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In John 15.1-2 when Jesus was speaking to the eleven before they left the upper room to go across the Kidron valley, He said, “I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Gardener.  He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit…” so that the picture that Jesus wants you and I to see is of a Man walking through His garden where the most prized of all His plants is a grapeVine, a true Vine, which produces fruit for Him… fruit to eat and to make wine from… wine, as it is written in Psalm 104.15, that gladdens the heart of man… and every branch of that Vine that bears no fruit is cut off.  Can you see what Jesus was showing His disciples?

It is not just the secret of remaining in Jesus by being fruitful, but the purpose for which the Gardener (God) had planted the Vine (Jesus) in the ground (Earth).  It is the picture showing the purpose for which Jesus was sent to save the world – to reveal the Father and to establish the Kingdom of God.

Like the Vine that has branches that bear fruit, which can be used to make wine that gladdens a man’s heart… so likewise, the salvation through Jesus, the revelation of the Father to disciples and the establishment of the Kingdom of God are summed up in John 15.1-2.  Like a gardener who is really looking forward to having sweet grapes to accompany his meal and a good wine from those grapes to wash down the food, thus leaving him satisfied… so the manifestation of the fullness of the Kingdom of God on Earth that permits all things to come to an end and for Christ to return for His prenuptial reign on Earth as a prelude to His wedding on New Earth, which is like the grape and wine, is what will give God the satisfaction He is looking forward to.

Like a gardener tending the vine to make it even more fruitful to increase the fruit and its wine… so God is ever watching over the disciples He has given Jesus through the ages, making each generation more fruitful again and again, season after season, until the optimum production in fruit and wine is reached, and then it is taken for the purpose for which the Vine was planted.

This is not a picture of the vineyard, elect, but of the Vine.  The Vine of the Gardener who may have other plants and trees that bear fruit and flowers for His pleasure, but one and only one plant produces the fruit of the Vine, that is, the wine that gladdens the heart.

It is then the manifestation of the Kingdom of God within you that gladdens the heart of God.  Your salvation by faith through God’s grace pleases God, for, as Hebrew’s writer has told us, without faith it is impossible to please God. [Hebrews 11.6] Your fruitfulness as His disciples brings glory to God the Father, for Jesus has said, “This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples.” [John 15.8] However, it is the manifestation of His kingdom in you that gives Him the pleasure, the gladness of heart, which He truly desires.

For a person may be pleased and be glorified, but that is superficial compared to the gladness of heart that satisfies from within.  For a king may be pleased by obedient servants, a father by his sons as they obey him, and a king may be glorified by great victories and works, a father by sons who do well in their exploits… but the satisfaction of being glad, the satisfaction of enjoying that which you laboured for, is beyond pleasure and glory.  For pleasure stimulates the flesh, glory the mind and spirit, gladness the heart, but satisfaction fulfils the soul.  The Psalmist says, My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods [Psalm 63.5], equating satisfaction to eating and therefore to drinking.

What then, elect, brings pleasure to God, glory to God, gladness to God and finally satisfaction to God, even to His soul?  If believers please God by their faith, and disciples bring glory to God by their fruits, what then of the elect of the Holy Spirit?  Is it not to bring satisfaction to God’s soul?

As such, your conduct, the purpose of your election, in all that has been taught to you already, is now set unto the highest point… not only to please God, not only to glorify God, but to satisfy God, that is, through you what He has in mind is completely fulfilled.  Like a gardener tending the vine in his garden, he is pleased when he sees branches that bear fruit, and as those branches droop down under the weight of an abundance of fruit, he is glorified, as those who are his neighbours compliment him on a work well done and the promise of the fruit and wine that will come from that fruit.  However, as he labours to press the fruit to extract the wine to age and ferment it, He has in mind a certain taste from that wine.  The taste of good wine that warms his heart even as it stimulates his senses of sight, smell and taste with the effect of that wine working through his mind and flesh until there comes from him a sigh, a soft sigh of satisfaction of a hope fulfilled, a labour well rewarded, before he then shares his good fortune with his neighbours – satisfaction!  The satisfaction of the gardener who, in truth, is a wine maker in pursuit of perfection.

As such, it may please God that a multitude repent because of the Kingdom of Heaven, and are saved by their faith through His grace to be in Heaven with Him when they die.  For, like a gardener who is pleased with the fruitful branches he does not have to cut off and throw away, God is pleased always with the salvation of those who believe.

It glorifies God when as from believers, disciples are raised who would listen to His Son and put His word to practice so that the truth, the quality of Jesus’ words that outlast even the Heavens and the Earth, can be displayed.  It is like those fruitful branches not only bearing fruit, but bearing full fruit, plump, luscious, big, promising, proving that the sap from the vine, the soil that supports the vine is good, and that the gardener has made a wonderful, wonderful choice, the right choice, in selecting that branch… like God choosing a disciple for Jesus who does exactly what is expected of him like Judas Iscariot did.  For the fruit of the branch may yet wither on the vine, be blighted or be of the wrong consistency as the environment affects it.  Like disciples who show promise but then stop listening to Jesus and keeping His words, but are directed to compromises that include the words of others to be kept and practised… so the fruit itself may not yield the desired wine.

As you have seen in the examples of the eleven who did establish the church but failed to manifest the Kingdom of God that is amongst them, for they did not have within them the Kingdom of God, but rather, the kingdom of Israel and later the Kingdom of Heaven… when everyone began to settle for the lesser rather than the greater promise of the Resurrection and the Life… to die and live again rather than to live and never die… so then the glory may yet be hollow as the grapes fail to give the wine that is hoped for.  Indeed, it may give such a wine that only vinegar can be made from it.  Disappointment for the Gardener; disappointment for God though He would never show it.  For if He would not tell you if He were hungry, then you can be assured He will never show you He is disappointed.

However, you can know and you do know if He is disappointed without waiting for Him to tell you, if you only listen to Jesus and consider carefully, that is, with fullness of care, what the Father gave Him to say and how He said it.  You know for you have seen Him as He has told Israel plainly, “Hear, O My people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I will testify against you:  I am God, your God.  I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, which are ever before Me.  I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.  I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are Mine.  If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is Mine, and all that is in it.  Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?  Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfil your vows to the Most High…” [Psalm 50.7-14] Are these the words of God to a people who pleased Him and glorified Him, much less satisfied Him?

Learn to hear, but learn, more importantly, to see the frustration of God expressed in these verses and the graciousness which overflows from Him as He lowers His expectations so that He does not allow dissatisfaction to detract Him from His glory and pleasure, certainly not before His enemies, servants and people, even before His sons and daughters.  However, in the quietness of His sanctuary, in His aloneness with God, can you see the desire of Them – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – to satisfy and be satisfied?  It is a desire you will not hear from Them… but if you learn to watch even as you listen, you will see it like the fleeting twitch of the corner of an eye on a person’s face.

If you were to look up a concordance of the words ‘satisfaction,’ ‘satisfied,’ ‘satisfies’ and ‘satisfy,’ you will find that it is God who provides satisfaction to all He has created – His people, His plants and animals, to the Earth even – in the same way Jesus multiplied the fish and bread so that everyone ate and was satisfied at the feeding of the 5,000.  However, nowhere does it say that God receives satisfaction… nowhere.  Yet, can God be satisfied?  Since God is not death and destruction, yes, because, as it is written:  Death and Destruction are never satisfied… [Proverbs 27.20] for God is the Life and the Resurrection, God can be satisfied and is waiting to be satisfied… like a gardener tending a vine who looks forward to the wine its fruit would yield… the good wine that gladdens a man’s heart and satisfies his labour.

The Kingdom of God that gladdens God’s heart on Earth and brings Christ back in preparation for the revelation of New Jerusalem.  The satisfaction of God upon His throne as He looks over the guests eating and drinking at the wedding supper of His Son in the Kingdom of God.  Then God can rest from His labour, like a gardener resting from the day, drinking the wine from his prized vine, dreaming of new ventures that are yet to come.

Our Lord upon His throne looking over the fullness of the manifestation of all He has laboured for from this creation with satisfaction, and even then turning His mind to the New Heavens and New Earth, new creations, new things, yet not conceived.

Such is the freedom you can give to God… the freedom that satisfaction gives Him.  The freedom to move on in His personal journey from eternity to eternity… searching out new things in His quest to be the Only True God that He is.

So, elect, see that God is waiting not for pleasure or for glory from this labour of His, but for satisfaction.  So begin to consider how you might not only please Him and bring Him glory, but to bring Him satisfaction.

For if God honours those who honour Him, and He satisfies those He has made, even animals, then what will God do for those who satisfy Him?  For about Jesus the Father has said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased…” [Matthew 17.5] then what will He say of the one who satisfies Him?

Consider, elect, and wish. [John 15.7]

Now to God who has satisfied you with honey from the Rock and long life to see His likeness… what have you in mind to satisfy Him?

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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are
taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®,
NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™  Used by permission of Zondervan.  All rights reserved


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