Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I hope to open more studies very soon thank you for your patience with me.

Monday, October 23, 2006


Mark 4:28-29 "The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. 29. "But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come." the soil produces the crop by itself. However the idea of the soil by itself necessarily includes the power of the seed when placed within the proper environment. Even when these proper conditions do exist it is imperceptible on the short term observation. The sown field looks bare until there appears a faint green sheen over the brown soil similar to putting in a new Bermuda grass lawn. The Bermuda lawn rather soon shows the green sheen and then the individual blade as a whisker. When left unattended the plant will mature as seen as going to seed when the mature head produces more seed or grain as in this present example.
     An interesting note is that the term “by itself” is automate from which we get automatic or automatically. This is the power that will mature as seen as going to seed as the mature head produces more seed or grain in this present example. Our portion is to sow the good seed and let the conditions be left up to the Creator of the Word. Any time we are discouraged by our imperceptible vision of results we must remember the words God gave the prophet Isaiah in Is. 55:10-11 "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater,  11.  So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
     We view a great musician who begins out seeming to destroy our ears but over a period of years of study and practice results in a virtuoso. Also in view is the growth in spiritual realms by the continual feeding upon the Word of God. Solid rooting is assured and sanctification is the results of the pastor who continues to cast the good seed over his flock. He is sowing the seed so that the kingdom of God will be established upon the earth.
     Mark 4:29 "But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."
     This describes the time ripe for harvest. When the crop permits is in reference to a proper time for the harvest; not too early nor too late. This is a time of maximum yield for the farmer. This condition is dramatic in that the growing progress for the harvest is to be acted upon at once. The farmer immediately begins to harvest as he puts the sickle into his crop. He is keen to view the whole growing process to determine when the harvest has come.
     Theologians take two views on this passage. One group says that this man is represents Jesus who used his disciples to sow the seeds that bring in the kingdom until His final harvest is complete in the eschatological future. Others view this as picturing the gospel at work upon people’s lives. The Word is administered and God works within the individual’s heart. This may seem slow but in time God reaps the harvest in the individual and saves him.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Mystery

          Mark 4:26-27 and He was saying, "The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; 27. and goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts up and grows how, he himself does not know.
It is our responsibility to know the gospel and proclaim the whole of it. This is our portion and our joy to see the furtherance of the kingdom as we sow the Word of God in all types of soil. Once we have done this part we then back off as the farmer finishes his hard day and goes to bed at night taking rest in a task well accomplished. The field is left into God’s care when he gets up the next day because he can do no more. This sequence; night and day is in the oriental thought as being the rest period of night begins the following day.
     After the sowing, the farmer must trust in the power of the seed and it’s Creator. He may water, weed, and fertilize but there is nothing he can do to sprout the seed. He must tend to other things and go about his routine life of going to bed at night and when he gets up by day he is left to observation as far as the seed is concerned. This is also true of spiritual things as Paul proclaims to the Corinthian believers in 1Cor. 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. In Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus the focus is on the kingdom of God. Nicodemus does not ask the question but Jesus answers any way in John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." The seed must be planted in good soil and God will accomplish His will as Jesus explains this to Nicodemus in verse 8 "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
     We as sowers must cast the good seed but the mystery of germination and growth is wholly of God. Spurgeon says, “You cannot, after the seed has left your hand, cause it to put forth life… we cannot create, we cannot quicken, we cannot transform, we cannot regenerate, we cannot save.” We are taught to be patient in this parable. The farmer casts seed upon the soil and returns to his work in preparation for his crop lest he be foolishly overwhelmed come harvest time. He patiently awaits the fruition of his sowing until he observes the seed as it sprouts up and grows.  This occurrence remains in Gods hand, it is a mystery limited from man’s knowledge and capacity to understand; how this happens, he himself does not know.
     Those who take offense to being told that they he himself does not know will invent something from their own imaginations to refute this clear truth. Spurgeon says, “The philosopher may say that he can explain life and growth, and straightway he will, according to the ordinary process of philosophy, bamboozle you with terms which are less understandable that ordinary talk of infants; and then he will say, ‘There is the whole matter it is clear as possible.’ He cloaks his ignorance with learned jargon and calls it wisdom.”

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


84. The parable of spontaneous growth

     Mark 4:26-29. And He was saying, "The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil;
27. and goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts up and grows how, he himself does not know.
28. "The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head.
29. "But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."

     This portion of scripture is included only in Mark’s gospel and should awaken us to pay particular attention to his inspiration. He has just given us the details on the sower and the soils and then pulled us out of sequence by the parenthetical explanation to His disciples after He had them alone.
     We look and find that Mark gives us this sequence of three sowing parables; the sower/soils (4:3-25), the germination and fruition of the seed (vv. 26-29), and the abundant growth we shall see in the mustard tree (vv. 30-32). These Markan parables taken in context tell us about human responsibility in the parable of the sower and soils. In this present parable of mysterious growing we learn of the sovereignty of God. In the next parable of the mustard tree we see the abundant growth obtained when these two powers operate harmoniously.
     Mark 4:26-27 and He was saying, "The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; 27. and goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts up and grows how, he himself does not know.
     It is about this parable that C.H. Spurgeon says, “It is a parable for all who are concerned in the kingdom of God. It will be of little value to those who are in the kingdom of darkness, for they are not bidden to sow the good seed: Unto the wicked God saith, ‘what has thou to do to declare My statutes?’ But all who are loyal subjects to King Jesus, all who are commissioned to scatter seed for the Royal Husbandman, will be glad to know how the kingdom advances, glad to know how the harvest is preparing for Him whom they serve.”
     This is spoken to teach patience to the kingdom citizens in that there are things that they can actively contribute but there are also those which are out of their control and jurisdiction. The kingdom citizen can sow and he can reap but in between those points the seed is completely left in God’s hands. We are also to understand that no kingdom citizen lives in obscurity and no one is excluded in sowing the seed. Again Spurgeon says, “There is not within the family of God an infant hand which may not drop its own tiny seed into the ground… sacred service is within the reach of everyone’s capacity and carried by the feeblest hand where it shall multiply a hundred fold.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Matt. 13:23. "And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty."
Mark 4:20. "And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it, and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold."
Luke 8:15. "And the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.
     We now come to the good soil in which the seed was sown. This is the man who hears the word and understands it and is saved by it. It is truly said that the only barrier to salvation is unbelief. However, this parable is a call to examine one’s own soil to see if we are of the rocky type and have no firm root and are shallow. Are we thorny in our soil content? Is our heart more in concert with the things of the world than obedience to God’s Word? Are we a receptive hearer? Those sown by the road will never even consider these questions.
     The genuine believer has the seed that was sown on the good soil. The indicators that we are this kind of soil are made evident by the capability to hear the Word and understand it. This is the most primary indication; this word or seed is foolishness to the natural man (1Cor. 2:14). We know we are saved if we love the Word and our desire is to be obedient to it. Matt. 5:6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Righteousness can only be determined in God’s Word where He defines His standards.
     The seed sown on good soil bears fruit. This fruit looks like that described in Gal. 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23. gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Fruit bearing does not save us but God saves us for the purpose of bearing that fruit. The fruit will reproduce on other good soil by the process of sowing the seed. Sowing the seed is another aspect of fruit bearing.
We have previously discussed that the average yield for a crop in Galilee would be about eightfold. We consider the yield of God’s seed by those who hear the word and accept it. These will bear fruit in yields of thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold. This is a phenomenal rate of production.
Here is another point of examination and encouragement to those who hold it fast and bear fruit with perseverance.  These who will hold fast to the seed are seen by giving it away. The Christian is excited that he has discovered how sin’s dilemma is conquered without compromising God’s justice. He thus wants to share in his discovery.
We look at how this seed penetrates the soil of Martin Luther. Luther was a Roman Catholic monk who described himself as the most insane papist, drunk with the pope’s doctrines, so immersed in them he would have killed anyone who detracted one syllable of obedience from the pope. Yet he could not understand that if the pope could empty purgatory by fiat, why would he not do so out of love rather than money?
Luther studied the seed and the seed found good soil one night as he struggled with the Latin phrase, simul iustus et peccator (at the same time just and sinner) found in many lectures on Paul’s letter to the Romans. He knew he was a sinner and was never going to be able to make himself acceptable to a righteous God. Luther was very well read on his theology and feared God greatly making him terrified of death. He sat and studied high in a tower in Wittenberg, Germany Romans 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "But the righteous man shall live by faith."
Righteousness is the starting point and the theme of the gospel message. Luther said, “I hated Paul with all my heart when I read that the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel.” He saw this as the obstacle to his eternal life because he was deeply aware of his own sinfulness and knew, because of that fact, he was unacceptable before God; his righteous Judge. This verse had seized Martin Luther with despair.
There are two connotations surrounding the righteousness of God in Rom. 1:17. The first is that it speaks of God’s holy hatred of sin. Luther was stuck in this first understanding. He said, “That expression, ‘Righteousness of God’ was like a thunderbolt in my heart.” Then he observed the second connotation, “As it is written, ‘But the righteous man shall live by faith.’” He saw that this righteousness or justice was not something that God did against sinners but something that He gave to sinners. Justice, iustitia, was a favorable verdict rendered by the judge due to special circumstances. These special circumstances are that the Christian is helpless and by God’s grace He gives them faith in Jesus Christ, their Lord and Savior from the wages of sin. The justified person cannot do anything to merit divine mercy or even have faith on his own.
Luther’s response was, “I felt myself absolutely reborn as though I had entered into the open gates of paradise itself.” This discovery bore the fruit of the Protestant Reformation that continues to bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Matt. 13:22 "And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Mark 4:18-19 "And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, 19. and the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Luke 8:14 "And the seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity
The third soil finds the seed sown among the thorns. These are the ones who have heard the word but are too involved with the worries of the world to bring any fruit to maturity. We have already heard that man cannot serve two masters and nor can God’s child love the world’s corrupt riches and pleasures. John tells us in 1John 2:15-17 Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.
So when we analyze this type of man we see that he heard the word and weighed the cost but has fallen for the world and the deceitfulness of its riches which are temporary. He goes for all the gusto of today and never thinks where it all ends. He lets the word get choked out with the so called riches and pleasures of this life as his goal. Paul tells us about this kind in 1Tim. 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang.
The seed has a purpose of production and reproduction. In the case of the thorny soil it never has an opportunity to grow to maturity because the thorns, which are the worries or concerns of the world, overshadow it. The overpowering thorns choke the seed from life, hindering it from any production let alone reproduction.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Matt. 13:20-21 "And the one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word, and immediately receives it with joy;
21. yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.
Mark 4:16-17 "And in a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; 17. and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.
Luke 8:13 "And those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.
The seed is now presented to the hearer who is represented by the rocky places or rocky soil. In their spontaneity they are emotionally enthralled with this new and wonderful experience. They hear and immediately receive the word with joy. There is a problem with this type of soil in that these have no firm root. We might say that this individual is superficial; he may have been duped by superficial religion that builds megachurches on cheap grace. There is no repentance because sin and God’s wrath is ignored from the pulpit and by the leadership. Therefore here is no counting the cost of being a follower of Christ and His lordship.
Churches have gone too long building their membership roles by encouraging a walk down the aisle to pray a formulaic “sinner’s prayer,” a rising of a hand, or a signing of a card. Euphoria and emotionalism reigns supreme making this disciple in the image of the marketing system but not born again in the image of Christ according to the Bible.
In due time his soil be will evident. His “Christian show” is only temporary in that when temptation, affliction or persecution arises because of the word of God he will immediately fall away. This time of temptation, affliction or persecution has a purifying effect on a local church that is deep rooted. When these difficulties become hard to bear then only those who are strong in the faith will suffer through the storm. Those superficially rooted will never weather the storm and will fall out rather quickly leaving only those strong in the faith to carry on the ministry.
MacArthur writes, “If a person’s profession of Christ does not involve a deep conviction of sin, a genuine sense of lostness, a strong desire for the Lord to cleanse and purify, a hungering and thirsting for righteousness and a love of His Word, along with a genuine willingness to suffer for His sake, there is no root to his spiritual life and it will be only a matter of time before his religious house falls.”

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