Before I start with my message today, kindly watch this short clip as it will guide us as we go through the word for today.

Merchandised Miracles

Ezekiel 15:1-8 the bible says, And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, how is the wood of the grapevine (Israel) better than any wood of a branch which is among the trees of the forest? Can wood be taken from it to make any object? Or can men take a peg from it on which to hang any vessel? If it has been thrown into the fire for fuel, and the fire has consumed both of its ends and the middle section has been charred, is it suitable or useful for anything? Notice this, even when it was complete, it was not useful and was not made into anything. How much less, after the fire has burned [part of] it and [the remainder of] it is charred, can it still be made into anything? Therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘Like the wood of the grapevine among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so have I given up the people of Jerusalem; and I set My face against them. Though they have come out of the fire, yet the fire will consume them. Then you will know [without any doubt] that I am the Lord, when I set My face against them. I will make the land desolate (ruined, deserted), because they have acted unfaithfully [through their idolatry],’ says the Lord God.”

So if I can paraphrase this short paragraph for you, God comes to the prophet Ezekiel, as God has this style of coming to prophets and asking them questions and he’s not asking them questions so that they can answer him, he’s asking these questions so that he can answer himself. This is one of the ways that god expresses himself. He will ask you a question and then he’s not really waiting for you to answer it he’s simply asking the question as a prelude so that he can answer himself and God comes to Ezekiel and he basically says to him Ezekiel what’s the value of a vine? So he calls it the vine tree here but he says to Ezekiel what is the value of a vine tree? What makes it worth more than any other tree? And what is the cost? What is the value of this branch among any other trees in the forest? Are you able to take wood from this tree to do any work? Can men make anything useful on it upon which they can hang other vessels? So can men make a table of a vine tree or can men make a bed or can men make a wardrobe or dresser out of the wood of the vine? He says look, it is cast into the fire for fuel and the fire will devour it from both ends. So both sides of the vine for the vine is a long type of tree it doesn’t really go upright like the other trees it it moves along the ground like this in a lengthwise way.

So the lord says the fire will eat it up from this end and from this end and even the middle of it will be burned. Is it therefore useful for anything? Behold even when the vine was whole so even when the vine was not burned you could not use it for any useful work. So then how are you going to use it for anything useful when fire devours it and burns it? Therefore this is what I the Lord God says, “as the vine tree among all the trees in the forest is the one that i will give into the fire for fuel. This is how I will give the people of Jerusalem into the fire and I will harden my face against them and they will run from one fire to another and the fire shall devour them and you will know that I am the Lord when you see me harden my face against them and I will make this land desolate in other words i will turn this land into a tragedy because they have committed a trespass says the Lord. So I think it’s in the lord’s prayer where it says forgive us our trespasses.

A trespass is a sin and a trespass is not just any type of sin the bible uses different types of words for sin: like sin, like transgression, like iniquity, but a trespass, it carries the connotation with this word that you know the boundaries of what should or should not be done. So you know the limitations such as the boundaries around land that’s why we call people who see other people’s fences and climb over those fences to steal their cattle and steal their goats or rob their homes and that’s why in some jurisdictions like the United States, law gives the right to shoot trespassers in some states because this is someone who comes up to a boundary and knows that this is a boundary but then decides to go over it anyway. That is why they are called trespassers they know that this is a place where you may not pass but they attempt to pass anyway and so God says that the reason he will give this particular people into the fire to consume them to burn them from both ends is because they have committed trespass; saying they know what is right to do but they do not do it and therefore I will make the land desolate.

So many people are sitting in our churches today, that are not giving them what I call the whole truth; meaning that the entire balanced gospel which is that God is a wonderful judge, a loving father, God is also a disciplinarian, God is interested in the growth of his people in a balanced way. So nobody wants their child to grow up and get hooked on bhang, to run around making girls pregnant or to be one of those girls that doesn’t have any self-control and things like that. No parent wants their child to grow up in this fashion and so God is that very loving and involved parent in the life of his children and that is one side of him but then God is also that parent that if he sees people going astray, if he sees his child going astray, if he sees us committing sin, transgression, iniquity and trespass God will definitely involve himself in a way in our lives that is painful in a way in our lives that is not pleasant but in churches today these things are not taught to give Christians the full and balanced measure of who the Lord is. The Lord is taught almost as a constant buddy and friend, somebody who’s just going to chase after the Christian and this builds into the minds of Christians that they actually have the right to run from God and the truth is that we do not, everything about the bible tells us that God is a powerful centrifugal force which means that he is like a great vortex that exists in this world and we are just tiny little dots that are supposed to surrender ourselves to the superior power and Lordship of God and let him swirl us into his greatness his hugeness his majesty.

Unfortunately, the church in Kenya today gives you the impression that you can hang back as long as you like but because Jesus is the good shepherd, he’s just going to be running after you, he’s going to be climbing the highest mountain and kicking doors down looking for you, hunting, crying out where are you my child and everything like that and so it gives us the impression that we can stay away from the purifying fire that is God. It tells people that God will never judge their sin, (Can A Christian Lose Their Salvation?)  it gives people the impression that God is not even interested in their sin and do you know where ‘m going with this, it leads to a nation and a church that is extremely sinful.  When you think that there is no value or cost placed upon your transgressions, placed upon those hidden areas of your life that you will not confront or deal with, you become a person who thinks that there is no consequence for sin. And when the shining diamond in the midst of a nation which is her church that is the local body and the national body of the Lord Jesus Christ becomes a place that is scratched and pockmarked and pitted and blasted all over her body with filth and the hidden practice of sin, then it means that the highest place to which Kenyans should be able to run is no safe place at all.

So in church, we think for the most part that God will bear with our sin and bear with our sin and this actually leads to the production of very deceived and very sinful people. Many Christians if you are honest with yourself you are struggling with sin and these are not new sins this is not stuff that you picked up just- I fell into it once and I’m never going to do it again. No this is stuff you’ve been carrying for five, ten, seven, eight years or a couple of months, a year or two years. You have been carrying a secret or repetitive sin and there is no one bringing forward the sword of the word to pierce you in your inner man so that you can understand that sin actually has consequences, it has separating consequences from God, it has punishing consequences from God, it has afflicting consequences from the devil and from demons, they will afflict you and they will flog you and drag you. If you can see that the devil dragged job who was not sinning, who was righteous. If you can see how the devil took a hold of job and dragged him and destroyed his life and he was righteous.

And so the word of the Lord comes to Ezekiel and says, son of man tell me something, is a vine good for anything? Is it good for anything as compared to the other trees? Can you take wood from it to make it into anything? Can you make the wood of the vine into something useful that men can use? Can a vines wood make a bed? Can a vines wood make a dresser or a table or a wardrobe? Nothing can come from the vine he says and therefore we will cast it into the fire and use it as fuel and the fire will eat it up from both ends. The vine as the Lord is talking about is only good for bearing fruit. However, to go back to the previous point i was making about how sin has infiltrated the church.

I went to a church and the pastor was treating the text from john chapter 15:1-8,  the bible says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

The Pastor spoke about how Jesus Christ is the true vine and the Lord God is the one who treats the farm the husbandman and he was talking about how it is essential for us as Christians to remain planted in the true vine that we are just branches that in Jesus own word, without me you can do nothing apart from me you can do nothing. But Jesus says, if you stay in me, if you abide which means to make your permanent home and your permanent rest in me and let my words make their permanent home by abiding in you, then you will be able to ask me anything in prayer and I will do it for you. And here’s another thing, you will bring glory to the father because you will bear much fruit and everyone will see that you are my disciples. The pastor spoke on all this and the congregation was edified by hearing this that there is value both for us and for God in remaining in the vine but the pastor did not speak about this part, “the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it stays in the vine. He didn’t speak about this, if a man does not abide in me he will be cast out as a useful branch. So if you decide to separate yourself from Christ Jesus, if you decide not to be a Christian, if you decide that you don’t actually want any Lord and any master, you are cast forth as a useful branch and you become withered. Which means that, the life of the Lord God does not abide in you because you are refusing to abide in him and here’s what Jesus says, he says men will gather you. So he doesn’t say I will come and grab you, he says that men will come and gather you and cast you into fire as a useless branch and you will be burned. The pastor neglected to teach this part because this type of teaching is not popular in the modern church even though in some places they will surely blast you and teach you in some churches they will teach you all this but here in Kenya, stuff like this has become unpopular. Hearing about being cut harshly, cut off the vine because you have become a withered branch and then having men cast you into fire that’s not popular, that’s not going to pack the pews and that’s not going to have people.

This is what the Lord is teaching us about the vine; that it’s only good for bearing fruit. So vines have no useful purpose on this earth except to bring forth grapes that we can either eat in their fresh form or we crush them and then we age them in barrels and then we sell it as wine or we dry them and we sell them as raisins. Year after year the only reason a farmer keeps his vine and keeps its little branches, is because it is growing quality vintage, it is producing quality grapes that can either be delicious in the mouth as fruit or can be drunk as quality wine. And the Lord said, who benefits from this quality vintage?  Does the vine produce wine for itself? Can the vine drink its own product? No. And yet I say to you that there are many vines running around today, drinking their own Cool-aid high on their own hype and they have huge followings, massive followings, millions and millions or thousands and thousands or hundreds of thousands of people following them believing that they are quality vines when they are actually vines that the father has rejected.

The church of Kenya has become like the fake vine which has been rejected and the Lord is saying, because you have used my word for your own benefit, my judgement is imminent. The church has become like a mali mali shop from merchandizing miracles, prophecies and blessings to the highest bidder. God is interested with our righteousness, That’s why the bible says, “Seek Yeah first the Kingdom of God and it’s righteousness and all other things shall be added to you.” Blessings and other things will only come after the righteousness is attained. May God open our eyes in this end times.

Lets Pray: Heavenly Father a beautiful sight of the must be endless wisdom, boundless love and awesome purity. One day we will stand before you and Lord I have absolutely no doubt it will be silent and with everything about you will transcend anything we could say. Thank you for anyone who will take time to read this article. If anyone is running in the opposite direction stop them with your loving hands and turn them around. Lord I ask you for your understanding and wisdom in this time we are living, no one has ever lived in such a time, but Lord we need you, thank you for your son Jesus Christ and for saving us, in Jesus name I pray, Amen. God Bless.

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