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    PARABLE OF THE FIG-TREE

    Verses 32, 33. “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 [He, margin,] is near, even at the doors.” The parable of the fig-tree is probably the most forcible figure that could be used by our Lord to illustrate this subject. When the trees of the field begin to put forth their leaves, and the tender grass springs up, and the ground is being covered with its green, velvet carpet, we know that summer is nigh. It is a certainty with us that summer is coming when we see these signs in nature. We know that summer is nigh. “So likewise,” or, with the same certainty, we may know that Christ’s coming is at the doors when the signs in the sun, moon, and stars, are fulfilled.SCOC 46.2

    Here, dear reader, our Lord has stated the object of these signs, which is, that we may know when his coming is at the doors. But we are told that the church is not to know anything of the period of Christ’s second advent. Then, we inquire, why did our Lord give signs of the event? Are they given to deceive us? to lead the honest Christian to look for Christ’s coming when, in fact, nothing is to be known of the time of the event? Certainly not. The fact that Christ foretells signs of his coming, and then states the object of those signs, that the church may know when the event is near, even at the doors, is sufficient proof that it is the design of Heaven that the church should understand the period of the second advent.SCOC 47.1

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