My Father’s Kingdom

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Good morning E____,

It is good to hear from you, and thank you for your question.

You ask:

The first thing I want to do is to commend you for realizing that the holy spirit does not teach by comparing physical wine, or anything else physical, with spiritual things. As you have surmised, “the holy spirit teaches comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

1Co 2:12  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
1Co 2:13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

So, you are exactly right. Christ is not speaking of a physical “fruit of the vine.” He is instead speaking of a spiritual “fruit of the vine.” We will never understand what is being said in this verse until we understand what “the vine” is. As is always the case, whether positive or negative, whether good or bad, the scriptures are always “Christ-centric,” and Christ Himself tells us “I am the vine…”

Joh 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Then Christ, when speaking of “the vine,” is actually speaking of Himself, when we compare spiritual things with spiritual.

What, then, is “the fruit of the vine” when comparing spiritual with spiritual? The answer is again right here in Joh 15:5, “Ye are the branches: He that abides in me, AND I IN HIM, brings forth much fruit…”  The “fruit of the vine,” when we “compare spiritual with spiritual,” is produced only in those who “abide in Christ.” What do those who “abide in Christ” do? “… The same brings forth much fruit…” (Joh 15:5).

Joh 15:16  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

“You have NOT chosen me…” So much for the false doctrine of ‘free’ will. Our election has nothing to do with a ‘free’ will. No one can come to God unless the spirit drags him to God:

Joh 6:44  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw [Greek: drag] him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

I have emboldened and underlined the word ‘that’ in John 15:16 above because it demonstrates that Christ connects our election, our being “chosen” to our production of fruit and to what we “ask of the Father.” “Whatsoever ye shall ask,” if you are a ‘fruitful branch in Christ,’ will “remain” for this one reason:

1Jn 5:14  And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

God simply does not answer prayers which are contrary to His will. We do indeed ask things contrary to His will, but we do not receive anything that is not “according to His will.”

Jas 4:3  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

We have established that we must be “in Christ” before we can “bring forth much fruit,” and we have established that when we finally do “bring forth much fruit” that “much fruit… will remain.” It “will not pass away.” So what is the one thing that “will remain” and “will not pass away?”

Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

What we ask for and what we do that “will remain” and “will not pass away” is to be a faithful witness to the words of Christ, and that is exactly what He tells us here in this same 15th chapter of John:

Joh 15:26  But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
Joh 15:27  And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

There is the “much fruit” we bear if we “abide in Christ.” We “testify of and bear witness” of Christ, His Words and His doctrine. It is Jesus Christ who gives to us the spirit of His Father which strengthens us to “bring forth much fruit.”

Eph 4:30  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

What is that spirit?

Joh 6:63  It is the Spirit that makes alive, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit and are life. (ASV)

Now we have established that the fruit we bear is to ‘bear witness and testify of Christ and His words and His doctrine.’ Only then will “our fruit remain.” All other things will pass away:

Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

What was the symbol of those “Words of Christ?” What was the symbol of “the fruit of the vine?” It was not mere grape juice. It was definitely fermented, alcoholic wine which Christ and His apostles were drinking when Christ made this statement. You cannot say “You have saved the best until last” about grape juice; you don’t pour grape juice into an open wound, and grape juice doesn’t make anyone drunk.

Joh 2:10  And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.

Luk 10:34  And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

1Co 11:20  When ye come together therefore into one place, [this] is not to eat the Lord’s supper.
1Co 11:21  For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.

I know that is not your main question, but you were uncertain about what Christ and the apostles were drinking, and as I demonstrated above, it is important that we know that Christ and His apostles are drinking wine and not grape juice, or we will miss the significance of what was being accomplished in all the verses which use this Greek word ‘oinos’ – wine. This is not grape juice. It is fermented, alcoholic wine.

You say:

Again, I want to commend you for realizing that “no prophecy of scripture is of its own interpretation,” and that it is “the sum of God’s Word” which constitutes truth.

2Pe 1:20  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private [Greek: idios, its own] interpretation.

Psa 119:160  The sum of thy word is truth; And every one of thy righteous ordinances endureth for ever. (ASV)

So you are exactly right on both counts. Both the word ‘new’ and Christ being “the vine” are involved in understanding what Christ meant by the phrase “the fruit of the vine.” Both the apostle Paul and Jesus Himself say so. Christ is not just the vine; He tells us that He is also the fruit of the vine, and His blood is the wine of that fruit, the New Testament.  It is all part of the symbols of “the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Let’s go back and let Paul finish his thought where he is chiding the Corinthians for eating and getting drunk in the church while others in the congregation were doing without. Here are those two verses and the very next verses:

1Co 11:20  When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.
1Co 11:21  For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
1Co 11:22  What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
1Co 11:23  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
1Co 11:24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
1Co 11:25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

‘This cup of wine is the New Testament,’ and that is exactly what Christ Himself tells us:

Mat 26:28  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Mar 14:24  And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

Luk 22:20  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

The cup of wine symbolized Christ’s blood in the New Testament. It did not symbolize the blood of bulls and goats of the Old Testament. In drinking of that cup, the apostles were symbolically doing two things; they were both confessing and giving an account of their part in His death, and they were at the same time pledging allegiance to Christ’s Words in the New Testament as opposed to what Christ called the words of Moses in the Old Testament.

Mat 19:8  He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

Joh 7:22  Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; [not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers]; and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man.

Heb 7:12  For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

So, yes, the word ‘new’ has a lot to do with what Christ was telling His disciples. He was telling them that they were about to pass from the old to the new covenant in their relationship to Him and His Father. In so doing, they were about to “pass from death unto life,” and in order to do that they must confess their part in His death and die to that part.

Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

He had already alluded to this in many of His previous sayings, like every one of his “You have heard that it has been said by them of old… But I say unto you…” Then there was also this “previous parable” to which you alluded above:

Luk 5:36  And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was [taken] out of the new agreeth not with the old.
Luk 5:37  And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.
Luk 5:38  But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.
Luk 5:39  No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.

No one desires the new. Everyone thinks the old covenant is better. The very subject under discussion is John the Baptist, who is the symbol of the old covenant, versus Christ and His words of the new covenant:

Mat 11:11  Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

That is right, Christ is not talking about literal wine. He is talking about the new spiritual wine of the New Testament.

Mat 11:13  For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

Luk 16:16  The law and the prophets were until John: from that time the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached, and every man entereth violently into it.

Joh 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

“Much fruit” means knowing the mind and words of Christ, and sharing His truth, His words and His doctrine with others. If we do not know Christ’s doctrine, we will bring forth no fruit. Instead we will bring forth the briars and thorns of false doctrines.

The only question now is when will He “drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom?”

“But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

Christ made it clear that the wine of the cup is the words of the New Testament. When will His Father’s kingdom come, so that Christ can finally drink of the fruit of the vine with His disciples? Will we all have to wait until Christ assumes the reigns of the kingdoms of this world, before we can “drink it new” with Him? Absolutely not, not for those who “know God and Jesus Christ.” Those who “know God and Jesus Christ, are now in that kingdom in “earnest of the spirit,” and are already “drinking it new” with Christ. Here is how that is accomplished:

Luk 17:20  And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Luk 17:21  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Understanding that the kingdom of God is already here in promise and in down payment form in all who know God and Jesus Christ, is a key to understanding all of God’s word. You cannot begin to understand the revelation of Jesus Christ until you see that He and His kingdom have been on this earth in the lives of His ambassadors ever since the days of Christ’s own ministry:

Mar 1:14  Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
Mar 1:15  And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

That kingdom and all that brings that kingdom into this world is revealed from Gen 1:1 to Rev 22:21. That kingdom is now, just as it was in Christ’s day, only in those in whom Christ and His doctrine dwell. It will one day rule the kingdoms of this world, and it will one day be in all men. However, for now it is only in those who “drink it new” with Christ in His Father’s kingdom, and it is only in them in “earnest of the spirit.” It is not in us in ‘fullness of the spirit’.

Luk 17:21  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Eph 1:13  In whom [Christ] ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

God’s spirit within is God’s kingdom within. It is “the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession.”

Then what? What happens at the time of the redemption of the purchased possession? What happens when full possession of the purchased possession is accomplished? Here is what we are told:

1Jn 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God [in earnest], and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Are we sons now? The answer is, “Yes we are, in down payment.” Has Christ already appeared to us? Has he come to us a second time already? The answer is again, “Yes, He has, in earnest.” Finally, are we “like Him” already? Again, the answer is, “Yes, we are like Him in earnest, ‘sealed with the holy spirit of promise.'” But Christ has not yet taken “the redemption of the purchased possession,” and until that day we can say with John:

1Jn 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God [in earnest], and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

I go to all this trouble, demonstrating what is meant by the words “earnest of the spirit,” to counter the false doctrine of the ‘fullness now’ which has ravished the churches of Babylon and has been used by the Adversary to nullify and neutralize, in so many Christians, the production of “much fruit,” which is witnessing to and being faithful to the doctrine of Christ.

I hope that helps you to see that Christ is “the vine,” and He and His doctrine and His sayings are “the fruit of that vine,” and I hope this helps you to see what Christ meant when He said:

“But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

It is in us that Christ is again “drinking new with you” of His doctrine and His sayings. It is through us that He is again “bearing witness” to His doctrine and “bringing forth much fruit.” The wine of “this cup” is Christ’s words in the New Testament, and those words are in those in whom Christ dwells “in His Father’s kingdom [which] is within you.”  That is what Christ meant by “this fruit of the vine,” when we “compare spiritual things with spiritual.”

1Co 2:13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Your brother in Christ,
Mike

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