Without a Parable - Part Seven

Without a Parable series
By: John Herbert | Nov 8, 2015
Mt 13:31 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven continues like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field,

Today we will continue with the parable of the mustard seed.

Message Notes

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Sunday November 8th 2015
Without a Parable
Part Seven
1). Mt 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field." 37 He answered and said to them: "He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 "The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 "The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 "Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 "The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 "and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 "Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
a). We have seen in our previous weeks of study how Satan has directed his attack against those who hear the word of the kingdom by firstly trying to prevent those who hear from becoming fruitful as witnessed in the first 3 parts of the parable of the sower and we have seen what he did at the beginning of this dispensation amongst those who were producing fruit, from the 4th part of the parable of the sower, in order to stop their fruit production.
b). We will remember from the parable of the wheat and tares how Satan had sown tares amongst the wheat, amongst those producing fruit, who are described as ‘the sons of the kingdom’ - Mt 13:25 "but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 "But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.
During the time of this present darkness, once ‘the Light of the world’ had left, pictured through the image of ‘while men slept’ Christians in the early Church were producing fruit in response to hearing the word of the kingdom with a view to attaining a position with Christ in His Kingdom. Once this fruit production had begun Christians arose amongst the ranks of the fruit bearing with a message contrary to that which would result in fruit production –
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2Pe 2:1 ¶ But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.
c). The ‘false teachers’ seen here in Peter are the tares from Matthew Chapter 13 and we see that their message is described as ‘destructive heresies’ – a distortion of the truth that if followed would lead to ‘destruction’ for the individual involved at the Judgment Seat. Not that the individual would be destroyed, but the purpose for their salvation will have been lost and the fulfillment of God’s purpose for that individual will have been destroyed.
d). And we see that many would follow these false messages, leading them to loss at the Judgment Seat, and resulting in the ‘way of truth’, the word of the kingdom being ‘blasphemed’ – Literally, ‘to be spoken evil of’.
e). And as we have seen in our Bible studies the motivation for the tares to act in this way was complete submission to their carnal nature, having turned away from the promise of incredible blessing in the future Millennial Kingdom for the attainment of riches, position and pleasure in the present. They had in effect come down from the high country into the plain just as Lot had done, hence the reason why in the Revelation the Lord tells the church of Ephesus - Re 2:5 "Remember therefore from where you have fallen;
f). Now this activity by the tares within the Church does not happen in a vacuum and nor do things stand still – actions have consequences and these actions by the tares have had far reaching consequences and it is these consequences that are the subject of the last 2 parables that Jesus gives before going back into the house, the parable of the mustard seed and the parable of the leaven.
2). In the parable of the wheat and tares we had seen how the proclamation and offer of the kingdom of the heavens, the word of the kingdom, had become like – it had become like tares sown amongst the wheat. There was amongst the purity of those who held this message the introduction of an addition, the tares, who caused a change in the message, introducing something that looked like truth, but was in fact a counterfeit – leaving the truth and the counterfeit existing side by side.
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a). Then as we get to the parable of the mustard seed we now find further detail on that which has gone before in the previous parable. The word of the kingdom had become corrupted causing it to become like a sabotaged field and this corruption, with the truth still being taught, now continued like that seen through the growth of the mustard seed - Mt 13:31 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven 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."
b). The mustard seed which ‘a man took and sowed in his field’, because of the nature of what a parable is, must take us back to ‘the good seed’, the sons of the Kingdom who the Lord had sown out into the world from our previous parables. This is not a different sowing but the same sowing and the individuals that we have previously seen producing fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty are in this parable pictured as ‘a’ seed, a single entity, a mustard seed – and the collective word we would use to describe these individuals is ‘the Church’, the called out ones – those called out of this world to be rulers in the next.
c). And once again the parable of the mustard seed takes us back to the beginning of the present dispensation with ‘the Church’ sown into the world with fruit being produced in order to add more detail to that which we already have.
d). At this point in time, at the beginning of the dispensation, ‘the Church’ is ‘the least of all the seeds’ – compared with the panoply of pagan religions Christians form the smallest of groups, however if this group, the Church, those hearing the word of the kingdom, would continue to grow after the proper fashion the Church would become ‘greater than the herbs’, greater than all the false religions, but it is at this point as the seed germinates and begins to grow properly that the tares come to prominence and as a result of their actions the mustard seed, the Church, instead of growing normally, becomes ‘a tree’, something it was never supposed to do, providing a home for ‘the birds of the air’ to come and nest in its branches.
e). We will remember the birds from the parable of the sower –
Mt 13:4 "And as he sowed, some [seed] fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.
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And these birds in the parable of the sower are identified for us –
Mt 13:19 "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who was sown by the wayside.
The birds then are seen associated with the work of Satan and should be understood as his emissaries.
f). The birds of the air in the parable of the mustard seed are not different birds, but the same ones seen in the parable of the sower – those doing the work Satan has assigned them, and as we follow the connectivity of these parables by placing one alongside the next there is no other conclusion that we can arrive at.
g). Because the mustard seed grew unnaturally into a tree it provided a safe resting place, a secure home for those doing the work of Satan, which given our present context, would identify the birds with the tares, whose false teachings flourished to such an extent that they became the accepted norm.
h). But although appearing ‘normal’ through their acceptance by those hearing them their origin remains Satanic deception – 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,
Ge 3:1 ¶ Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said,
i). So to connect our parables together – as the mustard seed began to grow after the correct fashion so that it might become ‘greater than the herbs’, the tares arose introducing their false teachings. As these false teachings grew in acceptance within Christendom so the Church began to grow in a way it was never supposed to grow, becoming ‘a tree’, thereby allowing the false teachings and those who taught them to become legitimized.
j). Now the growth into ‘a tree’ was not instantaneous, but progressive over an extended period of time and followed that which we have seen in foundation - Ge 1:11 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so.
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The false teachers with their false teachings reproduced after their own kind, producing ‘disciples’ who would move into church leadership, who would continue and expand the false teachings that had been started at the beginning.
k). That which the Lord said to the Pharisees could equally find application in this situation - Mt 23:15 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell [Gehenna] as yourselves.
3). 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."
a). Jesus tells Pilate that His Kingdom, of which He is the King, is not to be found amongst the governmental structures within the present system of rulership. His Kingdom will be entirely different from that which presently exists, coming in its own time only after Gentile world power under the control of the wicked one has been completely overthrown and destroyed.
b). It was with the certainty of His coming Kingdom in that future age in view that the Lord went to the cross - Heb 12:2 looking [from this world] unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
c). And we can clearly see from our Hebrews verse that the place and time to which the Lord set His attention is the exact same place and time that we should set ours - Heb 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
Php 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
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d). All governmental structures from empires to monarchies, to dictatorships to democracy are a part of the present system of rulership and will continue all the while that which the scriptures call ‘the times of the Gentiles’ remains in place.
e). That said, the type, the model, for the Christian’s response to the present system of rulership is found with David and Saul - 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.
All those ‘in distress’ in Saul’s kingdom gathered themselves to David at the cave of Adullam and waited for God to remove Saul and place David on the throne instead. During that time of waiting those with David did not involve themselves with Saul’s kingdom or with the administration of that kingdom, remaining faithful to David the anointed king. In fact their allegiance to David made them the enemies of Saul - Mt 12:30 "He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.
f). That pictured for us through David and Saul is exactly what should have been found within Christendom, but because of the false teaching of the tares the Church eventually became enmeshed within the present system of rulership becoming, as a result, a national entity within the kingdom of Satan.
g). This is what is pictured for us through the mustard seed growing into a tree, as trees within scripture are used as types for national powers.
h). Without going into all the historical detail, suffice it to say, that day eventually came when Christianity became the sole state religion of the Roman Empire and the ensnarement of the church into Satan’s kingdom was complete.
i). This is a condition that has continued to exist throughout the centuries and can be exemplified very clearly through 2 examples – Firstly, the Catholic Church where the Vatican is a city state and is recognized as an independent state throughout the world, which also has permanent observer status at the UN. Secondly, we could look to the UK where the British monarch is also head of the Church of England and has the title, ‘Defender of the Faith’.
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Church of England bishops sit in the House of Lords, the unelected second chamber of Parliament.
j). I am sure we get the idea of what all this looks like.
4). The unnatural growth of the Church resulting in it becoming a tree has continued to be an on-going process. As we had seen earlier this morning that which was begun by the work of the tares at the beginning of the dispensation did not just stand still but continued to spread and increase and is still in process even today, and will continue until the resurrection/rapture of the Church takes place.
a). And the next parable in our sequence, the fourth and last parable the Lord gives while still outside the house, the parable of the leaven, shows the whole of the matter brought to its final conclusion - Mt 13:33 Another parable He spoke to them: "The kingdom of heaven continues like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened."
The proclamation and offer of the kingdom of the heavens, the word of the kingdom, continues from the previous parable, the parable of the mustard seed, like leaven hidden in 3 measures of meal.
b). This short parable is filled with symbolism and encompasses the entire period of this dispensation from the beginning of the Church to a time immediately preceding the resurrection/rapture.
c). Let’s firstly look at the symbolism – leaven is always used in scripture as a picture of that which brings corruption and deterioration –
Ex 12:15 'Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.
The first use of the word leaven here in Exodus with regards to the Feast of Unleavened Bread, shows clearly that it is an agent of corruption that has to be removed from the ‘houses’ of Israel, picturing the sin that must be removed from the lives of those who were in pursuit of the earthly realm of the kingdom.
d). And because of the first mention principle this is the way that leaven should be understood whenever it is used, just as we can see here where it appears in the NT epistles - 1Co 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 ¶ Therefore purge out the old
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leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
e). In fact we can see a really significant connection between the parable of the leaven and these verses from 1 Corinthians. In the parable leaven is hidden in 3 measures of meal [literally ground flour] – that which would be used for making bread.
f). The reference to bread would take us to the bread of life, the word of truth and the 3 measures, because of the symbolism of the number 3, shows us the Divinely perfect Bread of Life, the scriptures, and contextually the word of the kingdom.
g). And so into the divinely perfect word of the kingdom ‘a woman’, a picture of the Church, those who should be the Bride of Christ, places leaven, picturing corruption.
h). This once again takes us to the beginning of the dispensation when only the word of the kingdom was taught to those who were eternally saved, the 3 measures of meal. As these individuals began to produce fruit so the tares arose with them – the tares and the ‘woman’ are one and the same, and as the tares are seen introducing false teachings, so the ‘woman’ hid the leaven. These are both describing the same thing. The same thing we have seen described by Peter - 2Pe 2:1 ¶ But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies,
i). And then just as the mustard seed grows in a completely unnatural way because of the false teaching of the tares so their false teaching is seen permeating the word of the kingdom until this message becomes completely leavened, completely corrupted.
j). Lu 18:7 "And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 "I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find the faith on the earth?"
‘The faith’ is a phrase used exclusively in connection with the word of the kingdom, particularly as it relates to the saving of the soul and the Lord asks
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in the second half of v8 if ‘when the Son of man comes’ – speaking of the resurrection/rapture, ‘will He really find the faith on the earth?’
k). Now the way this question is structured grammatically in the Greek language it only allows for one answer, and that answer is ‘No’.
l). The Church alive upon the earth at the time of the rapture will be void of the faith. There will be those within the Church, individuals, small groups who will still hold to it, but within the Church at large it will not be found and this is exactly what the Lord foretold in the parable of the leaven before the Church even existed, and is exactly what we find corroborated in the Revelation through the 7th of the 7 churches which are in Asia - Re 3:14 ¶ "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, 'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 "So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 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-- 18 "I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 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. 22 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'"
m). We will continue with this next time – if the Lord is willing.
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Fruit
100/60/30
Tares
Counterfeit
Message
Mustard Seed
A Tree
Leaven
Total
Corruption
When anyone hears the word of the kingdom
and understands it
Natural Growth
Unnatural Growth
Other messages from this series Audio Video PDF Study Notes
Without a Parable - Part Fifteen
Without a Parable - Part Fourteen
Without a Parable - Part Thirteen
Without a Parable - Part Twelve
Without a Parable - Part Eleven
Without a Parable - Part Ten
Without a Parable - Part Nine
Without a Parable - Part Eight
Without a Parable - Part Seven
Without a Parable - Part Six
Without a Parable - Part Five
Without a Parable - Part Four
Without a Parable - Part Three
Without a Parable - Part Two
Without a Parable - Part One