By Ellis Skolfield
First: The beginning of “the Time of the End” should be determined by Scripture, not by me.
Luke 21:24 states: “And they (contextually the Jews) shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”
That is a biblical given, but what does "trodden down of the Gentiles" mean? Governmental control not necessarily ethnic purity. When you look at the pre-Christian historic record, when a conquer defeated another kingdom, the first thing the new potentate did was make the defeated monarch bow down before him and the new King would place his foot on the deposed king’s neck. Thus the term, "trodden down." There are ample pictorial records all over the Middle East showing this practice.
Jerusalem was freed of Gentile governmental control on June 6, 1967, the historic reality we cannot deny, therefore we are no longer in "the time of the Gentiles." So you have to ask, if we're not in the time of the Gentiles what kind of time are we now in? Well, searching prophetic literature from end-to-end, the only other epochal time I could find was Daniels "time of the end." Ergo, we must be in “the Time of the End.”
Second: The parable of the fig tree.
Matthew 24:32-33, “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.”
Now the Lord Jesus has not gone to the cross yet so the Old Testament Levitical code is still in force. As a result, we need to look in the Old Testament to find the definition for figurative language in the Gospels. In Jeremiah 24:1-7 and in Hosea 9:10 we find Israel figuratively identified as a fig tree.
Hosea 9:10 “I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as t he firstripe in the fig tree at her first time.”
Then as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem for the final time, he said the following . . .
Mark 11:13-14, 11:21-22 “And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he (Jesus) came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves. And Jesus answered and said unto it, ‘No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever.’ And his disciples heard it. . . . And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter . . . saith unto him, ‘Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.’ And Jesus answering saith unto them, ‘Have faith in God.’”
Now do you believe Jesus was worried about figs, or could He be He implying, have faith in God and you too, can curse a fig tree? Of course not, that fig tree is being used as a figurative example of Israel. Jesus knows He is going to the Cross and that the Christian era will begin shortly thereafter. As a result, the Jewish faith will not grow beyond the Jewish people, but the church will cover the whole Earth. Nevertheless, have faith in God for the people with whom He made an everlasting,.
Matthew 24:32-33 “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves (not spiritual fruit), ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.”
Luke 21:31-32 “So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation (of the fig tree putting forth leaves, i.e., the new nation of Israel being established in 1948) shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” (that’s everything, including the return of Jesus).
New Israel is the Fig Tree Generation
Luke 21:29-33 “And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree (Israel), and all the trees (the surrounding nations); When they now shoot forth (leaves not spiritual fruit), ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation (of the people who were alive and helped Israel become a nation in 1948) shall not pass away (shall still be alive), till all be fulfilled (at the return of Jesus). Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.”
Jesus Warns Today’s Church!
Luke 21:34-36 “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”