From The Olive Tree To The Grapevine
And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and richness of the olive tree. Romans 11:17
Jesus came to plant His church and become the First fruits of His vineyard. He Himself was planted in the earth only to spring up again to Heaven becoming the vine in which all the branches receive their life. The old olive tree was replaced with a new and living way in that it became the "Vineyard of the Lord of Hosts."
Twelve apostles, 120 sold out followers of Christ, no rules and no structure, only blood washed saints willing to die for what they believed. Selling their possessions to support the ministry of 3000 new converts just saved at Pentecost. In light of what we have today compared to what they experienced it is a wonder the body of Christ still exists. No buildings or air conditioning, no Bibles or training materials, overhead projectors or multimedia, only the message of life given by the twelve who lived and walked with Jesus! Imagine actually living as the body of Christ twenty four hours a day, seven days a week and never once even thinking of attending anymore, only being the temple of the living God.
Living day after day in reckless abandon, selling personal possessions to support your new brothers and sisters and allowing your home, that is if you still had a home to become a dormitory for those who had none. Power, signs and wonders were normal for the new fledgling body and new converts were coming daily being saved and giving all to follow this Jesus who wasn't even present, who now made His home in them! The true unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ was preached and lived out in the saints of the most high God and to become a follower one had to give up all to support the overall work and livelihood of the body.
Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles feet; and they distributed to each one as anyone had need. Acts 4:32-34
THE OLIVE TREE
The Lord called your name Green Olive Tree, lovely and of good fruit. With the noise of a great tumult He has kindled fire on it and its branches are broken. Jeremiah 11:16
The olive tree has been an ancient symbol of Israel for aeon's that represents the Jewish race, God's chosen people. The law and the prophets and the ten commandments were given to the priesthood to oversee the spiritual condition of His people but as time went on they fell into great disrepair and decline and when Jesus appeared suddenly at His temple it was all about to change.
Jesus came to do away with the olive tree and plant a new and living way for His people, for the Jewish remnant and for the Gentiles who would receive the grace of God and the gospel of their salvation. The traditional Jewish religion had grown cold with nothing more than dead rituals and the honoring of God with their mouth and not with their heart. When Jesus came to the temple He rebuked the leaders and over turned the tables of the money changers calling them a brood of vipers, whitewashed tombs full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. It would be interesting to see what He would find as well as say to the modern "Only on Sunday crowd of lukewarm so called believers" that fill the pews with their presence one day a week and tip their hats to a God who has been deeply offended by their apathetic devotion.
The old olive tree was about to be cut down and replaced with a living vine that would spread throughout the earth bearing fruit for God. The tree was in fact a potted plant, unable to move and expand but only to exist and remain barren without repentance and relationship with it's God who was about to remove His presence from their temple. When Jesus died on the cross the angels tore the veil of separation into representing the new and living way for His royal priesthood of believers about to burst forth on the scene. The vineyard of the Lord of Hosts was about to be planted.
"And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." Matthew 3:10
THE GRAPEVINE OF GOD
"I am the true vine and My Father is the vine dresser. "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit." John 15:1,2
The organic expression of His body in the earth is likened to a wild grapevine that grows naturally ever expanding and overtaking everything it comes in contact with. On my daily walk with Him, God has shown Me the Mustang grapevine, a native of the North Central Texas area, it grows everywhere and consumes fences, bushes and trees with nothing to stop it, and it bears in abundance the wild Mustang grape.
I believe when Jesus planted the first church at Pentecost He expected it to grow and multiply without structure and regulation spreading His vine throughout the known world producing good fruit. Up until man began to organize something wild and beautiful and tried to domesticate the organic body of Christ it flourished and spread out until it was forced into being just another hydroponically grown potted plant. No longer able to expand, it languished in a box of man-made tradition and rules until it was finally suffocated, dried up and died out completely.
The only hope for the living vine is for those who are truly connected to Jesus is to spread the seed of the gospel of man's salvation into a lost and dying world thereby planting the vineyard of the Lord of hosts. Master planters sowing the seeds of revival and restoration into fertile soil planting the wild vine without structure and rules expecting a divine harvest of good fruit!
"Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. John 15:4