FIGS AND THE CHURCH
Jeremiah 24:1-10 KJV The LORD shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.
(2) One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad. (3) Then said the LORD unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil. (4) Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
(5) Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. (6) For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. (7) And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.
(8) And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt: (9) And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them. (10) And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.
Good Figs and Bad Figs
The above Jeremiah 24 prophecy is about the Jews of southern Judah consisting of two types of figs. The good, God fearing figs and the evil, idolatrous figs would both be taken captive to Babylon and after 70 years some of both groups would be return back to their home country. All Jews were allowed to return but many of the evil figs stayed in Babylon due to the lifestyle, where some wrote and developed the Babylonian Talmud (some think they created the book of Esther as well).
After returning from Babylon the Jews were still under the control of the Persians, afterwards the Greeks, and finally under Roman rule. Between the Greeks and the Romans they had 100 years of relative freedom before the Romans moved in. This 100 years was the time of the Maccabees where the Edomites were conquered and became as one with the Jews. The modern nation of Israel now has to deal with prophetic fulfillment concerning the Jewish bad figs and the Edomites. [NOTE: Isaac prophesied to Esau that the promise Jacob stole by trickery would be returned to him for a time. This occurred when the land of Palestine was given to the Jews/Edomites/Khazarians by Great Britain at the end of WWI as requested by the Balfour Declaration.]
During the earth days of Jesus the good figs and the bad figs were easily discernible. The good figs followed Jesus and the kingdom of God (some have suggested these early followers were Benjamites), the bad figs were all those people opposed to the gospel of Jesus which included the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the lawyers. The trunk of the fig tree was and always will be Jesus Christ. The first branches of the tree were the good figs. Later, the disciples and other Jewish believers were scattered throughout the Roman Empire due to the persecution of the bad figs and many non-Jews were added to the Church.
Other Types of Fruit
As other ethnic groups were added to the Christian church, other types of branches were necessarily grafted onto the fig tree. These other groups or branches could be called apples, pears, peaches, or some other fruit but they were always grafted onto the Jewish trunk of the fig tree i.e. which is Jesus and the original group of believers. This concept can be visualized in Revelation 22:2 where the “Tree of Life” which is Jesus contains twelve various types of fruit.
Revelation 22:2 KJV In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
The classic concept of replacement theology as traditionally taught in the Roman church is basically wrong. The idea of a Gentile church replacing Israel is also wrong and not biblically accurate. The supposed opponents of replacement theology advocate Messianic Judaism, which is grafting new fruit branches onto a dead, dried up fig tree.
The followers of Jesus were the original fig tree producing good fruits and following the king of Judah whereby they retained the privilege to be called by the tribal name of Judah and are therefore true Jews. No nation is all good or all bad. In the case of Judah, God intended a divine separation into two distinct fig trees because God intended to treat them differently. The dominion mandate, awarded to Jesus, was to go to those who produced good fruit and conversely, those who produced bad fruit were to be disinherited. Jesus was born of a genuine Judah mother as can be seen in the genealogies of Matthew 1 and Luke 3. Not only did Jesus produce good fruit but he was the tree itself. To him were attached various branches which also produced good fruit.
The above concept can be validated by a parable found John 15:1-6. The fig tree motif has been replaced by a vine and its branches but the concept remains the same. As in the trunk of the fig tree, Jesus compares Himself to a vine with branches that bear fruit. If the branch does not bear fruit, it is taken away from the vine where it dries up and then is burned in the fire. It should be noted the fire is the righteous judgment of God and not an actual hell fire.
John 15:1-6 KJV I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. (2) Every branch in me that bears not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that bears fruit, he prunes it, that it may bring forth more fruit. (3) Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. (4) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. (5) I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (6) If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Only by being a branch of the vine or the fig tree can one produce the fruit of the kingdom. Those not producing fruit will be cut off where they will dry up as did the fig tree cursed by Jesus that became withered and dry as the disciples watched.
Matthew 21:19-20 KJV And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. (20) And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
The original Jewish fig tree Church is now the modern day Church with various branches producing different types of fruit. The Jewish Church was not completely replaced with a Gentile Church. The bad fig branches were simply cut off and the good fig branches of Judah carried the banner of the Judah Church by following Jesus the King of Judah. The promises given to Abraham were never transferred from one group of people to another. The Abrahamic promises merely continued through the unbroken line of the good fig tree of Judah.
Matthew 7:17-20 NET In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. (18) A good tree is not able to bear bad fruit, nor a bad tree to bear good fruit. (19) Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (20) So then, you will recognize them by their fruit.
Replacement theology may teach that the fig tree was rooted out and replaced by some other type of fruit tree but this concept is completely in error. There were originally two fig trees as prophesied by Jeremiah, one good and one evil. The evil fig tree was rooted out dried up and thrown to the fire. The good fig tree continued to carry on the kingdom of God upon the earth. There was no replacement because the good fig tree was always present.
Only the Trunk is Jewish
Some make the claim that the Church is strictly a Jewish church and that non-Jewish Christian believers are to reunite with Jews who are still cut off from Christ. The bad fig tree of Jewish nonbelievers and others is not God’s chosen people or nation. Again, the Church has a Jewish trunk but many different branches producing different types of fruit. The gospel of Jesus and the kingdom of God is available to every person on the face of the earth including Jewish people who are currently residing on the bad fig tree.
The bad fig tree will never produce good fruit due to the nature of the curse of Jesus. The only solution for the branches of the bad fig tree is to be cut off from that tree and be grafted onto the good fig tree which is the only tree that gives true life.
A Jew who refuses to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah is not a partaker of the dominion mandate that was given to Judah nor is he a member of the tribe of Judah in the sight of God. After the ascension of Jesus there were many Jews considered to be the natural branches of the fig tree. However, they were cut off from the kingdom of God fig tree whose trunk was Jesus Christ until they repented and put their trust and faith in Jesus as the Messiah.
The Church with Jesus as the trunk of the tree was and is the inheritor of the dominion mandate given to Judah and empowered by Jesus of the tribe of Judah. Rather than becoming a Gentile Church it was a Judah Church through Jesus as King of Judah and will always be a Judah Church due to its foundation or trunk. As the new believers spread throughout the Roman Empire the numerous converts sometimes referred to as Gentiles were grafted as branches into the Judah fig tree. The fig tree based church soon had many different types of fruit from many nations and ethnicities. It soon became noticeable that the various fruits greatly outnumbered the original figs, however it was still a Judah Church because the trunk of the tree was and is the King of Judah named Jesus.
God did not plant a new tree and call it by some other name such as the Gentile Church but took the fig tree of Jesus Christ and grafted many other branches of various types of fruit. Those who reject Jesus are part of the corrupt fig tree which lost its legal status as the tribe of Judah when they rejected the Messiah and usurped His throne. Even Jewish Christians do not have the authority to rule over others because figs are no better than apples or other fruit.
Romans 2:28-29 NET For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision something that is outward in the flesh, (29) but someone is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart by the Spirit and not by the written code. This person’s praise is not from people but from God.