The Harvest of Souls

Greetings and good morning brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series
where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years,
the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them
with you. This morning we seek to understand the meaning of the harvest of souls. 

And now, sit back and listen to today's message. 

The Harvest of Souls 

"...The Kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in
his field which indeed is the least of all seeds. But when it is grown, it is the greatest among
herbs, and the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof." Matthew, Chapter 13,
Verse 32.

Brothers and sisters, today we will explore the spiritual purpose of human life, and how this life can
be compared to the planting of a seed, its growth, its maturation with the offspring of fruit, and
finally the harvest. 

A seed is planted in fertile ground. With the right weather conditions and with the external
environment adjusted to its well being, the seed eventually comes up. But before the seed comes up
there is quite a bit of preparation for its further development. A root system develops. It supports the
plant as well as gathers certain nutrients such as minerals, water and so on. And though the primary
source of energy comes from the sun, the seed still needs these supplements to grow and reach full
maturity. The plant soon develops leaves and branches and eventually fruit is produced. During this
period of tender growth, the gardener pays very close attention to its plant, pruning for maximum
results and removing the dead elements from it. Under fair environmental conditions, fruit eventually
makes its appearance and in due time it ripens and is harvested. The gardener at the right time
harvests the fruit, gathers it and sells it. The next year he does the same thing, repeating the cycle,
thus ensuring a constant supply of fruit. 

In an analogous way human life serves the purpose of producing fruit, but this fruit is a living soul.
When the plant of human life reaches a certain stage of development it produces living fruit. But
long before this stage of development, other factors have been in play preparing the favorable moral
and spiritual conditions necessary for producing the soul. This soul is the creation of the Father's
spirit that lives in the human mind. And though the human life continues its material functions,
spiritual functions also begin that are destined to infiltrate human activities and spiritualize them.
We are concerned with these spiritual functions of the soul. 

The soul is destined to survive the death of the human self, for it is mechanism whereby the human
self along with every worthwhile value and meaning is able to escape this life and live on eternally.
Said Jesus, "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall
he live." Using the analogy of the plant, the soul is also occupied with producing much fruit. We
shall assume the soul to be a branch on the living Vine of God. This vine provides living sustenance
to the growing branch all for the purpose of producing spiritual fruit. If the branch is fruitful,
additional measures are applied towards it so that it can produce even greater fruit. The divine
discipline is such that the branch can produce fruit in all kinds of moral and spiritual soil. If the
branch does not produce fruit then it is removed from the vine of God. 

In this scenario, the branch has the choice to produce fruit of not. It can allow divine sustenance to
flow through it or it can prevent its flow by an act of will. It also has the power to interrupt the flow
of this divine sustenance and allow it to flow again, to stop and start if you will. But this is a
dangerous thing to do, for when the sustenance is interrupted, the branch can lose its appetite for
sustenance and shut it off altogether forever. When this happens the branch withers on the vine and
no further fruit is forthcoming. It is at such a junction that the Master Gardner removes such useless
branches from the vine of divine love, mercy and service. 

Now this divine substance is the actual flow of divine values and meanings through the branch to
produce the beautiful harvest of spiritual fruit, which are love, faith goodness, meekness,
temperance, gentleness, long suffering, joy and peace. This fruit represents the qualities of the divine
spirit. And its purpose in the human life is to transform the human self from a material creature to
a spiritual one. This fruit of the spirit is destined to remake society and spiritualize it so that it
becomes a reflection of what is above in heaven: "your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." But
how does the soul grow and how does the Father remove worthless branches from the vine of divine
service? The soul is a growing spiritual reality. As it grows it becomes more aware of divine values.
As the soul chooses them, divine meanings become available to it, thus reinforcing the desire and
the decision to choose more divine values. As these divine values are chosen and their meanings
comprehended, the result is growth. The desire and acquirement of divine values become the
stimulus for spiritual decisions. 

If the soul decides to ignore divine values and meanings and choose material values and meanings
instead, then its status deteriorates and eventually suffers extinction. The penalty for such an unwise
and unrighteous decision is the loss of the value and meaning. Each decision that is made adverse
to choosing divine values causes the soul to sink lower into darkness and away from the glorious
light of divine values. It eventually loses the desire to choose divine values, eventually loses the
power to recognize divine values and thus the power to choose them. Such is the pathway of the
destruction of the soul. It eventually loses the light of divine values, the divine spirit. "My spirit will
not always strive with man." After such an event, the soul dies although though the human self may
live until death. "Ye shall die in your sins." But if this soul continues to bear the fruits of the spirit,
when the soul matures it will be harvested and taken to a new level of life where it can further
develop and grow. "In my Father's house are many mansions." When this new level of life is reached,
the newly liberated self is now in position to continue its growth and achieve perfection of existence,
to obey the Father's eternal command: "Be ye perfect even as I am perfect." 

This concludes today's message on understanding the harvest of souls. We hope you find something
in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day. Until next time, this is Dr. James

Inspirational Messages
       By Dr. James  Perry       
  Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done!
        The Harvest of Souls