“These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.”
He first established the unity and inseparable nature of the Godhead and the seed. Then He speaks of the essential connection between the Father, the Vine, the branches and the fruit. This is all spoken of that His joy might remain in His chosen people. Now He says, “These things I have spoke that ye be not offended”. All that had been given to Him of the Father was given to His disciples. They were not ignorant slaves in the house that knew not the will of the Master but rather they were called friends. To be a friend of God is not something that is obtained by merit or earned by labours. It is a declaration of the Son of God that he did not choose mindless slaves to wander about performing duties but rather He had given His life for His friends. Because of this love He assures them that He, as Almighty God, had ordained that they should bring forth fruit sand that the fruit should remain.
“Every branch in me that beareth fruit, He (the husbandman) purgeth it that it may bring forth more fruit” (15:2). The will of God is that His chosen people bring forth the peaceable fruits of righteousness and that it remains but the way it is brought forth is trough purging of the branch. Because of the love of the Father for His children and so that they bring forth the ordained fruit which cannot perish, He chastens and purges them. The fruit of the Spirit is not of Adam’s nature, the production of fruit is not of Adam’s strength or ability and the manifestation of that fruit is through the chastening of the Lord. (If there is no purging, there is no fruit. If there is no fruit there is no Spirit within and no abiding in the Vine. If there is no abiding in the Vine there is no love of the husbandman and the man; “is cast forth as a branch and is withered and men gather them and cast them into the fire and they are burned” (15:6)). This purging and chastening by the hand of God is common to all those that abide in Him. They have a common deliverance from sin, they bring forth the same fruit (Gal. 5:22) because they all have the same Spirit within, they experience the same chastening of the Lord because His love is constant and consistent, therefore they love on another.
But the world hates them. The god of this world, the prince of the power of the air, that spirit that now works in the children of disobedience and his children hate the children of light because of the light. It is not because of anything the elect seed has done but because of who they are. The world hates the Father because he does not know the Father. He hates the Anointed One because He is the Son of God and the Word which became flesh and dwelt among us and that Word is the Light and that Light is the life of the elect children. He hates the Light because the Spirit reproves the deeds of man as evil and men love the darkness. Therefore without having done any good, the world hates the children because he hated the Son first. The Father has set enmity between the seeds forever with a great gulf fixed between them which no man can cross. If the church (the kingdom) was of this world then would the children of the serpent love the church and the church the children of darkness and there would be great peace between them both. But Christ said, “My kingdom (church) is not of this world” just as He prayed to the Father, “I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them whom thou hast given Me, for they are thine” (17:9) and what God has put asunder is abomination for man to attempt to join together. The Church of Jesus Christ is not for the world and the inhabitants of the dust are not for the Church. Those born of the seed of the serpent and those born from above by the Spirit are now separate and forever shall be contrary one to another and in venerate foes.
Jesus tells His disciples this just as God told the prophets of old those things which should come to pass so that when they did come to pass they would know that the Lord had done it. So Jesus, in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily, told His people that there will be stumbling blocks, impediments and hardships in the path that is set before them so that when they come they would know that these ‘light afflictions’ were of the hand of the husbandman who loves them.
He told His little flock that they would be hated of all for ‘My name sake” (Matt. 10:22). He told them they would be hated of all nations “for My name sake” (Matt. 24:9) and then He told Saul of Tarsus all the things he must suffer as a chosen vessel whom He loved (Acts 9:16). It is a blessing of the Father to be “given in behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him but to suffer for His sake” (Phil. 1:29). To be associated with this suffering and a partaker of the power of His resurrection, which two cannot be separated, is because of the Light within, the eternal love of the Father and the abiding in the Vine, none of which has anything to do with the will, ability or strength of man. Just as He said that He is he “Light of the World” (John 8:12) so also are His people the “light of the world a city set upon a hill’ (Matt. 5:14) and this unity cannot be broken or diminished in any way.
“These things have I spoken unto you that ye be not offended” When these trials, tribulations, hatreds, bonds and afflictions come, and they must needs be; “take, my brethren, the prophets who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction and patience. Behold we count them happy who endured” (James 5:10).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
June 5, 2011