In Isaiah chapter 5:1-10 there is a song about a vineyard. This vineyard has numerous vines that were the planting of the Lord. This song is addressing disobedience and rebellion. The song refers to Israel being the vineyard and the men of Judah being the vines that were planted. These vines, unfortunately, became wild vines.
However the true vine came out of Egypt and was planted in the Promised Land (Psalm 80:7-18). The True Vine is the Son of God. God The Father is the vine dresser. The vine is a reference to the true Israel, the true church; otherwise known as the called out ones and the chosen ones.
It is no surprise for the enlightened reader to learn that when Israel representing the Chosen One of God (Israel meaning "ruling with God") is a type of Lord Jesus Christ. Everything in the Old Testament that has significance bears witness to Lord Jesus Christ in some way. Jesus Himself said that the Scriptures (i.e. Old Testament) bear witness to Him (John 5:39) and the Apostle Paul said that the Old Testament was able to instruct people for salvation through faith in Lord Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 3:15).
In the Old Testament we read Israel was the true vine; a cultivated vine. However, Israel was also a wild vine; uncultivated and a worthless vine (Jeremiah 2:21). This leaves us with a contradiction in respect to Israel being a wild vine and a true vine. This is resolved when we understand the difference between true Israelites and those who were merely Israelites born of the flesh.
The distinction between the spiritual and the carnal, the eternal and the temporal, is something many people overlook. This is mainly because the many apparent contradictions tend to confuse people. For there are many paradoxes within the Scriptures that are designed to sort out the goats from the sheep (Matthew 25:31-46).
For a better understanding of the difference between a wild vine and a choice vine (or the true vine that bears the fruit of the Spirit), let us consider the following description of a Wild Grape from Welcome to ScienceViews.com:
Upon first encountering these fruits, I instantly recognized them for what they were. Although the grapes were no more than a tenth of the size of the cultivated Concords, their semblance was unmistakable. The leaves, too, though smaller, were nearly identical in form to those of cultivated grapes, and they grew on the same kind of vine with the same kind of tendrils.
Considering all of these striking similarities, I was totally unprepared for my first taste of wild grapes; it was so sour that I spit it out immediately (from Wild Grape).
The branches of the vine spoken of having came out of Egypt actually occupied the whole of the Promised Land (Psalm 80:8-10). When some branches became worthless they were cut off. This is in keeping with what Jesus said that His Father the vine dresser does to keep the vine producing the choicest of fruit. Importantly, we must note that in Isaiah 5:4, the Father says that He has done everything possible to create a choice vine yard out of the nation Israel, but failed (Jeremiah 2:21).
Why did the Heavenly Father fail with the Chosen Nation?
Because they had freewill and did not exercise obedience of faith; instead, they disobeyed and stumbled at the word as they were destined to do because of their disobedience (but not because they were predestined to do so--there is a major difference between destination and predestination, as the former can change, but the latter cannot change). They did not obey the Ten Commandments and forsook the truth because they listened to other voices (Ephesians 2:2), rather than the Voice of God as expressed in the The First Commandment. Faith comes through hearing (Romans 10:17) not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
The Apostle Paul speaks of the reason why Israel was rejected by God as a nation:
What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, righteousness through faith; but that Israel who pursued the righteousness which is based on law did not succeed in fulfilling that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it through faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will make them fall; and he who believes in him will not be put to shame.”Why? Because they did not pursue it through faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written,“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will make them fall; and he who believes in him will not be put to shame." (Romans 9:30-33)
Nevertheless, there is a remnant (Jer. 6:9; Rom. 9:25-29) of the Israelites that could be gleaned from the vine. From the vine that produced the remnant, Jesus of Nazareth was born. But being the Son of God, He was the true vine, only now in human form.
In Isaiah 5:7, we are told that the vineyard is the House of Israel and Judah is the vine. Jesus came out of Judah and therefore this is the true vine. Only not all Jews are true Jews (Romans 2:28-30). A true Jew is the same as a true Israelite; only by the time of the Apostle Paul there were only Benjaminites like himself, Levites and Judahites. Nevertheless, Paul often referred to himself as a Jew, for they were all called Jews.
However, with the introduction of the New Covenant, instead of people having to perform animal sacrifices and present grain offerings when having committed various sins, forgiveness is now obtainable by the act of contrition through the power of the Holy Spirit. Consequently, we read that those who possess the Holy Spirit can forgive sins and retain sins and there is no need for animal sacrifices. This is what Jesus said:
And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:22-23)
Once more we see a contradiction of terms because when Jesus was delivering His Sermon on the Mount, He said that unless we forgive, we would not be forgiven (Matthew 6:14-15). What is need to be understood here, the Sermon of the Mount took place before the Holy Spirit was given. Even now, we need to forgive others, if we are to be forgiven, before we can receive the Holy Spirit. Once we have received the Holy Spirit, we have the power to retain sins, if someone sins against us. Those people who sins we retain may be those who are branches on the vine that are to be cut off (John 15:6). Or they may be people who oppose us, and if we hold their sin against us before the Lord, those people will have to deal with God Himself and not us.
The true vine has now become those who form the true church of God in Lord Jesus Christ. These are those who have been baptized in the Holy Spirit and who are bearing the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). The Apostle to the Gentiles states:
To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose which he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confidence of access through our faith in him. (Ephesians 3:8-12)
When Israel was delivered from Pharaoh, this was part of the plan of God to give a Chosen Nation, a predestined people, the opportunity to express their faith in Him. Unfortunately, they did not, but even though all the people did not express faith and obtain their inheritance as the chosen ones, their always was a remnant that came from the True Vine who did express faith towards God.
The True Vine was the Word of God Himself, as expressed through the remnant and the eternal Law of God that was written by the Father's Own Finger. The Ten Commandments came via the Father through the Son of God (Galatians 3:19-20). The Son was always the vine that produced the light of life, the Father was the vine dresser.
Every branch that does bear fruit, the Father prunes that it might bear more fruit. Every branch that does not bear fruit, the Father removes from the Son of God. Many will say, "Lord, Lord, we did this in you name," but the Son of God will say, "I did not know you" (Matthew 7:21-23).
The true vine will always have life. However, the fullness of the plan that has been a mystery for all the ages is about to reach its fulfillment. For while there are many who say they believe, there are not as many who possess the Holy Spirit and will be ready at the coming of the Bridegroom. The Father will see to it that those who are not ready are cut off, for they will be the foolish virgins of Matthew (25:1-13). And, of course, there are the weeds who are the evildoers that are weeded out at the end of the age (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-42).
Jesus being the true vine, and the Father being the vine dresser, means that our Heavenly Father is working to bring about the original plan that He had determined to be the eternal purpose that is to be realized in the Son of God, Lord Jesus Christ; thus perfecting individuality in oneness. For people to develop their true individuality and be at peace is something that will never happen on this Earth under the present conditions where Satan is still able to influence people (Ephesians 2:2)--as was demonstrated by the disobedience of the nation Israel.
The meaning of "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower" is Jesus is the light of life and its very source. Those who do not demonstrate that the light of life is in their lives by producing acceptable evidence (fruit of the Lips, Spirit, Righteousness, Light) are cut off from eternal life.