Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 78, 1898

“I am the True Vine.”

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, Australia

June 17, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 182.

“I am the true vine,” Christ declared. [John 15:1.] He used the figure of the vine, that as we look upon it, we may call to remembrance of his precious lessons. Rightly interpreted, nature is the mirror of Divinity. 13LtMs, Ms 78, 1898, par. 1

Christ pointed to the vine and its branches: I give you this lesson that you may understand My relationship to you and your relationship to Me. There was not the least excuse for His hearers to misunderstand His words. The figure He used was as a mirror held up before them, that they might understand His connection with them. 13LtMs, Ms 78, 1898, par. 2

This lesson will be repeated to the ends of the earth. All who receive Christ by faith become one with Him. The branches are not tied to the vine by any mechanical process or artificial fastening. They are united to the vine and have become part of it. They are nourished by the roots of the vine. So those who receive Christ by faith become one with Him in principle and action. They are united to Him, and the life they live is the life of the Son of God. They derive their life from Him who is life. 13LtMs, Ms 78, 1898, par. 3

Baptism may be repeated over and over again, but of itself it has no power to change the human heart. The heart must be united with Christ’s heart, the will must be submerged in His will, the mind must become one with His mind, the thoughts must be brought into captivity to Him. A man may be baptized, and his name placed on the church rolls, yet the heart may be unchanged. Hereditary and cultivated tendencies may still work evil in the character. 13LtMs, Ms 78, 1898, par. 4

The regenerated man has a vital union with Christ. As the branch derives its sustenance from the parent stock, and because of this, bears much fruit, so the true believer is united with Christ, and reveals in his life the fruits of the Spirit. The branch becomes one with the vine. Storm cannot carry it away. Frosts cannot destroy its vital properties. Nothing is able to separate it from the vine. It is a living branch, and it bears the fruit of the vine. So with the believer. By good words and good actions, he reveals the character of Christ. 13LtMs, Ms 78, 1898, par. 5

As the branch derives its nourishment from the vine, so all who are truly converted draw spiritual vitality from Christ. “Verily, verily, I say unto you,” He declared, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of God, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did manna in the wilderness and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live forever.” [John 6:53-58.] 13LtMs, Ms 78, 1898, par. 6

“Many therefore of the disciples, when they heard this, said, This is an hard saying, who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus know from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him, and he said, Therefore said I unto you, That no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” [Verses 60-68.] 13LtMs, Ms 78, 1898, par. 7