Friday, March 2, 2018
Confirmation that ours is the final generation of this present age is revealed by Jesus Christ Himself, when, in His Olivet Discourse He gave us the parable of the fig tree. God identified Israel as His fig tree, Hosea 9:10 and Joel 1:7. In that context Jesus identified Israel’s rebirth as the premier marker in this age of the beginning of the last generation of this age.
But many Christians have been deceptively taught to disregard the Olivet Discourse believing it is inapplicable to them, since, from the dispensational view it’s applicable only to national Jews. Jesus’ teachings, however, were only to national Jews, and what dispensational teachers refuse to disclose is that after Jesus rose from the dead, He commissioned Christians to “make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19–20), which destroys dispensational theology’s segregation of saints. [my bold emphasis added]
False teachers are not equipping believers in truths for navigating the very difficult end-times. But then, how can they? Jesus said “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a pit” (Matt. 15:13–14). If they teach one lie, they’ll also teach other lies.
In love, Christ gave us the parable of the fig tree that we might know the season of His return. Just as God warned Joseph in Egypt of the seven-year drought and how to prepare, so too God warned saints in knowledge how to prepare and endure the last seven years of this age. And just as God warned Moses of judgment on every family’s firstborn where the blood was not applied, so too God warned believers of this final generation how to endure the tribulation to its end.
But, largely, it’s being ignored by leadership because it’s an unpopular teaching, a teaching that doesn’t tickle the ears of people; a teaching that calls one to serious self-examination as to his or her faith to endure to the end as Christ taught at Matt. 24:13. A sobering examination to reveal unbelief and deception does not suit the flesh. Thus it’s ignored. But in that ignorance the times of the end “will come as a snare” (Luke 21:35) with many unprepared and offended.
The New World Order, the rise of Rome, the revived fourth and final beast-kingdom of Dan. 7:7, all under the guidelines of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is now engulfing the world, not suddenly, but gradually and deceptively, conditioning people to ignore and accept end-time lies created by Satan himself. But only those with discernment will see, hear and know.
In Jesus’ teachings of the end-times He foretold the destruction of Jerusalem, Matt. 24:2, which occurred in AD 70 by Titus the Roman Emperor. The parable of the fig tree then looks forward to a time future when Israel is once again established as a productive and fruitful nation, which the beginning thereof did not occur until May 14, 1948. And by the Hebrew 360-day per year calendar, May 2018 marks Israel’s 71st anniversary as that reestablished sovereign nation.
Jesus said, “Now learn this parable from the fig tree [the nation of Israel]: When its branch has already become tender [indicating new birth] and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, [Israel’s rebirth, maturation and signs of the tribulation (Matt. 24:4–28)] know that it [the end of this age] is near – at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matt. 24:32–35).
Just as God foretold ancient Israel’s Promised Land and how to get there, so also Christ foretold the end-times that post-Calvary Christians not be deceived by lies of a different return of Christ for the gathering of saints. The testimony of Christ for His return is as applicable for Christians as His testimony of repentance, confession, new birth faith, baptism and sanctification.
Jesus also said “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matt. 24:36). Pretribulation rapture teachers then erroneously use this as a proof text of an imminent return of Christ. But their assumption is again false because there’s a vast difference between knowing the “day and hour” from the season of His return for saints, as in, the unknown day within a period of 90 days for the gathering of saints, see Daniel 12:11–12.
While we keep an eye on Israel, we must discern other signs of the end. The rebirth of Israel is the sign Christ gave that reveals the final generation of this age. Other events like “wars and rumors of wars…nation will rise against nation…famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places…[being delivered] up to tribulation” (Matt. 24:6–8); “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring, men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of things which are coming on the earth” (Luke 21:25–26), are all very important signs to discern.
There are yet other signs that must be discerned, such as Jesus warning that “as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt. 24:37). Noah’s day was equivalent to modern day transhumanism. The genetic code of mankind was being changed in Noah’s day and it’s reoccurring today. Chimera, the product of comingled animal and human genetics, are now being developed by many nations. Artificial intelligence (AI) is also an extension of the same.
Jesus also warned that “Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so it will be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17:28–30). Lot’s day appeared normal, but was rife with sexual immorality, the equivalent of today’s increasingly normal LGBTQ and transgender issues.
I recognize the above is a daunting list “of things which are coming upon the earth”, but it isn’t the half of what’s to come. There are also the Seal, Trumpet and Bowl Judgments of Revelation. It takes a man with an undivided love for God and His Word to disseminate these truths to God’s people, to compassionately but boldly equip them beforehand with knowledge and truth.
As you carefully discern Jesus’ parable of the fig tree, also discern that God defines a generation from Psalm 90:10 as being 70 years and possibly 80 if by reason of strength, and realize that we likely have less than ten years before the end of this present age. Then press on to discover that God has a place of safety and provision for the time of the great tribulation. Love for God and people will compel you to teach the truth of the end-times. God, not man, will reward you.
Marlin J. Yoder