8 Dec, 2012-
In the book The Last Trumpet: The Mystery of God is Finished and a New Age Begins, author Robert Johnston explores biblical prophecy and the promises of God that relate to the end times. This excerpt is from chapter 1.
Jesus and his disciples were on their way to Jerusalem from Jericho to attend and celebrate the Feast of the Passover, which would be held in the next few days. A great multitude followed them, knowing (though many in the city did not) that their long-awaited king, the Messiah, was about to enter the city and the temple, just as the event had been prophesied long ago. The gospel of Luke tells us that when Jesus neared the Mount of Olives and Jerusalem, he experienced a vision of the city being surrounded by armies and hemmed in on every side. When he saw Jerusalem, he wept for the city and the people because they were living in spiritual blindness due to their religious leaders.
And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.
As Jesus entered the city, the crowd laid their garments down before him, while others cut branches from the trees to cast at his feet. The multitude began crying, “Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matt. 21:9).
The entire city, moved by the sight and by the praises coming from the people, asked the multitude, “Who is this?” (v. 10). Jesus continued to the temple, where he saw the money changers and concluded that the temple of God had been turned from a house of prayer to a commercial enterprise. He overturned their tables and chairs and cast them out of the temple. After he cleared the entryway, many of the blind and the lame came to him, and he healed them. The chief priests and scribes observed all these happenings and were very displeased. Jesus then departed from Jerusalem and lodged in Bethany overnight.
THE APOSTASY OF THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS
The next morning Jesus was hungry. As he approached Jerusalem, he came to a fig tree. But finding only leaves and no figs, he cursed the tree and said, “Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever” (v. 19), and immediately the fig tree withered. Jesus said in John 5:19, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these doeth the Son likewise.” It was so with the cursing of the fig tree.
The fig tree was a symbol to Israel of fruitfulness, blessing, and well-being. That’s what the word peace in Luke 19:42 means. The fruitfulness, blessing, and well-being of the nation were about to wither and die. God the Father had already judged the chief priests and leaders in Israel because they honored their traditions more than God’s commandments. They also taught the doctrines of men as if they were the commandments of God. Blind leaders leading blind followers, they were full of pride and whitewashed on the outside, while inwardly they were unclean, spiritually dead, devoid of love, and full of self-righteousness. They did all their works to be seen of men, desiring the best seats in the synagogues and loving to be called “rabbi” (master). Because of them, all in the nation except a remnant walked in darkness. Christians are warned not to “boast . . . at their expense” or to “feel superior” but instead to “stand in awe and be reverently afraid” because “if God did not spare” them, “neither will He spare [us] [if [we] are guilty of the same offense]” (Rom. 11:18–21 AMP).
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