Article of the Month

July 2009

Summer 

Most human beings look forward to the summer. Naturally, some complain of heat or drought; and the Scriptures acknowledge these possible problems. But, on the whole, summer is lodged in the human mind as a period of fruitfulness and desirability.

It is fitting, therefore, that we look at the SYMBOLIC use of “summer” in the Bible. With only a few texts we can see the import of this symbol in the prophetic texts dealing with our day and the near future.

 THE SUMMER WINDS

In Daniel 2 is recorded a lengthy account of a dream had by Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar. In short:  Nebuchadnezzar saw a statue of metals and clay.  It represented the powers that would dominate Israel (and much of the world) until the period (now) during which God would be acting to set up His long-prayed-for kingdom on earth.

The verse of interest for our look at “summer” as a symbol is Daniel 2:35. According to the dream, the nations would be struck by a peculiar “stone” (verses 34 and 35) which would eventually fill (rule) the whole earth. This stone represents our Lord Jesus who (along with God) frequently is referred to in Scripture as a Rock. The shattering of the rule of the dominating kingdoms began with World War I. But that war did not accomplish it all at once. The dissipation of the power of the ruling kingdoms is shown to be GRADUAL. They are said to be scattered like chaff on the SUMMER threshing floors until, eventually, no trace of them will be found.

The point is this:  Summer is a period of some desirability. Winter is a symbol of the very worst of times. (See Matthew 24:20 which we will examine shortly.) While 1914 began a time of troubles, these troubles are counted as “fair weather” compared to what is to follow. Thus, the “winds” (disturbances and wars) which have followed World War I are, indeed, carrying away the old remnants of power.  But these are “good times” next to the final trouble.

 “YOU KNOW THAT SUMMER IS NEAR” 

These are the words in the Fig-Tree Parable of Matthew 24:32-36.  (The account is repeated in Mark 13:28 and in Luke 21:30.)

What immediately catches our attention is that ANOTHER SUMMER is involved in end-time prophecy. The Luke 21:30 account specifies that the summer here meant is the KINGDOM OF GOD! That will, indeed, be a MOST DESIREABLE season!

The parable symbolizes Israel by the fig tree. It refers to the EMERGENCE of Israel as a new nation. This happened immediately after World War II.  Israel was only ONE of many new nations that have emerged since that time. For this reason, the Luke account admonishes that we not only notice the “fig tree,” but also ALL THE TREES. The emergence of these nations is stated by our Lord to be a signal that his Kingdom—the TRUE SUMMER—will be fully established before the passing of the generation which sees the emergence of these trees. What a prospect!

BETWEEN THE TWO SUMMERS

We have noticed Scripturally that a kind of summer has existed since the first World War and that the TRUE SUMMER is less than a generation away. What happens in between? We instinctively know that winter intervenes between two summertimes. This also is the prophetic testimony.

In Matthew 24:20, 21, Jesus teaches that a winter will, indeed, intervene. He calls it “a great tribulation such has not occurred since the beginning of the world.” We will not examine the prophecies of that winter now. Suffice it to say that it will tear apart the fabric of the social, political, religious, and economic systems we now imagine to be lasting. It is comforting to know that it will bring in the best summer ever!

“SUMMER IS ENDED”

A prophecy in Jeremiah 8:18-22 should be very sobering for Christians who might now be taking their relationship with God too lightly. We are living in that “generation” which has seen Israel “put forth leaves.” We are living in that “generation” which will not pass until the Kingdom has come. We have seen the “summer winds” blowing away, one by one, the remnants of the old order. We see more and more of the things we have relied upon becoming unreliable. What more evidences do we need?

Jeremiah 8:20 shows that some Christians are going to continue with a lack of sufficient sobriety until they suddenly realize that the “harvest is past.” (See Matthew 13:24-30 and 36-43.) They will realize that they have forfeited their membership in the “body of Christ” and, though they will be “saved,” they will be relegated to a lesser spiritual reward. (See II John 8; Revelation 7:-17; 19:9.) They will see that the “winter” of Matthew 24 has set in—“summer is ended.” Their wrong expectations regarding their salvation will be evident.

THE CURRENT “HARVEST”

It is clear from the above texts that we are yet in the “harvest” of our Lord’s Matthew 13 parable. This means that the true Church is still being separated from the fellowship of errors propounded by most of current-day Christianity. It’s not too late to experience the joys of that separation—to be gathered to where the food is. (Luke 17:37)

Dear fellow disciples, please consider the seriousness of these prophecies regarding whether or not we can make our “calling and election sure.” (II Peter 1:10, KJV)  While it is summer, while the harvest yet progresses, LEAVE the tainted and apostate denominations, and seek the fellowship of those eagles who have found the carcass! (Luke 17:37; Revelation 18:4) “Pray that your flight not be in winter”! (Matthew 24:20)

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