A Master in Education graduate. A former volunteer teacher for Values Instruction Class and a devotional insight writer.
The Fig Tree and its three crops
"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree. As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near."
Matthew chapter 24 v. 32 NIV
There are three major crops of figs harvested in Israel:
The first crops are harvested in early summer of June and July. These are the early, first ripe first fruits. They are very good figs with the best flavor but relatively small crops.
These first crops refer to those Jews who are considered as whole-hearted followers of God. These good crops are further depicted in the book of Jeremiah in Jeremiah 24:2-3. God sees this minority group of Israel as the first and best of the Hebrew nation. Included in this small group are the fathers of Israel or the Patriarchs of Hebrew nation such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is written in Hosea 9:10;
"When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the desert; when I saw your ancestors, it was like seeing the early fruit on the fig tree."
It is indicated in Jeremiah 24:5 that the exiles from Judah who are sent to Babylon are regarded as good by the Lord. This group of exiles include Daniel the prophet and his Hebrew friends who are fellow exile from Israel.
"This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'Like these good figs, I regard as goodntge exiles from Judah, whom I sent awaynfrom this place to the land of the Babylonians.'"
The Second Crop:
This group of crop refers to those figs harvested in late summer of August and September. They are considered as good fruits. This group of crops refers to the Jews that will be a part of the endtime harvest during the seven-year Tribulation Period. This "good crop" could include the 144,000 Messianic Jews drawn from the twelve tribes of Israel who will be tasked to evangelize the Gentile nations during the Tribulation Period ( Revelation 7:4-8). They will carry out the task of worldwide evangelism that will result to the salvation of a countless number of Gentiles during the Tribulation Period. A great number of these Gentiles will die as martyrs for their faith and will be resurrected at the end of the Tribulation Period. Still many will be able to survive the Tribulation and triumphantly enter the Millenium, the thousand year reign of Christ on earth after the Tribulation Period.
This crop also includes all the Jews that will accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah during the first half of the Tribulation Period. These Jews will experience deliverance from the power of the antichrist as it is written in Revelation 12:14;
"The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach."
During the second half of the Tribulation Period, this Hebrew people will be kept in a protected region where they will stay for 1260 days or 42 months, out of the antichrist's reach. This Jewish remnant will be able to enter the Millenium triumphantly.
The Third Crop
This crop refers to the green, bad and inedible figs.They are the winter figs, small, unripened, unsweetened, inedible fruits. This kind of crops refers to the wicked stubborn Jews who have astrayed from Yahweh. They abandoned the path of righteousness and godliness and follow the ways of wickedness. They are the ones who rejected Jesus Christ as the Messiah.
It is written in Jeremiah 24:2;
"One basket had very good figs like those that ripen early; the other basket had very bad figs, so bad they could not be eaten."
The Fig Tree Generation
This generation refers to that particular generation of men who have witnessed the rebirth of the nation Israel and its blossoming or flourishing. The nation Israel was reestablished as a nation on May 14, 1948. A generation may consist of 70 to 80 years as it is written in Psalm 90:10. This coming May 14, 2021, Israel will celebrate its 73rd founding anniversary. In Matthew 24:32-34, Jesus refers to this fig tree generation as the generation who will witness not only the rebirth and flourishing of Israel but the fulfillment of much prophecies about the endtimes. I believe that God is sovereign and in absolute control of all circumstances here on earth. He alone can extend the length of the fig tree generation. He may still extend it to give way for more sinners who will still repent knowing that God is merciful and longsuffering.
This fig tree generation is our generation. Salvation to Israel as a nation will take place during the seven-year Tribulation Period. Summer refers to the Tribulation Period. In our time we are witnessing that salvation is coming back to Israel. Many Jews today are discovering their Messiah in Jesus of Nazareth. As the dispensation of grace or Church Age is coming to an end, salvation of the Jews is beginning to take place fulfilling what Jesus mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew.
"So the last will be the first, and the first will be last."
Matthew 20:16 NIV
Since more and more Jews are now embracing the Gospel of Christ, the end of the dispensation of grace is drawing nearer. It is about time to consider our eternal destiny. It is about time to get serious with our walk with God. If we still do not have a personal relationship with God, it is about time to pursue such relationship. You can have this relationship by believing in Christ and receiving Him into your life as it is written in John 1:12;
"Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."
How do we receive Christ?
First we have to dethrone our self from center of our heart. Apart from Christ, a person lives a self-centered life. He lives to please himself and satisfy all his carnal cravings. It is written in Romans 3:10-12;
"There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no ond who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
There is no one who does good, not even one."
Since birth, we never seek God nor desire to know what pleases Him. All we seek to do is to pursue for things that will make us happy and things that will satisfy our fleshly cravings. We tirelessly pursue for the great things this fallen world boast about. We pursue for the " three big things of life," the "pride of life," "the lust of the flesh," and the "lust of the eyes." To receive Christ we must abandon all these worldly, carnal, sinful desires. We have to mortify our carnal and prideful nature.
To receive Christ, we must humble ourselves and admit that we have lived a life that is far from His will. To receive Christ, we must accept His sacrifice on the cross as the only acceptable sacrifice for our absolution(pardon) and redemption.To receive Christ we must believe that Christ work on the cross is perfect, complete, and sufficient for the atonement of our sin.
Believing in Christ is not merely an intellectual acknowledgement of all truths about Him. Believing in Christ goes beyond head knowledge. It is a faith that drives a person to a total surrender to the Lordship of Christ. It is a faith that leads a person to make a 180 degree turn from darkness to light. True repentance is a great evidence of true salvation.
Rejecting Christ means condemnation and judgement for us. As it is written in John 3:18;(NIV)
"Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."
Be reminded always of what is written in Romans 6:23;
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ our Lord."
The Mystery of Israel the Fig Tree
Website: Facts About Israel