Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Fruits of Spiritual Harvest: Seven Species
As the Israelites marched towards the Promised Land, God eased their fears about what kind of country they would be inheriting by describing the land filled with the Seven Species. These agricultural crops (Wheat, Barley, Grape Vines, Figs, Pomegranates, Oil Olives, and Date Honey) not only blessed the Israelites pantries but served as Prophetic Signs of Christ’s future relationship with those who would be part of His Spiritual Kingdom.
Wheat harvest began with the Feast of Weeks/Pentecost, which all the Jewish males from around the world were required to observe. Christ explained to His Disciples that true Christians would be separated based on their fruits, alluding to the distinguishing between wheat and weeds during harvest. Likewise, those who bore good fruits would be collected and protected in the barn, while the weeds would be burned in the fire. Christ clarified that like a wheat kernel’s “death” before its production of fruits, so too would Christians need to cast off the physical to produce spiritual fruits. After Christ’s Ascension, it was during the wheat harvest/Pentecost when the first of Christ’s Followers were filled with the Holy Spirit.
Barley harvest began on the Feast of First Fruits which coincided and overlapped with the celebration of Passover. All men were required to present the first designated sheaths of barley to the Temple to perform a wave offering. As their households had been emptied of all un-sanctified grain before Passover, this presentation of the first fruits of their field was a display of faith that God would provide for all of their physical needs. Barley was the food of the poor but God performed several miracles to feed the faithful through this grain. Because Christ rose on the Feast of First Fruits, we too can be assured that we will not only have our physical needs provided for, but also conquer Death.
Christ proclaimed that He was The True [Grape] Vine and His Disciples were The Branches. Apart from Him they could nothing and would become a Useless Vine like Jerusalem, which would be thrown into the fire for its unfaithfulness, like a grape vine which had cross-pollinated with a wild variety and was now producing only stinking rotten berries. But, if they instead abided in Him, whatever they wished would be done for them and whatever they asked in Christ’s name, The Father would give them to empower them in their charge to bear much fruit that would last. The Father was the Husbandman who would cut away any unproductive branches, but those which bore fruits would be pruned and purified so that they could bring forward even more fruits.
Fig trees were first mentioned when Adam and Even sewed aprons/tunics to cover their nakedness. Though figs were symbols of prosperity, they also represented the decadent religiosity that Israel fell into when they were flourishing financially. Christ likened Jerusalem to the barren fig tree which had hid its nakedness and lack of fruit with leaves. The cursed fig tree served as a warning to believers that He did not want useless presentations of pious displays and that all trees which lacked fruits would be cut down and thrown into the fire. The unique nature of fig trees to put out immature unfertilized fruits before developing leaves was also a reminder to focus on the production of spiritual fruits ahead of anything else.
Pomegranates were prominently displayed along the hem of the High Priest’s ministerial robes interspersed between golden bells. This coupling of pomegranates and Lilies of the Valley was mirrored in the decorated crowns of the copper pillars at the entrance of the First Temple. The ironic pairing of pomegranates whose juice is known to stain nearly anything it touches and pure white Lilies of the Valley, were prophetic symbols of Christ’s blood which would conceal our blemishes and wash us white as snow. The hundreds of fruits within the pomegranates also serve as an intense reminder of the spiritual fruits we are capable and responsible for developing.
Olive Oil was one of the key ingredients in many aspects of the Tabernacle and Temple worship services, but raw olives could not be used to create this ever important oil. They had to be heavily processed through pulverization before they could have their oil extracted and then go through a filtration process to create the “clear/pure oil of beaten olives” required to fuel the Tabernacle’s Lamp. The Early Church was likened to a wild olive branch that had been grafted into the domesticated trunk of Israel, giving them access to Christ’s Spiritual Kingdom. Believers would no longer be limited to anointing by olive oil, but could now be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Dates were the first fruits that the Israelites encountered after crossing the Red Sea, and the succulently sweet fruit of the 70 glorious date palms and 12 springs of Elim would have been seen as a source of salvation while wandering in the desert. This connection to salvation was seen in the waving of the date palm frond during the Festival of Sukkot/Tabernacles, as each year the Temple of Jerusalem was surrounded by tens of thousands of Israelite men waving date palm frond bouquets while chanting (transliterated: “Hosanna!”) asking God to save them and to send them prosperity. When Christ made His Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem for Passover, the adoring crowds recognized Him as the Messiah and instinctively found palm branches to throw before His path while chanting “Hosanna!” amongst His praises. Just as their forefathers gazed upon the high hanging fruits of the date palms in the wilderness as a source of rescue, Christ also wound hang to provide salvation and eternal life.
Though the Israelites understood the Seven Species to describe the richness of the Promised Land, we can fully comprehend how God provided them as prophetic emblems of what He would do through His Beloved Son. Just these fruits were the only acceptable offerings in the Tabernacle, only our spiritual fruits will be considered and accepted by God. Through Christ’s Sacrifice we need not fear Death, as we are guaranteed forgiveness of sin and Eternal Life. By Baptism of the Holy Spirit, we can instead dedicate our lives which were bought by His Blood towards the development of spiritual fruits.
Prepared by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet & Eric Sepulveda, PMT Administrator
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