by Pete Garcia
”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.” (Matthew 24:32-34)
So here we are, at the end of all things, wondering what is taking the Lord so long to return. Israel has been a nation now for sixty- five years. We’ve seen and are seeing the revival of the Roman Empire through the European and the Mediterranean Unions. We’ve lived in the most brutal century known to man. This century is turning out no better than the last.
Crime, apostasy, murder and violence continually stain the ground red with the blood of the innocent. For the Christian watcher, watching has become more tasking than we ever anticipated it to be.
We were led by some to believe that Christ would return in the 1980’s, because after all, a generation is only forty years (or so we thought). The 1980’s came and went, and then the 90’s, and 2000’s. Both years’ 2011 and 2012 panned out to be dud years prophetically speaking, and still, we remain.
We see the moral and societal decay setting in, reminiscent of both Noah and Lot’s day. We see Sodom multiplied thousands of times over in the landscape of our fallen world. So many signs, so many things seemingly pointing toward a soon return and the days, weeks, months wear on.
Today I’m feeling particularly melancholy, I think because the ‘Groundhog Day-itis’ of a deployment has set in. Maybe it’s because this place has a particularly dark and bloody history with a strong satanic influence over it.
I got to thinking about my generation, and all the things that we’ve seen. Having been born in the 1970’s, the only constant that I could ever cling too was ‘change’. Even change is changing, as it is speeding up. Babies being born now, as mine will be next spring (Lord willing), are known as “Generation Z”. The equivalent to “Z” in the Greek alphabet is Omega (Ω)…which of course, is not equivalent phonetically, but by chronological order.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8)
Jesus refers to Himself as the first and last. In the Old Testament, God (Jehovah) referred to Himself as the ‘first and last’. (Isaiah 44:6) The Hebrew equivalent to the Greek ‘Alpha and Omega’ is the ‘Aleph and Tau’. It seems the precedent there by is established that God works in conjunction with order, or in an orderly process. Things flow from beginning to end, not like in the Hindu religion where things are continually reincarnated into an endless cyclical process of birth-death-birth-death-birth, etc. There was a beginning. Whether God created the world only six to ten thousand years ago (with age built in), or if there was an undefined gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 is unknown. It could be argued either way, and ultimately, the Scriptures do not go into great detail to delineate either side. So we have to go with what we know, and what historically has pointed us to the conclusion that we are that generation alive today. (X, Y, Z)
Here are the facts:
We know God created the heavens and the earth, and that there was a starting point to the universe.
We know that from Creation to Abraham, was roughly 2,000 years. (According to the calendar rendering known as, Anno Mundi). (Times of the Gentiles: the focus of Genesis 1-11)
We know that from Abraham to Jesus, was 2,000 years. (4BC-29AD) <— much debate about the exact year. (Times of the Jews: the focus Genesis 12-Malachi)
We know that it has been 2,005 years from Jesus until today. (Times of the Church)
So man has a written history that can only be traced back as far as 6,000 years. Anything beyond that is speculation. Anything beyond that as given by a secular institution, is desperate to prove (by biased and faulty methods) an age older than 6,000 years for recorded history.
So we are now in the six-thousandth year from Creation (roughly), and we know that numbers in the Bible have significance. Six is the number of man, (created on the sixth day, 666, etc).
God is not bound by time Himself, but created time for man. (Genesis 1:14-19; 2 Peter 3:8)
Safe Assumption: If the previous two ages only lasted 2,000 years a piece, and we are at the very end of our 2,000 year history of the Church age, we should expect a soon change to the order of things, that man is currently under.
Come, and let us return to the Lord;
For He has torn, but He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will bind us up.
After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up…(Hosea 6:1-2)
The Fig Tree Generation
The funny thing about Fig trees is that they bloom in the spring producing the fruit before the flower. A bud appears, and the flower is actually growing inside the bud, in which is encased in the fruit itself. They have two harvests, the first producing poor quality fruit inedible for human consumption, and the latter producing edible good fruit.
When Christ first came, He cursed the fig tree because it had no fruit, symbolizing that the Jews rejection of His message of salvation, thereby postponing the Kingdom that had been promised to them throughout the Old Testament. (Matthew 23:37-39) Might this represent the first harvest, in which produces poor quality fruit unfit for human consumption? This wasn’t a surprise to God though, because He already knew they would reject Him. (Isaiah 53; Psalm 22) Might the second harvest be found during the Tribulation (Daniel 9:26-27) when the Jews (through much pain and refining), would finally recognize who Christ is at the end? (Zech 12:10) The purpose?
That we may live in His sight.
Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain,
Like the latter and former rain to the earth. (Hosea 6:2-3)
So here we are at the end of all things longing for the Lord to return to set things right. We don’t know when it will be, and I’m reluctant to attribute His return with a Jewish Feast date like Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur, because we’ve seen so many come and go. Could it happen on a Feast date? Sure. But God usually has an ingenious way to both accomplish His plan, and keep us surprised. Just look at His first coming. He both came before the scepter departed from Judah, and was born to a virgin at the right time and place it was prophesied that He would be born…accomplishing multiple prophecies at once. He came as Isaiah prophesied, both as the Suffering Servant and the Righteous Judge.
Will it be that He also accomplishes multiple things at this Coming? He both catches up His bride to meet Him in the air, as well as initiating the time of Jacob’s Trouble. Paul alludes to this order in 1 Thessalonians 4; where He explains the mystery of what the Rapture is, and then continues on to say…
"But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape." (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3)
As Paul states, we know that the Lord could return at any moment. We also know by simply observing the seasons that the time is ripening very quickly for Generation Z. We don’t need to be told this is the last generation, because we can feel it. We feel it like we feel the static electricity floating around the air before a thunderstorm is about to arrive. We can see it all around us, and recognize that the current order is rearranging and prepping itself ahead of God’s shift in strategy. Animal die-offs, earthquakes, tsunamis, massive sinkholes, volcanoes, solar storms, weird weather, strange sounds, etc. are rattling the nerves of even non-believers.
The delay in our Lord’s return has many asking…will He still come back for us? Jesus wondered about the opposite in true parable fashion…
"And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:7-8)