THE ISSUE - II
CONT., page 9
THE PARABLE FROM THE FIG TREE
There is a passage recorded in Matthew, Mark, and Luke concerning the fig tree that in recent years has derailed Christians in their prophetic predictions. In Matthew 24:32-34 we read:
"Now learn the parable from the fig tree; when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place."
Recent prophecy teachers have made the terrible mistake of trying to tie the fulfillment of this prophecy to the nation called "Israel," or the Jews. (We have already commented on how utterly false this is.) You may recall that based on 1948 when "Israel" became a nation, men added forty years to 1948 and predicted Yahshua's return in '88. Guess what? He did not come. The great error of their prediction was that they put the wrong Jerusalem into their equation. That nation called "Israel" is not the fig tree. The Jews of "Israel" have now had their '88 "generation" test as proclaimed by Christianity, and it failed! So who is the fulfillment of this prophecy? The fig tree has been the church for forty Jubilees; they alone have had the kingdom, the Jerusalem. So what is this new growth on the church fig tree we are to watch for that will immediately precede and herald the soon return of Yahshua? Let us ask a most important question - How does one get new tender branches on a fig tree? Any gardener knows the answer to this question. Very simply, the old non-producing branches are pruned away to bring new productive tender growth. Thus it is, the fig tree rights that have belonged to the church must be taken away (pruned off) and given to the Remnant, so as to produce the new tender growth. It is this new fig tree growth of the second Remnant that sprouted in May, 2000, that is now putting forth these preluding tender leaves, attesting that summer is indeed near! It is this second Remnant fig tree tender growth springing forth that bears evidence that Yahshua is near, right at the door! It is the tender growth of the kingdom of heaven via the second Remnant Elijah that prepares the way for and heralds the soon return of Yahshua!
The certainty of this witness regarding the new growth on the church tree is affirmed in several other passages as well. For example, it is not difficult to see that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon is prophetic of "mystery Babylon" Christianity. Therefore, if one wants to know what will happen to "mystery Babylon," then look at what happened to the mirror image, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar was given the most remarkable title of "king of kings" (Daniel 2:37), reserved for Yahshua, but here we see prophetic of His earthly body - the body of Christ. In further testimony of the church, we read in the remainder of that verse concerning Nebuchadnezzar - "to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength, and the glory." All of these the church has received.
Likewise, in another dream of Nebuchadnezzar's, we read of his further prophetic representation of the church. Consider the church when reading the following dream where Nebuchadnezzar was equally compared with being a tree.
"... there was a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great. The tree grew large and became strong, and its height reached to the sky, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth" (Daniel 4:10-11).
"The whole earth" is of course the missionary goal and even now the actual extent of Christianity. And its height, of course, "reached to the sky," to heaven toward God, even as did the tower of Babel, and even as is the purpose of the church - to reach toward God. Additionally, in these subject passages we have seen that Nebuchadnezzar was made to have a beast's mind for 7 years - the number of Christianity and the mark of the beast. And what was the fate of Nebuchadnezzar's tree; what is the fate of Christianity? Verses 13 through 15 tell us:
"... an angelic watcher, a holy one, descended from heaven. He shouted out and spoke as follows: 'Chop down the tree and cut off its branches, strip off its foliage and scatter its fruit; let the beasts flee from under it, and the birds from its branches (the beasts that come with the 7 mark, and the defiled kingdom of heaven birds Yahshua warned of in Matthew 13:31-32). Yet leave the stump with its roots in the ground, but with a band of iron and bronze around it in the new grass of the field.'"
Even as the fig tree was cursed and must be pruned in order to get the new tender growth, here we see the same - the world-encompassing tree of Christianity that reaches "to the sky" will be cut off, leaving a stump with a band of iron and bronze around it. What then is this stump that remains? Isaiah 6:13 tells us.
"...like a terebinth or an oak whose stump remains when it is felled. The holy seed is its stump."
So we see that the tree of Christianity is cut off, leaving only that which is most valuable - the stump or "the holy seed." This is the stump that is left "in the new grass." This is what is obtained with the cutting off of the tree of Christianity - the "holy seed" of the Remnant, both the original seedling growth first Remnant, as well as the last days testifying new growth second Remnant that must sprout forth.
Before we continue, we should ask - Why was there a band of iron and bronze placed around this stump of the kingdom? Repeatedly in these writings it has been pointed out that iron is prophetic of the nations, and bronze is prophetic of Christianity. Here once again we see Yahweh placing a memorial band around the stump to give its identity and to serve as a witness and reminder of what He has done. This tree was the kingdom period that was specifically identified with bronze Christianity, and its close association and mixing with the world, the iron. This tree that was cut down was not just identified as being the church by Nebuchadnezzar (the head of Mystery Babylon), but was equally identified by the iron and bronze memorial band of the nations and Christianity placed around it.
What other testimony is there concerning this "tender" growth from the old tree of Christianity, that speaks of the establishment and taking out of the second Remnant? While we cannot go into the fulfillment of this next passage as it relates on a national level to true Israel (not the nation called by that name today, but the northern tribes that were dispersed), we see in this passage the same pattern that applies at a higher fulfillment for spiritual Israel, or Christianity and the Remnant. In Ezekiel 17 we see the same message relative to the evidence in these other similar passages. In verse 22 we read:
Thus says the Lord Yahweh, "I shall also take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and set it out; I shall pluck from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I shall plant it on a high and lofty mountain."
Indeed, this is exactly what the Remnant is: a tender branch or twig that shall be plucked out of the old tree of Christianity and planted "on a high and lofty mountain" - Mount Zion, or the abiding place of Yahweh.
And as a final scriptural testimony to this, let us read Job 14:7-9.
"For there is hope for a tree,
When it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
And its shoots will not fail.
Though its roots grow old in the ground,
And its stump dies in the dry soil,
At the scent of water it will flourish
And put forth sprigs like a plant."
Yes, it will be the long awaited "scent of water" - the much needed latter rain - that will bring forth the new growth sprig of the second Remnant from the old growth of Christianity.
Thus we see in conclusion:
all give evidence to the tender growth of the new latter rain work - the second son "of fresh oil" Remnant from the old growth of Christianity that attests Yahshua's return "is near, right at the door."
And before leaving this tree of Nebuchadnezzar that was cut off, let us note the reason Yahweh specifically states for doing this:
"This sentence is by the decree of the watchers, and the decision is a command of the holy ones, in order that the living may know that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it (this rulership) on whom He wishes, and sets over it the lowliest of men" (4:17)
Yahweh cuts off Christianity because it is His prerogative to place over mankind whomever He wishes. Christianity has failed, and He will place over mankind a people who are "the lowliest of men." They will not be the proud and haughty of Christianity, but will be the lowly out of Christianity.
In equal testimony to this tender new growth - that is, something young, fresh, alive, and attesting - is the Scripture's description of the bride of Yahshua. You can be well assured that the bride of Yahshua is not some 2,000 year old weathered haggard harlot (as is Christianity). No, Ephesians 5:27 describes her as fresh and young - "having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing." This most certainly does not describe the haggard breach church. At 2,000 years of age, she has innumerable wrinkles, and spots galore! Her 2,000 years have been hard years of harlotry - the world has been a hard lover for her. As a Jezebel (Revelation 2:20f), she paints her face and considers herself beautiful, but instead she is "wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked" (Revelation 3:17), and destined for a fall (2 Kings 9:30-33).
Now that we have looked at the prophetic relevance of the fig tree and its new growth, let us return to some more specific matters relating to the 120 Jubilee probation period.
We have seen that 120 is associated with a probationary time of testing or waiting. This latter quality of "waiting" is particularly evidenced by the 120 gathered in the upper room who were waiting for the promised set-apart Spirit. But does this "120" have any bearing on the kingdom of God these disciples awaited? They were waiting for the Spirit, which they did receive on Pentecost. But did they receive the full measure of the set-apart Spirit? Not at all. 2 Corinthians 1:22 and 5:5 tell us that we have received the "earnest" or down payment of the Spirit. An "earnest" or down payment is only a portion of a whole that in time is to be paid in full. It is an in-part guarantee of a later payment that is complete. Has man received payment in full? Not at all. Up until now man has only operated on the earnest of the Spirit, awaiting the fullness to come. This is what the specific number of 120 waiting disciples represented. In truth, man is waiting for the end of 120 Jubilees to receive the promised Spirit. That which was poured out on Pentecost could not be the promised outpouring, since it came at 80 Jubilees. The much needed outpouring is one which must come at the completion of the number of Jubilees evidenced by those waiting disciples in the upper room.
The full "payment" of the Spirit could not come until after 1993 AD. What will this full payment bring? The fullness of the Spirit is when men are born from above, born of the Spirit, and receive their immortal bodies. At that time, as promised by Yahshua on the eighth and high day of Tabernacles (John 7:37-38), the Spirit will be like rivers of living water, flowing out of those in the first resurrection. These will have an entirely new nature - born entirely of the Spirit. Until then, men remain born of this earth, of the flesh; but a day is coming when men will experience the long awaited fruit of being born from above of the Spirit. When will that happen? For the Remnant and Christianity - at two different resurrections. And very importantly, both of these resurrections are based on the 120 probation or testing period.
We have already considered the 120 Jubilee period for mankind beginning with the first manifestation of the kingdom of God in the garden of Eden, and its testing and probation period ending in 1993. But with the restoration work of Yahshua as the fulfilling Nazirite, in 33 AD the kingdom was again given to man prior to the 1993 completion period. So, does this work of Yahshua begin another 120 Jubilee period of probation and testing? There are two initial evidences that this is indeed the case. First, as once again evidenced by the 120 waiting disciples in the upper room, there is indication that another 120 Jubilee waiting period associated with this kingdom began. The second evidence is seen in our subject first Remnant testimony of kingdom-receiving King Solomon.
We have already noted that just before Solomon's receipt of 666 talents of gold, two separate gifts of 120 talents of gold each were given to Solomon by Hiram and the Queen of Sheba. Why these two separate testimonies of 120? First, we have noted that the two 120's are testimonies of the two-part Remnant. But it seems equally inescapable that there is some association to this testing probationary testimony as well. Thus we see both in the upper room at Pentecost and in the clearly prophetic Solomon picture, Yahweh provided two testimonies of a 120 Jubilee probation or testing period beginning for this newly restored church kingdom. Undoubtedly a third and most telling evidence that a second probationary period began at Yahshua's crucifixion, was the mere fact that through the Nazirite vow, Yahshua restored and returned the garden kingdom back to man, thus beginning a new probation period. The significance of all this will be seen as we continue.
Continue to page 10 of THE ISSUE - II forTHE SIX DAYS OF CREATION
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