THE UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
IN CHRIST JESUS.
(Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)
#04-1081
Cursed Fig Tree
August 3, 2010
Understanding the cursed fig tree is vital if we are to have some understanding of the modern Jewish
state of Israel. May the Holy Spirit open our eyes to the truth.
Jesus said: “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good
tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does
not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 7:17-19 NASB).
Many people use these verses to refer to the lost or to Christians that they believe are not fruit bearers,
for whatever reason. However, Jesus obviously had in mind the words that He spoke to Jeremiah some
600 years earlier about the good figs and the bad figs (Jeremiah 24).
The good figs of Judah accepted the Lord’s judgment of them and willingly went into Babylonian
captivity. In other words, they did not fight His judgment of them. Because of their obedience, the Lord
promised to return them to their land and give them a heart to know Him. “They will return to Me
with their whole heart” (Jeremiah 24:7). A remnant returned to rebuild Jerusalem and this formed
the heart of the good fig nation of Judah that followed Jesus and accepted Him as the King of Judah.
The bad figs of Judah refused to accept the Lord’s judgment of them and instead obstinately remained
in the land. In other words, they fought the Lord’s judgment of them. Because of their disobedience, the
Lord indicted them as rotten fruit that could not be eaten and pronounced a further judgment on them.
“I will send the sword, the famine and the pestilence upon them until they are destroyed
from the land” (Jeremiah 24:10). This was a prophetic indictment of the bad fig nation of Judah that
later refused to follow Jesus and demanded His death, even though they knew He was the King of
Judah. Jesus stated so through a parable using the metaphor of a vineyard to refer to the Judahites.
(38) “But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the
heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ (39) “They took him, and threw him
out of the vineyard and killed him.” (Matthew 21:38-39 NASB)
Jesus gave another parable about a vineyard, but this time the fig tree was in its midst.
(6) And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in
his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. (7) And he said to
the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree
without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ (8) “And he
answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put
in fertilizer; (9) and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’” (Luke 13:6-9
NASB)
Judah’s King had walked publicly in their midst for three years, but He found no fruit of the kingdom.
The nation was worthy to be cut down and burned; however, a plea was made for one more year. Within
that year, this fig tree demanded the death of the very Trunk of the tree and sealed their destiny. So,
when Jesus saw the lone fig tree, He cursed it as a sign of what was to come of the bad fig tree of Judah.
Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves
only; and He said to it, “No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.” And at once the
fig tree withered. (Matthew 21:19 NASB)
We need to be clear that this lone fig tree was the nation of Judah that was about to reject their
Messiah. Most of the Jews (Judahites) that resided in Judea in that day followed the lead of the
hypocrites that were the source of the rot. Have you ever noticed that one rotten piece of fruit in a
basket of fruit will lead to others becoming rotten? The scribes and Pharisees did just that to most of the
figs in that day through their hypocritical hearts that did not love the Lord, and they were bolstered by
their traditions and doctrines. Like their forefathers, they too fought the judgment of the Lord. They
were under Roman rule by the hand of God but rather than submit to His judgment and wait for God to
deliver them out of it, they wanted a political solution. They wanted to remove the yoke through the
sword, not by the Spirit, and, for this, they did not inherit the kingdom that they sought. This sounds a
lot like many American Christians in our day who are fighting a political battle.
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of
heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are
entering to go in.” (Matthew 23:13 NASB)
(6) … He said to them, Well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you, hypocrites…: “This
people honors Me with the lips, but their heart is far away from Me; (7) and in vain they
worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” Isa. 29:13 (8) for
forsaking the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men…. (Mark 7:6-8 LITV)
Jesus declared: The kingdom of God will be taken from you [cursed fig tree] , and it will be
given to a nation [blessed fig tree] producing the fruits of it (Matthew 21:43 LITV).
In other words, the cursed fig tree would not inherit the kingdom of God but instead be cast out of it as
if it were rotten fruit. In fulfillment of the prophecies of Jeremiah (29:9-10) and the following one from
Jesus, God sent His Roman army to destroy the great city Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD.
“But the king [God the Father] was enraged, and he sent his [God’s Roman] armies and
destroyed those murderers [bad figs] and set their city [Jerusalem] on fire.” (Matthew 22:7
NASB)
As Jesus approached the cross, He gave His disciples another parable about the fig tree.
(29) And He spoke a parable to them: You see the fig tree [cursed fig nation] and all the
trees [all the nations] . (30) Now when they sprout leaves, seeing it, you will know from
yourselves that now the summer is near. (Luke 21:29-30 LITV)
On the one hand, Jesus prophesied of the destruction of the cursed fig tree, and on the other hand, He
prophesied of its rebirth. What does this mean? The key is in the fig tree having leaves (rebirth) but no
fruit (barren). Jesus prophesied that a day would come when the cursed fig tree would reappear, not to
bear fruit but to be judged, when God will once again send His army against this apostate nation.
The cursed fig tree of Judah disappeared as a nation with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. How-
ever, on May 15, 1948, the Jewish state of Israel came into being, and, on May 19, 1949, it joined the
United Nations (UN) as a full member. Following Israel’s national appearance, many nations (all the
trees) came forth, for during the next three decades, the UN saw its membership grow by 92 nations. It
is quite interesting that in the same decade that the apparent Jews captured Jerusalem (1967), the
world saw the greatest increase of nations (42) since the inception of the UN in 1945. Over two-thirds of
the current UN membership came about after Israel joined the UN in fulfillment of the Lord’s prophetic
word. Thus, all the trees refer to all the nations of the world that will be judged along with the fig tree
nation. Why? Because they reject Jesus, the King of the nations, not just the King of Judah!
It is vital to understand that modern Israel is not the true Israel of God but an imposter that usurped
the birthright name Israel from the house of Israel that lost its national identity when it was taken
captive by the Assyrians, starting in 723 BC. The nation of Israel was dispersed among the nations and
lost its national identity; something that has continued to this day.
If the Zionists had taken the name Judah for their nation, they would have been closer to the truth, but
even then it would not have been the truth, for the revived nation has more to do with the birthright
claims of Esau and Ishmael than with the scepter of Judah. The King of Judah has already taken His
scepter, and He is not returning to the present Jerusalem to sit on a throne. The present Jerusalem
must be cast out, never to be repaired again (Jeremiah 19:11; Galatians 4:21-31). The good fig nation of
Judah is the ecclesia of Christ, for they have joined themselves with the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
The Upward Call: #04-1081
by: Stuart H. Pouliot