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The Seed Is Not Heir With The Shuck

John Collins01/25/2013Ezekiel 15 tells of how Jerusalem was considered worthless to God, because the leaders of the city were no longer producing spiritual fruit for God.  Because of their worthlessness, God said that he was going to burn the city and make it desolate.

God compared Jerusalem to a grapevine, one that produced no fruit.  Though the vine mingled with the wood of the forest, the wood of the vine itself was worthless.  The wood of the vine could not be used for any type of construction, and the vine produced no fruit for wine.  What good was it?

God said that He had given it to the fire for fuel, burning it from both ends, and asked Ezekiel if the charred middle was worth anything.  Having been burnt from both ends, the vine would not have even made good charcoal.

When the vine was whole, God said, it was used for nothing.  The people of Jerusalem were not producing spiritual fruit, and therefore had made an empty vine.  How much more worthless, God asked, after it was consumed by fire!

God told Ezekiel that because Jerusalem produced no fruit, he had given the inhabitants of Jerusalem to the fire for fuel, just as the grapevine He described.  God had set his face against them, and though they may escape from the fire, the fire will still consume them.  All will know that God is Yahweh when His face is set against them, and He will make the land desolate because they acted faithlessly.  

Though this prophecy is regarding Israel, we find it very similar to the religious cults that have risen.  Each false prophet lies in a worthless grave, but from that grave grows a grapevine.  

While the cult leaders were alive, there seemed to be great fruits of the Spirit.  John Alexander Dowie had an unparalleled healing ministry, one that brought over a hundred thousand followers to the city of Zion, Illinois.  William Branham tried to copy Dowie, and though he was not as successful, Branham's fame confused people into believing that he also was from a vine that would produce fruit.

Now that these seeds are dead and gone, and the vine continues to grow, we find that the vine is dead with them.  There are no great and mighty healing campaigns from the following, and so all of the followers point back to the seed for their justification in remaining in the vine.  While the vine is being burned from both ends, they continue to travel to the singed middle, thinking that the dead wood is somehow useful.  

Now that they are left with dead vines, these religious cults point back to the seed which is dead and gone.  Many of them look for their dead seed to return, however it has already been burned away by God for the false prophecy and false teaching.

Branham placed his emphasis on his healing ministry, using scriptures proclaiming the signs that would follow those that believed in Jesus Christ.  But God does not look for signs, he looks for spiritual growth.  While Branham claimed that his ministry was the "original seed" in a 1965 sermon entitled "The Seed is not Heir With The Shuck," we find that we would one day learn that the rotten shuck he spoke against was actually his own ministry.  

Branham claimed that the shuck, the part of the growth that is cast aside, was the denominations of this world.  To be separate from the part that is to be cast aside, Branham claimed that you must follow his teachings.  But while that vine was still growing, other churches taught that you must follow Christ and God's teachings.  Now, while great healers have never been grown from the useless vine, new converts to Christ are being produced in the churches that do not follow Branham's false teachings.

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  Are we glad that we are no longer part of the dying vine?  Are we glad that we have joined churches that are producing spiritual fruit, converts to Christ?  Are we rejoicing as we see one more lost soul give his heart to the Lord and praise God for the salvation of His soul?  Or are we still part of the dead vine, looking for signs and wonders as our spiritual fruit from a burned, rotton shuck?