By Dale Whitworth
it almost comical how, many times after some first come to True Worship out of
(normally) nominal Christianity, and experience their first small tastes of
Torah, even though these individuals may have little to no time in
real-life application in/of Torah, these people will many times begin pointing
fingers of accusation at those who have far more time and experience in the
Faith. The new convert thinks he/she sees “violations” and “false
doctrines” in their fellow-Believers.
in almost all cases, the new convert’s judgments and accusations do not square
with the total Torah and other Scriptures. Therefore, I am writing this short
study to encourage those who are older and more experienced in the Faith to be
patient, as much as is possible, with those younger in the Faith when these
situations arise. There are Spiritual and Scriptural reasons as to “why”
early attempts at doctrinal judgments by these new converts should be tempered
with wisdom and accepted as inaccurate, though well-intended, OPINIONS at best.
problem is that these new converts are experiencing the first buddings of
“fruit.” Normally this would be a good thing…and, in a way, it
is…however, Scripture tells us that the “first fruits” of a newly planted
tree (new convert) is UNACCEPTABLE and to be considered as “uncircumcised.”
In other words, the earliest fruit is IMMATURE and not properly ‘seasoned’
enough for ingestion. It is to be INSPECTED…BUT NOT INGESTED!
Let us apply the following: Lev. 19:23-25:
19:23 KJV) "And when ye shall
come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye
shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as
uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of."
19:24 KJV) "But in the fourth
year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise Yahweh withal."
19:25 KJV) "And in the fifth
year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you the increase
thereof: I am Yahweh your Elohim.”
Torah concerning fruit trees and their fruit is quite applicable to the new
convert and his/her early attempts at judgments and/or teachings. The
allegorical and Scriptural application is plainly evidenced in the Torah text
23 “And when ye be come into the land [enter the covenant], and shall have
planted all manner of trees for food [study Torah and other Scriptures], then
ye shall count the fruit thereof [earliest understandings] as uncircumcised
[unacceptable, premature]: it shall not be eaten of [ingested as
24 “But in the fourth year all fruit shall be holy to praise YAHWEH.”
25 “And in the fifth year shall ye [the Body of
Messiah] eat of the fruit thereof [gleanings from study and application]
that it may yield unto you the increase [blessings] thereof: I am Yahweh your
you are wondering if this Torah is applicable in this post-Apostolic age? You
bet it is! We need only look to the FACT that the very disciples/Talmidim of
the Messiah Himself had to each sit under the direct tutelage of the Master for
three (3) solid years before they could receive the “Great
Commission”! Why? Because their three years were spent in discipleship and
proper application and they were not yet fit to produce acceptable fruit
on their own…in perfect accordance with Leviticus 19:23-25!
further proof from the Apostolic/Nazarene writings we find that the Messiah
Himself declared that “…the tree is known by its fruit” (Mat. 12:33, Luke
6:44). While there is a great example to be found in these words, let us also
look further and compare the parable of the fig tree from Luke 13:6-9:
13:6-9 KJV) "He [the Messiah]
spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his
vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said
he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come
seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it
the ground? [NOTE: Man is made
from the dust of the ground!] And he [the vinedresser]
answering said unto him, Master, let it alone this year (the FOURTH year)
also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it [fertilize it]:
And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then AFTER THAT thou shalt cut it down."
first the THREE (3) YEAR reference found in verse 7 which directly relates to
Leviticus 19:23! Note also that the Master of the vineyard wanted to cut
down the tree after only three years…but how did the
vine-dresser respond? He requested the fourth year to work with the tree.
Remembering that the fourth year is the year that ALL fruit would be set-apart
unto Yahweh, thus, if Yahweh willed, the tree would produce ripe
acceptable fruit in the fourth year (compare Luke 13:9 with Lev. 19:24).
Ultimately He was saying “let Yahweh be the judge of the fourth year
fruit…you are judging the tree before its appointed time!” Any fruit
produced before the fourth year was unacceptable anyway.
proper understanding is that UNTIL a new convert has seasoned a minimum of four
(4) years of Torah study and application, any judgments he might make
would be unacceptable to the Body of the Messiah because such would be premature
fruit from a less than fully mature tree. As the student/disciple or talmid
studies and applies Torah the first three years of his walk in True Worship, his
“perceptions” and “judgments” of what is right or wrong, good or bad,
acceptable or unacceptable may change several times over that three-year period
as he learns to go from the elementary teachings (milk) of Torah and into the
deeper understandings of Torah (meat) and its proper application to the lives of
Believers. Notice again the words of the Messiah:
(Mat 13:23 KJV) "But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."
most brethren who have many years in the Faith behind them will attest, what a
First-Year or so student of Torah might think he understands may be totally
opposite of what that same student professes to understand on that same
subject a mere few years down the road!