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Sunday January 31st 2010
Matthew 13 Parables ? Part Eight
The Parable of the Treasure
Mt 13:44 ? "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
1). In our sequence of seven parables in Matthew Chapter13 Jesus begins by leaving the house and going to the sea where He gives the 4 parables that have been the subject of our previous studies ? the Parable of the Sower, The Parable of the Wheat and Tares, the Parable of the Mustard Seed and the Parable of the Leaven. And we have seen that these parables are specifically given for those who, following the Lord?s death and resurrection, will comprise the Church, the one new man in Christ. And we also saw that these parables specifically deal with each individual Christian?s response to the proclamation and offer of the Kingdom of the heavens - Mt 13:19 "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom,
An offer that is being made to the church because of Israel?s rejection of the King and His Kingdom - Mt 21:43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.
a) Not only do these parables present to us the individual experience of each Christian throughout the 2000 years of this dispensation, but they also present to us a dispensational history of the church as a whole with respect to the church?s collective response to the proclamation and offer of the Kingdom of the Heavens.
b). Now, to state what might be very obvious ? the proclamation and offer of the Kingdom of the heavens to the Church is for the purpose of Christians hearing the message and then through their faithful obedience to it, obtaining a position of rulership with Christ as His co-heir, His Bride, during the Millennial Kingdom thereby fulfilling God?s plan and purpose set in place from the foundation of the world.
c). And the determination as to which Christians will have been found faithfully obedient so as to attain this position with Christ is to be made at the Judgment Seat, following the resurrection/rapture of the church - Mt 25:21 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
d). Re 3:21 "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
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e). And because there are 7 parables in our sequence and we know that the number 7 is a number of completion we will realize that the complete picture presented with regards to the proclamation and offer of the Kingdom of the Heavens, would of necessity, have to show things brought to their conclusion and therefore would contain events beyond the end of this dispensation; events having to do with the Judgment of the Church and the regality that will follow for those who are found faithful.
2). And so at the end of this dispensation, at the conclusion of the Holy Spirit?s search for a Bride for God?s Son, is where we find ourselves at the end of the fourth parable, the Parable of the Leaven, the final parable spoken before the Lord returns to the house. And we had seen how this dispensation began with tares being sown amongst the wheat, amongst those who were producing fruit for the Kingdom, and how this dispensation would end with the word of the Kingdom having become completely corrupted within the church at large, resulting in it as an entity being fruitless - Re 3:17 "Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' --and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked--
a). What we are about to see then in our next three parables will deal with the conclusion of the whole matter, showing us events that take place beyond the end of this dispensation and will also explain for us the significance of Jesus going back into the house to give them.
3). And so, at the close of this dispensation, at the end of the last 2 days of work what event awaits the Church?
a). Simply this the resurrection/rapture - 1Th 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
b). 2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
c). Re 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet???.12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.
d). It is here at the Judgment Seat of Christ that those pictured by the Woman taken from Adam?s side, those pictured by Rebekah, by Ruth, the wise
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virgins the faithful servant, those who are overcomers will be identified as the Bride of Christ, who will have positions of rulership as a joint heir with Christ, who will receive the end of their faith the salvation of their soul. This is the event that we see recorded in the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation with the Judgment of the seven churches which are in Asia ? Re 2:26 "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations--27 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels' --as I also have received from My Father; 28 "and I will give him the morning star.
e). Now, although the Bride is identified by the conclusion of Revelation Chapter 3, she does not at this point become the Wife of Christ ? this is something we do not see happening until Chapter 19 - Re 19:6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." 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. 9 Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!'" And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God."
f). As we look at this it should be clear to us that something remains to be set in place between the identification of the Bride at the end of Chapter 3 and the celebration of the marriage supper of the Lamb in Chapter 19. And exactly what it is that takes place is given to us in a type, in a picture, in the Books of Ruth and Esther, and is then given in detail in the Book of Revelation and is the subject of the parable of the Treasure, and as we shall see, the parable of the Pearl also.
g). So let?s see what we can glean from the Book of Ruth with regards to this.
4). We will remember that the Book of Ruth details for us, in the form of a type, a picture, the experience of the faithful Christian with regards to that Christian producing fruit for the Kingdom which is to come and being found worthy at Christ?s Judgment Seat.
a). We see Ruth?s commitment to make the journey to Bethlehem, typifying the faithful Christian?s commitment to make the journey to spiritual maturity. To go to the House of Bread.
b). We see Ruth working in Boaz?s field, typifying the faithful Christian?s fruit production in that part of Christ?s field into which he has been sown.
Ru 2:15 And when she rose up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, "Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her.16 "Also
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let grain from the bundles fall purposely for her; leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her."
Eph 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Mt 13:23 "But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."
c). We see Ruth following Naomi?s instructions in order to be properly prepared for her meeting with Boaz on his threshing floor. A preparation that necessitates Ruth washing herself, anointing herself and putting on her best garment ? typifying the faithful Christian?s consistent obedience to the word of God, by choosing to continually deal with the sin in their life, by being continually filled with the Spirit through choosing to allow the word of Christ to dwell in them richly in all wisdom thereby performing acts of righteousness, the fine linen clean and bright of Revelation 19 ? acts requiring the death of self and walking according to the Spirit in readiness for meeting Christ at His Judgment Seat.
d). And these events in Ruth?s life, the journey, the work and the preparation, typify for the Christian the complete period of time covered by our first four parables and they bring us to the same point as that at the end of the Parable of the Leaven ? the end of this dispensation and the resurrection/rapture of the church.
e). At this point in the Book of Ruth we come to Boaz?s threshing floor which provides for us a picture of the Judgment Seat of Christ ?
Lu 3:17 "His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire."
Ru 3:8 Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet. 9 And he said, "Who are you?" So she answered, "I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative." 10 Then he said, "Blessed are you of the LORD, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 "And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman.
f). The events recorded here for us in Ruth Chapter 3 symbolize for us the Bride, those who are found faithful being revealed at Christ?s Judgment Seat. Ruth is recognized for who she is and her request for Boaz to marry her is made known. What we don?t see here however is Ruth?s request for marriage being immediately followed by a wedding. Instead we see Boaz going to the elders at the gate of the city in order to redeem for Ruth the inheritance that had been lost.
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g). Ru 4:9 ? And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, "You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, from the hand of Naomi. 10 "Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day."
h). It is once Boaz has redeemed the lost inheritance, and not until, that Ruth automatically becomes his wife as a result of this legal transaction, something that does not require Ruth?s presence to come into effect. There is no wedding ceremony as we would experience within our own culture.
i). The Book of Ruth then comes to conclusion with events moving to regality expressed in David the King ? Ru 4:18 Now this is the genealogy of Perez: Perez begot Hezron; 19 Hezron begot Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab; 20 Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon; 21 Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed; 22 Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David.
5). If we then move on to Revelation Chapters 2 and 3 we find that these Chapters detail the events at Christ?s Judgment Seat in the antitype of Ruth appearing on Boaz?s threshing floor. Although in Revelation it is not just the faithful Christian who is dealt with. This is where the Bride, those who are overcomers, are identified and called out from the called and their request to become His joint heir is made known. As we then move from Revelation Chapter 3 into Revelation Chapter 4 we find, that rather than continuing a chronological sequence, the scripture instead brings us back to the resurrection/ rapture of the church, the same event that began Revelation Chapter 1in order to add more detail to that which we have already seen.
Re 4:1 ? After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this." 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3 And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.
a). What becomes clear though is that although the Chapter begins by picturing the resurrection/rapture of the church we are now in fact focusing on events that take place following the appearance of the church at the Judgment Seat. The fact that Judgment is passed is symbolized for us in the presence of a rainbow.
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The rainbow takes us back to Noah and the sign that was given to him to show that God?s Judgment upon the earth was over - Ge 9:13 "I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.
It is important that we compare scripture with scripture so that we don?t miss the significance of details like this.
b). Now it is because the Bride has been revealed at the Judgment Seat, identifying those who will rule with Christ, that we find the 24 Elders acting in the way that they do - Re 4:9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: 11 "You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created."
b). Ro 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
c). The 24 Elders, who are a representative number of the 2/3rds of the angels who did not rebel with Satan, relinquish their crowns to those who have now been identified, those who will wear these same crowns as rulers with Christ in the age to come.
d). However, although the Bride has been identified and recognized and acknowledged by the Elders we will remember that she does not become married to the Lamb until the events of Revelation Chapter 19. In the Book of Ruth we saw a delay in Ruth?s marriage to Boaz while Boaz redeemed the lost inheritance for Ruth. As it is in the type, so it is in the antitype, and this is exactly what we find in Chapter 5 of the Book of Revelation - Re 5:1 ? And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?" 3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. 4 So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. 5 But one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals." 6 ? And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.
e). It is Christ, as the Lamb, who is worthy to open the scroll containing the terms of the redemption, as this future work of redeeming the inheritance has been made possible by His past finished work on the cross of Calvary - Col 1:19 For it
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pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
6). What follows from this point on are the 7 years of the Tribulation, the final 7 years of the previous dispensation. The events of the Tribulation, these final 7 years are pictured for us in the foundational type of the plagues in Egypt, recorded in Exodus, events that precede Israel?s deliverance. This is a time that is also called ?the time of Jacob?s trouble?, when God once again begins dealing with the rebellious nation of Israel - Jer 30:7 Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob's trouble, But he shall be saved out of it.
This is also the period of time known as Daniel?s 70th week - Da 9:24 "Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. 25 "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
a). And it is the redemption of the inheritance, the time of Jacob?s trouble that brings us to the parable of the treasure - Mt 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house???..44 ? "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
b). Let?s take note of some things here ? The central focus of the parable remains ?the word of the Kingdom? ? the proclamation and offer of the Kingdom of the heavens to the church.
c). We see a man who finds a treasure and hides it in a field, and because of his joy at finding the treasure he sells all he has and buys the field ? and it is interesting to note that he buys the field in which the treasure is hidden, not the treasure itself.
d). ?The Man? of course is identified from the Parable of the Sower and the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares as ?the Son of Man? ? the Lord Jesus Christ.
e). And the field is identified as the world - Mt 13:38 "The field is the world,
f). The treasure, although not identified specifically in the parable can be known to be Israel by comparing scripture with scripture - De 7:6 "For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a
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people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.
g). Ps 135:4 For the LORD has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel for His special treasure.
h). The phrase ?special treasure? is only used in scripture in relation to Israel.
i). So then we have the Son of Man finding the special treasure, Israel, hiding Israel in the world, symbolizing the nation?s dispersal amongst the Gentile nations, and then purchasing the world thereby gaining the treasure, Israel hidden in it.
j). So what is all this teaching us? Well quite surprisingly this is what Jesus says about it - Mt 13:35b?."I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world."
k). God is revealing through the events in these parables His plans and purposes for the creation of Man that had been set in place from the foundation of the world and contained within the scriptures from Moses onwards.
l). God has determined that He will only deal with His chosen people amongst the Gentile nations. It is only here that their disobedience and unfaithfulness will be brought to repentance - Eze 20:23 "Also I raised My hand in an oath to those in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the Gentiles and disperse them throughout the countries, 24 "because they had not executed My judgments, but had despised My statutes, profaned My Sabbaths, and their eyes were fixed on their fathers' idols.
7). Now, Jesus goes back inside the house to give this parable because His redeeming the inheritance for His Bride cannot be separated from His future dealings with Israel - Ro 4:13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
- The redeeming of the inheritance and the Tribulation are one and the same event. At the end of this dispensation the Lord will complete the remaining 7 years from the previous dispensation. As He redeems the inheritance for His Bride, the events of that redemption will inevitably bring Israel, scattered amongst the Gentile nations once more, to repentance in complete accord with ? 2Ch 7:14 "if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
a). The focus of the parable of the treasure remains the church, those who will be called out of the called, in relation to the Kingdom of the heavens, but this cannot be separated from His dealings with Israel. Hence He goes back inside the house.
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8). While the events of the redemption of the inheritance/the Tribulation unfold on earth - Mt 24:21 "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
? Christ?s Bride will not be with Him.
a). Just as Asanath was not with Joseph when he dealt with his brothers.
b). Just as Zipporah was not with Moses when he led Israel out of Egypt.
c) Just as Ruth was not with Boaz at the gate of the city.
9). And as we have already noted the redemption of the inheritance brings Israel to the place of repentance so that Israel can be restored to her rightful place at the head of the nations.
a). In the Book of Esther we find Vashti?s rejection by King Ahasuerus typifying Israel?s rejection at Christ?s first coming - Es 1:19 "If it pleases the king, let a royal decree go out from him, and let it be recorded in the laws of the Persians and the Medes, so that it will not be altered, that Vashti shall come no more before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she.
b). What we don?t see in the Parable of the Treasure are the details of the events that bring Israel to repentance, incredible events that will bring about the extermination of two thirds of all Jews.
c). This awful persecution is presented in a type in Haman?s attempt to annihilate the Jews in Ahasuerus?s kingdom seen in - Es 3:5 When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with wrath. 6 But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him of the people of Mordecai. Instead, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus-the people of Mordecai.
d). Zec 13:8 And it shall come to pass in all the land," Says the LORD, "That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, But one -third shall be left in it: 9 I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, 'This is My people'; And each one will say, 'The LORD is my God.'"
e). Now there is no reference to these events in the Parable of the Treasure as the focus remains the church and the redemption of the inheritance for the Bride. And also with regards to the inheritance and Israel the purpose is redemption. And in redemption we must see the enormity of God?s love and mercy.
10). And then in the Book of Esther we see Esther?s acceptance in place of Vashti typifying Israel?s restoration at the Lord?s second coming - Es 2:17 The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his
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sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
a). Exactly that which has been prophesied so many places in scripture ?
Ho 6:1 ? Come, and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. 2 After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight.
b). Jer 23:7 "Therefore, behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "that they shall no longer say, 'As the LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,' 8 "but, 'As the LORD lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them.' And they shall dwell in their own land."
c). Israel will be at her rightful place at the head of the nations, and through her the nations of the earth will be blessed - Jer 3:17 "At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts.
d). Zec 8:23 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."'"
11). The Lord reveals all this to us in the Parable of the Treasure, given in the house, so that we won?t lose sight of the importance of Israel or misunderstand His dealings with that nation as so many do. The church has not taken Israel?s place and God will bring to fulfillment that presented in our parable.
a). And He wants us to understand these events so that we won?t be deceived into eating leavened bread ? Am 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.