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The Parable of the Budding Fig Tree Made Simple

(Matthew 24:32-35)

The parable in Matthew 24:32-35 reads:

“Now learn this parable of the fig tree: When its branches become tender, and it puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near: So also when you see all these things, know that it is near the doors.”
We all know when it’s a season for fruit to be born. When spring comes and the tree starts to put forth its leaves, then it’s time for the figs to come out and be part of the fig tree.
So, Jesus is saying, the signs are the leaves. He said previously “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many.” (v.23)
There are people in the world who claim to be Jesus Christ There are people of the Hindu faith saying they are the One. There are New Age people that are saying they are an incarnation of Christ. Many people talk about false prophets being within the church. This is something we’ll discuss later.
These signs say that you’ll “hear of wars and rumors of wars” and the scripture warns you “not to be troubled, for all these things must come to the pass,” (Matthew 24:5-7). Today, we are seeing these things on TV, radio and the internet. War after war is broadcasted on TV and our news reports are full with how many of our soldiers are dying in other countries.
Jesus said in the same passage (Matthew 24:7), “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.” The AIDS virus is killing millions of people and you could call it a pestilence. There are many famines in Africa and starvation in other countries. We’ve heard of earthquakes erupting all over the place. These are all like the “beginning of sorrows” (v.8). The tsunamis, earthquakes, famines, diseases and viruses are all the beginning of sorrows.
Scripture says, “They will deliver you all for tribulation and kill you.” (v.9) People are being martyred in different countries for their faith. There are recorded numbers of Christians being killed for the sake of the Gospel.
The signs include “Many will be offended and betray one another, and will hate one another,” (v.10). This is true; you only have to preach the Gospel these days and you offend people. You know, I’ve got people on the internet who call me a false prophet and are offended with the things I share and teach. Yeah, people are offended.
I have to make a note here. There is a problem with deception. The problem is that: when you are deceived, you don’t know that you’re deceived. It often takes new knowledge to bring you out of your deception. When you’re in a delusion, you are deluded. If you know that you’re deluded, you’re not deluded anymore. Do you get the point?
Some of the Christian leaders do ministries; they do signs, wonders and miracles these days. Others call them false prophets. But I’d be careful on which man of God I’d call a false prophet.

Certain elements of the church believe that anyone who claims to be a prophet is a false prophet; because they believe prophets and apostles have passed away and those offices aren’t needed anymore. So, they believe that he who works in signs and wonders is a false prophet. That’s not the case. Jesus is the same today and yesterday. You know, eight of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit haven’t disappeared off the face of the earth. They operate in all countries. They don’t stop at certain borders. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are still in operation; and so are true prophets. It’s foolish to think that there would be false prophets but not true prophets.
On the other hand, there are many people claiming to bring the words of an Archangel or Jesus himself or God in New Age bookshops. These should be avoided. There is a book called “Conversations with God” which is dangerous. There are many people in the New Age channeling Jesus and these people who I’d call false prophets and they lead many astray. The book called “A Course in Miracles” is dangerous too. Many other New Age books are leading millions of people astray because they’re false. They say that they’re speaking on behalf of God but they’re not.
According to the scripture, the signs include, “Because of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold,” (v.12). An illustration of this is: I know of a Pastor who’s got a disabled son. One day, his son fell in a small gap between the train and the platform. The people in the station, rather than come to his rescue, just started to step over him and did not even worry if he was still there when the train took off or if it killed him. The Pastor was appalled! He couldn’t get anyone to help him pull his son free. This is an example that people’s love isn’t like what it used to be.

Another sign is that a great tribulation will come to the earth. There are a lot of tribulations on earth because people simply don’t love each other anymore. They don’t care. And that’s causing tremendous hardship. You know, I tried to find out what one thing should be changed in order to stop so much suffering that exists in this whole world. You know what? It is selfishness; the people’s selfishness. Being selfish causes so much strife and pain in the world. So many people have died because of selfishness. It’s through selfishness that people abort babies. It’s through selfishness that people overseas have died of diseases that safe water and medication could have fixed. Clean drinking water could be solved. Diseases and starvation could be solved. Poverty can be solved. So many things can be solved if we stop being selfish. The love of many growing cold is a great sign.
“So, many false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders to deceive,” (v.11). Many people see the true works of miracles, signs and wonders yet naturally assume that these people are false because of warnings like these. There is a great lack of discernment and love in the Christian world, with brothers pulling down brothers.
All the apostles in the Bible walked in signs and wonders. These signs and wonders prove that they were of God. They prove their Gospel. They prove the power of their message. But in the last days, certain people will arise who will deceive people through lies and deceptions.
Do you know that any form of witchcraft and pagan ritual can do miracles and they can also replicate healings, signs and wonders? You don’t have to pick on anointed men of God to find false signs and wonders. Many people in the Hindu and New Age religions are rising up calling themselves Christ and the last-day Messiah.
We need not pick on Christian believers and call them false prophets. I don’t know of a Christian false prophet in the world. The fact that he is a false prophet proves he couldn’t be a Christian - the two terms are in conflict; so we need to be very careful.

And once again, when you’re deceived, you don’t know you’re deceived. Many people who are false prophet watchers and people who point a finger and calling all sorts of people false prophets, they deceive themselves. And they’re full of fear and unbelief - unbelief in the fact that God is working through these people and fear within themselves. Actually, the people who point fingers to others seem to listen more to the teaching of the false prophets than most other people while they pick the guts out of everything the supposed false prophet is teaching. If you listen to someone’s teaching with an attitude of pointing the finger, you’ll find fault in everything.
Part of the discourse on the signs says “If they say Jesus is here or there or out in the desert, don’t believe them,” (Matthew 24:26). As a person who has met Jesus in visions, I have to tell you that I have never been directed to Jesus by another person. When Jesus comes to collect His bride the whole world is going to know about it. We won’t need a person acting as a tour guide, taking us out to meet Jesus. Jesus did include this in the warnings though because it is going to happen.
Scripture records, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be dark and then the moon will not give its light and the stars will fall from the heaven. Then the son of man will appear in heaven and all the tribes of earth will mourn. They’ll see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he’ll send his angels with a great sound of the trumpet and they’ll gather together his elect from the four winds” (vv. 29-31).
We can see that the second coming of Jesus is not going to be a simple, silent secret. The whole world will know that Jesus has come back and He’ll take His people with Him. Aren’t you glad you’re one of those?
Okay, that’s the parable of the fig tree. These are all the signs. “When the branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also when you see all these things, know that it is near at the doors,” (v.32).
I think I’ve spent some time talking about the things that you had to look out for. God has got all these things happening in the world today. And Jesus is certainly at the doors.



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