The Olive Trees & the Wild Olive Trees
© Priscilla Van Sutphin
Dec 20th, 2004
Saturday while talking to my young friend Denni [from Bulgaria originally], she mentioned a trip to Greece and how they had gone to a forest of olive trees, but the olives from the wild olive trees did not taste as good as the cultivated olive trees. It was interesting she brought this up and so I thought, what makes the difference ? Then as I opened my bible in the evening the Lord had me read through Nehemiah, but I turned exactly to Nehemiah 8 where it talks about the exiles making booths for the feast of Tabernacles, from olive and WILD olive branches [ in the Amplified version.]
Neh 8:15 NKJV and that they should announce and proclaim in all their cities and in Jerusalem, saying, "Go out to the mountain, and bring olive branches, branches of oil trees, myrtle branches, palm branches, and branches of leafy trees, to make booths, as it is written."
Neh 8:15-17 Amplified And that they should publish and proclaim in all their towns and in Jerusalem, saying, Go out to the hills and bring branches of olive, wild olive, myrtle, palm, and other leafy trees to make booths, as it is written. [Lev 23:39,40.]
16 So the people went out and brought them and made themselves booths, each on the roof of his house and in their courts and the courts of God's house and in the squares of the Water Gate and the Gate of Ephraim.
17 All the assembly of returned exiles made booths and dwelt in them; for since the days of Jeshua (Joshua) son of Nun up to that day, the Israelites had not done so. And there was very great rejoicing.
Rom 11:17-18 NKJV
17 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 fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
So here again we have an indication in the old testament of the salvation of the Gentiles that is to come…that God will also tabernacle with "the wild olives" and not just the cultivated ones. But a warning not to exclude those in whom we have been grafted into ! The CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST cannot exclude Jews and think they will be found in God's favor. Paul admonishes us that the root supports us, not the other way around so NOT to BOAST that we are THE ONES who have the truth. What I mean here is that many ministries in this hour believe that since Christ, we replace Israel in covenant. But God is not a breaker of covenant. When HE makes a covenant it is forever and forever. HE is FAITHFUL and TRUE. Many in the church in this hour will revoke their support of Israel and have already, but will find themselves OUTSIDE the favor of the Lord because of it. You cannot remove the apple of God's eye and not bear consequence for your actions. The ONE NEW MAN concept cannot be obliterated from the Word of God.
I went to a website to find out about olive trees and found some interesting applications standing out from what is written:
"Adaptation: The olive requires a long, hot growing season to properly ripen the fruit, no late spring frosts to kill the blossoms and sufficient winter chill to insure fruit set."
In adapting this to our lives as olive trees…us being the wild olives grafted into Israel,- the olive requires a long HOT growing season could speak of our need for the heat of the SON of God, in order to produce fruit. God must apply His FIRE to our lives to burn up the chaff that the FRUIT of the Spirit grows in our lives.
Also winter chill is interesting. Snow and ice represent the Glory of God in dreams/visions and it is only by HIS strength that the fruit in our life will grow. Unless we spend time in the different seasons in our lives, and not only wanting a trouble free life, will we grow. All circumstances, heat and chill seem to be required to grow good tasting fruit. Winter seasons are harsh, and difficult, but needed for true growth to be set into our being.
"Growth Habits: The olive is an evergreen tree growing to 50 ft. in height with a spread of about 30 ft. The tree can be kept to about 20 ft. with regular pruning. The graceful, billowing appearance of the olive tree can be rather attractive. In an all-green garden its grayish foliage serves as an interesting accent. The attractive, gnarled branching pattern is also quite distinctive. Olives are long-lived with a life expectancy of 500 years. The trees are also tenacious, easily sprouting back even when chopped to the ground."
The last sentence stood out to me about being tenacious ! We need to be tenacious, never giving up on the LORD or His ways. And it says that even if they are chopped to the ground, they will sprout back up. That is how we need to be – even if adversity comes, that we bounce back and hold on to GOD in all circumstances.
"Foliage: The olive's feather-shaped leaves grow opposite one another. Their skin is rich in tannin, giving the mature leaf its gray-green appearance. The leaves are replaced every two or three years, leaf-fall usually occurring at the same time new growth appears in the spring. "
This makes me think of Ezekial 47: 10 + and how the leaves of the trees described there are for the healing of the nations. WE are likened to trees in scripture…Israel the olive tree and we the wild olives. Well Olive leaf is becoming known again for it’s medicinal purposes and used to fight infections with yeast or bacteria. We are to be that to others who are LOST. We are to be trees that give forth fruit that is needed…LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, SELF CONTROL…FORBEARANCE, etc. Our life should bring LIFE of Christ to others.
"Flowers: The small, fragrant, cream-colored olive flowers are largely hidden by the evergreen leaves and grow on a long stem arising from the leaf axils. The olive produces two kinds of flowers: a perfect flower containing both male and female parts, and a staminate flower with stamens only. The flowers are largely wind pollinated with most olive varieties being self-pollinating, although fruit set is usually improved by cross pollination with other varieties. There are self-incompatible varieties that do not set fruit without other varieties nearby, and there are varieties that are incompatible with certain others. Incompatibility can also occur for environmental reasons such as high temperatures. "
It says: “fruit set is usually improved by cross pollination with other varieties.”
The above tells us that we need each other…to bear fruit. We need the pricks, the encouragement, the testings to bring forth good fruit in our lives that we might “taste good” to those who are seeing their only version of Christ in us. What the world sees in us, as ambassadors for Christ, is His life in us. But if His life is not exhibited in us, how will they know Him ?
"There are self-incompatible varieties that do not set fruit without other varieties nearby, and there are varieties that are incompatible with certain others. Incompatibility can also occur for environmental reasons such as high temperatures."
The above speaks to me about the fact that we are all so different that we don’t always get along on a personal basis, but that incompatability occurs for many and various reasons, so we need to have another fruit: FORBEARANCE. We need to forbear with the weaknesses of others and at least be kind to them, even if we don’t understand them. Some have been so hurt that they need more love than others. Some need more JOY. We all have been hurt in different ways so we relate to others more like us at times, than with others who have not been so hurt.
"Fruit: The olive fruit is a green drupe, becoming generally blackish-purple when fully ripe. A few varieties are green when ripe and some turn a shade of copper brown. The cultivars vary considerably in size, shape, oil-content and flavor. The shapes range from almost round to oval or elongated with pointed ends. Raw olives contain an alkaloid that makes them bitter and unpalatable. A few varieties are sweet enough to be eaten after sun drying. Thinning the crop will give larger fruit size. This should be done as soon as possible after fruit set. Thin until remaining fruit average about 2 or 3 per foot of twig. The trees reach bearing age in about 4 years. "
Raw olives are bitter. This reminds me of new believers who have not yet, been through much sanctification process who give off a bitter taste in terms of their lack of maturity in the word. For the WORD of God sanctifies us so the more of the Word we have in us, the more fruit should be seen…thought that is not always practically so. It is not just the reading of the Word, but the revelation of the WORD that causes us to get free.
It says a few varieties are sweetened enough to eat after LYING IN THE SUN so to speak only for us, the SON. It is only after time spent with the LORD that we become sweeter. He pours out His love in His presence.
Thinning the crop gives larger fruit. This reminds me how God will take people OUT of our lives on whom we become too dependent for He is a jealous God and wants us to depend on HIM, not on man.
"Location: Plant olive trees in full sun and away from sidewalks to avoid stains from fallen ripe fruit. Non-fruiting trees are available which can be planted in areas where fruit may be a problem. Strong winds will "sculpt" the trees, but otherwise they are quite wind-tolerant."
The olive tree is wind tolerant…so the application here to our lives is that no matter what circumstances blow against us we are able to withstand them because of Christ in us, Our Hope of Glory !
"the olive tree survives even extended dry periods."
We do go through seasons of dryness, where we are in the desert and being tested and tried, and not hearing necessarily from God as much or not FEELING HIS PRESENCE as much as we used to. We tend in such times to think it is our fault, that something we’ve done is the matter, when actually it is a testing whether we will stand not based on our EMOTIONS, but on our knowledge of Who He is and who we are in Him – if we will stand on the WORD of GOD and what it says, and not trust in our senses. Will we still cling to Him…even when we feel the lowest of the low, and He shows us our flesh nature, and allows us to see the muck that is still on the inside.
"Fertilization: Fertilizing olive trees with additional supplies of nitrogen has proved beneficial. In California farmers systematically apply fertilizers well ahead of the time flowers develop so the trees can absorb the nitrogen before fruit set. Many growers in Mediterranean countries apply organic fertilizers every other year."
Flowers always remind me of worship due to a vision Graham Cooke had about angels dropping petals on him…It is in the worship and praise that the Lord Himself dwells amidst His people. Opening up our hearts to Him, allows His presence to come and impart to us what we need for growth.
"Pruning: Proper pruning is important for the olive. Pruning both regulates production and shapes the tree for easier harvest. The trees can withstand radical pruning, so it is relatively easy to keep them at a desired height. The problem of alternate bearing can also be avoided with careful pruning every year. It should be kept in mind that the olive never bears fruit in the same place twice, and usually bears on the previous year's growth. For a single trunk, prune suckers and any branches growing below the point where branching is desired. For the gnarled effect of several trunks, stake out basal suckers and lower branches at the desired angle. Prune flowering branches in early summer to prevent olives from forming. Olive trees can also be pruned to espaliers."
The olive never bears fruit in the same place twice. I thought this was interesting, and seems to speak of a need for continual growth to be able to give again, as once you’ve given, then that place no longer bears the same fruit…so continual GROWTH is needed to bear more fruit !
"Propagation: None of the cultivated varieties can be propagated by seed. Seed propagated trees revert to the original small-fruited wild variety. The seedlings can, of course, be grafted or chip budded with material from desired cultivars. The variety of an olive tree can also be changed by bark grafting or top working. Another method of propagation is transplanting suckers that grow at the base of mature trees. However, these would have to be grafted if the suckers grew from the seedling rootstock. "
You cannot just throw spiritual seed to the cultivated olives…the JEWS who already know GOD, and have them turn. They know the scriptures and what is expected so it is not especially useful in relating to them via seed sowing it would seem. But another strategy is needed. A GRAFTING. When you show how the branch of the olive relates to the branch of the WILD olive…showing the scriptures that relate to Messiah in the WORD they do accept. Then maybe you can birth something that will bring forth salvation. Just being a good person is not going to impress the Jewish olive tree. It is the actual grafting…knowing something of His scriptures and applying them in ways that show we are ONE, that can make a huge difference it would seem to me the Lord is saying. Paul warns us that we should not be arrogant, but it is because of Israel we all are saved.
"A commonly practiced method is propagation from cuttings. Twelve to fourteen inch long, one to three inch wide cuttings from the two year old wood of a mature tree is treated with a rooting hormone, planted in a light rooting medium and kept moist. Trees grown from such cuttings can be further grafted with wood from another cultivar. Cutting grown trees bear fruit in about four years. "
12 is the number for governmental perfection [ apostolic government ] and 14 the number for deliverance, salvation and generations. You take cuttings from trees from two year old wood…two is the number of multiplication. And you propagate using light dirt that is kept MOIST [ have to go by the SPIRIT] and these can be strengthened by wood from another to bring forth fruit bearing trees. But it takes four years it says…strengthened by wood from another speaks to me of the love that is needed from others for the new believer. Babies need to be nurtured and loved to grow up healthy. The MOISTURE required seems to speak of the need for continual watering of the Holy Spirit.
"Pests and diseases: The olive tree is affected by some pests and diseases, although it has fewer problems than most fruit trees. Around the Mediterranean the major pests are medfly and the olive fruit fly, Dacus oleae. In California, verticillium wilt is a serious fungal disease. There is no effective treatment other than avoiding planting on infested soils and removing damaged trees and branches. A bacterial disease known as olive knot is spread by pruning with infected tools during rainy months. Because the olive has fewer natural enemies than other crops, and because the oil in olives retains the odor of chemical treatments, the olive is one of the least sprayed crops."
This part is interesting to me as flies which are the main pest for the Mediterranean grown kind of olive tree stand for LIES of the enemy. So FLIES indeed are the main pest for all olive trees but especially that variety…and also there is a FUNGAL disease. Fungus always reminds me of PRIDE…like that Paul warns of, because Yeshua spoke often of the leaven of the Pharisees…leaven is yeast [a fungus].
The article further says that you can’t plant saplings in INFESTED SOILS…so you can’t take new believers to infected churches either to be fed and watered properly. Also there is a bacterial disease in olive trees that is spread by infected tools. Thus when people cut at the saplings or try to trim trees when they are not clean themselves…infection spreads among the orchards of the Lord….and you notice it says “during the rainy months”
Rainy months would be seasons of REFRESHING and REVIVAL.
And then it says the olive has fewer natural enemies than most crops and that they are one of the crops they least spray with insecticides because it does harm in being reflected in the fruit ! PTL ! This reminds me of Yeshua saying in Isaiah, A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench. HE carefully tends His garden.
"Harvest: Olive fruits that are to be processed as green olives are picked while they are still green but have reached full size. They can also be picked for processing at any later stage up through full ripeness. Ripe olives bruise easily and should be handled with care. Mold is also a problem for the fruit between picking and curing. There are several classical ways of curing olives. A common method is the lye-cure process in which green or near-ripe olives are soaked in a series of lye solutions for a period of time to remove the bitter principle and then transferred to water and finally a mild saline solution. Other processing methods include water curing, salt curing and Greek-style curing. Explicit directions for various curing and marinating methods can be found in several publications including Maggie Blyth Klein's book, Feast of the Olives, and the University of California Agricultural Sciences Publications Leaflet 21131. Both green-cured and ripe-cured olives are popular as a relish or snack. For California canned commercial olives, black olives are identical to green olives. The black color is obtained by exposure to air after lye extraction and has nothing to do with ripeness. Home production of olive oil is not recommended. The equipment required and the sheer mass of fruit needed are beyond most households."
Ripe olives BRUISE easily it says and should be handled with care. So the heart that is hungry needs to be handled with gentleness. Do you know that the people who go to the cults, tend to be those hurt by the Church of Jesus Christ ? That is where they get the most converts from. Then it speaks about Lye:
The thing we were all warned about not to drink as children, major component in modern drain openers and indispensable material to medieval tanners, linen finishers, and innumerable other trades. Lye was locally made from various and sundry caustic ingredients, including fowl droppings, human urine, wood ash, and powdered limestone, mixed down with rainwater to desired strength.
Lye was used to bleach, to soften, and to scour, and to dissolve unwanted bits of adhering materials (flesh or fat from hides during tanning, for instance).
So lye is what is used to dissolve UNWANTED bits of ADHERING MATERIALS. In this case of the olive…and we representing the olive trees, then Lye may represent the washing of the WORD that restores our soul from all the demonic adherance !!!! The Word says to renew our minds through the washing of the WORD.
Eph 5:25-27 NKJV Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
Rom 12:2 NKJV And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Rom 12:1-2 AMP I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.
2 Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].
Luke 12:29 NKJV "And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.
Eph 4:23-24 NKJV and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Eph 4:17-18 AMP So this I say and solemnly testify in [the name of] the Lord [as in His presence], that you must no longer live as the heathen (the Gentiles) do in their perverseness [in the folly, vanity, and emptiness of their souls and the futility] of their minds.
18 Their moral understanding is darkened and their reasoning is beclouded. [They are] alienated (estranged, self-banished) from the life of God [with no share in it; this is] because of the ignorance (the want of knowledge and perception, the willful blindness) that is deep-seated in them, due to their hardness of heart [to the insensitiveness of their moral nature].