Abiding in the Vine

Jackson Snyder

John 15:1-12, Psalm 80  (EloHymn, Psalm 80, listen)

Jackson Snyder Bible



Secret Sayings Savior

Radio-Yahweh Home

Bi-monthly updates

Contact  Contact

The YAHAD @ Nevy.us

Charismatic Gifts Home



Radio-Yahweh Home

Bible News Home

Moses Mikheyev

Contact  Contact


EXPLORE Rotherham's Emphasized Bible The best study Bible of all


   Yahshua said, “abide in the vine.”  The people of his day knew exactly what he meant.  We want to learn.  Psalm 80, written by the great Bible singer Asaph, tells us that the vine is Israel, the people who suffered as slaves in Egypt.  Like a vine, Israel was transplanted into a promised land by the enduring hand of Yahweh.  There, the vine grew lavishly, spreading out so lushly that

Ps 80:{10} The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches. {11} It sent out its boughs to the Sea, its shoots as far as the River.

Though Asaph lived in the time of David - a time of great nationalistic fervor and success - he sees a time in the future in which the wild beasts had eaten the fruit of Israel and ancient foes had torn the vine to pieces.  Only worthless remnants were to remain of the bounty.  Indeed, this prophetic song came to pass a couple hundred years later.  So if the vine is Israel, what does the psalm say about the people of Israel in that future time?  It says that Yahweh, their protector, had forsaken them for their lack of fruitfulness.

   Asaph leads the choir in crying out to Yahweh on behalf of this future remnant:

14. Almighty of Hosts, come back, we pray, look down from heaven and see, visit this vine; 15. protect what your own hand has planted.  16. They have thrown it on the fire like dung.

Israel the vine is in the fire!  Asaph calls upon Yahweh to send Messiah to the rescue.  The choir sings,

17. May your hand protect those at your side, the son you have strengthened for yourself! 18. Never again will we turn away from you, give us life and we will call upon your name. 19. Almighty of Hosts, bring us back, let your face shine on us and we shall be safe.

It took Yahweh 500 years to completely answer Asaph’s song-prayer by sending Messiah to replant the vine Israel and restore hope to the whole wide world.  And this word is still being abundantly fulfilled yet in our day.  Such is a miracle of miracles!


An Allegory: A Story With a Deeper Meaning

   The Messiah, Yahshua be Yahweh, takes up the subject of the vine, as recorded in John 15.  He tells his disciples that he has always been the true vine and the agent in the creation of this wayward people.  They were to be his fruit, but they had rotted away.  Yahshua, the true Vine, is finally sent forth from the heavenly realm to re-graft life into the ruined vine of Israel.

   In Yahshua’s story about the vine, branches and fruit, Yahweh the Father is the gardener, the expert in horticulture, the one who nurtures the vine as he would nurture his own children, tenderly, with wisdom and patience.  Yahshua is the True Vine, the True Israel: Yahshua represents Israel.  By calling himself the true vine, he implies that there’s a false vine.  The false vine consists of only the appearance of Israel, what is seen by the eye, including the political establishment, the religious tradition, the modernistic culture, the nationalistic fervor – with all its inherent evils.  The false vine represents not only the appearance of Israel, but also the infrastructure of any nation: its politics, culture, religion and nationalism.  Elsewhere (in Revelation), John calls such appearances “beasts” that rob our Father Yahweh of true worship, faith and homage.  By putting one’s faith in any established political or religious entity, even in this great nation we call ours, we abide in the false vine.  We see in appearance only; the true we don’t yet see except through eyes of hope.  Yet though we don’t see Him, he’s more real and true than any other vine we can see!  All outside of him is falsehood and illusion.

   Through his great grace, love and sacrifice, all people of all places may branch from him, the true Vine, for Yahshua ha Moshiach is the author of all creation.  All of the stuff of life came to be by him and through him.

(John 1:3) {3} Through [Messiah] all things came to be; without him nothing came to be that has come to be.

If humanity came to be through Yahshua Messiah, and he is the true vine, and people may become the fruit of that one true vine, then we the people ought to bear the same fruit that Yahshua bore.  And all may bear, he tells us, by abiding in the vine.


What Does It Mean, Abiding in his Vine?

   To abide means to reside, or dwell within, or inhabit.  It means, “to stay in.”  Abiding in Messiah means we can no longer compartmentalize our lives.  We can’t allow Him access only to a certain few heart-rooms and bar his entry from others.  If we abide in him, we dwell in him continually; we make our habitation in him in faith and hope.  And if we are living in him, then we are no longer living in the world and its Brother Lawrence in the Kitchenensnaring systems, the false vine.  Though in the world, we are no longer of it.  We die to the false to become alive in the true.  And he can thus live in us.  We bear fruit of truth instead of illusion or delusion or confusion.

   Let's be practical.  How can we possibly constantly abide in him?  Brother Lawrence (1614 - 1691) illustrates the practice of abiding for us in his journal.  Lawrence spent most of his life in a monastery. He never married or had a family.  He took a job cooking for dispossessed people.  Lawrence abides in the Vine, even while doing the most menial chores.  He writes,

I turn my little omelet in the pan for the love of God.  When it is finished, if I have nothing to do, I prostrate myself on the ground and worship my God, who gave me this grace to make it, after which I arise happier than a king.  When I can do nothing else, it is enough to have picked up a straw for the love of God. 

   If his menial work in limited circumstances was able to bring forth such great praise that every little thing he did was unto the Father, just think how the complicated doings of our lives, fast-paced and varied as they are, could be used to glorify Yahweh all the more and thus bear fruit!  If only we could just pick up every little straw for His sake!  We can!

   Most folks really don’t care much for spiritual disciplines.  However, some actually study to learn how to love their Father.  They hope to attain true worship by formulas.  They read books by famous Christians.  Some feel great guilt because they’re lax in spirituality or morality.  But - isn’t it a natural thing for branches to be nourished by their vine?  Yes, it is.  Should we have to listen to Christian radio all day and imitate famous religious folks to abide?  Some need to, I guess.  Doesn't it seem there should be a more direct way to abandon the appearances of the false vine so as to do everything for the True?  Couldn’t we just make use of our tasks in life to worship Him?  Couldn’t we just do all things unto him as sacraments?  Yes, we could.

   Abiding in the vine was never meant to be complicated!  One has only to open up one’s arteries to Yahshua’s nurturing favor.  Then we will do everything as unto him and keep His commandments fully, which are not a burden but a nourishing joy.


What Are the Blessings of Abiding?

   Abiding in the vine requires a mind-change, a teshuva.  We become intentional about everything.  We think about what we do, everything we do, and we offer the work of our hands and minds to him, consciously.  We become conscientious livers.  When we intentionally abide, he offers valuable benefits, far superior to those of the false vine, such as:

  1.  The Granting of Petitions (vs. 7).  The Father will do anything you ask through his Son’s will.  However, there’s one condition: "If you abide in me...."  If you abide in the vine, you can’t possibly ask amiss.  That’s why he assures us that all we ask will be given.  When what we ask is received and when we give testimony to it, we glorify our Father’s ability to meet our needs.  His answers constitute some of the tremendous blessings of abiding.  When I abide in the True Vine, he always answers my prayers – always.

  2.  Another benefit -- the honor of glorifying the Father.  Making your Father’s goodness known is a benefit because it converts you and gives you a mission beyond yourself.  People can’t live without a valid purpose; living just for one’s own desires is neither healthy nor valid.  If you abide in the Vine and attend to your mission, you’ll certainly make the Father’s goodness known in specific ways, such as:

   You will glorify him through praise.  Corporate worship is important, but falls short of perfect praise.  Perfect praise comes from the mouths and hearts of those who are grateful for their deliverance from the world of appearances, now finding their dependence on the Vine.  "Have you never read By the mouths of children, babes in arms, you have made sure of praise (Matthew 21:16)?"  Our nation declared independence from Great Britain in 1776.  We who abide also have declared our independence from the Dominion of Darkness. In doing so, we declare our dependence on Yahweh’s Savior.  We can't work that up!  Like it so happens for babes in arms, praise and thanksgiving flow from our surrender to him, not our independence from him.  He is praised and radiated through our close companionship and partnership.

   We also glorify the Father through Works.  Yahshua said,

(Matthew 5:14-16) "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. …Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

   Having declared your intention of abiding in the Vine, you begin to come under scrutiny by some people and evil spirits.  You’re just like a city set on a hill, or, as they say today, you live in a house of glass.  You say, “Well, I don’t want to live in a house of glass,” but the truth is that everybody does whether they abide in the Vine or not.  If you do well for others, Yahshua will be radiated through you.  Your realness will make Him plainly real to others.  You will become a witness to the divine power of dependence through your actions.  And this is a good, good thing.  And it makes your windows bullet-proof. 

  3. We also benefit by being able to love and to be loved.  Agape love is compassion and action, as I’ve so often instructed.  It’s not pity or "loving from afar" or some fond, romantic feeling.  It’s hard-working.  Love must work three ways: Vertically, horizontally and internally (as the love cross illustrates).  Love must extend through several levels (as the love target illustrates).  You will not be able to bless others with agape love unless you abide in the true Vine and experience Yahshua's abiding love first-hand, faithful every moment of your life.

  4. We benefit from abiding in that we have the Law of Yahweh written on our hearts  (vs. 10).  One writer puts such discipleship and obedience into perfect perspective.  Listen:

It is not difficult in our world to get a person interested in the message of the [Good News]; it is terrifically difficult to sustain the interest.  Millions of people in our culture make decisions for [Messiah], but there is a dreadful attrition rate. Many claim to have been born again, but the evidence for mature discipleship is slim.  In our kind of culture anything, even news about [the Creator], can be sold if it is packaged freshly; but when it loses its novelty, it goes on the garbage heap.  There is a great market for religious experience in our world; there is little enthusiasm for the patient acquisition of virtue, little inclination to sign up for a long apprenticeship in what earlier generations ... called holiness. (Eugene Peterson)

Let me ask you, what kind of model are you for your children and grandchildren?  Do you nurture your spiritual life?  Or is your sanctity based on the false vine of appearances? And concerning the will of Yahweh in your life:  Are you justifying your activities by saying you’re "doing for G-d" when you really don’t know what He wants you to do?   Sometimes people who say they are ‘working for G-d’ are really finding the easy way out of working!  Their work is nothing but an appearance placed in front of a lazy spirit of disinterest.

   But let me tell you the secret of obedience, as set down by the great missionary Andrew Murray:

The secret of true obedience is the clear and close personal relationship to [the Almighty].  All our attempts after full obedience will be failures until we get access to his abiding fellowship.  It is His holy presence consciously abiding with us that keeps us from disobeying Him.  I must consciously include the Him in every thought, activity, and conversation until the habit is established.

Murray is describing abiding in the Vine.  “Consciously include Him in every thought, activity, and conversation” is expected of every branch, every branch, of the True Vine.  It’s an acquired habit and the only way to avoid being cast off.


There are Consequences of Not Abiding

   Did you know: US Catholic Magazine recently asked its readers what they thought about hell?  The fire-and-brimstone idea is out now, replaced by hell as an absence of G-d.  Some say this means people are becoming more concerned about doing good for goodness sake and less about doing good to avoid punishment.  If that’s true, then it’s a good thing, I think.

   As for heaven, folks think it’s a great place for a picnic, a "forest setting where it never rains," a big ol’ family reunion.  I don’t have trouble with that idea.  I believe in the restoration of Israel and the re-creation of the entire earth.  The survey said that 83% of the magazine's readers think they’re heaven-bound.  17% must have very sleepless nights.   Do you think 8 out of 10 of those readers were abiding in the Vine in the fashion our Father expects?  Hardly.  Maybe 8 out of 100 would be more realistic.  We depend more upon our hope for His favor than we like to admit.

   Yes, we are true believers in Yahshua.  The power of Yahweh has drawn every single one of us here together.  You can’t deny it; you are here for a purpose.  Our congregating is an essential part of abiding.  You and I really have little choice but to obey.  As branches, we are pruned and blessed and we bear lots of fruit.  We may someday become fully engrafted into the Vine as true branches.  It is a peaceful, joyful and awesome thing to be and integral part of the Living Elohim.

   However, a branch that ultimately fails to abide and thrive falls off, like an old, dead, tree branch, withering and drying out, its nuts and leaves scattered to the wind.  Even the best tree surgeon can’t reconnect a dead branch, though, with Elohim, even that may be possible.  It’s not our intention to hurt feelings, but it’s a fact that some kind of punishment awaits the wishy-washy, the impudent, the fence sitting, the pew-sitting, the back-sliding, the radical individualist, the double-minded, the uncommitted, the fruitless, the has-been, the dry and the dead branch, fallen off of the tree of life and worthless except to fuel the wood stove.  Many “good people” are in for a rude awakening in the resurrection.  Our hope is that you are not and don’t become one of these fallen branches.  We’ll pray, and Yahweh will restore you, if need be.

   So, until your restoration, abide in the true Vine.  Rededicate yourself today to this end.  Reconnect with the source of your nourishment.  Rethink your mission, especially as it concerns the assembly you are a part of.  Love your neighbor.  Do good to all.  Give Yahweh the esteem.  And don’t forget that your ultimate destiny lies in the reality of eternity and not in appearances only. Amein.

Composed September 23, 1995, updated January 16, 1998, February 20, 2013, preached January 18, 1998 PM and March 10, 2002.


Top of the Document