How to Know that You are Bearing Fruit


John 15 is part of Christ’s final instructions to the disciples, and to the believers who would follow them (the church). In John 15:2, Jesus said,

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He (the Father) takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

Is God pruning you? Is He directing you to cut things out of your life? Does He chastise (discipline) you and correct you? And most importantly, do you love His correction and chastisement; do you receive it and learn from it?

If He is not pruning you, if you are not dying to the old sin nature, then you are not bearing fruit, either. Jesus told us that if you are starting to bear fruit, then God WILL start pruning away that which is not fruitful. In that manner, the fruit will increase.

Gardening tip: Do you want a bumper crop of tomatoes. The trick is, when the first couple branches of the tomato plant start flowering, then prune most of the other branches. The tomato plant only needs a few green leaves to provide for its energy needs. When you prune back the branches that only have leaves, suddenly the other branches will begin producing more flowers, and more fruit.

It is God’s will that we bear much fruit, just as with a natural gardener (John 15:5). He WANTS you to be fruitful. He wants you to grow to a mature faith in Him. But your faith will remain immature, at best, if you don’t let Him prune you, let Him direct you what needs to be cut out of your life and practice.

The next key to bearing fruit is to abide in Him (John 15:4). This means to be where He is at, not necessarily where you think you should be at. For example, if God wants to start cutting away lust, don’t go working on jealousy instead. You must abide in Him, live in Him. He is the Master Gardener, and you are the branch. Jesus is the vine, from which we receive the life to bear fruit. The Father is the one who prunes, and He knows which branch needs to be pruned, and when.

Several times, Scripture tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. You must bear fruit – your soul depends upon it. Jesus clearly warned above that “any branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away.” A few verses later, Jesus clarified (v. 6): “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”

Notice, He said the branch is taken away. In context, He explained that YOU are the branch. If we do not abide in Him, and if we do not bear fruit, we are in danger of hell. This is not speaking of judgment day, in which our works of wood, hay, and stubble will be burned up. In that passage, it specifically says our works will be burned, but we will be saved – though as if through fire.

No. In this passage, Jesus says that the branch, the person, will be taken away, withered, and burned in the fire.

So, what is fruit. Is it putting away sin? No, that is pruning. When God tells us to work on putting to death a certain area of our nature, He is pruning us.

Fruitfulness is the changed life that results. In context, Jesus talks a lot about loving others as He loved us. Other fruits include joy, peace, longsuffering, faithfulness, and more. The things He cuts away may look like they are producing life, but there is no fruit. And face it, you can’t eat tomato plant leaves – they are actually poisonous. It is the fruit of the plant we want to eat.

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It’s All About Your Lampstand


Originally posted on Pastor Nick's Blog:

In the weeks since the Super Bowl, many Christians have found themselves arguing or being asked to weigh in about Katy Perry’s halftime performance, and her claims that God spoke to her beforehand. Over the past several years, a number of people have written blogs or produced videos critical of Katy Perry and how she has released music with overt lesbian and occult lyrics and themes. Others have defended her: some saying that we should not “judge” her; others on the theory that what Katy produces is harmless. Still others are concerned that, whatever we may think about Katy, Christians are wrong to be critical in public fora where unsaved people can see us disagree and perhaps speak harshly.

In addition to arguing about Katy Perry, there has been renewed discussion about social issues in general and the steady drift of churches, even ostensibly Evangelical churches, in the direction of accepting homosexual marriage. These mini-controversies…

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“Chappie.” A Spiritual Perspective of the Movie.


Saw the movie “Chappie,” tonight. It is an adult version of the old movie, “Short Circuit.” If you like violent action movies, and can overlook a lot of foul language, it is pretty good – but has a strong New Age religious theme as part of the story. SPOILER ALERT for spiritual discussion:

The New Age concept promoted in this movie is that our soul, or “consciousness” can be mapped, and then transferred to a computer/robot. It glorifies rebellion against God.

In one scene, when Chappie is discussing death with his “mommy,” she says that when someone dies, they move on to the next thing. Later in the movie she dies. But he had saved her consciousness on a flash drive as he was learning how to map it. Chappie comments, “You don’t have to go on to the next thing.” He then transfers her “saved” soul into another robot.

This movie, at its core, is outright rebellion against God, who said in His Word, “It is appointed to man to die once, and then the judgment.”

It is interesting that the lead human character, who “created” Chappie, is of apparent Indian (from India) descent. India is the home of Hinduism, which believes in reincarnation. And the core theme of the movie is man-directed reincarnation.

The “bad guy” who works in the office with the main character is portrayed as a Catholic (aka, the traditional movie “Christian”), and makes the sign of the cross when he discovers that Chappie is alive. He then arranges things so he can send his super-robot to try to kill Chappie. While the type of robot that Chappie was (humanoid police robots) has artificial intelligence, the super-robot must be controlled by a human through a neural transmitter. Chappie ends up kicking the super-robot’s backside, then a couple scenes later, kicks its creator around, too.

The hidden message in this part? Christians cannot think for themselves, but are merely robots controlled by their Creator. In the end, they will lose, while the New Age will succeed.

In Revelation 13, it says that the Antichrist will war against the saints and overcome them. But the good news (not in the movie), that God first told us in Revelation 12 that the saints will overcome the Antichrist by the Blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony, and because they loved not their lives even to the death. And in the end, our Creator comes, and puts down Satan’s rebellion.

Further question for discussion:

As I was coming home from the movie, I had an idea that this could also relate to the rise of Antichrist. To start off, it is believed by the more serious conspiracy theorists that the New World Order has a code that they must reveal their plans, though it can be hidden. They do this through movies.

What if…

Revelation says that the beast Antichrist will be apparently killed from a head wound, then three days later come back – and the world will marvel. Revelation also says that the second beast, often called the false prophet, will make an image of the beast, which will be given the breath of life. Everyone will be required to worship the first beast.

Could it be that the beast will be transferred into an image/robot when he is killed. Then will offer the same opportunity to those who take the mark of the beast. Perhaps, in the obtaining of the mark, people even have their soul imprinted/saved for when they die. Talk about an act of rebellion against God!

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Understanding Satan’s Schemes


Satan is actively infiltrating the church of God with the occult. From some of the “Christian” musicians we listen to, to the preachers from whom we receive teaching, it is all around us.

dragon

Every Believer is called upon to engage in spiritual warfare. There are two levels of this warfare. First is in our own lives, against the old sin nature that will always be an enemy of God. Second, is directly against the schemes of Satan, a very real enemy with a very bold agenda to drag us down to hell with himself.

The following link is to an online ebook I came across that exposes Satan’s schemes against the church and some of the current progress of those plans. 2Corinthians 2:11 warns us not to be ignorant of what Satan is working. Yet, too many of us are completely blind to what the devil is doing.

I encourage, and even challenge, every believer in Christ to read this free ebook, and become informed. Only then can you recognize the lies, learn what you must do in your life to submit to God and then resist the devil.

Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

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10 Martyrs a Day!


Christopher Perdue (thebiblestop):

Something every Christian should consider.

Originally posted on Some Jesus Things:

Gun Martyrs graphic

The First Amendment, amendment (1791) to the Constitution of the United States is a part of the Bill of Rights.

The First Amendment reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

In the United States we are privileged to enjoy this freedom of speech and religion. Yet, despite this freedom, most Christians do not exercise this exceptional right.

However; Some are willing to Die!

Christian persecution is defined as: Any hostility experienced from the world as a result of one’s identification and belief in Jesus Christ.

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