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Mat 13-1,2

(143k) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Jesus is popular because of His words

Mat 13,3-9

(225h) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables >> Parables about the garden of the kingdom >> Parables about seeds -- These verses go with verses 18-33. Some postulate the seeds that fell on the good soil are the only ones getting saved, while others interpret the seeds that fell alongside the road are the only ones not getting saved. In each case the soil represents a state of heart. Some seeds fell beside the road and the person considered the word for a moment and then discounted it. shortly after, demon forces came and picked the word from his brain. Some fell on rocky places and sprouted and later died from a lack of depth. Some fell among thorns and were choked of sunlight. Finally, some fell in good soil and grew to produce much fruit. The two middle instances are people getting saved and then falling away from the faith. The soil where every seed lands is like a poker hand. The deck is shuffled to increase randomness. The dealer divvies the same number of cards to each person; though all the cards are different, one receives a good hand, while others receive a lesser hand, while others receives a poor hand. People are dealt their hand when they are born and raised in a family they didn’t choose. They are given a set of circumstances over which they had no control, and then they are called to produce fruit where they are planted and do the most with what they were given. Some plants actually succeed in growing on rocky soil, though their percentage rates are very low, which was Jesus’ point. If their roots can find a crack in the rock where it can burrow to the precious moisture, and if the rock happens to be limestone that was formed from the dead bodies of plants and animals collected on the bottom of an extinct sea holding many minerals, it stands a chance of growing. Plus, it has sturdiness in the rock to hold it in place during violent storms. See also: Root system; Mat 13-5,6; 6f

(229e) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Kingdom grows by itself >> God causes the growth >> Kingdom grows like crops in a farmer’s field -- These verses go with verses 24-30. The fact about thorns is that they are weeds, which are more robust and grow faster than fruit-bearing plants. All the fruit-bearing plants expend large amounts of energy producing fruit that takes from the plant’s ability to compete with weeds, and for this reason they need a farmer to level the playing field by protecting them from the more competitive weeds that would steal sunlight that the fruit-bearing plants need to grow. Thus, fruit-bearing plants carry an extra burden that weeds do not have, requiring the farmer to give it an edge over the weeds, but Jesus’ parable is about a man randomly tossing seed without the benefit of a farmer. Where it lands is where it grows.

Mat 13,3-8

(128k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing fruit >> Living a fruitful life is a way of survival – God asks us to do what we can with what we have been given. According to the parable, the only seed that did any good was planted in good soil. The plant that does well on rocky soil is one seed in a million, whereas the percentage of seeds that grow to maturity and bear much fruit in the good soil is much higher. If we are a seed that was planted on rocky soil or among thorns, we should not give up hope just because we were given circumstances that are less than ideal. If we give God our lives, no matter what situation we find ourselves, He can make us grow and bear fruit for Him. At the judgment, the one who matured and produced fruit where he was planted will be rewarded proportionately more than the one who grew in good soil. People care only about results, whereas God takes our circumstances into account.

Mat 13-4

(168i) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world has deaf ears to God >> Deaf to the word of God from a lack of understanding -- This verse goes with verse 14&15. Jesus told the Pharisees and Scribes many things about God and about themselves in just how far off the mark they had strayed. Every word Jesus said to them they discarded, and the demons came and snatched the word from their hearts. The evangelist can actually watch this in action when he preaches Jesus to people and observes their response in rejecting the gospel. They don’t just reject the knowledge of God, they also reject the moment it was presented to them, as though the experience never happened, yet in the back of their minds somewhere the memory still exists, and God will bring this to the fore on Judgment Day and show them that they actually heard the word of God and rejected it, and they won’t be able to deny it.

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Mat 13,5-7

(202d) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Running from God >> Running to your sinful nature >> Run from God through a lack of character -- These verses go with verses 20-22

Mat 13-5,6

(6f) Responsibility >> Being spiritual >> Ministering to God >> Obey His word – The unseen root system represents our relationship with God, while the plant aboveground represents our ministry toward people. The way God would have it, our relationship with people should not exceed our relationship with God, but some forget about their ministry toward God and concentrate only on their ministry toward people, and ultimately it becomes their downfall. The roots need to burrow deep into the soil to find water, combining the sun’s benefit with the underground nutrients and moisture to ensure the plant’s health. See also: Root system; 98b

(98b) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Rooted deeply >> Plant the word deeply in your heart -- These verses go with verses 20&21. In the rocky places the plants immediately sprang-up, because they had no depth of soil. When a seed begins to sprout, the plan is to grow down and up at the same time in equal amounts. A tree’s root system takes on a form similar to what we see aboveground, but when a seed sprouts on rocky soil, the roots cannot grow downward, so all its energy is forced upward. To the observer it appears healthy and growing fast, but given what the plant needs, it would prefer to invest more of its energy to produce a healthy root system. Outwardly, everything seems fine, but beneath the surface the root system is underdeveloped. The plant needs sunlight, but sunlight only hastens its death, for at midday the sun scorches the plant and its leaves begin to wilt. See also: Root system; Mat 13,18-23; 128i

Mat 13-8,9

(194b) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Run to God >> Run to Jesus when He calls for you -- These verses go with verse 23. Remember the words that Jesus said, "Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit." Note that every seed that the sower sowed, whether along the road, on the rocky soil, among the thorns or in the good soil, they all died, but the one that dies in faith produces fruit. We are going to die, so we might as well die (to self) in faith so our death can reproduce fruit for God.

Mat 13-8

(218g) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> Reaping the harvest >> Reaping the harvest of obedience >> The harvest from the word of God -- This verse goes with verse 23. The seeds represent reaping the harvest of God’s word, as we dedicate ourselves to Him. The seed that fell on good soil, produced thirty some sixty and some a hundred percent of its potential, representing the level of our heavenly reward. Many people don’t make full use of God’s grace that He has availed to them. Instead they fritter away their life with meaningless activities that they consider more important than serving God. Note in this parable of the sower, the seed that fell on the road didn’t grow at all; the seed that fell on rocky soil and among thorns grew for a little while and then died, and the seed that fell on the good soil was the only seed that grew to maturity. The question is, ‘Are we in good soil?’ Producing thirty, sixty or a hundred percent of our potential represents how much of our lives we spent walking on the trail of good works that God has prepared for each person, or else it represents how much of our lives we dedicated to pointless and worldly pursuits. On that day the person who produced thirty percent of his potential will regret he didn’t produce sixty, and the one who produced sixty will regret he didn’t produce a hundred. We want to enter heaven with a full reward (2Jn-8).

Mat 13-9

(106e) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Attaining the hearing ear >> Having the ability to hear -- This verse goes with verse 43. Jesus made this statement seven times in chapters two and three of Revelation, accentuating its significance, speaking to the Church in the last days, suggesting that the hearing ear will be our greatest asset, getting us through the great tribulation. If we happen to be born in the last days, those are the circumstances we have been given, and if we develop the hearing ear, no matter what the circumstances, God will have the opportunity to perform miracles in us and through us, simply because He can communicate with us. If He can’t communicate with us, how will we ever know what He wants us to do? Another guarantee of the hearing ear is that we are willing to do whatever He says, being how we maintain the hearing ear. A person who will not do what God tells them will quickly grow deaf to His voice; like animals that live in a cave, their eyes grow blind from disuse. Growing deaf is the worst thing that could happen to us in the last days. We need to hear God's voice, and if we can, it doesn’t matter if we have a million dollars or a stash of gold and silver, or guns and ammunition. It doesn’t matter if we have tons of food stored; if we can hear His voice, we have everything we need. God probably will not use any of these other things, just by the fact that He never told us in the Bible to stash them in preparation for the last days. If we have the hearing ear, we will never get around to eating that food or spending that money or shooting those guns. God has other plans for us in the last days that we would never guess in a million years. There is no need to plan for anything, because there are no instructions in the Bible to do so, except to develop the hearing ear. God will instruct His people when that time comes, so there the only thing we need to prepare is our heart. See also: Hearing ear; Mat 13-14,15; 168i

Mat 13,10-17

(222g) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Do not give what is holy to dogs >> God shares no intimacy with dogs >> God does not speak to dogs

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Mat 13,11-15

(221f) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Kingdom hidden behind the veil from the world >> God hides from the mind of man >> He hides behind man’s slowness of heart -- Some people accuse God of being insensitive and evil for not revealing Himself to everyone, but the truth is: not everyone wants to know God. How could God be evil for not revealing Himself to someone who doesn't want to know Him? Isn't He doing the person a favor by granting the person his wish? God will work with us in whatever capacity we decide. If we dedicate our life to seeking Him, then He will help us find Him, and if we dedicate our life to avoiding Him, He will help us avoid Him. There is a difference between speaking in parables to fulfill Old Testament prophecy, and saying things He didn’t expect them to understand, because they would not have believed Him even if they did understand. The fact that the Jews knew what He said is all that really mattered to Jesus. If they were willing to recognize that Jesus Christ portrayed the characteristics of their Messiah according to their Old Testament, they could have gone to Him, and He would have happily explained everything to them. In this way he separated those who understood from those who didn’t based on faith and conviction, not based on intellectual ability.

Mat 13-11

(219c) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> The elect >> Man is a spectator of his own salvation >> God has chosen us

(231f) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Mystery of godliness >> Revelation of Jesus is the mystery of the kingdom >> Jesus reveals the mystery of the kingdom – God grants some people to know about His mysterious ways, but to others they have not been granted. Jesus is speaking in terms of His Father’s foreknowledge and His predestined elect. Jesus personally didn’t think in these terms, but the Father does, though together they are an infinite and eternal being. To the Father everything has already been done; there are no mysteries to Him. Part of the excitement of life is not knowing the future; He enjoys watching us live out our lives by faith, and He lives vicariously through us. To us, if we knew the future, it wouldn’t be fun. This is partly the reason kids have more fun than adults. We understand better how things work, and we teach children what we know, yet the more they learn, the less mysterious the world seems to them. Some people think that when we get to heaven we will know all things like God, but that would wreck everything! Mysteries, not just solving them but the very fact that they exist, are the joy of life. Some mysteries will never be solved, and the greatest mystery of all is God Himself.

Mat 13-12

(36a) Gift of God >> Gifts from the Holy Spirit >> To him who has shall more be given – This is one of the few principles of the kingdom that applies also to the world. The one who has money finds it easier to make more money, but the one who has very little finds it difficult to make any at all. Some say that God is at fault for the person who has very little, since He is in charge of divvying out His gifts. However, God wouldn't give much to one and less to another, and then complain about how little some people have? On the contrary, this verse clearly holds those accountable who are spiritually bankrupt, suggesting that there was something they could have done, that it is their fault. It says in Rom 12-3 that God has allotted to each a measure of faith; to one He has given much and to another He has given less. God has given us a seed on the day of our salvation, as 1Pet 1-23 says, and the implication of the seed is that it should grow and mature. God placed in each of us varying measures of faith, but that varying measure over time is superceded by our ability to nurture the seed, so the one who has received little can produce much, and the one who has received more may not have nurtured what he received, or even let it die.

(222j) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Do not give what is holy to dogs >> Give to him who has >> Take from him who does not have -- There are some with millions of dollars, and there are others who barely scrape by from one week to the next. The rich man wonders why people don't do something about their poverty, and at the same time we suppose that anyone can get saved whenever they want just like we did, but it doesn't work that way in either case. Go earn a million dollars, and if you can't, then maybe the millionaire can't get saved, because of the common principle that is at work in both kingdoms.

(249h) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Wealth >> True perception of wealth >> The infinite and eternal wealth of God >> Being rich in Jesus -- This verse goes with verses 44-46

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Mat 13-14,15

(168i) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world has deaf ears to God >> Deaf to the word of God from a lack of understanding -- This verse goes with verse 19. The key word is “deny”. We could almost say there are only two things that occur in the spiritual realm: receiving the gospel of Christ or denying it. “Rejection” means refusal, but “deny” refers to playing mental games to pretend they never heard the word of God in the first place for conscience sake. It is a very bizarre behavior, explaining why denying Christ is accompanied by demons. Both denying and receiving Christ are spiritual acts, so when we preach Jesus to somebody, we know the spiritual realm is about to become active in the person one way or the other. Most people dedicate their whole lives to a secular worldview, so when we preach Jesus to them, they reject the knowledge, but if we bring the gospel to them so that the Holy Spirit has an opportunity to impact them, they deny the experience as a whole, or else they receive the gospel and are saved. See also: Hearing ear; Mat 13,18-23; 128i

Mat 13-14

(169f) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is blind to God >> Willful blindness 

Mat 13-15

(74l) Thy kingdom come >> Let not your heart be hardened >> Insensitive to the things of God

(196j) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Spiritual laziness >> Replacing God’s standard of excellence with yours >> Sleeping in the spirit

Mat 13,18-33

(225h) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables >> Parables about the garden of the kingdom >> Parables about seeds -- These verses go with verses 36-43

Mat 13,18-23

(128i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing fruit >> Living a fruitful life >> Be fruitful and multiply >> Growing spiritually – Believers represented by the seed that fell on rocky places never develop a firm root, so that the moment persecution comes, they fall away. Many who try to obey the Bible don’t know about God’s calling in their lives. These are linear Christians, whereas those who walk by the Spirit are dynamic Christians, who produce fruit at an exponential rate. The linear Christian has a one-to-one correlation with his efforts: to the degree that he tries is the rate that he bears fruit. In contrast, the Christian who obeys the Holy Spirit, who has a hearing hear and knows his calling from God and is busy fulfilling it, generates exponential results. He is like a man operating a backhoe, who pulls certain levers and digs a hole far bigger than he could with a shovel. The person who obeys the Holy Spirit, when he opens his mouth and speaks the oracle of God, his words are both timely and heartrending, because he is in touch with God, who is setting him free and delivering him from sins that once held him in bondage. Over time, God leads him from the darkness of his flesh and from the demonic spirits associated with sin, to the light, and the result is that he can hear the Holy Spirit all the better. In contrast, the believer who received the gospel among thorns almost never can hear God’s voice and wants to keep Him at arm’s length, but Christianity simply doesn’t work that way. See also: Hearing ear; Mat 13-19; 168i / Root system; Mat 13,3-9; 225h

(207g) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Salvation verses >> The Kingdom of God >> Investing in the Kingdom of God -- These verses go with verse 33

Mat 13-19

(168i) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world has deaf ears to God >> Deaf to the word of God from a lack of understanding -- This verse goes with verse 4. When we tell unbelievers about Jesus who have no interest in being converted and living for Jesus and going to heaven, they don’t want to believe it, so they push the knowledge of the gospel from their minds, and the demons snatch it from their hearts so later they can’t believe and be saved. If they wanted to reconsider, they couldn’t because the word had been taken from them; it is no longer available; this is called denial. They would have to wait for Jesus to tell them again, but as He said about the Holy Spirit, “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (Jn 3-8). With many people, they only hear the word of God a handful of times in their whole lives, and if they jettison the word they heard, the demons will remove it altogether, and there is no telling if they will ever have another opportunity to believe in Jesus. See also: Hearing ear; Mat 13-20,21; 98b

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Mat 13,20-22

(202d) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Running from God >> Running to your sinful nature >> Run from God through a lack of character -- These verses go with verses 5-7. People loose their faith by running to their sinful nature, which is equal to running from obeying God. Those who loose their faith as a result of a lack of character are those whom seed was sown on rocky soil; they lack confidence in what they believe, and the jolts of life cause them to drop the ball. Those who loose their faith through disobedience are those whom seed was sown among the thorns; the enticement of the world is too great and they trade their faith in the truth for the temporal desires of deception.

(203i) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Back-slider >> Withdraw from obeying God >> Withdrawing from the truth – The disciples once asked Jesus, “Who can be saved?” and His answer was… “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Mat 19-25,26). Our efforts to get saved and stay saved are nearly futile, for it is up to God to save us and to keep us in His hand and to protect our faith from evil (2Tim 1-12). We all sin a lot, but we repent and are forgiven, but John said, “There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this” (1Jn 5-16). We are not even to pray for such a one who commits this sin. It is not wise to dedicate our prayers to those who disregard the Holy Spirit.

Mat 13-20,21

(98b) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Rooted deeply >> Plant the word deeply in your heart -- These verses go with verses 5&6. Oftentimes the voice we hear in our heart is our conscience, which is different from the Holy Spirit. God speaks to our conscience, and if we consistently disobey Him, eventually it leads to being shipwrecked in regard to the faith. Other times He speaks directly to us by His Spirit, and we must pay close attention, for the benefits and consequences are far greater. He is speaking to us about our calling in this instance, and if we listen and obey Him, it greatly strengthens our faith, and we will find ourselves in the middle of His will with His Spirit all around us. See also: Hearing ear; Mat 13-23; 194b

(170j) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Temporary >> Back-sliders are temporary – Jesus told stories about backsliding, such as the parable of the Prodigal Son; his problems were strictly fleshly in nature. People who backslide still believe, but their flesh keeps them from obeying the truth, and some reserve a day in the future when they will finally commit to obeying God. They have every intension of removing certain obstacles in their way of serving the Lord with a full heart. Then, there are others who don’t have these intensions; they believe for a while and then something happens and they change their minds; they have a change of heart. This is the case in the parable of the seed sower. This parable is about people who fall away from the faith, and note that their problems are spiritual in nature. The Bible teaches that such people cannot repent of their unbelief or return to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, for they have crucified “to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame.” (Heb 6,4-8). In this parable the only person who makes it to heaven is the one whose seed was sown in good soil that became fruitful. That person will see heaven, but the other three will not. The seed that landed on the road never germinated, much less grew. It landed on hard-packed sun-baked ground with few nutrients, and the roots could not penetrate, where the seed was easily spotted and eaten by the birds. The other two began to grow but later died because of problems either above or below ground, below ground pertains to doctrinal issues, whereas above ground pertains to social issues. With social issues, these are fruit-bearing plants competing with weeds, and the weeds win every time. This is why we shouldn’t compete with the world, because it is not a fair fight. We have a burden tied to our back that we must carry throughout our lives: faith in Jesus Christ. When we think of a plant that must reserve so much of its energy to bear fruit, versus weeds that don’t have this burden, the cards are stacked against us. We must cultivate the garden of our heart to extract the weeds, so they don’t take over and rob us of much-needed sunlight. Then there is the rocky soil where weeds can anchor, but this soil is unsustainable for higher-order plants that require a comprehensive root system, and so they die. We’ve probably all met people similar to this, new converts who appear to be growing like weeds, and maybe that is just the case, because we turn our head for a moment and look back and they’re gone. We ask them what happened, and all we get is phony excuses why they quit believing in Jesus, ‘The pastor didn’t shake my hand,’ or, ‘That Christian said something mean to me;’ and the list goes on forever. If they don’t bear fruit, then they’re weeds, people who steal sunlight from fruit-bearing plants; and if they fall-away, they can’t be brought back to life, anymore than we can resuscitate a plant that has died.

(243a) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Reacting to persecution >> Falling away through persecution

Mat 13-22

(93n) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective on the circumstances of this life

(182k) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Deceitfulness of riches – Many cannot hear the meaning of God’s word from the worries of the world and the deceitfulness of riches, that is, from the pursuit of happiness coupled with the fear of losing it. We must beware of temporal happiness that money can buy and of the fear of poverty that money cannot avert. These two keep people from understanding the word of God. The poor are preoccupied fearing their poverty and the rich are deceived by their wealth. The poor worry about their circumstances, while the rich fear death. Meanwhile, the gospel is overlooked on both ends.

(249j) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Wealth >> World’s perception of wealth >> The world's wealth erodes good values >> The world’s wealth is deceitful – Wealth has a voice; it speaks to faith, and everything it says is a lie, bringing doubt and unbelief to the Christian. The world’s value system regarding money and materialism opposes the truth. The biggest lie of money is that it promises security and a good future. Money abandons us in the advent of our death. Although money is necessary in this life as a medium of exchange, the need for it is what makes life hard, and all the happiness it promises is fleeting. If we had so much money that we couldn’t spend it all, we would probably kill ourselves trying. The person who has lots of money probably has lots of friends, but it cannot buy the friend we have in Jesus, for the hope of eternal life cannot be purchased with money. The rich young ruler came to Jesus knowing He couldn’t buy eternal life, and asked how to receive it. The rich young ruler was so used to buying everything that he needed and wanted, the things Jesus offered seemed incomprehensible to him. He knew he didn’t have eternal life, being very discerning that way; but when Jesus told him how much eternal life would cost him, he hung his head and walked away. The Bible says that eternal life is a free gift (Rom 6-23), but at the same time it costs the same for everybody: everything we have. If a person had three cents to his name, that is how much eternal life would cost him; but if he had a billion dollars, that is how much it would cost. The more we have of this world, the more eternal life costs. The rich young ruler had to get rid of all his money in order to receive eternal life; the funny thing about that is, the money didn’t go toward his salvation; rather, he had to remove the obstacle of money before he could receive the free gift of eternal life. He walked away sad, because he knew he would never be willing to part with his money. If salvation were for sale, he wasn’t buying it, and though it isn’t for sale, yet the result is the same. His money meant everything to him; he estimated his self-worth by it. Money lied to the rich young ruler, and it will lie to us if we trust in it. If the end of the world were coming upon us, the Bible says that money would not deliver us in that day. Instead, God is our deliverer even through death. Some of us will have to die during the Great Tribulation. If we spend all our money on silver and gold as a means of getting through the arduous last days, money will fail us, as it failed everybody throughout time. Most people turn to money as their ultimate solution to life, and for that reason they don’t see the need for Jesus, because they already have a savior. No one in hell has a nickel to his name; no one in heaven needs a nickel to his name. We can’t take it with us, and if we rely on it to save us, it will fail.

Mat 13-23

(194b) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Run to God >> Run to Jesus when He calls for you -- This verse goes with verses 8&9. The man whom seed was sown in good soil hears the word and understands it. This is not the case with the one who’s seed was sown among the thorns, because he was too busy worrying about the things of the world, deceived by wealth to think what God is saying. He heard the word but not the meaning of it. Anyone can hear the word but the meaning comes only from God. It goes back to what Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth” (1Cor 3-6). One man preaches the gospel, another teaches it, but God is in the background maturing His people. We are in charge of preaching the word, but God is in charge of conveying it. We can contemplate the Scriptures and interpret the Bible without spiritually understanding it. Man teaches the syllables of Scripture, but if the Holy Spirit doesn’t reveal it to us, then we don’t know it. See also: Hearing ear; Mat 13-9; 106e / Spirit and the Word (Spirit reveals God's word); Jn 20-29; 104i

(218g) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> Reaping the harvest of obedience >> The harvest from the word of God -- This verse goes with verses 31&32

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Mat 13,24-30

(159c) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit godliness >> Counterfeit Christian -- These verses go with verses 38&39. It is instructive to note the sequence in the last days according to this passage; Jesus indicated that first He will deal with false brethren in the Church, then He will gather His saints to Himself. This flies in the face of the pre-tribulation rapture theory that says the saints will first be removed, and then judgment will commence. At the end of the age God will uproot the wicked; what better place to hide from God's judgment than among the saints. Almost everything in the Bible refers to two distinct periods, the first century and the last century. Jesus here was prophesying that in the last days the Church would be overrun by sinners posturing as saints. It will be an unsettling time for the Church, questioning who is friend and who is foe. As an analogy, cowbirds don’t build nests but lay their eggs in other bird species nests and trick them into raising their young. The cowbird chick often grows larger than the native chicks, taking nutrients from them and letting them starve or else kicking them from the nest. False brethren in churches have done the same to the true saints all across America and throughout the world. Churches these days are overrun by unbelievers, starving the saints or else ejecting them from the church, but in most cases they leave voluntarily because they are not being fed. Jesus said, “An enemy has done this.” See also: False brethren; Mat 13-30; 167k / Analogy; Mat 13-30; 167k / Analogy (Heart is like a sharpshooter); Rev 2-4; 161d / Last days (Doomsday preppers); 1The 3-12,13; 42a

(207f) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Salvation verses >> The Kingdom of God >> Children of God’s kingdom -- These verses go with verses 37-43

(229e) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Kingdom grows by itself >> God causes the growth >> Kingdom grows like crops in a farmer’s field -- These verses go with verses 3-9. Plant the mustard seed and it will grow larger than all the other garden plants. It grows so large that we wouldn’t want to plant it where it would shade the garden plants but to the side where we may set a bench in its shade. It benefits many species of animals; birds nest in its branches and gives shade to the animals and other plant species that live under its canopy.

Mat 13-30

(47b) Judgment >> God Judges the world >> Hell is a place of sorrow >> It is a great fire prepared for the devil and his angels >> burning site where people are thrown away -- This verse goes with verses 37-42

(50d) Judgment >> Last Days >> Great Endtime Revival >> Jews lead the world into revival >> Leading the harvest at the end of the age

(167k) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Do not conform to the world >> The world’s unbelief – Jesus said that an enemy had sown tares among the wheat while His men were asleep, referring to false brethren in the Church, apostasy and spiritual laziness. There is a connection between the parables of the tares among the wheat and the Ten Virgins: in both cases they fell asleep? God has commanded His people to be separate from the world. The relationship of the Church with the world is like oil and water; they naturally separate. In the field of chemistry, companies that make food products add a chemical to a combination of water and oil to make them compatible so they don’t separate; this is called emulsification, and there seems to be a spiritual emulsifier in the Church making believers and unbelievers supposedly compatible, and the emulsifier is called leaven that reacts in a lukewarm environment. See also: Analogy; Mat 13,24-30; 159c / False brethren; Mat 13,37-43; 172d

(218j) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> Reaping the harvest >> Reaping the harvest in eternity -- This verse goes with verses 41-43

(237c) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The Church is transferred to the kingdom >> Rapture is delayed – At the time of the harvest, He told the reapers, which are angels, to “first gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up, but gather my wheat into my barn.” Here is the sequence of events that will occur in the last days: He will deal with the wicked first, and then He will gather His people together, but what does the Church teach these days? It says that the Rapture is the very first thing to happen, and then He will judge the world. In other words, the Church teaches opposite of what Jesus taught. Peter said that in the days of Noah the wicked were drowned; God judged the world through a flood, but in the last days He will judge them with fire. When we look at the plagues that are listed mostly in the book of Revelation, it says that the Two Witnesses will prevent rain from falling on the earth throughout the days of their prophesying (3½ years); that will cause everything to dry up and burn, meaning no food. Meanwhile, Christians will still be here, yet God has a plan to protect the saints from His judgments on the wicked, just as He had a plan to protect the Israelites during His judgments against Egypt in the days of Moses. He commanded them to remain in the land of Goshen, where the plagues did not go. If they remained there, they would be safe. This is what God intends to do in the last days; He will prepare a place for His people, where He will provide for them as God did for the Israelites in the wilderness, while He judges the world for martyring the saints. See also: Rapture is delayed; Mat 13,39-42; 15j / Great Endtime Revival (Harvest at the end of the age); Jn 4,28-39; 148l

Mat 13,31-33

(225a) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Description of heaven >> The holy of holies >> The Kingdom of God is in your spirit

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Mat 13-31,32

(218g) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> Reaping the harvest >> Reaping the harvest of obedience >> The harvest from the word of God -- These verses go with verse 8. The Church currently appears small and insignificant compared to the kingdoms of this world, but given time the kingdoms of this world will all disappear, leaving only the Kingdom of God, which in eternity will grow infinitely larger and more significant than the kingdoms of this world. The world has many ideas, each representing a different type of seed, but when sown becomes a weed, whereas God’s kingdom seems very small and immaterial, yet when it is sown becomes a useful plant for birds and animals. Jesus is teaching that the kingdom of God planted in good soil will eventually grow to become greater than all the other plants around it, creating an ecosystem that attracts many species that benefit from its unique qualities. The farmer must be careful where he plants the mustard seed, so it doesn’t shade his garden. It is a good plant to have near a garden, because it draws birds and other creatures that eat pests that would attack his garden.

Mat 13-33

(132k) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holy Spirit is in God’s people >> Holy Spirit is in the hearts of men

(207g) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Salvation verses >> The Kingdom of God >> Investing in the Kingdom of God -- This verse goes with verses 44-50

(229a) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Kingdom grows by itself >> Growing In Numbers Corresponds With Spiritual Growth >> Kingdom slowly spreads and overtakes darkness -- This parable is a good likeness of how the word of God works in our heart. God places His Kingdom at the very center of our being, and it changes us from the inside-out. He doesn't just change our mind but changes our constitution. It is not an instantaneous transformation, but one that occurs over a lifetime, so that we are no longer the same person. The changes that occur in us affect other people, making us an influence in the world, which slowly spreads and overtakes darkness.

(246a) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Spirit realm superimposed upon the natural realm >> The outside is a manifestation of the inside – Normally, the Bible uses leaven to represent sin, but Jesus said in this parable that it represents the Kingdom of Heaven. God plants His Holy Spirit in our heart, like the woman placed leaven in the center of a lump of dough and left it there overnight, and in the morning she found that the dough was leavened from the inside-out. What transpired inwardly manifested outwardly. This is God’s plan and purpose for each of us that we would grow throughout our lives as Christians with the goal of manifesting the work that God is doing in our heart. If it doesn't manifest, then it is not real. “God is Spirit,” but He made a physical world; the invisible made the visible, as it says in Heb 11-3, “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.” The spiritual made the natural. This is what God wants us to do in each of us. He wants the spiritual realm that He planted in us to manifest through the members of our bodies to produce the fruit of the Spirit and fulfill the plan and purpose He has destined for us.

Mat 13-34,35

(108i) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Revelation of Jesus Christ >> Revelation of the mysteries of God – The parables Jesus spoke represented knowledge from God that had been hidden since the foundation of the world. We can imagine people walking the earth over the millennia who wondered about the mysterious thoughts in the mind of God, and they must have wondered what God thought about them, and then Jesus came and told us.

Mat 13-35

(141c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> It bears witness to Jesus >> Prophesy about Jesus’ ministry >> Jesus as the Son of God

Mat 13,36-43

(225h) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables >> Parables about the garden of the kingdom >> Parables about seeds -- These verses go with verses 3-9

Mat 13,37-43

(172a) Tares Among The Wheat (Key verse)

(172d) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Tares among the wheat >> Communion between the world and the Church >> Worldliness in the Church – When sinners persecute the gospel, it flourishes. God uses the good and the evil to advance His agenda; the more persecution, the more the gospel spreads and the more people believe in Jesus and are rescued “from this present evil age” (Gal 1-4). The greatest threat to the gospel is during good times when people are free to believe in Jesus; these are times when the gospel should be spreading like wildfire; instead, it is when the devil sows tares among the wheat. The truth of the gospel is maligned and becomes less believable, fewer people are interested, and the gospel goes to the wayside, until persecution returns, and the gospel flourishes again. See also: False brethren; Mat 13,24-30; 159c

(207f) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Salvation verses >> The Kingdom of God >> Children of God’s kingdom -- These verses go with verses 24-30

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Mat 13,37-42

(47b) Judgment >> God Judges the world >> Hell is a place of sorrow >> It is a great fire prepared for the devil and his angels >> burning site where people are thrown away -- These verses go with verses 47-51. Jesus didn’t tell anyone that He was the Son of God except his closest disciples to avoid expediting His crucifixion. To be saved we must understand that Jesus was the Son of God; he was more than a martyred prophet like the other prophets. When they murdered Him, God used His death as a measuring stick by which He would judge mankind. Jesus came and died for the sins of the world for the sake of those who would inherit eternal life, and also for the sake of those who would reject Him, giving God a reason to create a hell; now, everyone who goes there is without excuse. Had Jesus not come and given His life for man's sin, those in hell would feel justified condemning God as an ogre. In fact, had Jesus not come and given His life, God could not prove that He was better than those He sent to hell, but now that Jesus has come and paid the penalty for their sins, even of those who would reject Him; He paid for the right to eternally judge them. Now when God sends them to hell, they have no excuse. Angst is a feeling of dread, anxiety, or anguish ( “Angst” is a shortened version of anxiety. Those in hell are miserable; but if they were in heaven, they would possibly feel worse. The true misery of hell is knowing they belong there. See also: God Judges the wicked through the cross; Mat 20,25-28; 40d

Mat 13-38,39

(159c) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit >> Counterfeit godliness >> Counterfeit Christian -- These verses go with verses 24-30

Mat 13,39-42

(15j) Servant >> Angels execute Judgment >> In regard to the world – Pre-tribulation Rapture advocates complain about this passage that it says God intends to gather the tares to be burned before He gathers the wheat into His barn. Their doctrine claims that the Rapture will occur first and then judgment, but for God to gather all stumbling blocks first conflicts with their teaching. God intends to leave the Church here while He gathers the tares in bundles in preparation to be burned, referring to judgment against the wicked for martyring the saints during the first five seals of Satan’s wrath, which refers to the period of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. There will be a judgment after this when men will die at the hand of God in His dreadful Trumpet judgments. The Church will be here to see God use His mighty angels to loose demons on His enemies in forms of wickedness that defy the imagination. Since they worship demons, God will give them demons to torture and kill them, that will emerge from the earth to destroy one third of mankind of those who received the mark of the beast. After this, God will Rapture His people, only because the bowls that follow will be so severe that there will be no place on earth to hide. See also: Last days (Seal and Trumpet judgments); Lk 17,31-37; 245e

Mat 13,40-42

(49h) Judgment >> God judges the world >> The last days >> The day of judgment (Armageddon) – Armageddon will occur after the world population has been chiseled to a mere fraction of its former amount. Most of mankind at that time will be huddled together in the Middle East, where biblical activities usually occur. It is where man began his reign on earth, and it is where it will end. This war of Armageddon refers to the event of God destroying his enemies who have come to make war with Him, while on their way to destroy Jerusalem. These are people who have been turned insane after adopting the mind of Satan, who will never stop believing he will somehow kill God and reign in His place. Every opportunity God has given Satan to defeat Christ has failed. The cross was the closest Satan ever came to beating Him, and it resulted in his greatest defeat. It says about Armageddon, The Lord will slay [him] with the breath of His mouth and bring [him] to an end by the appearance of His coming” (2The 2-8). Just by appearing they will all die. He will come with a radiant light, the kind that emits gamma rays, and they will instantly die at His appearance, which will be like the flash of an atomic bomb; anyone within its deadly sphere will be instantly killed. This will occur just outside of Jerusalem. In the war of Armageddon the obstacles in the way of His kingdom will be gathered and thrown into Hades to await sentence at the White Throne Judgment. Rev 14-18,19 says, “Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe." So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God.”

(241f) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Hindering the kingdom >> Obstacles in the way of the kingdom >> Obstacles that keep you from Jesus – God has been gathering stumbling blocks of His kingdom ever since the beginning of time. When a person dies without Christ, he immediately goes to a place called Hades. That was true in Old Testament times and it is true to this day, whereas those who die in the Lord are immediately escorted to heaven. They don’t have to go to a place called Abraham’s bosom. This was a temporary holding place where God’s people were once held, waiting for the sacrifice of Jesus to be made, but the wicked who have rejected the free gift of forgiveness and salvation and eternal life through the blood of Christ, their situation has not changed. Between the destruction of this present universe and the creation of the new heavens and new earth God will conduct His White Throne Judgment on the wicked; there will be neither time nor space. See also: What happens to people when they die; Mk 9-4; 151e

Mat 13,41-43

(218j) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> Reaping the harvest in eternity -- These verses go with verse 30

Mat 13-43

(106e) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Attaining the hearing ear >> Having the ability to hear -- This verse goes with verse 9

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Mat 13,44-50

(207g) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Salvation verses >> Investing in the Kingdom of God -- These verses go with verses 18-23

Mat 13,44-46

(192d) Die to self >> Result of putting off the old man >> Gain by losing >> Receiving from God by substitution >> Wheeling and dealing in God’s spiritual economy – Jesus commanded us to go and tell the world about the grace of God and the forgiveness that is in Jesus, and so launched this project of humanity called the Great Commission. Paul and the other apostles established the gospel of Christ in the world, and throughout the generations the gospel continued to be entrenched, only not so much how the apostles taught it, but according to the religions that formed after the original apostles fell asleep. Nevertheless, the Church has remained to this day. Every Christian has a duty to proclaim the gospel of salvation to whomever will hear it. This parable, however, seems to speak across the grain of evangelism, that instead of proclaiming the Kingdom of God, we are now hiding it. There are some aspects of God’s gift that we do not make available to the world; in fact, we do what is in our power to protect it from the world.

(193l) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >>  Run to God in your freedom to choose righteousness

(225g) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables about wealth >> Parables about treasure

(232b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Count the cost >> The cost is more than you can imagine so don’t count

(234j) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Sold out >> Relinquishing your assets to Christ >> Investing every asset into Christ – The Bible teaches that we must surrender everything to Christ, but the vast majority of Christians in the world today don't do this; instead, they keep back some of their lives for themselves (Acts 5,1-4). It is a popular saying to be sold-out for Jesus, yet it has lost its meaning in the Church today. We must give God our whole heart to find true happiness in this life.

(249h) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Wealth >> True perception of wealth >> The infinite and eternal wealth of God >> Being rich in Jesus -- These verses go with verse 12

Mat 13-44

(62c) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Being clever >> Responding with wisdom to your enemies >> Cheat them – Jesus called us to be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves (Mat 10-16). In this case, a person discovered somebody’s treasure, and instead of reporting it, which would have been the right thing to do, he sought the treasure for himself and took deceptive measures to legally steal it. So here, Jesus is teaching us to be conniving and deceptive, not to be naïve and foolish. The Kingdom of God and its value of living forever in paradise, what would we do to obtain and keep it? We who have accepted the blood sacrifice of God’s Son as full payment for our sins are living for Christ and headed for eternal life in heaven. The righteousness of faith and the imparted salvation of the eternal Spirit is a treasure we must protect with our lives and never let go of it no matter what happens.

(63c) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Righteous deception >> Church deceives the world – This parable fits perfectly with the story of Jacob and Esau, employing deceptive bait-n-switch trickery. Jacob and Esau were born twins, but Esau came out first with Jacob holding to his heel. Jacob said to Esau, ‘Give me your birthright and I will give you a bowl of soup,’ and Esau said, ‘What good is my birthright if I am starving to death.’ He sought Esau’s birthright, seeing the value of inclusion within the genealogical chain of the Messiah. The main ingredient in this story was a pot of stew that Jacob used to deceive his father into speaking the blessing over him, and he also used it to tempt his brother into verbally transferring his birthright. The value of the birthright was to have his name indelibly commemorated for all time, and so Jacob tricked his father (Isaac) into blessing him. Jacob made his father’s favorite stew and gave him some of it. Isaac was blind from old age and his brother had hairy arms, so Jacob wore an animal fur to make his father believe it was actually Esau whom he was about to bless, but in reality it was Jacob. Then, when his brother returned famished from a dismal hunting excursion, he wouldn’t give Esau any stew unless he promised his birthright to him, and so he verbally conveyed his birthright to Jacob, claiming that it was no good to him if he died from hunger, so he made the verbal agreement with his brother for a bowl of soup, thus despising his birthright. This was a transaction that God honored after receiving the blessing both from his brother and his father, and so Jacob became the legal heir of the coming Messiah. See also: Patriarchs (Jacob and Esau); Rom 9,1-3; 173h

(109b) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Revelations of the Holy Spirit >> Revelation of the gift of God

(211c) Salvation >> Jews and gentiles are being saved >> Gentiles included >> Gentiles steal the kingdom from Israel through obedience

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Mat 13-45,46

(234f) Sold Out (Key verse)

Mat 13,47-51

(47b) Judgment >> God Judges the world >> Hell is a place of sorrow >> It is a great fire prepared for the devil and his angels >> burning site where people are thrown away – These verses go with verse 30. Note the sequence. If the Pre-tribulation Rapture were correct Jesus would have said that the righteous are gathered from the wicked, but He didn’t say that. He said the wicked will be gathered from the righteous, referring to the Trumpets of God’s judgment, which will occur before the Rapture. During the Seals that occur before the Trumpets, Satan will martyr many Christians, but compared to the full number of believers in the world at the time, they will be just a fraction of the Church. Both the righteous and the wicked will die during the Seals of Satan’s wrath. In contrast, the Trumpets will occur on one third of the earth, though they will affect all unbelievers in the world, allowing two thirds of the earth as ample space for God to hide His people and protect them from the antichrist and from His Trumpet judgments. This suggests that the first four Trumpet judgments will afflict mostly the major cities of the world, where many people will be living in the last days, and the fifth and sixth Trumpets will affect only those who have the Mark of the Beast. For this reason Rev 18-4 says, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues.” God will call His people to flee the big cities of the world and migrate to the wilderness to one of many camps prepared for the saints, spotted around the globe. God will protect and nourish them for 3½ years, and during that time God will take out the wicked among the righteous, and after the Trumpet judgments are finished, the Rapture will occur, in preparation for the Bowls of God’s fierce wrath that will affect the whole earth, being no place to hide. During the Bowls Christ will marry the Church to Christ, and they will celebrate the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. See also: Last days (Wilderness) Place of safety and protection; 1Pet 4,17-19 103k

Mat 13,47-50

(225p) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables >> Parables about final judgment

Mat 13-52

(173e) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Catholicism >> Scripture that contradicts the catholic faith >> Catholics who are converted to the faith

(191d) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Extract the leaven of false doctrine -- Anyone who comes from another religion into Christianity, regardless of that religion, will suffer the influence and effects of previous indoctrinations. That is why it is important to believe the truth from the beginning, because desensitizing oneself from wrong thinking is not easy. He will always have leanings toward ideas that he once believed, though he may know them now to be false.

Mat 13,53-58

(70g) Authority >> Sin of familiarity >> Familiar with the truth-enemy of discernment >> Familiar with Jesus in the flesh -- It is difficult to learn something new, but it is even harder to relearn something, and it is virtually impossible to relearn something that we think we understand. It requires an extra step of trashing knowledge we once believed, involving an admission that we were wrong, which threatens our pride and our worldview. Sometimes it is easier to just deny it. This defines a defense mechanism called "Cognitive dissonance". In this case it required Jesus' friends and relatives to swallow their pride and admit that they didn't really know Him when they were sure they did. They had him pigeonholed, and when Jesus required them to reconsider their assumptions, they flatly refused. When we come upon something new, instead of learning about it, we attempt to group it with other things that we already know. Familiarity then is how we group things, but when we find something that doesn't fit into any known group, it requires us to create a new group. The older we get, the less we enjoy making new groups or learning new things, and the longer we know something, the less willing we are to change our view of it to fit a more accurate paradigm. See also: Close minded; Lk 18-33,34; 94p

Mat 13,53-56

(89i) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom >> Increasing in wisdom – The fact that Jesus was the Son of God meant His wisdom and abilities were unattainable to anybody else, yet He still had to pursue them. He learned His great wisdom from thirty years of living and sharing His life with God His Father. Wherever He went and whatever He did God was with Him and He invited His Father into every aspect of His life. Jesus would go for a walk and see things all around Him that would make Him think about His Father and His kingdom, which He incorporated into many of his parables. He read the Old Testament Scriptures regularly and absorbed them, frequenting the local synagogue and pouring over the manuscripts until he had them all memorized, and His Father led Him into all the truth, so He had a proper interpretation of the prophetic word. These things He held in His heart for thirty years without telling a soul, like the parable of the Ten Virgins, who spent their lives gathering oil for the long night that was ahead of them, so when darkness overtook them, their lamps burned all the brighter. At the onset of Jesus' ministry He started elucidating the things He learned over the course of His life, and people from His hometown couldn’t believe that all these things were in His heart while He lived among them, and they had no idea He was such an eloquent speaker. This was not their experience with the child or with the man He had become, the son of a carpenter. See also: Jesus as a boy; Jn 19-28; 141f

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