IV. THE SPIRITUAL LESSONS
IN SEEKING THE LORD’S APPEARING
A. Giving Heed to the Prophetic Word
As to a Lamp Shining in a Dark Place,
Until the Day Dawns and
the Morning Star Rises
in Our Hearts
In seeking the Lord’s appearing, there are some spiritual lessons. First, we need to give heed to the prophetic word as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in our hearts (2 Pet. 1:19; Rev. 22:16; 2:28). Preceding the Lord’s open coming, the Lord will appear as the morning star in the darkest hour of the night to those who are watchful and looking for His appearing (2 Tim. 4:8). They have been enlightened by the shining of the prophetic word, which is able to lead them to the dawning day and to the rising of the morning star in their hearts.
B. The Day and the Hour of the Overcomers’ Rapture Not Being Knowable to Us, but the Year of the Rapture of the Majority of the Believers Being Able to Be Figured Out by Us according to the Last Week of the Seventy Weeks,
by the Parable of the Fig Tree Predicted
by the Lord in Matthew 24:32-33
The day and the hour of the overcomers’ rapture are not knowable to us (Matt. 24:36-44), but the year of the rapture of the majority of the believers can be figured out by us according to the last week of the seventy weeks, by the parable of the fig tree predicted by the Lord in Matthew 24:32-33. These verses say that the fig tree will become tender and put forth leaves. Then the Lord said that when we see this, we should know that the summer is near. In Matthew 24:32-33 the fig tree signifies the nation of Israel, becoming tender signifies the coming back of life, and putting forth leaves signifies the outward activities.
1. The Fig Tree Signifying the Nation of Israel
The fig tree is a symbol of the nation of Israel (Jer. 24:2, 5, 8; Hosea 9:10) and was cursed by the Lord in Matthew 21:19: "And seeing one fig tree on the way, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves only. And He says to it, Let there no longer be fruit from you forever. And the fig tree was instantly dried up." The fig tree was full of leaves but fruitless, signifying that at that time the nation of Israel was full of outward show but had nothing that could satisfy God. From this time, the nation of Israel was truly dried up.
2. Becoming Tender Signifying
the Coming Back of Life
Eventually, the Jews in Israel lost their homeland and were scattered to many other nations. It seemed impossible that after so many centuries they could be brought back to their forefathers’ land and be formed into a nation. But in 1948 the nation of Israel was reformed; that was the nation of Israel becoming tender, coming back to life.
(The Prophecy of the Four 'Sevens' in the Bible, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)