The Tree And The Vine: Part 4
Imam W. D. Muhammad
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; Peace and Blessings upon His Servant and His Messenger, Muhammad, forever. Amen.
There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
My Dear Brothers and Sisters:
In the scriptural symbolism that we have been discussing in this article, "vine" represents a people who have repented and who have been transformed by God from a serpent, crawling on its belly, to a vine. All life grows out of the earth and it must feed from the earth, but the vine grows out of the earth and then it moves along on the earth keeping itself in the earth. The vine produces more fruit than it produces fire wood. In proportion to the amount of wood in the tree and in the vine, the vine bears much more fruit than the tree. After the vine has produced many baskets of fruit, we can pull it out of the ground with one hand.
In last week's article we talked about the tree and the vine, mentioning the book of Ezekiel 15:1-8. This week we want to look at the book of St. John 15:1-8. Do not think that it is a coincidence that the vine is the subject of the first eight verses of the 15th chapters in both the book of Ezekiel and the book of St. John.
1. I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that a bideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6. It a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
Holy Bible, John: 15, verses 1 - 8
Jesus: A Mind
In the above scripture, Jesus describes himself as a vine with fruit bearing branches. The "branch" represents the disciples who believed in Jesus and who accepted him, and the "fruit" represents their converts. When Jesus said that the disciples must abide in him (in his body), he was referring to the body of Christ or the religious society that followed his teachings. The return of Jesus in the Bible does not mean the return of the prophet's physical body; Jesus did not see himself as just a physical person, so he was referring to his society (congregation) when he spoke of his "body."
What part of the prophet's physical human body do the people need to lead them into spiritual truth? The hands, the feet, and other parts of the prophet's physical body are only necessary for the prophet himself. They serve his needs as a vehicle of movement to carry the real man (mind) that is inside the physical body. The people do not need the physical body of the prophet, they need his mind. Jesus, knowing where the truth lay, never describe himself as a physical body. He always described himself as mind, and not whole mind, because he had some mind of his own. He described himself as "the word." "The word" is that part of his mind that was the word of God. Jesus did not want the people to see him as a person, but he wanted them to see him as God's truth.
Jesus Brought The Word Of God
He said that in the beginning was the word and the word took on flesh. He also said that in the word was God. He wanted the people to accept the word of God that he conveyed to them, but he wanted them to keep his physical body and his personal life out of the picture. In the teachings on Jesus, we do not find much information on his personal life, we only find the three years of his life that covered his ministry. The part of a prophet's life that is not directly related to his ministry is of no use to a people who only want the word of God. If we see this description of Jesus correctly, we will see his body as something that will perish in part because it is not something that is whole and perfect. Most Christians teach that Jesus was perfect both in spirit and body, but in the above scripture Jesus is saying that the branches of his body are capable of failing to produce fruit. When this happens, God takes that branch out of his body.
God's Word Cleans You
The congregation that began first with his disciples was never perfect. Jesus did not say that you are made clean through him, be said that you are made clean through the word (of God). Jesus wanted the people to become one society by becoming branches of his ministry and by accepting the divine word of God that he taught them. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, a branch that is thrown out from a vine cannot bear any fruit and it will become nothing but firewood. Jesus was telling his disciples that the water of God was in him and that they could not get it unless they joined onto him. Those branches that joined on to his vine were told that they would bring forth much fruit because the water (the knowledge of God) would go from the vine into the branches that had joined onto the vine. His disciples could do nothing in the ministry without Jesus.
They had to accept his ministry before they could bear fruit (converts) to the ministry. If they had rebelled against Jesus, they would have had no life of divine with which to bear fruit. If they had not stayed in touch with the truth of the ministry of Jesus, they would have become separate from the water life (truth) they would have dried up, they would have lost their human form and their moral body, and they would have become materialistic. Because they were only little "branches," they would have become fuel for fire. The strong men in the society would have taken their little branches and thrown them into their fire. If you are in the vine as a branch of the vine, your body has become one with that body. The congregation of the religious society becomes one body of many branches. The trunk of the tree or the trunk of the vine is the prophet of God. If the people accept the prophet into their hearts, their ears will open to the message that he is giving them. If they are made a convert directly by the prophet, they become "branches" and if they are made converts through a disciple of the prophet, they are "fruit."
The "Immaculate Conception "
The above scripture says they taught that his father would be glorified in the bearing of fruit by the disciples. Jesus made it very clear that he was not talking about an earthly father of flesh, but a spiritual father (a heavenly father). A heavenly father is seen in a spiritual concept and spirit does not beget (birth) flesh. Spirit begets spirit. I too believe in the "Immaculate Conception" of Jesus, but the world has been for off the path of the true understanding of its meaning. The Bible never says that Jesus' physical body came from "heaven," it teaches that Jesus' physical body came from the earth. It died in the earth because it was of the earth and it had to be turned to the earth. Jesus' body did go to "heaven," but the spiritually ignorant people have the wrong idea of heaven. You can stay right on the earth and still go to "heaven."
The Heaven Of God
After Jesus left, his body (congregation) was blessed with the holy spirit, or the holy ghost, and in this sense it went to heaven, whole soul and body. This means that spiritually, and as a physical body, the people who followed the teachings of Jesus came into a new understanding of the spirit of God. The »heaven of God is right here on this earth. Jesus never said for us to go "up" to heaven. He said that if you want to see the kingdom of God you must be born again. You do not have to go on some kind of unnatural "trip" to see God. If you really want to go to heaven and to see God, stay right here on the earth and be transformed by the word of God.
Your Brother, W.D. Muhammad