The Parable of the Fig Tree

                               (Matt. 24:32-35; Mark 13: 28-32; Luke 21: 29-33)

From the fig tree learn this lesson: as soon as its young shoots become soft and tender and it puts out its leaves, you know of a surety that summer is near. So also when you see these signs (24:1-31) all taken together coming to pass, you may know of surety that He is near, at the very doors. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away till all these things taken together take place. Sky and earth will pass away, but My word will not pass away (Matt. 24:32-35).

This parable of the fig tree representing the reestablishment of the state of Israel in 1948 and the space of generation of forty years in its relationship has been miss- interpreted by many, with the belief that in that generation of forty years after the birth of Israel, the Second Coming can happen.

According to the book, In the footsteps of the Messiah by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, there are two errors in this belief: (1) the Bible does not limit the period of a generation to be forty years, for the term “generation” can be twenty, forty, seventy, eighty and one hundred years. The only place where the term generation is given a specific time is found in Genesis 15:13-16, which is one hundred years. It says: And [God] said to Abram, Know positively that your descendants will be strangers dwelling as temporary residents in a land that is not theirs, and they will be slaves there and will be afflicted and oppressed for 400 years. But I will bring judgment on that nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with great possessions… and in the fourth generation they shall come back here again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full and complete. “And in the fourth generation” of one hundreds Israel shall come back to their land.

Evidence That Demands Belief

(John 9, 10)

As He passed along, He noticed a man blind from his birth. His disciples asked Him, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he should be born blind? (John 9:1,2).

What is so significant about this question? It refers to the visitation of iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children, to the third and fourth generation (Exodus 34: 7b). Diseases are connected with sin. From the time the first couple sinned, mental and physical sufferings entered the world as a result. But that was not the case in this blind man’s life, as YAHSHUA answered the question, It was not that this man or his parents sinned, but he was blind in order that the workings of God should be manifested in him (vs.3). On the contrary, this man was chosen to fulfill God’s purpose in point and time of his life, “in order that God’s workings be manifested in him.”  All the years of his existence he survived through begging. In those days nothing was made easy for a blind person to live a normal life in society, as it is available today. Today a blind person can go to special schools to learn how to read and write through a method called braille and how to live a normal life and be part of the society’s work force. Although still in visual darkness, knowledge lights up his understanding of his surroundings and beyond. His success depends on his willingness to face the world with what it offers him.   

Obedience (part 2)

But you shall go to my country and to my relatives and take a wife for my son Isaac. See to it that you do not take my son back there. He will send His Angel before you and you will take a wife from there for my son. (Genesis 24: 4, 6,7b)

Following the order of Abraham to fetch a wife for his son Isaac, his servant Eliezer went to God and prayed, “I pray You cause me to meet with good success today and show kindness to my master Abraham.” That’s the secret of obedience: a humble heart before God and man. Eliezer did not go fetch a wife for his master’s son on his own power and wisdom. He acknowledged his limitations and asked God for help. This is a beautiful story of God’s faithfulness expressed to Eliezer. His heart was tuned to God’s frequency in His plan for Abraham’s posterity. He blessed Eliezer by answering his prayer and giving him Rebeka as a wife for Isaac.

Obedience

                                                            (Matt.28:7-10)

Then go quickly and tell His disciples, He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you (vs. 7). As they went to tell, behold Jesus met them and said, Hail, and they went up to Him and clasped His feet and worship Him. Jesus said, do not be afraid, go and tell my brethren to go into Galilee (v.9).

After YAHSHUA’S resurrection, Mary and the other Mary continued to look for Him among the dead. In the process, they witnessed supernatural events beyond their imagination at the time they arrived at the place where the Lord’s body had been buried. First, there was an earthquake, followed by an angel of the Lord descending from heaven to roll the boulder back and those keeping guard were frightened and agitated and trembled and became like dead men (Matt. 28:1-4). At that sight, the angel told them, YAHSHUA is not here; He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay; go quickly and tell His disciples, He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him (Matt. 28:5-7). Leaving the place joylessly, they went to tell the disciples. Their excitement overtook them; they could not wait to share the greatest miracle they ever witnessed.  To make their day even more exciting, while on their way, behold, the Lord YAHSHUA met them saying, Greeting! They went up to Him, clasped His feet and worshiped Him (Matt. 28: 8-9). Echoing the message from the angel, He said to them, Do not be alarmed and afraid; go and tell My brethren to go into Galilee, and there they will see Me (Vs.10). The angel emphatically expressed the command to them by saying, Behold, I have told you. That means, attention, look! His command was for them to go quickly and tell the disciples that the Lord YAHSHUA had risen from the dead.

Our Lives Are Books Written in the Pages of Time

When yet in our unformed substance, all the days of our lives were written in God’s book. Our destiny was established at that moment. Circumstances presented to us often require choices. Life is full of choices. They determine our success or our failure. The choices we make also determine our future. From the time we learn how to walk and talk, choices are before us. We as parents, have guided the lives of our children in every way exposed to them. Either by words, behavior or actions. A child left to decide for himself will have a hard time following directions in the adult life.  He will wander through life, not knowing what he wants; he will however, follow the pressure of friends, and become like them or worse than them. That’s when parents have lost their good influence on their children. Because we are carriers of our ancestor’s iniquities and curses, we tend to be contrary to sound teachings, until we are transformed by the Word of God.

We start writing our lives’ stories from the time we learn to walk and talk. The first pages are gibberish and laughter. The things we do in our innocent age are really funny in the eyes of an adult. Sometimes they are funny, but sometimes they are indicative of developing rebellion. It is important for a parent to correct the child even in his innocent behavior, for the pages of his book to reflect the love of his parents. The Bible says, Even a child is known by his acts, whether [or not] what he does is pure and right (Proverbs 20: 11), and again, Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him (Proverbs 22: 15). When discipline is applied to the child he becomes the crown of his grandparents and joy to his parents. At the end of his life, if accepted the corrections, the pages of his book will reflect wisdom and discernment and well guided decisions.

He Brings Her to the Banquet Table

(Song of Solomon 2)

The Song of Solomon is for most part misunderstood, because of lack of understanding of its meanings. The carnal and human mind in their interpretation misses the point and the context for what it was written.  It is impossible to read this book and understand it outside its spiritual sphere. One cannot read it with a carnal mind as one reads any book. The author of the Song of Solomon’s book is the Creator of man and woman, the Designer and the establisher of marriage between the two. Song of Songs is a depiction of marriage as God intended for it to be; it is a love song. It exalts the virtue of love between a man and a woman- husband and his wife. It shows the intimacy between the two, their hard times and the ultimately victory in their union.

Chapter two expresses a beautiful dialog of love and caring between the two. The bridegroom, in his desire to have his bride with Him, invites her to come up. The place He invites her to is close to Him. He says, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away; For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing as come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land; the fig tree puts forth and ripens her green figs, and the vines are in blossom and give forth their fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away (2:10-13). It is the season when life is expressed everywhere in the spring of life. The season to celebrate. The horizon springs up with new colors of life. This is figurative of Christ’s and His bride’s relationship. Winter, a thing of the past in color of lifeless grey is no more.  For it symbolizes hardships and trouble.. “Rise up My love” implies the rapture. His invitation comes with eternal blessings in His presence. It is the time for His bride to celebrate her redemption! A time to sing. The intimacy of His words compels His bride to respond in a loving way.  “My Beloved is mine and I am His.” YAHSHUA, as the church bridegroom, finally takes complete possession of His bride, whom He has bought with His own blood, by calling her to her new home. As Paul mentioned, “And so always we shall be with the Lord!” In His priestly prayer our Lord YAHSHUA prayed, Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me; You loved Me before the foundation of the world (John 17: 24).

Waiting For Him

Life is many things in time and season for all of us. For some, life is joyous and fulfilling; for others, life is searching its meaning. But life is for us all, waiting. Sometimes in lines, sometimes for time; sometimes to grow up. Waiting, as a matter of fact, is life wrapped up in gray hairs, in hope and faith until death separates the spirit from the body. It will always exist in our life-time. Life without time to wait, is fast and unsecured.  The Lord YAHSHUA assured us with the promise of His return for by saying, Let not your heart be troubled, believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you; for I am going away to prepare a place for you. And when I go and make ready a place for you, I will come back again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also (John 14:1-3).  A familiar passage we often mention to boost our hope in His promise, but at the same time, many of us are waiting not for this promise, but for the false messiah to be revealed. While we wait for Him, our hearts must not be troubled with anxiety and worries over the evil happenings in the world. Our hearts must be filled with faith and belief in God and in YAHSHUA’S promise of His return for us, when He will take us to Himself. This promise was the hope of all who came before us, without seeing it being fulfilled. This promise has been given thousands of years ago to the prophets of old. They too did not see it fulfilled in their life time, but it is still alive today, supporting and uplifting us in this troubled world.

Chosen For Times As These

The life of Joseph is market by salvation of his brothers. When yet young he had dreams that spoke of God’s future calling to be his brothers and the nation of Egypt’s savior in the seven years of famine that was to come. He was mocked and ridiculed by his brothers and rebuked by his father when he revealed his dreams to them, not realizing the tremendous prophecy of their own salvation behind his dreams when his family was going to depend on him for their future survival. Next to the youngest of twelve brothers, Joseph was the favorite of his father, whose mother was Rachel, Jacob’s favorite wife. For her he worked fourteen years, when her sister was given him as a wife, instead. Out of hatred for him, his brothers sold him for twenty pieces of silver to Ishmaelite merchants who were passing by. They took him captive to Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh. Though a slave in the eyes of the Egyptians, Joseph was favored of the Lord; He blessed him in all he did, for the master plan God had for him was to be fulfilled many years later. Joseph had to go through hard experiences to reach the plateau of success God had planned for him to be a savior for his brothers.

Joseph however, had several years to be prepared for the task the Lord had for him. When the maturity of time came for God’s plan to be fulfilled in his life, he was trusted with a very responsible position. He became second to Pharaoh, as the governor of Egypt. God gave him thirteen years of hard lessons preparing him to be his brother’s savior. He was only seventeen years old when he was taken to Egypt. Although young and handsome and at the prime of his life, Joseph did not fall into temptation to disobey the Lord. A thing worthy of our consideration in view of the today’s young generation. During his trials no vision was given him to confirm his dreams to be of prophetic meaning. He had those dreams when he was young and lacking understanding of their meanings.  But he went through it all without running away; his spiritual strength kept him close to the commandments of the Lord. When Potiphar’s wife enticed him to sin against his moral integrity he answered her saying, “How can I do this great evil and sin against God?” Although innocent, he was put in jail. However, the Lord was with him and showed him mercy and loving-kindness and gave him favor in the sight of the warden of the prison (Gen. 39). God’s timing to raise Joseph from the ashes had finally come. He was then thirty years old when he took the position of governor of Egypt. These are the words Pharaoh told him when promoting him to governor: You shall have charge over my house, and all my people shall be governed according to your word. Only in matters of the throne will I be greater than you are. I have set you over all the land of Egypt… he said to him, I am Pharaoh and without you shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt (Gen. 1: 38-46).