He Ordained Pruning to make His Garden Healthy and Beautiful!
Doesn’t it seem “violent” or “mean” to take a sharp object and “prune” a bush or tree, or a flowering plant? God built into nature itself the “imagery” of life and truths He meant us to understand one day about His Kingdom. There is nothing whatsoever in nature, physics, mathematics, music, astronomy, biology, history, quantum mechanics, or anything on this planet that was not meant to be a “visual aid” for His People.
All of His Creation is full of “shadows” of Spiritual Truth, waiting to be understood and embraced. As was already mentioned, one obvious foreshadowing of “the reality that is in Christ” is biological family, which points towards understanding of the Second-Birth Family, which is of course a topic extremely pertinent to any Biblical discussion about what “Father” intends His Church to be. But, of course, there are innumerable other “shadows” Father has placed in His creation for us to discover as “visual aids,” as well.
Jesus spent much of His time here pointing to the various “shadows” that His Abba had placed here to help us understand HIS Kingdom. We call them “Parables.” Jesus drew attention to birds, fields, seed, and trees—as they related to our hearts and His Kingdom. He compared the nature of growth in His Kingdom to the chemistry of shrinking cloth, and to the fermentation of fruit and the resulting carbon dioxide release. His heart and mind are past finding out—and that’s a good thing.
“Pruning in landscaping and gardening is the practice of removing diseased, or non-productive portions from a plant. The purpose of pruning is to shape the plant by directing plant growth, to maintain the health of the plant, or to increase the yield or quality of flowers and fruits. Proper pruning is as much a skill as it is an art, since badly pruned plants can become diseased or grow in undesirable ways.”
We know beyond any question that God has Commanded us to “disKoinonia” folks from the church, in various situations where a person is diseased with a corruption of the Life of His Son. Of course, that only applies to those “churches” where there is daily (the only kind of) Koinonia happening as Jesus’ very own Life is lived out. But knowing that, certain very good questions should arise.
What form should “disFellowship” take, and how might it come about? And what would be possible “reasons” the Husbandman, the Gardener, the Father might Command that some “pruning” take place within the branches of the Vine? What are some types of corruption to Life that “crucify afresh” the Lamb of God, and therefore must be pruned if there is a refusal to be Changed by the Holy Spirit and Truth? What are some “sins” the Scriptures teach as fatal if there is no repentance?
Truly, the composite of “lists” in the Scriptures of “reasons” an unrepentant man would be cut off from Jesus, and thus His Body, is exhaustive, to say the least. If one were to combine a list from Galatians 5, Revelation 21, Romans 1, 2Tim.3, 1Cor.5, and other such Scriptures, that list would be prodigious. Here is a partial list of what sins the Bible says will result, without repentance, in separation from the Head and Body. There will be “no Inheritance in the Kingdom of God” and these will be “in the lake of Fire” where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” These can, without repentance “have no part or share” in the Body of Christ.
“Without Holiness, no one will see the Lord.”
“Everyone who names the name of the Lord must turn from wickedness.”
“If you love Me, you will obey Me.”
“A curse be on everyone who doesn’t love the Lord.”
“MANY will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord’… but I said, ‘Depart from Me, I never Knew you.’”
“And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should live agape love for one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. Do not marvel, my brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we live agape love with the brothers. He who does not agape love his brother—makes his home in death.”
Here is a partial list of those who cannot be allowed to stay in the Church if they refuse to renounce sin and open their hearts to Jesus, calling on His Name and repenting. Without a desire to turn from these sins, with open hearts and hand, these are sins that must be “pruned” as a Redemptive Tool: “idolaters” (those giving affection or decision-swaying priority to relationships and objects and desires and dreams of this world, thus God-replacement, idolatry), “haters,” “those disobedient to parents,” “the immoral” (the Greek word is “pornos”), “drunks,” “all liars,” “the materialistic,” “the covetous,” “the greedy,” “fornicators,” “gossips,” and “the loveless,” “the lukewarm,” “lovers of the world,” “those who rail and revile,” “the angry,” “the jealous,” “the sensual,” “those who create strife,” “the conceited,” “the divisive,” “the unbelieving,” “those without self-control,” “homosexuals,” “the cowardly,” “murderers,” “those with foul mouths,” and….
The Biblical list goes on, of demonstrations of separation from the Head—and necessarily then, by definition, separation from His Body.
Of course, none of these sins, including murder or any others, are “reason” to dis-Koinonia any person, if there is repentance and humility and honesty. But any of these and more, without repentance, would mandate that the Body respond to the Head, with obedience in love, and demonstrate the “broken relationship” with the Head, which they have chosen. Any Body that does not reflect the feelings of the Head is either very sick, or dying. The desired “end result” would always be redemption and reconciliation, out of hope of Repentance.