Hi-lite: The Mysteries of the Kingdom:
the Period between the King's two advents, Chapter 13
In chapter 13 of Matthew Jesus teaches many things using parables.
Do you know why Christ spoke in parables? Do you know what it means to have "eyes to see and ears to hear"? It is imperative that you do, else with closed eyes and clogged ears you will not be able to see nor understand the "eight parables" of Jesus Christ concerning the Kingdom of God in this pivotal 13th chapter of the great Book of Matthew.Furthermore it is written in Mark 4:13 that if you do not understand the parable of the sower, which we will begin reading shortly, then you will not be able to understand any of Christ's parables! That means that the Book of Life shall remain a mystery to you and you shall remain "unfruitful". Yes, it is that important, even a matter of spiritual life and death that you understand this parable.
You "see", those foolish Christians who do not go to Him, to His Word, to get to know Him and believe in Him will surely be among those spiritually deaf and blind sheep who are destined to stumble and fall before Antichrist in the great apostasy of these last days simply "because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved (2 Thes. 2:10)". Fortunately we are blessed in today's study to have Jesus Christ explain with great clarity by using a simple analogy that even a child can understand, what it takes to have eyes that see Him and ears that hear (take heed to) His voice.Mark 4:13
And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
This is "the same day" that we left off in Matthew 12 so we should well keep in mind that which we have learned so far concerning things like good vs. corrupt trees and the unpardonable sin and how it is that "whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven" can enter into the family of God! Notice also that Jesus has gone "out of the house" to speak in public to the multitudes because when we get to verse 36 we shall see Him "go into the house" and only His disciples who hunger and thirst for His wisdom and knowledge and understanding will follow Him there.This is important because the "action" we see gives us a graphic illustration, a picture, of why it is some people understand His parables while others don't.In other words, we can see how some people "put their ears on" and seek Him even after the manner in which the Queen of Sheba sought the wisdom of Solomon, while others do not.Matthew 13:1
The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
Also, in as much as the subject of Christ's teaching in this 13th chapter of Matthew has to do with "hearing His voice", the Word of God, the opening phrase to this most important chapter, "The same day", sets the time frame and places emphasis on "Today", even this same day! Let's read what the Psalmist wrote concerning "Today":
Will you hear His voice this day or will you be among those who stick with their religious traditions of men and fall short of His righteousness? The choice is yours.Psalm 95:7-11
For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,
If you stubbornly hang onto your idolatrous ways, including not only the cares of this world but also the traditions of men taught by most churches, and forsake the rich knowledge and wisdom of the Word of God then you are going to stumble and fall in the great apostasy (2 Thes. 2) and shall not enter into the promised land, i.e. His rest (vs. 11)! Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
Our forefathers saw all the wonderful works and miracles He performed and how He protected them and provided for them, yet they hardened their hearts and turned aside from His ways. When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
"Forty" in Biblical numerics denotes trial and tribulation even as the tribulation of our forefathers in the wilderness was an ensample for us in these last days "upon whom the ends of the world are come (1 Cor. 10:11)". You "see", the reason they did err in their hearts (minds) back then is the same reason our people do err today. It is because they hardened their hearts against seeking Him to "hear His voice" and obey His commands. To wit, the depth of Biblical illiteracy in this nation witnesses to the fact that the same attitude prevails among our people "this day"! Therefore take heed and be as one who is wise and open your ears today, this same day, to hear His voice, the Word of God, believing Him regardless of what the mainstream churches teach, for as it is written in Mat. 24:5 and Mark 13:6 the many (majority) of Christians shall be deceived by their preachers in these last days. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:
So Christ has gone out of the house and now great multitudes have gathered unto Him. Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.
In order to be able to speak to (as in broadcast to) all the ears of such great multitudes, Christ entered into a ship at a location that served as a natural outdoor amphitheater. Then He spoke unto them in parables which was the manner in which He always spoke unto the multitudes. Matthew 13:34 documents it: "All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake He not unto them."Matthew 13:2
And great multitudes were gathered together unto Him, so that He went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
Do you wonder why Christ always spoke in parables? His disciples also wondered and so they went to Him and asked Him for an explanation, the substance of which might come as a surprise to some. We will find out shortly. By the way, what exactly is a "parable" anyway? Let's go to the Greek from which it is derived. And He spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
In other words, a parable is a symbolic or representative analogy, a similitude, used to figuratively explain something else. Therefore the connection between the parable, that which is figurative and symbolic, and the literal thing it represents must be made by the "hearer" else the parable cannot be understood! The beauty of it is that a parable has the unique capacity to work to the extreme on both ends of the scale of understanding, which simply means that if you know what the symbols represent then the picture painted in your mind by the imagery of the parable makes vividly clear the meaning and explanation thereof, but if you know not what the symbols mean then even though you have heard the parable in your ears and seen a picture in your mind's eye you are still deaf in your understanding and blinded to the truth of the matter. In the latter case, the true meaning of parable itself remains hidden from your eyes.parabole, par-ab-ol-ay', Greek 3850; from Greek 3846 (paraballo); a similitude ("parable"), i.e. (symbolic) fictitious narrative (of common life conveying a moral), apothegm or adage :- comparison, figure, parable, proverb.
One more note on parables for the deeper student. If you are familiar with the primary preposition "para" and the primary verb "ballo" from which the compound word "parable" is formed, you will "see" that a parable is a "casting" "alongside of" or even a casting from above... like being cast from a higher or parallel dimension... spiritually speaking that is.
So Christ has now begun to speak in parables saying: Behold, a sower went forth to sow;.
Sowing seed by hand from a sack is sometimes called broadcasting. Smith's Bible Dictionary gives the following description under the heading "sower":
Christ now describes four types of ground (conditions of the mind) upon which the broadcast falls. By the way, He is the sower (are you yoked with Him?) and the "seed" is the Word of God."The operation of a sowing with the hand is one of so simple a character as to need little description. The Egyptian paintings furnish many illustrations of the mode in which it was conducted. The sower held the vessel or basket containing the seed in his left hand, while with his right he scattered the seed broadcast. The "drawing out" of the seed is noticed, as the most characteristic action of the sower, in (Psalms 126:6) (Authorized Version "precious") and (Amos 9:13)..." (Smith's Bible Dictionary).
The wayside was the packed earthen pathway upon which people walked, i.e. a sidewalk. The seeds that fall upon that compacted sidewalk find no bed and therefore have no chance to germinate before Satan's "devouring birds" swoop down and gobble them up (vs. 19). And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
The seed "sprung up", which means it did germinate but there was not enough ground to build a root system. So when things got hot because of the Word they were "burned up" in the heat of tribulation and just withered away (vs. 19-20). And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
These fell upon ground which was fertile enough to cause growth but the riches and cares of this life crowded them out (vs. 22). And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
Good ground is fertile ground that has been worked and tilled to the point that the Word of God can easily take root and grow and bring forth fruit according to its measure (vs. 23). But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold*, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
And there you have the results of the broadcast! The question then is, "What happens when the seeds of His Word are received into your mind?" Does it fall upon deaf ears, void of understanding? Do you "hear" His words but are just too busy trying to make a living or put out fires to take the time to study His Word? Or... do you have "ears to hear"?
* Note: Some might find it interesting that "100" as in hundredfold in Biblical numerics denotes "election of grace".
Matthew 13:9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear..
Pay close attention to what Christ teaches us in the next few verses because He is now going to explain what it means to "have ears to hear". Again, one must have those "ears to hear" in order to rise to the level of understanding the parables Christ spoke and hence the Word of God... else he or she remains in darkness which is to remain ignorant of the truth. Consider therefore the following question posed by His disciples who came to Him:
Remember the unique characteristic of parables which allows them to both reveal and hide the truth at the same time? You "see", they have much to do with the "stupor" God has allowed to be placed over the eyes of those who hear but have not the sincere desire to take action and seek Him for wisdom and understanding. Paul documents this for us in Romans chapter 11 where he quotes from the same passage in Isaiah Christ will refer to a few verses hence. And the disciples came, and said unto Him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Are you beginning to see how the parables play a part in this? "Whomsoever will" must wake up and take action and go to Him... for only Jesus Christ, the Word of God, can heal their deafness and heal their blindness. So "Wake up" Christian before it is too late! Stop listening to men who teach you to follow their church traditions and instead turn to your Father's Word "Today" and hear His voice! If you do, then the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven shall be opened unto you! Otherwise, you can just continue to suffer in ignorance and stumble in darkness.Romans 11:8
(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
Would you like to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven? Did you know that Jesus Christ gave the brotherhood, His family, the key of David (Rev. 3:7) to open and unlock the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, even those "mysteries" which are contained in the eight parables spoken in this 13th chapter of Matthew. You were already told how to become part of that family, that brotherhood, in Matthew 12:50: "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."Matthew 13:11
He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
That does not mean that God does not love those who do not seek Him to do His will. On the contrary, it is precisely because He does love them that He speaks to them in parables, lest they should see and hear and become accountable to the point they could commit the unpardonable sin, the penalty of which is to follow the son of perdition into the lake of fire.
Whosoever hath what? Remember the subject is sowing the Word of God and the "whosoever" are those who have ears to hear and sow that Word! That one shall reap the abundant blessings of God for bringing forth fruit for the harvest, not to mentioned that he or she will be as overjoyed and excited as the Queen of Sheba for seeking the wisdom of God. Remember to what great lengths she went to seeking the wisdom God had bestowed upon Solomon? Those who do not make and are not willing to make that journey shall lose out on the abundant blessings of the first resurrection (Rev. 20:6).Matthew 13:12
For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
They do not have the spiritual understanding of God's Word because they listen to men instead of "hearing His voice"! In other words, the "seed" either falls upon deaf ears and does not germinate, or it germinates but quickly withers away in the "heat" of things because it has no root, or the ears that could hear are just too busy "takin' care of business" to be bothered with studying Father's Word.Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
The following verses quoted from the Book of Isaiah (6:9-10) explain why it is God has placed that spirit of slumber upon them by speaking to them in parables which the blind cannot perceive.
They hear His words with their ears but they have no spiritual ears with understanding from above as to what they mean. To that end, this next verse explains why they do not have those eyes to see and ears to hear. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
The REASON they cannot understand the meaning of the parables is because THEY have closed their eyes to wisdom and understanding. This is the "heart of the problem" in that their hearts (minds) are "waxed gross" which is akin to Ps. 95:8 where we read of our forefathers who "hardened their hearts". However, should they have a change of heart and be converted (which means to "turn about", i.e. turn to Him) then He will heal their deaf ears and open their spiritually blind eyes to the truth! For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Again, it cannot be emphasized enough that it is because of the love our Father has for His children that He has allowed their eyes to be glazed over whereby the spirit of slumber (stupor) has come over them. For it is their ignorance of His Word that actually serves as a cloak of protection lest they begin to see and understand to the point of accountability and find themselves in the spiritual position of being able to commit the unpardonable sin.
However, the eyes of those who do "see" and the ears of those who do "hear" shall be blessed indeed. Do you want to be blessed?
Happy you will be if you seek Him to hear His voice...Today. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
Do you understand how privileged and blessed we are in this final generation? Many prophets and righteous men have desired to "see" Christ and "hear" His voice. The prophets all wrote of Him and foretold of His coming and desired to see Him and understand the things He has revealed unto us. Take the prophet Daniel for example: Daniel 12:8-9 "And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?  And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end."However, in the time of the end, the "wise" shall understand (Dan. 12:10). For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
And now with the understanding of the importance and knowing what it takes to have ears to hear, are you ready to "hear" Christ explain the simplicity of the parable of the sower?
Therefore, open your ears and "Hear ye"!Matthew 13:18
Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
This is the explanation of verse 4 concerning the seed which fell by the wayside! The wayside are people who listen to Satan's doubters and are caught away by the "birds of prey". When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
This is the explanation of verses 5 & 6. Note: Look up the Greek word translated "offended" (skandalizo) and you will find it means to "stumble", as in fall in the great apostasy.Matthew 13:4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
Matthew 13:5-6 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.
This is the explanation of verse 7 concerning the "thorns" which choke the word. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
Christ explains that the thorns represent the care of this world and the deceitful of riches. My, this is real hard stuff, isn't it?Matthew 13:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them.
Those who hear with understanding, i.e. those with ears to hear, and then bear fruit and bring forth fruit, are those that receive seed "into the good ground". But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
You must bring forth fruit else what good are you? And there is no emphasis on the amount of fruit that you must bring forth, only that you do so, for you "see" it is the seed itself that grows and produces fruit and that is how you become blessed. Unfortunately some teach that "sowing seeds" means you write big checks to their ministry and God will bless you for it. More unfortunately than that, many of our spiritually blind and deaf brothers and sisters believe that what they say is true and are taken across by these charlatans. Don't be a foolish virgin. Today, this same day, open your eyes and put your ears on and listen to His voice and then you won't be a fooled by thieves and wolves who come to you in sheep's clothing claiming God's Word says this or that! Always go to Him and let the Word of God interpret itself for the true Shepherd will never lead you astray.Matthew 13:8-9 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.  Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Now get ready to test your eyes and ears because in our next study we are going to learn the incredible "Parable of the Tares" in which the meaning of the Greek word for "seed" used so far in this 13th chapter is going to change from "speiro", meaning to sow or receive seed, to "sperma" which means... yep, that's right... "sperm"! But do not worry for after Christ has spoken the parable in public, His disciples will go to Him privately, seeking wisdom and understanding with their ears to hear, and He will explain the simple meaning of the parable.
And yet as simple as His explanation is, would you believe that the knowledge He reveals to us is still hidden to this very day "like a fig" from the multitudes of Christianity!
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits;
to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.
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