Jesus thought this teaching was so important that He commanded his followers to learn this parable and what its interpretation meant. It was the only time in scripture that He gave His followers that command.
“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: As soon as its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near — at the door! I assure you: This generation will certainly not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.Matthew 24:32-35
The parable explains what Christians can know about Jesus’s return and what they can’t. In terms of what we can know, Jesus told us that when something known as the “fig tree” sprouts leaves, we can know that “summer” is near. And when Christians see all the things take place that He spoke of previously in Matthew 24, (deception, war, famine, etc.) then they can know that the end of the age is very near – right at the door. Those are the two things that Christians can know. Christians can’t know the exact day or hour of Jesus’ return. But believers can know if they are part of the generation that will see Him coming. They can know if they are in the last days by the signs he has given us.
The Olivet discourse recorded in Matthew 24 and 25 was an answer to the question of disciples which was, “Tell us, when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
Jesus was asked about signs by which they could see and know it was the last days. He then gave signs. He also purposely gave those signs in chronological order so that the final generation could recognize them. He then instructed believers to be watchful. He also said that no one knows the exact day or hour, but He does tell us we can know the season.
The Apostle Paul also confirmed this: For you, yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night … But you, brethren, are not in darkness so that this Day should overtake you as a thief … therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. (1 Thessalonians 5:2-6) Paul instructs us that true believers will not be surprised by the season of Jesus’ return because they’ll be awake and watching.
The following two paragraphs have been extracted from an article entitled “AFGHANISTAN: A name that will live in infamy” by Dr. Richard Land, BA (Princeton, magna cum laude); D.Phil. (Oxford); Th.M (New Orleans Seminary). Dr. Land served as President of Southern Evangelical Seminary from July 2013 until July 2021.
“The great American “bugout” from Afghanistan — a betrayal revealing a level of incompetence from our American military, security and political establishment is both breathtaking and incomprehensible. This collection of buffoons and pretenders has just presided over a national humiliation that will reverberate around the globe with truly legally dangerous consequences extending for the entire life span of virtually all currently living Americans.
This fully preventable foreign policy debacle is a humanitarian and security disaster which has generated potentially horrendous conflicts across the globe that will now be very difficult to contain or prevent.”
Radical Muslim extremists will be emboldened by the “level of incompetence of our American military, security and political establishment” to quote Dr Land.
Exactly as prophesied, in the “end times” all of the nations surrounding Israel (Muslim nations) are intent on its destruction which will eventually lead to the “Time of Jacobs Trouble” when Israel is invaded by the Antichrist (Gog).
Numbers 24:7 and Ezekiel 38-39 prove that Gog is the Antichristand that he will be defeated by Jesus
Of all people that God would give an “end times” prophecy to, it is hard to conceive Balaam, or is it, God often uses the most unlikely people for His purposes.
I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star (Jesus) shall come out of Jacob, and a sceptre (King) shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth. Edom shall be dispossessed; Seir also, his enemies, shall be dispossessed. Israel is doing valiantly. And one from Jacob shall exercise dominion and destroy the survivors of cities!”Numbers 24:17-19
“How lovely are your tents, O Jacob, your encampments, O Israel!Water shall flow from his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters; His king (Jesus) shall be higher than Gog (Agag) and His kingdom shall be exalted… He shall eat up the nations, His adversaries, and shall break their bones in pieces.” Numbers 24:5, 7, 8
It is only in recent years with the aid of teachers such as Travis Snow and Nelson Walters that I have come to realise how much of Ezekiel is “end times” prophecy.
“Therefore, son of man, prophesy, and say to Gog, Thus says the Lord God: On that day when my people Israel are dwelling securely, will you not know it? You will come from your place out of the uttermost parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great host, a mighty army. You will come up against my people Israel, like a cloud covering the land. In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.” Ezekiel 38:14-16
The following four paragraphs are taken from Travis Snow’s book ,The Passover King: Exploring the Prophetic Connection Between Passover, the End Times, and the Return of Jesus. I can highly recommend it to you.
Once we grasp that Gog is the Antichrist, and that he first made his appearance in Numbers 24, it is hard to argue that Gog’s invasion of Israel in Ezekiel 38 could take place at any other time than the beginning point of the Great Tribulation (halfway through Daniel’s 70th week). We know from Daniel 9:27 that the Antichrist turns on Israel halfway through Daniel’s 70th week, which consequently leads to a period of unparalleled distress and suffering in Israel (cf. Dan. 12:7-13).
So when we compare Scripture to Scripture, it can be argued that Gog’s invasion of Israel in Ezekiel 38 is a more detailed description of the events described in Daniel 9:27 and 12:7-12, which are also tied to the period of time Jeremiah called the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7; cf. Zechariah 12:3;14:1-2).
In simple terms, Gog’s invasion of Israel in Ezekiel 38 is what happens after the Antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel, which then starts the timeclock of Israel’s final 3 ½ years of suffering and exile before the return of Jesus. Since Gog is the Antichrist, and since it appears from Daniel 9:27 that the Antichrist will establish a false peace treaty with Israel during the first half of the Tribulation, it is not possible that his invasion of Israel could occur before the midpoint of the 70th week.
From previous posts you will know that I believe we are already seeing the “end times” prophecies in Daniel 8 unfolding in our time with Shia Iran (the Ram) with its proxies, Hezbollah, Hamas, Houthis and al-Ashtar Brigades “charging westward and northward and southward”
“I saw the ram charging westward and northward and southward. No beast could stand before him, and there was no one who could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great.” Daniel 8:4
Next major prophesied event will be Sunni Turkey (the Goat) of Daniel 8 will subjugate Shia Iran (the Ram) and attempt to re-establish its Ottoman Empire.