As Jesus continues with the Upper Room Discourse, God’s judgment is drawing near for Israel. It was only some 38 years before Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 24:2 was fulfilled. Jerusalem was razed and their magnificent temple was destroyed. All because they rejected God’s Son. In our day, judgment is coming soon for the rest of the world as well; also for rejecting God’s Son. (1) You may be asking yourself, where can I go to hide from what is coming? The answer to that question is that safety is not found in a place, it is found in a Person. The psalmist wrote Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. (Ps 119:114) This is how Jesus was able to face the cross with courage. He knew He was safe because He was trusting in the promises in the word. He knew the cross could not defeat Him.
At the end of Chapter 14, Jesus said Arise, let us go hence. It appears Jesus continues his teaching in Chapter 15 as they are en route to Gethsemane. If so, they would have passed by the temple on their way. Being Passover, the full moon would have illuminated the temple for them to see atop the temple mount. Above the temple gate were golden vines with grape clusters as big as men (Josephus, Ant., xv, 11 § 3; BJ, v, 5 § 4). Jesus and the disciples may have even passed by a vineyard as they made their way through the Kidron Valley to Gethsemane at the base of the Mount of Olives. The point is that the disciples were very familiar with the symbol of the vine and what it represented. For a Jew, the vine represented Israel (Ps 80:8-14; Jer 2:21; Hos 10:1) Jesus knows that soon his disciples will be personae non gratae in the temple; in effect, cut off from the vine of Israel, outcasts who nobody will buy from, sell to, employ, or associate with. For a Jew, this was a terrible fate. Jesus, therefore, prepares them for what is coming.
Give us understanding, Father, as we read your precious word, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
This is the seventh of Jesus’ I am statements in John:
I am the bread of life
I am the light of the world
I am the door
I am the good shepherd
I am the resurrection and the life
I am the way, the truth, and the life
I am the vine (the true vine)
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
I believe that when Jesus said He would take away every branch that did not bear fruit, He was talking about the Jews who rejected Him. (2) They claimed to believe in Messiah but there was no fruit on that vine (Matt 21:19; cf Luke 13:6). It can also mean a professing Christian who has no fruit in his life. There is a sin unto death … (1 John 5:16) When Jesus said He would ‘purge’ every branch that bore fruit, I believe he meant He would purge the disciples out of the corrupt vine that rejected Him, the true vine. It also means purging other things that do not profit out of a believer’s life. The word for purgeth could also be translated as ‘cleanses’. The Reina Valera version translates it this way (ie limpiará, lit cleanses). We can see this meaning in verse 3. Jesus cleanses us with the word that we may bring forth more fruit. But what is fruit?
Souls won with the gospel — John 4:35-38; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23
Holiness — Romans 6:22
Giving financially — Philippians 4:17
Helping others — Colossians 1:10
Righteousness — Hebrews 12:11
Praise to God — Hebrews 13:15
And finally Galatians 5:22, 23 — But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
If you chop a branch off from the vine it will die. It will no longer bear fruit. Incidentally, fruit bearing not only requires abiding in Christ; it requires humility. The branch that bears the most fruit hangs the lowest.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
If there is no fruit in the life of a Christian it is probably because he is not in the word. Trying to produce fruit apart from the vine is an exercise in futility, for without me ye can do nothing. If you are abiding in Christ on the other hand, the fruit grows naturally like grapes on a vine. The vine does not need to struggle and strain to produce grapes; they just grow naturally.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
The word for abide is translated continue in John 8:31. The way to abide in Christ is to continue in his word. By continuing in God’s word and thus abiding in Christ, we can then begin to see the fruit that Jesus desires of us. In verse 2, there is no fruit (branch taken away), then a branch with fruit, which Jesus separates and cleanses so it can bring forth more fruit. In verse 5, we have the branch that abides in Christ and brings for much fruit. To this kind of branch, the kind that continues in God’s word and abides in Christ, Jesus says If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. This sort of branch will be asking for things that are in accordance with God’s will and God’s nature. (Jam 4:2) When this sort of branch receives a ‘no’ as an answer to prayer, she trusts God and knows that God knows best. (Rom 8:28) This is the sort of branch I want to be. We are coming to the place in our day where we may suffer the same sort of persecution that the disciples were faced with after Jesus’ death and resurrection. That is okay though because if we abide in Christ we are abiding in the true vine, and He will never leave us or forsake us. Father, thank You for all the precious promises we have in your Son and in your word. Thank You for the hope we have of everlasting life with You in heaven. Please use us to bear much fruit for you and your Son and your Spirit, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
(1) As a nation and as a planet, we are under the ancient Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times. Thankfully, we serve a God who turns curses into blessings. (Deut 23:5; Neh 13:2) Before we talk about how God can turn the curses into blessings, let’s look at the curses.
In my post on April 17, I said we have seen an end of free and fair elections here in the US. The release of D’nesh Dzousa’s 2000 Mules has confirmed this once again. A curious side note in 2000 Mules was the observation that not only did prosecutors use geospatial location data to arrest the January 6 political prisoners, but they were being tracked via their cell phones before January 6. Another side note mentioned in 2000 Mules was how the voter-fraud investigators used their geospatial location data to catch a murderer. You do not necessarily need the gift of prophecy to see where this is leading. (Rev 13:16-18)
In my last post, I implied that our federal government here in the US is a lost cause. There has been a lot of recent news that confirms this. The real reason (one of many) we are deeply involved in the war in Ukraine is because the new world order has fifteen bio labs there (not to mention the corruption connection of the Bidens in Ukraine). The new world order bio labs were called out by the Russians and they appear to be telling the truth. Undersecretary of State, Victoria Nuland, admitted that these labs exist to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 8. I could be accused of being a Russian agent for pointing this out, but then again I’m not the one who received $3.5 million from the wife of the ex-mayor of Moscow (full Senate report here). Inconvenient truths like this are the reason we are getting a new Orwellian Ministry of Truth headed up by Miss Information Nina Jankowicz, who incidentally worked for the infamously corrupt Ukrainian government as a ‘strategic communications expert’. (There is that Ukraine connection again.) We have completely lost our moral high ground. At least in Russia, it is illegal to attempt to groom or otherwise influence anyone under 18 concerning matters of sexuality. Here in the US, even the ‘good guys’ allow it after the third grade. Advocates claim it is a virtuous thing to sexually confuse and groom children when it is, in fact, an old Marxist practice used to break down the foundations of society and divide families. (It also works well for the depopulation agenda.) It was recently confirmed by a whistleblower that yes, parents who object at local school board meetings are indeed tagged as potential terrorists by the FBI.
Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical companies are still pushing forward with plans to give the jabs to infants only six months old. This, as world ‘leaders’ will discuss handing over American sovereignty to the WHO for ‘pandemic preparedness’ when they meet in Geneva later this month. In Leviticus 26:17, God said if Israel despised God’s statutes, those who hated them would rule over them. It happened to them and it is happening to us. Their target to have the treaty fully implemented is 2024. This treaty has no legal basis: see here and here. If we surrender our sovereignty, what is to stop them from fencing Americans into their neighborhoods like residents in Shanghai were fenced in to their neighborhoods? Those who brought us to this place need to be prosecuted for crimes against humanity, as some are attempting to do.
Allowing adults to engage in or be afflicted by these abominations is bad enough, but to allow these abuses against children is nothing short of satanic. One may wonder how the world could come to the point where they are worshiping the dragon in Revelation 13, but we are, in fact, seeing the foundation being laid before our very eyes. The only thing left standing in their way is the body of Christ. While people protest the possibility that Roe v Wade may be undone, Satanists have argued in a court filing that abortion is their right as a ‘satanic ritual’, which brings me to my last point. The fight over the Roe v Wade case, in addition to all the other points above, drives the point home that we are at a crossroads. This truly is a historical moment in time. The sixties transformed American culture and one of the results of this transformation was the Roe v Wade decision a few years later in 1973. Aside from the millions of innocent lives at stake, the leaked decision in the Dobbs case, if it stands, could have other far-reaching implications for the power of the Supreme Court. An in-depth discussion on the Roe decision and its implications can be found here. If the decision does not stand, it could very well be the last straw. God is merciful but He will not suffer our rebellion indefinitely. Inflation and shortages may be just the beginning.
If this ‘state of the nation’ synopsis is all there is, we can suppose that we are, indeed, cursed. But you have to consider how God fits in. As I said before, does not God turn curses into blessings? If you read these things, take them seriously, and sigh or cry over them (Ez 9:4), if you have received Christ as your personal Saviour, then I have good news for you. God is preparing a mighty deliverance for those who are truly grieved over the abominations taking place on planet earth. The rewards for those who love Jesus and are willing not only to die for Him, but to live for Him, are inconceivable, indescribable, what Paul called unspeakable. If you decide to turn a blind eye, or ‘go along to get along’, just remember that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for sexually deviant behavior, making an example out of them. (Jude 7) The vine of this earth is ripe for judgment (John 15:6; Rev 14:14-20) If you are ready, however, abiding in the true vine, you will be spared. (Ez 9:5f)
(2) Nevertheless, the Bible prophesies a great revival in Israel yet future with much fruit. (Rom 11:26)