The Rod of an Almond Tree in God's Master Plan


The following review of The Rod of An Almond Tree by Lynn Leslie appeared in Jan/Feb 1998 issue of the Christian Conscience magazine and on the Messengers of Messiah website. It is superficial and deceptive. For an in depth analysis of Peter Michas' heretical and Kabbalistic interpretation of Scripture, please read the Watch Unto Prayer Review of this book.

Important information about Sarah and Lynn Leslie is available in "The Conspiracy Was Strong: The Discernment Ministries."


Book Review

This is the book review of your book that my husband Lynn wrote which will run in the Jan./Feb. 1998 Christian Conscience.

Sarah Leslie


Hebrew roots & trees

The Rod of an Almond Tree in God's Master Plan, by Peter A. Michas, with Robert Vander Maten and Christie D. Michas 1997, WinePress Publishing, Mukilteo, WA.

Like a lot of folks I enjoy a good detective story. It's fun to exercise the brain as I review the facts presented by the author and try to determine the final outcome based on what I know of those facts and any pattern(s) they represent thereby filling in the blanks. Peter and Christie Michas, along with Robert Vander Maten use similar deductive techniques to fill in the blanks for the Greatest Story Ever Told.

We already know the outcome, God's redemptive work for mankind was completed with the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary. But was it really on a man-made cross where Jesus suffered and died or was He literally hung on a tree as the Bible says? And if so, what kind of tree was it and where was it located? How much of the story we think we know so well is clearly stated in the Bible and how much is based upon the traditions of men? And why does it matter, anyway?

It matters because, as we contend for the faith day-in and day-out, we can demonstrate that the prophetic patterns and timetables presented in Scripture clearly confirm that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. This is not only useful for helping us to increase in our personal faith and knowledge of God, but also for attempting to convince non-believers that God really is who He says he is.

So how well have Michas et al. filled in the blanks? Quite well, actually. Starting with the premise that God's plan should be examined within its Hebraic context (after all, the Old Testament is a compendium of Hebrew law and culture, and the Gospels of the New Testament were written by Jews about a Jew in a Jewish culture), the authors look not only to the Bible, but also draw upon an assortment of other references of Jewish history and tradition. These include, among others: the Talmud, a collection of rabbinical laws, law decisions and comments on the Mosaic law; the Gemara, the second and supplementary part of the Talmud; the Midrash, a rabbinical commentary that studies and interprets the legal, ethical and devotional aspects of Scripture; and The Torah Anthology, an encyclopedia of Jewish knowledge.

In keeping with the Hebraic character of the book, the authors frequently refer to Jesus the Messiah by His Hebrew name, Yeshua HaMashiach. They trace God's plan for Him beginning in Genesis and thoroughly explain within the Hebrew context His fulfillment of God's Law as the ultimate Passover Lamb. Along the way we are treated to a myriad of details relating to God's Master Plan, including: the location of the Garden of Eden; the historic significance and role of the Mount of Olives; the kinds of trees that were the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life (the book's title gives you a clue here); and the hidden meaning of Pilate's inscription placed above Christ at His crucifixion (there's more to it than just the words Pilate used). There are a great many more details, but you need to read the book to experience them for yourself.

You might think that this is merely another recitation of the same old Bible prophecies of the Old Testament which predict the coming Christ. But it is much more than that. For example, we know that Abraham took his son, Isaac, to a place to be sacrificed as God commanded, an event that foreshadowed God's sacrifice of His only Son. However, do you know how closely the former parallels the latter? Did you know, for example, that Isaac was not a child, as is so often depicted, but was rather a young man in his thirties who voluntarily allowed his father to bind him for the sacrifice? And that the altar upon which Abraham was to offer Isaac was located on the same site as Christ's crucifixion-the Mount of Olives? Or did you know that the Garden of Eden was located where Jerusalem now stands and that Mount Moriah and the Mount of Olives have been holy sites since long before the establishment of the city of Jerusalem, actually dating to when Adam and Eve lived in the Garden? (Wait until you read what could be found at these two sites at the time the Garden of Eden was located there.)

These and a host of other fascinating details of God's plan are presented convincingly throughout the book.

Obviously, the Michases and Vander Maten are left open to criticism for relying on extra-biblical references in order to delineate God's Master Plan. However, they do an excellent job of resting on the ultimate authority of the Bible in making their case. Where the Bible is silent on a given topic, they make deductions based upon and within what the Bible says elsewhere without contradicting it. Where the Bible clearly speaks, that is what they rely upon. Their presentation is both thought-provoking and compelling and a must-read for anyone desiring a more thorough understanding of God's provision for the redemption of His fallen creation.

After reading this book, you will be convinced that God has a clear and definite plan for redeeming his creation (humankind) and that it is plainly laid out for all to see. You will also have a greater appreciation for the Jewish feasts and festivals and how they symbolize the finished work of Christ. Will it challenge your traditional views of the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Yeshua the Messiah? Most certainly. But ask yourself this question: Do I want to reject the commandment of God and keep my own tradition, thereby making the word of God of no effect (See Mark 7:9 & 7:13), or do I want to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has a plan that affects me and what that plan is? As Robert Vander Maten says in his preface to the book, "If God felt it was important to structure times, events, and places so precisely to point to His Son, I do not believe it is within our right to alter them so as to accommodate our traditions. We must make the change-not God!" ?

- Lynn D. Leslie

The book is available directly from Messengers of Messiah, PO Box 125, Troy, IL 62294, 618-667-1022. Messengers of Messiah International Ministries, headed by Peter A. Michas, is a Hebraic Roots ministry that strives to impart a deeper understanding and foundation in God's Word while maintaining a balance in the believer's walk. Peter Michas runs a Bible question and answer loop on the Internet; contact him at: Messengers of Messiah has a web site at