Series Code: TPP
Program Code: TPP000012A
00:11 The subject of our study in this hour
00:15 is The Parable of the Fig Tree.
00:18 We are discussing the role of Israel
00:22 in Bible prophecy.
00:24 And this is a continuation
00:26 of the study that we did previously,
00:29 number 11 in the series.
00:31 But before we study about the fig tree,
00:34 we do want to ask for the Lord's blessing
00:36 as we do for every presentation before we open the Lord's Word.
00:41 So let's bow our heads for a word of prayer.
00:44 Father in heaven,
00:46 we thank You so much for Your presence here.
00:49 It's so comforting to know that You are here
00:51 through the ministry of Your Holy Spirit
00:53 and Your angels.
00:54 We need Your help because our wisdom is limited.
00:59 We know very little,
01:01 just barely enough to get us to heaven.
01:04 But You know it all.
01:06 We ask that Your wisdom and Your knowledge
01:09 will be shared with us now as we study
01:11 this very important subject about the fig tree.
01:14 We ask, Lord, that You will not only help us understand it,
01:18 but also to understand it in a way that we can share it
01:22 with those who are perhaps misguided
01:25 in their concepts of Bible prophecy.
01:28 We place ourselves in Your hands,
01:31 thanking You for Your presence.
01:33 In Jesus' name, amen.
01:37 I invite you to turn in your Bibles
01:38 with me to Matthew 24.
01:41 And we are going to read verses 32 to 35.
01:46 Matthew 24:32-35.
01:51 This is towards the end
01:54 of what is known as the Olivet Discourse,
01:58 which is the sermon that Jesus presented
02:01 to His disciples about the signs
02:05 that would precede His Second Coming.
02:09 And towards the end of His presentation
02:12 of the different signs before the Second Coming,
02:15 Jesus used this analogy to let us know
02:20 when we could be sure that the coming of Jesus
02:24 is imminent, is soon to take place.
02:28 I read now from Matthew 24:32-35.
02:35 Jesus stated, "Now learn this parable from the fig tree:
02:40 When its branch has already become tender
02:44 and puts forth leaves,
02:47 you know that the summer is near."
02:50 This is speaking about the fig tree in Israel.
02:53 So Jesus is saying, you know,
02:54 when you look at the fig tree
02:57 and the fig tree becomes tender,
02:59 the branches become tender
03:01 and it starts to put forth leaves,
03:03 you know that the summer is near.
03:05 Now that gives you the sign that the summer is near.
03:09 And now he draws the comparison in verse 33.
03:12 "So you also,
03:16 when you see all these things,
03:19 know that it is near at the doors!"
03:24 So the fig tree is a parable or an analogy
03:29 for those who live near the time of the Second Coming.
03:33 And then in verse 34, Jesus continued,
03:36 "Assuredly, I say to you,
03:38 this generation will by no means pass away
03:42 till all these things take place.
03:46 Heaven and earth will pass away,
03:48 but My words will by no means pass away."
03:55 Now I want to share with you
03:58 the view that is held by futurists
04:02 concerning the fig tree in these verses.
04:07 Basically, their idea is that the fig tree
04:11 is a symbol of Israel.
04:14 And by the way,
04:15 they are right in saying that the fig tree
04:18 is a symbol of Israel.
04:19 But the question is,
04:21 is the fig tree here a symbol of Israel?
04:24 You see, folks, in prophecy,
04:28 in symbolic portions of scripture
04:30 symbols do not always mean the same thing
04:34 in every context.
04:36 For example, if I asked you what leaven represents?
04:40 What would you say?
04:42 Everybody says leaven represents sin.
04:46 But in the Parable of the Leaven that Jesus gave,
04:50 the leaven represents the Holy Spirit
04:53 that is placed in the church
04:54 and as a result the church grows.
04:57 So leaven can represent sin in one context.
05:01 And leaven can represent
05:03 the Holy Spirit in another context.
05:05 You have to take into account the context,
05:08 likewise with a sword.
05:10 In Ephesians 6:17,
05:12 the sword is a symbol of the Word of God,
05:14 the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.
05:17 But in Romans 13:4,
05:21 the sword is what the civil power has
05:24 to keep the civil order.
05:27 And so when you find the word sword,
05:29 don't assume that the word sword
05:31 symbolically means the same thing in every context.
05:34 The same could be said, for example of a lion.
05:38 In the Bible, a lion can represent Jesus,
05:41 the lion of the tribe of Judah.
05:43 The lion can represent Satan who goes forth
05:46 as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
05:49 The lion can represent
05:51 the kingdom of Babylon in Daniel 7,
05:53 and it can represent Judah, the son of Jacob in Genesis 49.
05:58 So just because the fig tree is mentioned here
06:01 in Matthew 24,
06:02 does not necessarily mean
06:04 that the fig tree here represents Israel,
06:07 even though in other passages
06:09 it does clearly represent Israel.
06:13 So basically, the concept that futurists have
06:16 is that this fig tree represents literal Israel,
06:20 the nation of Israel.
06:23 And that the fig tree, so to speak,
06:27 began to sprout in the year 1948
06:33 when the nation of Israel
06:36 resurrected or was reestablished,
06:38 when the Jewish nation was established in 1948.
06:44 Futurists also say,
06:47 in the war of 1967
06:50 where Israel won over the Arabs,
06:53 that's a further sign that Israel is now about
06:58 to fulfill the plan that God has for her.
07:03 Soon they say it's an indication
07:06 that the rapture will take place
07:09 and then God's plan for literal Israel
07:12 will begin again,
07:14 the plan that was suspended
07:15 at the end of week number 69 of the 70 weeks.
07:20 So basically, they understand the sprouting of the fig tree
07:25 as a sign that Israel would resurrect in 1948.
07:30 And that would indicate
07:32 that the rapture of the church is near.
07:36 We need to take a close look at this concept.
07:41 Incidentally, by the way,
07:43 they say that this is the greatest sign
07:46 that the rapture is soon to take place,
07:49 the reestablishment of the nation
07:51 of Israel in 1948.
07:52 They say of all signs,
07:54 this is the greatest sign
07:56 that the final events of the rapture
07:59 and the tribulation for the Jews, etcetera,
08:02 is soon to take place.
08:04 Now the first thing that I want us to notice
08:07 in responding to this concept
08:10 is that the vine and the fig tree
08:13 do represent literal Israel.
08:19 Go with me to the Book of Hosea 9:10.
08:25 Hosea 9:10.
08:28 We're gonna see
08:29 that they are right in one sense,
08:32 and that is that the fig tree can represent Israel
08:36 and the vine or the vineyard can also represent Israel.
08:41 We're not gonna deny that.
08:42 The question is,
08:44 does the fig tree in this passage
08:47 represent literal Israel?
08:49 So let's read Hosea 9:10.
08:53 God is speaking here and He says,
08:54 "I found Israel like grapes..."
08:58 See there you have the vineyard.
09:00 "I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness,
09:04 I saw your fathers as the first-fruits
09:07 on the fig tree in its first season."
09:12 So you see here,
09:14 the grapes or the vineyard represents Israel,
09:17 and the fig tree also represents Israel.
09:22 And then it continues saying, "But they went to Baal Peor,
09:26 and separated themselves to that shame,
09:30 they became an abomination
09:32 like the thing that they loved."
09:35 So the fig tree and the vineyard
09:39 both represent Israel, no doubt about it.
09:43 But once again, the question is,
09:46 does the fig tree represent Israel
09:50 in Matthew Chapter 24?
09:53 Now, we are gonna study in the next few minutes,
09:56 three passages
09:58 that describe Israel as a tree.
10:04 And we're gonna find some very important lessons
10:07 in these three passages that describe Israel as a tree.
10:11 The first passage that we're gonna study
10:14 does not mention the tree has being a fig tree.
10:18 However, by looking at the other two passages,
10:20 we're gonna see that that tree was really a fig tree,
10:24 even though it doesn't mention the fig tree.
10:27 Let's go to the first passage that mentions
10:30 Israel like a tree.
10:33 Matthew 3:8-10.
10:37 Matthew 3:8-10.
10:42 This is describing the preaching
10:44 of John the Baptist.
10:46 And John the Baptist began his preaching
10:49 six months before Jesus began His ministry.
10:54 That's a very important detail.
10:56 John the Baptist began his preaching
10:59 six months before Jesus began His public ministry.
11:03 And let's notice what John the Baptist said
11:07 to the Pharisees and the Scribes
11:10 that were present there listening to his sermon.
11:14 And I want you to remember the details of this portion
11:19 of John the Baptist sermon.
11:21 It says there in verse 8, he's speaking to literal Jews,
11:25 to the leadership of the literal Jews.
11:27 "Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance."
11:33 That means bear fruit that flows from repentance.
11:38 So what is John the Baptist telling them to do?
11:41 He's telling them to, what?
11:43 To bear fruit that comes from repentance.
11:47 And then he continues,
11:49 "And do not think to say to yourselves,
11:53 'We have Abraham as our father.'"
11:58 So he's saying you must repent.
12:00 Bear fruits.
12:02 Don't say or don't brag.
12:05 "'We have Abraham as our father.'
12:08 For I say to you,
12:10 that God is able to raise up children
12:12 to Abraham from these stones.'"
12:16 Now if you read Desire of Ages, page 63,
12:19 Ellen White explains that John the Baptist
12:23 was not pointing at literal stones.
12:27 You see, the parallel passage in Luke tells us
12:31 that there were Gentile soldiers present there
12:34 listening to John the Baptist as well.
12:36 Besides the Jews who claim to be
12:39 the children or the sons of Abraham.
12:41 And when John the Baptist said,
12:43 God is able to raise up
12:44 children of Abraham from the stones,
12:47 he was pointing at the Gentiles because the Jews considered
12:51 the Gentiles to be stones because they had a stony heart.
12:55 The Jews referred to the Gentiles
12:58 as dogs and as pigs or swine.
13:02 Very politically incorrect and very unkind, I might say.
13:07 So what John the Baptist is saying,
13:08 don't you brag because you claim
13:10 to be children of Abraham?
13:12 No, no, no, God can raise up children of Abraham
13:14 from these Gentiles.
13:16 So is it possible for Gentiles to be children of Abraham,
13:19 even though they don't have the blood of Abraham?
13:21 Yes or no?
13:24 He continues,
13:26 "And even now the ax
13:28 is laid at the root of the trees.
13:32 Therefore every tree which does not," what?
13:37 "Bear good fruit is cut down
13:42 and thrown into the fire."
13:46 So what is John the Baptist telling the literal Jews
13:49 that he's speaking to?
13:51 He's saying, "Listen, repent, and bear fruit."
13:56 Don't brag because you're literal Jews,
13:59 children of Abraham.
14:00 God can raise up children of Abraham
14:02 from these Gentiles.
14:04 And if you don't bear fruit, the tree will be what?
14:09 Cut down and thrown into the fire.
14:15 At this point we don't know
14:18 if the Jewish tree produce fruit or not?
14:22 But two and a half years later,
14:25 Jesus told a parable of a fig tree.
14:30 By this time, mind you,
14:32 three years have passed since John the Baptist
14:35 began to preach.
14:38 Six months John the Baptist preached
14:40 and Jesus now tells this parable
14:42 two and a half years into His ministry.
14:45 So three years have passed
14:48 since when John the Baptist began to preach,
14:50 and when Jesus told this parable.
14:52 The parable is found in Luke 13:1-9.
14:58 Luke 13:1-9.
15:04 Three years after John the Baptist
15:06 began his preaching.
15:08 By the way,
15:09 how many years did the ministry of Jesus last?
15:13 Three and a half years.
15:16 So this is one year before He finishes His ministry.
15:20 Very important chronological details.
15:23 Here is the parable.
15:25 "There were present at that season
15:28 some who told him about the Galileans
15:32 whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices."
15:37 And, of course, they believe that when calamity came,
15:40 God was doing it because the people were bad.
15:44 God was punishing them.
15:46 But Jesus says in verse 2,
15:49 "And Jesus answered and said to them,
15:51 'Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners
15:56 than all other Galileans,
15:57 because they suffered such things?
16:00 I tell you, no, but unless you repent..."
16:04 Is that a common theme
16:06 with what John the Baptist said?
16:08 "But unless you repent you will all likewise," what?
16:13 Which is the same ax cutting down the tree.
16:17 Verse 4,
16:18 "Or those eighteen on whom the tower of Siloam fell
16:22 and killed them,
16:24 do you think that they were worse sinners
16:27 than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?
16:30 I tell you, no, but unless you repent,
16:34 you will all likewise perish."
16:36 Once again, you have to repent.
16:40 And if you don't repent, you will perish.
16:42 And then Jesus is going to illustrate
16:45 what He has just said with the parable.
16:49 In verse 6, we find the beginning of the parable.
16:53 "He also spoke this parable,
16:57 'A certain man," and I'm gonna interpret
16:58 the parable as we go along because parables have symbols,
17:02 the actors represent something besides themselves.
17:06 So it says a certain man that's God the Father,
17:08 by the way, "had a fig tree,"
17:11 Israel, "planted his vineyard,"
17:16 the world, "and he came seeking fruit,"
17:20 the fruit of the Spirit.
17:25 And what happened when it came seeking fruit
17:27 on the fig tree?
17:29 "And on it,
17:33 he found none."
17:37 So three years have passed for the tree
17:39 that John the Baptist spoke about.
17:42 And Jesus come seeking fruit on the fig tree
17:47 and there is no fruit.
17:49 So now notice what's gonna happen.
17:52 "Then he said," by the way, once again,
17:55 it's the certain man God the Father,
17:58 who is speaking here.
17:59 "Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard," that's Jesus.
18:04 "'Look for three years..."
18:08 Oh, interesting chronology.
18:11 John the Baptist preached six months,
18:12 Jesus was two and a half years into His ministry,
18:14 that's three years.
18:17 "Then he said to the keeper of the vineyard,
18:19 'Look, for these three years I have come seeking fruit
18:22 on this fig tree and find none."
18:27 And then he says, "Cut it down."
18:31 Is that what John the Baptist said
18:33 if the tree didn't produce fruit?
18:37 "Cut it down,
18:40 why does it use up the ground?'"
18:44 Oh, but the vine dresser Jesus,
18:47 He loves that fig tree.
18:51 So he says in verse 8,
18:53 "But he answered and said to him,
18:57 let it alone this year also.'"
19:02 In other words,
19:03 let the fig tree remain for how long?
19:06 One more year.
19:07 How many years still remained in the ministry of Jesus?
19:11 One year.
19:13 It's important to have these chronological details.
19:16 So, "'Sir,
19:19 let it alone this year also,
19:23 until I dig around it and fertilize it."
19:26 In other words, I'm gonna dedicate special attention
19:29 to this fig tree the last year.
19:33 And then in verse 9, he says,
19:36 "And if it bears fruit, well.
19:40 But if not,
19:42 after that you can cut it down.'"
19:49 You catching the picture?
19:51 So we need to learn to connect passages in the Bible.
19:54 Not only read individual passages,
19:57 but see how different passages are linked.
19:59 You know, these three passages are all interconnected,
20:04 very clearly interconnected.
20:07 By the way, when the parable ends,
20:09 the parable ends in suspense.
20:12 We don't know whether the tree produce fruit
20:15 or not at this point in the parable,
20:17 it's left open
20:19 because there's still another year.
20:22 And nobody yet knows what the fig tree is gonna do
20:25 if it's gonna produce fruit or not.
20:28 Are you following me?
20:30 It's similar to the story of the oldest son
20:34 in the story of the prodigal son.
20:38 You know, that that story also ends in suspense
20:42 because the real prodigal was not the younger son,
20:45 the prodigal was the older one.
20:49 He was lost at home.
20:52 The other son was lost away from home
20:53 but he came back home,
20:55 but the older brother, he was lost at home.
20:59 And when his brother comes back smelling like swine,
21:03 you know,
21:05 probably his breath smell like swine's food
21:07 because he was competing for with the pigs for the food.
21:13 And his father receives him with open arms,
21:16 covers him with his choice robe
21:18 and puts his that signet ring on him,
21:20 the sign of his authority.
21:23 And now the father calls a party.
21:26 He says to all, let's celebrate.
21:28 My son that was lost has come back home.
21:32 A reason to celebrate.
21:34 And the older son, you know, he sees, he hears music,
21:37 and he sees heads moving in the house.
21:40 And he says, "What's going on there?"
21:41 He calls the sir, "What's going on there?"
21:43 Oh, you haven't heard?
21:44 Your brother came home.
21:45 Oh, you should have smelled him.
21:47 I'm embellishing the story.
21:53 you wouldn't believe the dirty clothes
21:55 that he had on.
21:56 And you know what your dad did?
21:58 He gave him a great big hug, gave him the best robe,
22:02 gave him the signet ring and called the party.
22:07 The older son who represents the Scribes and the Pharisees,
22:16 The older son says,
22:18 "If anybody deserved a party, it is me.
22:22 I stayed home.
22:24 I served my father."
22:26 He was a son with a servant's mentality.
22:31 He served as a slave, not as a son.
22:37 And so he doesn't even go into the house.
22:42 His dad has to come out
22:45 and he doesn't refer to his father as father.
22:49 It's you.
22:52 And he doesn't refer to his brother as my brother.
22:54 He said, "This your son."
23:01 Jesus says to him, you know,
23:05 "You, I always have with me."
23:09 There was reason to celebrate the return of your brother.
23:13 The story ends and you don't know
23:15 if the father was able to talk any sense into his older son.
23:20 You don't know how the reaction
23:23 of the Scribes and Pharisees was until
23:26 the end of Jesus' life.
23:29 Now we need to go to the third fig tree episode.
23:35 It's in Matthew 21:17-19.
23:38 And we're gonna read two other parallel passages as well.
23:42 This episode is taking place
23:46 at the very end of Christ's ministry.
23:49 This is taking place the last week before his death,
23:54 just two or three days before his death.
23:59 Let's read Matthew 21:17-19.
24:04 "Then He left them
24:06 and went out of the city to Bethany,
24:09 and He lodged there.
24:12 Now in the morning, as He returned to the city,
24:14 He was hungry."
24:17 And when you're hungry you look for something to eat.
24:19 So Jesus is hungry.
24:22 "And seeing a fig tree by the road,
24:26 He came to it
24:28 and found nothing on it but leaves."
24:33 Now the fig tree in Israel is very interesting
24:35 because in Israel,
24:38 first the fig tree
24:40 bears the fruit and then the leaves come out
24:42 announcing that the fig tree has fruit.
24:47 An unusual order.
24:49 So if the fig tree had leaves,
24:53 it would be expected that the fig tree have fruit.
24:58 And Ellen White has a whole chapter
24:59 in Christ's Object Lessons where she describes this tree
25:01 had a beautiful leaves, a beautiful tree,
25:05 just like the Jewish nation had
25:06 lots of external beautiful things.
25:09 But the problem is the fig tree had no fruit
25:11 just like the Jewish nation had no fruit,
25:15 not the fruit of the Spirit.
25:19 And so He's hungry, He says to His disciples,
25:21 "Let's go over there
25:22 and see if we can find fruit on the tree."
25:26 No fruit, only leaves.
25:30 And now Jesus says something drastic
25:32 to this fig tree.
25:34 "Let no fruit
25:36 grow on you ever again."
25:42 What does ever again mean?
25:47 It means you have 2000 years past
25:49 and then it bears fruit.
25:53 Of course, not.
25:55 Ever again means
25:57 that it's not gonna bear fruit ever.
26:01 It's finished.
26:04 So it says, "'Let no fruit grow in you ever again.'
26:08 And immediately the fig tree withered away.'"
26:13 It didn't wither away overnight,
26:15 it immediately had withered.
26:19 Now let's read the parallel passage
26:22 in Mark 11:12-14.
26:26 The parallel passage in Mark 11:12-14.
26:32 "Now the next day,
26:34 when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry.
26:40 And seeing from afar a tree having leaves,
26:45 He went to it
26:48 to see if perhaps He would find something on it.
26:52 And when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves,
26:57 for it was not the season for figs."
27:00 Now you say how do we explain that?
27:03 The Spirit of Prophecy explains what that means.
27:06 In that orchard were many fig trees.
27:12 But only one fig tree had an abundance of leaves.
27:16 It was a fig tree
27:19 out of season.
27:24 Let me ask you.
27:25 Did God benefit the Jewish nation
27:27 before He benefited any other nation on earth?
27:32 He most certainly did.
27:33 Did God expect fruit from Israel
27:35 before He expected fruit from everyone else?
27:41 So in other words, there are many fig trees there.
27:44 The fig trees that have no leaves.
27:46 They don't raise any expectations
27:49 because they represent the Gentiles.
27:52 But this tree that receive special privileges,
27:55 this tree that had leaves should have had fruit.
27:59 Israel received great blessings and advantages.
28:02 They should have borne fruit.
28:05 And so we find here continuing our reading
28:11 in verse 14,
28:14 "In response Jesus said to it,
28:16 'Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.'
28:22 And His disciples heard it.'"
28:26 Now the next day, according to Mark 11:20-21,
28:31 the following verses, they came by that tree again.
28:36 Where Jesus had said,
28:38 "Let this tree not produce fruit ever again."
28:42 And notice what condition the tree was in.
28:45 Beginning with verse 20.
28:47 "Now in the morning, as they passed by,
28:52 they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots."
28:57 Not only did it wither the leaves wither,
29:01 but it dried up from the roots.
29:05 "And Peter, remembering, said to Him,
29:07 'Rabbi, look!
29:08 The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.'"
29:13 What happens when a tree dries up by the roots?
29:18 That is it.
29:22 You don't revive it in 1948.
29:28 Never again will this fig tree produce fruit.
29:31 It represents the Jewish nation here.
29:35 And it dried up by its roots.
29:41 Are you understanding now the connection between this
29:44 and the previous two references to the tree?
29:46 Now we know whether the tree that Jesus spoke about
29:51 in Luke Chapter 13 bore fruit or not?
29:56 A year past
29:59 and a fig tree had no fruit.
30:04 Now listen up,
30:07 what happened?
30:08 It says, that John the Baptist had said
30:09 the tree will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
30:13 When was Jerusalem,
30:14 when was the Jewish theocracy destroyed with fire?
30:20 In the year 70 AD, the temple,
30:24 the city were burnt to the ground
30:27 in fulfillment
30:30 of this declaration by Jesus Christ.
30:35 Are you understanding me?
30:37 So does God still have a special plan
30:40 for literal Israel,
30:42 for the literal nation of Israel,
30:44 for the Jewish theocracy?
30:45 No, and we need to understand, folks,
30:47 that God's plan hasn't changed.
30:51 Did God give Israel the gospel to preach to the world?
30:54 Yes, but the plan in the Old Testament for Israel
30:58 was that Israel will be so prosperous and so blessed
31:01 that all of the nations would say,
31:03 "Wow, this nation, they're healthier,
31:06 their crops grow bigger,
31:08 and they have more crops than anyone else.
31:11 The weather is good."
31:12 You know, they have so many blessings
31:13 like the Queen of Sheba when she came to visit Solomon,
31:16 that people would say, "Surely this is a wise nation.
31:20 What's the secret?"
31:23 And then they would say, "We serve the Lord."
31:27 And they would explain to them the sacrificial system.
31:30 The Messiah was gonna come
31:32 and prepare the world for the coming of Messiah.
31:35 That's why God chose Israel.
31:38 He didn't choose them because they were special,
31:41 according to Deuteronomy 7 because they were more
31:43 than any other nation because they were the least.
31:47 He chose them to be a center of light
31:50 that people would come to their light,
31:52 according to Isaiah 61, but instead of shedding light,
31:57 they hid their light under a bushel.
32:02 So when the Jewish theocracy is rejected,
32:06 God says now instead of people coming to the center of light,
32:10 go and teach all nations.
32:13 Go into all the world and preach the gospel.
32:18 So in other words, instead of people coming,
32:21 now the message goes.
32:24 Is that the same message?
32:28 Is God's faithful Israel to proclaim the same message?
32:32 Is the purpose for the church the same purpose for Israel?
32:37 So what is Israel?
32:39 Those who are faithful in discerning the Messiah
32:42 and proclaiming the Messiah to the world?
32:45 That's Israel.
32:47 That's true Israel.
32:50 It is not a literal Israel separated from Jesus,
32:53 who supposedly were re-gathered to their land
32:56 in disobedience in 1948.
32:59 Why would God disperse them
33:01 in the year 70 among all nations for disobedience
33:04 and then re-gather them in disobedience.
33:08 Are you following me?
33:11 Israel is also described as a vineyard.
33:15 See, we're studying here
33:16 the false prophetic scenario, folks.
33:20 We have to deal with huge groups
33:22 of evangelicals, and Pentecostals,
33:24 and Charismatics, and conservative Christians
33:27 that believe this false prophetic scenario
33:30 that we've been talking about.
33:32 And we need to be informed.
33:33 We need to know how to present
33:36 what the Bible says about prophecy.
33:40 So Israel is compared to a vineyard.
33:44 Matthew 21:33-46.
33:47 We took a look at this in our last presentation,
33:50 next to last presentation,
33:52 but we need to look at it again because we began by saying
33:55 that Israel is compared with a fig tree
33:58 and is compared with a vineyard.
34:00 So we've already looked at the fig tree.
34:02 Now let's look at the vineyard.
34:04 Do you remember how many stages of Israel there were?
34:11 Four, you're sharp,
34:13 either I'm a good teacher or you're good students,
34:15 or maybe a combination of both.
34:18 What was the first stage?
34:20 Eight hundred years.
34:23 From the time that God chose them on Sinai
34:25 to the Babylonian captivity.
34:27 The second stage was from the times
34:31 after the captivity to John the Baptist,
34:34 the end of week number 69.
34:37 The third stage and last of all,
34:39 he sends his son, they will respect my son.
34:45 They take him and throw him out of the vineyard.
34:48 But even after they do that,
34:51 there are still three and a half years
34:55 to the prophecy of the 70 weeks which we'll study next.
34:58 It's our next subject.
35:00 They still have three and a half years
35:03 to think about this
35:05 and to still receive the Messiah.
35:07 Probation is not closed for the Jewish theocracy
35:10 until the year 34.
35:12 Four stages.
35:15 Now let's notice this parable.
35:18 "Hear another parable:" verse 33,
35:21 "There was a certain landowner,"
35:23 that's God the Father, by the way,
35:24 I'm gonna interpret the parable,
35:27 "who planted a vineyard," that's Israel,
35:30 "and set a hedge around it,"
35:33 the hedge or the wall is the law of God,
35:37 "dug a winepress in it and build a tower,"
35:40 the tower represents the temple.
35:44 "And he leased it to vinedressers,"
35:47 that's the Jewish leaders, "and went into a far country."
35:55 "Now when vintage-time came drew near."
36:00 Is fruit to be expected at vintage time?
36:04 Could the owner of the vineyard expect fruit?
36:07 See, it's all about fruit, isn't it?
36:10 Had Israel produce the fruit of the Spirit.
36:15 So it says,
36:16 "Now when vintage-time drew near,
36:18 he sent his servants to the vinedressers,"
36:21 that is to the Jewish leaders.
36:24 This has been before the Babylonian captivity,
36:27 the first messengers that are sent,
36:29 "that they might receive its fruit.
36:33 And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one,
36:37 killed another, and stoned another."
36:42 That's what Israel did with the prophets
36:43 during those 800 years.
36:47 "Again he sent other servants," stage number two,
36:52 "more than the first," this is after the captivity,
36:57 "and they did likewise to them.
37:00 Then last of all
37:05 he sent his son,"
37:08 who is that?
37:11 This is the last of the 70 weeks.
37:15 Is that when Jesus was here the last of the 70 weeks?
37:18 He was baptized at the beginning
37:19 of that week number 70.
37:23 In the middle of the week,
37:24 he was sacrificed and Stephen is stoned.
37:28 At the end of the last week,
37:30 so "last of all, he sent his son
37:33 to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.'
37:37 But when the vinedresser saw the son,
37:40 they said among themselves, 'This is the heir.
37:43 Come, let us kill him
37:47 and seize his inheritance.'"
37:51 That's the death of Christ, isn't it?
37:55 Verse 39,
37:56 "So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard."
37:58 Did Jesus die outside Jerusalem?
38:01 Yes, He did.
38:03 "And killed him."
38:06 Now Jesus asked them a question...
38:07 They still don't know that he's talking about them.
38:11 So Jesus now says in verse 40,
38:13 "Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes,
38:16 what will he do to those vinedressers?
38:20 Oh, they said to Him,
38:22 'He will destroy those wicked men miserably,
38:25 and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers
38:28 who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.'"
38:32 Who are those other vinedressers?
38:37 The Gentiles.
38:41 Are you following me?
38:44 Verse 42,
38:46 "Jesus said to them,
38:47 'Have you never read in the Scriptures,
38:51 'The stone, which is speaking about Himself,
38:53 "which the builders rejected
38:55 has become the chief cornerstone.
38:57 This was the Lord's doing
38:58 and it is marvelous in our eyes?'"
39:02 In other words, don't you know
39:04 that the son that is spoken up in this parable is Me?
39:09 The stone that the builders rejected,
39:11 just like you are rejecting Me.
39:13 And then Jesus explains who the other vinedressers are.
39:18 In verse 43, Jesus says,
39:21 "Therefore I say to you,
39:23 the kingdom of God will be taken from you."
39:30 Will the kingdom anymore belong
39:32 to the literal nation of Israel?
39:36 "The kingdom will be taken from you
39:38 and given to a nation," by the way,
39:40 the word nation is the word ethne
39:44 which in the New Testament is consistently used
39:47 for the Gentiles.
39:48 God's people are Laos,
39:53 ethne is a word that refers to Gentiles to non Jews.
39:59 And so when Jesus says, "Therefore I say to you,
40:01 the kingdom of God will be taken from you
40:04 and given to a nation."
40:05 He saying, I will give it to the ethne,
40:08 "who bear the fruits of it."
40:12 And then it says, "Whoever falls on this stone,
40:14 speaking about himself, will be broken."
40:16 In other words, you'll be converted
40:17 if you fall into stone.
40:19 "But on whomever it falls,
40:22 it will grind him to powder."
40:26 So you better fall on the stone,
40:28 lest the stone fall on you
40:31 is what Jesus is saying.
40:33 And then in verse 45, it says,
40:35 "Now when the chief priests and Pharisees
40:38 heard His parables,
40:40 they perceive that He was speaking of them."
40:47 And instead of saying, man,
40:48 this guy makes all the sense in the world
40:50 we need to shape up.
40:52 They were filled with greater rage.
40:55 And they eventually did
40:56 what Jesus predicted in His parable,
40:58 they killed the son.
41:01 Oh, blindness.
41:04 Now we need to go back to the fig tree.
41:09 Let's go back to Matthew 24.
41:12 Is the budding of the fig tree in Matthew 24
41:18 assigned it when the nation of Israel
41:20 is re-gathered to the line
41:22 and disobedience in 1948
41:24 that that is the greatest sign
41:27 that the rapture is soon to take place?
41:31 Is that the greatest sign, the only sign?
41:35 Well, we need to read carefully.
41:38 Notice Matthew 24:32-33.
41:44 Jesus stated, "As you see the fig tree bud
41:48 it is a sign that summer is near.
41:52 In the same way," now listen carefully,
41:56 "when you see all these things,"
42:02 is Jesus referring only to the budding of the fig tree
42:07 as the one sign?
42:10 He says, "When you see all of the signs
42:12 that are spoken up in Matthew 24,
42:16 know that it is near even at the doors."
42:20 So the budding of the fig tree is not really a great sign.
42:25 It is an accumulation of signs
42:29 that the end is near.
42:32 Now it's important for us
42:35 to also read Luke 21:29-31,
42:38 where you have the parallel.
42:40 We always need to look
42:41 for the parallel passage in the gospels
42:43 because the parallel can add details.
42:47 In Luke 21:29-31.
42:52 It says, "Then He spoke to them a parable.
42:56 'Look at the fig tree, and all the trees.'"
43:02 Does He single out only the fig tree?
43:06 "Look at the fig tree, and all the trees.
43:10 When they are already budding,"
43:11 because in springtime they all bud
43:14 basically at the same time,
43:16 "when they are budding,
43:18 you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near.
43:21 So you also, when you see these things happening,
43:26 know that the kingdom of God is near."
43:31 Are you following me?
43:34 So Matthew Chapter 24,
43:36 the fig tree has nothing to do with Israel.
43:38 Jesus is just using an analogy, He's saying, you know,
43:41 when you see the trees that are budding,
43:43 you know that the summer is near.
43:45 Well, in the same way when you see all these signs,
43:48 not the Israel sign, but all the signs
43:51 you can know that My coming is near.
43:56 So it's the fig tree like in other passages,
43:58 but in this case it's only used as an analogy
44:02 that indicates by the signs
44:05 that Jesus is soon to come.
44:09 Now there's one more passage
44:10 that we especially need to look at.
44:13 John 1:43-48.
44:17 John 1:43-48.
44:22 This is the encounter of Jesus with Nathanael,
44:27 one of the lesser known disciples,
44:29 but this passage puts him on the map, so to speak.
44:35 Let's read beginning in verse 43.
44:39 "The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee,
44:43 and He found Philip and said to him, 'Follow me.'
44:47 Now Philip was from Bethsaida,
44:50 the city of Andrew and Peter.
44:53 Philip found Nathanael and said to him,
44:57 'We have found Him of whom Moses in the law,
45:02 and also the prophets, wrote,
45:04 Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.'"
45:08 They're saying, "We have found the Messiah."
45:14 And now Nathanael
45:17 said something that,
45:19 that we've all read before.
45:21 "And Nathanael said to him,
45:23 'Can anything good come out of Nazareth?'"
45:29 You're saying the Messiah is from Nazareth, be real.
45:33 It's kind of like saying Caracas, Venezuela.
45:38 These days,
45:40 the most dangerous city in the world
45:43 that would be like say
45:46 that the Messiah is from Nazareth.
45:50 Continues, "Philip said to him, 'Come and see.'
45:56 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him,
46:00 and said of him,"
46:02 now listen carefully,
46:04 "said of him,
46:06 'Behold, an Israelite indeed."
46:11 What does Jesus say about Nathanael?
46:14 An Israelite indeed, by the way,
46:16 if there are Israelites indeed
46:18 there are also Israelites not indeed.
46:24 In fact, in the Greek
46:29 the word Israelite indeed
46:33 means a genuine Israelite
46:37 not a counterfeit one, a genuine one.
46:41 So it says, "Behold, an Israelite indeed,
46:44 in whom is no deceit!"
46:52 And now notice, "Nathanael said to Him,
46:55 'How do you know me?'
46:59 Jesus answered and said to him,
47:01 'Before Philip called you,
47:03 when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.'"
47:10 So the Israelite indeed is sitting under the fig tree.
47:16 In other words, you have the symbol
47:18 and what the symbol represents.
47:22 Now the question is,
47:24 why did Jesus say to Nathanael,
47:28 that he was an Israelite indeed,
47:33 or a genuine Israelite, a real Israelite.
47:40 He said that because in verse 49,
47:46 Nathanael said,
47:48 "You are the Messiah,
47:51 the Son of God."
47:55 Whom did Nathanael confess?
47:58 The Messiah.
48:00 And therefore he was an Israelite,
48:03 what kind of Israelite?
48:05 An Israelite indeed is one
48:08 who confesses Jesus as Savior and Lord.
48:13 Are you catching the picture?
48:16 So let me ask you,
48:18 the literal Israelites today
48:20 that reject the Messiah, are they Israel?
48:27 Now they're physically Israel, okay?
48:29 They're physically Jews.
48:32 But the Apostle Paul said, "That not every Jew is a Jew."
48:37 And the amazing thing is that,
48:39 for example, in Galatians Chapter 4,
48:41 the Apostle Paul gives an allegory.
48:43 It's the allegory of Sarah and Hagar
48:48 and their respective sons.
48:50 Isaac is Sarah's son,
48:53 and Ishmael is the son of Hagar.
48:57 And if you read Galatians 4:21-31.
49:01 I mean, Paul makes a revolutionary statement.
49:04 He says that the Jews of his day
49:08 are sons of Hagar
49:11 and the Gentiles are sons of Sarah.
49:17 What he's saying is, spiritually speaking,
49:22 the Jews are Arabs and the Arabs are Jews.
49:31 And the reason why
49:33 is because Sarah and Isaac are the free ones.
49:38 Jesus said, "If you accept the son,
49:41 the son will make you free indeed."
49:46 And they say we've never been in bondage to anyone.
49:48 Let's read that passage in closing, John 8:37-45.
49:53 John 8:37-45, we looked at in our last presentation,
49:57 but let's take a look at it again
49:58 in the light of what we're studying now.
50:03 Jesus is speaking to literal Jews
50:05 who claim to be children of Abraham.
50:08 By the way, I hope that you will understand
50:11 that I have nothing against individual Jews,
50:14 we can never be anti-Semitic.
50:18 We love people from every nation in the world.
50:22 God has no favorites, okay?
50:25 We need to love individual Jews.
50:27 What we're talking about is that
50:29 God no longer uses the Jewish theocracy
50:32 to fulfill His purpose.
50:34 It's the Christian church
50:36 that continues the legacy of Israel
50:39 of preaching the same gospel
50:40 that they preached and promised that are Israel.
50:46 Jesus says, "'I know that you are Abraham's descendants,"
50:48 literally speaking, "but you seek to kill Me,
50:53 because My word has no place in you.
50:56 I speak what I have seen with My Father,
50:59 and you do what you have seen with your father.'
51:04 They answered and said to Him, 'Abraham is our father.'"
51:09 Was Abraham their father?
51:13 Yes and no.
51:16 Physically, yes.
51:18 Spiritually, no.
51:21 They were not spiritual Israel.
51:25 They were literal Israel.
51:28 Verse 39, "They answered and said to Him,
51:32 'Abraham is our father.'
51:34 Jesus said to them,
51:35 if, basically the implication is that they're not.
51:41 "'If you were Abraham's children,
51:45 you would do the works of Abraham."
51:49 Do you know Jesus said in John 8:56,
51:51 Abraham saw my day, and rejoiced,
51:57 and he was referring to the sacrifice of Isaac,
52:01 who was not actually sacrifice?
52:03 That experience in Genesis 22.
52:06 Beautiful figure of the father
52:08 being willing to give up his only begotten Son.
52:11 Abraham understood that that represented the fact
52:14 that God the Father was gonna give His Son
52:19 to deliver the human race.
52:21 So Jesus said, 'Abraham saw my day and rejoiced."
52:26 But the literal Jews of Christ,
52:28 they didn't rejoice, they want to kill Him.
52:31 So then their works show
52:33 that they were not children of Abraham.
52:36 Yes, because they did not have the Spirit of Abraham.
52:40 So Jesus said to them,
52:41 "If you were Abraham's children,
52:42 you would do the works of Abraham.
52:46 But now you seek to kill Me,
52:48 a Man who has told you the truth
52:50 which I heard from God.
52:51 Abraham did not do this."
52:55 Abraham didn't want to kill me.
52:58 He recognized I was the coming seed
53:00 that was gonna bless every nation on earth.
53:04 And then in verse 41, Jesus says,
53:05 "You do the deeds of your father.'
53:08 They said to Him, 'We were not born of fornication.
53:11 We have one Father God.'"
53:13 In other words, they're saying,
53:15 you know, you were born of fornication,
53:16 we don't know who your father is.
53:21 Our father's God, they say.
53:26 "Jesus said to them, 'If," once again,
53:29 the implication is that they're not.
53:31 "If God were your Father, you would love Me,
53:35 for I proceeded forth and came from God,
53:38 nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.
53:41 Why do you not understand My speech?
53:44 Because you are not able to listen to My word."
53:48 And then he says these terrible words.
53:51 "You are of your father the devil,
53:55 and the desires of your father you want to do."
53:58 Who wanted
54:02 to slay Christ?
54:11 The murderous spirit that they had
54:13 was the murderous spirit of their father.
54:18 So he says, "You are of your father the devil,
54:20 and the desires of your father you want to do.
54:25 He was a murderer from the beginning,
54:28 and does not stand in the truth,
54:30 because there is no truth in him.
54:34 When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources,
54:38 for he is a liar and the father of it."
54:43 Interesting Nathanael,
54:46 it says that in his mouth, there was no deceit.
54:51 And here it says
54:53 that true Israelites tell the truth.
54:59 Incidentally, this has huge implications
55:01 for the interpretation of the Book of Revelation.
55:04 Because in the Book of Revelation we have 144,000.
55:09 By the way, I believe the numbers is symbolic
55:11 because numbers in prophecy are symbolic.
55:14 And we're not dealing with literal Israelites.
55:17 We are dealing with spiritual Israelites,
55:20 they have a seal of God on their forehead,
55:22 they can't be just physical Israelites without Christ.
55:27 And the interesting thing is
55:29 that one of the characteristics of 144,000
55:32 it says that in their mouth was found no deceit.
55:39 They are faithful Israel
55:42 that will remain and be alive when Jesus comes.
55:47 Those are the ones that are alive and remain
55:49 will be caught up in the clouds
55:50 with those who resurrect from the grave.
55:54 They then travel to heaven
55:56 and be eternally there with Jesus Christ.
56:04 And I repeat this, in 1948 the Jewish nation
56:09 was still rejecting the Messiah.
56:13 And therefore 1948 could not be a fulfillment of prophecy
56:18 because God's scattered Israel
56:21 because they rejected the Messiah.
56:23 We're gonna see that when we study the 70 weeks.
56:27 Jesus said, "Because you did not know
56:29 the time of your visitation,
56:32 the city is gonna be destroyed."
56:36 So the question is,
56:37 would God scatter literal Israel
56:41 for rejecting the Messiah,
56:43 and then re-gather them in 1948
56:47 when they are still rejecting the Messiah?
56:52 All of the promises of God
56:55 are conditional.
56:59 God never makes an absolute promise
57:02 without there being a condition.
57:06 A response from us,
57:09 when He makes promises to human beings,
57:13 is conditioned on us, meeting the conditions.
57:18 That's the reason why when God
57:20 established the covenant with Israel on Mount Sinai,
57:22 He said, "If you will obey My voice,
57:26 and keep My covenant,
57:28 then you will be My special people
57:32 above all nations of the world."
57:36 So in short, 1948 is meaningless
57:42 in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
57:44 And I'll tell you, I think that Satan,
57:47 in fact, I know Satan
57:48 was the one behind the holocaust.
57:51 And because of the holocaust,
57:53 the nations of the world were so disgusted,
57:55 that that led them to lobby
57:58 for the establishment of the nation of Israel.
58:02 In our next study we'll pick up on this particular point.