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William Andrew Dillard

Orchard owners look with great expectation to the trees under their care. They nourish, protect, and defend them from pestilence, and anything else that would prevent full fruition. They are happy with the many blossoms, small buds, and developing fruit. Anticipation of Harvest time is truly filled with excitement, and the joy of abundant blessings. But once harvest is over, then what? The tree is still valuable, but it has given all that it can give. There will be no more fruit to glean, and the eye of anticipation no longer sees as it did before. It is a tree, now ordinary and fruitless, having given all. It is interesting to note that this idea is presented in the Word with reference to our Lord and Savior.
In Psalm 22 which is prophetic of the life and sacrifice of Jesus, the word used to describe him in verse six is “reproach.” The verse states, “But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.” The word “worm” here is the “tolah” worm that was crushed to yield the blood used to dye fabrics with the color of royalty. The term “reproach” is a translation of the Hebrew word “Charaph.” which conveys the idea of a picked tree with nothing more to give. That term used here of Jesus describes how many people see Him as He has given all for the harvest of the souls of men. The people expected that the miracles He invoked for others would surely be invoked for Himself thus giving them a super personage in which to glory in the flesh. They were sadly disappointed.
However, while the forces of sin and evil rejoiced at the crucifixion, the crushing of that “tolah” worm, wrought robes of righteousness for the royal children of the King. Moreover, those who avail themselves of the fruit yielded by that tree find eternal, spiritual sustenance, and a white robe of royal righteousness in which to stand before the Creator. To the world, and to most of Jewish rulers, the tree was picked, and not worthy of a second glance, but to those who have tasted the fruit of that tree found life and hope of so much more that is to come.
So, how do you see Him dear reader? Is He a disappointment, or a wellspring of eternal joy? Is He a picked tree to be turned away from, or is He the Living Tree of Life with the fruit of eternal righteousness to all who receive Him in repentance and faith? My prayer is that you see Him as the latter, even the bread of life that one may eat and not hunger again; as the fruit of all righteousness that one may receive and have no sin imputed by the heavenly Father. There He is, the TREE at the crossroads of time and eternity in the life of everyone.

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I’ve had numerous brethren tell me that the “by their fruits” standard of Matthew 7:20 is not to be applied today. That’s a classic example of a right divider degenerating into a WRONG divider. The “by their fruits” principle of Matthew 7:20 is not only true in Matthew AND in the church age; it’s true ALL THROUGH THE WORD OF GOD! Please observe . . .

Matthew 7:18-20: “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore BY THEIR FRUITS YE SHALL KNOW THEM.”

Genesis 1:11: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding SEED, and the FRUIT tree yielding FRUIT after his kind, whose SEED is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.”

Proverbs 12:12: “The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the ROOT of the righteous yieldeth FRUIT.”

Isaiah 27:6: “He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take ROOT: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with FRUIT.”

Matthew 3:7-10: ““But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore FRUITS MEET FOR REPENTANCE: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth GOOD FRUIT is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”

Mark 4:7-8: “And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded NO FRUIT. And other fell on GOOD GROUND, and DID YIELD FRUIT that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.”

Luke 13:6-9: “He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and SOUGHT FRUIT thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come SEEKING FRUIT on this fig tree, and find none: CUT IT DOWN; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it BEAR FRUIT, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt CUT IT DOWN.”

Acts 26:19-20: “Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and DO WORKS MEET FOR REPENTANCE.”

II Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a NEW CREATURE: old things are passed away; behold, ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW.”

Galatians 5:22-24: “But the FRUIT of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s HAVE crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”

Ephesians 2:8-10: “For by grace are ye saved through FAITH; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. FOR we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto GOOD WORKS, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Colossians 1:3-6: ““We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your FAITH in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and BRINGETH FORTH FRUIT, as it doth ALSO IN YOU, SINCE THE DAY YE HEARD OF IT, and knew the grace of God in truth.”

I Thesalonians 1:2-3, 9: “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your WORK OF FAITH, and LABOUR OF LOVE, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father . . . ye turned to God FROM IDOLS TO SERVE the living and true God.”

Titus 1:16: “They PROFESS that they know God; but IN WORKS THEY DENY HIM, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work REPROBATE.”

It’s really not that hard, if you’ll just stick with the Book. SEED produces FRUIT. If you’ve been born of God’s SEED (I Pet. 1:23), you will produce God’s FRUIT. Simple. Leave it to the fundamental brethren to chop the principle to pieces and make the whole thing more confusing than a Chinese fire drill.

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William Andrew Dillard

In the world of Christian discipleship there are as many classes of folks as there are fruit producers in the parable of the seed and the sower, Matthew 13:2-8. The lifestyle of these folks parallel the seed effects falling on the wayside, in stony ground; among thorns, and in fertile soil. The latter ones are blessed beyond imagination whether they fit into the thirty, sixty, or hundredfold producers. The former categories forecast the sad state of those who choose another way of life than that which is produced by the nourished seed of faith. In attempts of self-justification, they may point to the failure to understand, and blame the forces of evil (birds) for snatching away the opportunity to understand wondrous truths when it was they who refused to open their heart, mind, and Bible. Then there are those whose lives reflect no depth of root and are scorched by the pressures of a sinful world.
Finally, there are those who will not deal with the social concerns, financial opportunities and other pressures of life promoted by the flesh, and who, as a result, miserably fail in discipleship. It just seems easier to give in to the world than do the proverbial paddling upstream of Christian discipline. Such as these do have a long lineage; a primary example of which is ancient Esau. To Esau, the things that could be his in the future paled in comparison to what he could have in the present, even if it was just a bowl of soup. He was hungry! So, why worry about pie in the sky when there is steak on the ground? Esau thus lost his birthright: a double portion of his father goods. He also lost out in the blessings of life that patriarchs were empowered to confer on their offspring. Upon realization of his miserable failure, Esau, saddened and enraged, lamented much, but to no avail. Crybaby projections are so unflattering and useless in foolish adults!
So, let all be warned. The scriptures do not say what they say in vain. The writer of Hebrews states quite forcefully that churches should be aware of the spiritual condition of their members to ensure their spiritual well-being. He said we should look diligently: “Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”
Some may be repulsed by this in the belief that reward is not to be gained or lost, but such an idea is foreign, even opposed to the scriptures. The Judgment Seat of Christ is for Christians, I Cor. 3:9-15. John’s admonition to avoid loss is to God’s people, 2 John 1:8. Let us not live so as to be Crybaby Losers on Reckoning Day! Judging the present state of “Christianity,” by standards of the Word, there will be plenty of them.

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Religious nuts and spiritual fruit – Song of Solomon 6:11 – I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates budded.

I often see pithy little sayings that sound good, yet are often misleading. One in particular is – God does not want spiritual nuts. Another is God wants “spiritual “ people, not “religious nuts.”

Here is my determination on this whole matter. I have included some dictionary terms for the benefit of those that like to create their own meanings to words. This will help us to be clear on definitions.

First the similarities: Zealous is – Marked by active interest and enthusiasm. Nuts is – Someone who is so ardently devoted to something that it resembles an addiction; “a car nut,” a “wrestling nut,” a “hunting nut,” a “family nut.” Do we notice the similarities in these terms? Phinehas was such a religious nut or zealous for the Lord that plunged a spear through a man and a woman and stayed a plague. Numbers 25:8-11 I am sure the nation was glad to have a religious nut in their presence.

Oh yes, we need to take a look at that word religious and how it compares to spiritual:
Religious – Concerned with sacred matters, religion or the church.
Having or showing belief in and reverence for a deity.
Spiritual – Concerned with sacred matters, religion or the church.
Concerned with or affecting the spirit or soul.

Wow!! I mean just wow. The first definition for each are the same. Let us not miss the implication here. There are some things we do religiously that have nothing to do with God, worship or the church. I am religious when I worship, read and pray to the one and only True God. There are other things that I do religiously that drive people nuts, specially my wife. Therefore we must look at the usage of the word.

Spiritual is a wonderful word. I have seen it used by an individual in this way – “I am not religious but I am spiritual. What does that mean? This person has their own definition for spiritual. Most often it is a rejection of the true God and a spiritual worship of self or earth or any other thing. This reminds us that the way a word is used is very important.

Revelation 3:19 – As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous (be a religious nut) therefore, and repent.

If we had more religious nuts, we might have more spiritual fruit.

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106 – April 16 – This Day in Baptist History Past


The Fruit of Compromise



The name of Dr. Peter Bainbridge should have gone down in Kentucky Baptist history as one of the distinguished leaders.  Peter was saved in his youth, and baptized by Reverend Joseph Reese on December 11, 1784. His training in theology was excellent, and he was ordained six years later on April 4, 1790, by Reverend Edmund Botsford.  He was trained in theology and medicine, serving both as pastor and physician.  With all these gifts, he married into wealth.  Eleanor McIntosh was the only daughter of General Alexander McIntosh.  Her father brought his wealth to America from Scotland and had been commissioned a General in the American Revolution. Eleanor was his heiress and had been reared in polished society.  After their marriage Peter practiced medicine and preached in South Carolina, Maryland, New York, and finally in Kentucky.  Though Peter doubtless loved the Lord and His Word, he did not hold firmly to standards of separation.  For instance, believing that music and dancing, under prudent restraints, were not inconsistent with purity of heart, he allowed his daughter to attend dancing parties, and to dance.  Peter was censured by the Elkhorn Association in Kentucky in 1798, but far worse than that, his daughters did not follow the Lord.  As old age approached, on April 16, 1819, Peter wrote the following to one of his daughters:    “My dear Ruthy, I want you to get religion  –  an interest in the blessed Jesus.  Lord!  How can I bear the thought of your being left behind?  O, that God would enlighten your mind, and pour His pardoning love into your soul, that we may all, at last . . . meet in a better world, never to part again!   May God give us pastors who are willing to be as narrow minded as God’s Word!


Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: “This Day in Baptist History III”  David L. Cummins. pp. 220 – 21.



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97 — April 07—This Day in Baptist History Past

A Patient Sowing and Enduring Bringeth Forth Fruit

“…not many noble, are called:” But thankfully He does call some.

On April 7 1657 – Henry Dunster, President of Cambridge College (now Harvard), was so stirred in his mind that he turned his attention to the subject of infant baptism and soon rejected it altogether. It was upon the persecution of Obadiah Holmes and others who had taken a strong stand for believers’ baptism that the faithfulness of Holmes, the publicity his enemies gave to his convictions, his willingness to suffer for convictions, and the beastliness of a church-state (Congregational), that denied its citizens religious freedom, all magnified the truth he propagated.

Dunster’s success in promoting Harvard by furthering its interests, collecting large sums of money in its behalf, and even giving one hundred acres to it, was marvelous and testified to his commitment to the institution. But he had a higher commitment to the truth of God and began to preach against infant baptism in the church at Cambridge in 1653, to the great alarm of the entire community. Armitage quotes Prince in pronouncing Dunster “‘one of the greatest masters of the Oriental languages that hath been known in these ends of the earth’, but he laid aside all his honors and positions in obedience to his convictions.”

Dunster was forced to resign his presidency of Harvard College, April 7, 1657, after which he was arraigned before the Middlesex court for refusing to have his child baptized.

Dr. Dale R. Hart from: Adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 141-142.


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