“Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” – Matthew 12:33-37.
All through the scripture, God refers to man symbolically, as a tree.
“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:3).
“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3).
All the trappings or features of a tree can symbolically be seen in man. Paul understood this and encourages us to be rooted in Christ.
“Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:7).
Trees take root. Man takes root. Any tree whose root is shallow will fall. Any believer who is not rooted deeply in Christ, will fall at the least tempest or storm.
Trees have leaves.
Man has a form of godliness.
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:5).
This form is useless to him in eternity. An outer religious covering that has no power. Man has decked himself with various colours of garments for various kinds of worship. He follows a form, lifeless rituals of do’s and don’t’s, “official” practices that cannot make one acceptable to God, because the form lacks true righteousness. Such trees can deceive.
Religion may make us visible to all, yet it can not approve us before God; and even before men. Our fruit -character- does.
Trees bear fruit. Man is encouraged to bear fruit.
“Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:” (Matthew 3:8).
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. ” (John 15:16).
This is the real power of the believer! Not being denied but acknowledged by heaven.
“Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20).
In being the “meekest” of men, Moses possessed the character of gold, which gave him power both with God and with men, and took him to the top. A loss of character also brought him down! Just obey the Word; speak to the Rock, and he disobeyed by striking it.
WHAT IS FRUIT!
“”Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep, but are really wolves that will tear you apart. You can detect them by the way they act; just as you can identify a tree by its fruit. You don’t pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles. ” (Matthew 7:15-16 NLT)
True believers are known by their fruit: their character: “the way they act”!
(To be continued)