by John and Ruth Greene
Yahshua [Jesus] has a message that is often missed by Christians. Many have been misled by the bad shepherd or distracted by the ways of the world. Are you bearing fruit, or something else?
“And on the morrow, they going out from Bethany, He hungered. And He saw a certain fig tree from afar that had leaves on it. And He came towards it to see if he could find anything on it. And when He arrived, He did not find anything on it except leaves. For the time of figs had not yet arrived. And answering, Yahshua [Jesus] said to it, ‘Let no one eat fruit of you any more forever.’ And His disciples heard.” – Mark 11:12-14, HRB
At first blush, the casual reader may wonder why Yahshua [Jesus] would be cross with a fig tree that was out of season, and then, to promptly curse it. One thing that we do know about Yahshua [Jesus], is that He compares His people, and especially the people that consider themselves as priests above others, to fig trees. (Matthew 21:19) What is more, He expects spiritual fruit from His people, not simply muddying the waters of life. (Ezekiel 34:17-19; 1 Corinthians 3:1-22) Any professed Christian that muddies the waters for others by raising unfounded doubts, promoting false ideas, tearing down YHWH’s truth and misleading others is not reaping Kingdom fruit. A fruitless fig tree, where Yahshua [Jesus] is concerned, is the fruit of evil, the contamination of evil shepherds, fearful manipulation and division, hardened hearts and immature thinking. (“Which Shepherd Do You Believe?“; “The False Shepherd and the True Shepherd“; “Messiah Teaches about Fruit in the Lives of People“)
A fig tree takes three years to mature before it will bear fruit. Because of this, baby Christians are not immediately expected to bear fruit, but instead to build on a new foundation and to learn the cultivation of the new man in Messiah. A basic level of spiritual maturity, a solid foundation is needed first rather than premature and unnaturally developed fruit. There is a season for fig trees to bear fruit, just like there is a season for disciples to bear fruit. Does this mean that your Heavenly Father is looking for a harvest only three months a year in your life? That is hardly the case. YHWH is looking for appropriate spiritual fruit in the lives of His obedient people, not in aiding and abetting spiritual superstars that set themselves up as gods or ‘mighty ones’ over others. Could you be setting up another Christian, even your favorite pastor, as a spiritual superstar? With immature, baby Christians, it happens all the time. Unhappily, multitudes of Christians are held captive through spiritual immaturity and ignorance, while they are bled of resources and limited by inaccurate teaching by those that seek their own benefit. (“Foundation of Salvation“; “Disciples of Messiah and the Harvest“; “The Wheels of Ezekiel“; “YHWH’s Threshing Floor“; “The Idolatry Factor“)
After cursing the fig tree, Yahshua [Jesus] went to Temple in Jerusalem to drive out those that were buying and selling in the courtyard of the Gentiles. Why? The religious Jews had taken the concept of a house of prayer and the beautiful foundations of truth that YHWH had given them and turned their faith into mysticism, ritual and mindless business transactions. They turned their faith into a religious system of robbery and fear instead of opening hearts and minds. In fact, the cold hearts of the priests were fearful of faith, firmly ingrained with their own feelings of authority and the system that they had built. In spiritual Israel today, untold multitudes of Christians have come to imitate the faith of the Jews, modeling only humanism and faith through ignorance, ritual and pretense. The foundation of all believers is the Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah, using high quality materials of accurate knowledge and obedience. The Jews had twisted their faith into a creation of their own making, Multitudes of professed Christians have done the very same thing in the world that we live in today. (“Disciples of Messiah & the Authority of Man“; “The Role of Authority in Your Life“; “Leaven of the Pharisees; Leaven of the World“; “Trust YHWH, Not World Leaders“)
“Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter, remembering, said to Him, ‘Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.’” – Mark 11:20-22, NKJV
Most readers stop here when considering this important account, taking a premature lesson into their hearts. Yahshua [Jesus] had more to say. The first words from his mouth were: “Have faith in Yahweh.” This is in stark contrast to the Jews of His day as well as Jews and many professed Christians of this day. So many have put trust in a system of faith organized by other men above the pure pursuit of accurate knowledge and relationship with YHWH through Messiah and the Holy Spirit [Sanctified, Set Apart Spirit]. (“Foundation of a Global System of Greed“; “The Truth About the Tithe“)
“And Yahshua [Jesus] answering saith unto them, ‘Have faith in Yahweh. For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, ‘Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea;’ and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” – Mark 11:22-25, WoY
Yahshua [Jesus] appropriately shows disciples what it is to walk daily in faith and accurate knowledge. This isn’t some kind of worldly magic, nor is it done simply through self. Disciples have a partner that seeks to help them based on a vital foundation.
The foundation of the life of a disciple is the Savior. He is your base and reason for being a disciple. Everything a Christian does must fit into the pattern presented by Yahshua [Jesus], instead of modeling your life after the Jews or thinking of the past. Is the life pattern of Yahshua [Jesus] part of your Christian character? Does your life mirror the fears and concerns of the world: wealth, security and success? So many television preachers teach on perfect health, wealth, security and success of the world! Abundance in life is so much more! When ‘hopeful Christians’ experience lack by looking to preachers and material things first, they set themselves up for failure. They become discouraged through misdirection. Since people fail to see the fruit of these preachers in their lives, so many walk away from Elohim! Otherwise innocent Christians that don’t exhibit a ‘perfect life’ in the eyes of a certain preacher, are often made to feel worthless, as they are looted and plundered. (1 Corinthians 3:11, 12) They are often admonished to let the preacher do all the work of ministry, while supporters continue to live a lifestyle of chasing and fearing after the world, living exactly like the lost. They have ignored an important command by the Savior. (“Purity Starts Inside: A Lesson Through the Ages“; “Beware of False Teachers & Disciples“; “The Importance of Practical Repentance“; “Bible Prophecy and the Rise of the Corporation“; “The Antichrist & the War on Reality“)
“Because of this I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you shall eat or drink, or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than the food and the body more than the clothing? Look at the birds of the heaven, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into storehouses, yet your heavenly Father does feed them. Are you not worth more than they? And which of you by worrying is able to add one cubit to his life’s span?
So why do you worry about clothing? Note well the lilies of the field, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin, and I say to you that even Shelomoh in all his esteem was not dressed like one of these. But if Elohim so clothes the grass of the field, which exists today, and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more you, O you of little belief? Do not worry then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For all these the gentiles seek for. And your heavenly Father knows that you need all these.
But seek first the reign of Elohim, and His righteousness, and all these matters shall be added to you.” – Matthew 6:25-33, ISR98
These disciples don’t have a firm foundation as mature disciples, clearly being misled and abused by bad shepherds. (Ezekiel 34) Christian character must be built on the Messiah and the Holy Spirit, not on the inferior materials; straw and stubble of the world. Do you want to risk being consumed by the flames of the destruction of the world? You cannot take YHWH for granted, nor can you put yourself or someone else as a god before YHWH, Elohim of Hosts, as you expect salvation. (“Knowing Where You Stand on YHWH’s Threshing Floor“; “Wisdom & the Battle of Two Kingdoms“)
When you work against YHWH, you work against the Holy Spirit. The modern world focuses on money and the pursuit of wealth. Much of Christianity has put a smiley face of approval on this worldly system of weights and balances so that they can reap the benefits of your labor and misspent time, as you put your faith in a system that your Heavenly Father didn’t build. Christian life does not snuff out Bible truth, nor does it diminish the need to tithe to those who are revealing scriptural truth to those that will listen. Even so, you are not a whipping horse for someone else’s profit and benefit to live a better material life with the pretense of doing ‘God’s work.’ Christian living does not relieve you or anyone else from living a lifestyle of truth. You are to support YHWH’s truth with all your heart and resources, even if you must do so by yourself. That is exactly what Yahshua [Jesus] did. He admonishes us not to be deceived. (Matthew 24) Why? Disciples of Messiah have a very real purpose, instead of allowing the abomination that causes desolation into our hearts. Even more importantly, scripture specifically reveals that all believers are filled with the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19) The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to fill the new creation with a new attitude and lifestyle. Christians are that new creation. (“Holy Spirit 101“; “Listening to the Holy Spirit“; “The Abomination That Causes Desolation“; “YHWH’s Track of Righteousness“)
“So that if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17, HRB (see also Ephesians 3:16)
“For this reason, do not be foolish, but understanding what the will of Elohim is. And ‘do not be drunk with wine,’ in which is debauchery, but be filled by the Spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and praising in your heart to YAHWEH, giving thanks at all times for all things to YAHWEH the Father in the name of our Master Yahshua [Jesus] Messiah.” – Ephesians 5:17-20, HRB
The real problem that Christianity has, in general, is that religious thinking does not want to recognize the importance of the Holy Spirit, often fully confused and intimidated by the issue of control. Your Heavenly Father does not control you because you are, and always will be, a free moral agent. The key to being a disciple of Messiah is that your Heavenly Father wants to be more fully expressed in you through the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:13) Operating in the Holy Spirit and living in YHWH’s Will produces certain characteristics known as “the fruit of the Spirit.” This isn’t some imaginary man-made device, but profound evidence of your faith, especially in contrast to works of the flesh. (“YHWH’s Prayer Shawl of Protection“; “Disciples of Messiah and Spiritual Fruit“; “The Man of Lawlessness“; “How YHWH Marks His People“)
“Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adultery, impurity, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, witchcraft, enmity, fighting, jealousies, anger, rivalries, stubbornness, divisions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, reveling, and things like these; of which I tell you beforehand, as I also said before, that the ones practicing such things will not inherit the kingdom of YAHWEH. But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self control. Against such things there is no instruction.” – Galatians 5:19-23, HRB
An important part of a Christian lifestyle is prayer. A Christian relies on the Holy Spirit to be certain, but prayer remains a vitally important way to express your faith and a clear way communicate directly with Elohim [‘God’]. As Yahshua [Jesus] mandated in Matthew 6, disciples are not to fail to pray in private instead of on the street corners or for the purpose of making a show. (“Break Down Walls of Darkness with Prayer“; “Prayer & Life in Messiah“; “Properly Directed Prayer is Potent“)
“And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.” – Matthew 6:7, NKJV
Prayer is a personal expression of the heart. Yahshua [Jesus] offered a sample prayer, but did not intend for his disciples to memorize His sample prayer to be repeated routinely or mindlessly like a prayer wheel. He wants you to be honest and straightforward, using prayer as a tool in your personal spiritual warfare against dark forces. You’ll notice, that even in His sample prayer, forgiveness is of no small consequence. (“Is Your Forgiveness Real?“)
Once the disciple of Messiah has a basic level of understanding and is able to stop fighting YHWH, the Holy Spirit works as your Counselor. (John 14:16; 16:13) This isn’t a ‘church function’ of enlightenment, but a ‘personal function.’ The Holy Spirit enables relationship and enables the defense of your faith through spiritual knowledge and insight, through discernment. (1 Corinthians 2:11; Romans 8:27; Acts 1:8; “The Real Power Behind Baptism“; “Discernment 101: Learning to be Discerning“)
“Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” – 1 John 2:24-27, NKJV