Given how fast prophecies are being fulfilled, I have combined several essays written years ago to see if those insights still hold water, and they do. The fulfillment of the prophecies in scripture is happening even faster today.
The Many Trees Are Nations
Isaiah 55:12 – “You will go out with joy and be led out in peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees in the fields will clap their hands.”
Many are very good at seeing scripture through a Greek mindset. However, they often forget that most, if not all, terms in the Newer Covenant have been fully defined by the Older Covenant and that scripture, even the Newer Covenant, is all written from a Hebrew mindset, no matter what language it is written down in. One must first determine how a word or expression is used in the Older Covenant before defining its use in the Newer Covenant.
Throughout scripture, both nations and individuals are symbolized as trees. Judges 9:8-16 uses trees to describe Abimelech and the houses of Jerubbaal and Millo, Jotham, and the people of Shechem. Daniel 4:10-28 uses the image of a tree to represent Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel 10:33 talks of Assyria as the top boughs of a tree. Isaiah 55:12-13 uses tree imagery to depict the many peoples who will clap their hands with joy when the thorns and biers become fir and myrtle trees at His coming. Ezekiel 31:3-15 depicts Assyria as a cedar tree and the other nations as fir, chestnut, and other trees. Zechariah 11:1-4 repeats this theme, also depicting Assyria (Lebanon) as cedar trees and the peoples of Bashan as oaks. Ezekiel 17:1-24 calls Babylon a cedar tree that spreads itself out like a willow tree.
The Fig Tree Is Israel
Matthew 24:32-33 – “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that Yeshua is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.”
Israel is that “fig tree” that is to be watched! The word know, ginōskō [G1097 γινώσκω], a prolonged form of a primary verb; to “know” (absolutely), it means to — allow, be aware (of), feel, (have) known (-ledge) of, perceive, be resolved, can speak, be sure, understand.
“Seeing a fig tree beside the road, Yeshua went to it, but there were no figs on the tree, only leaves. So Yeshua said to the tree, ‘You will never again have fruit.’ The tree immediately dried up.”
But just who or what is this fig tree that Yeshua refers to? In order to understand the time of His imminent return, one must first determine who that fig tree represents.
Hosea 9:10 states that the patriarchs are the firstfruits of the fig tree. Joel 1:6-7 tells us that Israel is the ruined fig tree whose bark has been stripped ethnically, nationally, and geographically. Jeremiah 24:2-8 states that the good figs are those Jews who went into captivity, and the bad figs those Jews who rebelled against the Babylonians or who went down to Egypt.
Luke 13:6-9 expounds upon the vineyard spoken of in Isaiah 5:1-7. Luke tells us that the fruit is from the fig tree in the vineyard (see especially verse 7). In Matthew 21:19, Yeshua curses the fig tree. In this passage, the fig tree specifically is a representation of the Jewish leadership from whom He had expected to find some fruit after three years of teaching in the Temple, but it also has the wider representation of the nation of Israel and the land of Israel as well, which forty years later began to wither and die. Both the nation and the land remained dead until the Jews began to return in the early 1900s.
Luke 21:29-31 – “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they begin to bud, you know that summer is and the kingdom of Yahweh is already near.”
Luke speaks of both the fig tree and all the trees. These trees represent both Israel and the other nations that sprouted up at about the same time: Lebanon 1943, Jordan 1946, Syria 1946, Egypt 1952. And are not these the nations that are constantly in daily news reports at this time? Are not these the very same nations listed in Psalm 83 as those nations that come against Israel to wipe her off the map? Clearly, the generation that has seen both the fig tree and all the trees put forth their branches is our generation.
- Israel Is the Key to End Times Prophecy
The conflict between the Hebrews and the Arabs began with Isaac and Ishmael, the sons of Abraham. For a time, it escalated between Jacob and Esau, until they made peace, but then continued throughout the Old Testament as Arabs and Hebrews contested each other. It became a Jewish/Christian versus Moslem/Islamic conflict after Mohammed initiated Islam around 633AD. The real battle has always been a spiritual one.
Yahweh chose the Jews as His people from whom the Messiah would come. Yahweh chose Israel as His land and Jerusalem as His city, and Satan has been trying to destroy Yahweh’s chosen people to make it impossible for the prophesied Messiah a) to be born, and b) to return and begin His eternal reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This battle will continue to rage until Satan, who thinks he is king of kings, is defeated and thrown into the lake of fire.
Throughout the ages, Yahweh has called His people, the Jews, to be a “light unto the Gentiles.” Sadly, they have failed to be this light. As a result of their failure, the church age was instituted. This fullness of the church age is almost complete, and Yahweh is turning His eye back onto the Jews and Israel.
- Ancient Historical Prophecies Already Fulfilled
There are four prophecies concerning Israel that began being fulfilled over 2,000 years ago. All of these prophecies can be considered end times prophecies because scripture tells us this is so. Hebrews calls the time just after Christ’s death the “last days.” 1 Peter 1:5 also calls this time the “last times.” 1 Peter 4:7 states that “the end of all things is at hand.” These four prophecies are:
- The Jews were scattered worldwide (from the four corners of the earth) – Deuteronomy 28:64
- The Jews have been persecuted wherever they have lived – Deuteronomy 28:65-67
- The land of Israel (Palestine) was desolate during their dispersion – Deuteronomy 29:22-28
- The Jewish people still exist – Jeremiah 30:7 and Jeremiah 31:36-37
Scripture refers to world wars as “nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” This expression, in Yeshua’s day, was a common Jewish idiom for “world wars.”
- World Wars I and II – Matthew 24:1-8, Mark 13:1-8; Luke 21:7-11
Israel was born in a day on May 14, 1948. No other nation has been resurrected in such a manner, and particularly not in their ancient location. The modern miracle of Israel is the fig tree that has sent out its buds.
- The Re-Birth of Israel – Ezekiel 20:33-38, 22:17-22, 37:9-12; Isaiah 66:8; Zephaniah 2:1-2; Daniel 12:1
III. Prophecies Continuing to Be Fulfilled
- Israel Becomes the Focal Point of World Politics – Zechariah 12:2-3
Not a day goes by that fails to feature a news article regarding Israel, its world standing, and the growing world hatred towards Israel and the Jews.
- Jerusalem Is Under Jewish Control – Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
Jerusalem was recaptured by the Jews during the Six-Day War of June 5-10, 1967.
- The Hebrew language is Recovered – Zephaniah 3:9; Jeremiah 31:23
Hebrew, the language of the Jewish people in Biblical times, was nearly extinct as a spoken language, surviving mostly as a literary language and as the liturgical language of Judaism. Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and his followers created the first Hebrew-speaking schools, newspapers, and other Hebrew-language institutions, and in 1982, Hebrew became the official language of Israel.
- The Desolate Land Becomes Fertile – Ezekiel 36:34-35; Isaiah 27:6, 51:3; Isaiah 35:1-2, 7; Joel 2:23-24
The Israeli food industry is poised to become the breadbasket for the Middle East — and for much of the world beyond, including the former Soviet republics. The climate makes it possible to grow a high yield of crops throughout the year so that Israel has a large surplus for export. It currently supplies over 20% of the produce used by Middle Eastern and European markets.
- Israel Establishes a Powerful Military – Zechariah 12:6; Micah 4:13; Isaiah 60:12; Jeremiah 1:10
The Israel Defense Force is one of the most successful and powerful militaries in the world. The IDF served as Israel’s armed forces in all the country’s major military operations — including the 1948 War of Independence, the 1956 Sinai War, the 1967 Six-Day War, the 1973 Yom Kippur War, several Intifadas, the 2008–2009 Gaza War, and others. Each time, with Yahweh’s help, it has been successful in winning these many conflicts.
- Natural Resources Found Under the Sand – Genesis 49:25; Isaiah 45:3; Deut. 32:12-13, 33:19, 24
Oil, gas, and other minerals in Israel: A vast deposit of natural gas was located off the coast of Gaza In the late 1990s by the British Gas Group. A smaller deposit was also found in nearby Israeli waters. In December 2009, the Givot Olam Oil company discovered the Meged oil field, the largest oil field in Israel at that time. In 2019, Afek Oil and Gas discovered an oil deposit in the Golan Heights, near the border with Syria, which is 350 meters thick – approximately ten times as thick as any other worldwide oil field.
More recently, Energean discovered a natural gas field that is estimated to have 8 billion cubic meters of natural gas in its Athena well in May 2022, and then again in October of 2022, discovered another well in its Hermes well that is estimated to have between 7 and 15 billion cubic meters. If one of these wells turns out to be the largest oil field in the world, then this might explain why a nation from the far north, perhaps Russia or Turkey, and its allies are so determined to invade Israel to “take spoil” or “to carry off plunder” (Ezekiel 38:13). The Dead Sea also contains a wealth of minerals that are being harvested.
- Prophecy Fulfillments Coming in The Near Future
- The One-World Government – Daniel 7:23
The nations of the world are clamoring for a central government. Numerous crises are being used to bring this forth, from economic crises, to global warming crises, to terrorist actions.
- The Rise of the Antichrist – Daniel 7:24; II Thessalonians 2:1-3
The revived Roman Empire will make it possible for the Antichrist to gain the position of ultimate power over all nations and peoples.
- The First Invasion of Israel – Psalm 83
Psalm 83, according to some scholars, is a prayer asking Elohim to defeat the surrounding nations who want to wipe Israel off the map! When these surrounding nations attack Israel, a possibility that many believe will happen in the near future, Zechariah 12:2-9 tells us that Israel will emerge victorious.
- The Destruction of Damascus – Isaiah 17:1-14; Jeremiah 49:23-27
Damascus, Syria, will be destroyed within a twenty-four-hour period, or as scripture puts it, “in the morning he is no more,” according to both Isaiah and Jeremiah.
- A Period of False Peace and Security – I Thessalonians 5:1-3
If, after being victorious, they then become complacent and feel they are living securely in the land, that would explain why none of the nations named in Psalm 83 are included among the attackers of Ezekiel 38-39.
- The Gog/Magog Invasion of Israel – Ezekiel 38:1–39:16
The Bible predicts that a nation from the far north, perhaps Russia or Turkey, and its Islamic allies will come against Israel to gather “spoil,” but Yahweh Elohim devastates their armies when this happens.
- The Seven-Year Covenant – Daniel 9:27; Isaiah 28:14-22; Acts 15:14
The seven-year covenant will make it possible for the Jews to rebuild the Temple and re-institute the sacrifices.
- The Ten Kingdoms – Daniel 7:24
After the formation of a one-world government, the world will be formed into ten kingdoms. Already, groups like the Club of Rome and the Bilderbergs have devised plans to divide the world into ten regions.
- The Abomination of Desolation – Daniel 9:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Mathew 24:15-16
This event takes place at the middle of the seven-year Tribulation period when the Antichrist desecrates the Temple and declares himself to be God on earth.
- The Campaign of Armageddon – Revelation 19
The campaign of Armageddon describes the many battles that will be waged against Israel and its people. When Yeshua returns to earth and makes his way from Bozrah to the valley of Jehoshaphat, he will utterly defeat the armies of Satan and the nations of the world.
- The Second Coming – Revelation 19
The Second Coming of Yeshua Christ will occur at the end of the Tribulation period. Israel will finally mourn for the one that they pierced, and they will accept him as the Messiah.
- The Millennium Kingdom – Revelation 20
The Millennium kingdom is the 1,000-year period of peace and prosperity when Yeshua rules from the throne of David in Jerusalem.
Because so many prophecies have already been fulfilled, and future prophecies are now on the brink of being fulfilled, One can only ask: “How close are we to the return of Christ?
Hosea 3:4-5 — Israel, after having a long period without a king or leader and no temple or sacrifices, will once again be a nation and will seek Yahweh.
Zechariah 12:3 – “I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth are gathered together against it.”
The fig tree, Israel, has bloomed – Israel is back in the land. They have a government. And once again, they seek to rebuild the temple and worship the Yahweh of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Earthquakes have been increasing exponentially since 1948. Wars and rumors of wars are daily items in the news. Famines and pestilences have been endemic during the last decade. Yahweh’s word is astounding. End-time prophecies are being fulfilled on a daily basis. Yahweh is once again setting Jerusalem and His people center stage.
Scripture is not the only source that refers to Israel as the fig tree. Even secular writings do so. One such source is “The Apocalypse of Peter,” written in Egypt in about 135CE. Therefore, we can rightly conclude that Israel is absolutely the fig tree Yeshua is referencing.
And what does Yeshua say about the time when one sees the fig tree and all the trees bud? Yeshua lists all these things: deceptions; false christs; signs in the sun, moon, and stars; days like those of Noah, just to mention a few. But until that time, they (and we) shall receive power to be his witnesses unto the ends of the earth. Until that time, we are to occupy and continue occupying until he returns and fully establishes his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
Final Thought for 2023
The stage for Yeshua’s return is being set. Prophecy continues to unfold in an escalating pattern, as foretold by the Hebrew prophets. The season of the birth pains is here – they are burgeoning and not going away. Time is short – Yeshua Ha’Mashiach is coming soon – be sure you have salvation in Yeshua and keep busy reaching the lost.