The Judean Desert is a barren stretch of land that extend from east of Jerusalem to the Dead Sea. It’s the wilderness where John the Baptist preached and David fled from Saul. Not a lot of things grew in that wasteland but up until the 1st century there was one tree that was plentiful, the Judean date palm. It was so well know that the Romans even put it on a coin known as the “Judaea Capta”
Yet sometime before the year 500, the Judean date palm disappeared from the area—and, therefore, the world. The tree would have been lost forever but for Herod the Great. He built a fortress on top of a mesa called Masada that is still there today. In the mid-1960s, excavators working on the site found some seeds nearly 2000 years old, yet still well preserved in ancient pottery. The seeds were kept in storage until 2005, when it was placed in a special, hormone-infused soil. Those seeds would eventually sprout, and five years later, there was full grown tree. The thing that had all but disappeared since the first century was back again in our time.
The true New Testament church is lot like this tree. While it may have been plentiful during the first century, the diseases of division and denominationalism had rendered in all but gone. Yet if the gospel seed is found and planted in the right kind of soil, a good honest heart (Luke 8:15), it can grow again just like it was back in the first century. From that one seed the church can be restored back to it primitive roots. The same church that is seen in the Bible can be the same church that grows today.
"for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God."
1st PETER 1:23