“A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’ “
First, since Yahshua gave specific time periods here, one can know that He was speaking to a specified time period of five sequential parts. Furthermore, what He said here was clearly relative to the requirement of the Law. In Leviticus 19:23-25 we find precisely the same pattern.
“When you enter the land and plant all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as forbidden. Three years it shall be forbidden to you; it shall not be eaten. But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to Yahweh. In the fifth year you are to eat of its fruit, that its yield may increase for you; I am Yahweh your God.”
Thus we see that Yahshua’s parable is not something isolated, but is a continuum of the Law.
Two other matters must be noted here as well regarding this parable in order to understand what Yahshua was speaking to: (1) the parable was with regard to whatever the fig tree represents, and (2) the same pattern regarding trees in Leviticus 19:23-25 specifically relates to entering into the Promised Land—“when you enter the land.” Let us first consider the highly relevant testimony regarding the fig tree.
Christians like to relate the fig tree—such as its reference in Mathew 24:32-33—to the Jews. But keep in mind, the Jews were only a type and NOT the fulfillment. The very fact that in Romans 2:28-29 it is stated that the true Jews are those who believe in Yahshua, the natural Jews are clearly relegated to being a type. For Christians to give so much attention and hope to the natural Jews, is like saying that the temple Yahshua said would be destroyed and rebuilt in three days was a literal temple. Yahweh fulfills His word in higher dimensions, ultimately in the kingdom of heaven dimension, and the dimension of the flesh is merely a shadow—vis-à-vis John 1:12-13: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
So what then does the fig tree prophetically speak to? Remember, whatever the answer, it must be consistently applicable throughout the Scriptures. If it is the Jews, as Christians want to suppose, then as spoken by Yahshua regarding the fig-mulberry tree, the Jews have to be cast into the sea (lit. of Luke 17:6, and read The Love Of Money, page 9. Likewise, they have to be cursed and wither as testified by the fig tree Yahshua cursed (Matthew 21:19). Furthermore, they have to be out of season (Mark 11:13). Also, they must be the fig-sycamore tree that Zaccheus is called out of (lit. of Luke 19:4). And, they must be the covering that is insufficient and be replaced by the sufficient covering that Yahweh provides (Genesis 3:7). Indeed, there is some testimony of these things seen in the Jews, but only because they are a mere shadow and not the fulfillment. What then is the fulfillment? As noted in The Love Of Money, page 9, the fig tree is Christianity, the kingdom of heaven given to man early, out of season. Anything less is a shortfall in both application and, most certainly, fulfillment.
Having established that this parable regarding the fig tree is obligated to its fulfillment in Christianity, one must then ask what it is that Yahshua was revealing concerning it? The answer confirms the certainty and seamless nature of Bride truth, for it coincides precisely with what has been taught since 1994 when the Spirit of truth began to reveal what Yahweh is doing—we are seeing His back.
As has been addressed many times before (e.g., FAQ), how many years was Christianity supposed to receive? The answer? Three thousand years. So is it not most consistent and confirming that for a like attesting three years the man had come to the fig tree and found no fruit? This is precisely what is prophesied in the fig tree that was cursed for equally not bearing fruit. Give the kingdom of heaven to flesh man and what can be expected? The corruption of the kingdom and no fruit. Oh sure, like the fig tree Yahshua cursed, the church has LOTS of leaves, lots of show. However, they sorely lack the fruits of the true kingdom. Like the first two sons of Judah, for two thousand years they have not brought forth the required offspring/fruit.
So, what is the answer? Just what we see in the sons of Judah: Do not give the Melchizedek priesthood (Tamar was the granddaughter of Melchizedek) to the third part of the church, and bring forth the required fruit by another way. OK, but that is not what we see in this parable. First, the three parts are granted; and yes, the expected failure is evidenced—no fruit. So what about this clear testimony?
Keep in mind a very important fact concerning Yahweh and His word: Not only does He prophesy what He will do—cut Christianity’s days short to two—but He also prophesies what He would do otherwise. This is what He is doing here in this parable. The benefit of having both prophecies is that we learn Yahweh’s ways; and, most importantly, we see what we escape. The latter is the Balaam factor—seeing what that angel with the sword looks like before we try to pass through the third passageway that is inescapably narrow. No thank you!
What more do we know about the order of the church? Not only were they supposed to receive three one-thousand-year periods; but if the church had been successful, they would have entered into their eighth-day Sunday Sabbath (as well as be circumcised of their flesh [Leviticus 12:3]). This is why Yahweh gave Christianity Sunday as their day of rest—they are supposed to enter into their rest on that day. But would they succeed after three thousand years? Not in the least! Therefore, relative to this parable concerning the fig tree, what was Yahshua’s Plan B? Go ahead and fertilize them on their sabbath rest. Then if they did not bring forth the required fruit, cut them down.
Certainly, here again we see Yahweh having mercy; however, the inevitable outcome is not looking good at all. What is the chance that after flesh kingdom man has failed for three thousand years he could do any better, even if Yahweh added fertilizer to the church? Not good! So we ask: Got a Plan C? Indeed He does, and it is quite obvious this is what He will do. Otherwise, as Yahshua equally declared, no flesh would be saved (Matthew 24:22, Mark 13:20). Thus, Plan C: Yahweh has to cut the days short to two, and complete what Yahshua began two thousand years ago by establishing the second Remnant, thereby preparing the way for Immanuel. Upon His coming, He then labors on the sabbath and provides what man has failed to do.
So, what about this parable concerning the fig tree? Is it then entirely dismissed? No, for based on what Yahweh has already accomplished, it is evident that He fulfilled it beforehand in order that He could have mercy. As is so often the case with the ways and requirements of Yahweh, another paid the price. And who would that have been? The first Remnant, of course; the first bird of Leviticus 14:1-7. How so? Let us see, once again proving this seamless garment of truth and the incredible incomparable ways of Yahweh.
At Atonement, 29 A.D., Yahshua was baptized by John and began the fulfillment of the latter three and a half years of the covenant with the many (The Great Tribulation, page 1). This in fact began the church, the kingdom of heaven, Yahshua initiating the earliest steps, including the establishment of the twelve apostles. Then, of course, He went to the cross, resurrected from the dead, ascended into heaven and restored the Garden kingdom, and some forty-nine days later the first Remnant received the former rain. This gave the church the power it needed in order to be effectual. But, did this work that Yahshua began continue? Not at all. A year and a half following that Passover Steven was stoned, all the people were dispersed, this beginning work ceased to exist, and the church soon went to Paul out of Antioch.
What then do we see taking place in this opening work? Precisely what Yahshua said would happen to the church, the fig tree. Beginning at Atonement, 29 A.D., Yahshua began the church, the kingdom. Was it bringing forth the required fruit after three years? Obviously not. So what did Yahweh do to it? In the middle of the fourth year He fertilized it with Yahshua’s death and then the power of the Spirit. So when the fifth year was complete, had Yahweh found the fruit that was required? No. Remember, the abomination of desolation occurred with the casting of lots, and seven (the mark of the beast) “deacons” were set up to wait tables. It is highly confirming and revealing that at the end of precisely five years from the time that Yahshua began the church, the tree was cut down! The first Remnant ceased. Thereupon, they became the first bird of Leviticus 14 and were sacrificed so that the church would not have to be cut down at the end of five thousand years. They paid the price.
This is the wonder and marvel of Bride truth, providing answers and consistent understanding that has never before been given to man, affording us hope for today. Having noted this, let us briefly touch on three final items.
Regarding the parable of the fig tree, two other matters were noted at the outset in addition to the five sequential parts of the parable: (1) the parable was with regard to whatever the fig tree represents, and (2) the same pattern regarding trees in Leviticus 19:23-25 specifically relates to entering into the Promised Land—“when you enter the land.” The identification of the fig tree as Christianity is clear. So what about this matter of the Promised Land?
First, what is the fulfillment of the Promised Land? Certainly we are told in Hebrews 4:1-11 that the original land that Joshua led the sons of Israel into was not the fulfillment. And while we can seek to personally enter into Yahweh’s rest and cease from our labors, the Promised Land we must have is the Millennial Reign, in particular the Bride being circumcised of their flesh—being born from above in incorruptible bodies.
But keep in mind, when Yahshua came to this earth He set the kingdom up early—before the time of the Millennial Reign. He in fact planted the fig tree, the kingdom, engaging the law of Leviticus 19:23-25. Again, this is quite obvious in that the fig tree was given three “years,” or three thousand years, to produce fruit. And consequentially, the kingdom given early pushed their sabbath to an eighth day. But when Immanuel comes and labors on the seventh-day sabbath, He can indeed bring the Bride into this truly fulfilling sabbath rest. (Read The Waltz of Life.) So do you see that when Yahshua came early He in fact began the Promised Land, the kingdom, early, and it has failed. This period was of course attested to by the wilderness journeys of the sons of Israel, determined upon them one and a half years after they came out of Egypt.
Another matter brought up by a brother is that Luke 13:9 does not actually say “and if it bears fruit next year, fine,” as translated here in the New American Standard. More literally this verse actually states, “and if it bears fruit thereafter,” or even moreso, “if it bears fruit into about to come.” Though it does not specifically say “next year,” even so the sequential implication certainly is that this would be the next year—the first year in the expectation that the fruit would come after being fertilized in the fourth year. Thus we can conclude that the expectation of the fruit is in the fifth year. Also, the law of Leviticus 19:23-25 regarding planting a tree in the Promised Land supports this enumeration. Furthermore, as we have seen, the testimony of the first Remnant evidences this law and pattern as well.
Finally, it is also quite revealing and confirming that the words translated “forbidden” in Leviticus 19:23 are actually “foreskins” and “uncircumcised,” thereby literally reading:
“When you enter the land and plant all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as foreskins. Three years it shall be uncircumcised to you; it shall not be eaten.”
What have we continually noted regarding Christianity? That like the wilderness journeys or like Ishmael or Goliath, it is an uncircumcised work. They remain in their flesh, and Yahweh does not take full responsibility for them. Thus we see further seamless evidence that we are accurate in our understanding of both of these passages.
Oh the wonders of Yahweh’s ways and His word which He has given the Bride to see by the Spirit of truth. Will write again soon, Yahweh willing.