Truth Seekers Ministries Presents...
The Kingdom of Heaven, is like unto...
In this study, I want to go over the "Kingdom" parables, and a few related ones, that Jesus taught us. Being a Christian, when you pray, do you pray the prayer that Jesus taught us to use? You should... at least occasionally. When you pray the "Lord's Prayer", (by the way Jesus never prayed that prayer, His prayer comes later when He says, "Father, I have done what you sent me to do..."), but when you pray the "Lords Prayer", do you think of the statement, "Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven", as a metaphor for one day, when we are in heaven, or when God's heavenly kingdom comes to earth, or do you rightly see that it represents Jesus literal kingdom, existing right now, here on earth?
The Kingdom of Heaven does exist, on this earth right now, and it is currently existing alongside Satan's kingdom on earth, both progressing and growing. However, at the beginning of the millennial reign of Jesus, His Kingdom will totally eradicate that evil kingdom from the face of the earth. What a glorious day that will be, Saint of God, and I dare say that it will come upon us sooner than most expect. The "Out Called" ones of God, however, have an inherited ability to see that day approaching and must not find themselves caught off guard. That Kingdom of God on earth, began with the birth of Jesus, that Word of God that came to earth in the form of a human, and with our Lord's death and resurrection, God's Kingdom on earth, has grown steadily, to become a worldwide influence. It radiates outward from all who are in Christ that are shining their light of faith to this world, in order that all those who are destined to be drawn into the body of Christ, can see that light and may respond. The sooner we get this job done, reaching that number of the chosen ones, that God has claimed for Himself, from before these worlds were formed, the sooner our Lord will return. So, all you who are in Christ, lets get to know a little something about this Kingdom that we are a part of... and lets get this task done.
No one can see God, but His only begotten son Jesus, hath declared Him to us. If you want to know what God is like, then look no further, than Jesus the Christ, the only true Messiah and first begotten Son of God. The best source then, for getting to know our Lord's plans for His kingdom on earth, would be to hear straight from the source, Jesus own words. Before we get into the Kingdom Parables though, lets remind ourselves of the lessons we learned from the Potter's House, so we can keep everything in the perspective that God would have us view them in. If you haven't read my "potter's house" letter, you can do so, for an in depth study on it if you like, but here is the gist of what the lessons of the Potter's House teach us.
1: GOD IS THE BOSS...period. This Christian contract, God's "New Testament", is just like, when we write our "Last Will and Testament". It's a one way deal. God writes all the terms, and you either agree with the terms set forth, or you lose..., it is as simple as that. We can't bargain with God. If you are one of the called ones, then the Holy Spirit is drawing you, beckoning you, like a hound of heaven tracking you down. You may feel that call, that unction to come to God, but you must first humble yourself, in order to be able to respond properly to that call of God. We can't talk back to the potter, asking "what makest thou", or "why God are you sending me through these circumstances". Keep humble, God's Grace is sufficient, and He will make a way for us, but He is still... "The Boss".
2: "Let us create Adam in OUR IMAGE" God's overall purpose for this whole life experience that humans enter into, is to create beings, just like Himself, that will fill up the third of heaven vacated by Satan and his angels. God said that He wants to create beings, just like Himself. Those, who for simple faith and trust, will allow God "the Potter", to shape and mold us. He wanted to create beings to hang out with for eternity, that truly want and desire to be with Himself, not like some robot, just doing what is programmed into them, but a choice freely given, to serve Him. The word "Saint" refers to an offering on an altar. We "Saint" ourselves on the altar of God, and with eternity in our hearts, we commit our lives unto our Lord... it's all about commitment, and that's what makes you a Saint of God, not some title betstowed on someone by men, and to only a select few that "they" deem worthy.
3: We are God's vessels and He is molding us. God uses the circumstances and events in our lives, for those who are the "called", to mold us, shape us, and refine us as gold, refined in the fire, in order to create us, the vessels of Christ, as He, the Potter, sees fit. When the trials and troubles in life come at us, and they will if you are one of the called of God, you just take them in stride, faithing through them, and pressing onward in faith. This shows God our commitment. It also shows the world around us our faith, which is like a lamp to those in darkness, drawing the called, as well as exposing the evil in the world.
Now, understand this as well. We are all..., that's you, me and everyone that is called of God, in the process of becoming the vessels that God would have us to be. This process will be finished, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, but not before then. Don't think you have somehow made it, that you've graduated, so you can now rest in your accomplishment... that you no longer have to faithe so hard. We have to keep running this race to win, no giving up. One day soon, at His judgment seat, we will peer into our Lord, as He peers into us. He will burn away all the wood, hay, and stubble, so that what remains is the gold, silver, and precious stones. God showed me an amazing truth once... Just imagine yourself, gazing into Jesus' eyes. His beautiful loving eyes..., they are getting larger and larger, consuming you, loving you, yet exposing you, all of you. He sees you as you truly are. He is filling you with himself, and burning away all that is not worthy of Him. Now, I couldn't last long at this process then, but at His Judgment Seat, He will finish it. Then and only then, will we be complete. Fully formed into the "Image and Likeness" of our Lord. We will then have that full mind of Christ within us, functioning with full power. No more battling with your old nature. The thoughts and desires of our Lord will be our own thoughts and desires. We will know what it was like for Jesus, as he was hanging on that cross, for we were there, on that cross with Him, chosen "in Him" before the worlds were formed. God gave me a glimpse, of the unity, that our minds will have with the Lord as well. It devastated me to lose that unity when I awoke to find myself back in this body of death, looking through a glass darkly. When we talk to people, during the millennium, after our vessels are perfected, it will be as if our Lord is talking to them Himself, because it will be Him, speaking through us. He said that even greater things than what He has done, will we be able to do ourselves.
If your going to be a Christian, then BE ONE. Believe what He says is true, and walk everyday in faith, knowing in whom you serve. We don't serve some dead prophet, but a Live Glorious Lord, His power flowing through all those He has chosen. Don't fight the potter, quenching your light. Remember... GOD is "The Boss". If we just go along with His plan, and stop seeking our own way, then our life's journey, even with it's inevitable valleys, trials, and troubles, will be smoother than it would be otherwise, and surely worth the trip. Stand therefore in faith, knowing that, for the called ones of God, He enters into all things..., the good things and the bad..., to work His good will for our lives. Submitting ourselves to this wheel of training, is the only real choice we have. It's either Gods way, or death.
The Kingdom of Heaven, is like unto...
The first parable we need to look at is the "Parable of the Sower", for in it, Jesus says, lies the basis for understanding all His parables. We have to be able to understand this parable first. I've written a whole letter, on just this parable, so read it if you like, but the basics of it are as follows:
Jesus, being grieved at the hardness of the hearts of those listening to Him, He began speaking to them in parables. He spoke the Parable of the Sower, then the disciples came and asked Jesus privately, why he spoke to them in parables.. "Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given...,Therefore speak I to them in parables, because they seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand..., 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" Mt. 13:11
Most people, read right past this and never truly get it, or just don't believe that this statement by Jesus is true. God doesn't want to save everyone?. Sorry...He don't. What about "Whosoever", doesn't that mean that anyone can come to God? Yes, Jesus paid the price for everyone, but not everyone is called. God chooses the "Whosoever's", He decides who will "Faithe" in His Son. Not everyone will. There are some in this world, that will never "Get it". They can't understand the things of God. You can't even beat these truths into them. You'll know who they are. If you are witnessing to someone, or shining your light of faith, and what you feel from them is a "blank stare"...like you are speaking a foreign language to them. There is no spark, no look of intrigue or wonder as you share your faith, then that person may just be one whom God has not chosen. If they are a called one of God, then the Holy Spirit will be drawing them, nudging them, peaking their interest in the things of God. They may not show it to you at first, but there will be an openness and acceptance from them as you reveal things to them. Those not called, will put up a wall of separation between you both. Don't throw your pearls before swine, wasting your time and resources on hardened hearts, the staunch atheists, or those who are truly without the ability to perceive the things of God.
Jesus takes this premise further as He expounds on the meaning of the Parable of the Sower to his disciples in private. Not only are there some who will never get it, but even within the ranks of those who can see and hear the things of God, of the four types of soil spoken of, only one part is "Good Soil", who produce fruit. Lets hear Jesus words explaining it to us. Mt. 13:18, Mark 4:14, and Luke 8:11
The first type..., is The Way Side Soil.
Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 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... The Sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word was sown, but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.. Now the Parable is this: The seed is the Word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved...
Notice here that this type of person, has the ability to hear, the Word did penetrate, but just for a second. The word, "Way Side", when you first think of it, seems, at least to me, to be the sides of the road or path. The opposite is true though. The way side is the path itself. The hardened, trodden down path. So hard that nothing can penetrate. The word hits the soil, and it may even spark an interest... but only for a second, then it is gone. These people are so trodden down by the world, and the church... nothing can penetrate. They may even be in your church every week... however usually only to be seen, or to catch up with friends... there is no true understanding, of the spiritual significance, that comes from hearing the word of faith being spoken.
Now for the next type...The Stony Soil
But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon (soon, presently) 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... And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground, who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure for a time; afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended... They on the rock, are they, which when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away...
This second type of person, also has the ability to see and hear the things of God. They outwardly praise the message. You can just hear them shouting from the roof tops. However, they are not in it for the long haul. They are not committing their lives to the Lord. The minute trials or persecutions come, taking it personally, they leave to go find someone else to tickle their ears...of course as soon as things get tough, they will leave that teacher as well. Their problem is not that they can't see and hear the things of God, it's that they have no real personal relationship with Jesus. They are not rooted and grounded on Christ. This has nothing to do with going to different churches either..., or even, not going to church at all. It is far deeper, and on a more personal level than that.
Next...The Thorny Soil.
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... And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts (desires) of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful... And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it...
This group of people, also able to see and hear the things of God, are not placing the things of God above all else in their life. They fixate themselves on worrying about worldly things. Jobs, family, health issues, money problems, all choke out the Word. Others in this group either have money, or live their lives to gain monetary wealth. This, in itself, is not the problem, but the desires they have for it, are placed above where they put Christ and the things of God, in their uttermost heart of hearts. And then, also within this group, there are those who just have desires of worldly things... cars, houses, music, toys, keeping up with the Jones's...and again, having things in this world is not the issue. God knows we need things, and is not opposed to them necessarily, it is where you place these things and your desires of these things, in relationship to where you put Jesus, and your desires of the things of God, in your life.
And lastly... The Good Soil.
But he that receiveth 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, and some thirty... And these are they which are sown on good ground, such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred... But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience...
Here we have the good soil. "Many are called, but few are chosen". This soil represents the 1 out of 4 parts of the called out ones...who will be chosen. These are they who hold on to that word of God that was seeded into them. They are rooted and founded on Christ, walking in daily fellowship with their master. They put nothing of this earth above their Lord... seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, knowing that our own righteousness is but filthy rags before Him. As with the armor of God, we put on the breastplate of righteousness, which is not our own, but Christ's righteousness. When you are living in faith, the faith of Christ, with Him in your heart, we are symbolically putting on a suit of "Jesus", and God looks at us, already in Christ, as if we were Christ. When He sees us, He sees not the sinner that we are, only the Christ that we put on. This good soil worries not in excess about the cares of the world, yet trusting their Lord, placing all their cares at His feet, and they daily walk in faith, knowing that their Lord worketh. May we all strive, to keep rooted and grounded in Christ, to till our own soil, and to pull out all the weeds, so our soil proves beneficial to our Lord. Dear God, I pray that I may be accounted worthy of being a part of this good soil... may I produce fruit for you and your kingdom, not that I may glory, but that you will be glorified... In Jesus name...Amen, or "So be it".
This next "Parable of the Tares", is connected to parable of the Sower, in that they both represent the activities on this earth, of the sons of the Kingdom of God, as well as in this parable, the sons of the kingdom of Satan.
The Kingdom of Heaven is like 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. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him. Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, an enemy has 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.
Jesus then explains this parable in verse 37, but we first have a second reason for Jesus speaking in parables in verse 35. "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world"
Reader understand, we are privileged to be able to hear the things of God. He is revealing mysteries that have been long hidden. If you can perceive and understand, the deeper meanings to these parables, then consider yourself among an elite group, called of God, and considered worthy of being able to receive the things of God..., and if you are not already doing so, treat this call of yours as something you desire more than anything of this world.
He that soweth the word is the Son of Man; The field is the world; the good seed are children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; The harvest is the end of the world and the reapers are the angels. 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...
In the Parable of the Sower, the soil represents only those who can hear the word of God. In this parable, the soil represents the whole earth. Notice also, that this is "His" field. The Lord owns the field of the world, Satan is just a squatter. The word "Tares" or "Weeds", most probably referring to "Darnel". A weed that looks very much like wheat while it is growing, and only when it matures, does it show itself as what it really is. In this parable we have the representation of sons of the devil, being sown along side the sons of God. They look very much like sons of God, but are surely not. Satan is always trying to infiltrate, subvert, and deceive us. He throws into the mix, various religions and cults, that on the outside look very "Godly" , but denying the Lord Jesus Christ, and they are destined for destruction. Islam, notwithstanding a few extremists, looks very Godly and holy on the surface, yet they also deny the Christ. Satan is always perverting the truth, providing a lie, a substitute way to God. He puts people in our very churches, who are all about appearances, and look just like the sheep of the flock of Christ, but inside beneath that shell of deceit, they are raging wolves, causing dissention, and inserting traditions, dogmas, and beliefs that are contrary to God's word. These sons of belial are even amongst the masses, and certainly among the leadership, of every major denomination of Christendom on this earth, subverting the truth and inserting lies. Don't you know we are to be of one faith, growing in Christ, until we all come to the knowledge of that perfect man, Christ being the pattern, the first goer, and we, the body of Christ, being conformed into His image. We must be on our guard, being wise as serpents yet innocent as doves, using our Spirit to discern the truth in everything we do and learn, and every encounter we have with others.
Another thing that I find interesting, in this parable as well as is in many other places, we find that God allows the Sons of God and the sons of Satan to exist together until the end. Then he seems to first take the evil ones out, or maybe pulling them all together, while protecting the Sons of the Kingdom of God. Jesus is keeping us safe in the midst of the evil of this world, and then He will take us to His judgment seat, while God pours His wrath out in the Great Tribulation. This aspect of these parables is consistent with a pre-wrath rapture, a rapture back to back with the beginning of the Day of the Lord, instead of a pre-tribulation rapture, wherein we will be raptured out before the antichrist is revealed some 3 1/2 years before the Day of the Lord.., that Great Tribulation when God's wrath is poured out. I have been a pre-tribulation rapture believer all my life, but of late, I have reconsidered this, the whole of scripture just makes more sense to me when you take the pre-wrath view. I do desire for a pre-tribulation rapture to be true, and pray that it is, but the fact that I want it to be true, does not make it so. Read my updated rapture letter for information on it if you are interested. Now, back to the parables.
These next two parables can be combined as well, for they both represent the growth of the Kingdom of God, from it's small beginnings, to eventually encompassing this globe.
The Kingdom of Heaven, is like a mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field. Which indeed is the least of all seeds, but when it is grown, is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
The Kingdom of Heaven, is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
Here, in these two parables, we see that the Kingdom of God, has very small beginnings, yet will grow into the greatest of kingdoms. The mustard seed, was chosen because of it's very small size, and also when it is sown into earth, germinates almost immediately, producing growth. This shows us our Lord, being put into the grave, as this mustard seed is put into the earth. Jesus burst forth in new life, through the power of the resurrection, and His kingdom has not stopped growing since. When he went to the tomb, being our own "Passover" Sacrifice, he also fulfilled the feast of unleavened bread. Also in type, this leaven of Jesus, being sown in the earth, or the meal, burst forth as the yeast does, growing within bread, and His leaven is still growing in the hearts and souls of all those whom He has called. The Kingdom of God, existed in type through Israel, before Jesus came in the flesh. Afterwards with its very small beginnings, on a worldly scale, it has grown to be an influence and a path for millions throughout the world, and its not finished growing yet. You've heard it said, "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump", depicting how sin can grow and destroy the purity of the vessel. And paradoxically, this is also true of this parable. When we let sin into our lives, and don't think I am pointing fingers, unless at myself, we open ourselves up to that old nature. That darnel, the "Old Man", existing within each of us, gets a boost, and our old nature is strengthened. The opposite is also true though, if we live as Jesus taught us to, and keep ourselves from sin, not letting it rule our lives, devoting ourselves daily and repenting of our known and unknown sins, we then strengthen our New Man, that Spirit of Christ within all believers, and our old nature becomes more and more defeated, We can then truly shine in faith. Our lives will reflect that nature, and all whom God brings us in contact with, will see it in us.
The next four parables, can also be combined. They all four continue to speak about the Kingdom of God in this age. These first two convey to us the rarity, and the value of being a part of the Kingdom of God, as well as the sacrifice needed to obtain it.
V.44 Again the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field, the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof, goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
Friend understand this simple truth. Do not treat your call of God lightly, Jesus treats you as a treasure. Know this, that if you feel a desire to come to God, then the Holy Spirit is drawing you, and Jesus sees you as something of great value. The field is the whole world. The man is Jesus. Jesus, looking down from His glory, foresaw all those who would be called into the Kingdom, the treasure. He then, Joyously, leaves His glory, being born into a body of death, tempted in all ways as we are yet fulfilling the whole law of God, and then He offers himself up as a substitute sacrifice for the sins of everyone in the world, past, present and future. He bought the whole field, the world, with His very blood, not because he wanted the field, all mankind, as we learn in the parable of the Sower, but because He had found that treasure He had so longed for. You and I are that treasure, that Pearl of Great price, if you are in Christ, and when Jesus found us, gave his all to obtain. Jesus Christ, our Lord of Glory, the Word of God that existed with God the Father in the beginning, and was of the very same essence as God the Father, He is that very voice of the creative forces of God, that spoke these worlds into existence. He humbled himself, and took upon himself the form of sinful man, in order that he may find you and me. When he finds his lost sheep, He puts us on his shoulders, and rejoices as he carries us home..., for what once was lost, has now been found.
Since He would do that for us, how much more then, should we treasure this call of God. Knowing that everyone is not called, we should be humbling ourselves before God daily, and seeking Him in everything we do. Just as the type represents Christ and the world, with us being the treasure within: God does everything in paradoxes, and paradoxically we are that man, whom finds salvation, that great treasure, hidden within the masses of influences on this earth. Our response to finding that treasure then, is to go and sell everything we have and buy the field to get that treasure. When salvation comes, it is intensely personal, and we then in response to this treasure, must die to ourselves and our own worldly desires and aspirations, and seek first the Kingdom of God. In dying to ourselves, and devoting our lives to our Lord Jesus Christ, we are then selling all that we have for the kingdom. Then, having eternity in our hearts, we hold onto nothing in this world too tightly. God is the Boss... He giveth, and he taketh away. Learn to be abased and learn to abound, in humility, and in all your ways keeping Jesus closest to your heart above all else, and then, even through the trials and testing of this wheel of life, we can truly be at peace, for we know whom we serve, and who holds the reins of the circumstances of our lives.
Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Have ye understood all these things? Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the Kingdom of Heaven, is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure, things new and old.
Here is another example of the Kingdom of God, existing today. The sons of the Kingdom of God, are together with the sons of the kingdom of Satan, living in this earth, in this great net, until the end of the age, when God takes out the bad, leaving the good. (Maybe, there is a rapture "catching away", of the sons of Satan, before he raptures his chosen ones out. Just thinking..) He then admonishes all those who are called of God, and being the scribes, who are instructed of the things of God, to be responsible leaders of His (God's) household, bringing into the light, truths that are from old, as well as insights into new truths that are even now being revealed by God in these last days.
There truly are mysteries, hidden from the foundation of the world, and God has chosen this day and age, to reveal them to humankind, so that all men, are truly without excuse. God is so merciful, that even to a scientific age of thinkers, people trying to take God out of their belief system, if they choose to look at the evidence, he is revealing Himself through their very science. The Great Pyramid, Stonehenge, and the Gospel message that is preserved within the names of the Stars, just to name a few... are all bearing witness to the Christ of God, Jesus of Nazareth. All mankind has to do is to look at the evidence... but sadly most won't. They choose to live in a cloud, going about their business, with no thoughts whatsoever towards their creator and savior. The door of God's grace is open now, but it will close... and sooner than most think. These things will stand in the millennium, as an "I told you so" message from God, shining these truths for all to see. The fullness of the knowledge of them will be available and opened up for us, probably by our Lord himself. Can't you just imagine Jesus teaching us on the Great Pyramid, or Stonehenge, revealing to us the knowledge that the ancients held and preserved... it will be awesome!
At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said,Verily I say into you. Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Don't come to God, thinking you are owed anything. Don't come, thinking that you are all that. For all have sinned, (Hamartia-Falling Short). God wants us, to first and foremost, humble ourselves before Him. Humility is our first step. Be wary though, self-righteousness often creeps in on those who try to be humble, especially to be seen by others. A truly humble person, is rarely aware of his own humility. Just die to yourself, and submit to God's authority... and live everyday as unto Him. Also, in reference to children, Jesus tells us that we should have the faith like children, that pure blind faith of a child who takes everything you say to them as truth and they truly believe what you tell them. God wants us to be like that, not only to believe that He is, but believe what He says, and, that He will reward those that diligently seek Him. If you give your life over to God, and earnestly seek Him, knowing that He will worketh all things out for your good, whether the things are good or bad, and trust Him daily in that, you will find that it is harder to get out of God's Will, than to stay in it.
Here I want to insert a couple of verses pertinent to our understanding of how we are to respond and use this power that is given unto us.
Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
With these powerful promises, given to us by our Lord, it amazes me that this world is spiraling out of control as it is. The Church is supposed to be "The Lord's", the Out Called ones of God. We should be using these promises every day, multiple times a day, and standing on God's Word, damning your circumstances. If you die, not obtaining your promise, then you die in faith and are rewarded over there... quit living in the world, worrying about the past and the future, and walk this walk of faith... trusting in your Lord. Having church is not just a weekly event, where we can fellowship with many, but most church, is in the close contact of a few, joining together, focusing on their Lord. I tell you that Jesus is truly in their midst..., but among many of the larger churches, the Spirit of Christ is strangely missing. Not that individuals can't find Christ, in even places like these, for God is still seeking individuals, but for the most part God is not there.
Therefore is the Kingdom of Heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to recon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the Lord of that servant was moved with compassion and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, which owed him an hundred pence; and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not; but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant. I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, until he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts, forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
One of most hurtful and invasive problem within 'believers" of today, is the spirit of unforgiveness. This is a negative spirit of the devil. It will draw on your power, diminishing your light. It will grow and fester and if not repented of and kept in check, will grieve your Spirit. Jesus says we should forgive our brother, seventy times seven times in a day, for sins committed against us. It is doubtful that anyone has had to forgive someone that many times, (and if faced with a considerable amount less of wrongs done, would likely have already thrown the person to the curb), yet our Lord expects us to. We must forgive others, from our heart, for all the wrongs done us. I don't care how bad it was, if you hold onto this unforgiveness, then it will bring you down, and weaken your spiritual state. I would even go further, and state that when we are wronged, we should immediately turn it over to God, and forget about it, don't let it get as far as your having to forgive someone... just let it go. Holding onto unforgiveness, does nothing to the person we can't forgive, it only hurts ourselves. Let God handle it. "Vengeance is mine saith the Lord" If this parable is correct, then unforgiveness may not destroy your salvation, but there will be loss of reward and maybe even punishments for it. For as there are differing levels of punishments in hell, there will be different levels of blessings in heaven. Some people, will just barely make it in... with their tails still smoking, from the flames of hell, as they are just barely yanked out of it's grip. Give up your resentments, and your unforgiveness towards others, friends or enemies... and ensure that God won't have to take your unforgiveness, out of your hides.
For the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last to the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more, and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they received it, they murmered against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong; didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way, I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last; for many be called, but few chosen.
In this parable, Jesus is the Goodman of the house, the vineyard is the world, where his workers, the disciples of Christ, are paid to work for a day, representing the church age. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. That eternal life, is the wages that we earn for our taking this faith walk. The first shall be last and the last first... we shouldn't seek the higher places in the kingdom, but be content to be where Jesus puts us in this ministry. Whether you are called early in life, or on your death bed, in Jesus' day or today, it matters not. We all can't be a hand, or an arm... some of us have to be a toe... but all are necessary parts of the body of Christ, and are of no less value than any other member. Whether or not our function within the body is for teaching, or counseling... or just the vast area of discipleship that would embody the ministry of "Helps". The daily, unrewarding, behind the scenes functions within the body of Christ, like the sweat glands, ridding the body of toxins, these members perform a vital function in the body. I am not speaking of cleaning Churches specifically, although that is necessary as well, but the daily ministering of love and support to other members of the body. Even a smile and kind word, showing others the love of Christ, things that no one would ever see or bring up again, can light a flame of faith in others, and the whole body of our Lord is benefitted thereby. Don't expect any more from our Lord than what is promised, eternal life, reunited with God. Walk humbly in whatever position we are called, take what the Lord gives to us, and any rewards on top of that, are just icing on the cake... but don't think you deserve any rewards, none of us really do... do we?
The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son. And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding; and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.
In this next parable, Jesus is talking about God, this King, making a marriage for His son, Jesus. He sent His word to Israel, through the prophets and scribes, to come unto the marriage... to ready them for their messiah, but they would only mistreat and kill them and they rejected the Messiah. So God destroyed that city and scattered the chosen people of God worldwide. Jerusalem was overtaken and destroyed, and the tribes of Israel that hadn't yet been scattered, then were. When Israel rejected their messiah, which God knew they would, He then chose to give the blessed gift of their messiah, for the whole world, inviting all the gentiles. He made available his invitation to everyone, good men, bad men... it mattered not. What did matter though, was that they were to be dressed properly for the feast. You can accept God's invitation to his banquet, but unless you clothe yourself with the Lord, the filthy rags of your sinful life, will stick out like a sore thumb and you'll never make it in. Mere belief does not get it, you have to faithe... it's a verb, an action, you have to hang your life and actions on God's Word... and you daily keep hanging your life and actions on God's Word. You seek Him first and foremost, seeking that union with the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit, that dwells inside all believers, and by your faith, the outward garments of Christ are manifested. That is what God sees on us, as being pure, white and clean... true righteousness. We then look to God as if we are just like Christ. Paradoxically as well, if you have been bidden of God, if you have an unction to come to God, the desire to know Him... then you have been invited, to be a part of a wonderful body, the body of the Lord, that treasure in the field, that pearl of great price. Do not take that call lightly, don't think that you are too busy right now to respond... or that you are just not sure you are ready to make that kind of commitment. The door of opportunity only lasts so long, and then that beckoning, that you hear knocking at your hearts door, will no longer exist.
Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. ...But if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of. And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Don't abuse the privilege of your call. Don't be lazy, or be too involved with the things that the worldly live for. Have mutual respect for all believers. Seek to always be about the Lord's business, making Him proud of you... always ready and eagerly awaiting the Lords return.
Then shall the Kingdom of Heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them; But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps, While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps, and the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you; but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves, and while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage; and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh.
These ten virgins, represent those of the Kingdom of God, called to watch and pray. The bridegroom is Christ, the lamps are representative of the power of the Holy Spirit, flowing out of believers, preserved by a consistent prayer life. Notice, there are vessels for the oil, as well as the lamps producing the light. Those whose vessels are full, represent the faithers in the kingdom of God, who keep that line of contact with their Lord open, communicating daily, living a prayerful life. Those without oil have neglected their prayer life, their line of communication is not consistent. Prayer is our one most powerful tool, and believers need to consistently use this gift of God. Be, "Always praying, without ceasing". God knows your thoughts, and prefers your prayers be in secret, and He will reward your inward prayers, outwardly. We don't know exactly when our Lord will come, and if we don't keep ourselves prepared, ready... consistently walking daily in faith, and praying always... then our vessels of oil for our lamps that are to shine to the world, showing them the Christ, will run dry, and if the Lord comes when your lamps are out and your oil is dry, don't expect for God to allow you to then... get prayed up. It will be too late. Also note that both the wise and the foolish fall asleep. God knows that our lamps of faith, that we show to the world, will not always be shining bright, sometimes we tire and rest... however if we keep that vessel full of oil, keeping our prayer life active and consistent, then on a moments notice, we can trim our wicks, and fill our lamps, readying for our departure with our Lord.
For ... as a man travelling into a far country, called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lords money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents; behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said. Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed; And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, thou hast (what is) thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed; Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury (interest). Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath, shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
In this last of the Kingdom parables, Jesus is again showing us our responsibility in the Kingdom of God. We all receive talents from our Lord, according to our individual abilities. There is no one else on earth, that can do the things, that you can do for the kingdom. You have your own specialty, that is probably known only to you and God, but you have a talent and God has a place for you to use your abilities in His Kingdom. Don't think that just because you can't preach or teach that you are not of value. All the members of the body of Christ, have their own particular function. Small functions, that are just as necessary to the overall function of the Body of Christ, as are the talents of any other member. Notice too, that the guy with five talents, and the guy with the two talents, are both given the same reward. Your rewards are not based on any how great any particular talent is that you have, but on whether or not, you put your talents to use for the kingdom. You may be called to preach, or to teach, or to write, or to serve, or to minister... or to clean and repair... the task itself is irrelevant, but whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord, performing your best, and your reward will surely follow. The guy that loses his reward, was lazy and careless... not using his talents for his Lords kingdom, but hiding away what was entrusted to him. Don't be stingy with your faith and your call of God. Be always ready to give an account of why you believe, fearing not what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will give you the words to speak when the time comes to speak. Spread your faith, do not hide your lamp under a bucket, for if you fail to do something..., anything, with what was entrusted unto you, then even what you think you might have, will be taken away.
I bet you weren't quite expecting a letter like this. I was supposed to be talking about the good stuff. You know, the land flowing with milk and honey, streets of gold... that kind of stuff. We'll sorry to disappoint, but the Kingdom of Heaven is here, now, on this earth, no streets of gold, no milk and honey. We are in the midst of Satan's domain, and there is a spiritual war going on. One day we will get to the good stuff, but in this day and age, these are the things that Jesus would have us do and know, about how we are to act, in response of this call. There are things for us to do and know now, while on the earth, fulfilling our call and duty to our Lord.
Now, summing up the Kingdom parables of our Lord...
Remember... God is the boss, we are His vessels, and as His vessel, we are being molded and shaped to be conformed, into the image and likeness, the very nature of Jesus Christ. Accept the circumstances of our lives, as being allowed by God, in order for Him to mold or create us, His vessels, how He see's fit. Don't talk back to the potter.
Not everyone is called of God. Some people will never get it. Of those that do get it, the "Soil" of these people have different natures. Some get it but their hearts are hardened, and the Word can't penetrate. Some get it joyfully, but are not grounded in Christ, and fall away. Some get it, and grow, but the cares of the world torment them and their faith is choked thereby, and they fail to produce fruit. Some are deceived by wealth and the desires for things, and fail to properly place all things, under where they put Christ in their hearts, and they fail to produce fruit. Then there are those who are the chosen few, who ground themselves in the Lord, who hold on tightly, placing Christ above all else, and they lay all their cares upon Him... these are they that produce fruit for the Lord's Kingdom.
On this earth, you have the called ones of God, but also growing among the sons of God, are the sons of the devil. People that look just like sons of God. Decent, law abiding, moral people, sown within, in an attempt to destroy those who are called of God. God knows however that by taking them out now, He would certainly uproot many good ones, so He lets us exist together... for now. Cults, religions, and even atheism, are sown in amongst the true way. They will deny the Lord Jesus Christ, and the shed blood of the lamb. These "tares", may even accept the Christian principals and exist within the church, but they never truly accept the Christ into their hearts.
God's Kingdom on earth, starts with one small seed. The life, freely given, of one who could and did, fulfill the "Whole" of God's law. He fulfilled the Spirit of the Law, the true nature of the law, not just the letter, or mans interpretation of God's law. That life freely given, was sown into the earth, and as a small amount of leaven, will grow and increase, filling the dough, that power of God, sown in the earth, now flows, in it's own Power, it's own Faith, across the surface of the earth, seeking and saving that which was lost, and flowing from faither to faither.
God's Kingdom on earth, is rare and valuable. A high price was paid to obtain this kingdom. We as individuals within the body of Christ, are that kingdom. Since our Lord paid such a high price for us, how much more then should we strive, to make our lives worthy of that sacrifice. Our responsibility is easy... give it all to Him. Give our Lord, our all, everything we are, everything we have, and everything that we know; make it available to God. And, when He requires anything of us, since it is already His anyway, it will be easier to let go. Know that God gives you everything, and we, being His vessels, should submit to anything he chooses to send us through. Keep faithing through your trials, and you will come out shining as that pearl of great price.
The sons, and daughters of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth now, have certain characteristics. They will first and foremost be humble. No spiritual pride here, we are all unworthy. Next, we must trust our Lord for this free gift He has given us. Trust His word, learn His word, and rely on His word, as a child relies on their parents. We should start knowing and using these promises, that we have the absolute right to claim as our own. "As thy day, so shall thy strength be", "Thy shoes shall be iron and brass", "I am the Lord that healeth thee", "Where two or more are gathered, there I am", "If any two of you shall agree on anything". These are all promises for us in the here and now, and God wants us to stand in faith and use them. Now, don't be foolish, you can't agree for a Cadillac, or anything arising from a selfish desire, but if it comes from an unction of your Spirit, then God will answer your prayer. Also realize that there is always a bigger picture than what we can immediately see, and the answer we pray for, may not be what we receive, but what we receive, will be what we needed to help us, in our walk with the Lord.
Keep unforgiveness far from you. Forgive others their wrongs done, for you only hurt yourself by holding onto the hurts. If you let things go, you will be at peace, and that evil spirit will not fester, and grow, and cause your walk and light to be hindered. There is also punishment associated with unforgiveness, know that, and get it out of your life.
The kingdom of heaven on earth, is made up of individuals, with each having abilities that form and complete the body of our Lord. The greatest talents, the ones most witnessed to by the masses, are of no greater value than the toes, or glands, the small things that we do everyday, going unnoticed by anyone but God. They have as much value and rewards, as, what seems to be, the great ones.
The kingdom of heaven on earth, is composed of anyone, in all races, and in every country, who can receive the things of God. God still has promises to the nation of Israel, rather earthy in nature, and He will fulfill them. But since they rejected His son, God chose to make salvation available to the whole world, and yes even the really bad ones. If they can see and perceive the things of God, then they can repent and be adopted into the Kingdom of God.
Be faithful in your service to the Kingdom of Heaven. What ever you do, do it as unto the Lord. Be always uplifting other believers, not bringing them down. The mature saints, should teach the young (in the Lord) saints, helping to bring to light the truths of God's Word.
Don't be unwise, and neglect your prayer life. Wake up early, and pray to the Lord. Renew your faith, seek that oneness, putting on that whole armor of God, as you ready yourself for the day. Knowing that your Lord is coming soon, and we want to be ready and waiting for that day, eager for it's approach. Keep that faith line open all day. Just talk to God, act like He is, act like you want Him in your life, in secret make your prayers known, just think your prayers in your own mind. Talking to God like he is your best friend keeps that fingernail grip of faith line open, and your oil full. Remember, God can hear your prayers, but Satan can't. As you walk daily in faith, communing in prayer with your Lord, you are shining so bright that you not only attract the called ones of God, but you expose evil for what it is.
Go out today, and do something for the kingdom. Anything..., sharing a word of faith to a stranger or a friend..., throwing out something mystical, that would attract certain people in this age, through which that person, will inevitably be faced with the Christ. And then, if they have that receiver implanted by God, the ability to see the things of God, then one simple word, spoken in faith, can draw another soul into the kingdom. We have to be about the Lords business, seeking and saving that which is lost. There is truly a finite number of souls, that when reached will cause God to act, ushering in the reign of our Lord. Do something, caring for an elderly soul, spreading knowledge to children,...something. That's why I write, that is something that I can do. While I am at ease in teaching a few, or individuals, but large groups scare the hell out of me, so I write. You have an ability as well, whether you can serve, or lead, it matters not. Your talent for art, could draw someone to the Lord. Your penchant for poetry, can woo someone to the Lord. God works and advances His kingdom in mysterious ways, yet it is always perpetuated by a disciple (learner) of the Lord, stepping out in faith, and doing what only he or she can do. Be that man or woman of faith, and lets keep the light of the truth, shining to the world.
With Love in Christ,
Patrick Robinson, Minister
Truth Seekers Ministries