"And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. Tey will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve biterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son."
Jesus said, "Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near" (Matthew 24:32).
Jesus said, "Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender
and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near" (Mathew 24:32).
ne of the most common questions I am asked is whether or not I believe that this is "the end." People have been asking me that question now for more
than fiſty years, and the answer is still the same. Yes, this is the end.
But what, exactly, does that mean? When the disciples asked Yeshua (Jesus) what signs would signify that the end had arrived, He answered in a parable about the fig tree.
"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened" (Mark 13:28-30).
Israel serves as a mile marker on the road to the conclusion of human history. Yeshua (Jesus) equated the existence of Israel with the generation that would witness the fulfillment of all Bible prophecy and His triumphant Second Coming.
As with the olive and the vine, the fig is used throughout the Bible as a symbol of Israel. Te symbol of the fig tree is particularly well suited to Israel's religious history. What makes the fig tree unique is that it produces its fruit before its leaves.
Jesus is the Firstfruit of Israel Who came first to the Jews. "He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him" (John 1:11). Te Tree on which Yeshua died for the sins of mankind has borne fruit unto every generation, in every corner of the earth, but Israel will, as a nation, remain in unbelief until His return.
But Israel's redemption begins with its restoration. It is a process that continues until the fulfillment of Zechariah 12:10 at His Second Advent:
Follow the progression. First the fruit (Yeshua), and then the fig tree is 'restored' as its branches take on their covering of leaves. Te leaves of the fig tree are a sign of a change in season.
In outlining the signs of the times, culminating with the revival of the fig tree, Yeshua made a point of reminding His listeners, "See, I have told you ahead of time" (Mathew 24:25)—so we wouldn't miss the point.
Te fig tree is the sign of the end of a season; the branching out of the tree itself is the sign the new season of revival is about to begin.
"Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened" (Mathew 24:33-34).
Israel is God's time clock—her existence was foretold in detail from the point in Israel's history in which revival seemed the least likely, by individuals who had the least reason to expect that prophecy would ever be fulfilled.
To underscore Israel’s divine importance, God has surrounded the revival of Israel with one miracle aſter another, so that there would be no mistake. Having made that point, He promised the generation that would witness that rebirth "would not pass until all these things be fulfilled."
But how long is a generation? Tat is the question, and its answer, I believe, was deliberately obscured in keeping with Yeshua's promise that "no man would know the day or hour” of His return.
Genesis 6:3 fixes the extreme limit of a normal lifespan at 120 years. Tat could qualify as a generation. Tat would put the return of Yeshua somewhere around 2068.
(Continued on page 24) Jewish Voice Today 15
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