May 6, 2001 am
MF Blume

Romans 11:16-21  For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

Note the braggadocios attitude that is warned against in this discussion of a warning about being broken off the tree.

John 15:1-13  I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
John 15:13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Matthew 7:1  Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Matthew 7:13-20  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Compare Matthew 7:1 with 7:20.

Don't judge the person, judge their fruit.

ALL OF THESE passages speak the same message.

This takes us back to the Garden of Eden. Grapes and figs or thistles and thorns?

Back in Romans 11, Paul taught that we were broken off the wild olive tree, so to speak, and grafted onto the pleasant Olive tree.

Notice that Jesus contrasts fig trees with thorn trees? Both are in the same chapter!

Inside the Garden were fig trees.

Speaking of the "Jewish branches" in Romans 11, Notice this:
Romans 11:20  Well; because of unbelief they were broken off,

Hebrews 3:18-19  And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Both the Jewish branches of people and the elder generation of Hebrews in the Exodus, who doubted that they could enter Canaan, were left dead in the wilderness due to unbelief.

The Garden of Eden and the Promised Land represent the same place where God wants us to dwell today!

The Kingdom is like a place of safety and blessing where the wise man builds his house and the storms of life cannot destroy it. Think of this:

If Jesus is the Olive Tree, the grape vine, the fig tree, then who is the thorn bush, the thistle tree, the corrupt tree?

Who came to give us life? What tree did God want Adam to eat of? What tree would bring death? Who wanted Eve to eat of that tree? I declare that "branch people" who produce thorns and thistles are extensions of Satan as much as loving, kind and forbearing people are branches of Christ. The fig tree was always a picture of safety and shelter for God's people.  And the vine and its grapes also show that thought.

After all, the fig tree was in the Garden, specifically!

So reminiscent of the new world into which the ark carried Noah, we read in Song of Solomon:

Song of Solomon 2:10-13  My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
Noah had to leave the old world of sinners in order to hear these words from God! The fig and the grape vine is noted particularly.

Figures of blessings and goodness... of the new world and a veritable Garden of Eden!

God rebukes Jerusalem and says this:

Jeremiah 8:12-13  Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD. I will surely consume them, saith the LORD: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them.
Remember the point about being in the Garden and thrown out due to eating the wrong fruit. Grapes and figs, or thistles and thorns?

Just as if the branches were broken off, the figs don't grow and the grapes cannot grow.

What is it that causes the figs to grow and the grapes to grow?

Be honest with yourself. Are you really happy?

Notice that after speaking about fruit on a branch, we read about joy being full.

Its no wonder that the fruit of the Spirit includes JOY.

Galatians 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Something else it includes:  LOVE and PEACE. Getting along with everyone!

One thing I have strived to do is to get along with people whose personalities may clash with my own.

Romans 14:19 is saying if you cannot get along with everyone, then you're out of the kingdom. IT IS GOOD The kind of peace that causes you to sacrifice that thing you do that you know offends him, for your brother . Love as Jesus loved. Love the way Jesus loved.
John 15:12  This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Notice this is divine love!

We cannot produce it in our selves.

We need a lot of patience and consoling to be able to be like this!

Think of this! The only way we can love the way Jesus loved is to be connected to His power of Love as a branch is connected to a vine. I want to be a part of this Garden of God!

It was distinctly said to be FIG LEAVES that Adam tore off a tree, letting us know there were fig trees in the Garden.

The promised land was a picture of the garden too, and the spies specifically brought grapes of Eshcol back to the people from the land!

What is God trying to tell us?

Was it not thorns that pressed upon my Saviour's brow, when the hateful people crucified Jesus? I cannot judge any person.

But Paul told us that there is one thing we must make sure we always judge.

Romans 14:13  Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
We cannot hammer each other over who we think is lost or saved.

But there is one thing Paul told us to hammer and hammer in good shape:  no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way!

The dear old saint who sees a "newbie" or a "newcomer", as they like to call them, and pops off an attitude to these new converts in a malicious manner, ought to have that attitude judged in good shape about not putting a stumblingblock in his brother's way!

What was the goal of us in loving each other in this grand way of sacrifice that Paul noted?

Romans 15:6  That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The only way we can do this is to each abide in the vine and let the supernatural love of Christ come through us like grapes and figs being produced on branches.
Isai 62:10-12  Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.
The cities of refuge were for those who would run for shelter. The earth receives rain whether it brings forth herbs or thorns. How many want to be like the Garden of God?