Jesus told us to watch for His coming because we don’t know the day or the hour (Matthew 24:42; 25:13). He told us to watch lest He come and find us sleeping (Mark 13:33-37). He told us to watch and pray that we will be accounted worthy to escape all the things that are coming upon the earth (Luke 21:36). He told us to watch or He would come upon us as a thief (Revelation 3:3). And Paul told us to watch and be sober (1 Thessalonians 5:6). So we should watch, but “What should we be watching for?”
Concerning His return, Jesus said:
“Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away” (Luke 21:29-33).
So Jesus said watch all the trees, but pay specific attention to one particular tree (the fig tree). But someone could ask, “So we should watch the fig tree and all the trees, but why?”
In the Old Testament, God compared Judah to a cedar tree and its king (Jehoiakim) to the highest branch in that cedar tree (Ezekiel 17:3-4, 12). God compared Assyria to a cedar tree with fair branches whose height (stature, greatness and power) was exalted above all the trees of the field (nations of the world) (Ezekiel 31:3-6). In the New Testament, John the Baptist appeared to refer to Israel as a worthless tree (Luke 3:8-9).
Jesus definitely referred to the fig tree as a sign of His return (Matthew 24:32-33). And the fig tree is clearly a symbol of Israel (Hosea 9:10; Jeremiah 24:1-10). So the fig tree is Israel and all the other trees are all the other nations. Then, concerning the Second Coming of Jesus, we should watch Israel and all the other nations.
We should watch the fig tree (Israel) because that tiny nation must exist for many prophecies to be fulfilled. Israel must exist for the Antichrist to confirm a treaty for seven years of peace between Israel and the PA that will trigger the Tribulation period (Daniel 9:27; 1 Thessalonians 5:3). Israel must exist before all prophecy can be fulfilled, before the Jews accept Jesus as their Messiah, etc. (Daniel 9:24). Israel must exist to rebuild the Temple before the Antichrist can sit in it and show himself that he is God (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
Israel must exist to rebuild the Temple and resume the animal sacrifices before the Antichrist can stop them at the middle of the Tribulation period (Daniel 9:27). Israel must exist before the Jews in Judea can flee into the wilderness when the Antichrist defiles the Temple (Matthew 24:15-16). Israel must exist before the battle of Gog and Magog can take place in the latter days and latter years (Ezekiel 38-39). Israel must exist before Jesus can rescue her at the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:11-21). The existence of the fig tree is a prelude to the fulfillment of major Second Coming prophecies.
We should watch all the other trees (nations) because the Antichrist will try to force all the nations into a world government (Daniel 7:23; Revelation 13:7) and that is the purpose of the New World Order. All the nations of the earth must experience economic problems and high food prices (Revelation 6:5-6) and many are predicting a global economic collapse at some point in 2014. The Antichrist will rise to power in a revived EU (Daniel 9:26) and the EU now exists, and some are calling for a super-president.
The nations must divide Israel (Joel 3:2) and that is what the two-state solution is all about. The nations surrounding Israel must desire Jerusalem enough to attack Israel (Zechariah 12:2) and that is being negotiated under threat of an Intifada, right now. Syria and Israel must go to war with each other (Isaiah 17:1-14) and both are threatening each other right now.
Egypt must get into a civil war, come under the rule of a cruel leader, experience high unemployment, etc. (Isaiah 19:1-22) and that is the situation today. Russia and several Islamic nations, including Iran, must go to war with Israel (Ezekiel 38-39) and that could happen very soon. The Euphrates River must dry up so China and her allies can move into the Middle East (Revelation 16:12) and dams and drought are making that possible. The trees have a message for those who will listen.
I don’t know that it is true, but I have read that the fig tree is one of the last trees to leaf out during the spring in Israel. Leaves on the fig tree are a sure-sign that summer is near. In like manner, the return of Israel along with today’s global and national events—are a sure sign that the world is running out of time.
So to all the born-again tree watchers, Jesus commanded you to know that it is near, even at the doors. And He added that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled (Matthew 24:33-34). But to all who are not born-again Jesus said ye must be born-again (John 3:7). Otherwise, your future is bleak.
FYI: God Has Spoken (And We Know It) by Daymond Duck is available, (linked at raptureready.com to my publisher). Books and a Kindle version are available at amazon.com. A Nook version is available at bn.com. Check out what it says about Syria, Russia, Iran, Egypt, natural disasters, the Two-State Solution, etc. Please post a comment.
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck