Are You a Good Person?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Tree Withou Branches

This post may be a little more disturbing than the others if you have thought of the Bible as just a book. Even if you have been trying to live a good Christian life it may be of a shock to you, but it's really not something I can keep to myself, and it is supported by the very words of Jesus.

It was in the middle of the night and I was trying to get back to sleep, without much success, when I suddenly saw a tree without branches. The image was imprinted upon my mind just as clearly as if I were looking at any object in the room. There it was, a strong tree, yet every single branch had been cut off and lay at the base of the tree. Then, even more to my amazement, I heard God speaking. "This is My Church," He said. "Unless they be grafted back into My Son they shall be cast off." I didn't have a tape recorder with me and even if I did I doubt it would have captured the holy words of the Almighty as He spoke to my heart. Still, it has always seemed that I shortened this sentence to what it says above. I felt at the time that He wanted to say, "...they shall be cast off forever into the Lake of Fire." Of this I cannot be sure, but I leave it with you so you will understand the impact God's Words had on me.

One thing bothered me. I didn't see a single branch that remained in the tree. They were all cut off. Was God saying that He couldn't find anyone who was faithful? So I asked him why all the branches were cut off. His answer was more startling than if He had said it was. This is what God said to my heart, "It is so that no one can say this vision is not for them."

I have tried to be faithful and relay this vision to as many people as I could over the next several years. I received a few responses from people saying that they bore witness that what I had seen and spoken of was the true Word of God. Yet it was the email of someone whose name I forget that directed me to John 15. Here Jesus talks about being the True Vine and we are the branches. Here we see the Father cutting away every branch that does not bear fruit. And here also we read how our life comes not from within us, but from the Vine. All who try to live apart from the Vine are fruitless and cut off. If they remain so they are gathered together and thrown into the fire.

I mention this so that you will know that Jesus taught this same teaching before I had the vision. While mine was of a tree and Jesus used a Vine for the illustration, they are in every point exactly the same. So what does that mean to me? What should it mean to you? It means that you must tend to your own salvation with fear and trembling. Forget the doctrines of eternal security of those who believe you can lose your salvation. Instead focus on the truth of the teachings of Christ, which were once again echoed in this vision, "If you abide in Me and My Words abide in you, you shall produce much fruit." This is the point of the vision. This is the will of God. We are to bear fruit for His Kingdom. If we are not bearing fruit, we are not doing His will.

Let me qualify this so some of our present day Pharisees won't twist it around to mean something it does not mean. Bearing fruit does not always mean winning souls to the Lord. In fact, Scripture plainly says that only He can save. The job of lifting Him up, that is the fruit. Living in love, joy, peace, goodness (See Gal. 5:22) that is the fruit.

But what has this to do with the Law? That is a fair question. What need do we have to be part of that Tree (or Vine as Jesus puts it in John 15)? It is the Law that teaches us that apart of God there is no life. The Law of God is perfect, condemning sin in sinful man ("Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful." Romans 7:13) It is by the Law of God we realize that we have been cut off from the Vine (or Tree) and lay waiting to be cast into the fires of Hell. In such a state our need to be "saved" is born. The wrath of God is plainly seen through the Law, but grace and mercy through Jesus Christ. It is then the Law that directs us to Jesus that we might find a Savior. It is through the Law that we realize we have been cut off from God and need to be grafted back into His True Olive Tree. It is the Law of God that sends us running into the arms of our Loving Christ, that His blood might not merely be a covering on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of God (See Hebrews 9), but the very lifeblood that flows through our veins, seeing we are the Body of Christ ("Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular." 1st Corinthians 12:27). And in doing so find that Christ completes and fulfills the Law in us, not as something done in the past, but as something done moment by moment through the power of the Holy Spirit, as God said to Moses, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." (Leviticus 17:11) For to the priests of God at the time of Moses, the blood was "given to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls", but now, having made of Himself that Perfect Lamb of sacrifice, offered up Himself upon the altar for our souls. We testify, and bear witness that it is through this precious blood that we now have peace with God ("And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:" Ephesians 2:16) and it is through this blood that we have also been made into "one new man" (Ephesians 2:15) This "one new man" is Christ, of which He has fashion out of us His Body, the Church. It is through this self-same body that His blood runs freely, cleansing us of every sin, a continual offering, through one act of a loving God. It is through the Law that we have found Him. And this blood is that which gives to us nourishment to our souls, life, peace with God. It is the sap that runs through the Vine which bears fruit unto our Heavenly Father. That is what all this has to do with the Law.

David Brollier

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