Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. — Nehemiah 8:8

May 14, 2005

Volume 4 Number 10

The Sign of the Fig Tree

After Philip told Nathanael that he had found the Messiah, who was written about in the law and by the prophets, Nathanael’s immediate response was one of doubt:

45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. -John 1

The interaction between Yahshua the Messiah, who is called Jesus the Christ, and Nathanael clearly demonstrates the fulfillment of great prophecies. When Yahshua saw Nathanael, He immediately recognized him:

47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! -John 1

When Yahshua called Nathanael an "Israelite," He was saying that He recognized him as a descendent of Jacob, to whom Yahweh (the LORD) had given the name "Israel."

As Isaiah revealed, Yahweh chose the descendents of Jacob, who are called Israel, to be His people:

1 Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: -Isaiah 44

Yahweh told Jacob to "fear not" and called him His servant. He also called His chosen people "Jesurun," which means "upright one." It was a symbolic name for Israel:

2 Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen. -Isaiah 44

When Yahshua recognized Nathanael and said there was no "guile" in him, He was saying that there was no deceit in him. He was, in effect, calling Nathanael an "upright one," or "Jesurun."

The people of God will call themselves by several different names, which mean the same thing. They will say, "I am Yahweh’s," which is to say "I am Jacob, I am Israel:"

5 One shall say, I am the LORD’S; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD, and surname himself by the name of Israel. -Isaiah 44

Isaiah also wrote that the King of Israel and His redeemer have the same name, which is Yahweh (the LORD). (The shortened form of Yahweh is Yah, which is used forty five times in the Bible as the name of God.) Yahweh declared that the King of Israel, and His "redeemer" are Him. He is the first and the last God. There is no other:

6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. -Isaiah 44

Yahweh said that He appointed the "ancient people" (Israel) who shall not fear or be afraid. They will be His witnesses that there is no other God except Him:

7 And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.

8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any. -Isaiah 44

In the Gospel of John, the fulfillment of the Scriptures was revealed to Nathanael when he asked Yahshua where He had seen him before. Yahshua responded that He saw Nathanael "under the fig tree:"

48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. -John 1

When Yahshua told him that He saw him "under the fig tree," Nathanael immediately declared that Yahshua was the "Son of God" and "the King of Israel:"

49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. -John 1

Nathanael’s revelation showed that he had studied the Scriptures and was, therefore, able to recognize Yahshua as the fulfillment of prophecy.

The expression, "sitting under the fig tree," meant that he was dwelling in peace and safety, without fear. The last time the people of Israel lived in peace and safety as an undivided kingdom was during the reign of King Solomon. As the son of David, he was the third and last king of all of Israel. It was described as a time when every man safely lived "under his vine" and "under his fig tree:"

25 And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon. -1 Kings 4

The prophets had written that such a time would come again. The house of Yahweh would be established and His people would dwell safely "under the fig tree." Both Micah and Zechariah wrote of such a time.

Micah described the Mountain of the house of Yahweh, who will establish peace and judge among the people:

1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.

2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. -Micah 4

When true peace is established, the people will sit under their "vine" and "fig tree:"

4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it. -Micah 4

From that time forward, Micah continued to write, Yahweh’s people will walk in His name forever:

5 For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever. -Micah 4

Yahweh showed Zechariah an even clearer prophecy concerning the coming Messiah. The high priest’s name was "Joshua," which is the same name as that of the Messiah. "Yahshua" is translated as "Joshua" in the Old Testament and as "Jesus" in the New Testament in many English Bibles:

1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.

2 And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? -Zechariah 3

Yahweh promised that He would bring forth His servant, called "the BRANCH:"

8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. -Zechariah 3

He continued with the promise that He will "remove the iniquity of that land in one day:"

9 For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. -Zechariah 3

When iniquity is removed from the land "in one day," we can expect a time of peace. It is the day of Yahweh (the LORD), when every man will "sit under his fig tree" in peace:

10 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree. -Zechariah 3

Through the study of the Scriptures, Nathanael immediately saw that Yahshua had revealed Himself as the Messiah when He said "I saw you under the fig tree."

Before He ascended into heaven, the resurrected Messiah told us to study the Scriptures. Thereby, we will be able to distinguish the true Messiah from the false Christs. We will know Him when He returns. As we study, He will open our understanding:

45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, -Luke 24


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