- A three-fold developmental process
- Truth (Emet)
- Righteousness (Tzadak)
- Goodness (Tuv)
- Our Heavenly Father’s Developmental Plan
- The focus of mature adulthood
A three-fold developmental process:
“The Spirit of Adonai ה’) רוּחַ) will rest on Him” (cf. Isaiah 11:1-2):
The Fruit of Light #1. The Spirit of wisdom and understanding (רוּחַ חָכְמָה וּבִינָה),
The Fruit of LIght #2. The Spirit of counsel and strength (רוּחַ עֵצָה וּגְבוּרָה),
The Fruit of Light #3. The Spirit of knowledge and the fear of Adonai ה’) רוּחַ דַּעַת וְיִרְאַת).
The prophet Isaiah developmentally organized the fruit emanating from the six branches of the golden lampstand into three couplets of Divinely inspired ministry. The seventh component of the prophet Isaiah’s Tree of Life is the sustaining stem and the roots of the Spirit of Adonai Elohim. According to Isaiah the Stem (sing.) of the Tree of Life is the Spirit of the Holy One Himself and the Roots (plural) are the Presence of His Divinity (there are three roots in the Golden Lampstand). Similarly, the fruit of the ministry of the Tree of Life is divided into three couplets, with each couplet of branches manifesting two attributes (i.e. producing a total of six branches):
Branches #1 and #2. The highest couplet, the mature adult, is the spirit of wisdom (chokma, chokhmah) and understanding (binah) that indicates the fruit of light that is Goodness (tuv from tov).
Branches #2 and #3. The middle couplet, the young adult, is the spirit of counsel (etza) and strength (gevurah) that gives forth the fruit of light that is Righteousness (to do what is right, lit. to be “straight” (tzadak) and to be charitable; as well as just, right, fair, i.e. tzedakah).
Branches #4 and #5. The lowest couplet, the child, is the spirit of knowledge (da’at) and the fear of Adonai (veyirat HaShem) that gives forth the fruit of light that is Truth (emet).
Since trees go through a developmental process, it appears chronologically that the “first developmental stage” represented in the first couplet of branches grown out of the Spirit of Adonai is the lowest couplet (of the fruit of truth) that produces the Fear of Adonai and the Spirit of knowledge. In Proverb 9:10 we read:
The fear of Adonai (veyirat HaShem) is the beginning of wisdom.
Therefore, the beginning of a believing person’s developmental journey is spent reverencing the Holy One (fear is reverent trust) and acquiring the knowledge of Adonai. Initially we discover that Adonai is our Father in heaven and that if we confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive us of all our unrighteousness. In reverent gratitude for all that the Father has done for us we learn to obey His will by being discipled in the D’var HaShem, His Word, which is Truth.
The “second developmental stage” represented in the second couplet of the Tree of Life involves the fruit of righteousness. This stage of spiritual growth involves appropriating the power of Elohim to do His will. The power to do the will of our Father in heaven enables us to participate in a wider spectrum of knowing (experiencing) the Holy One, of walking in His counsel (i.e. walking in His Spirit).
It is the mature alone who possess reflexive skills of discernment (understanding).
The “third and final developmental stage” of our maturation involves the fruit of goodness (the mature life of the Spirit existing more and more within our own conscious and behavioral life). The fruit of goodness represents a state of relational intimacy with the heavenly Father. A spiritually mature person is skilled in understanding the will of the Father sufficient to quickly (recognize and) oppose evil and just as swiftly (recognize and) embrace what is good.
The mature are not only discerning but they are also wise.
Wisdom involves horizon-to-horizon thinking. Wisdom is Mastery of the Art of Living. These mature characteristics can only be sustained in an abiding experience of loving (obeying) our Father who dwells in heaven. A young adult can see part of the big picture (have visions) but the mature adult alone can perceive the horizon-to-horizon view of the Holy One’s life (dream dreams; cf. illustration of wisdom in the lives of Joseph and Daniel).
Our Heavenly Father’s Developmental Plan:
Knowing Him Who is from the Beginning (Eternity).
Yochanan ben Zebedee, the Beloved Talmid, presents a similar three-fold developmental process (to the Prophet Isaiah) involving these: First, childhood, when Adonai our Father in heaven is related to as the giver of “forgiveness.” Second, young adulthood, when believers can “overcome the evil one” through their abiding in the D’var HaShem (His Word) and as a result develop strong faith. Third, mature adulthood (spiritual parenthood), when one has experienced relational intimacy with Adonai sufficient to the degree that we personally begin to experience “knowing Him who is from the beginning.”
The focus of mature adulthood:
Mature believers are passionately concerned about the formation of the life of the Spirit of Holiness occurring within the conscious awareness and everyday activities of their fellow believers’ lives. Mature ministry is like a “laboring mother” who is determined to give birth. New believers need help in their struggle to become consciously aware of their new life in the Messiah. They need assistance from mature believers so that they might move from the initial indwelling experience of Messiah (forgiveness of sin) to a full conscious awareness and intimate relationship with the Spirit of the Father, who is Adonai Avinu Himself (set apart for service). Therefore, for the prophet Isaiah this very necessary spiritual maturation process is illustrated as a developmental movement from conception to birth, and from birth to full maturity. In the Torah of Moses this developmental movement is depicted as a sojourn from the bondage of Egypt, through the barren wilderness, into the fruitful paradise of the Promised Land.