Updated: Feb 3
In Isaiah, chapter 11, we read in verse 1, “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” (NIV) This is referred to by Paul, who explained that Jesus was the fulfillment of that prophecy. In the Book of Luke, we are given the lineage of Jesus, which states:
“the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon,” (NIV)
Luke wrote this in chapter 3:31-32. You will notice, David ends verse 31 and Jesse begins verse 32, so it recalls the father of David as Jesse. This means the “stump of Jesse” was to be the chopping down of the tree known as Israel, after it had a king other than YAHWEH.
A tree once stood above the stump line that was rooted in the same lineage (a holy source) that led to Jesse and included Saul. And while that hardwood tree would split at the node of Solomon, forking into two trunks, becoming the nations of Israel and Judah, both would share the same foundation spread deep into the surrounding soil. That soil existed since the beginning of the world. It included Jerusalem, which was known only as Salem during the days of Melchizedek. It was soil that all the children of God roamed, well before it became a promised land.
That tree being cut down to a stump means the fall of both nations. The ax of the Assyrians cut off the fork that was Israel, the Northern Kingdom. That wood was cut further, shipped around the world, and the waste burned. The remaining tree, Judah was cut down to only the trunk of Jerusalem, by the Babylonians, before that trunk was sawed off and transported to the city of its captors. That history means both Israel and Judah, the tree grown by YAHWEH, had forever died.
The shoot that would come from the roots, which were not dead, would bear new fruit. That would be Jesus and his followers. From that shoot would grow a new vine, thick and strong as a tree, but one that needed trellises around the world to hold up its fruit bearing branches. That new vine is known as Christianity.
While that prophecy of Isaiah is a “no-brainer” to realize that Jesus would be, was, is, and will remain the shoot from the dead stump of Jesse, by anyone who professes belief in Christ, who has attended church for some regularity, and who is over the age of 21 (an adult), what seems to be missed by many Christian fundamentalists is there is no longer a tree of Judaism that is bearing fruit. Judaism is a dead branch; in fact it is a stump that has rotted beside the shoot that became the vine of Christianity. While the Jews share common roots, Judaism can only live through Christianity now, having itself become a “dead branch that bears no fruit,” worthy only of becoming firewood.
This means there is no reason for Christians to listen to Zionist (political philosophers who believe Jerusalem belongs to the Jews) as if the power blessed them by God, the gift to Christian fruit, should be used to support the theft of Palestine. The world’s end will come about by the failure of Christians to realize the re-creation of the State of Israel is a sin. To protect that sin means Christians are sacrificing their own salvation, to pretend they are gods who think they can restore what God promised to people who could never hold up their end of that bargain.
The split tree of Israel and Judah had once flourished, but died. It died of a blight, just as happens to some trees. Dead trees do not magically return to life. While Israel and Judah had once thrived and grown, in the later years of their collective life they only produced fruit that was prophets. Their roots to YAHWEH spoke through some of their people, who warned Israel and Judah to stop breaking that Covenant with the LORD or have they would see their tree chopped down. They would not listen, so their tree became a stump.
The shoot of the stump of Jesse is Jewish only in the sense that Jews who believe their Messiah had come, those who believed in Jesus, took the necessary step to follow his lead. That shoot would grow into Christianity because of its Jewish beginnings. The first Christians were the disciples and followers of Jesus, Jews who became Apostles and Jews who provided protection so that vine could grow strong. The Covenant YAHWEH made with Moses, agreed upon by the children of Israel, still applies to Christians, both Jewish and Gentile believers. The New Testament is not an optional agreement, it is a supplement that is an amendment to the original. Christianity became a flourishing vine that traveled the world and serve as priests to everyone; as it was not to be a rebirth of some stump that was fixated on one spot of ground, because God did not choose people to only serve themselves.
In church last weekend we read from the Book of John, about the nighttime visit to Jesus by the Pharisee Nicodemus. This is a microcosmic view of Christianity and Judaism, where Judaism secretly wants to recognize Jesus as a prophet, but not openly as the Son of God. To do that would mean a loss of special recognition, and all the perks that come from that. Therefore, no light of day shall see Judaism accept Jesus as Christ. That puts Judaism on equal footing with Islam, where both believe in the same God (different names) and both believe Jesus was only a major prophet. The Jews still await their Messiah, an entity that will never come.
Nicodemus’s visit to Jesus began with an admission that “they” believed Jesus was a prophet in communication with the LORD. He made that statement as if beginning to say, “We believe this, BUT ….” Nicodemus spoke as if he intended to control the conversation and tell Jesus they could work out a deal. After all, Nicodemus was a leader of men, thus not used to waiting for men to tell him which way to go. Nicodemus had in mind something like, “We’ll keep this area of the world (i.e.: Jerusalem), but you go somewhere else (Christianity).”
Jesus stopped Nicodemus cold by knowing where Nicodemus’ mind was headed (Jesus had that Piscean psychic sense about him). Jesus said to him, “You have to be reborn to rule anywhere in the world for the LORD.” Jesus said “You have to be born from above.” Jesus said, “You have to be born again.” To that statement by Jesus, Nicodemus asked in response, “Can an adult male return to his mother’s womb?”
That question becomes symbolic of Zionism. It is asked by a leader representing the scattered tribes, the people of lamentations, the children that have perfected bellyaching ever since Moses took them from Egypt, when they ran out of water, or food, or snakes bit them, etc. Nicodemus used comedy as a response to a statement that had clearly zinged a religious leader, who knew “above” was where Heaven was. Instead, Nicodemus grasped the straw of amphibology and took the word that meant “born from above” and heard it as “born again.” Nicodemus was putting on an act, as a comedian – “Can I have a rimshot (drumroll) please?”
God chose people who would have their birth through the fall of their nations, having them squeezed out into a cold new world. The Jews were born when they lost their land – when they left their mother’s womb. They would have to grow and develop elsewhere, until they were disciplined enough to learn the Law and have policemen like Nicodemus use strong-hand tactics to whip the Jews into shape. Then, when they were ready, God sent His promised “Anointed One” to begin the growth of a vine that would only have hidden roots in the ground now called the Middle East. Therefore Nicodemus should ask now, “Can the purposeful children of God return to the womb of Jerusalem/Israel and serve that purpose for God?”
You have to be born from above, by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit flows like water and is not stagnant in one place. Stagnation breeds disease. The Holy Spirit is ethereal and not real, spiritual and not material. It is atmosphere and not land. It is blown like the wind and not fixed on one piece of turf. You cannot be born from above when, as adults, you cling to your mother’s womb crying and moaning, “I was so loved then. Please let me back in.”
God will strike that stump that now calls itself Israel again, through those who stand for justice and who will avenge the theft of land. Christians who fail to recognize a cardinal sin has been committed, both by receipt of stolen goods and by abetting that crime, will themselves be punished by God’s instruments of iron (like unto a potter’s vase). The areas of the world where Christians live will be persecuted and attacked. Christianity will force Islam into going beyond the point of simple justice, to points motivated by hatred, influenced by evil to seek vengeance, through extreme persecution.
The prophets have spoken. Listen to their words now, before it is too late. Bear good fruit. Do not become a dead branch. Do not be thrown into the fire.