Yeartext for 1979
“My Father is glorified in this, that you keep bearing much fruit and prove yourselves my disciples.”—John 15:8.
In its 1,950th year of life, and yet it is still bearing much good fruit! That is the case record of the “vine” that Jehovah God planted back in the year 29 C.E., and what a credit this is to him! How the abundance of fruit of this “vine” glorifies him! We who have tasted of its good fruit know that very well.
“I am the true vine,” said the Son of God, Jesus Christ, “and my Father is the cultivator.” Just as this great Cultivator made the literal grapevine to be fruitful for the enjoyment of others, so he purposed for this spiritual “vine” to be a fruitful thing. From its first planting he has cultivated it that it may never fail to produce, but, rather, that it may increase its fruitage. Jesus Christ, the Son of this Cultivator, would not want his heavenly Father to suffer any loss of glory by being an unproductive “vine.” Exemplarily he himself was most fruitful, and he worked to produce “branches” in union with him. These were disciples who would imbibe the sap, the spirit, of the “vine” and then produce much fruit.—John 15:1-5.
This is just what the first “branches” did. On the day of Pentecost, by means of the glorified Jesus Christ, “the true vine,” God’s holy spirit was poured out on about 120 “branches.” These proved themselves to be his disciples, his “branches,” by giving a live witness to the thousands of Jews and Jewish proselytes who were attracted to the scene. About 3,000 of these partook of the spiritual fruit held out to them. They accepted the witness as setting out the truthful facts about Jesus Christ and then testified to their belief by getting baptized in water in the name of the Messiah Jesus. By thus becoming united to the “true vine” they too received the holy spirit and became “branches” in the Christ “vine.”
Did this work out for the glory of the Cultivator of the “true vine”? Yes, for concerning the growing numbers of the disciples the sacred record says that they were “praising God and finding favor with all the people. At the same time Jehovah continued to join to them daily those being saved”—Acts 2:47.
Today those who are spirit-anointed “branches” of the Christ “vine” make up only the final remnant of the foreordained 144,000. What Jesus said 19 centuries ago to his apostolic “branches” applies to this remnant also: They are under obligation to bear much fruit. By doing this they prove their discipleship, their union with the “true vine,” Jesus Christ. This calls for, them, of course, to produce the “fruitage of the spirit.” (Gal. 5:22, 23) They have offered the benefit of this spiritual fruitage to the people of all the nations of the earth in this time of spiritual famine. How? By their activities in giving a worldwide witness.
A grapevine is a plant organization. True to form, the “branches” in the Christ “vine” must act in an organized way in union with Jesus Christ. As a united organization they must offer to all mankind the benefits of their spiritual fruitage, displaying true Christian qualities in giving the final worldwide witness to the now-established kingdom of God.—Matt. 24:14; Mark 13:10.
Those who are already an international “great crowd” have benefited. For this they are glorifying Jehovah God. They have associated themselves intimately with the vinelike organization. Rather than enjoying the goodness of the “vine” by themselves, they seek to develop Christlike qualities and to express these in activity. They cannot keep their joy to themselves. It is something to be shared.—Rev. 7:9, 10, 15.
The end of the world’s joyless system of things is becoming more threatening every day. The opportune time for preaching “this good news of the kingdom” is nearing its limit. So the urgency for getting “this good news of the kingdom” to the people of this imperiled world increases all the time. Those who respond to the increasing urgency will display genuine Christlike qualities. Who, then, will share in causing God to be glorified by the bearing of much fruit? May it be each one of us!