Faith
Wednesday July 22, 2008
Hartsville News Journal
Page 6A
FAITH COMMENTARY
"Another Parable"
The Parable of the Fig Tree is a parable about a special responsibility that Christ gives to His Elect. It covers the time immediately preceding His return for the harvest. Up to this point, Chapter 13 has been about the events leading up to His Return so it stands to reason that He would close this chapter with the Parable of the Fig Tree. It begins in Mark 13:28 KJV:

Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:

God’s reference to the fig tree always signifies a message of importance. Here He emphasizes the nearness of His Return and the events involved with it. The summer that is near references His Harvest but you should note that Satan’s out of season harvest takes place five month’s earlier.

Tender Fig branches that shoot forth illustrate Israel shooting forth as a nation in 1948; they also illustrate the tender conditions that face you in life today. The fruit is ripe for the harvest…both God’s and Satan’s. That is what Christ signifies when He says summer is near. He continues in Mark 13:29 KJV:

So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.

With many of these events having taken place, the harvest is at your door. Mark 13:30 KJV addresses the generation that you live in today, the one in which Christ returns:

Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

The bible talks about generations of three different lengths, 40, 70, and 120 years. The generation that Christ is talking about began in 1948, when Israel rejoined the world as a nation. You are not made aware of which generation timeframe Christ is using in this parable so a little math is required on your part. One of the possibilities has passed and with two remaining, Christ reassures you that all these things will be fulfilled in one of them. Mark 13:31 KJV tells how truthful His word is; It lives:

Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

How much prophecy do you have to witness being fulfilled before you are convinced that all remaining prophecy will be fulfilled too? His Word is true!

Mark 13:32-33 KJV continues to address the timing of His Return:

[32] But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

[33] Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

You do not know when the harvest takes place but you are given the season. With Christ’s Harvest taking

place in the summer, Satan’s will be the winter before. This is the reason that Mark 13:34 KJV commands you to watch:

For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

Two thousand years ago, Christ journeyed back to His Father in heaven and through His Word, He gives you, along and His other Servants, great authority and much work to do.

Mark 13:35 KJV tells you why you must watch:

Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:

Not knowing when He returns, you do know that you must now stand watch. You have witnessed enough prophecy being fulfilled to know where you are in time.

A watchman’s job is to be spiritually awake and to remain on watch. Mark 13:36 KJV tells you about the alternative:

Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.

Spiritually, you cannot afford to be asleep; it gives Satan the upper hand. He is counting on you being asleep because it makes you vulnerable. Knowing the chronological order of events and standing your watch removes any advantage he has. This is reemphasized in Mark 13:37 KJV:

And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

A watchman’s job is not easy but Christ knows you can handle it. He knows that you are capable of avoiding the instead of Christ, the one that acts like, looks like, and will be claiming to be Christ.

This same subject is addresses in Luke 21:36 KJV:

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.

All these things being revealed earlier in Mark 13 are coming to pass and you will be required to face them. You will not be allowed to stand before the Son of Man, Jesus, if you first stand before the instead of Christ, Satan.

Are you prepared…The Parable of the Fig Tree challenges you to watch and Christ is offering you the Porter’s job.

Do you accept?

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Pastor Billy Johnson can be reached by email at billy@lakeshorebible.info or viewed online at www.lakeshorebible.com