BEHOLD THE FIG TREE AND ALL THE TREES (2022)
“BEHOLD THE FIG TREE AND ALL THE TREES” (Lk. 21:29)
Sunday, May 29, 2022, the Year of Our Lord
Pastor Carolyn Sissom
I salute the men and women in our church and in our nation who have served their country in the armed forces. Thank you for your service for the nation and continued service in the army of the LORD. We honor those who gave their lives that we may be free. Let us continue the fight in prayer for that freedom.
Noah Webster, An American Dictionary, 1828: Patriotism: “Love of one’s country; the passion which aims to serve one’s country, either in defending it from invasion, or protecting its rights and maintaining its laws and institutions in vigor and purity. Patriotism is the characteristic of a good citizen, the noblest passion that animates a man in the character of a citizen.”
Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary Eleventh Edition, 2004: Patriotism: “Love of or devotion; to one’s country.”
Note how the definitions have changed. Noah Webster’s patriot defends his country with objective actions, versus the vague, subjective patriotism of one who only feels and expresses love for his country. True patriotism is not just an emotional feeling, it is action. Webster’s original definition includes a love for country, service to country, defense of country, protection of the rights of country, maintenance of the laws and institutions of country, preservation of religion and morality in public and private life, and puts the needs of the country above personal or partisan desires as well as above the favor of foreign nations.
“JUDGE RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT” (Jn. 7:24)
This past week our hearts were broken because of the shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Evil manifested through a demoniac. We hear the phrase, “Don’t judge!” Jesus said, “Judge not that you be not judged (Mt. 7:11). We are not to be vindictive, but we are to exercise “good judgment” in our associations with people in the church or in the world about us. Jesus also said, “I judge no man. Yet if I judge, my judgment is true. (Jn. 8:16). To His disciples He said, “Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (Jn. 7:24). Surely it is evident from these and many other passages that God wants His people to “judge,” in the sense of knowing what is right and what is wrong; and then doing what He wants us to do about it, or leave it alone. We are to judge righteously, not according to appearance, and not as one who is condemning another. For as surely as we do that, we are leaving ourselves open to be judged in the same manner (Mt. 7:2).
We must come to know God so well that we will know what He approves, love what He loves, and so be able to discern what is good in His sight, and what is evil. It is for the lack of this kind of judgment (or discernment) that so much wickedness is sweeping through our nation as well as the Churches. A merciful priest in God’s House will do a lot of heart-searching before He judges others. He will also be willing to lay down his life for his erring brother.
President Trump has been criticized for stating the “shooter” is burning in Hell. God will raise up a holy Zadok priesthood whose judgment will be accurate, pure, and merciful. They will judge righteously, because God said “they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me (Ez. 44:15).
Ezekiel 44:23-24: They shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. In controversy they shall stand as judges, and judge it according to My judgments.
“BEHOLD THE FIG TREE AND ALL THE TREES”
Lk. 21: 29-30: Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
Now, if the fig tree is the nation of Israel as this metaphor reveals, it follows that “all the trees” are the other nations. What does this mean? The trees shooting forth? Jesus tells us clearly what it means. So, likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is at hand (vs. 31). “These things…” What things?
21:28: When these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.
1. Jerusalem compassed about with armies.
2. Great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
3. Signs in the sun, moon, and stars.
4. Distress of nations, with perplexity.
5. The sea and waves roaring.
6. Men’s hearts failing them for fear.
7. The powers of heaven shaken.
8. The revelation of the Son of Man from heaven, in power and great glory.
Much of this “distress” took place in A.D. 70, as the Romans sacked Jerusalem and the temple. But the distress of “the fig tree and all the trees” continues to intensify, and will come to fullness.
We do not rejoice at the destruction that is now on the earth or the destruction that is coming, but there is a sense of expectation in knowing that God is going to deal with the horrible violence that covers the earth, as He did in the days of Noah.
The Apostle Paul likens these judgments to the “travail” that comes on a woman with child (1 Thess. 5:3). Why? Because there is new life that will come forth out of His judgments. For in the time of the “seven last plagues” of the wrath of God, the overcomers are singing the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb. Both these songs are songs of triumph. We hear them singing, “Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for you only are holy. All nations shall come and worship before you; for your judgments are made manifest (Rev. 15:4). The wrath of God is a fearful thing. But “the fig tree and all the trees” are going to be humbled at His footstool, when God’s judgments are in the earth.
So, we do not despair when we see racial tensions, political corruption and wars all over the earth, each killing his brother for the glory of his god; and each totally ignorant of the true riches of Jesus Christ. In the midst of it, God is preparing the sons of the Kingdom to go to the nations with the “beautiful feet’ of the Gospel of Peace.
Man…desperate, ambitious, self-seeking, proud, arrogant man is trying to maintain his own selfish identify through political maneuvering, war, uprising, and rebellion…and while all this is going on there are peace conferences, global warming conferences, financial elite conferences, overtures, peace pacts, and cease-fires… only to give way to more angry demonstrations of hate and violence.
But God comes on the scene, bringing the remnant of Israel, and all the trees, to brokenness and desolation, and finally to the foot of the Cross. The elect of Israel (the branches that were “broken off”) are grafted back into the Olive Tree along with their Gentile neighbors (Ro. 11: 22-24).
It was there at the Cross that God made peace with rebellious men of nations. No man is going to bring to nothing that great Peace Pact, where God has made both one and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us for to make of himself of twain one new man, and so making peace (Eph. 2: 14-15).
This is the role of the sons of the Kingdom, to proclaim the Peace Pact that God made for all nations.
There is an evil working in our nation, governments, schools, churches and homes. It is the spirit of antichrist. It will not be clearly manifested to God’s people until “harvest time.” God is still restraining the full manifestation of “the man of sin,” as He has done from the beginning. But when Christ’s Lordship is denied, and the holy Anointing is replaced with the number of man (666, the apostate mind of man coming to fullness of maturity) …they are going to bring more and more amusement and false unity into the House of God. They must amuse the crowds to keep the people coming. We are seeing it happen even now. As artificial smoke, fire, thunder, lighting and chairs that shake and rumble are being added to the Houses of God.
Their investments are heavy, and heavy commercialism will continue to characterize the House of God in a manner that would have embarrassed the money changers in Jesus’ day. The leaders will continue to compromise their faith---for unity at all costs. As a result, the Holy Spirit who came to manifest the Christ and to glorify Him only, is grieved and moves out.
Jesus Christ, the Tree of life and the true Vine is the fruitful fig tree from Heaven. Through Calvary’s cross, He has been pressed into a corporate Man, the Body of Christ. Our King is the well beloved who has a vineyard (His Church) in the very fruitful hill of Zion. Jesus chose and ordained the Church to bring forth fruit that remains.
God will always have a Joseph in times of famine. He will have a Moses to deliver his people from bondage. He will have a Paul and Silas in times of persecution. The Lord will always have His Holy Nation in an overcoming people whom He has prepared for the Church triumphant to overcome. The Church will arise and defeat the gates of Hell. We will charge those gates. The gates of Hell will not prevail against it.
Let us continue to pray for the people of Uvalde, Texas
Isa. 61:3: To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness,
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor
Eastgate Ministries Church
Scripture from K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of George H. Warnock, Beauty for Ashes. Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect Bro. Warnock’s views.