The Olive Tree
I find stuff pouring out of me and think, where did that come from? Pray the LORD that it comes through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. And yet, I confess, I am often tawdry in acknowledging God and/or praying often for help as I write. That can be not only dangerous, but presumptuous and reflective not of His will, but my own ego and pride.
Many times I’m not sure, though you guys are never slow to step forward to get me to re-examine my premise. And I have come to deeply respect the wide body of R/R writers and the wider audience who read us.
It’s always a blessing to have someone email me and share a comment or two. I always write back, and we often have gone on to establish a dialogue and relationship brotherhood (sisters included in that statement obviously). Dang! I must be getting sensitive to all this gender nonsense.
AS I UNDERSTAND AND INTERPRET SCRIPTURE:
The premise I attempt to write from is that which I share with all R/R writers. We are, all of us, convicted and repentant sinners, given in brokenness to God through Yeshua, His Christ and designated paschal lamb.
We all speak of The Lamb who willingly followed his Father’s will. We collectively stand in awe of His sacrifice. We are consumed entirely by our understanding that He suffered indescribably unto death for our sins and that of every man, woman and child who would proclaim Him as the Savior of the World, who (in broken repentance) seek God through Him. In that action is our submission, ‘we plight thee our troth!’
The covenant contract is thus sealed as we place our trust in Him implicitly.
I utilized the words from the Marriage Service deliberately. In this declaration of betrothal, we know this Jesus (Yeshua) to be our bridegroom; and we, in our declaration of brokenness and repentance, proclaiming` Him with our lips, are His betrothed: we are His bride.
As His betrothed and shriven Bride, we are loved and adored and now lie completely under the arm of His protection. And that precisely is how we can confidently claim that He will (according to His promise) come for us to preserve us from the wrath which is to come.
“That fearful day, that day of speechless dread, when Thou shalt come to judge the quick and the dead – I shudder to foresee, O God! what then shall be! When Thou shalt come, angelic legions round, with thousand thousands, and with trumpet sound. Christ, grant me in the air, with saints to meet Thee there! Weep O my soul, ere that great hour and day, when God shall shine in manifest array, thy sin, that thou may’st be in that strict judgment, free.” – John M. Neale (1818-1866).
THE DISPENSATIONS ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF THE LORD:
I sincerely believe that God has always telegraphed his intentions to us by events and the actions of people which (as described throughout Scripture) were clearly to be seen, read and understood as a precursor to the advent of Jesus.
And so, I understand that if, for no other reason, this is why The Bible must be read literally. It contains many meals (to use an unusual metaphor perhaps). We therefore ‘consume’ it purposely and most assuredly, prayerfully, approaching it with humility and dedicated study.
I believe that we are one in our belief that, within these collected and reverently set scriptures, we clearly see the intention of the LORD toward His created being: man. It is ‘man’ whom He desired unto Himself, creating him in the image of the LORD. It is man He plans to restore through Jesus.
We, presently, remaining within our sinful, fallen state, lie far apart from the image of perfection He created us to be.
When we are restored, in purity, having ascended at the call of our bridegroom, surely, it is not simply our bodies that will be transcended, but also restoration to our original image?
Perhaps this can be better understood as the restoration of our first created ‘relationship’ with our Heavenly Father which He affectionately shared with the first man, Adam, in the Garden.
This Yeshua, to whom we have given of ourselves in repentant submission, is He whom the world now denies. He is ridiculed and loathed as the impediment to unbridled ‘freedom.’ The repentant believer understands perfectly what that means, ‘having been there – done that.’ It translates as a ‘free’ license to wallow in sin.
Yet Jesus/Yeshua (whichever you prefer) is the ‘Cornerstone’ of our belief. And we have The Bible as divinely inspired testimony to validate His claim that He is God Himself. When we espouse this claim, the World is convinced (from within the envelope of their spiritual blindness) that we are stark raving mad: fundamentalist believers of a disappearing cult that are increasingly suspected as being highly dangerous.
TRYING TO UNDERSTAND DISPENSATIONS:
It seems to me that the Bible could perhaps be compared to great circles within circles: linked, co-joined, leading from one time reference of events to another. Commonly referred to as Dispensations, a literal understanding of Scripture reveals that as one major Dispensation is concluded on the great journey God has planned, another immediately commences.
This analogy helps me to understand the importance of the Old Testament to the New. They are inseparable. Neither stands without the other.
Of course, such discourse is viewed as anathema to those who are dying or, indeed, are already spiritually dead. From the perspective of ‘today,’ I think that many of those calling themselves ‘pastors,’ although having been ordained, have become either new age gurus out to make a buck or two or else are dangerous apostates intent on doing the work of Satan.
If then, you are looking to point the finger at dangerous religious subversives, look to the latter. They have gathered millions of folk, many who claim to be true believers and brought them under the influence of reconstructed theology. They have become lost and are travelers on a road to Hell.
I am not a pastor. However, I am more than confident in my claim that these whitewashed sepulchers have nothing whatsoever in spiritual commonality with those true pastors who minister to us on Rapture Ready. What a joy it is to wait with much anticipation for the pearls they constantly share with us through the blessing of the Holy Spirit – always true to literally read and interpret Scripture.
In the former case though, The Bible is simply seen as the pretty outer-wrapping of the package that these religious charlatans sell to beguile the unwary. And we have to face the sad truth that millions have been deluded through their exposure to omission and false teaching.
I listened to one such on YouTube only yesterday as I searched for the rendition of a favorite hymn. Let’s call him ‘Pastor Alfonse Holy-Roller.’ He commenced his sermon by telling his congregation and YouTube at large, “That God spoke to me this morning and told me to…. !” Going on, he reiterated all these wonderful conversations that he was engaging in with The LORD. At that point, we parted company, but there are so many searching and too many too easily beguiled by such smoke and mirror claims.
I do make allowances, in Christian charity, to consider that in condemning such pastors outright, we need to understand that many young students of divinity were taught at some Bible College or religious university with falsely interpreted theology by allegedly august lecturers.
In their own ignorance, they have had little or no reason to challenge church doctrines and prevailing theological views. Taught early that the Old Testament is virtually an anachronism of the long dead past, it is increasingly ignored. And when touched on, only through the prism of allegory (through which one can arrive at virtually any conclusion one desires). This has proven an immensely important and strategic tool in helping to transfer the denominational church to an almost cultish medium that now has as its focus ‘Social Justice and The Environment.’
Don’t then even worry about eschatology. Prophecy, according to them, has been fulfilled by Jesus; and that in itself supports their hypothesis that the Old Testament is increasingly of little merit or value to the task of teaching students and reaching out to the wider congregant.
We go to the End of The Bible and arrive at Revelation. Ah ho! That’s also a ‘no, no!’ Almost impossible to teach to a dull-witted congregation and, of course, so much allegory that “Y’know…even we clerics have trouble with it…ha ha hah!”
Even after many years within a congregation, so many of us are still milk-fed, never having partaken of the real meat of Scripture. And that, friends, is a very dangerous situation to find yourself in. God help me; I was one of those and had no idea whatsoever of what I was missing out on.
The penny only dropped as I became increasingly interested in present Israel and commenced looking at how it related to ancient, fallen Israel. Then I was ‘foolish’ enough to start to look at a number of websites at which alternate insights into Scripture were provided, Rapture Ready being one of them. Finally I took my pastor to task but was told in no uncertain terms where I had erred – the inference being that Anglicanism knew all the correct answers and I should steer away from ‘false’ teachings. I prayed long and hard and have read much Scripture and commentaries to arrive at where I now stand.
I think deeply and lovingly upon those among my former fellow congregants. We listened patiently and, indeed, happily to the set sermons, never realizing the magnitude of that which had been denied us. You see, we had been conditioned to trust our pastors. And we did; we loved and provided for them and accepted what they said as being without blemish.
What did we know or understand about God’s plan for Israel? Virtually naught, although, in that conversation (I alluded to above), when I finally pinned down my pastor, I was told that the doctrine of my denomination’s allegorical interpretation of scripture invalidates all claims that present Israel had any relationship to that of God’s chosen people – that those Jews clearly returning from the great diaspora certainly have no claim to the Land and they, therefore, need to be seen as unlawful occupiers and usurpers.
By the by…don’t come away with the dangerous assumption that Satan cannot enter churches. He is more than familiar with them, and he knows Scripture intimately. He even quoted it to Jesus during the temptation.
It is not only doctrine that lies corrupted; the denominations have long been infiltrated by Satan’s minions. The very fact that we see denominational churches and bishoprics being led by ‘proud’ unrepentant and practicing sodomites and women who burn in lust for the flesh of other women as they apply the rites of Holy matrimony validates my criticism and sense of shame.
Many theologians mock those who ‘see’ the similarities between the Old covenant and the New. To them, the Old is dead and they are loathe to speak of it.
To admit the complete relativity of all Scripture, they would of necessity be forced to contemplate the fact that God indeed shows His hand through the medium of Dispensations. Truly, that ‘when one door closes, another opens.’
However, Rome and many of the Reformed Churches (locked as they are into centuries of apostasy) will never countenance either the Pentateuch or the entirety of the Old Testament as the basis upon which to understand theology and formulate doctrine.
The latter is a road they and their predecessors have spent many centuries trying to block. In fact, maybe it would be more accurate to say that, without their constant renunciation of prophetic judgment and doubt as to the integrity of the Old Testament, their own personal theology would not/could not ever have stood the test of time.
The OLD validates the NEW (completely and utterly). And of course, the circle of belief in which I move and write accepts without question that it is the vital under-carriage without which the divine narrative itself would collapse.
Simply put, it would be left without a proverbial leg to stand on. And so as we prayerfully study Scripture, reading and absorbing its message as God intended, we see the great mystery revealed in all its literacy. Tell me that our beloved Father intended otherwise?
THE OLIVE TREE:
Though a ‘work in progress’ from a prophetic standpoint, The Bible is the inspired narrative that describes the creation of the symbolic Olive Tree. The tree itself is representative of Jesus. As the Christ of God, Jesus is the only way to God Himself.
Upon this rock of our faith, we understand that, in speaking of the Olive Tree, Jesus was speaking of Himself as both Father and Son. Moreover, The Bible carefully and patiently informs the reader that the Olive Tree is the living tree of FAITH. Its branches are comprised of the faithful themselves, both Jew and Gentile, who have come or are still to come to our Savior and thus to God.
What better way to speak to a mostly pastoral audience than to speak of such a staple provider of life-saving sustenance as the Olive Tree.
Taking us Dispensation by Dispensation, The Bible describes how God created the seed that would become the Hebrew nation which He intended would be a people unto Himself and a nation of priests, tasked with the role of bringing the nations to Him by example.
In their utter failure of faith, the Jews would not accept and validate God’s promises to them (made through the Mosaic Covenant). Subsequently, almost from the time the Covenant was read to them, the Jews forsook true worship and abandoned Him. In doing so, the Jews perversely ignored the approved lifestyle set down in the stone of the Commandments God passed to them through Moses.
Instead, the embryonic Hebrew nation chose the faithless alternative of free will. Because of their choice, the branch that they represented began to reveal that it had become blighted with a spiritual disease leading to the two types of death: of the spirit within and the flesh without. Thus, a form of spiritual leprosy had set in within the greater congregation of the 12 Tribes.
Like us, they attended worship, gave of their personal largesse and participated in the divine sacrifice/s and Feast Days overseen by the High Priest. However, God saw immediately that it had quickly become a meaningless commitment. And as such, their ‘worship’ was rejected by our Father. Many warnings against their apostasy and besmirched lifestyle were given them – God sending a succession of great and powerful prophets to warn them. No only were they, in the main, ignored, many were executed.
The Hebraic tribes of now national Israel (having, in the main, defeated and driven out the former nations) freely embraced the curse that comprised the distaff side of the Covenant. Embracing the very gods and practices that caused God to cast out those former nations, the promises inherent for them in the Mosaic Covenant gave way to the curses.
They sacrificed their firstborn sons by passing them over the maw of the Canaanite God, Moloch, to be consumed by fire. And contrary to God’s command that they not intermarry midst the heathen peoples lest they absorb their pagan ways, they did so and paid the penalty of seeing the purity of their set-apart status sullied and destroyed.
Their apostasy continued down the centuries, coming to a head with their refusal to accept that their Messiah had at last come amongst them. Having become blind through their falling away, the Jews could not ‘see’ that Jesus was sent by God to bring the Law alive. And they failed utterly to see Him as the prophetic, paschal sacrifice that God had ordained to bring all in repentance back to Him.
His teaching that God (whose name even could not be mentioned by Jews) wanted them to understand that, through faith in Himself as Savior Messiah, their broken and repentant hearts could be forgiven was totally beyond their power to understand.
Even much later, when the gospel of Jesus and the apostolic writings confirmed Him as the paschal lamb, they remained convinced by the conspiring of the High Priest and the Sanhedrin that He had been simply ‘another false prophet.’ And as I noted previously, the Jews had a long history of dealing with those purporting to be prophetic messengers. They usually killed them as they would ultimately do with this Nazarene whom the Sanhedrin maintained was simply another messianic.
One wonders that, following the confirmation of the Holy Spirit upon the assembled apostles and the five thousand converted in one day, how many subsequently stayed the distance? Many were Jews from all over the known world who had come to Jerusalem for Passover.
The result, as well we know, is that Jews were, over time, ultimately removed (for the apostasy of their long centuries of disobedience) from the Olive Tree.
They had become dead branches, twisted with the blight caused directly by the spiritual leprosy of denial. In their exercise of self-will, delighting in pursuit of the flesh (just like this generation), they had become useless and unproductive. They retained the law but it was now symptomatic of their faithlessness. Thus they were condemned by it. And for the centuries long past, up to this very day, they remain condemned under it.
We should take a lesson from their apostasy and waywardness. Only through true worship and a personal relationship with God through Jesus, His Son, is both our spirit renewed and our flesh made acceptable through His Holy Spirit. Otherwise we become rubbish to be burned, having no other purpose but to be consumed.
If you find this course unacceptable in your pride and arrogance of personal spirit, remind yourself that any potter, dissatisfied with the way the wet clay has spun out, simply returns it to a wet blob of inanimate nothingness and starts again.
And so, the law has become an intolerable burden to the Jew, and such is their present spiritual blindness, that many of them have come to believe that restoration of the system of animal sacrifice (long ago replaced by the death of the true paschal lamb) will bring them back into a true relationship with God.
Yet, God knows that, in their heart-of-hearts, within their deepest longing, their souls cry out for reconciliation with Him through the loving, spiritual embrace of their promised Messiah.
They are, however, as blind today as they were at the beginning when they first began to forsake the terms of the Covenant. For they still cannot accept that He came to them but they knew Him not.
The light at the end of the tunnel is, however, that their spiritual blindness is shortly to be undone.
THE TRUNK DEDUDED OF FOLIAGE:
What was left when the Jewish branches were removed? Only a nurtured root and trunk with very little growth out of the trunk. Yet God had no intention of permitting the trunk itself to wither and die. How could He, God, through Jesus, being the trunk.
And then came the unexpected. With the advent, life and sacrifice of Jesus for sin, God subsequently grafted in the branches of new growth, as personified by the church taken to the Gentiles and some Jews who, in faith and trust, built the Christian Church.
We now were left with a lopsided tree. On one side we had the true church of believers – not the present institutionalized thing with all its pagan trappings and deliberate omissions and falsifications – but that grafted into the living root through its spiritually consecrated trunk (Jesus).
Their acceptance by the trunk of the tree (Jesus) was granted them through faith in His power to save. Their faith was thus spiritually validated (by the Holy Spirit). And it was personified by their brokenhearted repentance for their years of denial and the surfeit of sin burden that had bowed them down and subdued them almost unto spiritual death. The real death of eternal separation.
Yet Jesus said that this Olive Tree (of faith) was to bloom and grow much fruit over its entirety. However, this could only happen when the branches previously removed were pruned of their corruption and, in the reconciliation that would take place out of restored faith through the acceptance of and trust in Jesus, would finally be grafted back into the trunk.
When this occurred, the restored Olive Tree, watered and nurtured by God, would be resplendent as the glory of God shone upon it. And at that time, the restored/reconciled Jewish nation (their enemies overcome by God Himself), would truly inherit His promise that they would become a light to the deeply chastened nations. Reconciled Israel would lead all nations from denial of Jesus unto God. This is the longed for reconciliation. This truly will be the end of their spiritual diaspora. Thanks be to God to whom belongs the Glory!
GOING HOME, GOING HOME; WE ARE GOING HOME!
We know that we who are shortly to be suddenly called Home are to be the ‘wake-up’ trumpet to the Jews. We are the great catalyst that will fill the Jews with jealousy and, thereupon, with shame, chagrin and mortification as they see Jesus at last – Him whom they had in sin, rejected.
Does your heart burst with joy even at the concept of this? Your eyes should fill with tears, whether in Heaven or remaining in flesh, to bear witness to this wonderful event of reconciliation, when the Savior of the true remnant brings them home to Himself.
That Golden Day that dawns on grief and pain,
that day of love that calls them home again.
(paraphrasing of an old song of early last century, ‘The Great Red Dawn.’
Paul to the Romans 11:11-31, English Standard Version (ESV)
Gentiles Grafted In
“So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!
“Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? If the dough offered as first fruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, ‘Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.’ That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.
“Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.
The Mystery of Israel’s Salvation
“Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
‘The Deliverer will come from Zion;
He will banish ungodliness from Jacob,”
and this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.’
“As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”
Through the testimony of the Two Witnesses, concurrent with the emergence of the man of perdition (Anti-Christ), the horror and awfulness of the Tribulation, the final call to both Jew and Gentile, will go out. This will take place amidst great suffering such as the world has never experienced since the Flood. Out of the horror, many of those remaining in the World, though suffering through the impact of the Tribulation, are prophesied to give themselves to Jesus.
Those who will come are the last, but they come in the most dire of circumstances. And then, as the wrath of God falls upon those condemned in their steadfast denial, He who was rejected comes suddenly to call restored Jacob and Judah to Himself in reconciliation. The entire passing World will witness this, such will be the Majesty of His coming. Thus is the Olive Tree finally restored to its destined glory.
Praise God, to whom belongs the Glory!