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8th of the 4th month 2022/2023
Romiyim/Romans 6:20-22 “For when you were servants of sin, you were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit, therefore, were you having then, over which you are now ashamed? For the end thereof is death. 22 But now, having been set free from sin, and having become servants of Elohim, you have your fruit resulting in set-apartness, and the end, everlasting life.”
Having been set free from sin, we ought to be having the fruit of our lives resulting in complete set-apartness unto Elohim; yet, we need to asl ourselves if this is the case?
As we consider how our lives are to be overflowing with the abundant fruit of righteousness and peace, we need to allow the mirror of The Word to show us what state our fruit is in check if our required fruit is either lacking, or possibly, has become spoilt! .
The Greek word that is translated as ‘fruit’ is καρπός karpos – Strong’s G2590 which means, ‘fruit, benefit, gain, harvest, produce’ and typically refers to fruit that has been plucked, rendering the figurative meaning of the labours, works or acts of those who have fitted themselves with every good work unto everlasting life. .
What we can therefore clearly understand and establish, is that our works of righteousness are vital, in being evident in our lives, as we continue to produce much fruit, as a people who are living pure and undefiled set-apart lives. .
A few years ago, I gave a message on ‘bringing fruit to perfection’, and our need to make sure that our lives are producing the good and functional fruit of righteousness, as we walk steadfast in our obedience to our Master and King, יהושע Messiah! .
יהושע Messiah tells us that we are known, or rather, shall be known by our fruit, and while we might think of fruit being very ripe and delicious, we must realise that there is often fruit that is rotten or spoilt, due to varying factors. .
The Hebrew equivalent for this Greek word for fruit, καρπός karpos – Strong’s G2590, is the noun פְּרִי peri – Strong’s H6529 which means, ‘fruit, produce’ and comes from the root verb פָּרָה parah – Strong’s H6509 which means, ‘to bear fruit, be fruitful, flourish’. .
This word פְּרִי peri – Strong’s H6529 certainly speaks of the physical fruit of trees and shrubs that bear fruit in which there is a seed according to its kind, i.e., fruit with kernels, hence the fruit produces more fruit. .
This word is also used figuratively, as a reference to children, being the fruit of the womb; yet what we also find, as a repeated theme throughout Scripture, is that this term for fruit, refers many times to the meaning of, “the result of an action”; or better understood as, “works”.
Our lives, as set-apart children of Elohim, ought to be bearing the fruit of repentance – which is a clear resulting action of turning away from all falsehood and wickedness, and turning to righteousness:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 3:8 “Bear, therefore, fruits worthy of repentance”.
Understanding that fruits are the result of an action, we must also take heed that we do not bear bad fruit, which may be brought forth as a result of wrong actions, such as disobedience or compromise or lawlessness and unrighteousness!
When we walk according to the Spirit, we will bear the fruit of the Spirit and not be given over to the desires of the flesh and have the fruit of fleshly living present! .
Fruit does not just pop into one’s life, as it is a result of an action, and we are to be bearing good fruit, hence the clear understanding that we are to be ‘doing’ the good works of obedience that have been prepared beforehand for us to do – and that is: to walk in the clear commands of Elohim, guarding to do all He has commanded us!.
We are known, or rather, we shall be known by our fruit:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:16-23 “By their fruits you shall know them. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 “So every good tree yields good fruit, but a rotten tree yields wicked fruit. 18 “A good tree is unable to yield wicked fruit, and a rotten tree to yield good fruit. 19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 “So then, by their fruits you shall know them – 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Master, Master,’ shall enter into the reign of the heavens, but he who is doing the desire of My Father in the heavens. 22 “Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name?’ 23 “And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!’”.
Many mighty works that many will claim as good works, will be simply revealed as wicked works or rather, wicked fruits, for wicked fruit is brought forth from the resulting actions of lawlessness, whereas the good fruit of righteousness, is brought forth from the resulting action of complete obedience and set-apartness of walking in and staying in the commands of Elohim!.
As the value of a tree is estimated by its products, so righteousness that is displayed in acts/works, is a decisive standard for the just judgment of Elohim:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 3:10 “And the axe is already laid to the root of the trees. Every tree, then, which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”.
The one who is unfruitful, has been clearly warned of being rejected, and if this warning is not taken heed of, the clear sentence of being cut off is clear, as we see in the following parable of our Master:
Luqas/Luke 13:6-9 “And He spoke this parable, “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 “And he said to the gardener, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down, why does it even make the ground useless?’ 8 “And he answering, said to him, ‘Master, leave it this year too, until I dig around it and throw manure. 9 ‘And if indeed it bears fruit, good. But if not so, you shall cut it down.’”.
When we remain steadfast, in walking in complete obedience to the Torah and instructions and commands of our Master and Elohim, we are guaranteed that we shall bear fruit that lasts!.
In speaking of the man who delights in, and meditates, day and night on, the Torah of Elohim, and who does not sit with scoffers, stand with sinners, nor walk in the counsel of the wrong, shall be as Dawiḏ tells us, in:
Tehillah/Psalm 1:3 “For he shall be as a tree Planted by the rivers of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither, and whatever he does prospers.”.
The resulting action of daily meditating on the Torah, and delighting in it, while staying clear of falsehood and twisted lawlessness, will be the good fruit of righteousness, that is needed at any given moment!
Yirmeyahu tells us the same thing:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in יהוה, and whose trust is יהוה. 8 “For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and does not see when heat comes. And his leaf shall be green, and in the year of drought he is not anxious, nor does he cease from yielding fruit.”.
With the clear picture of fruit in our minds, I would like to take a look at a passage in Yirmeyahu, in a message called, ‘RIPE OR SPOILT – WHICH BASKET ARE YOU IN?’, wherein I would like to remind you how we are to be a people who remain in our Master and are continually bearing the abundant fruit of righteousness!.
Please read Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 24.
Throughout the book of Yirmeyahu, we see a number of visions that the prophet is given from יהוה.
Visions that contain some very clear object lessons, that Yirmeyahu would have had to relate to a people who, at large, were unwilling to listen nor take heed, of the words of warning, rebuke, reproof and correction from Elohim.
יהוה had shown Yirmeyahu a boiling pot, an almond branch, a linen girdle, and on a trip to the potter’s house, broken clay pots.
יהוה had always used something that the people would be able to understand and relate to.
While the visions and messages would be clear, most of the time, most of the people refused to hear and remained stubborn and stiff-necked. .
Now here, in Chapter 24, Yirmeyahu is given yet another vision, and this time it is of two baskets of figs that were set before the Hěḵal of יהוה.
These two baskets of figs represented two groups of people.
Two distinct groups that represented a huge division in Yirmeyahu’s day, and a huge division that still exists before us today.
A division of two groups of people, that will be separated and dealt with, at the coming of our Master and King, with each group being given their reward, each according to its work!.
In a time of great distress, Yirmeyahu is given this clear vision, as a great source of encouragement, along with a stern rebuke and warning, for those who lack the true fruit of righteousness!
With these two baskets being found before the Hěḵal of יהוה, we are also given a prophetic glimpse into the coming reward for the righteous, as well as the judgement that is coming upon the unrighteous. .
The first fruit of figs were usually offered up at the Temple/ Hěḵal of יהוה at Sukkoth, and so, here we are able to see the ‘time of selecting’ these two baskets coinciding with that which will take place before Sukkoth – and that is: from the time of Yom Teruah to Yom Kippur, where there will be a clear separation of sheep and goats, highlighting a clear separation of those who are marked for eternity and those who are marked for destruction!.
Mattithyahu/Matthew 25:31-36 “And when the Son of Aḏam comes in His esteem, and all the set-apart messengers with Him, then He shall sit on the throne of His esteem. 32 “And all the nations shall be gathered before Him, and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats. 33 “And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 “Then the Sovereign shall say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the reign prepared for you from the foundation of the world – 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, 36 was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me.’”.
I find this text very fitting, with that which we have just read from Yirmeyahu, as we are able to pick up the clear reference to that which is edible and good, and that which is not able to be eaten and is wicked!
This passage goes on to describe how the righteous will ask how they fed the Master when He was hungry, as well as how the unrighteous will ask when did they see Him hungry!
While this text goes on in describing thirst, clothing and further care, I am simply mentioning the ‘eating’ part, for practical lessons contained herein, in connection with the vision of Yirmeyahu and the separation of baskets! .
The Greek word that is translated here as ‘separate’ is ἀφορίζω aphorizō – Strong’s G873 which means, ‘to mark off by boundaries, ostracise, separate, set-apart’ and comes from the two words:
1 – ἀπό apo – Strong’s G575 which is a preposition and primitive particle, that means, ‘from, away from, against’ and
2 – ὁρίζω horizon – Strong’s G3724 which means, ‘predetermined, fixed, appointed, to mark off by boundaries’..
What is very clear, throughout Scripture, is that we are called to come out and be separate. If we do not heed this call to come out and be separate, then we may find ourselves among those whom the Messengers of יהוה will ‘separate’ from the congregation!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:49-50 “Thus shall it be at the end of the age: the messengers shall come forth, and separate the wicked out of the midst of the righteous, 50 and shall throw them into the furnace of fire – there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”.
The choice is very clear – separate yourself from all foreign worship and its practices or you will be separated for destruction and thrown into outer darkness!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 25:30 “And throw the worthless servant out into the outer darkness – there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”.
Fruit is something that is to be eaten, and only good nourishing fruit is able to be eaten and cause many to be sustained, while fruit that is rotten and unbearable is no good and can only be thrown out and destroyed! .
Good edible figs, speak of a people who bear the pure fruit of righteousness, and peace, to perfection, while bad figs, that cannot be eaten, speak of those who bear the ugly fruit of rebellion and unrighteousness..
Yirmeyahu had been warning the people for about 20 years, regarding יהוה’s coming judgement.
The majority of the people ignored his warnings and refused to turn back to יהוה.
They had become so hardened, that his continual warnings meant nothing!
And so, they just carried on in their rebellion against יהוה, doing as they pleased, while rejecting the needed return to a proper obedience to His Torah..
Judgement had now come!
And it came through Neḇuḵaḏretstsar, king of Baḇelon, who invaded and attacked Yerushalayim.
יהוה had told the people that He didn’t want then to run away or try to escape.
He didn’t want them to be left behind; and He wanted them to submit to Baḇelon and go into exile.
Many were carried away into exile, while others avoided capture and ended up staying, and still, others fled to Mitsrayim..
From the human perspective, the people who avoided exile, must have thought that they were the lucky ones who avoided the capture that would last 70 years, and were probably very proud of themselves, for not getting caught.
Perhaps they were sad about their brothers and sisters who were captured, yet thought that they had escaped discipline and destruction..
In verse 1 we are told that Neḇuḵaḏretstsar had exiled the sovereign of Yehuḏah, Yeḵonyahu, along with the heads, craftsmen and smiths.
In other words, all the leadership and skilled tradesmen of Yehuḏah had been taken to Baḇel..
As we consider the description given to Yirmeyahu, regarding these two baskets of figs that were found at the Hěḵal of יהוה, we are able to see a clear warning being given, against those who do not bear true fruit of righteousness, while a clear encouragement being given, to those who obey and submit to יהוה, even under the threat of exile!.
Two baskets – two groups – a clear separation!
What is interesting and worth taking note of, is how this vision shows us that these two baskets were both before the Hěḵal of יהוה, and what we see today, is how so many people think that they are ripe and fine “before the Hěḵal of יהוה”, so to speak, when in fact, they are nothing but rotten and evil! .
So many people today assume that they are all fine and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with their worship, while their lives are completely riddled with selfishness and the muddied compromise of mixed worship! .
In Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 7, there is a clear warning from יהוה, telling them not to use false words and say ‘This is the Hěḵal of יהוה, the Hěḵal of יהוה’, when the rest of their lives are filled with deceit and compromise. .
Many people may try to put on a display of a ‘form of worship’, yet they lack the true power of complete obedience, in living set-apart lives unto יהוה.
The question we need to always be able to answer, as we live our lives in total set-apartness is;
WHAT BASKET AM I IN?.
Before anyone simply assumes to be in the ripe and good basket, they must make sure that their lives are in complete submission to The Word of Elohim and that they remain in יהושע Messiah, through a total obedience of walking in His commands, in order that He remain in them and is able to present them as acceptable and good, before the Father, without shame!
Marqos/Mark 8:38 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinning generation, of him the Son of Aḏam also shall be ashamed when He comes in the esteem of His Father with the set-apart messengers.”.
In verse 2 Yirmeyahu begins to explain what he sees:
The one basket had good figs, like figs that are first ripe, while the other basket had figs that were very spoilt and were unable to be eaten!.
The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘good’, is טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2896 and carries the meaning, ‘pleasant, good, agreeable, beautiful, to be pleasing, done well’.
In the true understanding of this word טוֹב toḇ, we can see that it may best be translated, in most cases, as ‘functional’ – for יהוה said, in Berěshith/Genesis 1:31, that when He saw all that He had made, He said it was very good.
What He saw, was His creation functioning properly and working the way it should and this is why it was ‘good’. .
In the ancient pictographic script, the root word טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2896 is pictured as follows:.
Tet – ט:
The original pictograph for this letter is , a container made of wicker or clay. Containers were a very important item among the nomadic Hebrews. They were used for storing grains and other items. Wicker baskets were used as nets for catching fish. The meanings of this letter are basket, contain, store and clay..
Waw – וֹ:
The ancient pictographic form of this letter is , a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items.
The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’.....
Beyt – ב:
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself..
From this pictographic rendering, we are able to learn and see that: .
We, as clay vessels, are made secure through the Blood of Messiah, that holds for us a secure covenant promise, of being made complete in Him and becoming the Dwelling Place of the Most-High – where He that is Good – The Potter – may dwell with those He has created and called by name!.
As we look at these letters, we find a great revelation in terms of the Good News (Besorah) or rather ‘טוֹב toḇ News’!
The way we, as ‘clay vessels’, are secured into the House of Elohim is by being secured by the peg!
Listen to what it says in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 22:22-24 “And I shall place the key of the house of Dawiḏ on his shoulder. And he shall open, and no one shuts; and shall shut, and no one opens. 23 ‘And I shall fasten him like a peg in a steadfast place, and he shall become a throne of esteem to his father’s house. 24 ‘And they shall hang on him all the weight of his father’s house, the offspring and the offshoots, all vessels of small quantity, from the cups to all the jars.”
We know that this is a great picture of how through יהושע Messiah we are fastened in a steadfast place!
Ezra 9:8 “But now, for a short while, favour has been shown from יהוה our Elohim, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His set-apart place, that our Elohim might enlighten our eyes and give us a little reviving in our bondage.”.
This again, is a wonderful promise given amidst a time of bondage – that a peg is given in His set-apart place – a great picture of the loving-commitment and compassion יהוה has for His called-out nation, that while the ‘House of Elohim’ had been neglected and broken down He would bring the necessary means to ‘secure’ His covenanted people to His House that he builds by His design!
It is through the work of Messiah, who has become the very ‘peg’ that secures us and adds us, the clay vessels, to His House!.
The Word of Elohim made flesh – The Living Torah, יהושע Messiah, came down and secured for us the ability to be made into the House that He Elohim shall dwell in forever!
His House/Dwelling Place is built by His design and His plan and so when we see how that we are the ‘Dwelling Place’ of the Most-High, then we are able to get a clearer understanding that we are built up according to His plans as instructed in His Torah that was given through Mosheh and revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Messiah. .
Just as the Tabernacle in the Wilderness had to be built exactly according to the pattern shown to Mosheh on the mountain of the true heavenly Tabernacle, so too do we need to recognise that the only way we can be built up into being the True Dwelling Place of Elohim is through carefully following His instructions as we walk in and stay in Messiah – The Living Torah..
When something is working properly, we might say today something like, ‘working like a well-oiled machine’, when speaking of that which is functioning the way it should and the way it was designed to. So then, the Hebrew word טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2896, in the true sense of the word, expresses the idea that something is ‘good’, when it is fulfilling the action for which a person or thing is specifically fitted or used, or for which something exists. In other words, it refers to something that functions within its intended purpose!.
The opposite of טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2896 (good) is ‘evil’, which in Hebrew is the word, רַע ra – Strong’s H7451 meaning, ‘bad, evil, wicked, harmful’.
The tree of knowledge in the garden was of טוֹב toḇ (good) and רַע ra (evil)!..
The Hebrew root word translated here, in Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 24:2 as ‘spoilt’ is רַע ra – Strong’s H7451 which means, ‘bad, evil, wicked, harmful’.
Just as we understand that טוֹב toḇ represents that which is ‘functional’, we can then see that רַע ra represents that which is ‘dysfunctional’, which simply put, speaks of that which reveals an abnormal and unhealthy lifestyle that is not functioning as it should.
We may often think something is good, yet if it is not being ‘functional’, according to the plumb line of the Torah of יהוה, then we had best be careful to consider our steps as we may just find that our walk has not been good at all!!! .
We are told that this basket’s figs were ‘very’ spoilt, and the Hebrew root word for ‘very’ is מְאֹד me’oḏ – Strong’s H3966 which carries the meaning of, ‘muchness, abundance, diligently, exceedingly, excessive, fully, immense’, which is simply emphasising just how rotten, spoilt and wicked these figs were. .
These spoilt figs were so bad, that when we are told that they were ‘so spoilt’, we see that this last ‘spoilt’, in this verse, is translated from the Hebrew word רֹעַ roa – Strong’s H7455 which means, ‘badness, evil’..
The good figs were as ‘first ripe’, which is the Hebrew word בִּכּוּרָה bikkurah – Strong’s H1063 which means, ‘the first ripe fig, earliest fruit’, which comes from the Hebrew root word בָּכַר baḵar – Strong’s H1069 which means, ‘to bear new fruit, to constitute as first born’. .
This further emphasises how we, who are ‘in’ Messiah and stay ‘in’ Him, are to be bearing the fruit of righteousness, and giving our best. .
These first ripe figs were the best pickings, the most sought after, and this pictures for us how we are to always be giving our best unto Elohim, giving Him our all.
We know that the first is always an assurance for the whole that is to come, and so it is with us – as we give our best unto Elohim, we are declaring that we will always do so, as we live as a daily living sacrifice, bearing the good fruit of righteousness that will cause us to be gathered into His good basket, as one in Him! .
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘basket’ comes from the root word דּוּד duḏ – Strong’s H1731 which means, ‘basket, pot, jar, kettle’ and interestingly, it comes from the root word דּוֹד doḏ – Strong’s H1730 which means, ‘beloved’, further emphasising how we are to remain in The Beloved and He will remain in us – when we bear ripe good fruit!.
The bad fruit or spoilt figs, represents that which is rotten – fruit that is past picking, never been of any use, as it is now so spoilt and rotten!.
In verse 3, יהוה asks Yirmeyahu what he saw and Yirmeyahu responds by declaring that he indeed saw 2 baskets, the good figs that were very good and the spoilt were so spoilt that they could not be eaten.
This is a wonderful confirmation of how Yirmeyahu was attentive to what יהוה was showing him, and is a good lesson for us today, teaching us to always being attentive to what The Word of Elohim is showing us.
There are many people today who are hearing but not hearing, as they may have the appearance of listening to The Word, while when asked what they had just been told or shown, they cannot actually relate what was spoken or taught to them!.
After having responded positively, Yirmeyahu could receive further explanation and insight regarding the vision and this, in itself, is a powerful lesson for us, teaching us how important it is for us to be looking intently into the mirror of The Word, having attentive ears to hear The Word and not forget what one has heard and looked into, for then we are equipped to receive greater insight and revelation..
From verse 4-10 we are then given the explanation of the vision, where יהוה makes it clear to Yirmeyahu that those who have gone into exile will be acknowledged!!!
They will be acknowledged because they obeyed! .
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘acknowledge’ is אַכִּיר akkiyr which comes from the root verb נָכַר naḵar – Strong’s H5234 which means, ‘to regard, recognise, acknowledge, discern, distinguish’.
This root verb conveys the idea of ‘inspecting’ or ‘looking over’ something, with the intention to recognise what it is.
This verb נָכַר naḵar – Strong’s H5234 can also be used to mean, ‘take notice of’ or ‘pay attention’ and the third use of this verb can be used in the sense of ‘recognising something’ that was formerly known.
A person might be recognised by another by observation, be it in the sound of their voice or by their clothes etc.
This root נָכַר naḵar – Strong’s H5234 is also used to give the meaning of ‘acknowledge’, as a father would acknowledge the rights of the firstborn son etc.
It is written in the ‘causative tense’, highlighting that יהוה shall be caused to take notice of the good figs, which represented those who obeyed and went into exile!.
Our Father knows our doings!
This root verb נָכַר naḵar – Strong’s H5234 is translated as ‘known’ in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 20:11 “Even a child is known by his deeds, whether his work is clear and right.”
Our Father knows whether our fruit is good or spoilt!
Those who bear fruit worthy of repentance, by walking in obedience to the Torah of Elohim, are known by the Master, for they love Him.
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:19 “However, the solid foundation of Elohim stands firm, having this seal, “יהוה knows those who are His,” and, let everyone who names the Name of Messiah turn away from unrighteousness.”.
He is further told that this exile was for their own good!
The understanding of these words carries great insight for us, as we recognise here, that this disciplining of יהוה was necessary, so as to bring His people back to Him, and that they would serve Him with all their heart. .
We too can learn from this, that while we may not always like the much-needed discipline, it is necessary and it will cause us to reap a great reward, if we submit to proper the disciplining that is required!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:11 “And indeed, no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but grievous, but afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Discipline yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who submit to it and follow in it!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘discipline’ is παιδεία paideia – Strong’s G3809 which means, ‘the repairing of a child, training, discipline’.
It is used 6 times in the Renewed Writings (N.T.), 4 of which is used in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12 which deals with our need, as children of the Most-High, to accept the much-needed discipline of a Loving Father!
It is also used in Sha’ul’s letter to Timotiyos and translated as ‘instruction’ in:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is breathed by Elohim and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for setting straight, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of Elohim might be fitted, equipped for every good work.”
We need the Word to instruct us in righteousness; and to despise the instruction and discipline of the Word is foolish, and as mentioned already – fools die for lack of discipline!.
In verse 6-7, יהוה sets forth the clear promises given to the basket of good ripe fruit:
He firstly says that He will set His eyes upon them!
This alone speaks of a redemption and a restoration!
It is by the blood of Messiah, that we are able to come near to the throne of favour and find help in our time of need, and we recognise that this is not of our own work, but only by that which Elohim Himself has done for us!
His loving-commitment endures forever! .
He then promises to bring them back, which in the Hebrew, we take note that the root word for ‘bring back’ is שׁוּב shuḇ – Strong’s H7725 which means, ‘to turn back, return, repent, recover’, and it is written in the hiphil active, which can render this as meaning, ‘cause to return’.
In Tehillim/Psalm 19:7 we are told that The Torah of יהוה is perfect, bringing back the being.
It is by His Word and His instructions that He ‘causes us’ to turn back to Him, after turning away from sin and wickedness!.
In the ancient pictographic script, the Hebrew word שׁוּב shuḇ – Strong’s H7725 is written as follows:.
Shin – שׁ:
As already discussed, this is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as, , which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.
Waw/Vav – וּ:
This is the Hebrew letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ which in the ancient script is pictured as , which is a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’..
Beyt – ב:
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself..
When we understand the combination of these pictures, as rendering ‘a returning or repentance’, we are able to recognise that the teeth, which speaks of a ‘pressing’, and the picture of the peg that ‘secures’, and the house, which speaks of ‘dwelling’, we are able to understand this representing the following: .
THE SECURE DWELLING PLACE
THAT IS TO BE RETURNED TO.
This word, שׁוּב shuḇ – Strong’s H7725, in the ancient form, represents for us a:
RETURNING TO THE SECURE HOUSE
WHERE WE ARE FED,
AS WE MEDITATE ON THE WORD OF THE HOUSE.
While this certainly represents for us a clear understanding of true repentance, which entails a proper return, by diligently meditating upon the Word of Elohim and being washed through His Word, we certainly recognise how many may claim to return, or repent, yet their disobedience and inability to submit and obey reveals that their repentance is merely a lip service that is given in the hope of getting something favourable back in return..
When the Pharisees and crowds came out to see Yoḥanan immersing he asked them a clear question:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 3:7-8 “And seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his immersion, he said to them, “Brood of adders! Who has warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 “Bear, therefore, fruits worthy of repentance”.
Luqas/Luke 3:7-8 “He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be immersed by him, “Brood of adders, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 “Therefore bear fruit worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Aḇraham as our father.’ For I say to you that Elohim is able to raise up children to Aḇraham from these stones.”
Many may certainly ‘return’ and seek to be immersed while their lives did not display the proper fruit forty of repentance. .
The Greek word that is translated as ‘repent’ is μετανοέω metanoeō – Strong’s G3340 which means, ‘to change one’s mind or purpose, to repent, relent’ and involves a complete change in one’s attitude and thought..
Those who continue to walk according to the flesh may find themselves desperately seeking the inheritance and promises of Elohim, and even do so with tears, yet they find no place for true repentance from dead works, like Ěsaw!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:15-17 “See to it that no one falls short of the favour of Elohim, that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, by which many become defiled, 16 lest there be anyone who whores, or profane one, like Ěsaw, who for a single meal sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wished to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it with tears.”
Many tears are not necessarily a clear and true sign of repentance!
Turning away from dead works to serve the Living Elohim in sincerity and Truth, bearing fruit worthy of repentance is what is required!.
Many ‘return with tears’, yet fail to change their lifestyles, rejecting the need to walk in Covenant by guarding the commands and Elohim and think that their prayers are still going to be heard!
Tehillah/Psalm 50:16-17 “But to the wrong Elohim said, “What right have you to recite My laws, or take My covenant in your mouth, 17 while you hated instruction and cast My Words behind you?”.
True repentance involves a complete forsaking of wrong ways and earnestly pursuing set-apartness, in order to make sure that whatever we do, whether in word or deed, we are doing in the Name of יהושע Messiah!.
יהוה further promises that He will not only cause the obedient exiles to return, but that He would build them and not pull them down!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘build’ comes from the root word בָּנָה banah – Strong’s H1129 which means, ‘to build, besieged, construct, fortify, rebuild’.
A word that is derived from this root word, through the meaning ‘to build’, is אֶבֶן eḇen – Strong’s H68 which means, ‘stone, corner stone, differing weights, plumb line’. ....
Another noun in the Hebrew text that is derived from this primitive root בָּנָה banah is the word for ‘son’, which is בֵּן ben – Strong’s H1121 which means, ‘son, grandson, child, member of a group, children (plural for both male and female)’.
In the ancient pictographic Hebrew alphabet, the word בֵּן ben – Strong’s H1121 looks like this:.
Beyt – בֵּ:
This is the letter ‘beyt’ (בֵּ), which in the ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’.
It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself and is the Dwelling Place of the Most-High, which we are, as we are as living stones being built up in Messiah..
Nun – ן:
This is the letter ‘nun’ (ן), which in the ancient text is pictured as a , which is a ‘spouting seed’, and gives the idea of ‘continuation or an offspring or an heir’, speaking of that which sprouts forth will be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s life expectancy..
The combined meaning of these two letters means:
THE CONTINUING OF THE HOUSE.
When we consider how we are being built up as living stones in our Master, and are the Dwelling Place of Elohim, we see that we can only be built up in the One who is to be praised, and can only be built up according to His wisdom – the wisdom that He has already made clear and by which all is made, for wisdom has already ‘built Her house’. .
In other words, the design and pattern and function has been given and the continuing of the House of Wisdom can only be done according to Her standards as set forth in the Word of Elohim!
We therefore can only be built up in Him, as sons and daughters of Elohim, by the clear standard and pattern of His Torah and instructions!.
This gives fuller meaning and clarity to us when we look at the word for built in the ancient text:
The Hebrew word בָּנָה banah – Strong’s H1129 which means, ‘to build, besieged, construct, fortify, rebuild, establish a family, build up’, in the ancient pictographic script, it looks like this:.
You will notice that there is one additional letter that is added here to this word that differs from the word for ‘son’.
This additional letter is the letter: .
Hey – ה:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘a man standing with his arms raised out’.
The Hebrew word letter “hey” means “behold, breath, sigh”, as when looking at a great sight, and can also give the understanding of ‘reveal or revelation’; from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender, as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!.
Recognising the clear pictures of this word we can see that the continuing of the House of Elohim, that He has built by His wisdom, is only made possible by the One who is to be praised – that is: our Head, יהושע Messiah!!!.
We are therefore able to see, how it is יהוה who builds us up as living stones. And being built up, in Him, we are able to stand strong and stand firm in any circumstance, with the full assurance that the Rock, upon which we stand, will stand firm and not be moved or shaken!
When we are built up in Him and keep our feet steadfast upon His word, we have the sure promise that He will not pull us down. .
The Hebrew root word for ‘pull down’ is הָרַס haras – Strong’s H2040 which means, ‘throw down, break or tear down, pull down, utterly overthrow’.
These are sure promises in our Beloved Master and King!
He causes us to be a people who return to Him, He builds us and promises that we shall not be thrown down, broken or destroyed!
And to top it all off: He says that He shall give us a heart to know Him – that He is יהוה!
Many claim to know Him – yet do not know that He is יהוה!!!
A whole heart!
We know that He writes the Torah upon our heart, and if something is upon someone’s heart, then it renders the clear understanding that one continually thinks and meditates upon that which is on his heart!
The Hebrew word for ‘heart’ is לֵב leḇ – Strong’s H3820 which means, ‘inner man, mind, will thought’, or is often also written as לֵבָב leḇaḇ – Strong’s H3824 which means, ‘inner man, heart, mind, understanding’; and what is interesting to take note of here is that these two letters for ‘heart’ in the ancient Hebrew pictographic Script make it clear that the rule and authority of Elohim is to be upon our hearts!.
In the ancient pictographic script, the Hebrew word לֵב leḇ – Strong’s H3820 is pictured as follows:.
Lamed – לֵ:
The ancient script has this letter as , and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.
Bet – ב:
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself..
In terms of these two pictures, representing the ‘heart’ or the inner man and the will and thoughts of man, we are able to see that a pure heart is one that submits to the authority of the Good Shepherd, having been grafted into His Body, that is the Tabernacle of Elohim, which in Messiah we now are. .
It can clearly be expressed as:
THE RULES OF THE HOUSE.
And in recognising this, we see that we, as legitimate sons and daughter of the Most-High, that have been grafted in by the Blood of Messiah, have upon our hearts His Torah, under which we submit to walking in – for His Torah are the rules of His House, WHICH He has written on the fleshly tablets of our hearts!
Even with the word for heart, being expressed as לֵבָב leḇaḇ, we are able to see in the ancient text a second ‘bet’ (house), showing us the clear picture of the True authority for both Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah, that collectively make up the entire body of Messiah, or Tabernacle of Elohim, which we now are! .
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:5-6 “And you shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might. 6 “And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart”.
To love Elohim with all your heart, implies that His commands are written upon your heart, for true love for Elohim is to guard His commands; and if one does not think upon or meditate upon His Torah in order to walk in it, then it shall be very clear that the Truth is not in them!.
A functional people, who know יהוה and remain steadfast in Messiah, are people who meditate on His Torah, day and night, causing them to be a people who do not wither when heat comes, but stand firm, as a well rooted tree beside the pure waters of life, and are able to bear fruit in its season!.
We who were once far off from the covenants of promises, and have now been brought near by the blood of Messiah, recognise that we once were without the Truth.
And knowing this, we do our utmost to guard our hearts and minds in Messiah, as we guard His Torah and obey His clear commands! .
A similar promise is given in Hoshěa, to a returning Ephrayim, after a much longer exile!
I think that it is fitting for us to read that chapter:
Hoshěa/Hosea 14:1-9 “O Yisra’ĕl, return to יהוה your Elohim, for you have stumbled by your crookedness. 2 Take words with you, and return to יהוה. Say to Him, “Take away all crookedness, and accept what is good, and we render the bulls of our lips. 3 “Ashshur does not save us. We do not ride on horses, nor ever again do we say to the work of our hands, ‘Our mighty ones.’ For the fatherless finds compassion in You.” 4 “I shall heal their backsliding, I shall love them spontaneously, for My displeasure has turned away from him. 5 “I shall be like the dew to Yisra’ĕl. He shall blossom like the lily, and cast out his roots like Leḇanon. 6 “His branches shall spread, and his splendour shall be like an olive tree, and his fragrance like Leḇanon. 7 “Those who dwell under his shadow shall return. They shall revive like grain, and blossom like the vine, and become as fragrant as the wine of Leḇanon. 8 “What more has Ephrayim to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after him. I am like a green cypress tree, your fruit comes from Me.” 9 Who is wise and understands these words, discerning and knows them? For the ways of יהוה are straight, and the righteous walk in them, but the transgressors stumble in them.”.
In verse 8 of Yirmeyahu 24, we are given the clear fate of the spoilt figs that cannot be eaten!
יהוה cannot stomach wickedness, unrighteousness and rebellion, and He will discard of the wicked, vomit out the lukewarm and consume the unrighteous!
The warning or judgment was very clear here:
Those who had refused to go to Baḇel, as well as those who went down to Mitsrayim, would be destroyed by sword, famine and plague!
Yirmeyahu had pleaded for years for the rebellious to listen, but they refused! .
What we can learn here, is that if you reject יהוה’s discipline, you will be rejected!
What we also recognise from this chapter, is that it was never יהוה’s plan to keep His people in Baḇel, but rather, He used Baḇel to cause them to return.
We know that those who refuse to come out of Baḇelon and Mitsrayim, shall be gathered together with the rotten and spoilt figs!.
The Harvest is ripe and workers are few!
As the Master tells us: the wheat and the darnel are grown together until the harvest, then the darnel is gathered, bundled and burned, while the wheat is taken to the granary!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:29-30 “But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the darnel you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 ‘Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I shall say to the reapers, “First gather the darnel and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my granary.”’” .
As we grow in Messiah, amidst a corrupt and wicked generation, may we submit ourselves completely to His Word and to the discipline of His Truth over our lives, that we may be found to be a people who are gathered into the good and ripe basket!.
The call for us to ‘come out and be separate’, is very clear!
The problem is, that so many are not coming out, as they prefer to stay in the depravity of their self-consumed lifestyles, as they are unwilling to submit to the pure obedience called for by Elohim..
What also struck me here, is that concept of a basket that represents the whole.
We are all part of the body of Messiah, and we each have a huge responsibility toward each other, in bearing the pure fruit of righteousness, lest we find ourselves being scooped up with the rotten and dysfunctional!
As we consider these passages that we have looked at tonight – do you see the clear reality of this profound vision?
There are two baskets:
RIPE OR SPOILT –
WHICH BASKET ARE YOU IN?.
Is your life completely submitted to walking in complete set-apartness?
Are you continually bearing good fruit, or has there been some rotten fruit of hatred, malice, unforgiveness, bitterness, envy, pride, lust, or uncleanness, greed of gain, displeasure, wrath, evil, blasphemy, or filthy talk from your mouth?
This kind of fruit is rotten and will be gathered with the rotten!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:8-10 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Master. Walk as children of light – 9 for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth – 10 proving what is well-pleasing to the Master.”.
Just as the taught ones of Messiah gathered up the 12 baskets, after feeding the 5000 and 7 baskets, after feeding the 4000, which teaches us that the Word of Elohim is sufficient for all, yet also teaches us that there is once again a gathering into baskets that will take place.
RIPE OR SPOILT –
WHICH BASKET ARE YOU IN?.
ARE YOU FUNCTIONING ACCORDING TO THE WORD?
HAVE YOU BEEN DYSFUNCTIONAL AND DISOBEDIENT?.
As we consider the sure promises of our Master and King, let us do our utmost to remain in Him and encourage each other daily, as we see the day approaching – not neglecting the gathering as some are in the habit of doing, and let us go out and bear the good and ripe peaceable fruit of righteousness!.
The fruit of our lives is a clear indication of the resulting actions of obedience or disobedience, and we must do our utmost to be bearing the fruit of repentance that results in set-apartness. .
As we consider the need to look at the state of our hearts and assess the fruit of our lives, we can be warned against those things that choke out the life of the Truth and brings no fruit to perfection, as described by our Master in the parable of The Sower and the seed:
Luqas/Luke 8:14-15 “And that which fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with worries, and riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to perfection. 15 “And that on the good soil are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, retain it, and bear fruit with endurance.”.
This is a parable that we have heard many times, I am sure, and while we have learnt in the past, how this teaches us a clear lesson on the varying states or condition of the heart, I have chosen to primarily look at the last two, in light of the 2 baskets that we see being described in Yirmeyahu’s vision....
With the idea of good and spoilt figs, the words of ‘bring no fruit to perfection’ struck me greatly, and caused me to pause and think for a moment what this is actually showing us.
In light of the times that we are living in, we certainly are seeing many who are finding it hard to remain steadfast in being completely set-apart unto the Master, and as a result of the worries, riches and pleasure of life, they are not keeping the soil of their hearts in a state that can bring forth fruit to perfection, and as a result, they are being found to be without oil in their lamps and are not shining the light of the Truth..
The Greek word translated as ‘perfection’ is τελεσφορέω telesphoreō – Strong’s G5052 which means, ‘to bring fruit to perfection, to bear perfect offspring, bring fruit to maturity’ and comes from the two words:
1) τέλος telos – Strong’s G5056 which means, ‘an end, toll, continually, finished, fulfilment, goal, outcome’ and
2) φορέω phoreō – Strong’s G5409 which means, ‘to bear constantly, to wear’, which comes from the root φέρω pherō – Strong’s G5342 which means, ‘bear, carry, bring forth, uphold’.
This word is used in the LXX (Septuagint) for ‘lifted up’ in:
Shemoth/Exodus 35:21 “And everyone whose heart lifted him up and everyone whose spirit moved him came, and they brought the contribution to יהוה for the work of the Tent of Meeting, and for all its service, and for the set-apart garments.”.
This gives a very powerful understanding of hearts that are lifted up in service to the Master, for we are to bear the fruit of righteousness as we stay in Him, lest we are cut off for the lack of the fruit of righteousness:
Yoḥanan/John 15:2 “Every branch in Me that bears no fruit He takes away. And every branch that bears fruit He prunes, so that it bears more fruit.”.
What we can see from the seed, which is the Word of Elohim, that falls among thorns, is the danger of ‘fruit not bearing to perfection’, and herein lies the encouraging call to endure to the end. .
The Greek word τέλος telos – Strong’s G5056 is used in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:22 “And you shall be hated by all for My Name’s sake. But he who shall have endured to the end shall be saved.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 2:26 “And he who overcomes, and guards My works until the end, to him I shall give authority over the nations”.
Enduring to the end, is equivalent to guarding the Master’s works until the end… and this is the state of hearts that are continually tilled and sown with righteousness.
Bringing fruit to perfection, can only happen when we do not allow the worries, riches and pleasure of life to get in the way of our set-apartness in the Master.
The worries, riches and pleasures of life can cause many to shrink back, as the truth is choked out; and this can only happen, when the soil of our hearts is not being continually tilled and kept free from these wicked thorns and weeds of doubt..
Our fruit must be brought to perfection, through faithful endurance under all trials and pressures:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:4 “And let endurance have a perfect work, so that you be perfect and complete, lacking in naught.”
As we consider the parable of the Sower and the seed, may we recognise the clear and present danger of the wicked thorns of worries, riches and the pleasures of life, that will seek an opportunity to set in and choke out the Truth. .
So many believers, may begin well and even begin to bear fruit, yet the thorns of life come along and choke out the very life that can cause the fruit to be borne to perfection, and, as a result, they will be gathered with the spoilt and rotten, which will be destroyed!.
And so, while we, like many trees that may look like they have begun to bear fruit, must ensure that we do not stop tilling the soil of our heart, lest we find that the fruit of our lives becomes rotten and dies, due to compromise, fears and the worries of the luring lusts and pleasures of the flesh. .
We must be on guard against bearing rotten fruit and therefore, we must be diligent in breaking up the ground of our hearts, each and every day, as we meditate of the Torah, day and night, so that we bear much good and ripe fruit, in and out of season, always being ready to give a bold answer for the hope that we have, bearing the fruit of that hope, as a result of the action of complete obedience and, as a result, show that we are known by Elohim, for we know His voice and obey!.
RIPE OR SPOILT –
WHICH BASKET ARE YOU IN?.
Let this brief message be one that causes you to look intently into the mirror of the Word and assess the fruit of your life, for then you will see what basket you are in and, in doing so, make sure that you are grouped with the good ripe figs..
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 27:18 “He who tends the fig tree eats its fruit; and he who guards his master is esteemed.”
This parable provides the clear image of the esteem that the righteous servant will receive from his master when he has done what was required and is likened to the one who tends a fig tree, gets to eat its fruit!.
If a fig tree is not tended, it will not bear proper fruit and so too, do we see that a servant that does not guard to do what his master has instructed him to do, will not receive any praise or reward...
The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘tends’ is נָצַר natsar – Strong’s H5341 which means, ‘to keep watch, guard, preserve, guard from dangers’.
This verb highlights the attention of one’s task to do what has been instructed and to watch over that which they have been entrusted with.
In other words, this highlights the principle of being a good and faithful servant who watches over that which his master has entrusted into his care!
Watching over, also implies doing all that is required to protect and nurture that which is to be worked with..
A derivative of this word is the word נֵצֶר netser – Strong’s H5342 which means, ‘Branch, a sprout, descendant’ which is used as a reference to Messiah:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 11:1 “And a Rod shall come forth from the stump of Yishai, and a Sprout from his roots shall bear fruit.”.
As ‘branches’ of THE VINE, we are ‘watched over’ by יהוה, and equipped to bear much fruit:
Yoḥanan/John 15:4 “Stay in Me, and I stay in you. As the branch is unable to bear fruit of itself, unless it stays in the vine, so neither you, unless you stay in Me.”
Being ‘watched over’ must cause us to ‘watch over’ that which we have been entrusted with, and that is: His Torah that He has written upon our hearts!.
Eating one’s own fruit is a picture of the blessing for obedience, especially as we take note of the clear curse for disobedience, that we see being written in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 28:33 “A people whom you have not known eat the fruit of your land and all your labours. And you shall be only oppressed and crushed all the days.”.
Luqas/Luke 12:37 “Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, shall find watching. Truly, I say to you that he shall gird himself and make them sit down to eat, and shall come and serve them.”.
This message I am presenting today, is one that highlights the need for us all to make sure that the fruit of our lives, truly bears the proper good fruit worthy of repentance, having turned away from all lawlessness and compromise, in order to run in the way of the Torah of Elohim and guard righteousness at all times, so as to guard against being gathered with the rotten and wicked..
RIPE OR SPOILT –
WHICH BASKET ARE YOU IN?.
Stay in the Master and He will stay in you!
Bear good fruit and celebrate His wondrous work, as you endure the proper discipline of His Word that brings about the peaceable fruit of righteousness in those who are trained by it!
Is the fruit of your life resulting in set-apartness, as a true servant of Elohim?
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:8-10 “For you were once darkness, but now you are> light in the Master. Walk as children of light 9 for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth – 10 proving what is well-pleasing to the Master.” .
Will the fruit of your life reflect one who will be gathered into the ripe and good basket or into the spoilt and rotten basket marked for destruction?.
The vision of the basket of figs highlights a clear picture of deliverance for the righteous and judgement for the unrighteous.
The fig tree and its fruit can also be given to us as symbols of judgment.
We see the fig tree and its fruit being used in Scripture, to highlight the clear lesson of a failure to keep the covenant would mean a loss of prosperity and fruitfulness, as seen in the following verses, where a clear judgement was being declared upon Yisra’ěl for their failure to keep covenant:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 5:17 “And they shall eat up your harvest and your bread, which your sons and daughters should eat. They shall eat up your flocks and your herds, they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees. With the sword they shall demolish your walled cities, in which you are trusting.”
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 8:13 “I shall snatch them away,” declares יהוה. “There are no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf has faded. And what I gave them shall pass away from them.””
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 34:4 “And all the host of the heavens shall rot away. And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll, and all their host fade like a leaf fading on the vine, and like the fading one of a fig tree.”
Yo’ěl/Joel 1:7 “It has laid waste My vine and splintered My fig tree. It has made it entirely bare and cast it away, its branches became white.”.
These passages that I have just presented, highlight a clear picture of destruction and judgement, resulting in fig trees and their fruit being destroyed to the point of worthlessness..
A fruitless fig tree is used as a metaphor for spiritual fruitlessness in the Renewed Writings (N.T.)
Mattithyahu/Matthew 21:19–21 “And seeing a single fig tree by the way, He came to it and found naught on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” And immediately the fig tree withered. 20 And the taught ones, seeing it, marvelled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither so soon?” 21 And יהושע answering, said to them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have belief and do not doubt, you shall not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be thrown into the sea,’ it shall be done.” .
Luqas/Luke 13:6–9 “And He spoke this parable, “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 “And he said to the gardener, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down, why does it even make the ground useless?’ 8 “And he answering, said to him, ‘Master, leave it this year too, until I dig around it and throw manure. 9 And if indeed it bears fruit, good. But if not so, you shall cut it down.’” .
When our Master comes, seeking the proper fruit of righteousness, what will He find!
He said that when He comes again, will He find belief, making it clear that when He comes again, will He find belief obedience or a dead belief?.
In the revelation that Yoḥanan was shown, we see the image of the fig tree dropping its unripe fruit because of it being shaken by a strong wind, after the 6th seal was opened.
Ḥazon/Revelation 6:13 “And the stars of the heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its unripe figs, being shaken by a strong wind.”
Our Master made it clear that the harvest is ripe but the workers are few, so this image of the fig tree dropping unripe fruit, highlights a clear picture of unfaithfulness to covenant, as just as a fig tree drips unripe fruit when a strong wind comes, so to will the unrighteous be ‘dropped’, when the shaking of our Master’s judgement comes..
There is a shaking coming!
The Greek word that is translated here as ‘shaken’ is σείω seiō – Strong’s G4579 which means, ‘shaken, stirred, shook’ and can also have the meaning, ‘to agitate, to shake with the idea of shock, cause to tremble with fear’.
This word σείω seiō – Strong’s G4579 is used in:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:25-26 “Take heed not to refuse the One speaking. For if those did not escape who refused the warning on earth, much less we who turn away from Him from heaven, 26 whose voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.”
This was a quote from:
Ḥaggai/Haggai 2:6-7 “For thus said יהוה of hosts, ‘Once more, in a little while, and I am shaking the heavens and earth, the sea and dry land. 7 And I shall shake all the nations, and they shall come to the Delight of all the nations, and I shall fill this House with esteem,’ said יהוה of hosts.”.
יהוה is coming to shake the heavens and earth and the unripe figs will fall, so to speak, as His sifting and uprooting of the unrighteous, from the righteous, will separate the peoples into 2 baskets… one for deliverance and one for destruction..
As we consider these images, we take note that it is abundantly clear that we are living in the days where we a thick darkness is over the peoples and while there are many ‘unripe’ and ‘rotten’ figs that are about to be shaken and gathered for judgment, there is a clear call for the ripe and good figs to exult in יהוה!
And in a time where it seems as though the fig tree is not blossoming; we are to exult in יהוה:
Ḥaḇaqquq/Habakkuk 3:17-18 “Though the fig tree does not blossom, and there is no fruit on the vine, the yield of the olive has failed, and the fields brought forth no food, the flock has been cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls, 18 yet I exult in יהוה, I rejoice in the Elohim of my deliverance.”.
The use of the fig tree and figs, throughout Scripture, carries great significance to us and typically represents the nation of Yisra’ĕl.
But what was the picture here in Ḥaḇaqquq/Habakkuk 3:17-18?
The fig tree was not blossoming!
When we consider this, we can immediately be drawn to the words of יהושע who cursed the fig tree, as already discussed, in Mattithyahu/Matthew 21:19..
With our Master cursing the fig tree, which had leaves but no fruit, He was giving a living parable of the end time harvest and what happened to the fig tree, is what would happen to all those who may profess to be in the Covenant, yet bear no fruit of repentance or the fruit of righteousness!
A couple of chapters later we see His words again in reference to the end-times in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 24:32 “And learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that the summer is near.”
The meaning of this parable has been lost by the masses who have been taught that there are no requirements to keep the Torah, and sadly as a result those who believe such lies will be found to be outside of the Covenants of Promise!.
יהושע cursed the fig tree to get the disciples attention and teach them the necessity to remain in Him and bear much fruit.
Although this was not the season for figs to bear fruit, we see that Sha’ul tells Timotiyos to proclaim The Word and be urgent, in and out of season, and never be found to be fruitless, with leaves only!
What is interesting and a lesson to take note of, is that a fig tree typically produces fruit before it produces leaves and so, when you see the leaves without fruit there is a problem!!!
This is a picture of covering up, or hiding, sin as Aḏam and Ḥawwah did when they realised their nakedness due to sin as they sowed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
Our only covering is the Blood of Messiah and the picture of having leaves only is a picture of many today – they may have the appearance of worship and look the part – yet lack the fruit of righteous living according to the Torah and so they sow for themselves fig leaves through religious programmes to hide their lawlessness!
This was the state of Yisra’ĕl – all leaves and no fruit, or better put ‘rotten fruit’. Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 8 is a fitting chapter that describes this sad and sick state of many who claim to be worshipping יהוה, yet cling to deceit and do not know the right-ruling of יהוה.
And in Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 24, which we have discussed in-depth, highlights for us a clear separation and distinction between the good and the rotten.
Ḥaḇaqquq saw this sad state of people being dry, fruitless and lawless and despite all this, he made a bold declaration, which we too are to make – we who embrace the Truth and cling to יהוה:
Yet I EXULT in יהוה, I rejoice in the Elohim of my deliverance.
Yet… despite what others may be doing… I will EXULT in יהוה… I will rejoice in the Elohim of my deliverance!!!
Are you able to declare this too? Knowing that you have clothed yourself in righteousness – putting on the armour of Elohim and are remaining in Him, bearing fruit… much fruit, that is, and being filled with the oil of His presence, keeping the field of your heart pure, so that the Good Seed yields a good return and you are equipped to be offering up your bodies as a daily living offering, being well pleasing to Elohim?
Then you can make that statement and do it with great joy!!!.
The Hebrew word that is translated as exult comes from the root word עָלַז alaz – Strong’s H5937 which means ‘exult, rejoice, triumph, be jubilant ’and this word describes an emotion of joy which finds expression in singing and shouting and is a natural response of the faithful, who are exulting in יהוה. This root word can also mean to be in an intense state of great joy and contentment and this is how those who embrace the Truth, exult in יהוה!
Yoḥanan/John 4:23-24 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father also does seek such to worship Him. 24 “Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him need to worship in spirit and truth.”.
As we consider the images of figs and fig trees, along with the 2 baskets of figs, we need to be reminded that we are to be working out our deliverance with fear and trembling, guarding righteousness and doing so, with great exultation and joyous praise for our Redeemer and King, ensuring that we may be found to have a working belief that will cause us to be likened to those that are ripe and good!.
RIPE OR SPOILT –
WHICH BASKET ARE YOU IN?.
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face upon you and give you Shalom!.