PROSPERING

LIKE THE

PALM TREE

By Dan Luehrs

 

The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like the palm tree [be long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful] (Ps 92:12 AMP).

The palm tree has been my favorite tree for as long I can remember, for some unknown reason these trees fascinate me. On the property that we live we have seventy palm trees and I just love to look at these majestic trees and wonder how they can grow so high and stately and still be so green when the Florida sun should burn them up on any given summer day.

The Lord has been giving me some awesome insight into why I like these trees so much. They prophetically are speaking of our destiny in God by their very existence and I did not even realize this. Have I got your attention yet? Everyone I have ever met did not want to be a failure in life, but wanted to succeed from their childhood when they wanted to be Superman or some Superhero. God has wired man to succeed, it is in our very DNA because we have been called to be overcomers just like Jesus flourished in all that He did in the sight of the Father.

What does it mean to flourish or to prosper like the palm tree?

The palm tree grows from 30 to 80 feet, it does not bear fruit for the first six or seven years but will bear fruit for a hundred. Steadily the average crop will be about one hundred pounds of dates per year. The Arabs are said to have 360 designations for the palm and to enumerate 360 uses of it. The abortive fruit and date stones are ground up so that the camels can eat it. Of the leaves they make couches, baskets, bags, mats, brushes, fly flaps; from the trunk cages and fences; from the fibber of the leaves, thread for cordage; from the sap collected by cutting the head off, and scooping a hollow in the stem, a spirituous liquor. (From Fausset's Bible Dictionary, Electronic Database Copyright (c)1998 by Biblesoft).

I was born in Minnesota where there are no palm trees growing outside in the cold. These trees thrive in the hot summer sunlight because they can have roots going down very deep, as much as one mile into the earth to get their water from many sources. The core of the tree is like thousands of hair stands through the middle that become roots and go straight down anchoring it. I have seen these trees in over a hundred mile an hour winds bending them to the ground only to bounce back with little damage to its palms. Even though the palms look fragile they are very strong and are inner woven so that they do not fly apart quickly or easily. The natural attributes and blessings of the palm tree are numerous to mankind, yet there is a far higher order and revelation for the Christian who believes God for their full inheritance in Jesus. Throughout the Bible God uses natural things to symbolize spiritual truths and the palm tree is one of those things that He is bringing to light for us at this time.

LOOKING AT THE PALM TREE

And it [the temple] was made with cherubim and palm trees, a palm tree between cherub and cherub. Each cherub had two faces, so that the face of a man was toward a palm tree on one side, and the face of a young lion toward a palm tree on the other side; thus it was made throughout the temple all around. From the floor to the space above the door, and on the wall of the sanctuary, cherubim and palm trees were carved. -- Cherubim and palm trees were carved on the doors of the temple just as they were carved on the walls… (Ez 41:18-20, 25 NKJV).

In the book of Ezekiel chapters 40 and 41 the palm tree is mentioned thirteen times of being in the temple of God. This tree must be very important to God and us. There must be a specific reason for it to be spoken of so many times in two chapters. Ezekiel was having an open vision of what the temple of God looks like from heavens vantage point. This is not just happen chance that the palm tree is found in the dwelling place of God, His very throne room of life. (See Ez 43:7).

The palm tree represents LIFE that is why I believe it could very well be the tree of life that was found in the Garden of Eden. This tree is a type of Jesus Christ that gives life to all who eat of its fruit, and this tree is found in the New Jerusalem forever and ever. If this is not the tree of life why else would God want us to look at in the temple and why would God put it there if it did not have great significance? Adam was told to eat of the tree of life but he did not, just as many Christians do not eat of Christ daily now, Who is life embodied.

The cherubim had two faces; one face was a lion, which represents Jesus, Who is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, Who has His rightful place there. Those who are mature in Christ do not just see Him as the Lamb of God, but as the Lion of God and fear Him. The face of the man is there because we are one with Jesus as His bride and are one with Him in the temple of God, which we are.

The man and lions face and eyes are staring at the palm tree. Why is this important? Because what we look at we become like, even as we behold the glory of the Lord we are changed into it. And if we give ourselves to darkness over and over we will become like it, and then we become hopeless and in a bottomless pit of sin. The palm tree represents life, it is like a righteous person enjoying their deserved prosperity for eternity (Ps 92:12). The straightness and beauty of the palm compares to the beauty of a woman as the Lord looks upon us. "Your stature is like a palm tree" (Song 7:7).

The palm tree signifies the overcomer’s spiritual inner beauty that is ever joyous, and fruitful; that is orderly and upright in every aspect, to have perpetual foliage rising from earth toward heaven. The elastic fiber in it sends it heavenward even though it is blown over by high winds, symbolizing the believer sitting already in heavenly places, in spite of our earthly tribulations. The tree is rough to the touch, encased below in dry bark, but fruitful and green above; so is the despised saint below, but very beautiful above. We are tried with the fire of many trials here with stress from our life here on earth, but there we bear fruit before God unto everlasting life. There is a "Great multitude of all nations before the Lamb with palms in their hands" (Rev 7:9). The palm leaf symbolizes our victory and joyful triumph over our enemy after having come out of "great tribulation" in this life, even as Jesus had His triumphal entry into Jerusalem with palm branches waving. We remember this day as "Palm Sunday" every year.

Worshippers at the feast of Tabernacles celebration carry palm branches in hand, which is the complete ingathering of the harvest with thanksgiving at the end of the year. (Lev 23:40). For the overcoming saint this is the receiving of our full inheritance in Jesus, which is the church receiving His full likeness in the end. Tabernacles is the third and last feast Israel had each year and this will be the church’s last feast also. Even as we have received and celebrated the Passover blessing of God through salvation by the blood of Jesus we will also receive the Tabernacles blessing. We also have received the Pentecostal blessing of the baptism of the Holy Spirit before we could receive the Tabernacles blessing to prepare us for His glory. Now is the time we are to receive the blessing of Tabernacles within ourselves from God, which is soon to come to the faithful. This spiritual feast will be celebrated among the nations for all eternity. (See Zech 14:16).

The early church used the palm branches to express the triumph of the Christian over death through the resurrection. I now see them as our victory flags over sin and death as we become God’s dreaded overcomers in this lifetime. After learning of these truths I cannot look at another palm tree again without thinking of how we are called to behold this magnificent tree and to become an overcomer like it is, that is why we are to prosper as the palm tree.

THE CHERUBIM

So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned every direction, to guard the way to the tree of life (Genesis 3:24 NASB).

Eating from the tree of life after the fall would have caused Adam and Eve to live forever in the fallen state, so God had the tree of life blocked by the cherubim with a flaming sword. The cherubim blocked man's way back to the tree of life, which is God’s presence and glory and man’s former dwelling place. Man was now locked out from the eternal Life of God by a flaming sword! I believe that the flaming sword was the power of God's spoken word that blocked the way to life, even as God's word cursed the earth after the fall. "Is not My word like fire?" declares the LORD…" (Jeremiah 23:29 NASB). At God's word the whole universe came into being, so why is it so difficult for us to believe that His word of fire would not also prevent us from receiving eternal Life (which is Jesus) at that time? It is also interesting to note that the word, "sword" and the word, "word" only have one letter difference between them-- S-WORD, His word is the mighty sword of the Spirit with which we are to do battle!

Cherubim in Hebrews 9:5 are called, "The cherubim of glory." They are angelic beings that were created by God to guard man from coming close to the glory. In Scripture they are spoken of as guarding the way to God's glory. In the book of Exodus we find them spoken of as covering the mercy seat on the ark of the tabernacle which represents the presence and glory of God. "And you shall make two cherubim of gold, make them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat. And make one cherub at one end and one cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat at its two ends. And the cherubim shall have their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings and facing one another; the faces of the cherubim are to be turned toward the mercy seat" (Exodus 25:18-20 NASB). In the Old Testament tabernacle man was again barred from the presence of God and of having a personal revelation of Who God is. Only the High Priest, with the blood of the lamb could go into the Holy of Holies where His presence dwelt once a year, for this is where the blood was to atone for the peoples' sin that year. He did not go into God’s presence for his own personal benefit of knowing God more intimately, but only for the forgiveness of their sin. Then God's presence on the ark would remain with them another year as they camped and traveled to the Promised Land. It was a very dangerous and terribly fearful thing to enter God's glory with sin in their heart. This should stand as a warning to us!

The presence of the cherubim completely covered the ark that they covered not only the ark of God, but also the whole inside of the tabernacle! "Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twisted linen and blue and purple and scarlet material; you shall make them with cherubim, the work of a skillful workman" (Exodus 26:1 NASB). God had Moses make a curtain to cover the tabernacle with the cherubim embroidered into them and in the veil that covered the entrance to the Holy of Holies. "And you shall make a veil of blue and purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen; it shall be made with cherubim, the work of a skillful workman" (Exodus 26:31 NASB). According to scholars there were twenty-three cherubim in all embroidered on the curtain and veil to physically cover and guard the tabernacle of God from sinful man, along with the two cherubim covering the mercy seat. I believe that these were just symbolic representatives of what was really there in the spirit world, they were guarding the presence of God twenty-four hours a day from sinful man trying to get to God before the blood of Jesus was shed. Remember the cherubim had to protect Adam and Eve from God’s life and we must look at what happened to Nadab and Abihu when they got to close and comfortable with holy things? Fire burnt them up from the altar! (See Lev 10:1).

The fire of God's presence in the Holy of Holies would have killed any person just like a light attracts and kills bugs that come too close! Only the blood of Jesus can cleanse us from our sin so that we can come into His presence. The presence and glory of God is what people desire most; because that's what they lost in the garden; even though most people don't know that's what they are missing in their life. God had Moses remind the people twice not to come too close to the mountain and gaze at God or they would be killed. "Then the LORD spoke to Moses, "Go down, warn the people, lest they break through to the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish" (Exodus 19:21 NASB). Oh how much sense this all makes to me now of God's master plan! How awesome! How ingenious is our God that we serve!

CHERUBIM

HAVING THE FACE OF A MAN

Each cherub had two faces, so that the face of a man was toward a palm tree on one side, and the face of a young lion toward a palm tree on the other side; thus it was made throughout the temple all around (Ez 41:18-19 NKJV).

Then the cherubim rose up. They are the living beings that I saw by the river Chebar (Ez 10:15 NAS).

The cherubim and man are one in the presence of God and His throne. Man becomes like the cherubim or as living beings in the presence of God. Meaning that they are filled with the life and power of God, the Bible tells us this is so! Ezekiel said clearly in 10:15 that living beings are cherubim, and 41:18 only proves my point even more because there are many other types and shadows in Scripture that point to their true identity in another person or thing. For instance, Joseph, Moses, David, and others are all types of Christ in the Old Testament. The tabernacle in the wilderness, the feasts of Israel are all Old Testament types and shadows pointing to Jesus and to New Testament truth. Colossians 2:17 says, "Things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ." The substances of all shadows are summed up in Christ or in other words, they point to Him and are fulfilled in Him.

Cherubim in the beginning are found around the throne and are protectors if you will of the life of God. By that I mean, they don’t protect God, but from people getting to the life of God before they come through Jesus alone. We, the body of Christ, the bride, the sons of God, are the true reality of what is both in and around the throne! We are the carriers of the presence and glory of God in the earth; the cherubim were the Old Testament shadow and the body of Christ is the reality of the shadow in and around the throne. "These are the living beings that I saw beneath the God of Israel by the river Chebar; so I knew that they were cherubim" (Ezekiel 10:20 NAS). Notice how Ezekiel says that the living beings were under GOD, not just under the throne as he describes in Ezekiel 1:26, but that God’s throne rides upon the cherubim for they are the carriers of God’s glory. "And He rode upon a cherub and flew; and He sped upon the wings of the wind" (Psalms 18:10 NAS). Wow do you realize who you are and Who you carry?

I have had two prophetic experiences with the cherub that has helped me to understand their reality. The times that I saw them I was praying with others and the glory of the Lord was manifest in the room. The cherubim were surrounding us in a full circle like they were in the Holy Holies. Their wings were raised and touching each other protecting us like we were precious jewels; like the arc of the covenant that stood in the Holy of Holies. This is because we are more precious, His presence abides with us and is in us even as He was in the Holiest place in the temple. During one of these experiences I had one of the most powerful words I have ever spoken, the Holy Spirit spoke through me saying, "You are carriers of My glory!" God’s temple is the dwelling place of His glory that we are. If we could just get a glimpse of this we would stop wallowing around in this earthen clay experience of this life and start seeking the true reality of life that is above, where we are seated. (See Col 3:1).

YOUR HEART, THE THRONE OF GOD

And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. Then I heard one speaking to me from the house, while a man was standing beside me. And He said to me, "Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever… (Ez 43:5-7 NAS).

Clearly we can see from these verses of Scripture that God has a temple, mankind is that temple that He now abides in His glorious presence. He says with all assertion, "This is the place of My throne!" Our heart is the place of God’s throne where He does and will rule and reign for all of eternity. Which leads us back to cherubim and the living creatures that are found in the middle of the throne.

The four living creatures in the books of Ezekiel and Revelation are found around and in the middle of the throne; they dwell in the throne of fire. The number four in Scripture means to rule, reign, and to overcome. I believe that the four living creatures represent the overcoming son’s of God because they sit in the center of the throne where we are called to be. These four living creatures are the carriers of the throne (glory) of God. "And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth" (Revelation 5:6-7 NKJV). Did you notice where Jesus is standing? Right in the middle of the throne and in the middle of the four living creatures and elders because that is where He is right now, in us! Now read very carefully the next verses and you will see clearly that we are the living creatures or should I say the beings that have been swallowed up into God’s life.

Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying:

You are worthy to take the scroll,

And to open its seals;

For You were slain,

And have redeemed us to God by Your blood

Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

And have made us kings and priests to our God;

And we shall reign on the earth.

Revelation 5:8-10 (NKJV)

It is most certain from these verses that the living beings and the twenty-four elders are redeemed saints on the throne of God, for only the redeemed of God sing a new song for no angel has ever been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. These on the throne are the overcomers, the head rulers of the earth, the cherubim with the face of a man and the face of a lion, which is Jesus Himself ruling in us.

As in Ezekiel 41:18 they are looking at the palm tree so that they will never forget that they are called to be overcomers in this life and they are to be dwelling in heavenly places with Jesus. We are called to be the head and not the tail by the commandment of God for Isaiah 19:15 calls the palm tree the head and not the tail. This we must remember, we are not under the devil, but we are rulers over him! We are planted in the courts of God, which is His throne of power and authority. The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, he will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God (Ps 92:12-14 NAS).

GREAT DARKNESS IS COMING,

BUT GREATER WILL BE THE LIGHT IN US

"Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. "For behold, darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples; but the LORD will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you. "And nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising" (Isa 60:1-3 NAS).

From the throne of God, we the body, bride, and sons will minister the power and glory of God as the world has never seen except through the life of Jesus on earth. And soon God will manifest Himself through a body of believers like Jesus did because it will be Him working in and through His chosen ones. Jesus came with a passion to destroy the works of the devil and that is just what we will do!

Great powers of hell are being released on the earth to destroy mankind, but it will only backfire in their face as God releases His mighty army to destroy the works of the devil. Great light and great power will decimate the enemy horde. A people are coming, great and strong, the like of whom has never been seen on earth. (See Joel 2:2). This will be the battle of the ages when light and darkness collide, light has always overcome the darkness with ease. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth (word of fire) and destroy with the brightness of His coming (2 Thess 2:8 NKJV).

This battle is now upon us, choose this day whom you will serve, the god of this world, which is the flesh and the devil, or the Lord Jesus Christ Who gave His all so that we could receive His all! God has prepared a body of people in the likeness of Jesus to overcome these evil powers. Are you one, will you pay the price to become one of them that is called and chosen of God by obeying Him in all things? We cannot focus on the darkness within our own soul or around us, then our enemy will overcome us. But we must abide daily in the light that is within, and then we will overcome him through the power of God’s word and presence from the throne.

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Rom 8:37 NKJV).