The Leaves Are Nearly Finished :: by Don Mercer

I received a fascinating newsletter from a life-long missionary to a primitive jungle tribe (names and locations are withheld). The story is important for Christians to hear on several levels. For example, the Word of God is going throughout the uttermost parts of the world as Jesus said it would. Missionaries and our support for them are truly making a difference. Even the most primitive of peoples are God’s beloved children and they grasp His plan for salvation.

But there is another level, the prophetic level, which is evident here. It is subtle and a casual Christian reader could miss the deeper revelation unless they are attuned to God’s prophetic Word.

Here is an extract from the newsletter:

When I was on the East Coast, I was telling a group of young people about the beginnings of our literacy program, and how the tribal members were so intrigued by “listening to the leaves.” And as I was recalling those early days, another moment came to mind – a moment when the “leaves” were once again the topic of conversation.  It was a conversation that has stayed with me over the years, for reasons you will quickly understand.

A group of women hurried down the path one morning, baskets bouncing on their backs, and stopped at the porch for a moment before going on to the stream to catch crabs. They settled down on the benches on the other side of the half-wall that divided the porch from the kitchen; and as I finished drying dishes, I could hear them talking back and forth in a loud whisper: “No, you ask her. No, you ask. No, let Ceresa ask her!”

Finally they decided on a spokeswoman, and called me over to the half-wall that separated us. Ceresa took a deep breath and launched the question they all wanted the answer to: “Are the leaves nearly finished?”

Since papers and books weren’t the subject of conversation, it never occurred to me that they might be talking about those kind of leaves; but I couldn’t see why they would think the leaves in the rain forest all around us were nearly finished, either. So my answers didn’t really fit their question until we got past the first few frustrating moments. Then I realized they were referring to sheets of paper, but I didn’t know which ones, and they didn’t have any way of explaining themselves more clearly.

Finally one of them said, “You know the ones we mean! The ones you are always listening to. The ones you talk about in the meetings!” So it was finally narrowed down to the pages of the Bible. But what did they mean when they asked if they were nearly finished…?  Finally one of them asked me to bring them a Bible. We had often shown them the Bible in our own language, to explain the source of our Bible teaching. So I went over to the desk and brought back the Bible.

“Where is Adam?” she asked, and I turned to the early pages of Genesis. “Where is David?”  And I turned toward the middle of the Bible. “Where is Moses?” “Where is Noah?” and I kept flipping the pages back and forth to show them where the ones they named were mentioned, and all the while they kept their eyes riveted on the Bible.

Somebody asked where Jesus was, and we made a great leap forward into the New Testament. That produced a lot of anxious chatter between them: “See?  It’s true!  The leaves are nearly finished!” Then one of them asked, “And where are we?”

I paused to think that through before I turned any pages. We’re not in the gospels. We’re not in the book of Acts. And we’re not in Revelation. So I indicated the section that includes the epistles of the Apostles, and I said, “We’re in here somewhere…We’re past this part, but we haven’t arrived at this part yet…”

I was beginning to get intrigued by the way they were looking at the Bible as a timeline for the whole history of mankind; but they were definitely not happy about what they were seeing.

“It’s true!” one of them finally exclaimed, in obvious dismay. “The leaves are nearly finished!  It’s nearly all over and the people upriver still haven’t heard about Jesus. It’s not going to be good if Jesus comes back before they hear the Truth!”

Reading this story I felt a sudden rush of adrenalin surge through my body. I was in absolute awe of God’s timing and knew there was a much larger and deeper story.

I have been a regular attendee at numerous prophecy conferences over the past many years. The most recent one was at the Prophecy in the Newssponsored conference in Colorado Springs.  I have gotten to know many of the speakers personally and from conversations and their presentations it was obvious that we all share a general feeling of increasing anxiety.

It is not an anxiety born of worry or fear, but one of unsettling excitement as we believe events are accelerating toward some major event that will shake and alter the world. The collapse of America and the world economy? Worldwide Islamic terrorist attacks?  A major appearance and deception involving sudden disclosure of UFO’s and aliens?  The return of Nephilim? The Rapture? All of the above—at the same time?  The list goes on, but the feeling is real that whatever it is, it is at the door now.

Some of the speakers mentioned a “convergence of the signs.” Jesus mentioned several signs that would precede his second coming and our generation is the one that is seeing all of the signs coming to fruition simultaneously. In other words, the convergence creates a synergistic effect more powerful than the sum of the individual signs which accelerates the approach of the end times.

Most of the speakers included an exhortation to do something with the knowledge we were enthusiastically soaking up at the conference. L.A. Marzulli was particularly animated and I mean beyond his normal hyper-level of fervor for Jesus and spreading the Word. “Something or Someone is Coming” was the title of one of his presentations. “Get the word out! Time is short!  Speak up!”

Meanwhile, back in the jungle. Can you understand what the tribal villagers armed with the simple gospel message see?  They sense the same thing as a group of godly, highly educated researchers and writers in eschatology. They understand it, and they compare it to the Scriptures and rightly conclude that the end times are upon us!

And there is more—they know that time is short and they must act on it. Faith without works is dead and they get it.  I urge myself and others to use the insight God gave these ladies living in one of the uttermost parts of the world as an example of what needs to be done. Now.

It is time to go upriver!