Vine & Fig Tree



The name "Vine & Fig Tree" comes from the fourth chapter of the prophet Micah, and is set forth here. You've probably heard Micah's words before -- we beat our "swords into plowshares" and everyone dwells safely under their own "Vine & Fig Tree.

America's Founding Fathers were familiar with this vision: "Vine & Fig Tree" is the worldview that made America "the greatest nation on God's green earth."

George Washington's Diaries are available online at the Library of Congress. That website introduces those writings with these words:
No theme appears more frequently in the writings of Washington than his love for his land. The diaries are a monument to that concern. In his letters he referred often, as an expression of this devotion and its resulting contentment, to an Old Testament passage. After the Revolution, when he had returned to Mount Vernon, he wrote the Marquis de Lafayette on Feb. 1, 1784: "At length my Dear Marquis I am become a private citizen on the banks of the Potomac, & under the shadow of my own Vine & my own Fig-tree." This phrase occurs at least 11 times in Washington's letters. "And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree" (2 Kings 18:31).

"Under My Own Vine and Fig Tree, 1798" by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, Lora Robins Collection of Virginia Art, Virginia Historical Society
Under My Own Vine and Fig Tree, 1798
Jean Leon Gerome Ferris
Virginia Historical Society
Lora Robins Collection of Virginia Art

Many other American Founders wrote of this ideal. "Vine & Fig Tree" is the original "American Dream."

The phrase occurs a number of times in Scripture. These references are visual reminders of the Hebrew word for salvation, which means
peace,
wholeness,
health,
welfare, and
private property free from pirates and princes.
When today's Americans hear the word "salvation," they usually think about going to heaven when they die. When the writers of the Bible used the word "salvation," they wanted you to be thinking about dwelling safely under your own Vine & Fig Tree during this life -- much more often than they wanted you to be thinking about what you'll be doing in the afterlife.

The best place to see the Vine & Fig Tree ideal is in the book of Micah.

 Let's look at Micah's prophecy (on the left) and ask a few questions (on the right):
And it will come about in the last days
That the mountain of the House of the LORD
Will be established as the chief of the mountains
And it will be raised above the hills
  Are we in the "last days?"

When did this establishment take place?

And the peoples will stream to it.
And many nations will come and say,
"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD
And to the House of the God of Jacob,
Is Christianity doomed to minority status throughout history? Hasn't Christianity been growing since the first century?
That He may teach us about His ways
And that we may walk in His paths."
For from Zion will go forth the Law
Even the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
  What should be the Christian's attitude toward the Law? Isn't every Word of a "Lord" "Law?"
And He will judge between many peoples
And render decisions for mighty, distant nations.
Then they will hammer their
swords into plowshares
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation will not lift up sword against nation
And never again will they train for war.
Are we commanded to beat our swords into plowshares today? Or do we wait for the Second Coming?
And each of them will sit under his   What about private property?
Vine and under his  fig tree,
With no one to make them afraid.
For the LORD of hosts has spoken.
What about technology? What about the military? What is it that really brings "security?"
Though all the peoples walk
Each in the name of his god,
As for us, we will walk
In the Name of the LORD our God
forever and ever.
  What if all the politicians, university professors, TV commentators, newspaper editors, rock stars, CEO's, athletes, authors, and think-tanks repudiate the Vine & Fig Tree vision and tell you not to believe it?
In that day, saith the LORD,
will I assemble her that halteth,
and I will gather her that is driven out,
and her that I have afflicted;
And I will make her that halted a remnant,
and her that was cast far off a strong nation:
and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion
from henceforth, even for ever.
Should we strive to be on top, or to help those on the bottom? Is God on the side of those who have accomplished much by their own power and initiative, or is He on the side of those who are willing to be used by God to accomplish much to His Glory?

Seven Themes in Micah's Vine & Fig Tree Prophecy

  Micah's Prophecy (Micah 4:1-7)
click for audio
Archetypes Controversy Comfort
1 And it will come about in the last days
[For the LORD of hosts has spoken.]
That the mountain of the House of the LORD
Will be established as the chief of the mountains
And it will be raised above the hills

Audio

Predestination
vs. "Free Will"
Chose birth?
Nobody used "free will" to come into existence
Real issue: The nature of the Creator | Person or Mud
Calvinism
"Free Will" = imago dei | Image of God
  reason
  planning for future
  symphonies
Providence
Protection is an act of love
Prayer  = anti-deism
      "Last Days"

V&FT "impossible even for God."

Predestinated tribulation?
No. Vine & Fig Tree
2 And the peoples will stream to it.
And many nations will come and say,
"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD
And to the House of the God of Jacob,

Audio

Conversion of the Gentiles

One religion is superior to the others

One has caught our attention: jihadism

blow-up vs. convert

Peace is possible
Peace is inevitable
3 That He may teach us about His ways
And that we may walk in His paths."
For from Zion will go forth the Law
Even the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
And He will judge between many peoples
And render decisions for mighty, distant nations.

Audio

The God who gave you life deserves your respect
Every Word this God speaks deserves your attention/obedience
Bible is not just for "private" religion, "down in your heart"
Also for public policy
Textbook for every area
When Americans learned the Bible in public schools,
America was the most prosperous, most admired nation on earth

Now U.S. exports weapons/pornography

Laws of Nature and of Nature's God.

"judgmental" vs. Hitler

4 [And each of them will sit under his
Vine and under his fig tree,]

Audio

Male + Female
Father + mother

Family = "undemocratic"

When families are functional, the State is unnecessary;
Archism is suppressed

Adams: mothers:
religion + morality

5 Then they will hammer their
swords into plowshares
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation will not lift up sword against nation
And never again will they train for war.

 

Thou shalt not kill

Thou shalt not steal

Audio

Pacifism = "criminals will take over"
 
really? More people will die under pacifism than under archism?
More money will be confiscated under pacifism than under archists?
Myth:
  • OT = violence, slavery
  • Jesus = irrelevant utopian hippie; not
    "practical" or "realistic."

Fact:

6 And each of them will sit under his
Vine and under his Fig Tree,
With no one to make them afraid.
For the LORD of hosts has spoken.

Audio

Agrarianism vs. technology

Environmentalism

Garden of Eden / City of God

Wilderness vs. Garden

"False weights and Measures."

7 Though all the peoples walk
Each in the name of his god,
As for us, we will walk
In the Name of the LORD our God
forever and ever.
In that day, saith the LORD
       will I assemble her that halteth,
and I will gather her that is driven out,
and her that I have afflicted;
And I will make her that halted a remnant,
and her that was cast far off a strong nation:
and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion
from henceforth, even for ever.

Audio

social darwinism

immigration vs. "enumerated powers."

works of mercy vs. focus on "winners," celebrities, power-brokers
  "Iron Sharpens Iron"

Audio

Purpose is not to have a fight or
shout-over like Fox News
 
Don't sign up if you just want to tell us we're wrong.

Bereans, search scriptures

"I'll have to think about this"

"This is what I've always been looking for"



"Spiritual Exercises"

This is not an easy website. Not only are there more than 1,000 webpages, some of them are very controversial. They really make you think. It's like being on an athletic team and the coach ordering you to do 1,000 push-ups. It's not like the coach thinks that at the big game this weekend the teams are going to decide the championship by seeing who can do the most push-ups. The coach just knows that it will be easier to hit a ball over the wall in deep centerfield if you do your exercises before the big game.

You don't have to agree with everything on this website to benefit from it. Check everything you read here by the Scriptures; test the spirits (Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1). But if you stretch your spiritual muscles it will be easier to carry the Cross Christ asks you to carry. There's a lot of spiritual muscle-building here, and it's more entertaining than a Jane Fonda workout video.

Examples:

Although millions of Americans go to church every Sunday, more and more Christians are disenchanted with the liturgies and rituals of only-on-Sunday religion. If you fall in love with Micah's Vine & Fig Tree vision you may be tempted to pull up stakes and leave your church. That may not be the best idea. On the other hand, if you feel that you're entitled to go to heaven just because you planted yourself in a pew every Sunday, you may be in need of some spiritual exercises:
Justification by Allegiance
Should A Christian "Attend Church"?
The Home-Church Debate
Every Christian is a priest, every Christian a pastor
A World Without Priests
 
Most Americans believe that living in America is better than living in any communist dictatorship, and most Americans believe that capitalism is better than socialism, but few can explain why. As a result, America is becoming more socialist. The Vine & Fig Tree defense of laissez-faire capitalism will make it easier for you defend the American idea of "limited government," even if you choose not to go as far as we do. Ready for some push-ups?
Laissez-faire Capitalism
Anarcho-Capitalism
A World without "The State"
The Christian Anarchist Homepage
How to Become a Christian Anarchist.
 
America is the land of "Liberty Under God." Our official national motto is "In God We Trust." But a vocal minority of atheists have convinced the Supreme Court that America's Founding Fathers intended to create a secular nation with a wall of separation between God and Government. Anyone who says religion should be accommodated by the government is accused of trying to "impose a theocracy." You're looking kinda flabby -- time for some exercises:
America was a Theocracy
America should be a Theocracy Again
Atheists should not be allowed to hold political office
America's Laws were Based on the Ten Commandments
Court Decisions Banning the Ten Commandments Should be Resisted
 
But should we resist the increasingly anti-Christian federal government with guns and bombs? If you even thought that for a second, you need to do some spiritual sit-ups.
Would Jesus Celebrate Memorial Day?
Christians should be Pacifists
America's War for Independence (1776) was unBiblical
 
Deciding how "realistic" or "practical" the "Vine & Fig Tree" vision is depends on how big your God is. Many Christians pay lip-service to the idea of God being "sovereign," but their God just isn't powerful enough to bring about Micah's "Vine & Fig Tree" vision without coming back to earth, destroying everything and starting over. Besides, the ACLU might be offended if God started fulfilling prophecies like Micah's. How sovereign is your God? Is there a wall of separation between God and society called "free will?" Is Man able to tell God to back off and leave us alone? Push-ups, push-ups, push-ups!!
God Interferes in Human History
God has predestined every molecule in the universe, including the electrical impulses in your brain that you call "thoughts." I dare you to use your "free will" to click here.
 
But even if God is sovereign, hasn't He predestined everything to get worse and worse before the Second Coming of Christ? If we work for the Christian Reconstruction of society, won't that just delay the Second Coming? Wouldn't it be sinful, in fact, to try to "bring in the Kingdom" by our own works?
This is going to take a lot of push-ups. Check with your Physician. Don't try all these exercises alone all at once. Please go through them in order.
The Second Coming has already taken place.
We are already in The Kingdom.
In fact, we're already in heaven.

Again, you don't have to agree that we're already in heaven, but if you work through those exercises, you'll find it a lot easier to believe what the Bible says, and you'll agree that after doing these exercises, you'll be strong enough to believe a lot more of what the Bible says than you could before.

And isn't it your goal to believe as much of the Bible as you possibly can? That's our goal as well.


The examples above are just the tip of the iceberg. We have nearly 1,000 pages on our various websites, many unfinished, all of them constantly being revised. Your suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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A Complete Directory of our WebPages.
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We have worked hard to create this website, and we're still working on it.
If you feel you have been helped by our work, remember that "the laborer is worthy of his hire" (Luke 10:7).

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