The fig tree parable proves that this is the generation of the return of Christ. The reemergence of national Israel is organically tied to the rapture and the coming of Messiah. No reemerged nation, no return. Period.
Many in the prophecy community also seem unaware of the fact that Jesus’ “green tree” parable (issued as among His last words as He carried His cross to Calvary) was referencing the fig tree parable’s same root prophecy in Ezekiel 17. That parable also proves that we are in the last generation.
I have never heard Jesus’ “green tree” parable addressed prophetically in a pulpit or anywhere else. In light of the ongoing scoffing we hear regarding the true imminence of the rapture…mockery that comes despite this being the seventy-fourth year since May 14, 1948…it is incumbent upon those of us longing for the return of Christ to remind ourselves of our rock-solid Scriptural footing. This is indeed the generation of His second coming. Observe:
[Luk 23:26-32 NASB] 26 When they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus. 27 And following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him. 28 But Jesus turning to them said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 "For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.' 30 "Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'fall on us,' and to the hills, 'cover us.' 31 "FOR IF THEY DO THESE THINGS WHEN THE TREE IS GREEN, WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN IT IS DRY?" 32 Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be put to death with Him.
When Jesus encountered the weeping “daughters of Jerusalem” on His way to Calvary, He felt compelled to quote from the “tree” parable of the prophet Ezekiel as among His last words:
[Eze 17:22-24 NASB] 22 Thus says the Lord GOD, "I will also take [a sprig] from the lofty top of the cedar and set [it] out; I will pluck from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one and I will plant [it] on a high and lofty mountain. 23 "On the high mountain of Israel I will plant it, that it may bring forth boughs and bear fruit and become a stately cedar. And birds of every kind will nest under it; they will nest in the shade of its branches. 24 "ALL THE TREES OF THE FIELD WILL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD; I BRING DOWN THE HIGH TREE, EXALT THE LOW TREE, DRY UP THE GREEN TREE AND MAKE THE DRY TREE FLOURISH. I AM THE LORD; I HAVE SPOKEN, AND I WILL PERFORM [IT.]"
Ezekiel’s parable is the history of the Davidic kingdom in three verses. From the “lofty top” of the Israel-representing “cedar”, God “plucked’ and “planted” her first king, David. He established his kingdom, with Jerusalem the royal capital. In the heart of that city arose Israel’s spiritual center: the “high and lofty” Mount Zion temple. David, his heirs and his kingdom were meant to be channels of God’s mercy and blessing to a fallen, gentile world such that the peoples would find redemption and a truly fruitful existence in an otherwise sin-harshened existence.
WHEN THE TREES WAKE UP
The “trees of the field” are obviously the nations of the world. “They will know” that I (Jesus, the Son of David) am the Lord…will see My will and My ways…when they observe the history and future of national Israel. As a demonstration of His sovereignty over an apostate people, Israel’s God:
- (BROUGHT) DOWN THE HIGH TREE. In 586 BC, Jerusalem was captured by Nebuchadnezzar and the people were carried off to seventy years of captivity in Babylon. They lost king and kingdom and have not regained either to this day.
- EXALT(ED) THE LOW TREE. Seventy years after Judah’s deportation to Babylon, the “low” nation, now without king or autonomous kingdom, was at least re-granted some of her land and national capital.
- DR(IED) UP THE GREEN TREE. The nation was “green” with the hope of a restored Davidic kingdom with the first century arrival of the Son of David, Messiah Jesus. Of course, the apostate religious leadership, in collusion with their Roman overlords, would have none of it and proceeded to crucify their King. Anticipating this, Jesus acted out their doom on His final trip to Jerusalem. He cursed the fruitless fig tree and it immediately “dried up” (Matthew 21:18-20) …as predicted by Ezekiel.
- WILL…MAKE THE DRY TREE FLOURISH. The shocking “leafing out” of formerly dead national Israel on May 14, 1948 is a generational wake-up call. This Ezekiel passage routes through and is the very heart of Jesus’ Olivet “fig tree and all the trees” parable. It is the key to understanding the Olivet Discourse and all end-times prophecy.
THE FIG TREE PUZZLE SOLVED
Then He told them a parable: "BEHOLD THE FIG TREE AND ALL THE TREES; 30 as soon as they put forth [leaves,] you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near. 31 "So you also, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near. 32 "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place. 33 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
Many have suggested that Luke’s version of the fig tree parable destroys any generational insight one might gain as to the rapture and the return of Christ from the reemergence of national Israel. Their retort to us “date-setters” is that the fig tree may not even represent national Israel because Luke refers not just to the fig tree but “all the trees” as well. To them, the fig tree parable is therefore just Christ saying that His return will be as certain as the fig tree or ANY tree leafing out in the summer.
But that would be redundant nonsense. By quoting Ezekiel’s “tree and all the trees” parable on the way to Calvary, Christ assured the weeping daughters of Jerusalem that the reemergence of national Israel would be the last generation of believing Jews’ exit sign (as part of that generation’s pre-rapture Church) as well as the sign of unbelieving national Israel’s eventual, final redemption. This is, after all, what the entire Olivet Discourse, with the generation-signaling fig tree parable at its heart, is all about.
Messiah’s death on Calvary’s hill would mean the savage death of national Israel at the hands of the brutal Romans in 70 AD. The terror and destruction would be so overwhelming that the Jews would long for “the mountains and hills to fall on us and cover us”. The Israeli fig tree, green with the hope of King and Kingdom at Jesus’ first century arrival, would dry up for two thousand years. The antagonistic nation “trees” under Rome I would trample Israel and Jerusalem “underfoot until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:24).
CHRIST IS AT THE DOOR
Again, the beginning of the end of those times occurred with the reemergence of leafy but still spiritually fruitless national Israel on May 14, 1948. As Jesus’ Olivet fig tree parable and His Ezekiel-based, “green tree” parable on His way to Calvary assure us, “this generation will not pass away until all these things (the rapture and the events of the seven-year Tribulation…Matthew 24-25) take place.” This generation’s scoffers therefore are about to have their mouths shut. Their mockery will pass away but Jesus wants those who love His return to take it to the bank:
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words (regarding the meaning of My fig tree parable and the tree parable of Ezekiel) will not pass away.