Kingdom Principles #4

 •  27 min. read  •  grade level: 8
I would like to continue with the thoughts in Matthew 13 today. You have another chart, and I would encourage you to take all these charts home with you, and share them with others, that you feel like might benefit from them, as the Lord directs. This chart that you have today is just a list of the parables in the kingdom of heaven, that fit on this chart here that we still have on the wall. All of them are in here, there's ten listed down below and the two up above, making twelve. There are ten similitudes of the kingdom of heaven, and we're going to speak mostly of those today, in brief. We trust this is just an outline to get you started, to give a perspective, a groundwork, that our thoughts might be formed according to the scriptures. To know God's plan for this time that we're living in, we're in the kingdom of heaven right now. It's being performed here on earth. And these twelve parables that are listed on this chart, give us the character that the kingdom of heaven takes. You really have to look at all of them together, and then put them all together in your mind, to get the concept, really, of what the kingdom of heaven is. We'd like to try to go through them quite quickly really.
Yesterday we spoke about the sower, and the Lord Jesus being the sower. It's the formation of the kingdom, the good seed, the Gospel. I didn't mention yesterday in speaking of the sower about the four kinds of ground that it falls on. The first is the byways that the good seed fell on, and it says the enemy came and caught up the seed. That's the work of the enemy, Satan, the devil. The second place that the seed fell was on the stony ground, and it had no deepness of the earth, and it sprang up, the seed did, and then it was withered because the root couldn't go down. That's a picture of our stony hearts, our flesh, the hardness of our heart. That's the second enemy that prevents the good seed from being fruitful. First it's the devil, and then it's the stony heart, our heart. Then the third place it may fall is among the thorns. That is a picture of the world, so we have these three enemies that we face, and that prevent fruitfulness for God in the kingdom. The good ground is the repentant heart that we often pray, for in preaching the Gospel.
Let's go on then with the next parable, we skipped over the first part of it, but let's read it in Matthew 13 beginning with verse 24 I'm going to read through a few of these parables, we'll be able to read them all. Matthew 13 and verse 24, "Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 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 into them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn."
This is not the church, this is the kingdom of heaven. The church is included in the kingdom of heaven, it's under the umbrella of the kingdom of heaven, but it is a distinct thing. The church is seen here in this parable of the pearl, and also of the treasure hid, that is the church, that is true value the Lord sees in his beloved here on earth, the genuine souls that are born again, they're really in the kingdom, in the full sense of the word. So we noticed here that God purposefully allows this mixture to go on together that was begun by the enemy. And this is the way we see the kingdom of heaven today, it's a great mixture of both wheat and tares, good seed and the results of bad seed. It's all together, growing together in the field, the world, the kingdom of heaven. And God has a purpose in allowing this. The enemy did the work, but remember, God is over, and even controlling, that. He even controls how much the enemy can do and he only lets the tares be sown for a particular purpose. For one thing, I have enjoyed, it disguises the true intent of God here on earth. So that those enemies do not rob Christ of his kingdom. The kingdom is in mystery during this time, remember, and only by faith do we lay hold of really what's going on here. Only by faith can we understand and enter into the goodness of the kingdom. But there is a lot of profession, there's a lot of people that are in the kingdom for the benefits they might receive in this present life, but they're kind of like/one of the three things can make them unfruitful either Satan, the world, or the flesh. It becomes manifest very often, you can't live the Christian life without having the true born-again life that comes through faith in Jesus Christ. You have to be born again to be a real child of the kingdom. How much profession there is today. Well the Lord lets them go on until the end.
One other thought in connection with the tares. Remember, this is the time of grace, and God purposefully does not bring his judgments upon the world at this time, even in the separating of the tares and the wheat, until the end, and then he separates the tares from the wheat. So it will be at the close of this time of the kingdom of heaven, that God providentially with angels, will separate, and only the wheat will be gathered into the barn, and the tares will be burned. That's so God in grace can continue saving souls until his house is filled, as we'll learn later on in the marriage invite. So that is the parable of the tares and the wheat.
Let's go on now, and drop down to the next one with the mustard seed and the leaven. I'll read beginning with verse 31, " Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, the kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air, come and lodge in the brahcnes thereof. Another parable spake he unto them; the kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened." These two parables, these two likenesses, kind of go along with wheat and tares. All three of these parables, the wheat and tares, the mustard seed, the leaven, give us a picture of the outward view that the kingdom of heaven takes here as seen by men. This is what is openly apparent as to the kingdom of heaven. Everybody can see it in this character, as wheat and tares growing together, they can see it. You don't have to have much faith to discern that. Also it's like the little grain of mustard seed, now mustard seed is an herb that is not intended to grow up into a great big thing. It has its value in being a small plant, and the leaves are used for herbs or whatever. But the kingdom of heaven is put into the hands of men. The systems of men, in religion, have made Christendom, the kingdom of heaven, a great thing. They like to make it popular, they like to make a big thing of it, they like big campaigns and so on, they like to make it popular. So it's an influence here in the world, they like the moral majority to influence the rest, and so on. That is man making the kingdom of heaven like a great tree, so that the birds of the air can also lodge in that. The birds of the air picture wicked spirits, that also lodged and used the kingdom of heaven for their own purposes, evil purposes. And so under the umbrella of christendom you have even evil spirits and evil cults, that take and operate under the name of Christ. Terrible. And then a similar thing in the leaven, except that in the leaven it's the doctrinal evil that works behind, or underneath. Bad teaching corrupts, and this is fostered, this is carried out in the kingdom of heaven. This isn't God's intent, this isn't God's side of what the kingdom should be. This is what man has taken and made it, and so all kinds of evil doctrines have been propagated through Christendom, the Christian profession, the kingdom of heaven and it is corrupting the whole here on earth. But God still has something precious in that. There's still something that he sees, and the next three describe that. So in the parable of the wheat and tares, the mustard seed, and leaven, we have a picture of what the kingdom is like before men here on earth, which everybody sees.
Now we'll go on and read the next three parables, the hid treasure, the pearl, and the net cast in the sea; let's read then, dropping down in our chapter to verse 44, "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when the 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 merchantman, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. 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."
Now these three parables, and likenesses, of the kingdom of heaven, show us God's view. This is what God sees in the kingdom, what he gets from the kingdom, the genuine, the valueable, that which is important. And so, in the hid treasure there is a man who sees this treasure hidden in the field. He values that treasure, no one else sees the treasure, you see this world doesn't see what God sees in the kingdom, God sees a special chosen people that he loves, and that will serve for his purposes, they serve to take to heaven to be with Christ, the bride of Christ, ( Well, I've jumped over into church truth here, but they go along parallel.) the chosen ones. That will go along with the outline brother Jim has been giving us about the church, and the great house, and so on. There is a similarity between the great house and the kingdom of heaven, but remember, a kingdom is where a person reigns, and where there are subjects to the reign. Today in the church, in the assembly, it isn't reigning that's the thought, it's a family, it's a husband with his wife, it's an assembly and you don't reign over an assembly. But the assembly is included in the kingdom of heaven. So that treasure there, is really the church, it's the chosen ones, it is God's chosen people, that are still in this mixture of good and bad in the field. Only God sees it.
I want to tell you a story, you may have heard it before, but it'll illustrate, a lilttle bit, the point of why the Lord Jesus buys the whole field, the whole world. Down in Peru, maybe 30 or 40 years ago, up in the mountains there is a mining town called Cerro de Pasco. It was founded by the British many years ago, and gold and silver were found in abundance in that city. Mining has been going on for over 100 years in that town, much wealth. There's a big open pit there now, it has grown, it's several miles across. And it's grown to the point where they had to start tearing down the old village, the original village that men built out of adobe bricks. One day there was a man in that town, who was tearing down a building, an adobe building. And he took his pick ax, or whatever, and he hit that adobe wall in one place, and WOW! Out of the center of that wall started tumbling out gold coins, that had been hid in that wall years before. A passerby heard the tinkling of the gold and walked over to see what it was. And the two people got in a fight over whose that gold was. While they were squabbling over it, the authorities found out about it, and they claimed the gold, and neither one of the two got the gold. They would have been better off to hide it wouldn't they? Until the right time.
You see, that's why the Lord Jesus buys the whole world. That's why when the Lord Jesus died on the cross he settled the whole sin question, and he's going to take the whole world, but first of all he going to take the treasure, that's his people. And so this world doesn't see that treasure, if they did they would do the same thing they did to Christ when he was still here on earth.
Likewise in the pearl, a very similar thought, the man who sees something valuable, and sells all that he has, and that's what the Lord Jesus did in calvary's cross. He gave everything he had as a man here on earth to purchase us. That's the value that Christ puts on his people. The value that God has for you and me if we're one of his beloved, one of his redeemed ones, of great value. We need to remember that, we are a chosen people, Christ loved the church and gave himself for it.
Then we have the last of this trio, the net. And the net that we read about was cast in the sea, it gathers all kinds. Now I believe this parable compares to the wheat and tares. Only the wheat and tares shows man's side or the enemy's side of the story, but the net tells us God's side of the story of the mixture. Why does God allow the mixture, what is he going to get out of this mixture of good fish and bad fish. This kind of a net, or a dragnet, as it's sometimes called, is a net that against all different kinds of fish and that's the picture of the preaching of the gospel that goes out and gathers many different kinds, all nations, its to all that we preach the Gospel. We don't just preach the gospel to the ones we think are the chosen ones. No, we don't know who they are, we preach to all. God's grace is to all, but God doesn't really have in view the blessing. He's only interested in a certain part of the whole and so when he preach the gospel, we are occupied with those that really gets saved. We take care of those, we bring them into the assembly, and seek to shepherd and lead them on, but we leave the rest. It says, it's very precise, the language here, they left the bad fish. It doesn't say that the fisherman cast them away, no that was the work of God through the angels. So when we preach the gospel, we are particularly occupied with gathering in souls for God, into his kingdom, and we leave the rest be where they are. Many make a profession, we don't go out and speak evil against them, we don't go out to expose all the bad there is in the kingdom of heaven. God will judge that in a future time. Now it's the time to be occupied with the gathering in of the good, and may God help us to be more fervent in gathering in of all kinds of fish. It's to all nations, but we're occupied with the good; the good are gathered by the fishermen, into the vessels. The angels take care of the other part.
Well, God is going to, at the end of this time, because I believe this last parable in this chapter is really a view for us of what's going to happen here at the close of this time of the kingdom of heaven when the Lord comes. When the Lord comes the good are going to be taken up into heaven with, or by, the Lord Jesus, and they're going to dwell in the kingdom of the Father with Son, in the kingdom of the Son too, then to return back in the millenial glory. So that is the net cast into the sea.
Now I'd like to keep on, and we're going to touch briefly on the last five, at least four of the last five, over in Chapter 18, verse 23, I'm not going to read the whole parable, we have here "the debtors". There was a man who owned the King 10,000 talents, and he went and asked the King and said, Give me time and I'll pay. And the King forgave him the 10,000 talent debt that he owed, out of the goodness of heart. This same man later went out, when somebody owed him a mere hundred pence. And this man would not forgive his fellowman a debt of a hundred pence, which is a minor debt in comparison to what he owed. So when the king, the Lord, called this debtor up that wouldn't forgive, and he delivers him over to the tormentors because he had not properly appreciated grace. What this debtor did, well, first of all let's back, everybody in the kingdom of heaven is there because of the goodness of God that forgives us as sinners. That's the only basis on which you ever get into the kingdom of heaven. Everybody in the kingdom of heaven is there because the king is kind and forgiving and lets us in on the basis of Christ. We have no claims of our own in entering into the kingdom of heaven. But this man, perhaps seemed to think that he had some abilities and he didn't properly appreciate grace. What he did, when he refused to forgive his fellowman is, he undermined or distroyed the basis on which he had entered into the kingdom, and that's a terrible thing to do. We get into the kingdom on the basis of God's grace through Christ, and then if we turn around and forget what grace is, and act on the principle of law, and demand from our fellowmen something, then we destroy the very basis of our being in the kingdom of heaven, and that's a serious thing. May God give us then, to properly understand our position in the kingdom of heaven as forgiven sinners. Oh,we've been forgiven much. The 10,000 talents was a debt that, probably that men could probably neverr earn in his whole lifetime, and we could never pay. We are where we are, because of God's grace, and that alone beloved. This, the understanding of this, helps us to forgive one another. Look back to calvary's cross and see how much you've been forgiven, and you will have no difficulty forgiving your fellowman, anything, everything. This is what the parable of the debtor teaches us, forgiveness.
Now we'll go on to the 20th chapter, the kingdom of heaven is like a householder, verse one, here we have the hired laborers. This householder man went out in the market place, and he looked and there were people unemployed there. And so a group comes along, and he says, Go out and work in my vineyard, and they made contract that day, and he agreed to pay them one penny, that was a normal wage at that time, I believe. So they made a contract, an agreement, with this householder, and they agreed to work. The house -holder goes out a little later in the day, and he finds other people there that aren't employed, and he says, well go work in my vineyard too, and I'll pay you what's just, and so they went out. And he went again, a little late yet, and there were still more people unemployed, and he told them he'd pay them too, and so on. And last of all, there was one group that only worked one hour. Then at the end of the day, he calls up all these laborers and began to settle the account, and to pay. And he pays, he starts with the last ones, and he pays them one penny, the same amount that the first group had agreed to. Well, that was far more than they deserved to receive. Well, when it came to the time of paying the first group, they saw that he was a good man, gracious man and he had given more than the last group deserved to get, so they thought that they might get, or should get, even more yet, because they had worked the whole day. But remember, they had agreed for a penny a day.
That first group is a picture of the principle of law. This do and thou shall live. I deserve, I've done this, I've worked for this, and I get this amount. That's law. The rest of them are a picture of the principal of grace, and they are a picture of the right way we get into the kingdom of heaven. We get into the kingdom of heaven just because God is so good to give us an entrance, and a payment, and so many things. Just like the forgiven debtors. We are all there because of grace, and let's maintain this basis of grace as the motive of our service. Oh beloved, I believe this is a much higher motive of service than the principal of law, that is, we do something for the Lord and then the Lord will reward us. I know there is the judgment seat of Christ, and that at the end of the the kingdom of heaven, there are the talents, where there are the rewards, but in this gospel it just says they enter in to the joy of the Lord, which I believe, elevates them to a higher ground than Luke's gospel, where they reign over so many cities according to their faithfulness.
The rewards. There is a better basis of dealing with God than deserts, or rewards. And that is God's grace. May God help us to lay hold of this principle of grace, and serve well because we know he always gives more than we deserve, and to serve because it's God's goodness that gives us anything that we have. I believe that if this lays hold of our soul, we will be the most faithful in service to the Lord.
Now we'll pass over to the 22nd chapter, we have the marriage invite, again, we won't read this, but I take it for granted that with the most there is an understanding of the story. This is the marriage that the king makes for his son, it's a likeness to the kingdom of heaven, because really, in the kingdom of heaven we are going to the marriage of Christ in glory. We're a people invited, and a marriage is one thing that you only go to by invitation, even to this day. It's a wonderful thing to be invited to a marriage. And when you go to a marriage, and at this kind of a marrage, the family provides everything. And in this case, they even provide the wedding garment. Now that custom has not carried on to this day in this country, but in this story when the king made the marriage for his son, he also provided a wedding garment. It's a picture again of grace. God gives us everything to enter into his kingdom, the marriage of his son, everything is provided. The invite does not cost anything, we preach the gospel freely to all, you don't have to bring anything, there are no prerequisites. In fact, the first group that received the invitation, they refused, and they sent a message afterward of abuse and so on. There's much dispensational teaching there.
The first group that were invited, and had refused, are a picture of the jew, who had the first opportunity when the kingdom of heaven was preached, in the early time of the kingdom. Then God goes out to the Gentiles, and receives all. And the invite goes out to everybody, good and bad, there's no prerequisites, to those who are invited. I don't know how many people have really had a marriage invite here. I know when we had a marriage in our family, we had to be a little bit selective of who we invited, because of our limitations, because we had to provide a meal for everybody. But God isn't that way, he's rich. He's rich enough to invite every body, but because the invite is on this basis of the grace of the person, people make an excuse. Grace is despised in this day, I believe, because the pride of our hearts likes to do things, and earn them, and have some contribution to it. We naturally revert back to the principle of law in our own nature. And so the gospel invitation that goes out is often refused because it's by grace. And this story illustrates that, this parable.
In Matthew 25, we have the two last ones on here, on our chart, and I'm not going to comment too much on the last one, the parable of the talents, I think we commented on it a little the other day, but we will go over the other one here, in brief, "the ten virgins". Matthew 25, verse 1, "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto 10 virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were five 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."
The kingdom of heaven is characterized by those who are waiting for the bridegroom. They are waiting for this time, to go in. The whole purpose of this age is the end of it, when we'll be caught up to meet the bridegroom, to meet the Lord Jesus when he comes. And so it's characterized by watching. It's so important to have the coming of the Lord in view as a Christian, as a subject in the kingdom of heaven. This is the whole principle of our life in entering into the kingdom, is that we enter in, acknowledging that our King is in heaven, and that he is coming back sometime soon to take us there. We don't enter into the kingdom to have a good time here on earth; No, that's contrary. We enter into the kingdom because of where the kingdom is going to take us, it's the kingdom of heaven, it's not the kingdom here on earth. Even though it's formed here on earth, our destiny is heaven. And so the hope of the Lord's return has two effects on us, it ought to have two effects on us. It keeps us occupied with our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and his coming, and it also ought to keep us from slumbering and sleeping, becoming worldly at this time, becoming occupied with things of this life. Because we enter into the kingdom for when the kingdom is going to be manifested, and it's not right now, it's in a coming day.
So this last one here of the ten virgins, teaches us about watching and waiting for the Lord to come. And it also teaches us that we don't enter into the kingdom because of our faithfulness, they all slumbered and slept. Those in the kingdom, by and large, lost this whole view of what we were like, or what our purpose in being in God's kingdom is.
The last parable of the talents, is the means of introduction into heaven, and how the reward is given, Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord, to the faith of ones, according to how they had used what was entrusted to them here on earth. Everything that is entrusted to us in this time of the kingdom of heaven here on earth, is only loaned to us for a time. We're going to have to give it all up, everything temporal, and everything of our talents, our abilities, our money, and everything, is only loaned to us for the use of the King, that is it should be used. If we use what we have for the King, the King will give us the same amount back again at the coming day, when he comes to reign. That's the talents. May the Lord bless these comments. It has really helped me in getting a perspective of what my position here is on earth, waiting in the kingdom of heaven, and in the kingdom of God and all. May the Lord make it a blessing to you. Again I encourage you to take these charts, and follow-up as the Lord may give you opportunity. Let's just thank the Lord together.
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