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Shavuot (Pentecost) Part IV Print E-mail
Written by Victoria Radin   

The Judgment of the Fruit Trees

"Likewise every good tree bears good fruit....Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. ....Many will say to Me on that day, 'L-rd, L-rd, did we not prophecy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!"' (Excerpt from Matthew 7:17-23)

It is taught that Shavuot is the time that the ‘fruit trees’ are judged. In Jewish teaching, there are four judgments: the Judgment of the Grain at Passover, the Judgment of the Fruit Trees at Shavuot, the Judgment of The People (Jews) at Rosh HaShanah, and the *Judgment of the Waters (the world or nations) at Sukkot.  

The Judgment of the Fruit Trees ends our study of the prophetically important festival of Shavuot.

*In the scriptures, ‘water’ or ‘the sea’ is often used as a metaphor for ‘the world.’ In Jewish tradition, it is taught that Moses (a type of the nation of Israel) was found in a basket on the Nile River on Shavuot and was redeemed from the waters, foreshadowing Israel’s redemption from the world or the nations of the world.

In the above Scripture from Matthew 7, the L-rd tells some people ‘on that day’ (i.e. Judgment Day), “I never knew you.” The word “knew” refers to intimacy, specifically the intimacy of marriage. It is the same phrase Yeshua (Jesus) used when speaking to the five (5) virgins who arrived late to the wedding banquet, “I tell you the truth, I don’t know you” (Matthew 25:12).

In connecting these two Scriptures, it would indicate that when the L-rd (the Bridegroom) comes, those who are “the bride of Christ” are welcomed into the wedding banquet because they have produced good fruit; those who were shut out, did not. John (the baptizer) said:

"The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I….He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor, gathering His wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Matthew 3:10-12)

The L-rd is coming “in fire” first to judge the Church, Israel, and then the world:

“This will happen when the L-rd Yeshua (Jesus) is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know G-d and do not obey the gospel of our L-rd Yeshua (Jesus).” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8)

In addition to the major traditions of the Festival of Shavuot that have been discussed in Part I, Part II, and Part III, some other significant customs that pertain to the coming of the L-rd could be noted. For instance, in the synagogue, the rabbis recount the story of saints in heaven watching the spectacle of the final battle––the destruction of Leviathan, Behemoth, and Rahab the Sea Monster (the unholy trinity). And, as if to place a lasting emphasis on G-d’s redemption during this season, a medieval Aramaic poem is recited. ‘Akdamut’, as it is called, which is said to lead the reader through the great heights and depths of mystical understanding––from a description of G-d’s creation of the world to a close look at the splendors of the world to come.

Each phase of the redemption of mankind brought, and will continue bring, great persecution on the people of G-d, both to Israel and the Church. G-d is calling out a people today who will serve Him with the same uncompromising fervor and obedience as that of the early Jews and first century Church martyrs. They will have a “greater anointing” to do the “greater works” that Yeshua (Jesus) proclaimed would be done (John 14:12). This ‘greater anointing’ will come with a ‘greater price’ and a ‘greater reward’ (Hebrews 11:35). It will result in the final restoration of mankind to G-d, ushering in the Messiah’s 1000-year reign. The redemption began with oppression and martyrdom and, as today’s headlines testify, it will end with oppression and martyrdom as well. Yeshua (Jesus) asks,

“Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).

Barukh HaShem (Blessed is the Name of the L-rd)

 
 
 
 
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