You Will Know them by their Fruits
When God brought Israel into the Promised Land, He reassured them that this country would not only be overflowing with milk and honey, but a rich bountiful harvest of the best produce. These fruits had special symbolism in the land of Israel and were used as a way to explain important principles about the spiritual kingdom Christ had prepared for His Disciples and the spiritual fruit He expected of them.
The fruits of the Promised Land, typically referred to as the Seven Species, were some of the earliest promises God made to the Israelites, as He brought them “into a good land – a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and date honey” (Deuteronomy 8:7-8).
Jewish Oral tradition believed these were the only acceptable first fruits that could be offered at the Temple in Jerusalem. Any fruits from foreign cultivation were not of the lands of Israel and thus not blessings from God and not worthy of sacrifice.
Christ recognized that false teachers would sow discord and confusion amongst the people and He warned His Followers to pay attention to the ultimate results of people’s actions. Though they prophesied in Christ’s name, cast out demons, and did many wonderful works, Christ would deny them and toss them aside because their work and their fruits were not of God.
It was only those who did God’s Heavenly Will who would enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, and only the good fruits of the Spirits that would enter the storehouse. Christ illustrated that we would recognize someone sent of Him by their fruits. Just as men would not gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, it is only from good trees that we collect good fruits and that every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire (ref. Matthew 7).
Even before Christ’s Baptism, John recognized the Pharisees and Sadducees as a generation of vipers that had failed to “bear fruits in keeping with repentance” because they thought to themselves that “[having] Abraham as [their] father” was enough to spare them from the “axe ready at the root of the trees…that do not produce good fruit, [which} would be cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 3:7-10).
Over the next several weeks we will explore the Seven Species (wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranate, olives, and dates) and what they meant to the ancient Israelites, how their meanings developed in the time of the early Christians and what they mean to those of us who live in the current age.
Prepared by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet & Eric Sepulveda, PMT Administrator
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