Thursday, July 28, 2011


Those who understand the dispensational approach to interpreting God's Word, know that the Parable of the Fig Tree, found in Matthew 24:32-34 and Luke 21:29-32, has nothing to do with the Church. As I explained yesterday, the Rapture of the Church will occur prior to the events described in His Olivet Discourse. Unfortunately, not all dispensationalists understand that Jesus was using a simile (a figure of speech to which one thing is likened to another dissimilar thing by the use of words such as "like," "as," "likewise," etc.) to teach His disciples about the signs indicating the closeness of His Second Coming. Just as the budding of plants indicates that summer is near, the events of the Tribulation, described in Matthew 24:4-28 and Luke 21:8-24, will indicate that His return is near.

The problem is, dispensationalists get distracted by the particular plant Jesus used in His comparison. As I have mentioned previously, the fig tree has historically been seen as a symbol for Israel based upon Hosea 9:10. And while Jesus may have been providing a clue to the timing of His return in relationship to the nation of Israel's "rebirth" in 1948, there is absolutely no doubt that His description of the events of the Tribulation are the "sign of Thy coming and of the end of the age" (Matt. 24:3; Lk. 21:7).

Israel's becoming a nation again took place during the Church Age. The Tribulation will take place after the Church Age. And speaking of clues, there are several which indicate Jesus was intending to warn the nation of Israel, not the Church. It is the Jew that requires a sign (1 Cor. 1:22). His warning in Matthew 24:4-28 is to the Jew:

**Only Jews are still expecting the Christ (v. 4).
**Israel hears of wars but does not experience them (v. 6).
**There are famines, pestilences, and earthquakes elsewhere (v. 7).
**Messianic Jews will be persecuted in synagogues (v. 9).
**His coming is for an earthly kingdom (v. 14).
**The abomination of desolation takes place in the temple (v. 15).
**Those in Judea are warned to flee (v. 16).
**Only the Jews care about the Sabbath (v. 20).
**Only the Jews are still looking for their Messiah (v. 23).
**The Tribulation is Daniel's 70th Week is for Israel (v. 29).
**The "Son of Man" refers to the Messiah of Israel (v. 30).
**Judgment is based upon how nations treated the Jews (Matt. 25:32-46).

So, regardless of the "clue" about Israel, and 1948, and the generation, the message of the Olivet Discourse is not for Christians to anticipate the Rapture, but for Jews to prepare for their Messiah.

I guess we will see if the Lord wants me to continue tomorrow.

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