Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Rethinking the Olive Tree
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20).
We know that the Messiah, as the Word of YEHOVAH God, is good -- for in him was his Father well pleased. The Messiah is the Light and in him is no darkness. As the sweet, faithful Seed of the Word of YEHOVAH God, he did nothing of his own accord, he was not controlled by desires of his flesh. He only spoke his Father’s command or word. No doctrine of men. No traditions. No lies. He was the First-fruit of the resurrection. It is written that he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him -- see Isaiah 53:2. Considering that throughout the Word of YEHOVAH God men are compared to trees, have you ever examined WHICH tree accurately testifies of the Messiah?
There is a reason for our Heavenly Father’s design. He communicates to His children spiritual concepts through physical things. This is known as “speaking in parables.” (Greeks refer to it as “analogical reasoning” or against logical reasoning.) In fact, Paul explains that YEHOVAH's invisible attributes are clearly seen through His creation, that we may understand Him through what He created, that we are without excuse:
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:18-20).
Throughout the Word of YEHOVAH Godmen are compared to trees. Trees of the field are compared to man’s life (Deuteronomy 20:19). Isaiah describes “trees of righteousness, a planting of YEHOVAH God.“ The Messiah is referred to as a Branch of Righteousness, a Branch growing out of the root of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1-10, Jeremiah 23:5-8, Jeremiah 33:14-16, Zechariah 6:12-15). John spoke metaphorically of people as trees when he told the brood of vipers to produce fruit in keeping with repentance. Figuratively referring to people, the Messiah taught that a tree is known by its fruit. He also expounded the parable of how the disciples were as branches, how they should abide in him and bear fruit. The same fruit. The fruit of light.
So if our Heavenly Father created a tree with certain attributes that testify of the Messiah, then what tree bears witness of the fruit of righteousness? If believers are as branches grafted to such a tree, what fruit represents “fruit in keeping with repentance”? Which tree accurately represents a faithful people, a people who are called by his name, a people referred to as Israel?
Let’s examine the attributes of the olive tree to determine if it accurately testifies of the Messiah. Let’s examine the attributes of the olive tree to determine if its branches accurately testify of believers abiding in the Righteous Branch, producing “fruit in keeping with repentance”, walking as he walked, faithfully obeying the Word of YEHOVAH God.
Expounding the Parable of the Olive Tree
Creation testifies that the branches of the olive tree produce bitter fruit…so bitter, in fact, that the fruit is not palatable raw from the tree but only after fermentation or pickling. At the center of this bitter fruit is an inedible seed that is as hard as stone. Its flesh is plump and oily. The olive tree awakens or blossoms in the spring after other fruit trees have already awakened; the small blossoms are hidden by evergreen leaves. These small blossoms are largely wind-pollinated; most olive varieties are self-pollinating. The fruit is harvested in the “dark” portion of the year, after the intensity of the heat has passed, as the hours of the darkness of the night exceed the hours of the light of the day. The olive tree is described as having a graceful and billowing appearance; in other words, the olive tree has a beauty of its own. Furthermore, did you know that the olive tree is regarded as an invasive “weed” tree? 
(1) Bitter fruit…
(2) seed as hard as stone…
(3) plump and oily flesh…
(4) small, spring blossoms hidden among evergreen leaves…
(5) fruit is harvested in the “dark” portion of the year...
(6) self-pollination by the wind…
(7) a beauty of its own…
Throughout the Word of YEHOVAH God, people are compared to trees, and their fruit is what they do and say. The fruit of bitterness is associated with a rebellious, disobedient people (Strong's H4805, H4784), people who will not hear the Word of YEHOVAH God.
H4805 mer-ee' From H4784; bitterness, that is, (figuratively) rebellion; concretely bitter, or rebellious: - bitter, (most) rebel (-ion, -lious).
H4784 maw-raw' A primitive root; to be (causatively make) bitter (or unpleasant); (figuratively) to rebel (or resist; causatively to provoke): - bitter, change, be disobedient, disobey, grievously, provocation, provoke (-ing), (be) rebel (against, -lious).
Throughout the Word of YEHOVAH God, the children of Israel continuously rebelled against the commands of YEHOVAH and are described as “a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of YEHOVAH God (Isaiah 30:9). In regards to the seed of a tree, the seed is found within the fruit. At the core of the bitter olive fruit is an inedible seed that is as hard as stone. Likewise, at the core of stubborn and rebellious people who will not hear the Word of YEHOVAH are hearts described as “hard as stone”. Regarding the fruit of the olive tree, each cell contains a tiny droplet of oil; this olive oil is expelled from the flesh. According to the Word of YEHOVAH, the rebellious people were full of arrogance and pride and are referred to as “waxen fat, shiny”, “enclosed in fat”, “hearts as fat as grease”. This conveys the imagery of flesh that is full of oil or grease.
In creation, trees can be pollinated by the wind or by bees and insects. (Remember that in the Hebrew, the word “bee” is associated with “command” or “word” -- see Strong's H1682, 1696.) Metaphorically speaking, Paul describes someone who is pollinated by the wind as being “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Ephesians 4:14). These bitter and rebellious people with hearts as hard as stone and waxen fat were carried away by falsehood, lies, traditions and doctrines of men. They would NOT receive the Word of YEHOVAH God. In other words, they were pollinated by the winds of doctrine as opposed to the Word or debar of YEHOVAH God.
In contrast, the Messiah was not rebellious. He was not bitter. Rather the Righteous Branch from the stump of Jesse was the faithful, sweet, Seed of the Word of YEHOVAH God. He was not proud or arrogant. In fact, he did nothing of his own fleshly desire. His heart yielded to the desires of his Father. He was pollinated by the commands (debar) of his Father. He spoke nothing of his own accord but only what his Father commanded him. There were no falsehood or lies in him. He guarded or watched over his Father’s Words. Perfectly. As a result, he was stricken, beaten, shaken, crushed. But he wasn’t destroyed.
The Death of the Messiah
Let us, now, consider the death of the Messiah. According to Nancy L. Kuehl --
"Whatever one believes, we must believe Jesus was hanged alive on a living tree. The evidence is overwhelming. From the New Covenant, we have several references to it. Never is the word xulon translated as the 'cross.' The word for 'cross' would have been stauros, and even then the Greek word only reflects the upright nature of the tree! The word xulon, however, is the same that Luke uses in 23:31 for 'moist wood' and refers to a living tree!....The word is even used to describe the fruit trees of the Garden of Eden, including the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In the New Covenant, the disciples were quite clear about how Jesus was hanged, and it wasn't upon a Roman cross. The disciples, in fact, confronted the Jewish judicial Sanhedrin later that decade with the ultimate accusation that they had hanged Jesus upon a 'living' tree (A Book of Evidence: The Trials and Execution of Jesus, Resource Publications, Eugene, OR 2013, p. 199).
Following on this, the book The Rod of An Almond Tree in God's Master Plan, states that,
"The overwhelming evidence in support of the tree, rather than the cross, opens the door to making a profound connection between the crucifixion tree and the Tree of Life. As stated above, the Greek word xulou (or xulon) was used to refer to the crucifixion tree....Significantly, the same Greek word (xulou/xulon) that refers to the crucifixion tree is also used to refer to the Tree of Life in the Book of Revelation....The authors believe that the use of the same Greek word confirms a direct link between the Tree of Life and the crucifixion tree. That link -- both literal and symbolic -- has been traced from the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden to the crucifixion tree on the Mount of Olives" (by Peter A. Michas, WinePress Publishing, Mukilteo, WA 1997, pp. 145-146).
The fact that the crucifixion tree -- like the Tree of Life -- could be an almond tree is posed by Dr. Ernest L. Martin: "What we need to recognize, however, is that the Tree of Life was reckoned by the early Jews to have been the almond tree. And early Christians considered the tree on which Christ was crucified as being the Tree of Life. Since Christ was crucified on a literal tree, could it have been an almond?" (Secrets of Golgotha: The Forgotten History of Christ's Crucifixion, ASK Publications, Alhambra, CA 1988, p. 257).
Not only was the messiah impaled on a living tree, he was also subject to a vicious stoning. Notice what the apostle John recorded:
"As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him [the Messiah], they shouted, 'Crucify! Crucify!' But Pilate answered, 'You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.' The Jews insisted, [saying] 'we have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God'" (John 19:7).
What was this LAW the Jews were talking about? Leviticus 24:16 reveals the answer: "And he that BLASPHEMES the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly STONE HIM: as well as the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemes the name of the LORD, shall be put to death."
The Acts of Pilate (a 4th-century apocryphal work) contains verses paralleling John 19:7 that irrefutably prove the Jews were indeed referring to the law in Deuteronomy 24:16. In these verses Pilate could not see any blasphemy in the utterance of Yeshua:
"If this word is blasphemy, take him, bring him into your synagogue, and judge him according to your law. The Jews answered Pilate: It is contained in our law, that if a man sins against a man, he must receive forty strokes save one, but he who blasphemes against God must be stoned. Pilate said to them: Take him yourselves and punish him as you wish" (IV, 3-4).
The reason the front part of the Messiah's face and body was so "crushed" and "bruised" by objects that were "caused to land on him" was because he was stoned in accordance with the law of Moses!! Was the Messiah accused of blasphemy? Indeed he was! Notice Matthew 26:63-66:
"The high priest said to him, 'I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.' 'Yes, it is as you say,' Jesus replied. 'But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.' Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, 'he has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses: Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?' 'he is worthy of death,' they answered."
And what was the penalty for blasphemy? STONING!
There is absolutely no doubt that this is what the Jewish authorities were petitioning Pilate for permission to do. And what did Pilate do? "Pilate said, 'Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law"' (John 18:31). In saying this Pilate permitted the Jews to execute Yeshua according to the Biblical law. This was an UNCOMMON allowance because it subjected the Messiah to suffer the scriptural (Mosaic) execution (stoning) for blasphemy, thus fulfilling all the Old Testament prophecies.
The Messiah was the First-fruit of the resurrection, the first to “awaken” from death or sleep. He was clothed in garments of righteousness and justice; he was called the “Just One” and the Righteous Branch. It is written that he had no form or comeliness, no beauty that we should desire him.
The Tree That Testifies of the Messiah
Is there a tree that serves as an accurate witness testifying to these things?
(2) first to resurrect or awaken…
(3) white garments of righteousness…
(4) pollinated by the Word or “debar”...
(6) flesh withering in the heat…
(7) stricken…beaten…shaken…crushed but not destroyed...
(8) sweet, single, edible seed…
YES there is such a tree! In the Hebrew Bible, this tree was a symbol of watchfulness and promise due to its early flowering. In the Bible this tree is mentioned ten times, beginning with the Book of Genesis 43:11, where it is described as "among the best of fruits". In Numbers 17 Levi is chosen from the other tribes of Israel by Aaron's rod, which brought forth flowers of this tree. According to tradition, the rod of Aaron bore sweet fruit of this tree on one side and bitter on the other; if the Israelites followed YEHOVAH God, the sweet fruit would be ripe and edible, but if they were to forsake the path of YEHOVAH, the bitter fruit would predominate. The blossom of this tree supplied a model for the menorah which stood in the Temple in Jerusalem: Three cups, shaped like the blossoms of this tree, were on one branch, with a knob and a flower; and three cups, shaped like the blossoms of this tree, were on the other. On the candlestick itself were four cups, shaped like the blossoms of this tree, with its knobs and flowers (Exodus 25:33-34; 37:19-20).
This tree is known as the watchful tree. It was created to be the first of the fruit trees to awaken from its winter slumber as the heat and light noticeably increase at the dawn of a new cycle. Upon awakening or“resurrecting” from a state of dormancy or sleep, this tree clothes its naked branches in white blossoms. Bees are critical to pollination. Upon pollination, first-fruits resembling flames of fire begin to emerge from the calyx and hastily or rapidly grow. Within six to eight weeks of pollination, these first-fruits are harvested, but only a few; these first-fruits are hand-picked before the intensity of the heat arrives. The other fruits remain on the branches to mature in the heat so the inner core may grow firm. The flesh of the fruit splits open and withers in the summer heat so that all that remains is a sweet, single, edible seed. No flesh remains.
In the seventh month following blossoming -- in the “light” portion of the year at the intensity of the summer heat -- its branches are ready for harvest, this being the second and final harvest for this tree. Harvesters strike, beat and shake the seed from the tree. This tree is renowned for its seed, a seed known as one of the world’s healthiest foods. When this seed is crushed, it yields a remarkable, golden oil as well as a choice meal or fine flour.
Taken as an analogy, then, could the oil of this seed represent the blood of the Messiah -- given as he was stoned and "crushed" on the crucifixion tree?
What is this tree? As we have seen, this tree serves as the pattern for the lamp stand in the holy place -- producing the fruit of light. This tree is one of the articles in the ark of the testimony -- the branch that was chosen to represent the High Priest and the house of Levi…the earthly priesthood…the servants of YEHOVAH God. YEHOVAH showed this tree to Jeremiah in a vision to communicate that He was watching over His Word to perform it. The seed of this tree is shaped like an eye (hint, hint -- the very thing a person uses to be “watchful”). This tree that testifies of the Messiah -- the Righteous Branch -- is the sweet ALMOND TREE!
In late January or early February, many of the terraced hillsides of Israel are dramatically transformed. Awakening from their winter sleep, almond trees burst into bloom. Since it is one of the earliest trees to do so, the almond usually has the stage to itself. Its white and pink blossoms grace the wintry countryside, reminding us of Solomon’s words at Ecclesiastes 12:5. There he compares the white hair of old age to "the almond tree that carries blossoms." In view of the almond’s precocious bloom, the Hebrew word for almond appropriately has the literal meaning “awakening one” -- as awakening in the resurrection.
It has thus been used in the Bible in a number of powerful illustrations. For example, the prophet Jeremiah saw in vision an offshoot, or branch, of an almond tree. What did it represent? “I am keeping awake concerning my word in order to carry it out,” YEHOVAH God told him (Jeremiah 1:11, 12). Of course, YEHOVAH never tires out, nor does He sleep. But His words emphasized His desire to finish His work (Isaiah 40:28).
Centuries before Jeremiah’s day, a flowering almond rod was used to identify the one whom YEHOVAH God had appointed as high priest. A rod for each one of the 12 tribes of Israel was deposited before YEHOVAH in the tent of meeting. The following morning Aaron’s almond rod had not only flowered miraculously but also produced ripe almonds! This almond rod was kept inside the ark of the covenant for a while as a sign to the nation of Israel that they should never again murmur against YEHOVAH’s appointed representatives (Numbers 16:1-3, 10; 17:1-10; Hebrews 9:4).
When we realize that the branch which budded, blossomed and ripened almonds was the branch that Moses and Aaron shared in bringing about some of the plagues in Egypt and was the branch that parted the waters bringing deliverance to the children of Israel, then we begin to see how this branch serves as a shadow of the real thing -- the Righteous Branch, the Messiah. The branch that Moses and Aaron shared was referred to as "the branch of God" (Exodus 4:1-20, Exodus 17:9) during the encounter with the burning bush while Moses was in Midian at the Mountain of Almonds.
Charles A. Whittaker, in his dissertation The Biblical Significance of Jabal al Lawz, notes that the biblical Mt. Sinai in Midian is called, in Arabic, "the Mountain of Almonds":
"The name of the mountain itself, Jabal al Lawz, means 'Mountain of Almonds.' Eyewitnesses Jim and Penny Caldwell say they have seen almond trees in the immediate vicinity of what supporters of the Lawz/Sinai thesis call the holy precinct.
"They have picked up almond branches in the area around the mountain on the eastern side of the range....Almond trees must have been common for many centuries on this mountain as the name implies.
"On one of the high ridges of Maqla, between two boulders grows a tree. 'The tree on the peak is how it [the mountain] is identified locally, since there is no other mountain in the area with a tree on the top.' The Caldwells have positively identified the tree as an almond tree. Phenomenon like this may have contributed to the naming of the mountain. It is interesting to note that when Moses was in the Mount in Exodus 25, that the LORD instructed Moses to use the pattern of the almond blossom for the Golden Lamp stand. Indeed to have a visual aid for Moses and the artisans would have been helpful. The Caldwells have photos of almond trees in full bloom from the immediate environs of the mountain" (In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for Doctor of Philosophy in Bible and Theology, May 2003, pp. 141-142).
Through this "branch of God" in Moses and Aaron's hands, power and authority were transferred from YEHOVAH God above. Through this branch, they performed signs and wonders. Through this branch the waters obeyed. Through this branch came deliverance. Through this branch the Israelites were brought to a mountain (Mountain of Almonds) where they learned about what is righteousness and just according to the eyes of YEHOVAH God -- they learned the law of His kingdom.
After the rebellion, the branch "resurrected" into a budding and blossoming almond branch as a sign to the rebels and revealed who YEHOVAH God chose to serve Him. This branch had Aaron's name written on it. Those who watched over and stood guard in the tabernacle in the wilderness (the House of Levi) were represented by blossoming almond branches.
To the Jewish kabbalist the almond (Hebrew, luz) is a mystical concept denoting the source of resurrection and regeneration, as well as an endocrine gland and a sprout! Jacob used almond rods for "bioengineering" -- to change the color of his sheep (Genesis 30:37-39). To the kabbalist, Luz is the name of the blessed land of the immortals.
To illustrate how deeply rooted is the concept of potential immortality in the Talmud and Midrash -- and its connection to the almond tree -- it may be sufficient to quote a remarkable article on "Luz" from the Jewish Encyclopedia:
"LUZ -- Name of a city in the land of the Hittites, built by an emigrant from Beth-el, who was spared and sent abroad by the Israelitish invaders because he showed them the entrance to the city (Judges i. 26). "Luz" being the Hebrew word for an almond-tree, it has been suggested that the city derives its name from such a tree or grove of trees....Legend invested the place with miraculous qualities. 'Luz, the city known for its blue dye, is the city which Sennacherib entered but could not harm; Nebuchadnezzar could not destroy; the city over which the angel of death has no power; outside the walls of which the aged who are tired of life are placed, where they meet death' (Sotah 46b); wherefore it is said of Luz, 'the name thereof is unto this day' (Judges i. 26, Hebr.). It is furthermore stated that an almond-tree with a hole in it stood before the entrance to a cave that was near Luz; through that hole persons entered the cave and found the way to the city, which was altogether hidden (Gen. R.I.c.)."
It turns out that luz (almond) is also the "Aramaic name for the os coccyx, the 'nut' of the human spinal column. The belief was that, being indestructible, it will form the nucleus for the resurrection of the body. The Talmud narrates that the emperor Hadrian, when told by R. [Rabbi] Joshua that the revival of the body at the resurrection will take its start with the 'almond,' or the 'nut,' of the spinal column, had investigations made and found that water could not soften, nor fire burn, nor the pestle and mortar crush it" (Lev. R. xviii; Eccl. R. xii).
The legend of the "resurrection bone," connected with Psalm 34:20, was accepted as an axiomatic truth by the Christian and Mohammedan theologians and anatomists -- and in the Middle Ages the bone received the name "Juden Knochlein" (Jew-bone).
What Happened to the Witness?
What do you think happened to cause so many people to think of the olive tree when they think of the Messiah -- the tree that believers will be grafted to? What do you think happened to cause many to regard the bitterness of the olive as sweet and good? Consider the olive tree throughout history. In Roman and Greek mythology, the olive tree was considered a sacred tree. Its leafy olive branches, or olive wreaths, were used to crown the victors of friendly games and bloody wars. Olive branches were ritually offered to deities and powerful figures as emblems of blessings and purification. The oil from the olive was used to anoint kings; it was burnt in the sacred lamps of Greek temples. The olive tree was associated with athletic competitions held throughout Greece in ancient times. It served as the "eternal flame" of the original Olympic Games. Athletes were anointed with olive oil.
"Some have thought that the tree of crucifixion might be the olive" states Dr. Martin. "While the olive has a great deal of symbolic significance in the Scriptures, it is unlikely to be the Tree of Life. As is well known, olives cannot be eaten directly from the tree because of the extreme bitter taste of uncured olives. But in all symbolic contexts of the Bible which concern the Tree of Life, not only can its fruit be eaten from the tree but even its leaves are useful (cf. Rev. 22:2). In Christian symbolism, the real 'fruit' of the Tree of Life is symbolically represented as the 'flesh of Christ' (John 6:51-58). He was the actual 'edible part' that all people [Israelites] must consume in order to inherit everlasting life. The life-giving fruit hanging on that symbolic Tree of Life (represented by the almond tree) was reckoned by early Christians as the spiritual 'fruit' of immortality (John 6:51 ff)....If the Tree of Life motif is to be followed in detail, then the most logical tree would have been 'the tree of the priesthood' -- the almond. There are presently a number of almond trees growing on the slopes of Olivet and it is feasible for three men to be impaled on the larger ones" (Secrets of Golgotha, p. 257).
Contrast this with the system of our Heavenly Father. Our Heavenly Father chose a budding and blossoming almond branch yielding ripening almonds (first-fruits) to represent His chosen servants. Not an olive branch. Our Heavenly Father chose budding and blossoming almond branches to serve as the pattern for the source of light in the holy place of the tabernacle in the wilderness. Not an olive branch. Our Heavenly Father chose to show Jeremiah a branch of an almond tree to communicate that He was watching over His Word to perform it. Not an olive tree.
Consider what occurred during the reign of Antiochus IV. As Antiochus IV invaded and conquered other nations, he introduced Greek customs and culture into their way of life. During his reign, a gymnasium was built in Jerusalem to introduce the children of Israel to the Greek mode of educating young people. Gymnasiums, a word derived from gymnos meaning naked, were of great significance to the Greeks. There men trained for public games, offering their naked bodies as a tribute to their gods. The Olympic Games were dedicated to their god Zeus. Olive oil and olive wreaths played a major role in these competitions.
Also, according to historical accounts, an altar of Zeus Olympios was erected in the Temple of YEHOVAH God. This brought about a mingling of attributes of the Greek culture into the holy and pure Temple of YEHOVAH God. As these customs and religious ceremonies including olive branches and olive oil were mingled into the Temple of YEHOVAH God, perhaps later generations eventually adopted the sacred olive tree of the Greeks into the ways of YEHOVAH God. Thus the significance of the almond tree was eventually replaced with the olive tree. Has anyone questioned the concept of mingling elements from two different trees in a holy and pure place? The oil from the fruit of an olive tree into a lamp that is patterned after an almond tree? As we become more familiar with our Heavenly Father and His ways, it becomes clear that He does not condone mingling:
‘How did these nations serve their gods? -- that I also may do the same. You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the LORD hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods" (Deuteronomy 12:29-31).
"When the LORD your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying,
"Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee" (Leviticus 19:19).
"You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the LORD would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly" (Deuteronomy 7:3).
Paul and the book of Revelation also address the subject of mingling:
” Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?" (2 Corinthians 6:14-15).
"Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial?
"And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: 'The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation. "'I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth" (Revelation 3:14-16).
Therefore, the oil used in the menorah in the Temple must have been almond oil -- NOT olive oil.
In 1841, a man named John Kitto even questioned the type of oil used in the holy place. He wrote:
"The drupe of the almond has a leathery covering, not pulpy or edible, like that of the peach. Its productive value lies in the well-known and much-valued sweet kernel of the stone, or nut. These kernels yield on expression one-half their weight of oil, the well-known oil of the almonds, which is more agreeable than the common expressed oils. It is remarkable that this oil is not once mentioned in the Scriptures. Indeed even olive oil is not very often mentioned by name; and we think that in many of the cases in which "oil," simply, is mentioned without the specification of its quality, it is wrong to suppose that olive-oil is always intended; for it is incredible that the oil of almonds could be unknown to, or unvalued by, a people who sought after and employed vegetable oils so largely as the Hebrews" (Kitto, John. Palestine: The Physical Geography and Natural History of the Holy Land. London: Charles Knight & Co., 1841, p. ccxii).
Creation testifies that the parable of the olive tree is one of bitterness and rebellion. Figuratively, the olive tree represents a bitter and rebellious people with plump flesh that is full of grease and a heart as hard as stone. The olive tree does NOT accurately testify of Messiah, the Righteous Branch, the First-fruit of the resurrection, the faithful Seed of the Word ofYEHOVAH God, the Light of the world. The olive tree does NOT accurately testify of the One who guarded or watched over His Father’s commands to protect them from doctrines, traditions and lies of men. Neither do the branches of a tree which produce bitter fruit accurately testify of believers who are producing the fruit of repentance, receiving the Word of YEHOVAH God, producing the fruit of light, first-fruits of the resurrection. Our Heavenly Father created the sweet almond tree to serve as such a witness.
It is time for us to awaken and consider that traditions and doctrines surrounding the olive tree may be one of the lies that we have inherited. Considering the witnesses of our Heavenly Father’s creation, we are without excuse. Whether due to Hellenization, the lying pen of the scribes (Jeremiah 8:8), or inherited lies (Jeremiah 16:19, Amos 2:4), it appears that the truth has been suppressed. We may be guilty of calling something that stands for evil as good, darkness as light, bitter as sweet.
We need to think about what we proclaim in saying that we are grafted into an olive tree: the proclamation of a rebellious people with hearts as hard as stone, not receiving the commands or “debar” of YEHOVAH God, not walking in His ways, receiving lies, traditions and doctrines of men, a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of YEHOVAH God. The attributes of the sweet almond tree bear witness to a faithful people, a faithful Israel, trees of righteousness, a people who are grafted into the Righteous Branch, a people who are walking in the ways of YEHOVAH. Which tree best describes you?
As we continue in His truth, may we know His Truth and may His Truth set us free!
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 Common Olive Olea Europaea Subsp. Europaea. Factsheet. The University of Queensland. Special Edition of Environmental Weeds of Australia for Biosecurity Queensland., 2011. Web. 12 Oct. 2015. <http://keyserver.lucidcentral.org/weeds/data/080c0106-040c-4508-8300-0b0a06060e01/media/html/Olea_europaea_subsp._europaea.htm>.
-- Edited by John D. Keyser.
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Courage for the Sake of Truth is Far Better Than Silence for the Sake of Unity!
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