The Mustard Seed (iii)

Part 6 - Matthew 13 Parables series
By: John Herbert | Sep 18, 2005

Message Notes

1). Mt 13:31 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like (the proclamation and offer of the kingdom of the heavens continues like) a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field,
32 "which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches."

2). Last week we noted the outcome of the work of the Tares from the parable of the Wheat and Tares.
a). Tares = those Christians who - 1Ti 4:1 ? Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, - Proclaimed a message that was contrary to the message of the Kingdom begun by John the Baptist, continued by Jesus, the 12, the 70 and again by the Apostles after Jesus? ascension.
b). Their message - 2Pe 3:4 ? "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation."
c). In essence their message, which remember is a doctrine of demons, brought about a twofold deception
i/ There is no literal coming Kingdom on which our focus is to be fixed.
Ii/ The Church is to usher in the fullness of the Kingdom, which is in place now, by infiltrating the world?s governmental systems.
d). The outcome of this deceptive message is exactly what Christ foretold in the Parable of the Mustard Seed. The Church grew in an unnatural way, causing it to be barren rather than fruitful, and providing a place of acceptance for those same deceiving spirits who had begun the process and were responsible for devouring Christians in the Parable of the Sower.
e). And as we saw last week this was historically born out by the merger of the Church with a world power in 395AD

3). Now let us remember one thing ? this is the clear statement of scripture ? not only here in Matthew 13 but also in Revelation 3 ? both instances providing us with a direct quotation from Christ Himself. And as such this must be seen as absolute truth.
a). We also need to remember that we have been brought up in the church which had grown unnaturally, listening to a message that originated as a doctrine of demons at the start of this dispensation, but has now permeated the whole church so as to be seen as perfectly normal and natural.
b). And within this context not touching the present system of rulership is a difficult concept to grasp.

4). I know as a result of last week there were many questions ? and questions are good all the while we are seeking an answer. And I would like to deal with some of this, this morning.

5). Firstly a couple of specifics ? if we are not to be involved with the present system of rulership what about those who work for government or are in the military?
a). Fortunately the answer is not down to my opinion, but what scripture teaches.

6). Lu 3:8 "Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 9 "And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." 10 So the people asked him, saying, "What shall we do then?" 11 He answered and said to them, "He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise." 12 Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, "Teacher, what shall we do?" 13 And he said to them, "Collect no more than what is appointed for you." 14 Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, "And what shall we do?" So he said to them, "Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages."
a). Let?s remember the context in which John, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit says these things. He is preaching a message of repentance to a redeemed people as preparation for receiving the Kingdom of the Heavens, which had drawn near.
b). What the angel said concerning John - Lu 1:15 "For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. 16 "And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 "He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." (Teach this)
c). So note what he says to redeemed people who are tax collectors ? working for the government ? who are looking to enter the Kingdom ?
12 Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, "Teacher, what shall we do?" 13 And he said to them, "Collect no more than what is appointed for you." (Teach this)
d). And what he says to the soldiers - 14 Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, "And what shall we do?" So he said to them, "Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages."
e). Scripture does not teach that working for the government or being in the military is wrong, for it clearly isn?t ? but it does teach how those in those occupations should conduct themselves with a view to entrance into the kingdom to come.
f). An occupation is just that and more important than what we do is that within our chosen occupation we follow the clear teaching of scripture
Mt 6:33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,

7). However, scripture is also very clear that we are not to involve ourselves with the present system of rulership. We are not to use our energy and influence to try to bring about political change now. Our time of rulership is yet future. Remember what Christ said about the doctrine of Balaam
Re 2:14 "But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.
a). And note the consequences of this for the first generation of Israel - Nu 25:1 ? Now Israel remained in Acacia Grove, and the people began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab. 2 They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods.
3 So Israel was joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel. 4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Take all the leaders of the people and hang the offenders before the LORD, out in the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel." 5 So Moses said to the judges of Israel, "Every one of you kill his men who were joined to Baal of Peor." 6 ? And indeed, one of the children of Israel came and presented to his brethren a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 7 Now when Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose from among the congregation and took a javelin in his hand; 8 and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her body. So the plague was stopped among the children of Israel. 9 And those who died in the plague were twenty-four thousand.

8). Let?s remember what scripture says about who is presently ruling over the earth
Mt 4:8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
9 And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me." 10 Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'"
Joh 14:30 "I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.
2Co 4:4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
1Co 2:8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Eph 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
a). Visual of this age/world and the age/world to come
b). Joh 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here."
c). Visual of God?s delegated authority incorporating Ephesians 6:12
d). Back to visual of this age ? the age to come to show the present ruler and the ruler to come.

9). The scriptural type ? Saul and David. Saul as a type of Satan ? David as a type of Christ.
a). Saul had the kingdom taken from him - 1Sa 15:26 But Samuel said to Saul, "I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel."
b). And his successor was appointed - 1Sa 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.
c). Despite being rejected and despite a successor being appointed Saul remained on the throne for many years before God?s appointed time to replace him. And although rejected he continued to rule in that authority delegated to him by God. He became a wicked king, consulting with mediums, killing priests and suffering bouts of madness.
I/ We could ask the question, ?wouldn?t it have been better for the people of Israel if David had replaced Saul immediately??
Ii/ But this is a wrong way to think as this second guesses God?s perfect will. God?s timing for the removal of Saul was perfect and it needs to be left right there - Isa 55:9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
d). What is important to note though is what happens with David during this interim period - 1Sa 22:1 ? David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. And when his brothers and all his father's house heard it, they went down there to him. 2 And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.
e). David went to a distant place and those dissatisfied with the system under Saul gathered to him. Separating themselves from Saul?s kingdom.
f). They didn?t start a lobby group. They didn?t fund an opposition party, nor did they try to infiltrate Saul?s government to set David?s policies in place ? instead they allied themselves with David and waited.
g). And notice David?s attitude towards Saul - 1Sa 24:6 And he said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the LORD'S anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD."
h). Then in the fullness of God?s time those who had remained faithfully with David found themselves elevated to positions of authority within his kingdom.
i). Again the antitype of this for us as Christians should be obvious.

10). And it is here within this context that we must make a certain determination - Jude 1:3b?to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
a). If we are to avoid being sucked into and absorbed within the tree we must make sure that what we know and how we think is inline with the word of God not the wisdom that comes from this world. The wisdom of this world is from the god of this world and scripture tells us - Eze 28:17b You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor;`
b). We are on probation if you will during this dispensation as the Spirit searches for the bride. The point of our probation is to prove our worthiness to be a coheir with Christ. And the measure of our worthiness is our faithful obedience, what scripture calls our righteous acts - Re 19:8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
c). We will remember from the type, that it is by the well of water that the oldest servant waits to find the bride. That Rebekah followed the direction of the oldest servant in order to be led to her marriage with Isaac and that Ruth clung to Naomi - Ru 3:5 And she said to her, "All that you say to me I will do." As she prepared to meet Boaz on his threshing floor.
d). This is what the scripture means when it says - 2Co 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
e). It is believing God and acting upon it just as Abraham did in respect to Isaac.
f). In order for us to do this we need to come to Him, the word made flesh, with the innocent simplicity of a child - Mt 19:14 But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
g). A heart attitude in relation to the word in line with scripture - 1Th 2:13 ? For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
h). Jas 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
i). These two scriptures mark what our attitude should be and our next scripture shows our response - Ac 17:11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
12 Therefore many of them believed,

11). 1Co 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.
1Co 2:6 ? However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory
1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

12). It is in the word of God alone that we will find the wisdom of God
a). Pr 24:3 ? Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established;
b). Mt 16:17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church,
c). Pr 3:3 ? Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding; 14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. 16 Length of days is in her right hand, In her left hand riches and honor. 17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, And all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who retain her. 19 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens;
20 By His knowledge the depths were broken up, And clouds drop down the dew. 21 ? My son, let them not depart from your eyes-Keep sound wisdom and discretion; 22 So they will be life to your soul And grace to your neck.

13). You see, in a sense, we still have opportunity to eat from two trees. From the tree of the knowledge of good and evil ? that to do with the wisdom of this world ? now. Or choosing to be obedient to the word and eating from the tree of life then.

14). We must be careful not to be absorbed into the tree - 2Pe 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation--as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Other messages from this series Audio Video PDF Study Notes
Part 1 - The Fruit
Part 2 - The Sower
Part 3 - The Wheat and Tares
Part 4 - The Mustard Seed (i)
Part 5 - The Mustard Seed (ii)
Part 6 - The Mustard Seed (iii)
Part 7 - The Leaven
Part 8 - Without a Parable
Part 9 - The Treasure
Part 10 - The Pearl
Part 11 - The Dragnet (i)
Part 12 - The Dragnet (ii)
Part 13 - Have You Understood All These Things?