’ve got this monkey on my back! The black dog keeps hounding me!
You said if I believe that Jesus died for my sins … you can save me.
It’s like I’m in this body of death. I can’t help myself. Save me!”
“YOU HAVE TWO ENEMIES
… GOD’S LAWS AND YOUR FLESH!”
help me! I do things that
I don’t want to do.
“THE 41 PARABLES OF JESUS CHRIST”
28 general parables and 13 kingdom of heaven parables
Parable #21 – “WISE AND FOOLISH VIRGINS”
READ Matthew 25:1-4,5-8,9-12,13
The 12th of the 13 kingdom of heaven parables
Australian Bible Ministries, PO Box 5058 Mt. Gravatt East 4122 Qld, Australia