The Lesson of the Fig Tree – Part Two

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

Part Two

“Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away”
Matthew 21:18-19

The lesson of the fig tree is one of great value to those who seek truth. Its message is for our growth and development.

Jesus came to the fig tree looking for figs. He came looking for fruit consistent with its capability. So it is with us. The righteousness of God prevents Him from an expectation that is beyond the ability of the tree to produce. The God who measures the talents to every child of His according to their ability, is the same God who holds each of us accountable to Him for that gift. This truth brings our accountability into perspective. It is also meant to be instructive to us as parents and ministers of God that we walk in His wisdom regarding the lives of our own children and of every believer. We are not to expect Paul to minister as Peter, nor Jude to speak as Apollos. Such expectations are the result of religious doctrines and confines. The Life of Christ within regards the individual gifts and capacities of others and looks for the corresponding fruit. When the fruit of an individual is consistent with the call and the gifts of God given, there should be a collective rejoicing unto the Giver of all good things. When the fruit of a life is missing or lacking the vitality of its call and capability, there is great need for the ministration of exhortation and admonition. Ministers who fail in this vital aspect of ministry will find themselves accountable to the Chief Shepherd of our souls.

Stewards and Shepherds

We are stewards of the grace of God and as such we are to shepherd His flock with a desire to see Him glorified in each and every child of His. It requires a pure heart to walk in such things knowing full well our own accountability unto Him. The fear of the Lord is the ground upon which His true ministers walk and function. John the Apostle declared that he had no greater joy than to “see his children walking in truth”; the truth of what has been given to them. The one who has been given prophetic insight, that is the thing to which God will hold them accountable (1-see below). The one who teaches must teach the truth of God to the end that every life will grow in the holiness and wisdom of God. (2-see below). Those who exhort must do so with purity and simplicity (3-see below) As to the Apostolic, there is to be a faithfulness to call God’s people to the obedience of faith (4-see below). The list is as endless as the diversity of God’s creation.

(1) “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith” (Romans 12:6)
(2) “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:28)
(3) “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3)
(4) “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name” (Romans 1:5)

In the book of Romans, Paul exhorts God’s people to receive all of these diversities as the gifts and the wisdom of God. Those who refuse these expressions deny God’s wisdom and subject themselves to His judgment. Division is the result of man’s wisdom and pride.

“Only by pride cometh contention…”
Proverbs 13:10

The Lesson of the fig tree is that He comes to each of us looking for corresponding fruit. His expectation is consistent with His grace given. In the Parable of the Talents, the man with one talent was judged severely for his faithlessness to the gift given (Matthew 15:30). In the Parable of the Vine, the branch which bore no fruit was “cut off” (John 15:2,6). The lesson of the Fig Tree was meant for our admonition and learning to that same end.

The response of Jesus to the two individuals who were faithful to their respective talents was the same! Different talents yet the same reward for their faithfulness to God’s measure.

“His lord said unto him, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord”
Matthew 25:21,23

The purpose of these diverse ministrations is:

“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing,
being fruitful in every good work…”
Colossians 1:10

Brian Troxel

Psalm 25 Introduction Part Three

PSALM 25

INTRODUCTION

Continued
Part Three

AN ACROSTIC PSALM
(*See Psalm 25 Introduction Part Two)

Another aspect of the inspired Acrostic writings of the scriptures is one where we see the very rudiments of the language of the people of God being sanctified and set apart to describe God’s Glory and His ways.

It is estimated that there are 75,000 – 80,000 meaningful words and word compositions in the Hebrew Language* (see reference). All of these are formulated out of just 22 Hebrew characters (and a few added “jots and tittles” of which Jesus upholds the sanctity of His Word; Matthew 5:18)! The Spirit of God in these Acrostic writings takes each letter to Glorify God and to make known to us the wonders of His ways. It is in such attention to detail of the very language of men that God would make Himself known to us. He ever seeks to reveal to us the importance of common things. Things, which by themselves are thought to be incomplete and insignificant, can, and do, become vehicles for revealing His thoughts and purposes.

By His grace He endeavors to bring us to the realization that in Him everything is to be Holy and filled with His wonder. His desire is to bring us to a pure language wherein every word we utter, think and sing is filled with the worship and praise of Him. A pure word can only flow from a pure heart. The grace of God is to have such access to our hearts that even the very bits and pieces of our language will be sanctified and set apart for the Master’s use. His Spirit desires to touch, purify and sanctify the very core of our being so that we can fully express and honor Him. All creation is groaning and travailing for such a people to come forth (Romans 8:19).

The Prophet Isaiah stands in the heavens surrounded by the unspeakable Glory of the Triune God, and is instantly aware of the “uncleanness of his lips” to such an extent that he is only able to utter “Woe is me”. However, in God’s economy even the very lips of man are to be purged by the burning coals from the Altar of Heaven. He has an answer for every need of the redeemed to walk in the Holy, Holy, Holy Presence of our God. A sanctified heart will result in sanctified words “for out of the abundance of the heart does the mouth speak”.

We see glimpses in the Old Testament of men in whom this truth found partial fulfillment; men who walked so close with God, that God Himself watched over the very words they spoke…

“And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him,
and did let none of his words fall to the ground.
And all Israel from Dan even to Beer–sheba knew
that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord”
1 Samuel 3:19-20

The people of God desire to see the power of God revealed in our day, but men want the power without the purity, they want the signs and wonders without the Holy walk. There are many today who have no desire for righteousness, purity of heart or the cost of entering into these truths. They grow weary of men who speak of righteousness. They prefer to hear pleasant things that enable them to live in sin and be accepted by God at the same time. However, in the midst of such a generation there are those whose hearts are longing for that purity, that righteousness which is real and authentic. It is these who will walk in a salvation that has been kept for this day. God has kept the “best wine for the last” and “the glory of the latter house shall exceed the glory of the former”! Let us be encouraged to seek, pursue and admonish one another in the bonds of love and fellowship to see this come to pass!

“Who are kept by the power of God
through faith unto salvation
ready to be revealed in the last time”
1 Peter 1:5

This salvation can only be revealed in people who have been fully sanctified, fit and prepared for the Master’s use, whose very lips have been purged by the fires of the heavenly Altar. They are His in every sense of the word; the words they speak are His words and they live and walk in the Holiness of God. “Be ye Holy” is no longer a nice religious quote but rather a description of what God has accomplished within His people by the “spirit of burning”.

“When the Lord shall
have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion,
and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem
from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment,
and by the spirit of burning
Isaiah 4:4

While many today declare that we are to judge not and are not interested in the prophetic voice of those who call His people to righteousness, there are those who intuitively know the necessity of such a ministration. There is a cry within the hearts of those who understand the need for His Fire in our midst. Purity of heart is the vehicle or the means by which we can see God. It is in the seeing of Him that this great work of Sanctification is made real. God uses men. He uses the redeemed to minister to one another the fire and glory of His presence. Had Peter not confronted Ananias and Sapphira with God’s Glory the move of the Spirit in their day would have soon become polluted with religion and hypocrisy. Such words of power are reserved for those who walk in the fear of the Lord; those whose hearts have been purified and set apart for God’s use, not their own.

May God do such a deep and eternal work in our lives that the very words of our mouths and the meditations within the secret places of our hearts are pleasing unto God!

“Let the words of my mouth,
and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in thy sight,
O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer”
Psalm 19:14

Only a sanctified heart can speak the Holy Words of our God and King

“Where the word of a king is,
there is power”
(Ecclesiastes 8:4).

Ω

“But who may abide the day of his coming?
and who shall stand when he appeareth?
for he is like a refiner’s fire…”
Malachi 3:2

* Reference: “The academy of the Hebrew language estimates 45,000 words, in addition to 30,000-35,000 word compositions (school in Hebrew is book-house בית-ספר, for example), which totals the estimate in 75,000-80,000 meaningful expressions of either words or word compositions. Note that this estimate includes many biblical words still used today.”

Source: http://hebrew-academy.org.

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info