THE PARABLE OF THE FIG TREE
“Now learn a Parable of the fig tree (the Bible presents three trees, the fig, the olive, and the vine, as representing the Nation of Israel, nationally, spiritually, and dispensationally); When his branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves (is meant to serve as the illustration of Israel nationally), you know that summer is near (refers to Israel as the greatest Prophetic Sign of all, telling us that we are now living in the last of the Last Days);
“So likewise you (points to the modern church), when you shall see all these things (which we are now seeing as it regards Israel), know that it is near, even at the doors (the fulfillment of Endtime Prophecies).
“Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass (the generation of Jews which will be alive at the beginning of the Great Tribulation; as well, it was a prediction by Christ that irrespective of the problems that Israel would face, even from His Day, they would survive), till all these things be fulfilled (there is no doubt, they will be fulfilled).
“Heaven and Earth shall pass away (doesn’t refer to annihilation, but rather a change from one condition or state to another), but My Words shall not pass away (what the Word of God says, will be!).
“But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the Angels of Heaven, but My Father only” (Mat. 24:32-36).
Verse 36 plainly tells us that no man should try to put a date on the Rapture of the Church or even the events here as it regards the Second Coming.
When the Great Tribulation begins, which will commence when the Antichrist signs the seven-year agreement with Israel and the Muslim world, then it will be possible to tell what is going to happen simply because it is amply illustrated in the Book of Revelation. In other words, we know that the Battle of Armageddon will take place at the end of the Great Tribulation and that Jesus Christ will come back during that Battle. But as to exactly when all of this takes place, we do not now know; however, we do have a clue.
As we have said in the above notes, Israel is likened by Christ to the “fig tree.” He then said, “When his branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves . . .” (Mat. 24:32). All of this pertains to Israel once again becoming a Nation in 1948 and of her troubles and difficulties, which have followed that time, even unto the present. As previously stated, Israel is God’s Prophetic Time Clock. In other words, if we want to know how late it is, we need only look at Israel. This tells us that it is very late. The Dispensation of the Church is about at an end. This will be followed by the Great Tribulation, which Tribulation will pertain to the whole world, but, more than all, to Israel.
NATIONS OF THE WORLD AND THE POWERS OF DARKNESS
Daniel, the great Prophet/Statesman, gave us insight into the spirit world, as it regards nations and empires, as no other. Paul mentioned it but didn’t go into any detail at all. To set the stage, we’ll address Paul first.
PAUL THE APOSTLE
He said, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12).
There are four designations listed in this Scripture. They are:
1. “Principalities:” the Greek word for “principalities” is “Archas,” and means, “powerful fallen angels who threw in their lot with Lucifer at the revolution ages past.”
2. “Powers:” the Greek word for “powers” is “exousias,” which means “authorities, those who derive their power from and execute the will of the chief rulers.” In other words, they answer to the “Principalities,” who answer to Satan.
These “Principalities” concern themselves with particular areas of the Earth, over which they have control. The “Powers” are the fallen Angels who carry out that control. In other words, they are the “authorities in the spirit realm,” who bring about the desired results of Satan, with the responsibility entrusted to the “Principalities.”
3. “Rulers of the darkness of this world:” these are those who carry out the instructions of the “Powers.” The Greek word for “rulers” is “kosmokrapopas,” which speaks of “spirit world-rulers” (Dan. 10:13-21; Eph. 1:21; 6:12; Col. 1:16-18). These are “Rulers” under the “Powers,” who, as stated, are under the “Principalities,” who are under “Satan.”
4. “Spiritual wickedness in high places:” this refers to demon spirits. The Greek words are, “pneumatika ponerias,” which means, “that of the wicked spirits of Satan,” i.e., “demon spirits.”
The words “high places” do not refer to Heaven or heavenly places, but rather the lower heavens, the lower atmosphere surrounding this Earth. That’s what the Holy Spirit through Paul is speaking about when he referred to Satan as “. . . the prince of the power of the air . . .” (Eph. 2:2).
As we have stated, the other three designations are fallen Angels, while the last designation refers exclusively to demon spirits. We know that the fallen Angels were originally holy and righteous before God and remained that way until their fall. However, we have no clue in the Word of God, at least of substantial note, which tells us of the origin of demons. This we do know, God did not originally create them in this fashion.
Some scholars believe they were inhabitants of this Earth before the fall of Lucifer (not the Fall of Adam and Eve), and that they threw in their lot with Lucifer at the time of his rebellion against God. While I make no claims at being a Bible scholar, I, as well, do subscribe to this interpretation. As a result, this creation, whatever it was, became disembodied, thereby, seeking a body to inhabit, before they will be eternally consigned to the Lake of Fire.
Satan rules his kingdom of darkness on this Earth (and it is confined to this Earth), through these four designations. Human beings have no contact with fallen Angels, except possibly with Satan himself; however, the entirety of the human race has contact with demon spirits constantly. In fact, all unbelievers are controlled more or less by demon spirits, with some actually being possessed.
FALLEN ANGELS AND DEMON SPIRITS
All Christians face these spirits of darkness (demons) constantly, even as Paul is explaining here. While he mentions all four designations, the first three (fallen Angels) are involved in the carrying out of the plans of Satan, with, it seems, demon spirits alone making direct contact with human beings.
In fact, there is no mention of fallen Angels, except Satan, in the Ministry of Christ or in the Acts of the Apostles respecting the Early Church. It was all with demon spirits, even as it is presently.
It seems that the fallen Angels under Satan formulate the stratagems and plans respecting the kingdom of darkness in its opposition against Believers. However, it seems that they do not involve th emselves directly with humans, that being the task of demon spirits (Dan. 10:13, 20).
Insight into the spirit world, which Daniel here portrays to us, is amazing indeed! In a sense, this is what the Apostle Paul was speaking of, although he did not go into any detail. Paul’s Ministry was not so much Prophecy as it was the meaning of the New Covenant, which is the meaning of the Cross. As it regards Daniel, he was given a greater insight into Endtime events, which will affect the entirety of the world, but more so Israel, than any other Prophet.
The narrative that I will give is taken directly from THE EXPOSITOR’S STUDY BIBLE. We will pick it up in the middle of a Vision given to Daniel by the Lord. Even though the Scripture at this point does not particularly state such, it is almost certain that this was the Angel Gabriel speaking to Daniel. The Scripture says:
“Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that you did set your heart to understand, and to chasten yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I am come for your words. (‘For from the first day,’ speaks of his petition to God and his effort to understand God’s Purpose concerning His People. Then God commissioned Gabriel to come to him.)
“But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the Chief Princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. (‘The prince of the kingdom of Persia,’ refers to an evil Angel appointed by Satan to control the Persian government, which, of course, was done without the knowledge of its earthly king. This Passage appears to reveal that Satan places an agent in charge of every nation [fallen Angel]; and, if so, this may explain national hatreds and national movements.
“Similarly, God has His Angelic Agents operating in opposition to Satan’s. The conflict of Eph., Chpt. 6, to which we have briefly alluded, and the Battle of Rev., Chpt. 12, harmonize with this supposition.)”
SUBJECT OF THE VISION
“Now I am come to make you understand what shall befall your people in the latter days: for yet the Vision is for many days. (‘What shall befall your people,’ refers solely to the Jews [9:24; 12:1]. Therefore, the Gentile nations are included, but only as they affect Israel, and only as Israel is ensconced in her land and offering sacrifices in the Temple; in fact, this Temple will soon be built.)
“And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. (Quite possibly, the many times mentioned concerning the Vision being fulfilled in the ‘latter days’ is because Daniel may have thought that these things would happen shortly, with Israel ultimately being restored to her place and position of power and supremacy; however, that was not the case.)
“And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spoke, and said unto Him Who stood before me, O my Lord, by the Vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. (Quite possibly, this was Christ, because Daniel addressed Him as
‘O my Lord!’)
“For how can the servant of this my Lord talk with this my Lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me. (The implication is that it is not the Vision alone causing the physical weakness, but rather the very Presence of Christ.)
“Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me,
“And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto you, be strong, yes, be strong. And when He had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my Lord speak; for You have strengthened me. (It seems that this is the Lord in a pre-incarnate appearance, actually speaking to Daniel.)
THE PRINCE OF GRECIA
“Then said He, Know you wherefore I come unto you? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. (It seems that now Gabriel once again picks up the conversation. ‘And now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia,’ did not mean that he would leave immediately, but, when the Vision was completed, he would resume the conflict with this satanic prince.
“‘And when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come,’ refers to Gabriel ultimately being successful in this conflict, allowing the satanic prince to bring in the Grecian Empire. This would take place less than 200 years in the future.
“The ‘prince of Grecia’ is not an earthly prince, but, instead, a fallen Angel working under the direct instructions of Satan, who would control the Grecian Empire when it did come into being. It was this evil prince which helped Alexander the Great conquer the known world of that day, although without his knowledge. This ‘prince’ is now confined to the underworld, but will be released in the last days in order to help the Antichrist [Rev. 7:8-14].
“It is the same presently, with fallen Angels controlling entire nations [Eph. 6:12].)
MICHAEL AND GABRIEL
“But I will show you that which is noted in the Scripture of Truth: and there is none who holds with me in these things, but Michael your prince. (‘The Scripture of Truth’ refers to the dream originally given to Nebuchadnezzar [Dan. 2:39], which showed these empires, as well as the two Visions already given to Daniel, as noted in Dan. 7:5-6 and Dan. 8:3-8. ‘And there is none who holds with me in these things, but Michael your prince,’ denotes the truth that as these fallen Angels reigned supreme over certain empires, Michael served in the same position over Israel and, in fact, still does!)” (Dan. 10:12-21).
The following is extremely important simply because it deals with the fallen Angel who helped Alexander the Great, and who will help the Antichrist when he takes power, which will be in the near future.
FROM THE PERSIAN EMPIRE TO ALEXANDER’S DEATH
“Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him. (‘I stood to confirm and to strengthen him,’ refers to Michael the Archangel helping Gabriel as it regards the conflict in question. We see from all this that force has to be used to remove certain satanic rulers [fallen Angels] regarding particular nations, so that another fallen Angel can take their place, even as it was with the Grecian Empire taking over the Medo-Persian Empire. All of this happens in the spirit world and is unseen with the natural eye; however, the effects can definitely be felt.
“All of this tells us that there is always conflict in Satan’s kingdom, which is here made obvious.)”
THE MIGHTY KING
“And now will I show you the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. (These three Persian kings were Cyrus, Cambyses, and Darius I. The fourth was Xerxes, who fulfilled this Verse according to riches. Actually, there were six Persian kings after the four mentioned in this Verse; however, the conflict against Greece began with Xerxes, who Gabriel said would ‘stir up all against the realm of Grecia.’)
“And a mighty king shall stand up, who shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. (This pertains to Alexander the Great, who gained the throne when he was only 19 years old.)
“And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those. (‘And when he shall stand up,’ means when he was at the height of his power, and refers to Alexander the Great. ‘His kingdom shall be broken,’ has to do with his sudden death at 32 years old, and to the breaking up of the Grecian Empire into four divisions, which were taken over by four of his generals. ‘And not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled,’ speaks of his son, who should have gotten the throne, but did not. It must be remembered that these Prophecies were given by Daniel nearly 200 years before they actually came to pass)” (Dan. 11:1-4).
THAT WHICH WILL HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE CONCERNING PLANET EARTH
In fact, despite what many say or think, and despite some bad days, very bad days, which are coming shortly ahead, still, the future of this Planet is glorious.
The great Prophet Habakkuk said:
“For the Earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. (This Passage is very similar to what Isaiah said in 11:9 of his Book. As the Lord answers Habakkuk, His Statements, although alluding to coming Babylon, rather uses Babylon to symbolize the world as a whole without God. However, the Holy Spirit proclaims: ‘For the Earth shall be filled,’ not with injustice, murder, greed, avarice, hate, or oppression, but instead ‘with the knowledge of the Glory of the LORD.’ This will take place in the coming Millennium, beginning immediately after the Second Coming of Christ)” (Hab. 2:14).
Of course, at this time, the Lord Jesus Christ will be reigning Personally from Jerusalem and will, in fact, be the President, so to speak, of the entirety of the Earth. Actually, He is referred to as, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev. 19:16).
True, were it not for the Second Coming, man would eventually succeed in destroying himself and, actually, the entirety of the Planet. But, the Lord most definitely will intervene and will do so with Power and Glory such as the world has never previously known.
He came the first time as a lowly Shepherd, so to speak, and was beaten, lampooned, caricatured, and ultimately crucified. When He comes back the second time, which will be without sin unto Salvation, meaning that the sin debt was paid at Calvary and that He is now coming to save the world, it will be with a Power and Glory such as the world has never known before. In other words, He will show the Antichrist and all the world, for that matter, just Who He really is and what He can really do. That’s when Israel will accept Him as Saviour, as Lord, and as Messiah. Then they will realize that this One Who has come to their rescue is, in fact, the same One they crucified those long years before.
THE KINGDOM AGE
The Kingdom Age, sometimes called the Millennial Reign, will be 1,000 years in duration (Rev. 20:4). It will be a time of prosperity, peace, freedom, and happiness for the entirety of the world. It will not be a time when a few have everything, and most have nothing. It will be a time of plenty, and more than plenty, for everyone. At that time, there will be no favored nations, and other nations, which are in abject poverty. All will be in abundance. In fact, Isaiah
“The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. (Chapter 34 of Isaiah, which was the first part of this Prophecy, proclaims the cause of all sorrow, pain, heartache, and destruction, which is sin and man’s rebellion against God, which will be destroyed by the Lord Jesus Christ; Chapter 35 of Isaiah, which contains the concluding part of the Prophecy, portrays what God can do in a heart and life that is yielded to Him. As the spiritual renewal takes place in hearts and lives, the material, economic, domestic, and physical renewal will take place over the entirety of the Earth as well.)”
THE GLORY OF THE LORD
“It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the Glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God. (‘The Glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God’ is the cause of the ‘abundant blossoming’ and the ‘rejoicing even with joy and singing.’)
“Strengthen you the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. (With these exceeding great and precious Promises, the servants of Truth are commanded to strengthen trembling and apprehensive Believers. With the ‘Glory of the LORD’ now paramount, even the ‘weak’ gain ‘strength,’ and ‘feeble knees’ are no longer so).
“Say to them who are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; He will come and save you. (This Passage expresses again the Doctrine of the Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. As well, this Verse points to the period predicted in II Pet. 3:10 and Rev. 19:11-21. However, we greatly shortchange the Scriptures if we limit this Passage only to the Second Coming of Christ. Its words are pointed at every Child of God in every period.
“The sentence, ‘He will come and save you,’ actually says, ‘He will come Himself to save you.’ There is One Alone Who can save, and He must do it Himself; to do it, He must ‘come’ to us.)”
“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. (Verses 5 and 6 had a fulfillment in the Messiah’s First Advent, but their moral and plenary fulfillment belong to His Second and future Advent. Christ did not work miracles in His First Advent as mere wonders, but because it was predicted here that when He came, He would work miracles of this nature; hence, His performing these particular miracles proved Him to be the predicted Messiah. But His rejection postponed to the future the wonders and blessings of this entire Chapter.)
“Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. (The entire complexion of that future Glad Day [the Millennium] will be changed. Sickness and disease will be at an end. ‘Then’ the ‘lame man’ will not only be able to walk, but will have such freedom of movement that he will be able to ‘leap as an hart.’ ‘Then’ the ‘bound tongue’ will not only be able to speak, but ‘sing,’ as well!
“However, in the spiritual sense, this has even a greater meaning! Due to the Fall, men have been ‘spiritually lame’ as well as ‘spiritually dumb.’ ‘Then’ all such will ‘dance in the Spirit’ and ‘sing His Praises’!
“Due to the Fall, the world is a ‘wilderness.’ But at that time, the ‘waters’ and ‘streams,’ signifying the Holy Spirit, will make the ‘desert blossom as the rose’)” (Isa. 35:1-6).
NO MORE WAR
Some years ago, I read an article stating that the world was spending three million dollars a minute on weapons of war. That’s 180 million dollars an hour, translating into over four billion dollars a day, translating into approximately one and a half trillion dollars a year. Think as to what that could do if it were put to rightful use, which it will be in the coming Kingdom Age.
Concerning Christ and that coming time, Isaiah wrote, “And He (the Lord Jesus Christ) shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isa. 2:4).
That means that West Point will go out of business; Sandhurst in England will go out of business; and, St. Cyr in France will shut its doors. These are some of the greatest war colleges in the world, and they will be no more.
CONDITIONS DURING THE MILLENNIUM
Read the following very carefully and feel assured that it’s going to come to pass exactly as predicted. The great Prophet said:
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. (The character and nature of the Planet, including its occupants and even the animal creation, will revert to their posture as before the Fall.)
“And the cow and the bear shall feed (feed together); their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. (This Passage plainly tells us that the carnivorous nature of the animal kingdom will be totally and eternally changed.)
“And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. (Even though some of the curse will remain on the serpent in the Millennium, in that he continues to writhe in the dust, still, the deadly part will be removed [Gen. 3:14])” (Isa. 11:6-8).
The great Prophet Ezekiel tells us in his Book of the building of the Millennial Temple in Jerusalem. He tells us that out from under the threshold, which will be out from under the door leading into the Temple, there will flow a river, with part of it going to the Dead Sea, which will no longer be dead, and part toward the Mediterranean.
On both sides of this river, which will run approximately 60 miles, the Prophet said:
“And by the River upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side (both sides), shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the Sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine. (Ezekiel is shown the purpose of these miracle trees which grow on either side of these Rivers. These ‘trees’ shall perpetually bring forth new fruit because they are nourished by waters issuing from the Sanctuary. The fruit will heal as well as nourish. Such is the character of a Life and Ministry based upon Calvary and energized by the Holy Spirit.
“In fact, the population of the world [which will include all, with the exception of the Glorified Saints] will continue to live perpetually by the means of the ‘fruit’ and the ‘leaf’ of these trees. In other words, the aging process at a certain point will be halted. Of course, as it should be understood, Glorified Saints will not need such)” (Ezek. 47:12).
The evidence is that these trees will bear fruit 12 months out of the year, with that fruit and their leaves transported all over the world, which will guarantee an abundance for all. The “fruit” and the “leaves” will not so much heal sickness as it will prevent sickness. This means that there really won’t be any sickness in the coming Kingdom Age, neither any poverty, neither any war, etc. That’s when the “knowledge of the Word of the Lord shall cover the Earth as the waters cover
Of course, after the Kingdom Age will come the eternal age, which will be without end. At that time, God will transfer His Headquarters from Planet Heaven, so to speak, down to Planet Earth, where He will abide with men forever and forever. Chapters 21 and 22 of the great Book of Revelation give us the information concerning this coming
That is the future of Planet Earth, and, to be sure, we have only scratched the surface. Let me say it again, admittedly, the world would be completely destroyed were it not for the Second Coming of our Lord, but, to be sure and to be certain, He is coming back.
(This message was derived from the book, “ARMAGEDDON”)