I am going to teach a weekly blog over the next few months on the twenty-eight signs and trends that the return of the Lord is near. Each week we will cover one or more until we finish. You can subscribe to these blogs and find prior blogs on our website at www.watchersoftruth.com.
I opened with Matthew 24 because I want to start today’s message in verse 42 where we learn that the day and the hour knowth no man. In fact, the Word of God tells us that only His Father knows and I believe that even Jesus does not know the day.
Scripture tells us that we will not know the day and the hour, meaning, we are not going to know which day or hour Jesus returns. Therefore, we will not be able to target the time but it is clear that we will know the generation and the season of His return. It is clear because Jesus gives us some signs and one of the signs He uses is the fig tree. So, today we are going to look at the nation of Israel which is the fig tree in the Old Testament.
Jesus said to look at the fig tree and when it is budding you will know that summer is close. For instance, if you have lived in Michigan long enough, you know that when you walk outside and see buds on the trees and the plants you know the season is spring. You can also feel the change of season in the air. Jesus said that the Lord’s Return will come in the generation that sees these events.
In Matthew 24, the first thing He tells us is to learn the parable. You will see a couple of times where we are told to learn and to know and to understand this parable because it is knowledge that gives us the ability to have faith for peace. It is knowledge that covers you in a time where things could get turbulent and it is your knowledge that will give you the ability to know where the Lord stands.
So, we are to learn and to know these things, meaning, we cannot just have a superficial understanding of the Word but we are to understand and embrace His Words. Then, Jesus goes on to tell us to watch and to be prepared, alert, and ready (which is the motto of our ministry). We are to learn, to know, and to absorb His Word along with being watchful, prepared, ready and plugged into the events around us.
Let us begin our study with Ezekiel 37:21-22, where the prophet explains a prophetic Word that he received earlier about a dream or a vision and in this dream he sees a valley of dry bones. There are skeletons lying all over, one upon another, when suddenly life comes into these bones and they begin to form muscle and skin and the dry bones become active. Here we have the explanation that God is gathering the dry bones from all the heathen nations.
Now understand that in Ezekiel’s time period and prior, there were not many nations, but one predominate nation that would control the known world, taking Israel captive. Whether it would be the Assyrians, the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Medo-Persians, the Greeks or the Romans whoever it may be, that nation would take them captive and they would live in that nation or be occupied by that nation. But here we get this broad thinking where they have been scattered all over the earth and this event happened in 70 A.D.
*The great dispersion occurred in 70 A.D. where the Jews and Christians were dispersed throughout the Roman Empire and the entire world at that time.
Israel then ceased to exist from 70 A.D. all the way until 1948 when it became a nation again. So, when you look back in time, Ezekiel chapters 37 through 40 are all chronological and the first prophetic sign is that God is going to bring the Jews from all the nations of the earth into their own land. This is the land that God gave to His people several centuries before in Abraham’s time.
In Luke 21:20-24 Jesus is talking about 70 A.D. where Jerusalem is going to be trodden down and will be held by Gentile control. It was 1967, that Israel took back possession of Jerusalem for the first time since 70 A.D. Jesus prophesized that Jerusalem and Israel would be taken down, and then, Ezekiel prophesized they would come back together again. Israel became a nation in 1948 and was recognized by the world. Then, in 1967 Israel took back the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Golan Heights, which all happened in the six-day war.
When you look at what Jesus said in, Matthew 24, “behold the fig tree when it is yet tender and brings forth leaves and buds you will know that summer is nigh or close.” Jesus spoke that the generation who sees these things will not pass away before His return. I want you to take the time to read it once more so you understand it because this is all one continuous teaching.
The disciples are asking about the destruction of the temple which happened in 70 A.D. Jesus does not answer their question in Matthew 24 but He does answer their question in Luke 21. Here, the disciples are asking Jesus three questions, what it is going to be like at the end of the world and tell us the trends to expect so those who are here will know that Your return is near. And, what events will be evident as signs and trends that Your return is near.
Again in, Matthew 24:32-34, we read that the first sign is Israel’s statehood and when we look at other signs and trends the temple must be rebuilt in Jerusalem. When you look at this prophetically, it is probably one of the most important and strongest signs that we are in that generation. And why is that? It is because Israel exists today and Jerusalem is a part of it!
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Be Blessed, Sebastian