WHEN THE LEAVES FALL
DISCERNING THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES
“You know how to
discern the appearance of the sky;
why are you unable to
discern the signs of the times.”
By DON E STANTON
THE PARABLE OF THE FALLING LEAVES
There was a small boy living in Canada
with his parents. His name was Jamie. His father was a business man, who
sometimes had to go on extensive business trips.
One day the father said to his son,
“Jamie, Daddy has to go away for some work. You will be here with Mummy, and I
want you to be a good boy. I will come back soon, and will be with you again. So
Jamie looked puzzled. He was just a
toddler. He was used to his Daddy going away every morning, and returning in
the evening. He had also experienced his father going for two or three days.
Jamie clutched his father, and asked,
“Daddy, when you come back?”
The man slowly replied, “Jamie, I will be
away for one month – that is thirty days.”
The little boy looked puzzled. “But Daddy,
when you come back?”
The father was now puzzled. How to give
the child an idea of how long a month is? He looked through the window.
Suddenly, the answer clicked in his mind.
“Jamie, come … come outside.” He took the
boy in his arms, and went into the front garden.
“Jamie, see that tree … it has many green
leaves … after some days you will see the leaves become yellow. Then you will
see some leaves drop to the ground. When you see the yellow leaves drop, you
will know that I am coming very soon.”
The next day the father kissed his wife
and son goodbye, and went on his journey.
Jamie missed his Daddy very much, and
every day he ran out to see the tree in the front garden. After a couple of
weeks he saw that some leaves had become a little yellow. Then in the following
days, as many leaves changed colour, Jamie became excited.
One day Jamie ran out
to the garden and discovered a leaf on the ground. He was so excited. He grabbed
the leaf and ran inside. “Mummy, Mummy! Look, leaf fall down. Daddy coming
The next day more leaves had fallen, and
Jamie grew more excited.
“My Daddy’s coming!”
And sure enough, his father returned the
very same day.
Jamie could see the sign. He could see the
evidence pointing to his father’s imminent return.
DISCERNING THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES
WHEN the religious leaders of His time
asked Y’shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) to show them a sign from heaven, He
“When it is evening, you say, ‘it will be
fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘it will be bad weather
today, for the sky is red and threatening.’
Hypocrites! You know how to discern the appearance of the sky,
why are you unable to discern the signs of the
The Messiah went on to say that that no
sign would be given to that generation except the sign of Jonah.” Earlier He
had spoken of this sign …
“An evil and adulterous generation craves
for a sign; and yet no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah the
prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the
sea-monster, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart
of the earth’.”
The Messiah gave a second sign about His
death and resurrection on another occasion:
“Destroy this temple,” He said, “and in
three days I will raise it up again.”
Then the Jews replied, “It has taken
forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
But He was speaking of the temple of His
So the Messiah’s resurrection was the sign
given to the first century generation - it was to happen in their time. But
Y’shua indicated that there would be many specific signs given to the generation
living at the endtimes – the period prior to His return – the Second Coming.
Those prophetic signs are like the falling
leaves in our parable.
Jamie knew the falling leaves were signs
of his Daddy’s return. And my reader, we should be able to see the leaves
falling all around us – many significant current events – all pointing to the
imminent return of Y’shua the Messiah.
A VISUAL ILLUSTRATION
Recently I prepared a visual demonstration
to use in teaching this subject of the imminent return. I thought the visual
would get the attention of children, but I found it got the attention of adults
I want to share some of the details with
you, as I believe many of my readers may like to prepare a similar visual to
help them present the message to their people – their children, friends and
1. I drew a leaf on a piece of cardboard
about 5” x 8”. Then I cut around the shape of the leaf.
2. I drew some ribs on the leaf to make it
look more real. (See design at top of the chapter)
3. Then I bought several sheets of green,
blue and yellow construction card which I cut into thirty 5” x 8” pieces.
4. On my computer I prepared a list of 30
signs along with the Biblical references, in large type, and printed out the
sheet. I cut them into individual pieces ready to stick on the back of the
leaves. This much I completed in Sept., on the day before I left for ministry in
5. On my journey, I had a long transit
time at Singapore airport. After a rest, I still had 6 hours to fill in, so I
utilized the time working on my leaves. I traced the outline of my original
leaf onto each of the 30 pieces of card. Then with a pencil drew the ribs on the
leaves, and with a thick green felt pen, I drew a ¼” border on the outer edges
of the leaves, and I drew the ribs again with blue and green pens.
6. I had a small glue stick with me, so I
stuck a sign and reference to the back of each leaf.
I could not cut out the leaves, though,
because you are not allowed to carry scissors in your hand luggage on the planes
these days. But my six hours of spare time was completely taken up with
designing the visual.
The next day, in New Delhi, I cut around
the leaves, and touched up the edges and designs; and my visual was almost
In my baggage I had a heap of news items
and documents which were related to various signs. So I had to go through these
to choose the right “evidence” to support my contention that these signs are
indeed very relevant. My first message was the very next day.
DELIVERING THE MESSAGE
At the service in New Delhi I announced
the subject – The Imminent Return of Jesus the
I explained the Rapture, and how the
Saviour would return to catch His people up to the Father’s House …
“Let not your heart be troubled; believe
in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s House are many dwelling places; if it
were not so, I would have told you, for I am going there to prepare a place for
you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will
come again and receive you to Myself, so that you also may be where I
“For the Master
Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the
archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. Then the dead in Christ - those
who died in union with the Messiah - shall rise first. Then we, the living
believers who remain, will simultaneously be caught up together with them in the
clouds, to meet the Master in the air. And so we will be with the Master for
ever. Therefore comfort and encourage one another with these words.”
I turned also to Luke 21 – the Saviour’s
prophetic message on the endtimes, and read the following verses.
“Then He said to them, ‘Nation will rise
against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be mighty and
violent earthquakes in various places, and plagues, (pestilences, malignant,
contagious or infectious diseases, and deadly, devastating epidemics), and
famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.’
“And there will be signs in the sun and
moon and stars, and upon earth despair among nations, with perplexity at the
roaring and tossing of the sea. Men’s hearts will faint from terror, being
apprehensive of what is coming upon the world; for the very powers of the
heavens will be shaken.
“Then will they see the Son of Man coming
in a cloud with power and great glory. But when
these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because
your redemption is drawing near.”
(Luke 21:10-11. 25-28)
I went on to explain that we are seeing
signs of the Climax of the Age happening all around us – every day. But many
people do not see the significance of current events because they do not know
the Biblical prophecies – or have forgotten them. I explained, we must look
behind the leaf – behind the current events - and see the prophecy.
As I began to tell the people the parable
of the falling leaves, I pulled out a green and a yellow leaf to illustrate
Then I went on to liken current events to
falling leaves. I told the people I had a pack of 30 leaves, and then I pulled
out one, and showed them the prophecy on the back. “Look behind the leaf,” I
said, “and you will see the prophecy; look behind the current events and see the
The first leaf was
I quoted the prophecy we had read in Luke
21:10, and then referred to some of the documents I had about earthquakes. I
told of some major earthquakes that had taken place that very week - in Japan,
Siberia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan. I reminded them of the Gujarat earthquake of
2001, and its awful impact.
“Earthquakes are a definite sign of the
times,” I said, letting the leaf drop to the floor.
After choosing other leaves, and giving
details of the signs, I would hold up the leaf, and ask, “Shall I let it fall?”
The people would agree. And another leaf would fall to the floor.
Now, of course, to talk about 30 signs
would take a couple of hours, so I concentrated only on some of them, and then
simply mentioned the rest of the signs very briefly.
One suggestion for any who decide to make
and use this visual in a church service, youth group or Sunday School: you may
be able to spread the message over a number of weeks, using four or five signs
each week? You could make it into a type of serial, if you like.
Or you might like to make a weekly
5-minute feature using just one sign – using a news item of something
significant that has happened during the week.
“This week’s ‘Signs of the
Or you may be able to use “leaves” as a
small feature in the church news sheet.
Now I trust the above has whetted your
curiosity to know the signs on the rest of my 30 leaves pointing to the
Saviour’s imminent return. Well, I have 50 leaves in this book. So here they
50 FALLING LEAVES
NOT only do the following signs indicate
that we are living in the last days; they also give us a foretaste of the things
that are to come upon the whole world during the Great Tribulation.
The news reports and examples that I have
given are just a sampling of what is happening out there. I have tried to use
news that is relevant and recent. “Bigger and better” examples could be found,
no doubt, with more reading and research. And I am sure that you also, could
supply news items to illustrate these 50 leaves.
I encourage you to
maintain a file of relevant and important news reports for your own use.
SCOFFERS AND MOCKERS
“First of all, you must understand
that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking and following after their own
evil desires; and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since
the fathers died, everything goes on just as it has since the beginning of
THE world scoffs at the possibility of the
Messiah literally descending from heaven with a shout, in power and great glory,
to catch His people away from this doomed world. They may be forgiven! But
today, many of the mockers are within the Christian church itself. No doubt you
have heard someone say:
“Oh yeh! They were talking about the
imminent second coming when my grandfather was a kid. But still Christ has not
come!” Their tone indicates that they don’t really expect the Lord to come at
Even some Christian teachers scoff about
the doctrine of the Rapture. “That’s escapism,” they say. “Forget the Rapture.
We must be busy building the kingdom of God.”
A classic example of Christian
indifference and unbelief was the case of a pastor in a city in India where I
lived. After some young Christians had spoken to him excitedly about the
imminent return of the Messiah, the pastor said,
“Let Him come! Let Him
come. We are not bothered!”
This is a sign in itself. Many Christians
scoff - they are not looking for the Saviour’s return. And the majority of
Christians, starved of Second Coming teaching as many of them are, seem to live
as though the Master will never return.
But … “… every one who has
this Hope fixed on Him, purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
(1 John 3:3)
Scoffing is our first leaf - a very
significant sign of the times!
TO BE CONTINUED