When I first moved into my home it had seven different kinds of fruit trees. Not knowing much about trees I inadvertently killed three of them. You know, too much of this, not enough of that! How much more tragic would it have been had they been human? We are living in the last days and Gods Word is not couched in symbolic language concerning His trees!
The Word of God is incorruptible seed planted in our spirit when we are born anew of the Holy Spirit. The seed is the Word of God (Luke 8:11). God’s seed of the incorruptible Word REMAINS in the reborn spirit of the Christian (1 John 3:9). “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever” (1 Peter 1:23).
The Father of spirits (Hebrews 10:9) does not intend for His Word to abide as a seed. Rather, as the seed grows, it can be said the Christian grows. God intends for the seed to take root in Christ and grow up into a tree with branches bearing fruit, which glorifies Him. If yielded to, what God begins will be finished. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
In the first three chapters of Genesis God referred to trees 17 times. Jesus referred to men as trees 13 times. The Apostle Paul spoke of a wild olive tree, referring to Gentile believers (Romans 11L17). Jesus asked and answered, “Unto what is the Kingdom of God like”? It is like… a great tree (Luke 13:18-19).
Jesus taught that good ministries are good trees and corrupt ministries are bad trees: “Beware of false prophets … Ye shall know them by their fruits … Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:16-20).
Jesus calls a good tree a good man:
“For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:43-45).
In my Bible I have a line drawn from a good tree in verse 43 to a good man in verse 45. A good tree is a good man. A good man is a good tree because he bears good fruit. This good fruit is the good treasure of his heart, which comes forth through his mouth. Jesus teaches that the tree grows from the man’s heart. Every tree is known by its fruit.
In order to be a Christian, one must be born again by the incorruptible seed which lives and abides in the heart. This does not mean that everyone who has the seed is growing into a tree, or has become a tree. The tree pictures growth and maturity. Many Christians are not yet trees. Many are seeds, or reeds (Isaiah 42:3). There are three requirements laid down by God for the seeds and reeds to grow into mature trees.
1A. BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT
“The trees of the Lord are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon which He hath planted” (Psalm 104:16).
In order to grow, a tree must be full of sap. Otherwise, it is certain to dry up and wither. Most of the Church has rejected the sap (the Holy Spirit empowerment) and therefore preventes tall and strong growth. Trees get their sap from the moisture surrounding the roots. The roots of the Lord’s trees have a direct water supply because they are planted by the rivers of living water.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall by like a tree planted by rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3).
Notice in verse one that the blessed man does not walk, stand, or sit with the unrighteous. His delight, joy, fun, and happiness is in the law of the Lord. Day and night the blessed man meditates in His law (Word). This is the incorruptible seed (v.2).
In verse 3 we are told this man shall be like a tree. This phrase symbolizes progressive growth. Over a period of time, as he meditates in the Word, he grows and becomes like a tree. That’s where you are headed!
Note, this tree is planted by the rivers of water. Whether or not it rains, the blessed man has a continual drink. This is how he stays full of sap and continues to mature. Planted by rivers of water insures year-round supply of thirst-quenching life. Because of the steady intake, there is steady outgrowth. He brings forth his (good) fruit each season. His leaf does not wither because he is full of sap.
Take note that this man does not only bears fruit but also leaves. Everyone wants fruit, but who has heard about leaves? Both have a specific function. Turning to Ezekiel 47:12 we see striking similarities with this Scripture in Psalm 1:
“And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf for medicine.”
Here we see that the fruit is for meat. A good tree bears fruit that feeds the hungry passerby. According to Luke 6:45 the fruit comes out of the mouth. Tie this in with Proverbs 15:4, “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life.” In Psalm 1:3, I have “meat” written over the word fruit. Meat speaks of a ministry of feeding, nourishing and strengthening.
In the verse Ezekiel, we also see that the leaf is for medicine. Medicine speaks of healing, deliverance, therapy, remedy, curative, or restorative. A good tree has leaves that heal and restore where the enemy has previously devoured. Think of all the bruised and hurt people who need a good tree’s leaves! You may wish to write “medicine” over the word leaf in Psalm 1:2. This medicine is a never drying, dying, or withering ministry of restoration. (We believe there is a future application for this verse as seen in Revelation 22:2, but not to the exclusion of a present application for the trees of the Lord.)
2A. WORSHIP GOD IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH
A second requirement of God for all His trees is that they clap their hands. “…all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12). This speaks of worship. In order for a babe in Christ to grow and mature, he must be willing to worship God.
All the trees clap their hands. Did you ever see trees that had hands? God’s trees have hands. “O clap your hands, all ye people…” (Psalm 47:1). Not some, but ALL! ALL the trees clap, sing, dance, shout, and fully worship their Planter. Not all the reeds-“Do I have to praise God?” but ALL THE TREES.
The field speaks of the world (Matthew 13:38). We are in the world, but not of it. We have a ministry to the world, but not of it. We have a ministry to the world in our fruit and leaves.
3A. DELIVERANCE AND INNER HEALING IS NECESSARY
A third necessity for spiritual growth is to be free, healed of inner hurts, and wet with the oil of joy. Notice all the Lord does to us before we can be called “trees of righteousness.”
“The spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted [inner healing], to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound [deliverance]; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn [inner healing]; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for [instead of] ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified” (Isaiah 61:1-3).
One is not called a tree until he has received deliverance from the prison, beauty, joy, and praise. Any of the needs mentioned, such as a broken heart, or captivity or spirit of perversion, or heaviness, will prevent one from becoming a full-grown tree of righteousness.
Only when the Spirit of the Lord sets us at liberty can we be free (2 Corinthians 3:17). God’s trees are free; they are not bound.
Trees here is translated by more recent versions as oaks. Think how strong and sturdy and unshakeable an oak is; still standing after the storm has ceased. The original word “trees” means terebinths-big sturdy trees.
Trees of righteousness; nothing evil can fell them, they are the planting of the Lord, THAT HE MIGHT BE GLORIFIED. “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit…” (John 15:8). The fruit the trees bear, glorify God.
The righteousness are like trees, the wicked are a grass. “When the wicked spring as the grass…” (Psalm 92:7, 12). “And he [the godly man] shall be like a tree…The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away” (Psalm 1:3-4).
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is a grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the word of the Lord endureth for ever” (1 Peter 1:23-25). The Word of the Lord makes trees that live forever. The doctrines of men make grass and chaff that wither and fall away. The wind (the Holy Spirit) drives away the chaff! God’s Word is incorruptible seed. Man’s word is corruptible seed.
The incorruptible seed produces trees, the corruptible seed produces weeds. From the beginning God has laid down the rule that every seed bears fruit of his kind (Genesis 1:12).
3A. INSTEAD OF A WEED, UP GROWS A TREE
“Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off” (Isaiah 55:13). There is a present application for this verse, and that is before we were converted, we were thorns and briers. In the exact place where the thorns grew, in its place came up the fir tree.
I used to be a thorn, but now I’m a tree. You were once a brier, but now you are a myrtle tree. As trees, we are “for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
The Gentiles shall be one body with the Jews to… John 10:16, “... be a memorial to the LORD, for an everlasting sign which will not be cut off. ...”Isaiah 62:12 “And they shall call them, the holy people, the redeemed of the LORD: …”
David, a man after God’s heart, confessed, “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever” (Psalm 52:8).
Hosea spoke to God saying, “I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found” (Hosea 14:8). He was telling the Lord that His fruit was growing on Hosea. We are God’s heritage (1 Peter 5:3), and His fruit grows on us. “I am like a green fir tree.”
Green symbolizes year-round fruitfulness. I am like a green olive tree. I am like a green fir tree. Green typifies life – the emerald rainbow in Revelation 4:3 speaks of eternal life.
In Hosea 14:4 the Lord promises restoration to backsliding Israel:
V 4: “I will heal thy backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.”
V 5: “I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.”
V 6: “His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.”
V 7: “They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.” [Dwell under his shadow refers to those that are under his influence.]
V 8: “Ephraim shall say [Israel’s idolatrous tribe], what have I to do any more with idols?”
In Ephesians 3:17 we can see the picture of a tree: “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith: that ye being rooted and grounded in love . . .” First we grow roots and then our branches spread. This verse speaks of casting forth our roots. In the natural, a tree begins its growth downward and then when it is grounded firmly in the soil it grows branches upward. He builds down before up, in before out!
“Take root downward, and bear fruit upward” (Isaiah 37:31).
Ephesians 3:18, “May be able to comprehend with all the saints [all the trees] what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height.” This speaks of the branches spreading out, the tree growing in height, and the stature of the tree maturing in to a full grown tree. Jesus is referred to as “a Branch” in the Old Testament prophecies, yet He bestowed that title on us in the New Testament (see John 15). Jesus is the first Branch brought forth, the first fruits. We grow the rest of the harvest.
Ephesians 3:17 speaks of our roots. Verse 18 speaks of our branches. Roots first, branches second. Jesus taught the way to get branches is to grow roots. The way up [branches] is down [roots]. “. . . he that humbleth himself [grows downward] shall be exalted [grow upward and inward then outward]” (Luke 14:11). Each of us would rather be exalted than humbled. We would rather have outward growth than the inward; would rather spread branches than grow roots.
God wants us to spread branches because the branches, not the roots bear the fruit. However, winds of adversity will blow and the enemy shall come in like a flood. If we are not rooted and grounded, we cannot stand. Most trees are as long under the soil as they are above it. For this reason God roots us and causes us to prepare for the bearing of fruit by a long time “underground.” “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).
The tree speaks of an ever-increasing growth and abundance of harvest, even in old age.
“The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; to shew that the Lord is upright: He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him” (Psalm 92:12-15).
4A. THE OLDER WE GET, THE SWEETER IT GROWS
Often older people will say to younger people, “You can do so much more than we can; you are young.” However, the Word teaches that the older a person grows in the Lord, the more fruit he will bear. Fat and nourishing at eighty! They shall still bring forth fruit in old age. Going back to Psalm 1, recall how the Lord promises “his leaf [the righteous] shall not wither.” God would not be upright to cut off His trees when they age and reach a height and depth in God never attained before. There is no unrighteousness in God. What He began, He will finish. Those who glorify Him in their youth will not be shelved in old age. The trees are planted by the Lord, in the House of the lord, which cornerstone is the Rock, Jesus Christ, the foundation of the House and Courts of our God. Natural trees grow in soil; spiritual tress grow in the Rock. This is why they are never moved in times of adversity.
As a Christian I have held the deep conviction that we have only this lifetime to grow and become like Jesus, and that when we die, there is no more chance for rewards (2 Corinthians 5:10),
The righteous are like seven different kinds of trees:
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30).