Man as a Tree
Two Trees in the Garden of Eden
Isaiah the prophet had startling words of promise to any and all who were drawn to serve the God of Israel. They were foreigners (group one) or eunuchs (group two). The latter class included any and all single persons who were drawn to serve Jesus in a world where heterosexual marriage was the norm. Here are those timeless promises from Isaiah:
Thus says the Lord:
“Keep justice, and do righteousness,
For My salvation is about to come,
And My righteousness to be revealed.
Blessed is the man who does this,
And the son of man who lays hold on it;
Who keeps from defiling the Sabbath,
And keeps his hand from doing any evil.”
Do not let the son of the foreigner
Who has joined himself to the Lord
“The Lord has utterly separated me from His people”;
Nor let the eunuch say,
“Here I am, a dry tree.”
For thus says the Lord:
“To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths,
And choose what pleases Me,
And hold fast My covenant,
Even to them I will give in My house
And within My walls a place and a name
Better than that of sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
That shall not be cut off.
“Also the sons of the foreigner
Who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him,
And to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants—
Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath,
And holds fast My covenant—
Even them I will bring to My holy mountain,
And make them joyful in My house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices
Will be accepted on My altar;
For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says,
“Yet I will gather to him
Others besides those who are gathered to him.”
God’s exclusion of foreigners and eunuchs from Israel’s public worship is clear from Deuteronomy.
1. 'No one who is emasculated or has his male organ cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord. 2. No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the Lord ; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of the Lord. 3. No Ammonite or Moabite shall enter the assembly of the Lord ; none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall ever enter the assembly of the Lord, 4. because they did not meet you with food and water on the way when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you. 5. Nevertheless, the Lord your God was not willing to listen to Balaam, but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because the Lord your God loves you. 6. You shall never seek their peace or their prosperity all your days.
It was not because these types of people were intrinsically evil and therefore unacceptable to Him. God excluded foreigners because He wanted to teach His people that opposition to His will and His people has abiding consequences. He excluded eunuchs because He wanted His people to learn that the destruction of sexual organs that He created has consequences. These consequences affected their worship of the Holy One of Israel, as well as their public life and their private life. Ruth and the Ethiopian eunuch are the proof that God accepts people on the basis of their faith in Him-in spite of their ancestry or personal history.
Non-Israelites and disabled Israelites could enjoy the blessings of God’s salvation (personal salvation and millennial blessings) along with normal believing Israelites. This passage helps us understand the qualifications for elders and deacons in the New Testament. (Thomas Constable)
Jesus also spoke this parable:
“A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard,
and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.
Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard,
‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none.
Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’
But he answered and said to him,
‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it.
And if it bears fruit, well.
But if not, after that you can cut it down.’ ”
The Tree in several parables is not a person but rather Israel.
The curse by Jesus on the barren fig tree during his final entry into Jerusalem is fascinating. It was not the season for ripe figs (April 33 AD) when Jesus traveled on a borrowed donkey from the Mt. of Olives to the Temple as the promised, legitimate Messiah of Israel.
The fig withered on the spot after Jesus told the tree (representing Israel) that it had been set aside for a season (now 2000 years) ---until the full number of the gentiles has been brought in.
“Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”The fig tree did not see the signs of the times or it would have joyfully born fruit lavishly for Jesus and his entourage —fruit from the Tree of Life in the Garden of God. The “times were out of joint.” The fig tree withered on the spot and Jesus told the tree (Israel) it had been set aside for a season (i.e., for 2000 years) until the full number of the gentiles has been brought in.
So Jesus answered and said to them, “Trust in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.“ (Mark 11:20-24)
“For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
“The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.”
Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
“For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” “Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?”
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:25-36)
Each man is a TREE designed to be connected to Jesus--and through Jesus, to the Tree of Life.
Not everyone you know has a connection with Jesus yet, whether secret or obvious.
Most of us hope our relatives and friends will be all in heaven but for some stubborn old cranks, clods and weirdos we've met, God only knows.
Woe to the man, or woman or child who ignores the Root. Jesus is a PERSON not a Life-force.
Our ancestors constitute our Family Tree.
But single men and women with no natural progeny are often lonely and feel that their lives are wasted.
Isaiah tells us who remain single that our usefulness to God and unencumbered availability to serve Him
can grant us a higher reward than most married men and women are given!
Sex and Marriage as we know them now probably will soon disappear.
The End of Sex as we Know it
Below is a drawing from a man in a recovery group for addicts to pornography and masturbation.
The sap of a tree flows upward drawing nutrients and water from the roots, and oxygen from the leaves.
There is a direct analogy here to the instinctive source called libido, in men especially.
Empowerment as a Christian comes only by being indwellt, owned, possessed by God the Holy Spirit.
The green new growth, so rewarding to this man, shows how his libido is being transferred.
He is no longer a "dry tree."
Drawing by a man in recovery from sexual addiction
Sexuality and Wholeness Papers
Christ in You
Wholeness of Person
In the Cross
How Jesus Saves
The Parable of the Tree and its Fruit (also called the Trees and their Fruit) is a parable of Jesus about testing a prophet. Similar passages appear in the New Testament in Matthew and Luke.
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruit. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:15–20)
"For a good tree brings not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks" (Luke 6:43-45)
In contrast to the works of the flesh, the Fruit of the Spirit is holy and will be evident in the life of a true follower of Jesus.
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Now the works (plural) of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit (singular) of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:16-26)
The Gardner in Luke 13 asks permission to dig around the roots of the tree (and to fertilize it with dung) for a second chance at fruit bearing. A reprieve is given for a season but if it bears no fruit, the Gardner, may cut it down. Do we not as Christians need God to break us loose from our comfort zone? We can not on our own bear any fruit of lasting value! Real life is Christ Jesus living His endless life through us. He can't do this without our permission. Second Peter shows us eight steps to knowing God</a. and bearing fruit throughout a life time.
Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours in the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature.
For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these things are yours and abound, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For whoever lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
Therefore, brethren, be the more zealous to confirm your call and election, for if you do this you will never fall; so there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:1-11)
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Jesus is a Single Man
The Lord is a Man of War
Deborah the Prophetess
The Exchanged Life
Circumcision and Purity of Heart
The End of Sex as we Know it
The Revirginized Bride
The Fiftieth Generation
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