Be Sober

James 4:6-7 But he give more grace. Wherefore he says, God resist the proud, but give grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 

Four promises are made to backsliders here: God gives more grace to the humble; the devil will flee from you when you submit – give – yourselves to God; God will then draw near to you and lift you up.  When we give place to the enemy in our lives (Eph. 4:27), we are entering a backslidden state from where things will go from bad to worse as we regress spiritually, and decay will follow in all other areas.  We have to know that the enemy walks around like a roaring lion to seek whom he may devour (1Pet. 5:8) and for us to not fall for his vices, we need to be sober and vigilant and thus not get into a backslidden state, otherwise, we will be devoured. In 1 John 5:18 we have been promised that those born of God – which means you have been born-again and are saved – thus sin not and keep yourself, that the wicked one cannot touch you! Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:  Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. Mat 13:45-46 KJV

The kingdom of Heaven, is “like” a pearl, thus the “realm of profession,” which should always be understood in connection with things on Earth. The mystery of the kingdom of Heaven here is that of the true Church. The parable of the treasure exemplifies Israel in relation to the kingdom of Heaven. In that parable Israel is pictured with an earthly calling and hid in the world so that it had to be bought in order to get the treasure, but in this parable the pearl is bought without buying the world, for the calling of the Church is heavenly. The sons of God (the wheat) are the true children of the kingdom and make the present Church, but the sons of the devil (the tares), who profess to be children of the kingdom, are also in the “sphere of profession,” endeavoring to counteract God’s purpose in the kingdom. This parable emphasizes the fact that the Church is not the kingdom of Heaven. It is only a part of the kingdom of Heaven.

The man illustrates Christ, as in all the preceding parables. Mt. 13:3, 24, 37, 44 and the pearl illustrates the true Church that Christ gave all for in order to buy it and redeem it to Himself. Eph. 5:25-31  The great price illustrates the treasure of Heaven that God had to give in order to get the human race redeemed from the devil. Jn. 3:16; 6:51; 10:11, 18; 19:30; 1 Cor. 6:20; 1 Pet. 2:24; Rev. 5:6, 9; 12:11  Pearls are sometimes formed by the introduction of a foreign body, possibly a grain of sand, into the muscular structure of an oyster, which secretes a substance about the sand, layer after layer, until a beautiful pearl is formed. This is a wonderful picture of the gradual formation of the body of Christ. 1 Cor. 10:17; 12:12-28; Eph. 2:14-22; 4:11-16; 5:25-31

For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.  1Cor. 10:17 KJV

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man has found, he hide, and for joy thereof go and sell all that he had, and buy that field. Mat. 13:44 KJV

The treasure illustrates Israel in the kingdom of Heaven, partaking in the kingdom or realm of profession in this age. She, Israel, is like a treasure Ps. 135:4; Ex. 19:5; Mal. 3:17 hidden or lying in the world in the sense that Israel’s testimony as witnesses for God is veiled, Rom. 9:111:29  lying dormant and failing to fulfill her calling. The field is the world as in all preceding parables. Mt. 13:38 The treasure was not in the world when the devil took possession of it. When Christ came to seek the treasure it was hidden in the world. The man is Christ Mt. 13:34,37 seeking the treasure. Jn. 1:11-12; Mt. 23:37-39 and joyfully gives His all to buy the field Jn. 11:51; Rom. 8:17-25; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 2 Pet. 2:1 to get the treasure and all else in the field. Php. 2:5-8; 2Cor. 8:9; Tit. 2:14; Heb. 12:1-2 The treasure, though found, Mt. 10:6; 15:24; 23:37-39; Acts 13:46 remains hidden in the world until Christ comes to take possession of it at His second coming. Rom. 11:25-29; Lk. 21:24; Lk. 1:32-33; Isa. 9:6-7 Then the treasure, as well as the field, will be His. Eph. 1:14; Rom. 11:25-28; Lk. 21:24; Rev. 19-20; Rom. 8:17-25 His joy in giving all for the field is experienced in view of the glorious restoration of all things and the treasure, Israel, exalted and made a blessing to all nations as originally planned. Heb. 12:2; Rom. 11; Lk. 1:32-35; Isa. 9:6-7

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and become a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.  Mat. 13:31-32 KJV

The kingdom of Heaven is compared to a mustard seed, that has a small beginning and grows rapidly to an abnormal size so that it becomes a tree sheltering things that it was not intended to shelter. The mustard seed is mentioned in Mt. 13:31; 17:20; Mk. 4:31; Lk. 13:19; 17:6. In all these passages the minuteness of the seed is referred to, while in the first three the large size of the herb growing from it is mentioned. Several varieties of mustard have notably small seeds and under favorable conditions grow in a few months into tall herbs – ten to twelve feet high. The rapid growth is always a striking fact. Among the rabbis a grain of mustard was a common expression for anything minute, a meaning which explains our Lord’s phrase, “faith as a grain of mustard seed”. Mt. 17:20; Lk. 17:6

The “birds” are the same that devoured the seeds by the wayside in the parable of the sower. They are demon powers headed by the devil. This parable illustrates rapid and abnormal growth of the kingdom of Heaven from an insignificant beginning to a great place in the Earth, from being poor, little known, and separate from the world to being a great worldly institution, and the habitation of wicked men and demon powers. Mt. 13:4, 19, 32; Rev. 17:1-18; 18:2 This parable emphasizes the truth of the parable of the tares and wheat – that God’s purpose was to have only wheat in the field and that the kingdom of Heaven should be made up of only good people, but an enemy sowed tares and changed the true aspect of the kingdom to an abnormal condition of a mixture of good and bad.

The Parable of Weeds

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. Mat. 13:24-26 KJV

The sower illustrates the Son of Man (Jesus) Mt. 13:37 and the “good seed” illustrates the true children of the kingdom of Heaven. The field illustrates the world of men and the tares illustrate the professed children of the kingdom who are, in reality, the sons of the devil, who sowed them among the wheat. Mt. 13:25, 38-39 The wheat being in the ground first shows God’s plan concerning the kingdom, that only good shall be in it and that every one who professes to be a child of God should really be one. An enemy – the devil Mt. 13:25,28,39; Lk. 10:19; Acts 13:10 – sowed tares among the wheat, causing a mixture of good and bad in the same field. Thus, the kingdom of Heaven now takes on a new aspect and should rightly be understood as “the sphere of profession, “Christendom,” or “the kingdom of Heaven in mystery.”

It was common in the East for enemies to sow tares and other poisonous seeds in the fields of those they wished to hurt. In India various weeds are sown that take years to get rid of.  The word “tares” – the Greek, zizania, occurs only in Matthew 13:25, 36 is not the same as the darnel of the naturalists, but zewan, as known in Palestine today. While growing it looks like wheat, but when full grown the ears are long and the grain is black. Each grain of the zewan must be removed before grinding the wheat, or the bread is bitter and poisonous. Tares show their true color as they ripen. Verse 26 shows that the tares could not be detected until the fruit began to appear. Mt. 7:15-20

He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. Mat. 13:27-30 KJV

The tares and the wheat both grow side by side in the same field, which is the will of the householder, until the harvest. Mt. 13:37-40 Both saved and unsaved who profess to be children of the kingdom will mingle together in this world until the end of the age. The harvest illustrates the separation of the wicked among the just at the end of this age when the Messiah comes to reign. Mt. 13:39-43; 25:31-46; 1 Thess. 5:1-11; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; Jude 14; Zech. 14:1-21   The reapers illustrate angels who will separate the wicked from the good when Christ comes. Mt. 13:39-43; 24:31, 51; 25:31-46; 2 Thess. 1:7-10

As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;  And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. Mat. 13:40-43 KJV

The expression of “the end of the world” means “the end of the age.” At this time the kingdom of Heaven ceases to be the sphere of profession and becomes the literal kingdom of Heaven, or the reign of the Messiah over all the kingdoms of this world. Rev. 11:15; Dan. 7:13-14, 18

When the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, refers to the time when the judgment of the nations Mt. 25:31-46; Dan. 7:9 will be executed. The tares will be burned in the same sense the branches of Christ will be if they do not abide in Him. Mt. 8:12; 13:40-43,49-50; 24:31; 25:41,46; Jn. 15:6

The furnace of fire where there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth is another description of eternal hell, not the grave. Mt. 13:42,50; Rev. 9:2 Wailing, Mt. 13:50 weeping Mt. 8:12; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Lk. 13:28 and the gnashing of teeth, picture bitter remorse and pain. The righteous will take over the kingdoms of this world forever Rev. 1:5-7; 5:10; 11:15; 20:4-6; 22:4-5; Mt. 25:31-46; Zech. 14 and they will be luminous like the sun Mt. 19:28; 25:31-46; Rev. 5:10; 20:1-10 and inherit all things. Mt. 5:5; 25:35; Lk. 12:32; Rom. 8:17; Dan. 7:18,22,27; Rev. 21:7

I choose to hear what the Word of God says and will live in obedience so that I can shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of my Heavenly Father! Amen

 

The Parable of the Sower

And he spoke many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow… Mat 13:3 KJV

This parable pictures the classes of hearers in the kingdom of Heaven – the whole course of this age of grace, portraying the reception of the Word of God in different hearts and the results that follow.  The sower illustrates the Son of Man (Christ) and the seed illustrates the Word of the kingdom.

And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up … When any one hear the word of the kingdom, and understand it not, then come the wicked one, and catch away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. Mat 13:4,19 KJV

The seed sown on wayside ground, being eaten by the fowls illustrates a class of people who hear the Word of the kingdom and refuse to obey it because of indifference and lack of understanding. The devil immediately catches away the Word sown in the heart lest it should germinate and bring forth fruit. 2 Cor. 4:4

Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away …  But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that hear the word, and anon with joy receive it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but endure for a while: for when tribulation or persecution arise because of the word, by and by he is offended.  Mat 13:5-6, 20-21 KJV

The seed sown on stony ground, which immediately sprang up because it did not have much depth of earth, illustrates a class of people who receive the Word with joy, but they are shallow in their experience and the seed, because of lack of preparation in the ground, cannot go deep enough to take root to stand. In time of trouble and persecution, such persons are offended. They stumble and reject the Word as quickly as they receive it. Mt. 18:6; 2 Tim. 3:13

And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them … He also that received seed among the thorns is he that hear the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he become unfruitful. Mat 13:7, 22 KJV

The seed sown on thorny ground, which was choked by the thorns and became unfruitful, illustrates a class of people who hear the Word and permit it to be choked by a love for the world, the cares of life, and the deceitfulness of riches, so that it becomes unfruitful. Rom. 12:1-3; 2 Tim. 4:10; Jas. 4:1-7; 1 Jn. 2:15-17

But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixty-fold, some thirty-fold. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that hear the word, and understand it; which also bear fruit, and bring forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Mat 13:8, 23 KJV

The seed sown on good ground, which brought forth fruit illustrates a class of people who hear the Word and permit it to have free course and bring forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixty-fold, and some thirty-fold. This class puts forth an effort to understand the Word and to get out of the personal life all the hindrances symbolized by the hard, stony, and thorny ground. The words “hundredfold,” “sixty-fold,” and “thirty-fold” do not teach degrees of Christians, but degrees of fruit-bearing by Christians and that depends upon the quality of ground in which the seed is sown and the effectiveness of care and cultivation.

Who hath ears to hear, let him hear … Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. Mat 13:9, 18 KJV

I choose to hear the Word of God and be obedient to what I hear so that my life can bring forth fruit and I can live a Godly life!