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The Persecuted Church

 

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PARABLES for the covetous and rich$$$

Comfort for those who seek the truth

After the national rejection of Jesus being the Messiah in MT 12 led by the religious leaders on the basis that Jesus miracles were not from the H.Spirit but he was operating by a demon Which was the blaspheming of the Spirit. Because of their rejection in Vs.39 He answered, 'A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign Of the prophet Jonah, death and resurrection.

The purpose of his miracles from that time changed. Miracles were no longer a sign of his messiahship to the people but for the training of the twelve. People now needed to exercise individual faith. Before this he performed miracles by responding to the needs of the masses, now however he responds only to individuals on the basis of their personal faith in him and God.

Whereas before he told everyone to openly proclaim him as the Messiah now a Policy of silence has begun. Go your way don't tell anyone he would say. He now instructs the disciples not to tell anyone who he is until his resurrection. (Although the disciples weren't very sure themselves who he was until in MT 16; after Peter's Confession). Later in MT 28 the great commission is given to them to go to all the world.

His teaching method was direct and plain for everyone before the rejection. Afterwards he begins to teach in parables for the disciples- the parables illustrate the truth for the disciples and hide the truth from who do not want to know and reject him; so a parable has a twofold purpose : to conceal and reveal.

Ps 78:1-4: "Give ear, O my people, to my law; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. These are principles they once heard and practiced in the OT. that is revealed in a greater way in the NT.]

Mark 4:1-25 (Mt.13)

1. And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea.2Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching: 3 "Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.4 "And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it.5 "Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth 6 "But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away.7 "And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop.8 "But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred."9 And He said to them, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"10 But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable.11 And He said to them, "To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables,12 "so that; and he quotes" Isa 6:9-10 And He said, "Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on hearing, but do not understand;.' "Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, (keep on seeing, but do not perceive) and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart(and hearing they may hear and not understand) and return (lest they should turn, )and be healed.( their sins be forgiven them. from the Aramaic text.)"

Jesus had offered himself as Israels king but was rejected, a period of time would then take place before the literal kingdom would be set up. This is identified as the mystery kingdom which is the age between the first and second coming. During that interim period the kingdom would exist in spiritual form as each person bows their knee to Christ as king in his absence. As the word is sown it would it would have various degrees of success with only a few embracing the message. It consists of both believers and unbelievers.

13 And He said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? So this parable is the key to understanding all the others parables he spoke after in his discourse.

14 "The sower sows the word. The age is characterized by the sowing of the word the Gospel in different soils. The seed is the word as 1 Pt.1:23 tells us we are born with incorruptible see which is the word of God. I Jn 3:9 "Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God." There will be opposition to the sowing of the word from the world the flesh and the devil the three fronts spiritual warfare is fought on.

15 "And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts’. These are people who are unbroken and stubborn, Satan’s demons oppose the truth of Gods word they bring doubt and distortion. They are described as birds who snatch the seed that has not sunk into the persons heart. This is his immediate action to prevent the person from pursuing truth or acting upon the light given..

V.16 "These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; v.17 "and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word's sake, immediately they stumble." A hard ground and heart can’t bring life to the word, A root is something we can’t see it is hidden underground invisible to our eyes. If a tree has no root it can’t grow. What we can see is what the tree produces in fruit so we know that the root is good and receiving nourishment. Jesus explains what started off with gladness and as growth is hindered because of the word's sake. Instead of being full of joy they would have been better with repentance and a broken heart. What they hear is not comprehended nor applied. Experiential Christianity destroys the root which is to be stability. Ones experiences can go up and down and so does their spiritual life. tribulation or persecution shows the true intent of the heart, if one decides the cost of being a disciple is to great not building on the truth, pressures will sweep them away showing the unreality of their conversion.

V.18 "Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, v.19 "and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful." The cares of the world become priority, these can be family a social life self wants and finances. All these can distract ones focus from the heavenly calling. They lose interest in Spiritual matters trading in like Esau their promise for a temporal appetite.

The lust of riches is today being preaches alongside the word. Uncannily the faith teachers use this parable for a promise of riches through seed sown into their ministry.

1 Tim 6:9-10 But those who crave to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction and miserable perishing. For the love of money is a root of all evils, and it is through this craving that some have been led astray and have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many mental pangs. (Amplified Bible)

What we hear from TV preachers who the majority of Christians adore, is ,God can make you prosperous or give you a miracle by you sowing your thousand dollar seed into their ground. Nowhere do we find Jesus preaching success methods, or asking us (more like conniving) to give, so he is able to give us more.

We hear the wealth of the wicked is stored up for the righteous. If you want the wealth of the wicked rejoicing on this scripture to approve the intents of your heart, you have just joined the ranks of the wicked.

If your chances of going to heaven were greatly reduced by accumulating riches would you want to be rich? Would God make us his children and then give us all an abundance of riches that could possibly keep us (some of us ) out of heaven.  That could compete for our devotion and take our affections away from him. None of this makes biblical sense. Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." Maybe the reason we don’t see real miracles but conjured up facades and self induced convincing proofs masquerading as faith, is because we do have silver and Gold. The church is probably the richest it has been since the 1st cent. In the book of Revelation, the church of Laodicea (which is man ruling) tells us they are rich thinking they need nothing, certainly this is the shout we hear today. God says they are poor blind and naked. In Acts 20:33-34 Paul says we have not coveted anyone’s silver or Gold or apparel." Can the prosperity teachers say the same today. Avanzini tells us God is a snappy dresser he loves classy things! God does not flaunt anything in the way the prosperity crowd teaches. That's not humility but a showing off an outward display of the flesh.

V.20 "But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirty fold, some sixty, and some a hundred." Luke adds in 8:15 "But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience."

Jesus explains the parable of the sower by saying in MT.13:19 the seed is the word and before that he explains how the people need ears to hear, so they can understand the spiritual meanings of the word and be fruitful. In vs. 37 he explains further that the sower of the good seed is the son of man which is either Jesus himself or those who preach the same message of his word. The seed is the word Lk.8:11,The soil is a receptive heart, those who submit as clay in the potters hands who allow him to wound them and heal them his way, are fruitful plants in the Lords Garden. The fruit would be the work of Christ in their lives by his spirit showing the life of Christ is real.

V.21And He said to them, "Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? 22 "For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light Jesus explains the word is the light, that we it pierces the soul to reveal the inner motives and secrets of our heart. It is to be proclaimed not hidden,as a lamp put out to be seen by all.The Holy Spirit convicts our sins and reveals to us what we have tried to hide.

V.23 "If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." In other words get spiritual understanding not just listen with the ears. Unfortunately those who follow the faith teachers gospel of want and greed listen with natural ears, forsaking the spiritual intent Jesus was trying to convey. When seed becomes money you have just missed the whole point of the parable and have become spiritually deaf !

V.24 Then He said to them, "Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.

V.25 "For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him." The more we listen then more will be given. Those who continually hear and act on it will continuously be filled and given more. Our responsibility is to continue to be diligent so we can spiritually profit from the word or it will diminish having an effect on our lives.

Mt. 13:34 When they have rejected the light already given, they will not receive any more light instead blindness sets in. the truth is hidden in parable. A parable is a figure of Speech in which a moral and spiritual truth is illustrated in a story setting taken from the analogies of ones everyday life and experiences. It has the principle of going from the known to the unknown, from the natural world to the spiritual, it uses what people already know in everyday life to explain spiritual lessons. It is designed to solve problems and to answer questions. So all the events taught must be possible. If one knows the main issue of the picture that is being illustrated in the story the other parts of the story will fall into place. One must know the literal figure before he can understand the spiritual significance. This is how the meaning was hidden to those who had no spiritual inclination.

Matt 13:27 "So the servants of the owner came and said to him, `Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?' Matt 13:37 He answered and said to them: "He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. Its interesting that wheat when it grows to fruition has weight and makes it bend over (like bowing) while tares are light and grow up straight (pride).

Mark 4:26-29 And He said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, 27 "and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how.28 "For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head.29 "But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."

The kingdom of God is as if. Here Jesus gives a natural example to explain a spiritual truth.

We find this seed springs to life of its own power, this certainly isn’t money but the word of God that can only regenerate a sinner. One cannot know how it grows but only see the effect. Neither do we  have any influence over its growth. This is the mystery of the Gospel. How can a message that occurred almost 2,000 years ago change a persons life today? It springs to life not dependent on the person sowing it, the life is in the seed itself . It grows on its own power, by the Spirit, as if its automatic. The soil its cast in is the persons heart condition. Without a transference of nature in ones heart, being made soft and pliable they cannot be like him. While we should not cast seed "the word" carelessly, instead we should be looking for good soil those who are searching for truth since the soil is people. As Jesus himself said not giving pearls to swine (those we know who are in a state of practicing lawlessness). But we cannot read every persons heart so we sow it everywhere we can. Just as Jesus said it went to four different soils but only one yielded variable percentages of fruit. Just as a farmer does not assist the seed to sprout but only makes sure the correct environment of nutriments are there. Naturally a seed needs light and water to grow besides nourished soil. A seed sprouts and develops on its own time we cannot hasten it, Gods grace will have its course, he is the one that brings the growth to the willing heart. The natural example is used for illustrating a spiritual truth. the apostles were sent as so are we to meet the harvest. look around the fields are white unto harvest.

Let Gods word penetrate the depth of your soul. It may hurt, it may wound and be painful but in the end your life will yield fruit unto eternal rewards.

 

 

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