The number one theory for the end-times over the last thirty years has revolved around the “budding of the fig tree.” It is based on:
“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. (Matthew 24:32-33)
The theory goes something like this:
The fig tree is Israel, based on Jeremiah 24 and other scriptures. The time of budding and putting out new leaves happened in 1948 when Israel became a nation once again, after almost two thousand years of nonexistence. Thus, when you see this happen, the second coming of Jesus is so near that the generation of Jews who were born and alive in 1948 will not die until Jesus returns.
A biblical generation is forty years.
So, since Jesus did not return in 1988 or 1998 or 2008, we have to assume this end-time theory is incorrect, right?
What is the most likely the problem?
Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Matthew 24:30)
The above verse refers to Jesus returning to earth, but the important words to understand are – “then all the tribes of the earth will mourn” – which refers to Zechariah 12:10. This is the exact moment when Israel realizes that Jesus Christ is their Messiah and all of them regret having had hardened hearts against Him.
It is this generation that will not pass away until all things take place.
The mistake is that the parable of the fig tree was taken out of context.
(Continued in Part 18…if you’re interested in this Hebraic Roots series, all of it to date can be seen here.)