Deliverance Follows Obedience

Deliverance Follows Obedience
Prepare your heart to seek God for obedience that you may observe and do all that Christ has commanded through His holy apostles.
"For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve Him with one consent." (Zephaniah 3:9)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Our Life is Hid with Christ in God (Col 3:3)

Upon our last move, we ended up purchasing a house during the winter. In the following spring we discovered that the main shade tree for our porch was dead. We waited patiently as all of the other trees in our yard and in our neighborhood began to show signs of life while this one tree remained dormant.

I've reflected often on the doctrine of Christ in connection with this tree. My first reflections had to do with what the Apostle Hermas was taught by the angel sent to him as recorded in The Shepherd of Hermas (Book III, Similitude 3 and 4):

The Shepherd of Hermas (Book III, Similitude 3)
He showed me many trees having no leaves, but withered, as it seemed to me; for all were alike. And he said to me, "Do you see those trees?" "I see, sir," I replied, "that all are alike, and withered." He answered me, and said, "These trees which you see are those who dwell in this world." "Why, then, sir," I said, "are they withered, as it were, and alike?" "Because," he said, "neither are the righteous manifest in this life, nor sinners, but they are alike; for this life is a winter to the righteous, and they do not manifest themselves, because they dwell with sinners: for as in winter trees that have cast their leaves are alike, and it is not seen which are dead and which are living, so in this world neither do the righteous show themselves, nor sinners, but all are alike one to another."

The Shepherd of Hermas (Book III, Similitude 4)
He showed me again many trees, some budding, and others withered. And he said to me, "Do you see these trees?" "I see, sir," I replied, "some putting forth buds, and others withered." "Those," he said, "which are budding are the righteous who are to live in the world to come; for the coming world is the summer of the righteous, but the winter of sinners. When, therefore, the mercy of the Lord shines forth, then shall they be made manifest who are the servants of God, and all men shall be made manifest. For as in summer the fruits of each individual tree appear, and it is ascertained of what sort they are, so also the fruits of the righteous shall be manifest, and all who have been fruitful in that world shall be made known. But the heathen and sinners, like the withered trees which you saw, will be found to be those who have been withered and unfruitful in that world, and shall be burnt as wood, and made manifest, because their actions were evil during their lives. For the sinners shall be consumed because they sinned and did not repent, and the heathen shall be burned because they knew not Him who created them. Do you therefore bear fruit, that in that summer your fruit may be known. And refrain from much business, and you will never sin: for they who are occupied with much business commit also many sins, being distracted about their affairs, and not at all serving their Lord.

And also in Luke 6:44
“For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.”

So shall we who overcome through faith in Christ be known of the fruit of the Lord’s work within us when the invisible shall be made visible by the Lord.

I decided to give that tree all summer in case it was just a late bloomer. I went around the tree and snapped a few twigs. Some branches were dry and clearly dead while others would bend and showed some signs of life. I cut off the dead branches to give the tree a chance to recover. As I was doing this I reflected on how Apostle Paul taught of the natural and wild olive branches in Romans 11.

I also then reflected upon the parable Jesus taught to His apostles:

Luke 13:6-10
6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:
9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.
10 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.

I wasn’t reflecting on these things for tips on how to deal with my tree but as I dealt with the tree I was reflecting on these things which were coming to mind.

As it turned out, the entire tree ended up with one living branch and I decided this year to cut down the tree, dig up the roots, and plant a new tree in its place.

This also brings to mind a recent teaching from Psalm 1:

May the Lord be with you as you seek Him in the beauty of holiness.

Walking with God,

John Welty, Apostle of Christ
Second 8th Week Ministries