Footsteps at the Door

Kathy Overshiner


 

After thousands of years it would be hard for anyone to believe that the Jews would be brought back into their Land after the exile of 597 B.C. and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

Jeremiah 24.1-10

“After Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah and the officials, the craftsmen and the artisans of Judah were carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Lord showed me two baskets of figs placed in front of the temple of the Lord. One basket had very good figs, like those ripen early; the other basket had very poor figs, so bad they could not be eaten. Then the Lord asked me, “What do you see,” Jeremiah?” “Figs,” I answered. “The good ones are very good, but the poor ones are so bad they cannot be eaten.”

Then the word of the Lord came to me: This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: “Like these good figs, I regard as good exiles from Judah, whom I sent away from this place to the land of the Babylonians. My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord.  They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.”

But like the poor figs, which are so bad they cannot be eaten, says the Lord, so I will deal with Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials and the survivors from Jerusalem, whether they remain in this land or live in Egypt. I will make them abhorrent and an offense to all the kingdoms of the earth, a reproach and a byword, an object of ridicule and cursing, wherever I banish them. I will send the sword, famine and plague against them until they are destroyed from the land I gave to them and their fathers.” 

The parable of the two baskets of figs is the historical background of the beginning of Zedekiah’s reign. King Nebuchadnezzar had just dispersed Jehoiachin and many other Israelites to Babylon. Zedekiah and those who remained behind were spared from the Lord’s judgment. They believed Jeremiah‘s prophecies of total destruction was misleading.  But Jeremiah’s prophecy warned that those who stayed in Jerusalem would experience a more devastating judgment than those who had been exiled in Babylon.

The basket of good figs, are the exiles of 597 B.C. (which God considered to contain good figs), good in that He would purify them through the suffering during exile. After their time in exile they would be brought back into their land and would turn from their idolatry and back to God with all their hearts. The second basket of figs had bad figs and represented those left behind with King Zedekiah. They would continue to not believe Jeremiah’s message and would experience the horrors of Jerusalem’s fall in 586 B.C. 

The disciples asked Jesus what would be the signs of his coming and the end of the age:

“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 all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:32-34).

Israel is referred to as the fig tree. In May of 1948, Israel became a nation and in 1967, the Jews regained Jerusalem.  After all these thousands of years, Israel is back in their land. Prophecy has been fulfilled as Jesus had said and His words did not pass away (Matthew 24:1-44, Luke 21:29-32).

“But the end of all things is at hand: be yet therefore sober, and watch unto prayer”(1 Peter 4:7).

Israel becoming a nation (state) is one end-time event.  The increase of innocent babies being aborted, the acceptance of homosexuality by the secular society, religious compromisers within the visible church and false prophets will increase and deceive many. Wars, famines, earthquakes, violence and crime will increase. This is the beginning of the birth pains. Persecution of the Jews and Christians and a falling away from Christ are increasing (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

I do believe the faithful in Jesus will be taken out of this world. The Lord saved Noah and his family before he rained down destruction upon the people of his day.  During Lot’s time He dragged them to safety before He pelted the people of Sodom and Gomorrah with destruction. I believe we will be taken in the Rapture. The word rapture is derived from the Latin Word raptu, which means: caught away or caught up. This Latin word is equivalent to the Greek word: harpazo translated as: caught up. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and 1 Corinthians 15 is in reference to the catching-up of the church from the earth to meet the Lord in the air.

This involves only the faithful of Christ’s church. The dead in Christ will rise first (1 Thessalonians 4:16). This is not related to the resurrection of Revelation 20 as that latter event relates to the martyred dead of the Tribulation.  At the same time as the dead rise, living believers will be transfigured (bodies clothed with immortality) in a twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52, 51, 53) and they are removed from all distress and persecution.

Those left behind will be left to face the Tribulation and horrible wrath to come upon the whole world and left with a false system of religion, bringing in the age of the Antichrist. 

“But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matthew 9:13).                                 

 It is not too late to come to the Lord now and repent, ask forgiveness and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. 

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, I am the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). 

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

“For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with the. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity” (Psalm 5:4-5). 

“I am the Lord: that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images” (Isaiah 42:8).

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord” (Psalm 150:6).

I hear softly footsteps at my door. Come Lord Jesus, come and I will open my door to you.