The husband’s patience for earth’s precious fruit

My friend, Evangelist Phil Patchett, sent an archival sermon from which this article’s Holy Spirit inspiration is derived. It was preached on Thanksgiving eve of 1978 in Baltimore, Maryland, by the late Frederick B. Marine.

It is time to think spring. It is now 2017. Happy New Year. The expected warmth of planting season is dear to us. Almighty Jehovah God promises us he “will give us meat in due season.” Spiritually speaking, Paul reminds the Corinthians (KJV): “Doesn’t nature teach you?” James 5:7-8; “Be patient therefore brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient, stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.”

Husbandman is defined as: Farmer, grower, cultivator, planter. Agriculture: Farming cultivation, crop growing and gardening. Horticulture: The science of gardening; cultivation of flowers, shrubs, vegetables, herbs and fruits. Jesus is the true vine! John’s Gospel chapter 15:1-2; “I am the vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 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.”

Verse 3 beckons the born again, sanctified, spiritual believer to abide in Christ, and him in us, being clean through his spoken word. v4) “Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more than ye, except ye abide in me.” Verse 5 paraphrased: Every branch abiding in Christ the true vine, will bring forth plentiful fruit. Without Jesus we can do nothing. While naturally trimming trees and shrubbery, loose branches are cut and burned. Verse 6 warns that branches not abiding in Christ will be cast into everlasting fire.

Isaiah prophecies of Christ’s incarnation in chapter 53 verse 2; ‘He shall grow up before him as a tender plant; and as a root out of a dry ground.’ Jesus describes his death and resurrection for Adam’s sin, as a ‘corn of wheat that must die’ to bring about precious life. If the seed doesn’t die (or sprout) in the ground, ‘abiding alone, it will not spring up into everlasting life.’

An old gardener’s rhyme speaks about planting five kernels to a hill: “One for the woodchuck, one for the crow, one for the weather and two to grow.” Jesus refers to the parable concerning the sower in Matthew 13:3-9, and spiritually interprets it’s meaning in verses 18-23. Some seeds were taken by the fowls of the air (Satan); some seeds fell among rocks with little root depth; some in thorns and thistles where temporal concerns choke out spiritual life. Some fell into good earth producing 30, 60, or 100 percent fruit. For vegetation to grow, biblically speaking, it needs the former rain (or spring rain) and the latter rain (or autumn rain). Both rains are important to produce a quality harvest. Obedience to Jehovah God’s word is paramount for a great agricultural harvest and for a spiritual harvest of souls turning to Christ.

Deuteronomy 11:13-17 is speaking to us, the engrafted Israel of God: “And it shall come to pass, If you shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine (grape juice) and thine oil.

And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; And then the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from all the good land the Lord giveth you.”

Joel prophecies about disobedience to God that produces: ‘a wasted vine, barked fig tree, field corn wasted, oil and wine dried up and oil languished.’ “Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished;” (Joel 1:11).  Jeremiah 8:20; “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”

Repentance and abiding in the Lord will bring renewal. Joel speaks: “Fear not, O Land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things.” Vines, pastures, the fig and other trees will yield their strength. The former and latter rain will fall. “And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.”

Pastor Fred Marine, an accomplished planter, described destructive insects by name: Palmerworm, locust, grasshopper, army worm, wire worm, flea beetle, the corn borer, the southwest and northwest corn borers, (various destructive moths whose larvae consumes the crown and stem of an ear of corn). These insects are like Satan’s destructive attack on our Christian faith and eternal soul. Saints may hide their infestation for awhile, but the bugs’ work will manifest eventually. Joel continues in 2:25; “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.”

A garden must be cultivated with fertilizer, water, sunshine, insecticides and tools such as a hoe, rake, spade and plow. It must be constantly protected from wild life, weeds, destructive weather and pestilences. Two farmers experiencing drought, prayed for rain. When God sent the rain, one famer’s field was destroyed, the other’s produced a good crop. The successful farmer by faith, prepared his field for rain.

The Holy Ghost won’t take control and cultivate our lives until we shed some things. Stop loving this present world. If we lay down on the job, the worldly bugs will invade our spiritual life. Man’s first occupation was farming. Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden of Eden because of sin’s curse. From the sweat of the brow they would till the very ground mankind came from; (see Genesis chapters 2-3).

Jesus told us to continue in his love by keeping his commandments as he abided in the Father’s love to keep his commandments. Jude 21 instructs us to keep in God’s love. Paul tells Corinth without love we are nothing. Jesus in Revelation 2:4 warns to rekindle our first love for him. Galatians 5:22-23 mentions the fruit of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.

In our own spiritual lives, the sower Christ, plants the precious seed into our souls. Jesus saves, Jesus heals, he sanctifies, he fills with the Holy Ghost. He wants maturity for Christian saints (set apart from the world), and abiding in him. A hungry person will eat. Pray for a hunger and thirst for the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Break up our dry, fallow ground. As David, hide the Word of God in our hearts, to keep us from sinning. Christ will take out that stony heart and give us a tender heart of flesh. Hosea 10:12a; “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground.” Hosea 10:13; “Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way in the multitude of thy mighty men.”

Galatians 3:3; “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” ‘We reap what we sow.’ ‘Sow in tears, reap in joy.’ The Holy Ghost will remind us to regularly attend church. David said, ‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go unto the house of the Lord.’ By receiving the genuine baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire with the evidence of speaking with other tongues, you’ll love attending the house of God, without being begged.

The Rev. Frederick Marine shared about a congregant who stayed home from church to soak the corn on their foot. Brother Fred asked them why they couldn’t soak their corn on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and attend on the Thursday midweek service?  Their reply: ‘They would be there in spirit.’ He replied (to paraphrase): ‘We don’t want that type of spirit here tonight.’ “The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.”

Please join us at the Elkins Church of God of Prophecy at 43 Gilmore St. Gilmore street intersects with Ervin Lane. Our service times are Sundays at 2 p.m. for Sunday School and at 3 p.m. for worship service. Wednesdays begin at 6:45 p.m. for Bible study. The second Wednesday each month is Women’s ministries with Sister Sallie Pyle. For more information, call Pastor Stephen W. Pyle at 304-637-0073, email, go to Facebook at Stephen Pyle Elkins or the closed group at Elkins Church of God of Prophecy.