Last week we spoke about the mystery of lawlessness that has been already at work from the Garden of Eden. We mentioned, too, that the devil is out to try to deceive the elect, if possible – not that he can take away our salvation (it is not in his authority to do so), but to at least have us disgrace ourselves and dishonor the Lord Jesus Christ in some way. The only way Satan can ever deceive the elect is to come seemingly as an angel of light, and to make it seem like Jesus is okay in the eyes and ears of believers; when, in fact, his whole scheme is to deceive us about that very thing. The mark of the beast will somehow have to have something to do with Jesus; otherwise there would be very little possibility of deceiving, if possible, the elect when the antichrist is demanding people to obey and to worship him. Do not take for granted that believers will be taken away before the antichrist is revealed: that is a sure way to be open to deception by the devil, who wants to deceive the elect, if possible.
With this mystery of iniquity/lawlessness at work, we want to begin to look at the parables of Jesus to teach about the Kingdom of God/Heaven, and to give an understanding to His disciples.
Mt 13:1-23 The Sower and The Seed
Some important lessons from this first parable:
1. Everyone — the multitude — hears the Word of the Kingdom of Heaven/God, even if it is through the created order and heavens (Ps 19:1-6; Rom 1:18-23; Lk 16:16). Yeshua brings revelation of the mysteries of the Kingdom to His disciples. When believers have done all they can to take the gospel to all nations, just to be sure that everyone hears, Yeshua will send out angels to preach the everlasting gospel to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people in His desire that all should repent and live before God. (Rev 14:6-7) There is individual responsibility on the part of the hearer to the Word of the Kingdom sown by Him/those who bear and sow good seed.
2. It is possible to hear the Word, but not understand it to believe it. (Mt 13:19; Rom 10:1-4)
3. It is possible to believe, but not abide in the faith. (Mt 13:20-21; 1Tim 1:4)
4. It is possible to abide in faith, but not bear fruit. (Mt 13:22; 1Cor 3:11-15; Jude 20-23)
5. It is possible to thrive as a believer because the heart and mind are given unto God until the end (Mt 13:23; Lk 8:15)
Mt 13:9; Mk 4:9-13 He who has ears to hear, let him hear. This first parable – of the sower and the seed – is foundational for understanding all the other parables which Jesus tells.