Bringing Forth Fruit for Eternal Life
“As for the one sown upon the right kind of soil, this is the one hearing the word and getting the sense of it, who really does bear fruit and produces, this one a hundredfold, that one sixty, the other thirty.”—Matt. 13:23, NW.
JEHOVAH takes pleasure in fruitfulness, especially where it results in everlasting life. Where there is fruit there is life, and what bears good fruit deserves to live. Every farmer feels joy and satisfaction in the productiveness of land under his cultivation. Not less true is this of the greatest farmer of them all, and he is Jehovah God. It was on the third day of creation that this great Cultivator of all the earth issued the fiat: “Let the earth put forth grass, herbs yielding seed, and fruit-trees bearing fruit after their kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth.” You see, he had not created this earth to be a waste. Days later, before he made man and woman, “Jehovah God planted a garden eastward, in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made Jehovah God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Gen. 1:11; 2:8, 9, AS) To this perfect man the great Cultivator let out the earth for him and his future family to till it and look after it, extending the garden of Eden all around the globe to make it a paradise of pleasure. The great Cultivator will yet realize this paradise purpose of his, that obedient mankind may enjoy eternal life in a happy home. Their eating of the perfect fruits of this earthly paradise will sustain their lives forevermore.
2 The adversary of God and of man sowed the seeds of doubt and distrust in the heart of the woman in Eden. They took root in her and brought forth fruit in the form of disregard of her husband’s headship and disobedience to God. Through the woman the adversary sowed in her husband’s heart the seeds of love of wife more than the love of Jehovah God, which was, in effect, a love more of himself than of God. Such seeds of selfishness rooted themselves in his heart and brought forth under his wife’s cultivation fruit in the form of willful violation of Jehovah’s law against eating the forbidden fruit. The fruitage thus brought forth by Adam and Eve met with God’s disapproval, for it showed obedience to the will of the adversary, Satan the Devil, rather than God’s will. And so it was a fruitage that led to death and destruction, and not to everlasting life in the paradise of pleasure. God sentenced the disobedient pair to death and drove them from the garden of Eden, out of reach of the “tree of life”, that they might not “eat, and live for ever”. (Gen. 3:1-24) When pronouncing sentence upon the adversary who, like a serpent, had schemed to lead mankind into disobedience, Jehovah God declared his purpose to set up a new government for the vindication of Him as the universe’s Sovereign whom all mankind ought to obey. He declared his purpose to bring this government forth from the womb of his heavenly universal organization and to have it break up the works of the Serpent.—1 John 3:8, NW.
3 The heavenly universal organization loved God. Hence she had no love for the Serpent. So, too, the new government to which God’s womanlike organization would give birth was certain to love God and hate the Serpent. God determined to test and prove the loyalty of this government by letting the Serpent wound the heel of its chief member, its King, the Seed of God’s woman. Then by this proved loyal government God purposed to destroy utterly the Serpent and all the wicked offspring which the Serpent would bring forth. In this way God purposed to bring back all the earth and its inhabitants under the universal sovereignty of God and to restore paradise and make it earth-wide. All this is included in his cryptic words to the Serpent, Satan the Devil: “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt wound his heel.” (Gen. 3:15, Le) Four thousand years later God’s Son from heaven, Jesus Christ, suffered the heel wound and was raised from the dead and returned to heaven to become King. Then his apostle Paul wrote to the King’s faithful followers: “For his part, the God who gives peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.” (Rom. 16:20, NW) The time is very short now till Satan and his seed are crushed and paradise is afterward restored on earth.
4 When suffering the wounding of his heel by dying on the torture stake at Calvary Jesus Christ gave promise of the restoring of paradise to earth. The evildoer hanging alongside him had just said sympathetically: “Jesus, remember me when you get into your kingdom.” Jesus showed the resurrection hope which was set before this evildoer and all mankind in their graves by saying to him: “Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:42, 43, NW; Ro) This evildoer had not been a follower of Jesus Christ and so could hope only for paradise as the place for him to gain everlasting life. However, during the three and a half years of Jesus’ teaching campaign among the Jews he had invited believers to become his footstep followers, forsaking this world. He held before them no earthly paradise hope, but a heavenly hope. He told them of his returning to heaven to receive the kingship in the government of a new world, and he invited them to prove themselves worthy to share with him in his heavenly kingdom. To this end he told them many parables or illustrations and explained the meaning of these to them. Among other requirements, they must be fruitful to the praise of God and his kingdom. Fruit of this kind results in eternal life for the fruitbearer, whereas the fruit that Eve and Adam brought forth in Eden resulted in death for us all. To illustrate this, Jesus, in the second year of his public lecture campaign, gave his parable of the sower of seed. Life seekers will be interested in studying it in the article that next follows.