Thursday, May 27, 2021

Biblical Prophecy? Sometimes A Fig Tree Is Just A Fig Tree

When we investigate an issue, we don't just ask for a few details and then form our own interpretation of what's happened. As an example, when we see a news article we try to gleam as much information as possible, but we also access other news sources to bring more detail in our understanding of the issue and even to confirm whether what we've been told was the truth. The same is true about scripture. We look for other examples, we take scripture in context, and we look for a thread of consistency throughout the Bible.

I mention this, because today I'd like to share my thoughts on the fig tree parable. This parable can be found in Matthew 24:32-35, Mark 13:28-31, and Luke 21:29-33. 

To set this up, the disciples have asked Jesus what would be the sign of His coming. The scriptures I just referenced are a sliver of Jesus' response, and sometimes people will pluck these few verses out and attempt to interpret their meaning away from the context of the discussion that Jesus is having with His disciples. To do that would be to distort the message, because there's no contextual basis for the discussion once the verses have been removed from context.  

Now I've dealt with this type of issue in the past on this web site. In fact, I often receive negative and argumentative comments on my article about Nephilim in the end times, so I know that people can get heated when they don't agree with what I have to say. That's because I'm challenging their understanding by taking scripture in context and not apply meaning to scripture that it was never intended to have. You see, there's church tradition, there's false teaching, and there's just innocent misinterpretation of scripture.

Yes, there are times when the fig tree is representative of Israel, but there are also times when a fig tree is just a fig tree. A perfect example is Matthew 21:18-22. Jesus and the disciples were heading back to Bethany when Jesus became hungry. He came to a fig tree that was in season, but the tree had no fruit, so He cursed the fig tree and it withered. If you continue reading that portion of scripture, and take it in context, the fate of that fig tree was an example Jesus used to explain the power of faith. You HAVE to keep reading. It's like when people quote Matthew 7:1 and say that we can't judge them. They pluck a verse of scripture out of context and give it an interpretation that it was never meant to have. Then they neglect the following verses and neglect the thread of righteous judgment found throughout the bible, including multiple scriptures in the New Testament where we're instructed to judge situations and the actions of those in the church. 

Just as the "do not judge" scripture, standing alone, has one meaning, and the "do not judge" scripture, taken in context, along with the following verses and viewed as a whole with other scripture concerning judging, has quite another meaning, so does the parable of the fig tree. 

If you take the parable of the fig tree out of context, you can apply any meaning to it that you so desire. If you take the parable of the fig tree in context, you'll see that Jesus is comparing the leaves sprouting on a fig tree to seeing the signs of the end times. You know summer (His return) is near. When Jesus is referring to the "generation" that won't pass until He returns, He's referring to those living during these end time events. It has absolutely nothing to do with Israel becoming a nation, even though that is also part of end time prophecy. The prophecies of Israel's rebirth are totally separate prophecies. The fig tree in these portions of scripture, mentioned previously, doesn't have anything to do with the birth of Israel, but has everything to do with a lesson on faith, and as a sign of His imminent return in a generation experiencing end time events. Read it for yourself... in context. 

Those attempting to calculate return of Christ have two things against them. 
  • They're attempting to base their calculations on the birth of Israel and the counting of one generation.
  • They're ignoring scripture that states that no man will know the day nor the hour of Jesus' return.
Still not convinced that the fig tree in these portions of scripture don't relate to Israel? Then look at what happened to the fig tree. Jesus cursed it and it died. If the fig tree represented Israel, then we'd have to say that this portion of scripture prophesied the total destruction of Israel. Gone. Dead. Never to be revived. Withered to the root. Scripture tells us that this doesn't happen, so is this a contradiction? It can't be, because there are no contradictions in the bible. See? Take a verse out of context, forgetting everything else written in the word of God, and you can give that verse whatever meaning you choose. That's the danger of isolating verses and forming doctrine based on a flawed interpretation. The worst part of that are those who spread this false teaching to others, who then believe it and pass on this false teaching to others. It becomes a vicious cycle.

I hope you take the time to consider what I had to say. It's not easy having long held beliefs challenged, I know... I've experienced it myself... but if we don't take the time to reflect on what we believe and why we believe it, if we're not open to even considering the possibility that we could be standing on, and promoting, a misinterpretation of scripture, then we're shortchanging ourselves and robbing ourselves of the opportunity to grow as born again believers, and of growing closer to God in the process. We need to allow ourselves to be challenged, so we can either confirm our long held beliefs, or repent and correct our own flawed interpretation or understanding of scriptural truths. The Holy Spirit will confirm whether or not I'm speaking truth, but you can't let your pride get in the way of listening to Him.

If you made it to the end, thank you. Many will undoubtedly see where I'm heading and just stop reading. It's not a sin to listen to another interpretation of scripture, but as we're instructed to do, we must judge as to whether they are sound interpretations. Don't let pride or tradition prevent you from growing!!!


Sunday, April 04, 2021

What If The Last Trump Isn't What We Think It Is?

Read the article, or WATCH THE VIDEO

Let me begin by first quoting the portion of scripture that we'll be discussing:

1 Cor. 15:51-52 "Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed."

Many people are convinced that the last trump referred to here in 1 Corinthians is either referring to the last trump of Rosh Hashanah, or referring to the last trumpet judgment mentioned in the book of Revelation. We've all seen the blogs and vlogs, or sat in church services or bible studies where we were taught one theory or the other. Many Christians are convinced that it has to be one of the two. They're steadfast in their beliefs, and can offer up reasons why their adherence to that particular theory is logically correct, but I often question things, and after a while, I began to believe that neither one of these theories makes much sense to me, and here's why... 

In Matthew 24:36, Jesus says, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

And again, in Mattnew 24:44, Jesus says, "Therefore, be ye also ready: for in such an hour that ye think not, the Son of Man cometh.

Again, in Matthew 25:13, Jesus says, "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming."

So, if no man or angel, or even Jesus, knows when that will be, and if He says that He's coming in such an hour that we don't even expect Him, then how can we even suggest that it will be at the last trump of Rosh Hashanah of any given year, since that last trump of Rosh Hashanah can be calculated? Even if it's not this year, it can be predicted that it will happen next year. If not next year, then the next one. It will always be expected at the end of Rosh Hashanah, so we could say that it can be predicted in any given year if it were to be this particular "last trump." Christians get hung up on the Feast of Trumpets every year, anticipating that at the last trump of this High Holiday, they'll be raptured. How many people are disappointed year after year when it doesn't happen? How many have fallen away from the faith after they were assured by those they deemed more mature than them, that this was the year of the greatest evacuation in the history of the planet?

I also question how we can be assured that it will happen at the end of the trumpet judgments that are spoken about in the book of Revelation. That can also be predicted, because the 7th trumpet judgment occurs mid-Tribulation. We may not know the hour, but if the tribulation lasts 7 years on the Luni-Solar calendar, also known as the Jewish calendar, we can calculate where the mid-point is in the Tribulation (1260 days), so knowing this date would give us the knowledge that Jesus said none of us would have. So, if both of those trumpet blasts can be more-or-less calculated, how is it possible that Jesus would say that we wouldn't know the day... that He would return unexpectedly???

I have a different theory that I'd like throw into the mix. What if God isn't referring to either one of those trumpet blasts? Think about that. What if there was a trumpet blast that we weren't even considering... that didn't even come to mind... because it's an Old Testament reference which can't be calculated, because we were never told that it would ever be used again? That would mean that it would be a totally unpredictable event, so even though we know we're in the season, we'd be taken by surprise when it actually happened, because there would be absolutely no way to predict the day or time of this other trumpet blast. So, if the last trump doesn't relate to Rosh Hashanah, or the seventh trumpet judgment, then what am I referring to?

There is a portion of scripture in Exodus that mentions another heavenly trumpet that was blown. The similarities between that event and the coming Rapture is compelling. Is it possible that the "last trump" spoken of in 1 Corinthians could be the same trumpet that was blown in Exodus 19:16-18? 

"So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the hole mountain quaked violently."

Now, the trumpet in this portion of scripture wasn't just any trumpet. It was actually a special ram's horn that was blown from heaven. If we go back a few verses to Exodus 19:13b, it says, "...When the ram's horn sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain."

This happened just after God's people were delivered from the hand of the Pharaoh and the bonds of Egypt. Just as they were delivered from the bond of Egypt, will we be delivered from the bonds of this world... of the flesh... at the next blast of the ram's horn from heaven?

Could the trumpet that heralded the arrival of God in a cloud at the top of the mountain, be the one that will herald the arrival of Jesus in the clouds as well? Could this be the heralding trumpet that's going to be blown one last time when God calls us up out of the camp to meet Him?

Scripture states: "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:" (1Thess. 4:16) It says with THE trump of God, not a trump of God. It's a very specific trumpet blast. The only "trump of God" I know of was blown at Mount Sinai.

It's a point of view that I've never heard before, but it's highly likely I'm not the only one who's mentioned this point of view. Could this be why the bride of Christ is going to be unaware as to the actual time of the Rapture? We know the season, but how could we possibly know the day or the hour? This point of view makes the Rapture totally unpredictable, just as Jesus said it would be.

I think this is an interesting take on the subject, and one that I hope will generate some conversation in the comment section below. As I've said, we've been taught to believe in one theory or another concerning the "last trump," but if Jesus says it's not possible for us to know the day or hour, then why put much thought into it? Just know that it will happen, and that we need to be like the wise virgins who kept their lamps full. If we do that, then we won't need to be concerned about when the Lord will return, because we'll always be at the ready.

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Repent and be forgiven! Believe and be saved!