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The Torah of the Vine...
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Torah of the Vine

Living in the Divine Connection...

by John J. Parsons

THE WORD OF GOD SPEAKS: "If anyone does not live in Me, he is cast off as a branch, and withers..." (John 15:6). We find life only as we remain connected to the Source and Conduit of life, who is the Messiah, the Savior and LORD. True life grows out a heart connection with Yeshua, and without that connection our lives become vain and yield no eternal significance (John 15:5). Be forewarned: it is the sacred truth of the Messiah that if you do not live in the Vine you will be suffer eternal loss, since life is found in no other Source (John 14:6; Luke 3:9). Be encouraged, dear trusting friend: the yoke of Messiah is easy, and His burden is light: we cannot create new life by our own best efforts nor effect regeneration by means of our own "good works." No, the work of salvation is God's alone, and we partake of that work as we abandon our self-efforts and religious conceits (see Isa. 32:17). There remains, therefore, a Sabbath for the people of God, "for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his" (Heb. 4:9-10). This "deep Sabbath" of rest is a matter of trusting that the finished work of salvation has been given on your behalf.  Therefore relax, for the LORD always effects what is best for you, and nothing is under your control anyway. The path of peace is to surrender to God's care for your life and let the evils and drama of this world flow past you. Look to heavenly reality and not to the shadows and deceits of this world (Col. 3:1-4). Live in Yeshua's Presence, drawing strength and vitality from your relationship with Him. The conditional statement, "If you live in Me and my words live in you" (John 15:7), means that we will know His heart as we heed the message of his truth (i.e., his word) within our hearts.. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is produced as we yield ourselves to the love and presence of God.

וְהָיָה מַעֲשֵׂה הַצְּדָקָה שָׁלוֹם
וַעֲבדַת הַצְּדָקָה הַשְׁקֵט
וָבֶטַח עַד־עוֹלָם

ve·ha·yah · ma·a·seh · ha·tze·da·kah · sha·lom
va·a·vo·dat · ha·tze·da·kah · hash·ket
va·ve·tach · ad · o·lam


"And the work of the Righteousness One shall be peace;
and the service of the Righteousness One shall be quietness
and assurance for ever." - Isa. 32:17 

Hebrew Study Card

The "Torah of the Vine" (תּוֹרַת הַּגֶּפֶּן) further teaches us that "every branch that bears fruit will be pruned so that it may bear more fruit" (John 15:2). Note first that it is the healthy branch that will be cut back - not the withered one that will be altogether removed – and this purging process may be painful at times.  The heavenly Vinedresser's goal is for the fruitful branch to yield more fruit, to reveal more and more the connection to the Heart of the Vine, so that God is glorified (see John 15:8). The end here is the beatific vision: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matt. 5:8). Note that the Greek word translated "pure" is katharos (καθαρός), sometimes used describe the cleansing of a wound (catharsis), or to describe the unalloyed quality of a substance revealed through refining fire. Sanctification involves "catharisis" of the ego – the exile of carnal desire, the frustration of our will, the release of truth in the inward parts. A faith that thinks God will make us immune to suffering, challenges, and tribulation is an immature and imperfect faith, friends. The goal of "purging" is fruitfulness and blessing, but the agency is not the will of man but the power of God. You are made "clean" through the word of God spoken within your own heart (John 15:3). Your sanctification, however, depends on your communion with God, staying connected to what is real, central, vital, the core truth of God's Presence and love, the ultimate Reality of Life itself.

"If anyone does not live in Me, he is cast off and and withers...." Yeshua here teaches that shared life is the goal of our relationship with him, but if that does not occur, destructive consequences follow. This has been called the "dark side" of God by some mystics, by which they mean that God will destroy everything in us that is not fit to exist and that does not yield true blessedness (Luke 3:9). Of course this "destruction" (or correction) is really a great blessing, since it purges us from worthlessness that brings pain, disease, and sorrow (this in distinction to the devil, who seeks to destroy what is healthy and good). The upshot here is that we must carefully attend to our inner life and our connection with God, understanding that to be the utmost good for our lives, seeking God's Presence in all our ways. Therefore we read, "Above all else guard your heart, for from it are the contours of life" (Prov. 4:23).

מִכָּל־מִשְׁמָר נְצר לִבֶּךָ
 כִּי־מִמֶּנּוּ תּוֹצְאוֹת חַיִּים

mik·kol · mish·mar · ne·tzor · li·be·kha,
ki · mi·me·nu · to·tze·ot · cha·yim

"Above all else guard your heart,
 for from it are the contours of life"- Prov. 4:23

Hebrew Study Card

Here is a "sanity check." Since Yeshua is the Center, the Heart, and the Source of all beauty, meaning, love, grace, and life for you, test all other truth claims based on that relationship… The devil trafficks the lie and seeks to entice you to bite his hook. We overcome the power of the lie by means of truth, and the various affairs of this world – its drama, it's "news," its fads, fashions, and so on – must be mediated by the word of Messiah within you. Take every thought captive to the truth of God; bring it before the bar of the Divine Presence and coerce it to bend the knee.  Friend, the stakes are high. People live their lives in unstable and pain-filled ways because they refuse to "come to themselves" and understand the Ground of existence, the Heart of God that overarches and sustains all things... Shalom..

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