Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Laying the Ax to the Root

Luke 3 verse 2-9 while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying:

“ The voice of one crying in the wilderness:

‘ Prepare the way of the LORD;
Make His paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled
And every mountain and hill brought low;
The crooked places shall be made straight
And the rough ways smooth;
And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”

Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

The baptism of repentance is laying the ax to the root for the remission of sin. What was John the Baptist saying? Most of us think of what he meant in the simplest form. I did for years. I simply thought it was to repent from sinful behavior so I could be forgiven. As I have been around a couple of blocks now I've found reason and purpose to why this has to happen in the life of every believer. In this passage of scripture he refers to the ax being laid to the root of trees. Mans existence is determined and defined by one of two trees. The Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. When Adam ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he redefined the consciousness in which he would walk in. In a sense, he grafted himself into the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and was destined to bear the fruit of that tree. Since then men are born with the instinctive pull of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Scripture declares that God wants us to be Oaks of Righteousness. In this passage men are essentually being desrcibed as trees. Trees that don't bear good fruit shall be chopped down and cast into the fire. After we are born again we are grafted into the Vine. Christ Himself in whom we live and breathe and have our being! As the result of this change, we are able to bear good fruit. Yet why is it that we still can bear bad fruit? Selah. There are two trees in the garden.

From the Tree of Life we produce life. The Tree of life is rooted in God's Love. It can not be manipulated, it is incorruptible. To draw from the life of this tree, we must bow down and humble ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter Chapter 5 declares that God resist the proud and gives grace to the humble. He goes on to say that we must humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt us in due time. Grace from the Tree of Life is freely given to the humble for life and purpose.

Pride in man sets itself up to defy and oppose God. In turn God Himself makes Himself the enemy of that pride. It was pride that got Lucifer kicked out of Heaven. He was simply impressed with how great he was. He looked at himself and was well pleased! We all laughed at how 'The Fonz' from the old show "Happy Days" use to walk up to the mirror to comb his hair and saw that it was still perfect and go "hehhh" and put his comb back in his pocket as he strutted off proudly. As funny as it was on the show, it was that attitude that removed Lucifer from heaven. Don't get me wrong. God is leading us to get rid of this behavior and we must laugh at ourselves and each other as we seriously go through the process of change, but God is intent that we see this condition. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil feeds the pride of man. Men want knowledge. It puffs them up and sets them apart from others. That's where the serpents power was rooted, in this very tree. That's why whether a man is robbing a bank or starting a church, if he is flowing from the sap of this deadly tree, he is the enemy of God. Why? Because he is flowing from his knowledge of good and evil rather than from his relationship with a living God who speaks to and gives grace to his children.

God wants to lay the ax to the root of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in every mans garden. When John preached repentance for the remission of sins, this is what he was talking about. When the ax is laid to the root of the deadly tree, the effect of that tree no longer has power in our lives and we can overcome sin by abiding in the vine of the Tree of Life and manifest Christ to the earth. When a sickness or disease goes into remission, it means that the sickness no longer has any effect in our body. The potential remains but the effect is gone. When we lay the ax to the root of our pride and carnal nature, it no longer has power or effect in our being. The potential is there but the power or effect isn't. At this time we don't oppose ourselves and God with our heart condition.

Our ability to rise up in pride actually comes from partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil instead of the Tree of Life. Humility partakes of the Tree of Life, pride partakes of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. When we rise up in pride, that tree again takes its place in the throne room of our hearts. Our pride essentially grafts us into the deadly trees influence. When we obtain knowledge whether it be good or bad from this tree, it is deadly. If we eat from the good we become self-righteous because we think we know whats evil. Our underlying motive is to improve our self and set ourselves apart. Total self-conscious motivation. It wasn't until Adam ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that he determined being naked wasn't good and he determined it would be good to make an apron to cover his nakedness. In John 9:41 Jesus said to the Pharisees, If you were blind you would have no sin; but now you say, 'We see.' Therefore your sin remains.

Romans Chapter 5 says that Jesus made us righteous, what can I do to add to that? So my food for spiritual sustenance can not be a quest for the knowledge of good so that I can fix myself, I've been fixed by Christ. Jesus said in John Chapter 4 that His food was to do the will of Him who sent Him. Now from living and being in Christ or abiding in the vine, I will obtain revelation knowledge from Christ. It's all about the heart motive and our approach.

In scripture Jesus said that He of himself could do nothing. He said that He only does what he sees the Father do and says what He hears the Father say. His desire was to follow and obey the One who sent Him. The result of Jesus life on the earth was that He never ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and He was the Tree of Life to all who would receive Him. God wants to manifest fruit from the Tree of Life through us and all creation groans for the manifestation of the son's of God to occur.

If we find ourselves opposed, quickly check your heart and humble yourself under the mighty hand of God to determine if it is God that opposes you or the enemy. The enemy you can move out of the way. God is another matter, you can't move Him unless you are willing to humble yourself so that His grace will abound to you and not against you. This is not to say that opposition can't come in many forms. Because of the fallen nature in the earth, bad things happen from various people and places. The enemy comes as a roaring lion, but even if he was taken from the earth their are plenty of others who would be left to do works of evil. The good news in all of this is that Romans 8:28 declares that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. We must trust the sovereignty of God as we grow in Him.

I'll bring more later!

Ken Mullis


Blogger Monty said...

Thanks Ken for the read I really enjoyed your thoughts and the way you bring together Gods word. keep it up brother and we will learn together.
Your brother in Christ,

12:46 PM  

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