TRUE AND FALSE BRANCHES
TRUE AND FALSE BRANCHES
God is in the work of exposing the hearts of so-called Christians.
The call from Scripture that we are to evidence as proof of genuine salvation being effected in us by the Holy Spirit is simple. Jesus said the following words which still bear much weight in the test of a true Christian vs. false professor,
"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away. And every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit...As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me...If anyone does not abide in me [exclusively] he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you...If you keep My commandments, you will abide in my love...This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you" (John 15:1-12).
Did you notice the qualifiers in the passage that points to the genuine nature of one being born again?
Here are just a few that come quickly to the mind from the text.
- Christ is the root of our Christian life. If one is not inspired by the life of Christ and chooses to use worldly props like Beth Moore, Joel Olsteen, Disney's Moana, mega personalities and the like to make the Bible "come alive," its a good indicator that rebirth has Not occurred in the heart.
- The Father examines our hearts and exposes us as productive Christians. Either we will be found by Him as living lives of holiness and righteousness or we will be found out to be hypocrites in our hearts, even though we fake out a Christ-likeness to the world around us.
- God will not be mocked. He will cut the hypocrites off from the church by His own effort in pruning the Body of Christ. The pruning work of God comes exclusively through the work of the Holy Spirit through His utilization of bold preaching and unadulterated teaching of God's Word (I.e. without admixture of worldly ideas or pop culture movies).
- Hypocrites cannot run away from the Church to their homes and think they can be safe from the judgement of God by conducting a "self-study" of Scripture. In the end such people will be burned in the fire filled trash heap of hell as they are cast out forever by Jesus Christ Himself.
- For those who profess to abide in Christ and remain in the church, the provision for which Christ has made that we are to abide is found in nothing else but the exclusive teaching and preaching of His Word! Those who use marketing techniques or music or drama or Disney's Moana or Finding Nemo or Finding Dorey or Star Wars, have strayed from the purity of Scripture and have failed to realize they are in the apostate church of the pruned hypocrites destined for the trash heap of hell! Such a gathering is a group of liars with a liar for a leader they call "pastor."
- The Church of God that abides solely in the Word of God will naturally do the things of God with the motives of God and therefore can ask whatever they wish; God will give it to them because they abide with the heart of Christ and not with the self-centered world-loving heart of Satan. The true Christian that is born of the Spirit will only desire the same desires of the Holy Spirit. Such a Christian has learned through the exclusive teaching of Scripture to put to death the deeds of the flesh so that the flesh will not hamper the ministry of the Holy Spirit through the life of the Saint. Such a person has learned to love not the world or the things of the world because they love the Father more than the world (1 John 2:15-17).
- The one who knows Christ's Word must also be the one who lives Christ's Word. To know the Bible means nothing without an outward demonstration or action taking place in the life of the one who claims to be a Christian.
To know God's Word is to do God's Will.
To be a branch in the Vine is to live a fruit-producing life of godliness.
That is why Jesus said "if you abide in Me you will do what I say". That is why the Apostles counted themselves as nothing more than slaves of God (2 Peter 1:1; Romans 6:18).
The way Christians know that they are in Christ unto salvation is by their remaining in His Word and by obedience to His commands from a heart that has truly been born of the Spirit of Christ. To mix God's Word with the fleshly ideas of the world is to pervert oneself and damn one's soul to the eternity of receiving God's wrath in the lake of fire.
Flee from fleshly desires and pursue Jesus Christ with a pure heart filled with the Word of God and demonstrated by the love of God in actions toward the brotherhood of Christian believers. Not one bit of this is possible a part from attending Church, and on top of that it must be a Christ centered Word filled and God-loving demonstration for it to be genuinely of God.