The  Fruitful  Vine

"Thy wife shall be as a FRUITFUL VINE by the sides of thy house." Psalm 128:3a

The Howling Firs                                            by  J.  Kirkpatrick
The Wind in the Trees                                    by  L.  Bixler


by J.  Kirkpatrick

In the last issue, we observed the "choice firs" that should not be cut down. "Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us." Isaiah 14:8

Are there any fir trees that should be cut down? In previous issues of Series Two, Build the House, we discovered that there were upright cedars, but that there were also cedars of pride. We also looked at the righteous willow, and its counterpart, the rebellious willow planting. Is this principle also true of the fir trees? Are there certain fir trees that will be cut down and destroyed in the fire? Consider...

"Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars.

Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: Howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down.

There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions, for the pride of Jordan is spoiled." Hosea 11:1-3

Behold! Observe the howling firs! Who are these? "There is a howling of the shepherds, for their glory is spoiled." The howling firs are the howling shepherds. To howl is to mourn and lament with sorrow, anxiety and distress. Why are the shepherds howling with sorrow, anxiety and distress?

"Behold! The Lord cometh forth out of His place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth.

And the mountains shall be molten under Him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, and as the waters that are poured down a steep place.

For the transgression of Jacob, and for the sins of the house of Israel.

And all the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, and all the hires thereof shall be burned with the fire, and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate: for she gathered it of the hire of an harlot, and they shall return to the hire of an harlot." Micah 1:3-5, & 7

The Lord has come upon the mountain and melted the fir's kingdom. Why? Because they have worshipped graven images, the works of their own hands. The hires, who worship the works of their own hands, shall be burned with fire? Who are the "hires".

"But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep." John 10:12-13

Just as there are "choice firs", true shepherds of the flock, there are also the "hireling firs" who care not for the sheep and will flee the sheep when the wolf appears. What will happen to the "hireling"?

"... and all the "hires" thereof shall be burned with the fire." Micah 1:7

There are two firs or two shepherds. The one cries out and weeps for the scattered flock because he has a true shepherd's heart. But there is another, and these are the "howling" firs who mourn and lament for their own glory is spoiled.

"Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock!" Zechariah 11:17a

"Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.

The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.

And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered." Ezekiel 34

       Should the "howling firs" be destroyed upon the mountains of Lebanon?

"Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock: for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel.

And the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape.

A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and an howling of the principal of the flock shall be heard: for the Lord hath spoiled their pasture." Jeremiah 25:24- 36

The "howling firs" shall fall like a pleasant vessel. Pleasant vessels are those fir vessels meant to be useful instruments, but instead have become vessels of dishonor.

"And the Lord said unto Zechariah, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd.

For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces.

Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! The sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened." Zechariah 11:15-17

The "howling firs", objects intended to be of great beauty and to band the body of Christ together, shall be cut asunder.

"...I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.

And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people.

Then I cut asunder mine other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel." Zechariah 11:7, 10, 14

"Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; Howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.

The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.

Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God." Joel 1:11-13

The "howling firs" are also rich men.

"Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.

Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth." James 1:1-4

"Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter." Isaiah 56:10

"Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord.

Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: Behold! I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord." Jeremiah 23:1-2

But there is hope in the "choice firs of Lebanon"! There is hope in the "pioneer" trees who will again take root downward and spring forth in all God's glory. There is hope in those shepherds who will begin to cry out a warning,

"Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is night at hand;

A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.

There is hope in the righteous plantings of the Lord! These are a great people like the world has never seen.

A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.

And the Lord shall utter his voice before His army: for His camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth His Word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?" Joel 2:1-3, 11

There is hope in the righteous plantings of the Lord!

"And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.

And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord." Jeremiah 23:3-4


by L. Bixler

"For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." *** Isaiah 55:12

The wind is the Spirit. It is talking and calling all the time. The wind has a lot of power. It is very powerful. It praises God all the time. It sings songs gently to us. Sometimes it has to get a little harder and louder to get us to listen. But it is always praising God.

In all of God's seasons, when the wind blows through the trees, they are clapping their hands. The leaves are going out with joy going to the Gates of Gold. The trees are clapping for joy that the leaves are going forth. They are going with the wind following the Holy Spirit, going all the way. The wind has picked them up and is taking them with it. The ones that refuse to go along, stay behind. But the trees still clap for those behind, encouraging them to come along. The trees are as angels clapping for joy for the leaves (us) who are going forth, going with the wind to the high places; to the gates of gold.

Let the wind blow us wherever it wants to take us.

Let it blow us in the water and rivers.

Love your sister in Christ, L. Bixler

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