Bear fruit of righteousness to enter the Kingdom of God

Sukkot 2011 — day 3

God requires us to “bear fruit.” This is not optional. Yeshua got so angry at the Pharisees because of their failure to produce righteousness that he said God would give the kingdom of God to another nation that produces it.

Texts: Matt. 21:32-43; Isa. 5:1-7; Jer. 2:1-7, 21; Hosea 9:10; Luke 3:7:17; Mark 11:12-21; Rom. 1:13, 6:17-23; Psa. 85:10; 89:14;  Isa. 1:21-27, 11:1-5, 32:15-18, 61:11; Jer. 9:24; Isa.11:9; Hab. 2:14; Hosea 4:1-6; Isa. 1:34, 2:1-4; 1Cor. 2:9; Matt. 22:1-14; )

We know that God is consistent in his values and his ways. What he required of the people of Israel, he requires of us. We have an advantage they did not have. We have the Holy Spirit in each of us to show us the way so we have even less excuse not to bear righteous fruit than they. 

Our goal is to take God’s corrections to heart so we make it into the First Resurrection and the Kingdom of God. If we do not bear righteousness, He has the right to take away our inheritance in the Kingdom of God. 

God frequently uses agricultural metaphors to teach His lessons. Since we live in the wine country, we start with a vineyard lesson. 

Isaiah indicted the entire house of Israel for bearing unrighteous fruit. 

Jeremiah is a second point to this lesson when he says, “I planted you as a choice vine from the purest stock, how then did you become a degenerate vine?”

God took the pure stock of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, rescued them from Egypt, gave them His law at Sinai and took care of them for 40 years before bringing them into the promised land — a land of milk and honey — yet generations later, the fruit they produced was wild and degenerate. 

The people of Israel were to be a holy example to the nations around them, instead, they preferred to follow the example of the people around them and consecrated themselves to Ba’al, Molech and the detestable “gods” of the nations around them. 

By the time of John the Baptist, about 600 years after Isaiah and Jeremiah, the people may no longer have fallen into the temptation of idolatry but little had really changed in the people’s hearts. 

Outside of the brief rediscovery of the Torah recorded in Nehemiah 8–9, and the heroes of the Maccabean period, there’s little evidence of enduring repentance on the part of the people of Israel or the House of Judah. The repentance of the Maccabean period didn’t last very long despite their zealousness. 

John the Baptist warned the Pharisees, “bear fruit of repentance and do not say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our Father’ for I tell you, God is able to raise children for Abraham from these stones….” The gentile believers in Yeshua are those stones who John the Baptist prophesied about. They are the sons and daughters of Abraham God made because they believed in Yeshua and bore the righteousness the Pharisees did not bear. 

About six months later, Yeshua started His ministry. Yeshua had to deal with stubborn and stiff-necked people just as John the Baptist dealt with. 

Yeshua cursed a fig tree as a lesson to His disciples that the people of Judah were not bearing fruit and would soon face a similar punishment to the penalty Yeshua placed upon the unfruitful fig tree. 

Yeshua later told the disciples another parable that was even more blunt warning of what would happen to Him and what would happen to those who failed to yield righteous fruit in Matt. 21:33-45. 

Paul saw the fulfillment of Yeshua’s prophesy in the Roman community as they began to bear the fruit of righteousness that the Pharisees failed to do. Paul encouraged the Romans to bear fruit that he could “gather” as he said in Rom. 1:13, “I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I have often planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) in order that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as the rest of the Gentiles.” 

Paul taught that by being a servant to righteousness, we receive fruit unto sanctification. 

There are many other verses that highlight the fruit/righteousness metaphor, which is deeply rooted in Torah. 

The Hebrew word for righteous is צדק tzedek (Strong’s H6664). It occurs 116 times in the TaNaK (Hebrew Scriptures). On an elementary level, ti’s self explanatory. Dr. Strong said it means doing the right thing as Good defines it in His word. You will find the word tzedek sprinkled liberally in the books of Job, Psalms Proverbs and the Prophets. 

Peace is also linked closely to righteousness (Psa. 85:10; 89:14). In the Messianic age, there will be peace and righteousness in contrast to the war and unrighteousness. Considering that righteousness is shown in the Psalms to be the foundation of God’s throne, we would expect it to be plastered all over the millennial scriptures and this is the case. (Isa. 1:21-27; 11:1-5; 32:15-18; 61:11; Jer. 9:24)

There is a case and effect pattern in these scriptures. Isaiah tells us right here that the “effects of righteousness will be peace” and “the result of righteousness will be quietness and trust.” 

Righteousness, justice, mercy and truth will be the four-legged stool of Yeshua’s Millennial reign. 

If you want to delight God, practice righteousness. The answer to the corruption in our world from the U.N. to the local level is righteousness. 

Hosea indicted the priesthood of his day and today, many of our clergy stand equally indicted. Isaiah said that this clergy-induced estrangement trickles down to all the people. However, God’s word tells us that this estrangement will soon end. That is what Sukkot is all about, it is a reminder every year that there is a better wold coming to planet Earth. And for reasons better known to Him, God is calling us as His firstfruits to experience, witness, live through and even participate as priests/kings in the restoration of all things lost in Adam and Eve’s foolish choice. If you are passionate about fixing planet Earth, this is an opportunity not to be missed. It will exceed every follower of Messiah’s wildest dreams. 

The world has waited over 6,000 years this righteousness to come, even God’s angelic community has been waiting. The Messiah asks us to be patient and endure to the end. 

He calls us and He simply asks us to answer that call. He does the rest for us, providing us the proper linen garments, feeding us the meat in due season and a crown of righteousness to wear as he love His appearing.

Speaker: John Walsh. Summary: Tammy

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