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Saturday, August 13 2011
The Times Of Ripening
The Prophet Of Galilee frequently used agricultural analogies in His teachings. Example:
"9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." (Matthew 9:37-38 KJV)
There are two obvious reasons that Jesus Christ used harvest as an object lesson. First, and most immediate, people could relate to the growth and development of food crops that had a greater purpose beyond the growing season in which they lived. Moreover however, He spoke of harvesting because that is what salvation is about, to separate what is good from what is not (see the Fact Finder question below to understand the true meaning of "baptism of fire"). The Biblically-correct definition of the word "church" is called out ones (see What Is The Church?), a process of a growth toward harvest (see Growing In The Grace And Knowledge).
Consider all that happens when all that in the field becomes ripe:
"14:15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. 14:16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
"But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit"
Christ's "parable of the sower" describes how individuals respond to repentance, if or if not, the Holy Spirit of God is "sown" (see Spiritual Conception) within them. First, the parable that everyone "heard."
"13:1 The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. 13:2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 13:3 And he spake many things unto them in Parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 13:4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 13:5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 13:6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 13:7 And some fell among Thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 13:8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 13:9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." (Matthew 13:1-9 KJV)
The Messiah then explained the parable to those who could "hear," by means of the Holy Spirit. The ability to hear now, or later, is a portrayal of the early and later harvests (see Why Two Resurrections?).
13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Christ's parable of the tares (i.e. weeds) explains why there is yet evil in the world (see Why Does God Allow Evil?) i.e. "lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them ... Let both grow together until the harvest"
"13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 13:26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
This Day In History, August 13
554: Justinian's "Pragmatic Sanction" confirmed and increased the papacy's temporal power, and gave guidelines for regulating civil and ecclesiastical affairs in Rome and Italy.
1521: Spanish explorer Hernando Cortes captured and destroyed Tenochtitlan (Mexico City) after a three-month siege.
1535: French explorer Jacques Cartier discovered the St. Lawrence River.
1624: Cardinal Richelieu was appointed Chief Minister of France by Louis XIII.
1704: French and Bavarian forces were routed by a combined British, German and Dutch army at Blenheim, Germany. The victors lost 6,000 soldiers compared with 21,000 French and Bavarian troops.
1787: The Ottoman Empire declared war on Russia (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1788: Prussia joined the Anglo-Dutch alliance to form the Triple Alliance to prevent the spread of the Russo-Swedish War of 1788-90.
1792: In France, revolutionaries imprisoned the French royal family.
1814: The Cape of Good Hope was formally ceded to the British by the Dutch.
1961: East Germany's communist government began building the Berlin Wall after more than 3,000,000 of its citizens fled to the west. The wall snaked 103 miles (166 kilometers) around West Berlin.
1964: The last hangings in Britain took place when two men were executed for murder at Liverpool and Manchester.
1996: Data sent back by the Galileo space probe indicated there may be water on one of Jupiter's moons, heightening the possibility it could support a primitive life form.