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Thursday, December 8 2011
The Manner Of Fruit
In nature, the ultimate purpose of fruit is to produce the seed that will carry life beyond the death of the plant that produced the fruit. It's primarily for that reason that "producing fruit" is used as an analogy for the harvest of salvation.
"15:35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 15:36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die [see When And Where Your Eternal Life Will Begin and The Eighth Day: What Does It Mean?; also We Shall Not All Sleep]: 15:37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 15:38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body." (1 Corinthians 15:35-38 KJV)
Just as in nature, the manner of fruit matters as much as the fruit itself. Plants can bear fruit in many ways, just as people can. But it's not just a matter of taste or appearance. It's easy to judge between sweet-tasting fruit and bitter fruit, but some plants produce sweet-tasting fruit that is poisonous, while others produce fruit that is bitter, but good (e.g. lemons). Good fruit can be bad if it's picked too early ("a green-apple belly ache") or too late ("a bad apple spoils the whole bushel"). Good plants can produce a bad crop of fruit if exposed to poor soil or drought - or a lazy or irresponsible gardener. Good fruit can be defiled by uncleanness, of itself, or because of other things that are swallowed, literally or religiously, along with it (e.g. as illustrated in the "Still Life With Ham, Lobster And Fruit" painting below). There are many manners (which means "performance or behavior") that must be considered in determining what fruit is truly good.
The Messiah defined good fruit according to a definition that meant far more than just if something is sweet or beautiful (Satan is sweet-sounding and beautiful in appearance, but his manner is absolutely evil; see Who's Hiding On Your Wall?). In the eyes of the LORD, good is defined by manner, not sound or appearance alone.
"7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 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"
John the Baptist prepared the way for the coming of the Messiah by warning people to repent of their self-righteousness, including the "ham and good fruit" Pharisees.
"3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea [see What Was Strange About John The Baptist?], 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand [see Could Christ Return Tonight?]. 3:3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying,
James described how good fruit is more than what appears good; just as with garden fruit, it's what's inside that decides good or bad.
"3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 3:11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 3:12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
Jesus Christ plainly stated where the source of good fruit is found - and maintained, so not to be lost or contaminated.
"15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 15:2 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. 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 15:4 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.
The symbolic Tree of Life, that humans made bad for themselves by doing with it what they were told not to do with it (see Do You Want A Servant Or A Serpent?), will return in the Kingdom of God.
"2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." (Revelation 2:7 KJV)
Fact Finder: How do we produce good fruit?
This Day In History, December 8
1587: Mary, Queen of Scots, was beheaded for her plotting to kill Queen Elizabeth I.
1854: Pope Pius IX proclaimed the anti-Biblical heresy of the "immaculate conception" of Mary (see also What Would Mary Really Say About Idolatry?).
1869: The Vatican I Council began in Rome (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1914: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the German cruisers Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Nurnberg, and Liepzig were sunk by Britain's Royal Navy at the Battle of the Falkland Islands.
1915: The poem In Flanders Fields first appeared in print, in Punch magazine. It was written by Canadian medical officer Lt. Col. John McCrae at Ypres, Belgium.
1940: During the Second World War, a heavy overnight raid by German bombers on London caused the first serious damage to the House of Commons and the Tower of London.
1941: The first large Nazi death camp, Chelmno, started functioning. There were to be 6 such death camps: Chelmno and Auschwitz in the Polish territories incorporated into Germany, and Treblinka, Sobibor, Majdanek and Belzec in the Polish "General Government" area. Besides these 6 "death camps", there were to be 1,634 "concentration" camps and their satellites, and over 900 "labor" camps. Of the over 8,860,000 Jews in countries of Europe directly or indirectly under German control, over 5,930,000 were murdered during the war (see Hate Jews? and Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1948: South Korea was recognized by the United Nations.
1965: The Vatican II Council officially closed after over 3 years.
1978: Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir died in Jerusalem at age 80.
1980: John Lennon was shot to death at age 40 while entering his apartment building in New York City by Mark Chapman, 25.
1991: Russia, Byelorussia and the Ukraine formed the Commonwealth of Independent States.