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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 10 No.6 Be Fruitful And Multiply???

 

I’m sure the title turned a few heads, and yes we will be looking at what God says about ‘fruitfulness’, but not just in the way you may be thinking about. I find it interesting that our world is facing a great conflict of hatred and division. And while division is a statistical fact—it shouldn’t be the driving force of a nation, or of a “United” people. But what are we united in? There is only one place where we are truly united, and that is in Jesus and in our single-minded devotion to Him, to God’s Word, and to His ways. But we have allowed the world to separate us from God—the world and its sin! And sin will always separate us from God and also from one another. And we can’t multiply effectively, if we are divided, and separated.

Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened,

that it cannot save;

neither his ear heavy,

that it cannot hear:

2 But your iniquities have separated

between you

and your God,

and your sins have hid

his face

from you,

that he will not hear.

3 For your hands are defiled with blood,

and your fingers with iniquity;

your lips have spoken lies,

your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

4 None calleth for justice,

nor any pleadeth for truth:

they trust in vanity,

and speak lies;

they conceive mischief,

and bring forth iniquity.” Isaiah 59:1-4

Isaiah assessed the problem of his people, and their problem was SIN, just as it is ours today! Their choice to sin instead of repent and turn to God had separated them from their God—and we see these same things abounding around us today. I hope that you will rehearse the list that Isaiah gave us—they were violent (taking innocent blood), they dabbled in sin, they abounded in lies, and things that are willfully contrary to truth and goodness, while justice was ignored. No one wanted to seek God, or desired to hear truth, much less take a stand for it; instead they trusted in vanity, lies and deception; they multiplied mischief and sin in all their ways. When we continually commit sin, and live in it, we are being fruitful in the wrong things! James paints an amazing picture of the ‘fruit’ that sin brings forth.

From whence come wars and fightings

among you?

come they not hence,

even of your lusts

that war in your members?

2 Ye lust,

and have not:

ye kill,

and desire to have,

and cannot obtain:

ye fight and war,

yet ye have not,

because ye ask not.

3 Ye ask,

and receive not,

because ye ask amiss,

that ye may consume it

upon your lusts.

4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses,

know ye not that the friendship

of the world

is enmity with God?

whosoever therefore will be a friend

of the world

is the enemy of God.

5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain,

The spirit that dwelleth in us

lusteth to envy?

6 But he giveth more grace.

Wherefore he saith,

God resisteth the proud,

but giveth grace unto the humble.

7 Submit yourselves therefore

to God.

Resist the devil,

and he will flee from you.

8 Draw nigh to God,

and he will draw nigh to you.

Cleanse your hands,

ye sinners;

and purify your hearts,

ye double minded.

9 Be afflicted,

and mourn,

and weep:

let your laughter

be turned to mourning,

and your joy

to heaviness.

10 Humble yourselves

in the sight of the Lord,

and he shall lift you up.” James 4:1-10

James calls us to examine our lives and to be sure that we are living a life that seeks God and His ways, not the world and the lusts that drive people to do and say things that cause harm and shame God! What does this mean to us? I think it means we must not exalt ourselves, but instead we must simply “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up”! To multiply we must have life—the life of Jesus within us; we must be ‘born again’! Just as God gave life to Adam and Eve, He gives life to the lost sinner who comes to Him in repentance and faith in the substitutionary, atoning sacrifice of Jesus—the One who paid for our sin! Our only hope for ‘abundant life’!

What does all this have to do with the beginning? Let’s check it out to see.

So God created man

in his own image,

in the image of God

created he him;

male and female

created he them.

28 And God blessed them,

and God said unto them,

Be fruitful,

and multiply,

and replenish the earth,

and subdue it:

and have dominion over

the fish of the sea,

and over the fowl of the air,

and over every living thing

that moveth upon the earth.”    Genesis 1:27-28

God created man and commissioned him to “Be fruitful, and multiply,” Man was created by God for communion with Himself, and to be the compliment and crowning glory of His wonderful creation. He gave us a command to “Be fruitful, and multiply,” that there would be abundant life on His new earth. But was God only referring to reproduction in the physical realm? Or can we glean more from this instruction than just physical reproduction? God spoke a great word of encouragement about Abraham, and his relation to his offspring that gives us some insight into this area.

And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;

18 Seeing that Abraham

shall surely become a great

and mighty nation,

and all the nations of the earth

shall be blessed in him?

19 For I know him,

that he will command his children

and his household after him,

and they shall keep the way

of the LORD,

to do justice

and judgment;

that the LORD may bring upon Abraham

that which he hath spoken of him.”    Genesis 18:17-19

God knew that Abraham would not only multiply physically, but that he would multiply the spiritual direction of his family by commanding them in the way of the Lord. Moses also spoke to this same idea of what I call “spiritual fruitfulness”! We ought to multiply spiritually by spreading the gospel beginning in our families, and going out into the world as we have opportunity. The need is great and we are the only plan of God to spread the “Good News”. Moses gave clear instructions to this end!

Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it:

2 That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes

and his commandments,

which I command thee,

thou,

and thy son,

and thy son’s son,

all the days of thy life;

and that thy days

may be prolonged.

3 Hear therefore, O Israel,

and observe to do it;

that it may be well with thee,

and that ye may increase mightily,

as the LORD God

of thy fathers

hath promised thee,

in the land that floweth

with milk and honey.

4 Hear, O Israel:

The LORD our God is one LORD:

5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God

with all thine heart,

and with all thy soul,

and with all thy might.

6 And these words, which I command thee

this day,

shall be in thine heart:

7 And thou shalt teach them diligently

unto thy children,

and shalt talk of them

when thou sittest in thine house,

and when thou walkest by the way,

and when thou liest down,

and when thou risest up.

8 And thou shalt bind them

for a sign upon thine hand,

and they shall be as frontlets

between thine eyes.

9 And thou shalt write them

upon the posts of thy house,

and on thy gates……

20 And when thy son asketh thee

in time to come, saying,

What mean the testimonies,

and the statutes,

and the judgments,

which the LORD our God

hath commanded you?

21 Then thou shalt say unto thy son,

We were Pharaoh’s bondmen in Egypt;

and the LORD brought us out

of Egypt

with a mighty hand:”    Deuteronomy 6:1-9 & 20-21

God wants us to clearly understand that our first responsibility is to have a relationship with Him, to “love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” And in order to truly love God we must know Jesus (In the Old Testament, to believe that HE was coming, now to know that He has accomplished the promised salvation at Calvary and His resurrection!). We must understand that God’s love is imparted to those who receive The Son.  And when we know and love Him, we have the opportunity to share with our loved ones and live out our faith.

Therefore being justified by faith,

we have peace with God

through our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 By whom also we have access

by faith

into this grace

wherein we stand,

and rejoice

in hope of the glory of God.

3 And not only so,

but we glory in tribulations also:

knowing that tribulation

worketh patience;

4 And patience,

experience;

and experience,

hope:

5 And hope

maketh not ashamed;

because the love of God

is shed abroad in our hearts

by the Holy Ghost

which is given unto us.

6 For when we were yet without strength,

in due time

Christ died for the ungodly.

7 For scarcely for a righteous man

will one die:

yet peradventure for a good man

some would even dare to die.

8 But God commendeth his love

toward us,

in that,

while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us.”    Romans 5:1-8

God multiplied His love, in Jesus, at the cross and by putting His love into those who come to Jesus! Not that we deserved it, or earned it, but because God chose to love us first, and we cant’ help but to share the love and grace He gives to us with all He places in our path.

But as many as received him,

to them gave he power

to become the sons of God,

even to them

that believe on his name:

13 Which were born,

not of blood,

nor of the will of the flesh,

nor of the will of man,

but of God.” John 1:12-13

And John expands this teaching again in 1 John.

Whosoever shall confess

that Jesus is the Son of God,

God dwelleth in him,

and he in God.

16 And we have known and believed

the love that God hath to us.

God is love;

and he that dwelleth in love

dwelleth in God,

and God in him.

17 Herein is our love made perfect,

that we may have boldness

in the day of judgment:

because as he is,

so are we in this world.

18 There is no fear in love;

but perfect love casteth out fear:

because fear hath torment.

He that feareth

is not made perfect in love.

19 We love him,

because he first loved us.

20 If a man say,

I love God,

and hateth his brother,

he is a liar:

for he that loveth not his brother

whom he hath seen,

how can he love God

whom he hath not seen?

21 And this commandment have we from him,

That he who loveth God

love his brother also.”   1 John 4:15-21

Once again, we have a picture of the love of God that is given to us to be shared with others. God’s love will reflect itself in our responses and our actions toward others.

But there is even more in scripture that helps us understand the import of ‘fruitfulness’ in our lives—both physical and spiritual. We are to love God, life, and children—all which originate with God and His grace!

Lo, children

are an heritage of the LORD:

and the fruit of the womb

is his reward.

4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man;

so are children of the youth.

5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver

full of them:

             they shall not be ashamed,

but they shall speak

with the enemies in the gate.”    Psalm 127:3-5

It saddens my heart that our culture claims to ‘love’ children, yet we kill the unborn, we choose self over parenthood, and we weigh parenthood by its convenience and cost, not by The Word of God! God says that children are His blessing—but are we choosing to pursue God’s blessings or the so-called blessings of the world—self, material gain and avoidance of parentage. It seems that we want to be ‘happy’ in our own ways—not God’s ways. But even more importantly we are also avoiding spiritual parentage. When we do help someone come to Jesus, we often abandon them to the world, rather than nourishing them and bringing them to spiritual maturity, a principle that is true in both the physical realm and the spiritual.

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

Did you get that, “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”? We are to be fruitful and multiply on all fronts, and as Paul so aptly put it—the fruit is the evidence—both physical fruitfulness and spiritual fruitfulness!

This I say then,

Walk in the Spirit,

and ye shall not fulfil the lust

of the flesh………

18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these;

Adultery,

fornication,

uncleanness,

lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry,

witchcraft,

hatred,

variance,

emulations,

wrath,

strife,

seditions,

heresies,

21 Envyings,

murders,
drunkenness,

revellings,

and such like:

of the which I tell you before,

as I have also told you in time past,

that they which do such things

shall not inherit

the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is

love,

joy,

peace,

longsuffering,

gentleness,

goodness,

faith,

23 Meekness,

temperance:

against such there is no law.

24 And they that are Christ’s

have crucified the flesh

with the affections

and lusts.

25 If we live in the Spirit,

let us also walk in the Spirit.”     Portions of Galatians 5:17-25

Our actions are our fruit; both physical and spiritual. And notice, it’s the “fruit” of the Spirit, not the ‘fruits’! God’s Spirit and His work within the redeemed is the evidence of His love within us that manifests itself in multiplied ways!!! So my question for today is, “Are we being fruitful, and multiplying in this world?” Do we truly have God’s vision toward physical life? Do we truly have God’s vision toward spiritual multiplication in this world? Am I doing my part? I pray that God will open our eyes to see as He sees. May we truly believe and sing together:

Be Thou My Vision”!!! (By Dallon Forgaill)

May we see with God’s eyes in the physical and the spiritual!!  Amen and Amen!