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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.

14:17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 14:18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. 14:19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God." (Revelation 14:15-19 KJV)

"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."

Flowers and Fruit

"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?

13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries [see Mystery] of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; 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.

13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 13:17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

13:18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 13:19 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. 13:20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 13:21 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. 13:22 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. 13:23 But he that received 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, some thirty." (Matthew 13:10-23 KJV)

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.

13:27 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?

13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this.

The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

13:29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 13:30 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." (Matthew 13:24-30 KJV)

Fact Finder: What does "baptism of fire" actually mean? When is is going to happen?
See Baptism Of Fire and Moriah: Separating The Wheat From The Chaff


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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.


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