The Lesson of the Fig Tree

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RR144

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In Matthew 24:32-34, Jesus gave a very important sign. “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 is near, even at the doors. Verily, I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” Throughout the Bible we learn that the fig tree represents the Nation of Israel (Jeremiah 24:1-10; 29:17-23; Luke 13:6-9). Leaves sprouting on a tree are an evidence that the tree has sprung to life after a dormant winter. Jesus was actually telling us that when we see Israel come alive as a nation — after being without a homeland for nearly 2,000 years — then we will know that God’s Kingdom is right at the door.

Has Israel put forth leaves? Yes, most definitely. After the Roman conquest in the First Century B.C., Israelites as a people were dispersed among all nations, often persecuted bitterly, having to live in Ghettos, then hunted and exterminated as undesirables. Yet Jewish hopes remained strong in God’s promises of a return to their homeland. “Next year in Jerusalem” was their cry. This hope was fulfilled in one of the great miracles of our day. The fig tree, Israel, put forth leaves in May 1948 when once again it became a nation after thousands of years without a homeland. God has done no such thing with any other nation.

Luke adds something in his account of this prophecy that makes our faith even stronger: “Behold the fig tree, and all the trees... when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” (Luke 21:29-31) Notice that Luke adds “and all the trees.” If the fig tree pictures Israel, then all the trees would refer to other nations. Luke is telling us that, together with Israel springing to life, many other nations would put forth leaves, sprouting into existence. And what does history tell us? For centuries, up to 1945, the number of independent nations in the world had remained relatively constant at around 70. However, since 1945 the number of independent nations has grown dramatically to 196 nations! More than 126 new independent nations have sprung into being that were previously held as colonies. This ties in closely with the time that Israel became a nation in 1948.

Thus Israel, simultaneously with 126 other nations, has put forth leaves, sprouting into existence. What a thrill to our hearts to realize that we are on the very brink of the greatest event in all human history — the establishment of God’s Kingdom!
 

rwb

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In Matthew 24:32-34, Jesus gave a very important sign. “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 is near, even at the doors. Verily, I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” Throughout the Bible we learn that the fig tree represents the Nation of Israel (Jeremiah 24:1-10; 29:17-23; Luke 13:6-9). Leaves sprouting on a tree are an evidence that the tree has sprung to life after a dormant winter. Jesus was actually telling us that when we see Israel come alive as a nation — after being without a homeland for nearly 2,000 years — then we will know that God’s Kingdom is right at the door.

Has Israel put forth leaves? Yes, most definitely. After the Roman conquest in the First Century B.C., Israelites as a people were dispersed among all nations, often persecuted bitterly, having to live in Ghettos, then hunted and exterminated as undesirables. Yet Jewish hopes remained strong in God’s promises of a return to their homeland. “Next year in Jerusalem” was their cry. This hope was fulfilled in one of the great miracles of our day. The fig tree, Israel, put forth leaves in May 1948 when once again it became a nation after thousands of years without a homeland. God has done no such thing with any other nation.

Luke adds something in his account of this prophecy that makes our faith even stronger: “Behold the fig tree, and all the trees... when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” (Luke 21:29-31) Notice that Luke adds “and all the trees.” If the fig tree pictures Israel, then all the trees would refer to other nations. Luke is telling us that, together with Israel springing to life, many other nations would put forth leaves, sprouting into existence. And what does history tell us? For centuries, up to 1945, the number of independent nations in the world had remained relatively constant at around 70. However, since 1945 the number of independent nations has grown dramatically to 196 nations! More than 126 new independent nations have sprung into being that were previously held as colonies. This ties in closely with the time that Israel became a nation in 1948.

Thus Israel, simultaneously with 126 other nations, has put forth leaves, sprouting into existence. What a thrill to our hearts to realize that we are on the very brink of the greatest event in all human history — the establishment of God’s Kingdom!

You're forgetting about the fact that Christ cursed the fig tree that represented the nation of Israel, saying the fig tree (nation of Israel) would never again bear fruit. You present God as being contradictive, which cannot be!

Matthew 21:19 (KJV) 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.
 

ewq1938

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Leaves sprouting on a tree are an evidence that the tree has sprung to life after a dormant winter. Jesus was actually telling us that when we see Israel come alive as a nation — after being without a homeland for nearly 2,000 years — then we will know that God’s Kingdom is right at the door.

It's not about Israel:

Luk 21:29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;
Luk 21:30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
Luk 21:31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.


Clearly this has nothing to do with 1948 or 1967 or Israel. He is speaking of all trees, when they shoot forth then summer is near which is the kingdom of God ie: the second coming. What he is saying is there are signs that people will see that will tell them when Great Tribulation and the second coming are near. It has nothing at all to do with Israel, not in 1948, 1967 or any year. It's not about only the fig tree. It's about how all trees behave when spring begins. They begin to come back to life and start growing and sprouting! It's a wonderful time of year! We are currently in the winter prophetically. We are looking for the signs of sprouting which is progression but progression of end times events. We need to be looking for the Revelation 13 events of two beasts and those global changes. Many of the "sprouting signs" are also found in the Olivet Discourse.


Luk 21:29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;
Luk 21:30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
Luk 21:31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.

Summer here is when Christ returns. There are signs of a coming summer in the spring, just after winter has ended. Winter is the dark time of the Great Tribulation. Spring is the ending of winter, the ending of the Great Tribulation. There are certain events that will tell us that Christ's return is near, like when the two prophets are killed and 3.5 days later resurrect. The second coming happens the day they ascend into heaven.

Winter = the main time of the Great Tribulation
Spring = trees start to blossom, Summer is near, the Great Tribulation will soon end.
Summer = the second coming happens and the thousand years/Millennium



*************************


First it was 1948 and a 40 year generation, then people kept proposing longer and longer generations when the time elapsed. Eventually people switched to 1967. While becoming a nation again was a big deal, it was not part of a prophecy. Israel isn't even singled out in the prophecy:

Luk 21:29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;
Luk 21:30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.

Jesus wasn't talking about only the fig tree but all trees. This isn't about Israel nor 1948. He just listed a bunch of things that will happen and they are signs of his return. The trees sprouting are a sign of summer, so the events he listed are signs of his return. We haven't seen those signs yet so we are not near summer ie: his return.

Besides, when one sees the fig tree sprouting (and all the trees), then it meant Christ was returning soon but nothing happened near 1948...it's been over 70 years since and not even the great tribulation has started let alone being close to the second coming. The parable of the trees "shooting forth" being a sign of summer had nothing to do with 1948 and not even 1967 and therefore nothing to do with the country of Israel.
 

Randy Kluth

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In Matthew 24:32-34, Jesus gave a very important sign. “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 is near, even at the doors. Verily, I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” ...

Luke adds something in his account of this prophecy that makes our faith even stronger: “Behold the fig tree, and all the trees... when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” (Luke 21:29-31) Notice that Luke adds “and all the trees.” If the fig tree pictures Israel, then all the trees would refer to other nations. Luke is telling us that, together with Israel springing to life, many other nations would put forth leaves, sprouting into existence.
This view, that the Fig Tree represents modern Israel springing to life, is common today among Dispensationalists. I don't wish to diminish the importance of Israel's renaissance in biblical prophecy. However, this is not a possible interpretation in my view, no matter how desirable it may seem.

One, Jesus was speaking directly to his own generation, which contrary to representing Israel's restoration portended the soon destruction of Jerusalem. So you ask, how can the budding of the Fig Tree and of the other trees portend Israel's destruction, as opposed to its Spring-like coming to life?

It's very simple, Jesus was the promised Messiah who brough miracles and healings to Israel. He brought salvation not just to Jews, but also to Samaritans and to any Gentiles passing through. He threw the children's food to the "dogs." Jesus came as the promised Savior of Israel and of the whole world. But Jesus also knew he would be cut off in mid-life and the Kingdom would await a long time, as his parables indicated.

That did not mean the Kingdom had not drawn near. It had. Many had been healed and spiritually regenerated. However, Israel would pass through an entire age of punishment, the "Great Tribulation" of the Jewish People. Then Israel would be restored--those who had ben first would be last.

Psalm 58.8 May they be like a slug that melts away as it moves along, like a stillborn child that never sees the sun.
9 Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns— whether they be green or dry—the wicked will be swept away.


Yes, even the children born to new life were disappointed in that 1st generation of the Church. Israel fell in the summer, when they should've been bearing fruit.

But what does God say? Does God say, Let Israel perish forevermore? No!....

Isa 65.8 This is what the Lord says: “As when juice is still found in a cluster of grapes and people say, ‘Don’t destroy it, there is still a blessing in it,’ so will I do in behalf of my servants; I will not destroy them all.
 
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Truth7t7

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Thus Israel, simultaneously with 126 other nations, has put forth leaves, sprouting into existence. What a thrill to our hearts to realize that we are on the very brink of the greatest event in all human history — the establishment of God’s Kingdom!
RR144 you follow the teachings of (Charles Taze Russel) a false prophet who made many false predictions regarding the second coming of Jesus Christ 1874, 1914, and 1918 , and he's historically known also as a foundational teacher within the present day cult of Jehovahs Witnesses

The world is possibly on the brink of watching Jerusalem being surrounded by Muslim armies, as (The Beast/The Antichrist) will be revealed at this time calling for world peace from Jerusalem

Wikipedia: Charles Taze Russell (February 16, 1852 – October 31, 1916)

Theology and Teachings

  • Hell. He said there was a heavenly resurrection of 144,000 righteous, as well as a "great multitude", but believed that the remainder of mankind slept in death, awaiting an earthly resurrection, rather than suffering in a literal Hell.
  • The Trinity. Russell believed in the divinity of Christ, but differed from orthodoxy by teaching that Jesus had received that divinity as a gift from the Father after dying on the cross. He also taught that the Holy Spirit is not a person, but the manifestation of God's power.
  • Christ's Second Coming. Russell believed that Christ had returned invisibly in October 1874, and that he had been ruling from heaven since that date. He believed that a "time of trouble" began then that would mark a gradual deterioration of civilized society leading up to the end of the "Gentile Times", with a climactic multi-national attack on a restored Israel, worldwide anarchy, and the sudden destruction of all world governments in October 1914. After the outbreak of World War I in July 1914, Russell reinterpreted 1914 as the beginning of Armageddon.
  • Pyramidology. Following views first taught by Christian writers such as John Taylor (1781–1864), Charles Piazzi Smyth (1819–1900) and Joseph Seiss (1823–1904), Russell believed that the Great Pyramid of Giza was built by the Hebrews (associating them with the Hyksos) under God's direction, but to be understood only in the modern era. He adopted Seiss' terminology, referring to the pyramid as "the Bible in stone". He held that certain biblical texts, including Isaiah 19:19–20, prophesied a future understanding of the Great Pyramid. He believed that the pyramid's various ascending and descending passages represented biblical concepts such as the fall of man, the provision of the Mosaic Law, the death of Christ and the exultation of the saints in heaven. Calculations were based on the assumption that each inch of the various passages represented one year. Dates such as 1874, 1914, and 1918 purportedly emerged from the study of this monument.[55]
  • Christian Zionism. Expanding on an idea suggested by Nelson Barbour, Russell taught as early as 1879 that God's favor had been restored to Jews as the result of a prophetic "double" which had ended in 1878 (favor from Jacob to Jesus, then disfavor from Jesus until 1878). In 1910, he conducted a meeting at the New York Hippodrome Theatre, with thousands of Jews attending. His teaching that Jews should not convert to Christianity shocked Jews and Christians alike. Russell believed that the land of Palestine belonged exclusively to the Jewish race, that God was then calling Jews back to their land, and that they would be the center of earthly leadership under God's Kingdom. Early in Russell's ministry, he speculated that the Jews might flock to Palestine and form their own nation by the year 1910. Shortly before his death in 1916, he used the Jewish press to stress that 1914 prophetically marked the time when Gentile nations no longer had earthly authority; he said that all Jews were, from that time onward, permitted and guided by God to gather to Palestine and to reclaim the land boldly for themselves.[56]
 
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rwb

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This view, that the Fig Tree represents modern Israel springing to life, is common today among Dispensationalists. I don't wish to diminish the importance of Israel's renaissance in biblical prophecy. However, this is not a possible interpretation in my view, no matter how desirable it may seem.

One, Jesus was speaking directly to his own generation, which contrary to representing Israel's restoration portended the soon destruction of Jerusalem. So you ask, how can the budding of the Fig Tree and of the other trees portend Israel's destruction, as opposed to its Spring-like coming to life?

It's very simple, Jesus was the promised Messiah who brough miracles and healings to Israel. He brought salvation not just to Jews, but also to Samaritans and to any Gentiles passing through. He threw the children's food to the "dogs." Jesus came as the promised Savior of Israel and of the whole world. But Jesus also knew he would be cut off in mid-life and the Kingdom would await a long time, as his parables indicated.

That did not mean the Kingdom had not drawn near. It had. Many had been healed and spiritually regenerated. However, Israel would pass through an entire age of punishment, the "Great Tribulation" of the Jewish People. Then Israel would be restored--those who had ben first would be last.

Psalm 58.8 May they be like a slug that melts away as it moves along, like a stillborn child that never sees the sun.
9 Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns— whether they be green or dry—the wicked will be swept away.


Yes, even the children born to new life were disappointed in that 1st generation of the Church. Israel fell in the summer, when they should've been bearing fruit.

But what does God say? Does God say, Let Israel perish forevermore? No!....

Isa 65.8 This is what the Lord says: “As when juice is still found in a cluster of grapes and people say, ‘Don’t destroy it, there is still a blessing in it,’ so will I do in behalf of my servants; I will not destroy them all.

The only part in the nation of Israel that ever bears spiritual fruit for the Kingdom of God were Messianic Jews. After knowing who Christ was and that He had spiritually ushered in the Kingdom of God, those faithful Jewish saints are the first of the fruit showing the fig tree, that once symbolized Israel, is growing again and the spiritual fruit it produces will not be confined to Israel alone, but will reach unto every nation of the earth as they and all the disciples who follow after them, take the Gospel of Christ unto all the earth with power from on high through the Holy Spirit of Christ in them. The Kingdom of God is indeed near to all who believe on Christ for eternal life and have entered the spiritual Kingdom of God according to grace through faith.

The natural Jew, or national Israel shall NEVER again be the fig tree that bears fruit!

Matthew 21:19-20 (KJV) 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. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
 

Randy Kluth

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The only part in the nation of Israel that ever bears spiritual fruit for the Kingdom of God were Messianic Jews.
This statement is made all of the time, and yet fails to recognize the central point that Jews who are presently *not* Messianic Jews can become Messianic Jews in the future and then bear fruit! The point is that non-Messianic Jews can in fact "bear fruit" when they are converted to Christianity *later!*

Those who are hardened against conversion in perpetuity will be "cut off" from all hope of restoration. But those who remain open to conversion can become "fruit-bearers."
After knowing who Christ was and that He had spiritually ushered in the Kingdom of God, those faithful Jewish saints are the first of the fruit showing the fig tree, that once symbolized Israel, is growing again and the spiritual fruit it produces will not be confined to Israel alone, but will reach unto every nation of the earth as they and all the disciples who follow after them, take the Gospel of Christ unto all the earth with power from on high through the Holy Spirit of Christ in them. The Kingdom of God is indeed near to all who believe on Christ for eternal life and have entered the spiritual Kingdom of God according to grace through faith.
I agree. The early Jewish Christians were the ones in Israel who alone bore fruit when Christ 1st came. However, Jesus portrayed Israel in a general sense as a failing nation, as one that had failed to bear fruit. They had come to their national Spring-time, and should've been producing buds and leaves, with fruit following. The baby came to birth, however, and was never born. They had buds and leaves, but never fruit *as a nation overall.*

There is a big difference between individuals bearing fruit and a nation bearing fruit. One is specific and particular, and the other is a general observation. God wanted not just individuals to succeed, but the entire nation and society to succeed. Christianity was born, but a Christian nation was not born.
The natural Jew, or national Israel shall NEVER again be the fig tree that bears fruit!
That is a judgment call. I believe God keeps His promises, including promises to Israel, even if it takes a very long time in history.

Because it is the longest time of Israel's punishment in history, Jesus called it the "Great Tribulation" of the Jewish People. By contrast the Babylonian punishment of the Jewish People only lasted 70 years, which is an entire lifetime of an individual. But Israel's Diaspora has lasted many generations, and therefore is the "greatest" Tribulation in Israel's history.

That's why, I believe, the Church has given up hope in Israel's restoration, and has turned to "Replacement Theology." But I believe God is not done with the Jewish People. The nation of Israel is back in her land, and is surviving, politically. And she will be saved politically, setting her up for a Christian revival in that land. My opinion only.
 

Ronald Nolette

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In Matthew 24:32-34, Jesus gave a very important sign. “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 is near, even at the doors. Verily, I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” Throughout the Bible we learn that the fig tree represents the Nation of Israel (Jeremiah 24:1-10; 29:17-23; Luke 13:6-9). Leaves sprouting on a tree are an evidence that the tree has sprung to life after a dormant winter. Jesus was actually telling us that when we see Israel come alive as a nation — after being without a homeland for nearly 2,000 years — then we will know that God’s Kingdom is right at the door.

Has Israel put forth leaves? Yes, most definitely. After the Roman conquest in the First Century B.C., Israelites as a people were dispersed among all nations, often persecuted bitterly, having to live in Ghettos, then hunted and exterminated as undesirables. Yet Jewish hopes remained strong in God’s promises of a return to their homeland. “Next year in Jerusalem” was their cry. This hope was fulfilled in one of the great miracles of our day. The fig tree, Israel, put forth leaves in May 1948 when once again it became a nation after thousands of years without a homeland. God has done no such thing with any other nation.

Luke adds something in his account of this prophecy that makes our faith even stronger: “Behold the fig tree, and all the trees... when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” (Luke 21:29-31) Notice that Luke adds “and all the trees.” If the fig tree pictures Israel, then all the trees would refer to other nations. Luke is telling us that, together with Israel springing to life, many other nations would put forth leaves, sprouting into existence. And what does history tell us? For centuries, up to 1945, the number of independent nations in the world had remained relatively constant at around 70. However, since 1945 the number of independent nations has grown dramatically to 196 nations! More than 126 new independent nations have sprung into being that were previously held as colonies. This ties in closely with the time that Israel became a nation in 1948.

Thus Israel, simultaneously with 126 other nations, has put forth leaves, sprouting into existence. What a thrill to our hearts to realize that we are on the very brink of the greatest event in all human history — the establishment of God’s Kingdom!
Maybe, but Jesus was referring more to the events that He said would take place in the end and not Israel. When a fig tree is used symbolically it is Israel. Jesus is not using the fig tree symbolically but He is saying learn a parable from the fig tree.
 

rwb

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This statement is made all of the time, and yet fails to recognize the central point that Jews who are presently *not* Messianic Jews can become Messianic Jews in the future and then bear fruit! The point is that non-Messianic Jews can in fact "bear fruit" when they are converted to Christianity *later!*

Those who are hardened against conversion in perpetuity will be "cut off" from all hope of restoration. But those who remain open to conversion can become "fruit-bearers."

Now, in this age of the Gospel going into all the world through the power of the Holy Spirit is when unbelieving Jews must turn to Christ by grace through faith upon hearing the Gospel and believing in/on Christ for eternal life. No longer Jew, but Messianic Jew. A Jew who believes in Christ, the Messiah Savior of all who believe. The nation of Israel, as the symbol of the fig tree have been cursed and shall never again be fruitful again. But the unbelieving Jews, like those Messianic Jews of the first century are not doomed to never be fruitful, they can be grafted in again IF they do not remain in unbelief. But never again will the nation of Old be depicted as a fruitful fig tree bearing fruit unto eternal life. If these unbelieving Jews do not turn to Christ before He returns, they shall be called before the Judgment Throne of God and will be cast into the lake of fire that is the second death. There is no more hope for them or anyone else who remains in unbelief once Christ has come again.
I agree. The early Jewish Christians were the ones in Israel who alone bore fruit when Christ 1st came. However, Jesus portrayed Israel in a general sense as a failing nation, as one that had failed to bear fruit. They had come to their national Spring-time, and should've been producing buds and leaves, with fruit following. The baby came to birth, however, and was never born. They had buds and leaves, but never fruit *as a nation overall.*

There is a big difference between individuals bearing fruit and a nation bearing fruit. One is specific and particular, and the other is a general observation. God wanted not just individuals to succeed, but the entire nation and society to succeed. Christianity was born, but a Christian nation was not born.

Yes, the nation in unbelief was cursed and shall never again be a representative of the Kingdom of God on earth. Yet, God has not cast away His remnant of them, those whom God foreknew, the remnant according to the election of grace. This remnant, Messianic Jews that are symbolically the fig tree that brings forth fruit unto eternal life. Not the nation of Israel, but the elect remnant of faithful saints. This fig tree began with twelve, Jews, chosen by Christ to be His disciples who would be first to proclaim His Gospel unto all the earth. Through their testimony about Christ the fig tree would grow until its branches reach into every nation on earth.

That is a judgment call. I believe God keeps His promises, including promises to Israel, even if it takes a very long time in history.

Because it is the longest time of Israel's punishment in history, Jesus called it the "Great Tribulation" of the Jewish People. By contrast the Babylonian punishment of the Jewish People only lasted 70 years, which is an entire lifetime of an individual. But Israel's Diaspora has lasted many generations, and therefore is the "greatest" Tribulation in Israel's history.

That's why, I believe, the Church has given up hope in Israel's restoration, and has turned to "Replacement Theology." But I believe God is not done with the Jewish People. The nation of Israel is back in her land, and is surviving, politically. And she will be saved politically, setting her up for a Christian revival in that land. My opinion only.

That Israel was cursed by God forever, is not my judgment but the words of Christ.

Every promise God made exclusively to Israel have been fulfilled. There is not one promise that has not been fulfilled, just as God said His promises to them would be. But Israel rebelled against God and did not remain loyal to Him alone. Just as God had given them specific promises that through obedience would have brought God's blessings to them. His promise to them came with a command that they MUST be obedient in worshipping God alone, and they MUST be obedient to the Law. Since they did not, the part of God's promise that included punishment and cursing by God has come upon them, and that's why when Christ came He not only proclaimed a curse that would leave them without spiritual life forever by cursing the fig tree, Christ also declared to them that their house would be desolate.

Matthew 23:37-38 (KJV) O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
 

Randy Kluth

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Now, in this age of the Gospel going into all the world through the power of the Holy Spirit is when unbelieving Jews must turn to Christ by grace through faith upon hearing the Gospel and believing in/on Christ for eternal life. No longer Jew, but Messianic Jew.
You're playing word games with this notion "no longer Jew, but Messianic Jew." To be "Jewish" does not concern being either "Messianic" or "non-Messianic." To be Jewish is to belong to a Jewish ethnicity--it is not purely the religious factor that factors into this.

Replacement Theologians always base their theology on the necessity of redefining "Israel" as something non-physical, or on the idea there are 2 Israels, 1 physical and illegitimate and the other spiritual and the genuine article. But this kind of language is superimposed upon certain statements in the NT Scriptures that are not really saying that. CLICK
A Jew who believes in Christ, the Messiah Savior of all who believe. The nation of Israel, as the symbol of the fig tree have been cursed and shall never again be fruitful again.
You are begging the question, arguing what you haven't yet proven. The OT prophecies are chalk full of prophecies of Israel's final salvation, "never again to be uprooted." These are commonly called "Messianic Kingdom" prophecies. Whether you are Amillennial or Premillennial these prophecies of the restoration of national Israel under Messiah are there!
Yes, the nation in unbelief was cursed and shall never again be a representative of the Kingdom of God on earth.
You are entitled to your opinion. However, many, many Christians recognize that biblical prophecy has spoken of a final regathering of national Israel. Your attempt to redefine "Israel" as the "Church" doesn't work for me or for them.
Yet, God has not cast away His remnant of them, those whom God foreknew, the remnant according to the election of grace. This remnant, Messianic Jews that are symbolically the fig tree that brings forth fruit unto eternal life. Not the nation of Israel, but the elect remnant of faithful saints.
The remnant represents the nation and its yet-unfulfilled condition. The remnant stands in for the nation until the whole nation can be restored. This is why Paul argued in Rom 11 that "all Israel will be saved" in the political sense, because the whole nation needs to be restored in order for the whole nation to be restored to covenant relationship with God.

Zech 13.1 “On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.
2 “On that day, I will banish the names of the idols from the land, and they will be remembered no more,” declares the Lord Almighty. “I will remove both the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land."

That Israel was cursed by God forever, is not my judgment but the words of Christ.
No, that's your opinion and your judgment. It is not a unanimous consensus among Christians. It is *strictly your opinion* about what the words of Christ *mean.*
Every promise God made exclusively to Israel have been fulfilled.
Again, this is your opinion. There are many, many prophecies concerning the Messianic Kingdom that have not yet been fulfilled. And Paul indicates that Israel's national salvation is still *future!* Rom 11.
There is not one promise that has not been fulfilled, just as God said His promises to them would be. But Israel rebelled against God and did not remain loyal to Him alone. Just as God had given them specific promises that through obedience would have brought God's blessings to them. His promise to them came with a command that they MUST be obedient in worshipping God alone, and they MUST be obedient to the Law. Since they did not, the part of God's promise that included punishment and cursing by God has come upon them, and that's why when Christ came He not only proclaimed a curse that would leave them without spiritual life forever by cursing the fig tree, Christ also declared to them that their house would be desolate.
What you fail to recognize is that Christ died not just for the whole world but also for *Israel!* Remedies for sin existed under the Law, but what remedy was there for complete failure of the covenant? It's called "Mercy."

God even forgives failure of the entire covenant system by mercy. And Christ came to fulfill that mercy, allowing not just Gentiles to enter the Kingdom but also Jews. Not only does God save individuals, but He also saves nations politically so that entire societies can be remedied and made more just. If God could forgive Israel after the Babylonian Captivity for failing the covenant of Law, He can also forgive Israel for failing the NT covenant of Grace!

God doesn't just save a remnant when He promised a "nation." He doesn't just "half-way" fulfill His promises. He fulfills them literally. Even if temporarily He is saving just a small part of Israel, the goal is to bring the *entire nation* back under covenant with Himself, under the Christian Covenant of Mercy.

Amos 9.8 “Surely the eyes of the Sovereign Lord
are on the sinful kingdom.
I will destroy it
from the face of the earth.
Yet I will not totally destroy
the descendants of Jacob,”
declares the Lord.
...11 “In that day
“I will restore David’s fallen shelter—
I will repair its broken walls
and restore its ruins—
and will rebuild it as it used to be.


That is, in the very time that God sets about to destroy the sinners in Israel, leaving only a small remnant, God is determined in the end to rebuild the entire nation.

Isa 11.1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
...10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious. 11 In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people.
 
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rwb

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You're playing word games with this notion "no longer Jew, but Messianic Jew." To be "Jewish" does not concern being either "Messianic" or "non-Messianic." To be Jewish is to belong to a Jewish ethnicity--it is not purely the religious factor that factors into this.

Replacement Theologians always base their theology on the necessity of redefining "Israel" as something non-physical, or on the idea there are 2 Israels, 1 physical and illegitimate and the other spiritual and the genuine article. But this kind of language is superimposed upon certain statements in the NT Scriptures that are not really saying that. CLICK

I've discovered some like to use this title "Replacement Theology" when they have not understood the nation of Israel being two separate people. The remnant according to election of grace are called Israel, they are Christian/Messianic (no difference) Jews. The rest of Israel are those who are never of faith, being in darkness and unbelief and belonging to their father, the devil. Simple fact, the nation of Israel being two separate people is not isolated to they alone. The whole world is either of faith in Christ, or in unbelief.

No one is redefining Israel when simply stating the FACTS! And Israel of old is NOT the "Israel of God"! But all who belong to the "Israel of God" are both Jews of faith and Gentiles of faith together. Not Replacement Theology, but rather inclusive theology!
You are begging the question, arguing what you haven't yet proven. The OT prophecies are chalk full of prophecies of Israel's final salvation, "never again to be uprooted." These are commonly called "Messianic Kingdom" prophecies. Whether you are Amillennial or Premillennial these prophecies of the restoration of national Israel under Messiah are there!

Where are they? Bring them forth! But remember as you do there cannot be contradictions in the Word of God! Remember also that what is written of Christ from the Old is made plain or more clearly understood in the New. Don't try to force the Old to shed light on the new, because it is the New Covenant writings that reveal that which was in shadow and vague from Old.

You are entitled to your opinion. However, many, many Christians recognize that biblical prophecy has spoken of a final regathering of national Israel. Your attempt to redefine "Israel" as the "Church" doesn't work for me or for them.

I don't have to redefine Israel as the Church. The Bible calls Israel of Old the Church in the wilderness!

Acts 7:37-40 (KJV) This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

The Church on earth was to have been the representation of the Kingdom of God, from both the Old Covenant body and the New Covenant body.

The remnant represents the nation and its yet-unfulfilled condition. The remnant stands in for the nation until the whole nation can be restored. This is why Paul argued in Rom 11 that "all Israel will be saved" in the political sense, because the whole nation needs to be restored in order for the whole nation to be restored to covenant relationship with God.

The remnant represent the Jews of faith! Again where is the Scripture to prove "the remnant stands in for the nation until the whole nation can be restored"? Paul tells us who and how "all Israel that shall be saved" is. They are saved by the fullness of the Gentiles being grafted into the same good olive tree with Jews of faith. Not is a political sense, but they are saved according to grace through faith for eternal life in Christ. Has nothing to do with political, that is your misguided belief, found nowhere in the Bible. Read Zechariah in light of greater revelation from the New Testament. All that is written concerning Christ is fulfilled or being fulfilled in this Gospel age of grace.

No, that's your opinion and your judgment. It is not a unanimous consensus among Christians. It is *strictly your opinion* about what the words of Christ *mean.*

The fig tree symbolically represented Israel before the advent of Christ coming to earth.

Matthew 21:18-20 (KJV) 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. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

What you fail to recognize is that Christ died not just for the whole world but also for *Israel!* Remedies for sin existed under the Law, but what remedy was there for complete failure of the covenant? It's called "Mercy." God even forgives failure of the entire covenant system by mercy. And Christ came to fulfill that mercy, allowing not just Gentiles to enter the Kingdom but also Jews. Not only does God save individuals, but He also saves nations politically so that entire societies can be remedied and made more just.

This is all true FOR WHOSOEVER BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH BELIEVES IN/ON CHRIST FOR ETERNAL LIFE. Mercy of God works together with faith. The remedy for sin under the Law produced only outward cleansing without cleansing the conscious. That's why the sacrifices had to be repeated often. As long as the nation of Israel, the part in blindness, remains in unbelief there is no mercy for them without faith in Him.
 

ewq1938

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Replacement Theologians always base their theology on the necessity of redefining "Israel" as something non-physical, or on the idea there are 2 Israels, 1 physical and illegitimate and the other spiritual and the genuine article.

That isn't Replacement theology since no one is replaced. What you describe is what Paul did, with only Israel that accepts Christ as allowed to remain on the Israel tree, while gentile Christians being added to that same tree with those who are natural Israel. They become one, which is Israel. Those who reject Christ are removed by God. They cannot be of Israel anymore and should be called former Israel gentile Israel.

The difference is that RT says the church replaces Israel.
What I call Removal Theology is where Israel is pruned of non-believers, and gentile Christians are grafted in to be with the believers making them Israel. It's joining Israel not a replacing Israel.
 
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Randy Kluth

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I've discovered some like to use this title "Replacement Theology" when they have not understood the nation of Israel being two separate people.
Let me just reissue an email I sent to my brother, indicating the matter of defining "Israel." Here it is...

Oh yes, that is a major part of dealing with the issue of "Replacement Theology." Again, this sounds like a disparaging term to those who hear it, but I lack a better term describing how I personally look at the theology as compared with my own theology.

Rom 6.6 It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.

This is similar to another passage where Paul appears to delegitimize "Jews" or "Israel."

Rom 2.28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.

In my view, Paul is not *defining* a "Jew" or "Israel." He is using "true" as a synonym for "faithful." When the Scriptures speak of God being "true" they are often referring to God's fidelity to His promises--not questiong whether He exists or not, or whether He is a genuine god.

In the OT Law, a Jew was not re-defined as a non-Jew at any point in their lives. But they could be "cut off from among their people" by not being "true" to the God of Israel. Rom 9.7-8, notwithstanding, does suggest a kind of "narrowing" of the herd in the ultimate sense of final judgment, when Israel's nationhood is restored to covenant relationship with God. But it is not, I would argue, a *redefinition* of either "Israel" or "Jew." It is their ultimate destiny that would decide the matter of whether or not they remain among Abraham's descendants.

Gen 17.14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

So this, then, is how I interpret these verses. Replacement Theologians see them as evidence that "Israel" is a "spiritual term" representing an elite group within one nation in ancient history and within a company of nations in modern history.

But I see this as incorrect, despite many centuries of viewing it this way. I don't blame Christians for dismissing Israel in light of their perennial failure to live up to their Hope. But in light of today's restoration of the people of Israel to their land I just have to question whether the Church has gotten it wrong for centuries?

Certainly, Ribera and Lacunza questioned it, as did Irving and Darby after them. I don't like Dispensationalism, but the matter of Jewish Hope is an entirely different matter. I've been studying the biblical Prophets for many years, and they are chalk full of references to Israel's ultimate Hope, however you wish to interpret that.

Just the language alone, as it is used in Scriptures, suggests that "Israel" is not an ambiguous term that applies only to an elite of faith. And those who may not have faith may yet have it in the future. Do they stop being "Israel" because they do not yet believe? I don't believe Paul refers to "Israel" in this way in Rom 9-11. Rather, he sees them as predominantly a lost "Israel," with only a relative small remnant of believers.

So biblically and here in Paul's letter, "Israel" literally applies to the nation as a whole, believers and unbelievers. Disqualifying certain members was simply a matter of reducing the herd in Israel due to infidelity to the nation's standards. Culling out the bad does not change the definition of "Israel," the herd.

Israel does not stop being "Israel" simply because the majority stopped having faith in their God. Israel can be "born again" as believers, and can be politically restored as a nation to enable a great majority to arrive at this. God's ultimate intention is to have a nation of faith, just as they were originally called. Where they are now, in unbelief, does not make them non-Israelites! ;)
 
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Randy Kluth

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That isn't Replacement theology since no one is replaced. What you describe is what Paul did, with only Israel that accepts Christ as allowed to remain on the Israel tree, while gentile Christians being added to that same tree with those who are natural Israel. They become one, which is Israel. Those who reject Christ are removed by God. They cannot be of Israel anymore and should be called former Israel gentile Israel.

The difference is that RT says the church replaces Israel.
What I call Removal Theology is where Israel is pruned of non-believers, and gentile Christians are grafted in to be with the believers making them Israel. It's joining Israel not a replacing Israel.
Please see my post I just sent to rwb #13, and tell me if it makes any difference? Thanks.
 

Randy Kluth

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Where are they? Bring them forth! But remember as you do there cannot be contradictions in the Word of God! Remember also that what is written of Christ from the Old is made plain or more clearly understood in the New. Don't try to force the Old to shed light on the new, because it is the New Covenant writings that reveal that which was in shadow and vague from Old.
Well, that's the problem. Covenant Theology, which includes "Replacement Theology," separates elements of the OT from the NT. Of course, we would remove the covenant of Law. But we would not, or should not, remove the elements of *Promise.* Paul makes that distinction himself.

We all know what the promises of the Kingdom are. I will deal with them only as they come up, because they are so numerous. But in a nutshell, it all boils down to God's literal promise to Abraham that He would provide him with a "nation." That promise has not been rescinded, and all OT prophecies of the Messianic Kingdom, with respect to Israel, are based on this.
The remnant represent the Jews of faith! Again where is the Scripture to prove "the remnant stands in for the nation until the whole nation can be restored"?
I already provided that. I gave you the sense that when only a part has been salvaged, the whole is yet to be saved. The remnant implies the whole. I provided Scriptures to show you that principle was in play in the past and still is today.

God restored Israel and made her a new nation following the Babylonian Captivity, during which Israel had been reduced to a small remnant of survivors. The city of Jerusalem was rebuilt, and the entire nation returned into existence, consisting of remnants of all 12 tribes, which had been encased in both northern and southern kingdoms.
The fig tree symbolically represented Israel before the advent of Christ coming to earth.

Matthew 21:18-20 (KJV) 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. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
Yes, the "forever" part had to do with OT Israel, which had come to be ruled by the false religion of Rabbinic Judaism. That is what would perish "forever"--not Israel. Judaism would never again bear fruit. It is arguable, in this context, what the "tree" represents in terms of its eternal demise.
This is all true FOR WHOSOEVER BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH BELIEVES IN/ON CHRIST FOR ETERNAL LIFE. Mercy of God works together with faith. The remedy for sin under the Law produced only outward cleansing without cleansing the conscious. That's why the sacrifices had to be repeated often. As long as the nation of Israel, the part in blindness, remains in unbelief there is no mercy for them without faith in Him.
Yes, Christ alone is God's accepted means of atonement today. In the past, however, the Law provided an acceptable temporary means of atonement for Israel. It was indeed an external cleansing of water, but this also symbolized an internal cleansing of the Spirit. It was not purely an "external act," but rather, an external act that represented a real internal change by the word of God.

The repeating of the sacrifice really did bring forgiveness, but it was insufficient for Eternal Life. This was an external act, but it was also a real spiritual act. To say that the OT operated under a different "God" than the NT system is the error of Marcion.

Jesus simply fulfilled what had begun under the OT Law, producing what the OT rituals had represented and which had provided temporary relief from spiritual separation caused by sin. Jesus provided an eternal atonement which permanently fixes the problem of separation due to sin.
 

ewq1938

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Where they are now, in unbelief, does not make them non-Israelites! ;)

If you cut an apple branch off a tree it is not living and not a part of the tree anymore. You cannot say a dead and removed apple branch is the same as a living apple branch still on an apple tree.
 
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Randy Kluth

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If you cut an apple branch off a tree it is not living and not a part of the tree anymore. You cannot say a dead and removed apple branch is the same as a living apple branch still on an apple tree.
Branches cut off a tree can be grafted onto another tree, yes.
 

rwb

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Let me just reissue an email I sent to my brother, indicating the matter of defining "Israel." Here it is...

Oh yes, that is a major part of dealing with the issue of "Replacement Theology." Again, this sounds like a disparaging term to those who hear it, but I lack a better term describing how I personally look at the theology as compared with my own theology.

Rom 6.6 It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.

This is similar to another passage where Paul appears to delegitimize "Jews" or "Israel."

Rom 2.28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.

In my view, Paul is not *defining* a "Jew" or "Israel." He is using "true" as a synonym for "faithful." When the Scriptures speak of God being "true" they are often referring to God's fidelity to His promises--not questiong whether He exists or not, or whether He is a genuine god.

In the OT Law, a Jew was not re-defined as a non-Jew at any point in their lives. But they could be "cut off from among their people" by not being "true" to the God of Israel. Rom 9.7-8, notwithstanding, does suggest a kind of "narrowing" of the herd in the ultimate sense of final judgment, when Israel's nationhood is restored to covenant relationship with God. But it is not, I would argue, a *redefinition* of either "Israel" or "Jew." It is their ultimate destiny that would decide the matter of whether or not they remain among Abraham's descendants.

Gen 17.14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

So this, then, is how I interpret these verses. Replacement Theologians see them as evidence that "Israel" is a "spiritual term" representing an elite group within one nation in ancient history and within a company of nations in modern history.

But I see this as incorrect, despite many centuries of viewing it this way. I don't blame Christians for dismissing Israel in light of their perennial failure to live up to their Hope. But in light of today's restoration of the people of Israel to their land I just have to question whether the Church has gotten it wrong for centuries?

Certainly, Ribera and Lacunza questioned it, as did Irving and Darby after them. I don't like Dispensationalism, but the matter of Jewish Hope is an entirely different matter. I've been studying the biblical Prophets for many years, and they are chalk full of references to Israel's ultimate Hope, however you wish to interpret that.

Just the language alone, as it is used in Scriptures, suggests that "Israel" is not an ambiguous term that applies only to an elite of faith. And those who may not have faith may yet have it in the future. Do they stop being "Israel" because they do not yet believe? I don't believe Paul refers to "Israel" in this way in Rom 9-11. Rather, he sees them as predominantly a lost "Israel," with only a relative small remnant of believers.

So biblically and here in Paul's letter, "Israel" literally applies to the nation as a whole, believers and unbelievers. Disqualifying certain members was simply a matter of reducing the herd in Israel due to infidelity to the nation's standards. Culling out the bad does not change the definition of "Israel," the herd.

Israel does not stop being "Israel" simply because the majority stopped having faith in their God. Israel can be "born again" as believers, and can be politically restored as a nation to enable a great majority to arrive at this. God's ultimate intention is to have a nation of faith, just as they were originally called. Where they are now, in unbelief, does not make them non-Israelites! ;)

Forgive me board members for being rude, but... Randy let me simply say Blah, Blah, Blah! You haven't addressed anything I've said, You simply keep using words to explain a doctrine that is to me one of the most bizarre understandings of Scripture that I have encountered. And in this community and others there are lots of bizarre doctrines promoted for biblical truth. Address the problems that myself and others have pointed out to you regarding your doctrine!

One last point who has ever said or even implied that Israel ever stops being Israel? The majority of Israel have not stopped having faith in their God, they NEVER had faith in Him! That's why they were cut off and shall never bear fruits for righteousness unless/until during this age of Gospel grace they turn to Christ for eternal life in repentance believing.
 

rwb

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Branches cut off a tree can be grafted onto another tree, yes.

Not another tree, they must be grafted back into the good olive tree, and this shall only happen if they turn to Christ in faith!
 

Randy Kluth

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Forgive me board members for being rude, but... Randy let me simply say Blah, Blah, Blah! You haven't addressed anything I've said, You simply keep using words to explain a doctrine that is to me one of the most bizarre understandings of Scripture that I have encountered. And in this community and others there are lots of bizarre doctrines promoted for biblical truth. Address the problems that myself and others have pointed out to you regarding your doctrine!

One last point who has ever said or even implied that Israel ever stops being Israel? The majority of Israel have not stopped having faith in their God, they NEVER had faith in Him! That's why they were cut off and shall never bear fruits for righteousness unless/until during this age of Gospel grace they turn to Christ for eternal life in repentance believing.
Let me give you a "back at you," if you will? Everything I said to address your points you failed to acknowledge. So I guess we're just talking past each other? Oh well, have a good evening.