CUT IT DOWN
Dr. D. K. Olukoya
Beloved, you are not in this world by accident as there is a divine purpose for your creation. Eventually, we all shall give account of what we have done with our lives. I want you to read our message for this week prayerfully and as you do so, the Lord will open your eyes to areas in your life that need urgent surgical operations.
Let us start by reading the gospel according to St. Luke 13: 6- 9:
“He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.” The Bible says, “Buy the truth and sell it not.” The Bible also says,
“You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32).
I would like you to meditate on these Scriptures.
Truth is very stubborn. You can do whatever you like to with it and it will still stand because it is the truth. It is also very expensive and unfortunately, becoming scarce commodity even in the house of God. It is gradually becoming a rare commodity even in the lives of born again Christians. Lies, it is said, may dominate for years but when the truth comes it breaks them into irreparable pieces. Until you call a particular thing what God calls it, you are still joking.
Brother Stephen in the Bible was dragged before the Jewish people to defend himself, being accused of preaching against the temple and wanting to change Moses’ laws. With boldness he told them the truth by calling them what they really were, “stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart whose forefathers specialized in persecuting prophets.” They became mad.
Acts 7:54: “When they heard these things they were cut to the heart and they gnashed on him with their teeth.”
When you come to the house of God and hear the truth, it should yield fruit in your life. It is possible for you to love the truth but it is only when you do it that it will set you free. There is nothing like half truth. It is lie as far as the Bible is concerned.
Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
The best insecticide against error is the truth hence the common saying that truth is always bitter. Right now if you can locate any falsehood in your life you need to talk to the Lord, ask Him to flush out every falsehood in your life, in Jesus’ name.
A certain woman was rushed to me and said her husband had just thrown out her belongings and asked her to go and that he had also burnt her passport. She gave a catalogue of the man’s wickedness and I was moved by the story. I requested that we saw the man together. Shortly before we got to their home, we saw her husband going out, and guess what happened. The woman pointed at him and said, “Doctor, that is him crawling out like a snake.” Then I said, “Sorry, madam, if you can call him a snake in my presence, I wonder what you will call him at my back.” The truth is that it was not the man that was the problem, rather it was the woman’s tongue.
All the secret sins that some of us are committing could be likened to a sleeping dog which will eventually wake up and be seen by everybody. It is difficult to cover a sin for you have to commit another sin to cover the previous one, and as this progresses the devil drags you farther and farther. Samson began to joke with his call, then he began to tell lies. He lied to cover up his former lies until the Spirit of God left him. One man of God said that when the Spirit of God came upon the apostles on the day of Pentecost, there was a sound of a great rushing mighty wind, but that when the Holy Spirit decides to depart from somebody’s life, He would leave quietly. Samson did not know that the Spirit of God had left him at the time he was captured. He had become what we call an empty barrel. And talking about empty barrels, many are found in the house of God today. They are found speaking different languages, shouting, preaching, but as far as God and the devil are concerned they are just empty barrels. Secret sins in a life will constitute the root of many other sins.
Perhaps you have been going to a particular ministry for sometime now. It is good for you to review how profitable that place has been to you. One of the greatest tragedies of life is wasted time, for it is never recovered. Beloved, it is possible for someone to be making a loud noise yet he is saying nothing. Your actions in the church do not really matter. The most important thing is how you react to issues when you get out of the church. The devil will be very stupid to grab you in the house of God, for he knows that he cannot withstand the power of corporate prayers. What is in the temperature of your spiritual life now? Is it the Holy Spirit alone that is pasturing your life? Please, get me right, I am not asking whether you are a pastor, a general overseer or what have you. You may talk about the speck in your brother’s eyes while leaving the log in your own eyes, but know that God Almighty is going to cut you down if you are unproductive.
Why we plant orange trees is because we want it to produce fruits and we will not be happy if the tree is only producing leaves and flowers. God has planted us here to bear spiritual fruits. He is the heavenly Gardener. Recall the earlier passage of Luke 13: 6-9 : “He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree; and find none: cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering, said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it. And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.”
Jesus was displeased because the tree was fruitless so He gave an order to cut it down for it was using the space that a fruitful tree should be occupying. Who do you think Jesus was talking about? What do you think He means? That is why I say you must know your purpose here on earth. Are you a fruitful Christian? Can you say that since you were born again you have done anything profitable for God? Or your life has been characterized by requests to God only? What have you done for Him? Don’t you know that the Lord has been waiting for a long time for your life to produce fruit? How sad would it be if you disappoint Jesus? That fig tree that failed to give the Lord Jesus fruits to eat when He was hungry,disappointed Him. The Lord therefore promptly pronounced a curse upon it that, “No man shall eat from you thereafter.” Carefully put, He told the tree that it would never bear fruit anymore. And expectedly, the tree dried to its roots. What tragedy it would be if the heavenly Gardener comes to us and finds the same spiritual fruitlessness in us and pronounces the same curse? What a calamity it would be for God to say, “Replace him.” God cannot leave a vacuum in His kingdom. And to every unprofitable tree that command will eventually come and please will not be useful because God will certainly cut it down.
Take the case of Joseph’s two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. Father Jacob deliberately placed his right hand on the junior whilst his left hand was on the senior, meaning that Manasseh had been replaced.
A particular generation of Israelites left Egypt to the promised land. But one day, they began to say that they were like grasshoppers and were unable to do anything. So, God said, “Since you say that you are grasshoppers, you are grasshoppers indeed and you will not get there.” A new generation with only Joshua and Caleb from the 600,000 people that started the journey entered into the promised land.
Some of us are pushing ourselves into a position where God will say, “I give up on this one because he is not serious.” What a disaster it will be for the heavenly Gardener to cry, “Cut it down.” There are already thousands of saints in heaven crying to God day and night to bring His timetable of man to a close, so that they can enter into glory. Yet the Lord is waiting for more who are wasting their lives now instead of coming to repentance.
The Bible says, “Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, neither has it entered the heart of man what the Lord has planned for His people. Sometime ago, a Korean pastor died seven days after the death of his wife. Many people thought it was the shock of his wife’s death that killed him. While they were preparing his body for burial according to Korean custom, he woke up and said that he was not dead. Then he narrated the vision the Lord showed him. He said he saw his wife in heaven in her beautiful mansion. He was also shown his own mansion that was not as beautiful as his wife. In fact, it had no roof. He was told that his wife’s house was more beautiful because she had sent more materials up than he had done. And just as he was about to go, father Abraham called him and said, “Warn my children that the time is at hand.”
Our lives must produce fruits. The type of fruits our lives must bear is clearly spelt out in Galatians 5:22-23:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance against such there is no law.”
It is a single Spirit made up of nine parts. In an average church, only 20 per cent of the congregations do the hard work. The rest of them don’t really work hard. This is not what God wants. Unfortunately, many of us have been lazy in our Christian lives and this is disappointing to God. How can someone gives his life to Christ at 60 and yet not be serious with God after having served the devil for long? Can you now see that some of us are trying to play on God’s intelligence by rushing to Him only when we have problems? Is it not sad that the lives of many of us are not attracting people to God?
Consider this parable in Matthew 25:14-30: “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability and straightway took his journey. Then he that received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents; behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents; behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou has not strawed. And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not and gather where I have not strawed; Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
A man found that he had been infected with leprosy on his neck, so he went and sewed clothes that would cover his neck in order to hide the ailment, instead of going for treatment. Are you like that? Are you suffering from spiritual paralysis? Are there things that are wrong in your life? Those wrong things are what the Bible calls parasites. Those parasites will stick and hinder you from bearing fruits. Some people have mouths that can say anything to anybody at anytime. And when cautioned, they would say, “I should be allowed to speak my mind.” What do you expect from a mind that is not regenerated? Are you a fruit-bearing Christian?
There is no partial holiness, there is no partial or temporary Christianity. There is nothing like partial lies or partial truth. A vessel is never partially clean, it is either clean or dirty. You are either a Christian or a sinner. You are either into God or out of Him. An evil tree cannot bear a good fruit no matter how good we decorate it. Education, if applied wrongly will corrupt instead of yielding fruits.
So many things prevent Christians from bearing fruit. For example:
1. Jealousy: Jealous people find it difficult to prove themselves and catch up with others. They do not rejoice with others when they are promoted over them. They are not ready to promote anything that does not benefit them directly. They are hostile and angry with people and secretly rejoice when people fail. Any work you do for God with envy and jealousy in your spirit is useless as far as God is concerned.
2. Pride: Another terrible spirit is pride. Pride is like acid. It eats and destroys good things. It promotes arrogance, blinds the mind to righteousness and ferments unteachable spirit. A proud person finds it difficult to accept corrections. A proud person is deeply involved in himself. Stubborn people are fruitless because they have the attitude to do things their own way. They are stubborn and inflexible. They rebel against their leaders and refuse to submit to anyone. They claim to know everything.
Love is part of the fruit we should bear. That love will cause you to overlook the fault of others. Love for God, love for our neighbours and ourselves. Joy is also part of the fruit that God wants us to bear. Paul was in the Philippi, jailed and yet with all the stripes given to him, he was able to rejoice and praise the Lord. He had the joy of the Lord in his heart.
Peace is part of the fruit God wants us to bear. Jesus was inside a terrible storm and yet He slept peacefully. Peter had a nice sleep even when he knew he was going to be killed the next day. The Jewish word for peace is called shalom. Shalom means that everything is in order. That is how God wants our spirits to be.
Long-suffering is part of the fruit He wants us to bear. Faith and meekness are parts of the fruit. Temperance and self control are other parts. Nobody will judge us according to the level of miracle we perform. We shall be judged on the basis of the fruit we produce.
Brethren, one day the trumpet shall sound and with it that terrible command of: “Cut it down,” will be given for the fruitless ones. Fruitlessness will take unserious Christians into hell fire. When love is in your life, peace will reign.
An axe is laid to the foundation of the tree, the Bible says, and everything that does not bear fruit shall be cut down and thrown into hell fire.
The most terrible thing is to live without purpose. Ask yourself: “Why am I here? Why do I allow my spiritual life to continually go down?” Let us all wake up from our spiritual slumber and decide to bear fruit. Earthly posts will get us nowhere. It is not how your fellow human beings see and judge you that matters but what you weigh on God’s scale. There is no middle position, you are either for God or against Him. Talk to Him and resolve that terrible curse of “cut it down” will not be your portion.
- I loose myself from any power of bewitchment, in Jesus’ name.
- Satan, I close any door which I have opened to you, in Jesus’ name.
- I pull down any evil stronghold built into my life by any person who was in charge of me at infancy, in Jesus’ name.
- Let every evil pronouncement made against me by evil tongues be nullified, in Jesus’ name.
- Let all evil enquiry about me be rendered null and void, in Jesus’ name.
- O Lord, replace in me everything that needs to be replaced, in Jesus’ name.