Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Since the time in which our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus walked the Earth, in the flesh, the body of Christ has been under attack from those who would take the kingdom of heaven from us.
(Mat 11:12) And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
This is accomplished in a number of ways however the most used and perhaps the most effective method is through the spread of false doctrine.
This false doctrine is the blending of worldly teachings with spiritual truth. It’s not even that the spiritual side of our faith is being outright rebuked by carnal Christianity. It is simply being diluted with false doctrine to the point of being totally ineffective in our Christian walk.
No, this is not another writing about spiritual warfare. It is however a rebuke of anyone claiming to be a Christian who denies the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit and the purpose He was sent to us by our Lord Jesus.
May the words found here richly bless you as they have me! All glory to God!
The Fruit of the Vine
(Mat 7:19) Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
(Mat 7:20) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
(Mat 7:21) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
(Mat 7:22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
(Mat 7:23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Jesus states here that those who do the will of His Father shall enter into the kingdom or heaven. He also says that is by the fruits of people that we will know them.
The question here is what are these fruits and what is the purpose of this fruit?
Let’s take a look at the Gospel of John chapter 13 for a deeper look into this question.
(Joh 15:1) I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser.
(Joh 15:2) Every branch in Me not bearing fruit, He takes it away; and each one bearing fruit, He prunes, so that it may bear more fruit.
(Joh 15:3) You are already pruned because of the Word which I have spoken to you.
In John 15 Jesus begins by stating that He is the fine and that the Father dresses the vine. The Father is the one who cuts off the dead branches and produces the fruit.
The secular thought polluting this scripture and the Christian faith is that we, by our actions, produce the fruit. The truth is that we are the branches and God produces the fruit which comes from us through the vine which is Jesus. None of this work is done by us!
The idea of pruning in these verses is speaking of purification. When we (the branches) are pruned that which is within us that is not good is taken away (pruned) (sanctification). The more we are pruned the more fruit is produced and the better the quality of that fruit is. Conversely if we do not allow God to prune us, through His Holy Spirit, we do not produce fruit and we are are cut off the vine.
(Joh 15:6) Unless one remains in Me, he is cast out as the branch and is dried up; and they gather and throw them into a fire, and they are burned.
See “Being In Christ”
It is important to note here that the fruit is an outward sign of an inward change. Those whom submit to the unction of the Holy Spirit will change on the inside. That is to say the inner man/woman. This is the process by which we take on the new nature and begin to be transformed into the image of Christ.
(Joh 15:4) Remain in Me, and I in you. As the branch is not able to bear fruit of itself, unless it remain in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me.
(Joh 15:5) I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one abiding in Me, and I in him, this one bears much fruit, because apart from Me you are not able to execute, nothing.
What is this fruit?
(Gal 5:22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
(Gal 5:23) Meekness, temperance:
Where does this fruit come from? The Holy Spirit!
We do not produce this fruit. We cant work to obtain it. We do not do the pruning. We do not cause the fruit to grow. It is all done through our simple acknowledgment that it is not us who do this work and yielding to the Spirit of God within us rather than taking matters into our own hands!
What is the purpose of this fruit?
Many people believe that it is a sign to others saying; look at me. Look how holy I am. Look at how I obey God. Look at how beautiful my fruit is. Look at what I accomplished!
The purpose of the fruit is for Jesus to be seen within us so God can be glorified. Nothing more!
(Joh 15:8) In this My Father is glorified, that you should bear much fruit; and you will be disciples to Me.
Further more a promise is made by our Lord for those who live in the vine.
(Joh 15:7) If you remain in Me, and My Words remain in you, whatever you desire you will ask, and it shall happen to you.
Thus far we see that Jesus is The Vine, we are the branches and the fruit is an outward sign of internal change. We also see that this process or transformation is all through God and no part of it is due to us, through us or about us. It is all through Jesus (The Vine), God the Father (The Vine Dresser) and the Holy Spirit who causes the fruit to grow!
Brothers and Sisters, it is not about us it all about Him. This fruit is grown to glorify God and for others to partake of. For within the fruit is the seed of future branches which will grow off of our branch and more fruit will be produced for the further glorification of Almighty God!
It’s not about us, it’s about Him. It’s not for our glory it is for His. It is not for our benefit it is for the benefit of the Kingdom!
Many within the body of Christ have a huge problem with the biblical precept of God doing all of the work. In fact I have seen many believers, who claim that they know Jesus, actually claim that they have the ability, in and of themselves, by their own will, do the very things that holy scripture tells us that only God can do.
They believe that they obey the law. They believe that they come to repentance of their own will. That believe that they learn to love, to have joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, meekness and temperance. They give no glory to God. They deny the work of the Holy Spirit within them in so much as they believe that they are able to do things things of their own will. They believe that the Holy Spirit is nothing more than a tour guide and that they actually do the work.
Now I am not saying that these people are not saved. I believe that based on the biblical requirement of believing in the Gospel of Christ as the only requirement for salvation.
(Mar 16:16) He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
What I am saying however is that there are members within the body of Christ who have a form of godliness on the outside but are unchanged in the inner man.
(2Ti 3:5) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
What these believers don’t see, what they don’t understand, is that all that they are trying to accomplish, even with the best intentions and a true heart for God, they are doing in the flesh and through the flesh and not in the spirit through the Spirit!
(Gal 3:1) O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
(Gal 3:2) This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
(Gal 3:3) Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
You see Brothers and Sisters this is not a new condition. It has been in existence throughout time.
Our Lord said to these people having this form of godliness in Matthew 7:23; “ I never knew you, depart from me ye workers of iniquity”.
What is interesting here is that these people obviously knew Jesus and did do “many wonderful works”. Jesus statement here is not that they didn’t know Him rather that He didn’t know them!
This is because they are carnally minded. They are not truly reborn of the Spirit They, for all intents and purposes denying the Holy Spirit because they deny His power. Subsequently, because the Holy Spirit is Jesus, they are actually denying Jesus Himself and Jesus says He will deny them to His Father.
(Mat 10:32) Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
(Mat 10:33) But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
These people believe that it is only through reading scripture that one can know Jesus. This is only a half truth which is the same as a lie. Scriptures tell us about God and about Jesus and about the Holy Spirit. But is it ONLY through the Word of God and through fellowship with Him in prayer that one can come into an intimate relationship with the triune God! It is ONLY through the revelation of the Holy Spirit that we can know the Father and the Son.
(Luk 10:21) In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.
(Luk 10:22) All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.
Jesus tells us that only the Father knows the Son and that only the Son knows the Father. Therefore knowing Jesus is the only way to the Father. Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in Him (John 17:21). Knowing Jesus is the key!
How then do we come to know Jesus? How do we enter into this personal relationship with Him?
(Joh 15:26) But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
(Joh 15:27) And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
Again it is not of our own work (study) that we come to know Jesus rather through His Holy Spirit within us!
The Father gives us the Holy Spirit at the bequest of Jesus to give witness of who He is. Subsequently we come to know who the Father is because Jesus and the Father are one (John 10:30).
(Joh 14:6) Jesus said to him, I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
(Joh 14:7) If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you do know Him, and have seen Him.
(Joh 14:8) And Philip said to Him, Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.
(Joh 14:9) Jesus said to him, Am I so long a time with you, and you have not known Me, Philip? The one seeing Me has seen the Father! And how do you say, Show us the Father?
(Joh 14:10) Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The Words which I speak to you I do not speak from Myself, but the Father who abides in Me, He does the works.
In closing I would like to leave you with this thought:
The Apostle John Said:
(Joh 3:27) A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
He also said:
(Joh 3:30) He must increase, but I must decrease.
The Apostle Paul Said:
(1Co 2:11) For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of a man within him? So also no one has known the things of God except the Spirit of God.
(1Co 2:12) But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God.
(1Co 2:13) Which things we also speak, not in words taught in human wisdom, but in Words taught of the Holy Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.
(1Co 2:14) But a natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
These things, all that we need to be saved, justified, reborn, renewed and transformed into the image of Christ have been “freely given to us by God”. They “have been given”. This is a finished work. This includes the words that we speak as oracles of God. These are gifts. We do not earn gifts. We can not work for them. They are freely given to us by our Father. All we need to do is submit to the Holy Spirit within us and let God do the work through us as Jesus did.
The carnal man believes that it is by his/her own will that they achieve these things. To them the Holy Spirit is nothing more than a tour guide.
The spiritual man knows that it is totally by the mercy, grace and power of God that we can do these things. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we seek God, repent of our sins, pray to God, keep His word or do anything that might please Him. The only thing that we are to do is yield to His Spirit. Once we let go and let God, He does the rest! It is no longer our will but His which we submit to. And when we do so He empowers us to live a Godly life walking in His Spirit.
Anything that we believe to the contrary is not biblical and is an affront to God!
To Him be all of the glory for ever and ever.
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