The Lesson of the Fig Tree – Part Two

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

Part Two

“Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away”
Matthew 21:18-19

The lesson of the fig tree is one of great value to those who seek truth. Its message is for our growth and development.

Jesus came to the fig tree looking for figs. He came looking for fruit consistent with its capability. So it is with us. The righteousness of God prevents Him from an expectation that is beyond the ability of the tree to produce. The God who measures the talents to every child of His according to their ability, is the same God who holds each of us accountable to Him for that gift. This truth brings our accountability into perspective. It is also meant to be instructive to us as parents and ministers of God that we walk in His wisdom regarding the lives of our own children and of every believer. We are not to expect Paul to minister as Peter, nor Jude to speak as Apollos. Such expectations are the result of religious doctrines and confines. The Life of Christ within regards the individual gifts and capacities of others and looks for the corresponding fruit. When the fruit of an individual is consistent with the call and the gifts of God given, there should be a collective rejoicing unto the Giver of all good things. When the fruit of a life is missing or lacking the vitality of its call and capability, there is great need for the ministration of exhortation and admonition. Ministers who fail in this vital aspect of ministry will find themselves accountable to the Chief Shepherd of our souls.

Stewards and Shepherds

We are stewards of the grace of God and as such we are to shepherd His flock with a desire to see Him glorified in each and every child of His. It requires a pure heart to walk in such things knowing full well our own accountability unto Him. The fear of the Lord is the ground upon which His true ministers walk and function. John the Apostle declared that he had no greater joy than to “see his children walking in truth”; the truth of what has been given to them. The one who has been given prophetic insight, that is the thing to which God will hold them accountable (1-see below). The one who teaches must teach the truth of God to the end that every life will grow in the holiness and wisdom of God. (2-see below). Those who exhort must do so with purity and simplicity (3-see below) As to the Apostolic, there is to be a faithfulness to call God’s people to the obedience of faith (4-see below). The list is as endless as the diversity of God’s creation.

(1) “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith” (Romans 12:6)
(2) “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:28)
(3) “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3)
(4) “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name” (Romans 1:5)

In the book of Romans, Paul exhorts God’s people to receive all of these diversities as the gifts and the wisdom of God. Those who refuse these expressions deny God’s wisdom and subject themselves to His judgment. Division is the result of man’s wisdom and pride.

“Only by pride cometh contention…”
Proverbs 13:10

The Lesson of the fig tree is that He comes to each of us looking for corresponding fruit. His expectation is consistent with His grace given. In the Parable of the Talents, the man with one talent was judged severely for his faithlessness to the gift given (Matthew 15:30). In the Parable of the Vine, the branch which bore no fruit was “cut off” (John 15:2,6). The lesson of the Fig Tree was meant for our admonition and learning to that same end.

The response of Jesus to the two individuals who were faithful to their respective talents was the same! Different talents yet the same reward for their faithfulness to God’s measure.

“His lord said unto him, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord”
Matthew 25:21,23

The purpose of these diverse ministrations is:

“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing,
being fruitful in every good work…”
Colossians 1:10

Brian Troxel

The Days of Vengeance – Part One –

The Days of Vengeance

Part One

“For these be the days of vengeance,
that all things which are written may be fulfilled”
Luke 21:22

The last days are days filled with great suffering, unimaginable evil, unspeakable glory, vengeance and retribution. It is a time of the End of things as we know it and the beginning of New things filled with the Reign and Majesty of God. It is a day of endurance, faith, malevolent hatred, and overcoming love.

“Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another”
Daniel 7:2-3

The rising up of these great and evil beasts in the earth is the result of the Spirit of God striving upon the sea of humanity. These beasts are the influences and work of the principalities and powers of wickedness in high places. They ever seek to remain hidden from the eyes of the natural man, their work is insidious and pervasive in their dominion in the affairs of men. Their success in their evil ways is achieved by their staying unseen. It is God who forces these evil beasts into the light to the intent they may be judged.

“But all things that are reproved
are made manifest by the light”
Ephesians 5:13

In this day God is moving to bring the hidden things to light. He is allowing the full expression of Evil to be fully manifested to the end that it may be fully judged without remedy. The consequences of this Day are far reaching and the endurance required by the saints of God is well beyond the abilities of human strength and power. Even as Christ overcame through suffering and death so must the Church Triumphant overcome AS He overcame. The beasts that are rising in this day must arise for in the wisdom of God these things must be in order to fully manifest His wisdom, justice and power through His Church. The overcoming life of God in His people is to be displayed in the grand and terrible Day of the Lord.

“Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them…”
Daniel 7:19-21

The Church of Jesus Christ will be fully given over to the power of this beast for a season (as Jesus Himself was delivered over to wickedness) but the final verdict stands sure. The Last Day Church (the true church) must experience the full experiential identification with His death in order to know the fullness of His resurrection. Identification with His death is essential to the knowing of the power of His resurrection (see Philippians 3:10-11).

“But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even for ever and ever”
Daniel 7:18

Why will the saints possess the Kingdom forever? BECAUSE…

“… the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom”
Daniel 7:22

The victory of the Church over the full expression of evil will be the great testimony of the power of God at work in His own. Their victory is in Him arising on their behalf to execute the judgement and the victory of Christ over all darkness.

The Day that is upon us must be faced by an overcoming people whose lives are no longer their own. They have found in Christ a grace which has so worked in them a freedom from their own will, their own ways and their reliance upon the strength and strategy of men.

There is within the ranks of His people in this day a movement to stop this rise of evil by political and carnal means but it will be to no avail. The rise of evil must come for it is in itself the very judgment of God upon the earth (every form of evil has within itself the seeds of its own destruction). The attack on the divine institution of marriage, the rise in sexual perversion and the growing resentment of the world upon all that is right and holy is the very expression of these things being allowed of God for His final victory.

In Romans Paul declares that the propagation of all sexual deviation and unbridled lust IS the judgment of God upon all nations.

“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections…”
Romans 1:26
(Please read the whole context of this verse)

The reason God gives a nation over to these things is because they willfully and arrogantly refused the truth of God within their hearts. It is the great judgment of God on a people and nation.

“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened”
Romans 1:21

God’s judgment is already at work within our land. The rise of these things is the clear and evidentiary revelation that His judgments are upon us. The beasts are arising and will continue to arise until the Ancient of Days arises to cause the saints of the Most High God to possess the Kingdom. It is here in this environment where God will unveil a salvation which has been reserved for this Day.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls”
1 Peter 1:3-9

The Day of Vengeance is upon us to the INTENT that ALL things which have been written will be fulfilled. The Day of Vengeance will be completed and brought to its full end when God’s people have come to the fullness of total surrender and submission to Him whereas “they love not their lives unto death”.

To be continued.

Brian Troxel

A note of Thanks to Allan Halton for help on editing.