In the gospels of Matthew and Luke, the ax is laid to the root of the trees:
“Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”
“Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”
Be it understood, that John, the last legitimate Levitical priest, fulfilled his order, examined, and declared the perfect fitness of the unblemished lamb of God, and in the fulfillment of levi’s order, gave place to the One who should both take away the sins of the world, and after be raised and abide a priest forever. “He (said John) must increase, but I must decrease. He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all”.
John, in saying, “Do not suppose within yourself , “I am descended from Abraham”, is saying that all carnal ties are finished, over, done, along with the carnal priesthood and temple. A true Jew is one inwardly now, and so is a true son of Levi. Consider carefully, that the ax is laid to the root of the trees. And yet, without roots, every tree is expected to bear fruit. Those descended of Abraham via Isaac, and those descended of Abraham via Ishmael, are BOTH included in this. Those who profess Christ, who mind earthy things, who look for a temple of stone and real estate, and who labor under cunningly devised Jewish fables, are also included in this. No tree without roots can bear, except it is the beneficiary of an endless, internal supply.
And though no flesh may boast and glory in it’s origins, even though it be in Abraham, all flesh, regardless of genetic origin or distinction, has equal and unfettered access to the one who came out of Abraham, according to the flesh, but was raised up and declared to be the Son of God , according to the Spirit of Holiness, in raising Him up from among the dead, and He now sits, highly exalted, above all power and principality, above all thrones and dominions, with a more excellent name than any angel or any man who went before. He came the son of David after the flesh. He died the Son of man for all flesh, He was raised the Son of God, that all who receive Him and believe upon His name, might receive power to become sons of God. Not to any born of any flesh, of any blood, or the will of any man. But to them born of God.
Paul wrote and clearly expounded, lest any should think that the promises of God are sure to children of flesh: “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ” (Gal 3:16). Therefore, all the promises of God are to one who should come out of Abraham, and to as many as should be accounted children and heirs together with Him, but not in flesh, rather, in resurrection. If I do not have the one to whom all the promises pertain “to my father”, then the promises do not touch me. What did Isaiah cry concerning Him? : “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, The Prince of Peace”. Who’s everlasting Father? Ours. For we are begotten to God, only in Christ Jesus. And again, Paul writes of Him, opening up the scriptures; ” For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee”. ( and in another place): “I will put my trust in him”. (And again) , “Behold I AND THE CHILDREN WHOM GOD HATH GIVEN ME”. And , unless one is absolutely unlearned in scripture altogether, there can be no doubt that in all these great and precious promises, we are joint heirs together with Him, in, and only in His resurrection. Therefore the resurrection is to be laid hold of by faith. Held to in faith. Experienced by faith. Searched out, by faith.
The “church world” today, has largely fallen into lethargy, into the hands of professional caretakers, hirelings, wage earners and 401K builders, who’s doctrine comes not by revelation of Christ within, but filters down from a hierarchical system, a commercial system at that, of which Jesus expressly and clearly said it “Shall not be so among you”. And so, the people are reduced to minding the same earthy things as they that lead them, and despairing the same despairs, to sucking muddied water to relieve thirst, spitting out the sand and gravel, rather that drinking the clean, crisp, cool , inexhaustible, internal supply of the promised Well Spring, the Spirit of Truth. I assure you whole heartedly, that the gifts and callings of Christ, in resurrection, per Ephesians, are not a career path or a vocation. They are not anything less than who and what He is in resurrection. They are Christ in you, the hope of glory. The church, the one which is His body, is not ailing, diseased, fractured, crippled, in need of revival, struggling with sin, or any such like. If any man sin, he sins outside the body. If any name the name of Christ, let him depart from evil. And if any overcomes, him (or her….the Lord makes no difference) will Christ make a pillar in the house, a pillar that GOES NO MORE OUT. The body of Christ is not a hospice, a great waiting room, in which to receive comfort and solace, tasks and busy work, while waiting to die and go somewhere. As the orchard is in the apple, so the kingdom of heaven is within you. And the resurrection is in you. How do we “hold fast” that which we have received? Faith.
I would like to open from the scriptures, the accounting of the Branch, the one raised to life, eternal life, a tree with no roots, no external supply, no more ties to the flesh He passed through. But rather, He in resurrection, and a people with Him, are described in the closing chapters of the scripture, as the tree of life. A tree and a throne out of which proceed a pure, crystal clear river of life. This tree is a supplier. It’s very leaves, converting the internal light of God and of the Lamb, into the healing of the nations. This light falls not upon the tree from without, but abides within. Never has been a tree like this tree. These are they who see His face, and His name is in all their thoughts. These are not a people dependent upon light of sun and moon, in other words, the luminaries of the unmeasured outer courts, calender, seasonal , ritualistic “Christianity”, locked in a vain , annually repeated reenactment of things, but not the things themselves. These are not a people depended upon the light of lamp stand, where men labored to press oil from the olive, where men repeatedly must dress the lamps to keep them topped of and lit, and where the oil can fail, and the flame depart, should men fail their duties. These are a people in whom the oil Olive lives and abides, and does not come and go. There is no pressing. There is no laborious assignment. The Oil springs of it’s own accord, and these people give voice to the Oil, needing no lamp stand, or it’s ordinances. This is what you may read of in the book of Acts, when the full, never ending , ever abiding and eternal day of Pentecost came. These things are surely at hand, ready to be revealed.
“Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:…” ( from Zechariah)
To Isaac , son of Abraham, were born Esau and Jacob. All we have read how that, though Esau was the first born, the inheritance of the birth right and blessing pertaining to the first born, Jacob received both through subtlety and guile. To Jacob, did Esau sell the inheritance for a bowl of lintel soup to satisfy his urgent craving and hunger. To Jacob, did Isaac confer the blessing, deceived into thinking he was Esau, through the intrigues of Rebekah, their mother.
Jacob, upon the advice of his mother, fled from Esau, to go into the land of Haran, to Rebekah’s brother Laban. As he departed Beer Sheba , Jacob came to a place where he tarried because the sun went down. In that place, called Luz, Jacob took the stones ( plural) OF THAT PLACE, and put them for pillows, and laid down, IN THAT PLACE to sleep. And Jacob dreamed a dream. In his dream, a ladder set up on the earth, and the top reached to heaven. On the ladder ascended and descended, in that order, the messengers of God. Above the ladder stood the Lord. And Jacob heard the Lord speaking:
“I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of”.
Jacob awoke, and said:
“Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not…How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven”.
And Jacob woke up in the morning, and set up the stone ( now singular) as a pillar, poured oil upon it, and called the name of the place “Beth El”. Luz means “Almond Tree”. Beth El means “House of God”. So after this we find the phrase, “Luz which is Bethel”…. “THE ALMOND TREE WHICH IS THE HOUSE OF GOD”. And Jacob vowed a vow, and said, “If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee”. But you will notice that the Lord never answered Jacob a word. For the Lord had not promised anything at all to Jacob. All that was spoken, was spoken to the Stone, the Pillar, IN THE PLACE where it was spoken. The Almond is a figure of resurrection, as we shall see, and all the promises were to the one who should come out of Jacob, but by reason of the resurrection, be declared to be the Son of God , and the House of God, a lively house of lively stones, a Spiritual house, with no root or tie to Jacob, or any other man. These are precisely the things John the baptist spoke of , alluding to the ax at the root of every tree. Jesus is the vine, and them in Him, the branches. He is rootless, for all the fulness dwells in Him. There is nothing substantial without Him. And without Him, and His supply, His internal and eternal supply, we come to nothing. All religious efforts to build upon anything He has passed through, is vain. When He bids “follow Me”, he means it. When He says , “I am the root and offspring of David”, He declares that He passed through David. So how is he the Son of David, who calls Him “Lord”?
Many years later, Jacob has twelve sons. Eight by wives. Four by bond women ( but that is another matter). One of these sons , Joseph, has dreams and revelation which, to come quickly to the point, were above the household, patriarchal vision of Jacob and family. His dreams were of Christ in him. His natural father , mother and brothers, in his dreams, bowed to him. Hating him for the telling of what he had received from God, his brethren cast him into a pit, out of which he was raised, in a figure of resurrection, and sold into bondage in Egypt, where he became the Lord of the place, and the seller of grain for bread. Had Jacob understood that night at Luz, that the promises were not to him, he would not have been so shocked at something which seemed to rock the family boat and it’s order. And so, he would have realized that Joseph, like Jacob, received vision and revelation concerning the heir of the promises, which Jacob did in his late life acknowledge, as you may read. The promises were not to Abraham, were not to Isaac, were not to Jacob, were not to Joseph, were not to any of them. They are to ONE, who came out of their house. Yet, they are AVAILABLE to ALL, every soul to ever draw breath, through the faith of that One.
Jacob now believed a lie. A lie aided and abetted by his eleven sons. He believed Joseph was dead. When a great famine was over the earth, and Jacob’s house was likely to starve, it was heard that there was grain in Egypt. So Jacob sent sons into Egypt to by grain. With the money to buy grain, Jacob sent also, a present, he thought, to Pharaoh. But the one who received it was his own living, though presumed dead son. Added to the best fruits of the land, as a gift, were some almonds. Then, learning Joseph is alive and sending for him, Jacob and all his house are restored to Joseph in Egypt, where Joseph sustains them. Joseph takes a binding oath of the people that, God will surely visit the people and carry them up out of Egypt, and the people will carry his bones up with them. The Hebrew word “bones” used here was interestingly, a word that means “being”. “You will carry my being up with you”. The man who was a figure of resurrection, carried up, raised up, in a figure, in a people.
When the time drew near , many generations later, the Lord delivered the children from the bondage of Egypt. The deliverers were two brothers, sons of Levi. They were Moses and Aaron. To Moses had been given a rod, a walking staff. Aaron also carried a rod, a walking staff. As Moses was returning to Egypt to fulfill his calling, his brother, Aaron, staff in hand, met him in the desert. In the exodus that ensued, from the time that the children departed Egypt, until they crossed the Red sea on dry ground, both staffs figured prominently in miraculous displays. But Aaron’s figured more often.
During the exodus, the Lord spoke to Moses regarding the building of a tabernacle. In the tabernacle, behind a veil, was to be housed an ark. Into that ark were to go the testimonies, which God said to Moses, “I will give you”. Each of the testimonies which God gave were foreshadowed by man made testimonies, effigies of the God given testimonies to come. For the tables of the commandments, written with the finger of God, was the book which Moses wrote. For the rod of Aaron that budded, was a man made golden lamp stand, one beaten work of gold, made to resemble a living almond tree. For manna hidden in the golden vessel, was man made bread, set on daily, a loaf for each tribe. Now, in Christ, it is said that we are one loaf in the Lord, but that is another matter. It is the almond rod that is the subject here. And in each man made foreshadow, the shadow is figuratively diminished, when the thing it foreshadowed came.
There arose, during the exodus, a dispute among the people. They murmured and complained that Moses and Aaron were taking too much upon themselves. They disputed that God had chosen Aaron to anything more than any of the rest of the people. The Lord commanded that the staff, the rod of the head of each of the families was to be set before the tabernacle, the name of each owner written on it. In the morning, the rod of Aaron, and almond rod, had been resurrected and , without roots or tie to the tree it had been cut off from, it was alive, leafed, budded, and bore a crop of almonds on it. A complete generation born to it and with it, in it’s resurrection.
Out of Jacob, went a seed into Egypt. Of that seed came a tree. Of that tree was a branch cut off. That cut off branch was resurrected, a generation with it, and it passed expressly into the ark of the testimonies which God gave, passing before the man made effigy, which signified assemblies, which man made lamp stand never at any time did, and spiritually at no time ever will, enter the holiest place. If you read Revelation 2, 3 and 4, you may see the expounding of these things.
The tables of the law, the rod that was raised, the manna in the hidden vessel. GOD’s LAW. RESURRECTION. LIFE.
Many years later, Israel would reject God from being a king over them, and would lust after a king of flesh, a king which God gave them, though warning them of what would come of it. Later, David would propose to build a “house” for the Lord, which the Lord told David, that David could not do. This is the Lord who has said, “The heaven and the heaven of heavens are not sufficient to contain Me, where is the house you would build for me?” Instead, the Lord told David that He, the Lord, would build David a house, and that in his son who would come out of him. But when David passed, Israel errantly presumed Solomon to be that son. And Solomon built the temple that could not be built, the Lord, as in the matter of a king, making a concession, and again with a warning. This house, in his lifetime, Solomon quickly filled with every abomination. The mount of Olives before it, began to be called the mount of corruption. When this house was dedicated, the ark of the testimonies was brought into it. But in the ark, was only one thing found, the same and only one thing found in the innumerable “houses” which men today call “the Lord’s house”. The only thing there was the tablets of the law. Life (bread) and resurrection were no where in it. For to this day, the Most High dwells not in a house built with hands, as He told us.
Many years later still, a man who you could walk all the way around and look up and down at, from head to toe, a man who had declared that the Father dwelt in Him, a man who said “I am the life and the resurrection”, stood near the corrupted pile of stock and stone that Solomon had built, and this man said, “Destroy this temple, and I will build it again in three days”.
This man was defining for you, the Temple, the resurrection, the Life, and everything He is, in resurrection. He has no ties to Solomon’s house. He has no ties to Abraham’s flesh, or any flesh. He is the rootless, resurrected almond, and house of God of Jacob’s vision. If I am crucified with Him, by faith raised with Him, by faith seated together with Him, then I have no more root in anything I have been raised up out of, than he does. For the ax is laid to the root of the trees. No tree , nor anything they symbolize, will ever bear any fruit to God, save in resurrection. Period. We abide in Him in faith.