What tree does GOD compare the nation of Israel to several times in the Old Testament? Hosea 9:10 I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved. (Also see Joel 1:6-7)

God compared the Nation of Israel to a fig tree, a fig tree that he had planted, and a tree from which he expected much fruit.

When Israel as a nation should of brought forth much fruit, how much did God find?
Luke 13:6-9
¶ He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:  And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

During the days of Jesus Christ’s life on earth, Israel should have brought forth abundant fruit, but the parable teaches that there was none. As with the time Jesus cursed the fig tree, which was symbolic of the Hebrew Nation, he went to it looking for fruits, but only found leaves. Leaves are a symbol of religious self righteousness, a cloak for an unconverted heart, and Jesus cursed the tree. And here in the above parable the tree was to be cut to the ground.

Israel rejected the Messiah, and lead him to be crucified, and called for the guilt of his shed blood to be upon them, and thus God brought vengeance upon their rebellion and unbelief.

Luke 21:22-24  For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.  And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

In 70AD Jerusalem was destroyed, and the nation of the Jews scattered toward the four winds. They have been persecuted as a people since, and looked down upon by many (Ezekiel 5:11-13). Yet in Jesus’ prophecy, he tells us that this punishment, and this trodden down of Jerusalem was temporary, and it would only continue UNTIL the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

What parable did Jesus give to help us understand, when the end of the Gentile age was about upon us? Matthew 24:32-36 ¶ Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Some view this parable only in the sense that when you see the previous mentioned signs, you know the end is near. But Jesus was very specific using the symbol of the fig tree. Jesus had taught that there would come a day when the Israel nation would call him blessed (Luke 13:34-35), he had told them that Jerusalem would be trodden until the times of the gentiles are fulfilled. The Apostles expected a physical restoration of Israel (Acts 1:6). And here the Lord tells us that when you see the fig tree (which is used so often to represent Israel) putting forth leaves and its branch is yet tender then know it is nigh.

With all the end time prophecies that deal with the restoration of Israel, and God gathering all nations around about Jerusalem, in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for the battle of Armageddon. And the acceptance of the returning Christ, as Messiah by the Jews the statehood of Israel is one of the greatest signs that the time for Christ’s return is nigh. Can we doubt that this is the last generation?

Did not God promises that though he scattered Israel he would also re-gather Israel? Jeremiah 31:7-11
For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations [chief nation shall be Israel]: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel. Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither. They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. ¶ Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.

God saw that the Jews would return to their land by air and by ship:

Isaiah 60:8-9 Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.

God also saw that the Gentiles and their Kings would help build up their nation

Isaiah 60:10
And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.

Daniel chapter two tells us of four world empires controlled by the gentiles. They are Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. And history tells us that  these four world empires have scattered the Jewish people to the four winds.  Yet God promises that gentile governments would see to it that Jerusalem was rebuilt.

How many builders did God show Zechariah? Zechariah 1:18-21 ¶ Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns. And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.  And the LORD shewed me four carpenters. Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.

Four kingdoms of the gentiles would scatter them, and four carpenters would repair them.

If we look at history we will see a striking fulfillment of this prophecy.

In 1919, James Balfour, a British statesmen, made his famous speech, which set forth the position of the British Government concerning their support for a Jewish nation.

In his speech he showed that the “Four Great Powers” (France, America, England and Canada) were united in their support for the recreation of the Israeli state.

“The four great powers are committed to Zionism, and Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long traditions, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land.”

Through the persuasion of these four powers, and the holocaust of the Jews at the hands of Hitler (6 million Jews were slaughtered), the League of Nations accepted that the Jewish people needed a homeland.

The plan was drawn that the Jews would be given a part of Palestine and statehood. And the Palestinians would given a part of Palestine and statehood. Israel accepted, but the Palestinians and the five surrounding Arab nations rejected the plan, and said if Israel declares their statehood that they would be pushed into the sea; they said the land would no longer be sand, but it would be drenched in blood.

On May 14, 1948 Israel declared their statehood, and the next day May 15, 1948 they were attacked by Five Arab armies. Though Israel was out numbered three to one, they defeated the Arab armies in January of 1949, and their land was nearly doubled, being extended by 1,930 sq miles.

Another important war was fought in 1967. Syria began to bomb Israeli villages, and this lead to Israel shooting down 6 Syrian MIG planes. Syria joined a military alliance with Jordan, and Iraq and Egypt.

Within hours of the war the entire Egyptian air-force was destroyed. Within six days 80% of the Egyptian military was destroyed. The war cost the Arabs, the Sinai and the Gaza Strip, the Jordanian territory west of the Jordan River known as the West Bank and the Golan Heights, on the Israeli-Syrian border. Most importantly Israel regained  the Old City of Jerusalem

1973 Yom Kippur War
On October 6th, during the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur Israel was attacked by the Egypt across the Suez Canal and by Syria on the Golan heights. The Israeli infantry was outnumbered twenty to one, while her armored divisions were outgunned five to one by the enemy tanks. Israel pushed its way into Syrian territory and encircled the Egyptian Third Army by crossing the Suez Canal and establishing forces on the west bank.

These battles were ended by an U.N. sponsored cease fires, in an attempt to calm the violence before it lead to WORLD WAR III.

You see the Soviet Union sponsored these Arab countries, and with the defeat of Egypt, they threatened to descend upon the area with their forces. This action would have lead to America and England and her partners countering Russia. And soon the whole world would be pulled into the battle.

The bible actually tells us that soon these things will come to pass, there will be no “peace treaty” to stop it.

Ezekiel 38:1-3 ¶ And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,  And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:

Meshech and Tubal in verses 2 and 6, were the names of the 5th and 6th sons of Japheth, the son of Noah (Gen. 10:2). They inhabited the land around the Black Sea, in what is called today Turkey and Southern Russia

Josephus, the first century Jewish writer said:
"Magog founded those that from him were named Magogites, but who are by the Greeks called Scythians," who lived north and northeast of the Black Sea.

North of the Black Sea is Russia.

Where did God say he would bring Magog from? Ezekiel 38:15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:

Ezekiel 39:2  And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:

Directly north of Israel is Moscow the Capital of Russia.

Who will be with Magog when he comes against Israel? Ezekiel 38:4-6 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:  Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.

Persia is Iran, In fact Iran was called Persia until 1935 when it was changed to Iran and then to the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 during the Iranian Revolution.

Ethiopia, or Cush in Hebrew, is not the “Ethiopia” we know today, but the land of Cush would include the modern Sudan just south of Egypt. Sudan is home to the National Islamic Front, is ruled by an Islamic military dictatorship, a strong supporter of Iraq, home to Osama bin Landen from 1991-1996, and harbors countless Islamic terrorist groups

Libya which we are all familiar has for its state religion  Islam is the state religion, and virtually all Libyans are Sunni Muslims. Muammar Qaddafi is its dictator, who has supported Palestinian terrorists in attacks against Israel.

Gomer and Togarmah are was found in Turkey, Southern Russia and Syria.

About 97 percent of Turkey’s people identify themselves as Muslim, or followers of Islam.

The overwhelming majority of the Syrian population is Sunni Muslim

Today in Russia, the majority in Russia is “Christian”, a part of the orthodox Russian Church, yet there remains a highly anti-Semitic section in the church. The second largest religion in Russia is the Muslim, Islamic faith.

And lesser nations are included, but not by name by Ezekiel when he says: “And many people with thee”.

It is easy to recognize that what “Magog’s” allies have in common is the false religion of Islam.

With the Israel wars of 1967 and 1973 we can see how easy it would be for these Arab nations, lead by Russia to come against the Jewish State, bringing an reaction from the Western Countries, and thus fulfilling the words of Zechariah.

Zechariah 12:2-3  Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

Zechariah 14:1-3 ¶ Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

Zechariah 12:8-9  In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. (See Zechariah 2:8-9)

When Israel sees the returning Messiah, they will realize he is Jesus and mourn for the evils that they had committed against him: Zechariah 12:10-11  And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.

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