Above is the the beautiful song that was a catalyst for Salvation in the Psalms.
Yeshua (Salvation) belongs to the LORD. Your blessing be on your
To the Chief Musician. To Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.
Truly my soul silently waits for God;
From Him comes my Yeshua (salvation).
He only is my desire to secure the highest and my Yeshua (salvation) ;
He destroys chaos and brings life to the house;
I shall not be greatly moved.
How long will you attack a man?
You shall be slain, all of you,
Like a leaning wall and a tottering fence.
They only consult to cast him down from his high position;
They delight in lies;
They bless with their mouth,
But they curse inwardly. Selah
My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my desire to secure the highest and my Yeshua (salvation);
He destroys chaos and brings life to the house;
I shall not be moved.
In God is my Yeshua (salvation) and my glory;
The desire to secure the highest of my strength,
God reveal to me that you are the wall that protects me from chaos.
Be inside the wall with Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is your wall of support, giving revelation amidst chaos. Selah
Surely men of low degree are a vapor,
Men of high degree are a lie;
If they are weighed on the scales,
They are altogether lighter than vapor.
Do not live inside the wall of oppression,
Nor vainly hope in robbery;
If riches increase,
Do not set your heart on them.
God has spoken once,
Twice I have heard this:
That power belongs to God.
Also, to You, O Lord, belongs mercy;
For You render to each one according to his work.
Please note the words in bold in the above Psalm are my personal translation based on the Hebrew and Hebrew word pictures.
“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS."
Today we embark on a new series of blogs which centre around the Hebrew name of Jesus.
Both Jewish and non Jewish scholarship provide us with a sound foundation to the effect that the angel literally said to Mary: " (you) shall call His name Yeshua".
Yeshua in Hebrew means salvation and the word picture meaning is: work to destroy, to reveal experience of making secure.
This meaning is even more significant when considered in the context of 1 John 3:8:
...... For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
The word yeshua occurs 77 times in the Old Testament and 45 of these occurrences are found in the Psalms.
So, I trust you will join me as we take this tour: Salvation in the Psalms.
Prostitution: to pierce life, becoming bound to action, to work a slow twisting/turning aside.
Every fibre of my flesh wanted to finish this book with Chapter 13. But with the passing of the months I realise that cannot be the case.
Throughout this book I have emphasised the importance of abiding in Christ, maintaining a living communion with Christ and being intimately related to Christ.
Also, I have attempted to draw for you a clear and Biblical picture of what the Body of Christ really is. It is Yeshua the True Vine (and Head of His Church), with the Holy Spirit flowing from the very Presence of the Father through Christ the Vine bringing the Life of Christ into the grafted in branches. The existence of the Body of Christ is centred on the Person of Yeshua the Christ. We can only be part of the Body of Christ if we have been grafted in by God the Father, who is the Sovereign Gardener, and thus have become intimately related to Christ Yeshua and through Him with the Father.
If we take this Biblical picture and set it alongside that which is called the “church” of our modern day we have a major problem.
Instead of Christ being the centre we have denominations and movements being the central focus of the church. You ask the man or woman in the street what they think the church is and they will start rattling off the names of any denominations or movements they have heard of. Or, they will give you the “one true church line” of Catholic, Baptist, Anglican etc.
Let me make this point bluntly, most people who attend church on a regular basis have an intimate relationship with a denomination or movement and they know little of what it is to be part of the Body of Christ, to be intimately related to Yeshua and to abide in Him as the True Vine. All this takes place in an environment, which is rich in knowledge about God, but with no personal experience of the Living God.
This is not a new problem. Israel had an enviable knowledge of God, in fact they had a vast history of the works of God in and through their nation. However, this knowledge did not stop them from departing from intimacy with God.
Isaiah 54:5-6 For your Maker is your husband, The LORD of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. For the LORD has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused," Says your God.
From God’s point of view Israel was His wife and He was her Husband. Yet God had to acknowledge, many times, the reality that Israel had turned its back on the intimate relationship of husband and wife which God desired to have with her.
Jeremiah 3: 20 Surely, as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, so have you dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel," says the LORD.
Nowhere in Scripture is this situation dealt with more clearly than in the Book of Hosea.
Hosea 5: 4 “They do not direct their deeds toward turning to their God, For the spirit of harlotry is in their midst, and they do not know the LORD.
For me this verse sums up the reality of the deterioration in the relationship between God and Israel. It also sums up the reality of the deterioration in the relationship between Christ and His Church.
Back in Chapter 2 we looked at the significance of the word “know” in describing the level of intimacy that Jesus desires to have with each of His disciples. It is no accident that Hosea should make the statement: “And they do not know the Lord.”
This is the result of a spirit of harlotry, or to express it another way, a spirit of prostitution, coming into the midst of God’s people. Spiritual prostitution cuts us off from the presence of God; it hinders us in maintaining a common union with Christ.
What is harlotry or prostitution in the context of Scripture?
Almost without exception you will discover that when the Bible speaks about harlotry, or prostitution, it is referring to a married woman being unfaithful to her husband. It is a woman exchanging the intimacy of relationship she has with her husband for intimacy with someone who is not her husband.
This is what Israel did in a spiritual sense; they exchanged intimacy of relationship with God for intimacy of relationship with the gods of the nations around them.
One of the chief gods Israel turned to, in preference to Almighty God, was the god known as Baal.
It is this god which features strongly in the Book of Hosea and the presentation there of God’s view of Israel’s’ prostitution.
If you study the word “baal” you will discover that it means “master” or “husband”. However, in Canaanite culture the emphasis in the word Baal was on ownership rather than relationship. If you venture a little deeper into the study of this word you will discover that Baal was the sun god who was believed to have a direct influence on the success or failure of the crops year by year. Hence, one of the other meanings of the word baal is “the controller of human destiny”.
It was primarily for this pagan god that Israel turned its back on the intimacy it had with God Almighty.
What does this have to do with us?
There are two important issues that flow directly from these things we have been looking at. First, there is the matter of intimacy. Second is the matter of who is controlling our destiny?
The Apostle Paul said something, which should disturb us greatly, in reference to the issue of intimacy:
1 Corinthians 6: 15-17 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For "the two," He says, "shall become one flesh."
But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
This was the whole issue with Israel; they had become “one flesh” with the pagan god baal!
If I read a book, which contains swearing, blasphemy and immoral sexual references am I not joining my eyes to these things? So, it follows that, if I claim to be in Christ that my eyes are part of Christ. In reading that book I have attempted to join Christ to swearing, blasphemy and immoral sex! I have taken Christ and attempted to join Him to a harlot, a prostitute!
The same case exists when I watch a TV show, watch a video, listen to a radio program, or listen to music, which contains any of these things or a host of other things, that I know to be ungodly.
It also means that if I profess to be in Christ then every thought that passes through my mind is being joined to Christ, every word that passes my lips is being joined to Christ.
In each and every one of these cases it is my choice, it is your choice, as to whether we join our bodily members, and thus attempt to join Christ, to ungodly things.
I, above every other professing Christian, am guilty daily of such acts of spiritual prostitution. And it is these very acts of spiritual prostitution that hinder me from entering the fullness of what it is to abide in Christ every moment of every day. It is only as I choose not to join my members to these things and thus cease from attempting to join the Holy One of God to such things, that I will truly begin to walk in the Spirit of Christ, the very Holiness of Christ.
The Apostle Paul is making a very very strong point using the most vivid language and imagery we could envisage. His language and imagery reflect directly the language and imagery of the Book of Hosea!
No self-respecting believer would think for a moment about going out and engaging the services of a prostitute. Paul knew that. Yet he also knew that most professing Christians think nothing of other less obvious acts of spiritual prostitution.
The second issue is equally revealing of where we are at spiritually. Who is controlling my destiny?
Do you realise that when I sit down to read a book, say for an hour, that book has control of my destiny for that hour. When I flop into an armchair to watch TV or videos, as long as I choose to sit there that TV has control of my destiny.
Anything that dictates how we use our time has control of our destiny and is thus a “baal” to us. That destiny can be the next second, the next minute, the next hour, the next day, the next week, the next month, the next year and so we could go on.
Our jobs and family have the potential to control our destiny. But in these cases, we must carefully balance our God given responsibility in these areas, as detailed in the Scriptures, against the power of these things to become our “baal”.
The denomination or movement we align ourselves with can be the controller of our destiny. For some of us our whole week revolves around so called “church activities”. Those activities dictate how we spend our time through the week. Because it is a “church activity” no one dares to question the potential of these activities to be a “baal”. Many have turned their backs on maintaining a living communion with Christ in favour of “church activities”. Foe many of us we have ceased to think twice about the fact that we are failing to fulfil our God given responsibility to our families or to our jobs, because of the constant rounds of “church activities” that drive our lives.
If you doubt what I am saying then the next time you are sitting in a church business meeting, which is the central forum for discussing “church activities”, focus your attention on the questions: Who is in control here? Does Christ have sole control over the decisions being made or is someone or something else controlling the destiny of this church and these people?
Personally, I have never sat in a church business meeting where I could have asked these questions and come up with the answer that would satisfy the Scriptures or more importantly that would satisfy Christ as the Head of the Church, His Body.
Anything less than abiding in Christ, maintaining a living communion with Him as both our Lord and Master, will result in acts of spiritual prostitution.
There is a desperate need, both individually and corporately, for us to confess our numerous acts of spiritual prostitution.
Hosea 6:1-3 Come and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight. Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth.
We must repent of seeking to know God in an intellectual way and we must seek to know Him by abiding in Christ and maintaining a living common union with His Son and our Saviour.
Our repentance must follow the pattern outlined by Peter in Acts 3:17-21 as rendered in Weusts’ translation of the NT:
And now brothers, I know positively that in ignorance you did it, even as also your chief men. But the things, which God announced fully beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets that His Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Therefore, repent at once, instantly changing your attitude, and perform a right-about-face in order that your sins may be obliterated, in order that there may come epoch-making periods of spiritual revival and refreshment from the presence of the Lord,
We must change our attitude towards books, TV, videos, radio, music and everything else that seeks an intimate relationship with us and which seeks to control our destiny and thus undermine our maintenance of a living common union with Christ as our Life. We must perform a right-about-face regarding these things and having turned our backs on these things then we should heed the Apostle Paul’s’ advice to Timothy RUN!!
Not until this happens, individually and corporately, in respect to every act of spiritual prostitution will we know the obliteration of the sin of spiritual prostitution from our lives and the coming of periods of genuine spiritual revival and refreshment from the very presence of the Lord.
Unless we are in Christ, having repented in this way for our acts of spiritual prostitution, we will not be found in the presence of the Lord and we will not be able to experience revival and refreshing.
Everyone in Christendom seems to be crying out for revival, but Christendom is more than reticent to address the need for repentance from our acts of spiritual prostitution and to make the whole issue of abiding in Christ the central focus of the life and witness of every believer to the point where every denomination, every man inspired doctrine, emphasis or church activity fades into oblivion.
Philippians 3: 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.
Passover: to speak support to protect.
Yeshua has commanded us to maintain a living “common union” with Him.
John 15:4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
As we saw in the last chapter, obedience is the first way in which we maintain our living communion with Christ, the True Vine. If we obey, and thus abide, then Yeshua has promised that He will do His part in maintaining a living common union with us.
The second way in which we actively maintain our place of abiding in Christ is directly related to the first. It is our obedience in respect to the CELEBRATION of the Lord’s Supper or Communion.
My experience has been that Christendom generally knows very little about CELEBRATION when it comes to Communion. For the most part Communion is a morbid dirge, taking on the sombre air usually reserved for funeral services, rather than an air of celebration. Hence, there is more of the “law of sin and death” evident in our communion services than the “law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Yeshua”.
This statement may horrify you, but I do encourage you to consider it carefully.
Where is the focus so often in our communion services? It is on our sin and Yeshua’s death. Much more time is spent dwelling on our own failures and our unworthiness to have Christ die in our place, than on the reality of our Life in Christ.
When we come to the Communion Table we seem to have an insatiable appetite for every detail of Jesus death, to the exclusion of the truths of the eternal life that has sprung from that Seed which was planted in the ground to die that He might bring forth much fruit through union with the branches that God the Father would graft in. All of this stems from our very shallow understanding of what the Lord’s Supper really is.
When Jesus said: “do this in remembrance of Me”, in reference to the Lord’s Supper, He was alive not dead! We are to remember the life of Christ, indeed the endless life of Christ and the way in which God the Father has made it possible for us to share in that Life. To put it simply, communion should be a CELEBRATION of our common union, ie. our Life in Christ, our abiding in Christ.
You will recall the principle set down by the Apostle Paul, which we have already referred to in previous chapters: “first the natural, then the spiritual”. Well, this principle is also very important if we are to understand the meaning of communion.
The foundations of what we know today as Communion were established when the Children of Israel celebrated the first Passover in Egypt.
This fact is full of meaning for us. When Israel celebrated the first Passover God was in the process of delivering them from over 400 years of bondage in Egypt. God was “cutting them free from Egypt” with the intention of bringing them into His rest. You will see the direct connection between this and what we have discussed in previous chapters in respect to God cutting us to the heart, cutting us free from the false vine, circumcising us in heart and grafting us into Christ the True Vine.
Exodus 12: 14-17 ‘So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance. 'Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. 'On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat; that only may be prepared by you. 'So, you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore, you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance.
Our living common union with Christ, our abiding in Christ, is a place of unparalleled rest. So, it comes as no surprise that God proclaimed the first and the seventh days of the Passover Feast as days of complete rest and absolutely no work was to be done on those days. Why? Because it reminded Israel that it was by the Almighty Hand of God that they had been brought out (cut free) of Egypt. That was the physical. And we are to be constantly reminded, through the celebration of communion, that it is by the Mighty Hand of God as the Sovereign Gardener that we have been cut free from the false vine and grafted into the Life of Christ the True Vine. This is the spiritual.
Few of us realise that the elements of the Lord’s Supper were not only part and parcel of the first Passover, celebrated in Egypt and every Passover subsequently celebrated in Jewish history, but the elements of Communion were also a part of the daily function of the Tabernacle and later the Temple.
Numbers 15:1-11 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When you have come into the land you are to inhabit, which I am giving to you, 'and you make an offering by fire to the LORD, a burnt offering or a sacrifice, to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering or in your appointed feasts, to make a sweet aroma to the LORD, from the herd or the flock, 'then he who presents his offering to the LORD shall bring a grain offering of one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with one-fourth of a HIN of oil; 'and one-fourth of a HIN of wine as a drink offering you shall prepare with the burnt offering or the sacrifice, for each lamb. 'Or for a ram you shall prepare as a grain offering two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with one-third of a HIN of oil; 'and as a drink offering you shall offer one-third of a HIN of wine as a sweet aroma to the LORD. 'And when you prepare a young bull as a burnt offering, or as a sacrifice to fulfill a vow, or as a peace offering to the LORD, 'then shall be offered with the young bull a grain offering of three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with half a HIN of oil; 'and you shall bring as the drink offering half a hin of wine as an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the LORD. 'Thus, it shall be done for each young bull, for each ram, or for each lamb or young goat.
Fine flour mixed with oil is the recipe for unleavened bread. This, combined with the drink offering, accompanied every burnt offering.
Exodus 29: 38-41 “Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two lambs of the first year, day by day continually. "One lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight. "With the one lamb shall be one-tenth of an ephah of flour mixed with one-fourth of a hin of pressed oil, and one-fourth of a hin of wine as a drink offering. "And the other lamb you shall offer at twilight; and you shall offer with it the grain offering and the drink offering, as in the morning, for a sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to the LORD.
In this passage we have three things: the lamb, which was the burnt offering, the flour mixed with oil, which was the grain offering, and wine, which was a drink offering.
As we know, Yeshua was, and is, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Indeed, He is the Passover Lamb. But, Jesus also became the fulfilment of the truth contained in each of those lambs that were offered daily as sacrifices in the Tabernacle and Temple. If you like, every morning and every evening the people of Israel were reminded of their need for a blood sacrifice which would deal with their sin. It was never God’s purpose to deal with sin through the blood of animals; He was simply giving both an illustration and an insight into His great plan of salvation for sinners.
Hebrews 10: 4-14 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Therefore, when He (Jesus) came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, 'Behold, I have come; In the volume of the book it is written of Me; To do Your will, O God.'" Previously saying, "Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them" (which are offered according to the law), then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God." He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins but this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
So, when we come to celebrate Communion, we do so with the knowledge that there is no longer any need for a lamb to be sacrificed, for Yeshua has fulfilled that requirement once for all.
However, there is a passage of Scripture that should always be at the forefront of our thoughts when we do celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
Matthew 18: 20 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."
When we truly celebrate our common union with Christ then He is present with us as the Lamb of God; He is present as the completed, resurrected sacrifice.
Another verse we also need to heed when we come to celebrate communion is this one:
Romans 8: 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Yeshua, as the Lamb of God, was sacrificed once and for all time and was raised from the dead. This is an unquestionable fact. Yet this unquestionable fact must go hand in hand with the fact that there must still be a sacrifice associated with our Communion. That sacrifice is to be a “living sacrifice”; it is to be us! It is ourselves dying to self, so we might live in common union with Christ. It is ourselves abiding in Christ, completely yielded to and dependent upon His Life. In the morning and in the evening of every day we need to be reminded of this and thus prompted to yield our bodies afresh, as living sacrifices, into our common union with Christ.
That leaves us then to consider the grain offering and the drink offering, which were inseparable from the sacrifice of the lamb. As you may have realised these are the two elements we use in our Communion services. The grain offering, or unleavened bread, represents the body of Christ because there was no leaven (sin) in Yeshua. The drink offering represents the blood of Christ that was shed to cleanse us, and to keep on cleansing us, from all sin.
As you can see, Yeshua was also the fulfilment of both the grain offering and the drink offering. However, whilst there was no longer the need for the sacrifice of a lamb twice each day, Yeshua purposely retained the other two offerings, of grain and drink, when He shared that first Communion, which by the way was in the context of a full meal shared with His disciples. He retained them as the focus of our celebration that we are now in Christ.
Having established the foundations of Communion we can venture further to uncover some deeper truths regarding Communion.
In John 6:4 we read:
Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near.
This is an important verse because it sets the scene for what is about to unfold.
You see, not only were Yeshua and His disciples aware that the Passover was quickly approaching, but so too were the people who came to Yeshua and were miraculously provided with a meal of fish and bread, all 5,000 plus of them.
The next day the same crowd manages to find Yeshua and this is the greeting they are confronted with from Him:
John 6: 26 ……"Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27 “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."
First the physical then follows the spiritual. Jesus was aware that in physically feeding these people, the day before, He had given them a tremendous foundation for understanding what was to unfold in the coming days. Yet, Jesus was acutely aware that far too many of these people would never progress past the physical experience of having had their natural appetite for food supernaturally satisfied. So much of what we see in Christendom and in the world today amounts to a “labor for the food that perishes” and this is the context in which we have tried, without success, to understand Communion.
John 6:53-58 Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. "For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. "As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. "This is the bread which came down from heaven; not as your fathers ate the manna and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever."
The key verse here, which gives us the vital link between communion and abiding in Christ, is Verse 56.
Clearly, Yeshua is not suggesting that we literally eat His flesh and drink His blood.
Yet, in the natural, flesh and blood must combine before there can be life. You will note that, in the space of the five verses above, the words “life” and “live” occur 5 times.
The solution to this mystery, of eating the flesh of Christ and drinking His blood, lies in the word “abide”. If a person is abiding in Christ, the True Vine, then the Sap of the True Vine must be flowing through them. As we have already seen the Sap of the True Vine is “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:2). So, it follows, that if one is “in Christ”, the True Vine, they are spiritually feeding on the flesh of Christ and spiritually drinking the blood of Christ. The Spirit of Life is the combined ministry of both the flesh and blood of Christ. All of this is the spiritual expression of communion.
The natural expression of this spiritual truth, of abiding in Christ and thus spiritually eating His flesh and drinking His blood, are the physical elements of bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper. So, as you can see, every time we physically celebrate communion we are celebrating the reality that we are in Christ and this is evidenced by the ministry to us of the flesh and blood of Christ by He who is the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit.
So, this sums up what the statement: “Branches Don’t Strive, They Abide” really means.
The truths regarding abiding in Christ and understanding what it means to be in Christ are the foundations that will see the Body of Christ emerge as ONE BODY, ONE BRIDE, in absolute unity. Until this becomes the central focus of each disciple of Yeshua the Christ, both individually and corporately, the doctrinal walls, which man has built, with much striving, into the denominations and movements of our day, will continue to divide. And so, we will continue to rely on politics rather than the Presence of God to give us direction and we will continue to see people maintaining a common union with denominations and movements rather than maintaining a living common union with Yeshua the Christ.
If we are “in Christ” then we need not strive, we need only abide. His life flowing through us, as the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, will accomplish the Sovereign Gardener’s goal of continuous and abundant fruit bearing, fruit that will be picked and eaten by those who are hungering and thirsting after righteousness.
JOHN 17: 1-26 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, “as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. "I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. "I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. "Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. "For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. "I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. "And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. "Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. "But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. "They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. "As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. "And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. "O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me “And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."