Power Fruits of the Spirit
Fruits of Spiritual Harvest-Oil Olives
Olive oil was one of the most important aspects of Tabernacle and Temple services: an ingredient of the grain offerings, anointing priests and furniture, and the source of fuel for the golden lamp-stand. But, it was only through the crushing of olives that the fruit could be fully reach its sacred potential.
Olives were first mentioned after the Great Flood, when Noah sent out a dove from the Ark a second time, which returned with an olive branch. Both doves and olive branches are common modern representations of Peace, but, more profoundly, doves and olive oil have been symbols of the Holy Spirit since the Old Testament.
The Holy Spirit coming upon someone through the anointing with oil was seen throughout the Bible, most notably the consecrating of priests (ref. Exodus 28:41; 40:12-15; Leviticus 8:12-13), the sacred furniture and utensils of the Tabernacle (ref. Exodus 30:26; 40:9-11; Leviticus 8:10-11) and the declaration of kings (ref. 1 Samuel 10:1; 16:1, 12-13). The Hebrew [ מָשַׁח ] “mashiach”, Romanticized to “Messiah” and “Christ” in Greek, means “the anointed one”, and related to someone dedicated to God, whether it was a king, priest, or prophet. When Jesus came up from the water after being baptized by John, the Holy Spirit came down from Heaven like a dove, anointing Him as God’s Beloved Son (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32).
When God declared His Blessings upon Israel, He compared their splendor to that of an olive tree (Hosea 14:5-6). But, prophesying the future destruction of the First Temple and Babylonian Exile, Jeremiah received revelation that this “thriving olive tree with fruit beautiful in form…[would be] set on fire and its branches broken…with the roar of a mighty storm” because “the Lord Almighty, who planted [them], decreed disaster for [them], because the people of both Israel and Judah [had] done evil and aroused [His] anger by burning incense to Baal” (ref. Jeremiah 11:16-17).
Olive trees have legendary longevity and some have been dated to be over 2,000 years old. One of the reasons they are able to live so long is their ability to regenerate after an unproductive olive tree is cut or burned down to the root stump. This is alluded to when Isaiah prophesied the coming of Christ as a “shoot coming up from the stump of Jesse, a branch shall grow from his roots: And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon (anoint) Him.” (ref. Isaiah 11:1–2).
Because cultivated olive varieties typically produce the largest harvests of the best fruits, domesticated stems are typically grafted onto wild root stock, which have a higher tolerance for regional diseases and agricultural pests. Paul described the New Testament Gentile Church as a wild olive branch, which had been grafted into the cultivated Olive tree, after some of the branches had been broken off, contrary to nature (ref. Romans 11:11-24).
Though God was doing something new and different, incorporating wild branches onto a domesticated stem, the natural branches still had the opportunity to be reconnected. By stepping away from the hardening of their hearts and their lack of faith, Israel could receive “circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit” (Romans 2: 25-29) enabling them to return. This cutting away of the outside layer to be grafted in would have been recognized by the people in the region, who would have been familiar with the ring budding technique used in Olive Tree propagation.
Even if harvested from a domesticated tree branch, most olive cultivars and varieties are not palatable for consumption or ready for oil extraction until they have been heavily processed. Table olives must be cracked, cured, and fermented to remove oleuropein, a compound which makes olives extremely bitter and inedible. Olives must be pulverized into a paste before they are further ground to remove their oil, and then will go through a filtration process to remove any pomace (olive pulp) within the oil.
The sons of Israel were required to bring “clear/pure oil of beaten olives” for the Tabernacle’s menorah, so that it would burn continuously (Exodus 27:20, Leviticus 24:2). The intense manufacturing methods required to produce the highest quality oil for the Tabernacle’s lamp, would have been a strong reminder of the costs of spiritual development to become holy and closer to God.
Whether natural or grafted into Christ’s root-stock, we are blessed to not only be covered by, but infused and filled with the Holy Spirit. While holy anointing oil was used to sanctify priests, kings, and Tabernacle furniture and utensils, the olives first had to experience the pressing process to make them ready to be turned into “pure oil”. We must also go through trials and tribulations to develop and mature our spiritual gifts and fruits, only then can we serve as a source of eternal Spiritual Light to a Lost and Dark World.
Prepared by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet & Eric Sepulveda, PMT Administrator
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