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Lessons from the Vine

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
July 12, 2020 12:00 pm

Lessons from the Vine

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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July 12, 2020 12:00 pm

Pastor Greg Barkman speaks from several references to the vine. God uses the symbolism of the vine to teach about Israel, ourselves, and Himself.

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Well most of you know, our last three sermons have been about vines and vineyards. June 21 message from John 15 was from the words of Christ who said I am the vine, you are the branches. The following Sunday, June 28 we took up the parable of the vineyard from Isaiah chapter 5 and also compared it to Christ, expansion of that parable in Matthew chapter 21 Blessed Lord's day on July 5. We examined Psalm 80 the prayer of Israel to God to spare them to remember the divine that he had planted and we begin to see very clearly that the vine is a common biblical symbol for Israel throughout the Scriptures, particularly in the Old Testament, but it's picked up and utilized in the New Testament as well. There truly more than a dozen Old Testament passages which refer to Israel's divine what I say doesn't I mean passages because some of those are extended passages that make several references within that one passage to Israel as the vine and so if you're counting individual versus I don't know how many there would be, but they would be rather extensive, though I am intrigued by all of this because, though, knowing that the vine was a very common symbol for Israel. I really had looked at that carefully until I came to the series and so it's been delightful for me to get into some of these texted to see how often and how clearly the message of the vine and what that means for Israel and for us today comes across in the Scriptures, and I would in one sense be happy to continue on the series for a long while. I think it's probably best to bring it to a close, but to do that we have to wrap up about eight of these Old Testament texts into one bundle and to examine and deposit that bundle in your mind today. That's what we intend to do so. I hope you have your thinking And You Have Nimble Fingers As Were Going to Be Looking at a Number of Text in the Old Testament As We Learn Lessons from the Vine and We Will See That These Text Fall into Three Categories. Number One, They Speak of Israel's Promising Beginning.

Secondly, of Israel's Disappointing Decline. And Thirdly, of Israel's Promising Future, and Will Look First at a Couple of Taxes Speak of Israel's Promising Beginning and We Saw That Same Truth in the Ones the Text That We've Already Previously Examined.

But Let's Look for a Moment That Jeremiah Chapter 2 Verse 21. Dear God, after Reminding Israel That He Had Freed Them from the Bondage of Egypt. He Said yet Verse 21 Jeremiah 2 yet I Had Planted You a Noble Vine, a Seed of Highest Quality. There in the Text of Come Back to the Second Half Later, but As at First Half Are Now Israel's Promising Beginning I Planted You Said God, a Noble Vine Exceed of Highest Quality.

A Noble Vidor Is Another Translation Puts It a Choice Vine and We Are Told God Use the Seed of the Highest Quality and Excellence. See One Translation Says He Planted Holding the Vineyard Holy of Pure See Now I Don't Have To Tell You That We've Already Looked at Those Same Ideas in Other Passages but I Want to Show You How Frequently They Come up in a Variety of Old Testament Texts about Israel and the Vine.

The Second One Talking about Israel's Promising Beginning Is Found in Ezekiel Chapter 19 This Is the One I Read Earlier. It Is Called a Lamentation for the Princes, the Leaders, the Political Leaders of the Nation of Israel Lamentation for the Princes of Israel, and It Starts out Likening Israel to a Lioness and Her Cubs and Then It Shifts the Metaphor down toward the End of the Chapter to That of a Vine and Vineyard, but It Starts out Talking about Israel As a Lion, Who Was Your Mother Is the Question. She Was a Lioness As the Prophet She Produced a Strong Lien from Her Cubs and That Strong Lion Was Carried Out Of the Egypt Event. She Took Another Cup and Produced a Strong Lion from That, No, I Will Try to Get into All of the Fulfillments of What These Prophecies Refer to Because I Got to Hurry on to Get to the Vine, but That's the Last Part in Verse 10. Your Mother Was like a Vine in Your Bloodline and That's One of Those Works Is Bloodline. That's One of Those Words in the Hebrew That's Very Challenging to Know How to Translate One Translation Says a Vine in Your Vineyard. Sometimes the Juice of Grapes Are Called Blood. As You Know, so It's Really Hard to Know Exactly What Is Meant Here, but I Think Probably That's the Right Idea of Finding Your Vineyard Talking to the Princes of Israel, All of Whom Would've Been Prominent Manner, Probably Virtually All of Whom Would Have Owned a Vineyard, so He's Making a Comparison of Vineyards like They Had in Your Vineyard Think of Israel As Being like a Vine in Your Vineyard Is What He Said Planted by the Waters Fruitful and Full of Branches Because of Many Waters.

She Had Strong Branches Receptors of Rulers Out Of Her 10 Kings.

She Towered and Stretch Your Brother's Stature above the Thick Branches and Was Seen in Her Height amid the Dense Foliage Again.

We Saw Some of the Same Word Pictures in Passages We Examined on Previous Sundays, but This Is Israel's Promising Beginning like a Vine As Jeremiah Says a Choice Vine a Noble Vine Vine of Highest Quality. Here Ezekiel Says a Vine Planted by the Waters Well Watered Fruitful and Full of Strong Branches of Towering Flight and Dense Foliage. Strong Branches That That Produce Sectors for King All of the Speaking of Israel and Her Promising Beginning like the Passage We Looked at in Isaiah 5 and in Matthew 21.

It Is Telling Us That in the Beginning of Israel's Planting in the Nation of, or in the Land of Canaan. God Provided Everything Desirable for Spiritual Success and Political Success Military Success Economic Success, Every Kind of Success God Provided Everything Desirable for Successful Vineyard Everything Necessary for Israel to Produce Good Spiritual Fruit for God. Israel Had Every Earthly Advantage Possible, but Did Not Benefit from All of Those Blessings and Provision Israel's Promising Beginning but Then We Move Secondly to Israel's Disappointing Decline Will Look at Texts Where That Decline Is First Announced Second Described Third Explained First Announced and Will Take You Back to the Text That We Looked at Earlier in Jeremiah 221 God Said yet I Had Planted You a Noble Vine Seed of Highest Quality. And Then This. How Then Have You Turned before Me Were Some Translations They Turned from Me Turned Away from Me into the Degenerate Client of an Alien Vine Now This Obviously Is a Question but the Question Assumes, and Reveals a Reality. It Is a Question. How Did This Happen, but by Asking How Did This Happen This Turning into a Degenerate an Alien Vine. It Is Stating That This Has Happened. It Is a Fact. It Is an Announcement of Great Decline. There Has Been Deterioration Israel Which Started out so Promising with Every Advantage to Become a Great Vine a Great Nation a Great Testimony for the God Who Blessed Them in Such Ways As, in Fact Become a Degenerate Vine Has Deteriorated Greatly. That Is Announced in This Text. In Jeremiah. But Secondly, It Is Described in a Couple of Passages in the Book of Ezekiel, One of Which I Read Earlier but Will Take up Ezekiel 15, First of All, and Ezekiel Chapter 15 Is a Short Chapter That Also Talks about Israel Is a Vinyl Read the Whole Chapter but It's the Last Verse of Verse Eight There Were Going to Look at Primarily What Really Read Then the Word of the Lord Came to Me, That Is to Ezekiel Saying Son Of Man. How Is the Wood of the Vine Better Better Than Any Other Would the Vine Branch, Which Is among the Trees of the Forest Is One Taken from It to Make Any Other Object or Can Men Make a Peg from It to Hang Any Vessel on.

Instead It Is Thrown into the Fire for Fuel.

We Talked about This from Another Passage Earlier to Remember That the Word of a Vine Is Really Not Good for Anything except Fruit or Fuel It Bears Fruit. That's What It's Designed for the Does That Beautifully.

And When It Is Cut down and Dried up.

It Makes Good Fuel to Be Thrown into the Fire, but It's Not the Kind of Wood from Which You Make Furniture. It's Not As We Read Here Even Suitable to to Make a Peg throughout Driver Peg into the Wall and to Hang out a Picture on or Something like That That That's What Is Described Here Verse Four. Instead It Is Thrown into the Fire for Fuel the Fire Devours Both Ends of It in Its Middle Is Burned Isn't Useful for Any Work. Indeed, What It Was Whole. No Object Could Be Made from It. How Much Last Will of the Useful for Any Work When the Fire Has Devoured It. That Is Burned. Therefore, Says the Lord God, like the Wood of the Vine among the Trees of the Forest, Which I Have Given to the Fire for Fuel.

So I Will Give up the Inhabitants of Jerusalem, and I Will Set My Face against Them. They Will Go out from One Fire but Another Fire Shall Devour Them Then You Shall Know That I Am the Lord When I Set My Face against Them. Verse Eight. Thus, I Will Make the Land Desolate Because They Have Persisted in Unfaithfulness, Says the Lord God Are We Talking about Were Talking about Israel's Disappointing Decline. Describe As Described Here, like That of a Vine That Is No Longer Bearing Fruit and Is Therefore Good for Nothing but to Be Burned. That's a Description of Ezekiel 15 Looking Once Again, Ezekiel 19 We Read Earlier. Look at Verses 12 through 14, but Speaking of This Vibe Vineyard Was Well Watered That Had Strong Branches Suitable for Receptors and so Forth. But Verse 12 She Was Plucked up in Fury. She Was Cast down to the Ground in the East Wind Dried Her Fruit. Her Strong Branches Were Broken and Weathered the Fire Consumed Them. Now She Is Planted in the Wilderness in a Dry and Thirsty Land Fire Has Come out for Marotta for Branches Devoured Her Fruit so That She Has No Strong Branch No Scepter for Ruling. This Is a Lamentation and Has Become a Lamentation Here This Same Vine First Described As Strong, Growing Towering Overcoming Fruitful Is Now Described As Plucked up Cast down Dried up Broken and Weathered Week No Longer Able to Produce Fruit No Longer Able to Produce Sectors That Is Kings.

It's a Description of the Nation of Israel and Its Decline. When That Has Lost Its Capacity for All of These Things We Talked First of All, about Israel's Promising Beginning Were Now Talking about Israel's Disappointing Decline, and We Have Seen How God Describes It to the Prophet Ezekiel, the Third We Will Look at a Number of Texts That Tell Us How This Decline Came about an Explanation. Israel's Decline Announced Described and Explained. Remember Back to That Jeremiah Text Which Was an Announcement of What It Was Also an Inquiry Was a Question.

How Then Have You Turn to before Me into the Degenerate Plant of an Alien Vine. How Did That Happen.

What Were the Factors.

What Were the Forces That Brought about This Disappointing Decline and It Is Explained in Various Texts That Link Israel to a Vine Is Explained in Terms of Four Different for Different Aspects. How Did This Happen Number One Because of Unfaithful People, Unfaithful Members of the Nation of Israel Unfaithful Citizens of That Land That Was before Us and Ezekiel 1580.

We Looked at a Moment Ago. Thus, I Will Make the Land Desolate Because They Have Persisted in Unfaithfulness Because They Have Persisted in Unfaithfulness. The Unfaithfulness of God's People Is the First Explanation for the Decline of the Vine. They Became Careless in Regard to Following the Word of God. They Became Disobedient to the Commandments of God, They Refuse to Honestly Examine Their Way, Their Deeds, Their Actions in Examining Them in the Light of God's Word. They Refuse to Do That, Therefore, Refusing to Repent of Their Sins and Refusing to Return to the Path of Obedience and Righteousness Because of the Unfaithfulness of the People. This Decline Set in. What Else Number Two, They Can Be Explained Because of Their Misused Prosperity. Hosea the Prophet Hosea Chapter 10 in Verse One.

Israel Empties His Mind.

He Brings Forth Fruit for Himself. According to the Multitude of His Fruit. He Has Increased the Altars According to the Bounty of His Land. You Get the Picture.

This Prosperity That God Blessed the Nation with Instead of Using It to Bring Honor and Glory to God. The People Have Misused It for Themselves and in Order to Be Able to Afford Greater and Greater Sale Specifically Here. The Mention of the Building of Altars to False God What a Picture Misused Prosperity. The More Israel Prospered.

The More She Said the More God Blessed Her with All of the Blessings That Come upon the Children of Men. The More She Used Them, Not for God, Not for the One Who Gave Them to Bob for Selfish and Sinful Purposes. Prosperity We Learned from the Nation of Israel Can Be Very Dangerous. He Can Entice Our Hearts Away from God Hear the Words of Solomon in Proverbs Chapter 30 Is Actually Quoting the Words of Egger, Son of Jacko, and Here's What He Says in Verses Seven through Nine. Two Things I Request of You Speaking to God Due To Things I Request of You Deprive Not Me before I Die. Remove Falsehood and Lies Far from Me. When We Love That God Please Help Me to to Recognize Every Lie That I Hear the My My Whole World Is Filled with Lines. I Don't Know What's True and What's False by I Hear This Report and That Report They Contradict. I Don't Know What's What's the Detroit News and What's the Fake News That's Bad Enough in the Political Realm. It's Even Worse in the Spiritual Realm and We Don't Know Truth from Error, so Remove Falsehood and Lies Far from Me. That's One Prayer Request and Here's the Other One Give Me Neither Poverty nor Riches. Most of Us Would Pray Give Me Not Poverty Began to Be Riches I Can Handle That.

Give Them to Me and See How Will I Handle Them on EBay and If He Does We Will See.

And He Will See, but the Writer Proverbs Said Give Me Neither Poverty nor Riches Feed Me with the Food Allotted to Me, Lest I Default and Deny You and Say Who Is the Lord Where Lest I Be Poor and Steel and Profane the Name of God, the Lord, the Best Course I Believe Is That I Not Have Too Little or Too Much. If I Have Too Little.

I'm Tempted to Steal That Would Be Wrong.

Sinful and Dishonoring to God.

But If I Have Too Much. I'm Tempted to Start Living for Self for Pleasure for Sinful Things.

That's a Problem As Well. My Heart Is Inclined to Entice Me Away from God to Use the Very Blessings Which You Have Given Not to Honor You. If There If There Used To Honor God.

What a Wonderful Thing That Is. But If We Take These Blessings and Then Begin to Feel That Were Not Dependent upon God When Work for. We Feel Our Dependence upon God Will Hold Help Me Help Me Provide for Me to Keep Me from from My Being Unable to to Pay My Bills Honestly Maintain a Good Testimony before You, Lord, Help Me to Be Able to Provide for My Family. Help Me Lord, I Need You I Need You Desperately Wait. We Feel That Sense of Dependence upon God When Were Poor, but When We Become Prosperous Somehow in Our Minds We like. I Don't God Know We Don't. I Don't Think We Just Take One Big Leap from Dependence into Independence. It's a Very Gradual, Incremental Thing That We Hardly Even Recognizes Happening, but It Can Happen If We Don't Guard against It Were Not Very Careful, It Can Happen Little by Little by Little, I Don't Feel My Daily Need of God. I Don't Really Feel Any Sense of Frank Give Me This Day My Daily Bread by I Got My Daily Bread Taken Care Of for More Years Than I Can See Adam When Writing God for That to Take All of These Blessings That God Has Given, and to Use Them for Things That Don't Honor Him. Sometimes Starting out Using Them for Things That Are Perfectly Legitimate in Their Place, but the Become Illegitimate When They Become Too Inordinate When They Become Too Big a Part of Our Lives. Instead of Keeping Them in Their Place in Their Rightful Place in Continuing to Put God First We Start Putting These Things in the Place That Belongs Only to God and Living for These Things and Then Sometimes Even Using Our Wealth to Pursue Sinful Things and Think Because of Our Wealth and We Can Get Away with It like Israel Did Using Their Wealth to Build Altars to False Gods. That's a Second Reason for Israel's Disc Client. God Bless Them Greatly with Prosperity, and They Took the Gifts of God and Use Them against God, the One Who Gave How Do We Explain Israel's Declined Number One Unfaithful People Number Two Misused Prosperity Number Three Unfaithful Leaders in the Nation of Israel Jeremiah 1210 Many Rulers Have Destroyed My Vineyard.

They Have Trodden My Portion Underfoot. They Have Made My Pleasant Portion a Desolate Wilderness. Many Rulers Have Destroyed My Vineyard the Words of My Bible Translates Rulers Is Literally the Hebrew Word for Shepherd. The Translators Rightly Understood That As It Was Used in the Old Testament the Word Shepherd Did Not Apply Only to Spiritual Leaders As We Would Tend to Use It Today of Pastors Body Was Just As Often, Maybe in Some Cases Even More Often Used of Kings and Political Leaders of Israel, They Were Called Shepherd Were Supposed to Shepherd God's People to Lead Them to Guide Them to Protect Them from Dangerous Places, and to Lead Them into the Goodpasture but They Were Unfaithful. They Rulers Had Destroyed Have Destroyed My Vineyard. They Trodden My Portion Underfoot. They've Made My Pleasant Portion, a Desolate Wilderness. Judah's Leaders, Political and Spiritual Kings and Priests and Prophets. Many False Prophets, Judah's Leaders Misled God's People about the Dangers of Disobeying God. They Misled God's People regarding Sin and Its Consequences. They Were the Ones That Are Described Elsewhere As Saying Peace. Peace When There Is No Pizza.

In Other Words, Everything's Fine. Don't Worry about Everything's Good.

Don't Listen to These Alarmists. Everything's Good. Peace. Peace and Prosperity.

The Leaders Failed to Speak the Truth of God and to Point out the People's Sins, and to Urge Them to Repent. In the Fourth Reason for the Decline Is the Invasive Enemies That Came in from outside Their Spoken of in a Couple of Passages Jeremiah 69 Says, Thus Says the Lord of Hosts. They Speaking of the Enemies around Them, They Shall Thoroughly Glean As a Vine, the Remnant of Israel As Great Gatherers Put Your Hand Back into the Branches. They Shall Glean As a Vine. Here's the Divine Analogy Again.

They Shall Glean As a Vine. The Remnant of Israel As Great Gatherers Put Your Hand Back into the Branches.

It's God Actually Instructing the Enemies of Israel to Make Sure That They Get Every Single Individual. Don't Miss Anybody When You Are Harvesting the Fruit to Destroy It, and Descended into Captivity. Make Sure You Go Back over the Branch. Make Sure You Get All the Fruit Make Sure That You Do a Thorough Job of Your Destruction. Make Sure Every Grape Is Picked Every Individual Is Destroyed or Taken Captive. Do a Thorough Job of Destroying This Vine. That's Jeremiah 69 and Then We Have This in Joel Chapter 1 Verse Seven or Read Verse Six to so You Can See It in Context for a Nation Has Come up against My Land, Strong, and without Number. His Teeth Are the Teeth of a Lion, and He Has the Findings of a Fierce Lion. He Has This Strong Enemy Come up against My People. It's Come up like a Lion He Has Laid Waste My Vine, and Ruined My Fig Tree. He Has Scripted Their Throne of the Way Its Branches Are Made White. So Once Again We Have the Vine and Here, Coupled with the Fig Tree We Saw That Last Week.

Both of Those Figures Used As Pictures of Israel, Sometimes More Often. The Vine Analogy, but Sometimes the Fig Tree Analogy As Well and throughout the Old Testament. These Are Used of Symbols of Peace and Prosperity When Everything's Good.

Every Man Shall Sit under His Own Vine in the Zone Fig Tree When There's Peace Process Their Parity. But Here Every Vine and Fig Tree Will Be Destroyed by the Enemies That Come up from outside and It's Clear. Both of These Passages That God Is Doing This God Is Breaking down the Fortifications. The Protections against His Vineyard. God Is Bringing up These Enemies to Carry out the Judgment of God upon Them, and so These Four Reasons Explained the Disappointing Decline of Israel Number One Unfaithful People Number Two Misused Prosperity Number Three Unfaithful Leaders in Number Four Invasive Enemies. God Protected Israel As Long As She Was Faithful to Him.

God Removed Her Protection When She Persisted in Disobedience.

That's What We Learn by Gathering Together a Number of These Texts from the Old Testament and What We Have Seen Is Simply Additional Text to the Pain of the Same Picture That We Saw before in Isaiah 5 and in Psalm 80 Is Really Nothing New Here. Always Done Is Add Additional Text. Since Some Additional Details Now Number Three When We Talk about Israel's Promising Future, We Come to Something That Was Not Addressed in Any of the Other Texts. In Fact, It Is Very Surprising Indeed.

But Here It Is in Isaiah Chapter 27 I'll Read Verses Two through Six in That Day. The Prophet Isaiah Is Not Talking about a Future Day. He Was One of the Prophets That Prophesied Israel's Declined Serious Decline but Now He Prophesies a Day of Restoration in That Day Singing to Her Ear of Red Wine by the Lord, Keep It by Water It Every Moment Less Than He Heard It. I Keep It Night and Day.

Fury Is Not in Me Who Would Set Briars and Thorns against Me, in Battle I Would Go through Them I Would Bring Them Together or Let Them Take Hold of My Strength That He May Make Peace with Me and That He Shall Make Peace with Me.

Verse Six. Those Who Come. He Shall Cause to Take Root and Jacob Israel Shall Blossom and but and Fill the Face of the World with Fruit.

What a Strange One. A Reversal. What an Unexpected Development for This Vine That Looked like It Was so Badly Damaged That It Was Completely Destroyed, but Here We Find a Vine Text That Speaks about Israel's Promising Future. Yes, It Is Surprising Yes It Is Unexpected but Yes It Is Glorious. Let's Consider It Together Is an Unexpected Joy in Verse Two We Are Told to Sing to Her Again a Perhaps an Awkward Translation Another Bible That I Have Another Translation Puts Sing of It Sing of This Transformation Sing of This Restored Vine. The Restoration That Seem to Come Out Of Nowhere.

Until Now, the Condition of the Vineyard Has Produced Nothing but Disappointment and Weeping. Remember Psalm 80, I Fed You the Bread of Tears. I've Given You Tears to Drink in Great Measure That Was the Only Appropriate Response for the Destruction.

The Deserved Judgment That Came upon This Vine but a Day Is Coming That Will Produce Much Joy That Instead of Bringing Tears Will Bring Mirth Will Bring Joy Will Bring Singing July Friday's Unexpected Joy Is Coming. In Fact It's Coming Because the Future Restoration and Fruitfulness Get. I Read All of Verse Two in That Day.

Sing to Her of Vineyard of Red Wine in That Day Would See Here Need to Pick It up Here. I the Lord Will Keep It. I Watered Every Moment, and so Forth Scattered about Here a Bit, but What We Have Verse Six and Those Who Who, He Shall Cause to Take Root in Jacob and Israel Shall Blossom and Bud in That Day There Will Be a Vineyard of Red Wine That Is a Vineyard That Is Abundantly Fruitful. This Vineyard of God That God Had Blessed so Much Is Expected to Produce Fruit and It Didn't. But Now Does Amazing in Those Days. Jacob Shall Take Root Verse Six.

In Those Days, or That Day, Israel Shall Blossom and Bud or Sprout in That Day. We Read in Verse Six.

This Vineyard Shall Fill the Face of the World with Fruit Exactly What God Has Been Looking for Fruit.

Speaking of Course of Spiritual Fruit. This Is an Analogy. This Is a Metaphor.

How Is That Possible. How Is That Possible That Such a Degenerate and Alien Vine That Has Been so Unproductive and Has Been so Nearly Destroyed Almost Completely Destroyed.

How Is It Possible That Such a Vine Shall Finally, in the End Become Fruitful Once Again, Overstreet Tells Us. I the Lord Keep It. I Watered It Every Moment I Keep It Night and Day.

Less Than He Heard It. There's Been a Protective Hand of God Dependent through All These Years That Has Not Been so Obvious, but It Will Become Obvious Someday. Now the Question We Get to This Point about the Future Fruitfulness of the Vine. The Question Is, Exactly How Are We to Understand This, of Course, This Is Determined Very Much by Your Eschatology What Direction You Are Inclined to Go in Your Eschatology. Is This Talking about a National Millennial Fulfillment, a Return to National Israel National Israel, That Was so Unfruitful and Judged in Decline and Seemed to Be Gone, but Lo And Behold There Is Coming a Day When God Is Going to Restore That Nation and She Will Become Amazingly Fruitful Once Again.

Is That How This Is to Be Fulfilled or As Others Think Are We Looking at What We Could Call Gospel Church Fulfillment As We Get into the New Testament and See What It Says. We Begin to Think Perhaps There's Something Else Going on Here Jesus and the Application of the Vineyard Parable in Matthew Chapter 21, Said When These Wicked Leaders Failed to Produce the Fruit. The Owner Will Take the Vineyard and Give It to Another Nation Producing Fruit Thereof Is That Other Nations If It's Not the Nation of Israel. What Is the Just Leave That Question Hanging for You to Figure out but Is It Possible That This Fruitfulness Is Going to Come about by the Expansion of God's People No Longer Simply God's People Out Of the Physical Stock of Abraham, but Now Expanded to a Spiritual Seed of Abraham, Some of Which Are the Physical Stock of Abraham and Some of Which Are Gentiles, That, but All of Whom Constitute the Spiritual Seed of Abraham and Become Exceedingly Fruitful and Take the Gospel into All the World Cover the Face of the World with Their Fruit. Now I Leave It to You to Decide and I Caution You Not to Be Too Dogmatic.

Whichever Way You Tend to Lean Because I Can Promise You If You Leaned One Way I Can Send You Somebody That Can Probably Shop Your Position Full of Holes and the Fueling Another Way, the Opposite Way I Could Send You Somebody Else Who Can Shop Your Position Full of Holes, so Be Careful about Being Too Dogmatic, but Realize That There's a Couple of Possibilities for How This Will Be Fulfilled. Now We Come to the Lessons That We Draw from This There Are A Lot Of Them.

Let's Talk First of All, about the Blessings of God. The General Pattern That We See about How God Dispenses His Blessing We Learned from All of These Texts That Blessing Is God's Preferred Posture. That's What He Does. First and That's What He Does in Abundance and That's What He Would Be like to Continue to Do What a Blessing Is God's Preferred Posture Presumption Is Our Natural Posture Are Sinful Response to God's Blessings in Our Sinfulness, We Take Them for Granted. We Failed to Appreciate Them. We Expect More Than He Is Given, No Matter How Much He Has Given. We Expect More, and We Present Less Because He Didn't Might Meet up to Our Sinful Expectations.

Therefore, What Do We Need to Do Humbly Bow before the Throne of God and Asked God to Forgive Us for Our Sins of Ingratitude, and to Give Us, Grateful Hearts upon Every One of Us. God Has Poured out Abundant Blessings Far Greater Than We Even Understand. And Surely Far Greater Than We Deserve. Surely We Understand That If We Had the Slightest Bit of Spiritual Insight. So Let's Thank Him for the Every One of Them and Not Be Guilty of Ingratitude and Sinful Rebellion against God Because He Hasn't Given Us More and More and More Lessons about the Blessings of God Number Two.

Along the Same Line, We Learned That Prosperity Creates Spiritual Vulnerability As We've Already Seen Prosperity Causes Us to Tend to Lose Our Sense of Dependence upon God to Live for Pleasure Rather Than God. Both Permissible Pleasures Be Taken to Access and Use to Replace Our Highest Priority and Serving God and Even Sinful Pleasures That We Can Indulge with Our Wealth, Our Prosperity, Which Means We Need to Go to God and Ask Him Again for a Grateful Heart. And We Need to Determine by God's Help and Grace We Are Going to Be Good Stewards, Generous Bestower's of Whatever Surplus God Gives to It's Not God Dishonoring to Enjoy the Benefits of Some of the Blessings He Bestows Strategic Choose to Bestow Them but It's Greatly Just Honoring to God to Become Selfish and Hoarding and Stingy and Unwilling to Give How Many Texts in the Bible, Warned Us about That God Is Highly Displeased with That and That Is Where When That's Going on. You Can Be Sure That Prosperity Is Bringing Spiritual Decline, Not Spiritual Health Is a Great Danger. The Third Lesson We Learn from This Passage Is That Leaders Have Great Influence for Either Good or Ill Leaders Have Great Influence upon Society Either for Good or Ill Lecturer in the Political Realm. And It's True the Spiritual Realm. And since Time Is Short of Forgo Speaking about the Political Realm Right Now, except to Say That When We Have Opportunity to Cast Our Vote to to Make Our Choice for Political Leaders, We Audibly Looking for Those That Give Some Evidence of Leaning upon God and upon God's Word That's Important, but I'm Going to Concentrate More upon Spiritual Leaders, Particularly upon Pastors. I'm Speaking to Myself. Now That Is to Remind Pastors That Faithful under Shepherds Deliver the Whole Counsel of God, Not Just Bits and Pieces That Faithful Shepherds Are under Shepherds Are More Interested in Pleasing God Than Pleasing People Pleasing Self Is Very Easy to Fall into the Danger of Trying to Please People to Be Popular and There Are Lots of People Who Were Going to Bring Pressure to Bear to Try to Cause You to Do That Then My Way Do Things My Way and They Will Often Do What They Can to Influence You to Do Exactly That. That's Something That Has To Be Resisted Unfaithful Shepherds on the Other Hand, Encourage People to Forsake God's Word by Failing to Preach the Whole Counsel of God by Selecting Truth from God's Word That Are Designed to Please People, and to Make Them the Speaker Popular with the People Who Are Hearing.

They Become the Teachers Having Itching Ears That the Bible Speaks about They Listen for What People Want to Hear and They Give It to Them Failing to Give Them. In Many Cases.

In Most Cases What They Need to Hear More Than All of That to the Destruction of Their Souls, Which Is Why You Should Pray for Those Shepherds That You Believe to Be Faithful to God's Work, You Should Encourage Them and Support Them in Their Work Because They Are Highly Valuable for You and Your Family and for the Community and for the Nation As a Whole.

You Should Be Looking for Pastors Were Shepherds Who Will Tell You the Truth, Rather Than Make You Feel Good If They Pastor Steps on Your Toes and Makes You Mad from Time to Time.

That Is Probably a Good Thing. A Good Mark Because of He Never Does That. He's Probably Not a Faithful Shepherd. The Fourth Lesson God Is Amazingly Long-Suffering, Merciful and Kind. How Long He Extends His Mercy before Judgment Falls Therefore Seek Him While He May Be Found Because Number Five God's Long-Suffering Is Not an Ending God's Long-Suffering Will Come to an End.

Therefore, We Must Not Presume, Shall We Pray. Father, We Thank You for Your Word. We Pray That It Will Minister to the Needs of Our Hearts Today Will Cause Us to Be Wise unto You When into Your Word and unto Christ and into the Ways of Salvation.

We Pray That You May Use It to Convert Souls and to Strengthen the Hearts of Your People As We Ask It in Jesus Name, Amen


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