MIXTURE THRIVES IN THE KINGDOM ON EARTH
In Matthew 13 Jesus expounds the doctrines of His kingdom by parables.
Here there is a special group of eight parables designed to exhibit
in simple pictures the outstanding features of the kingdom of heaven,
describing its nature, and progress, and in its relations to diverse
classes of men. We shall see that Jesus taught that wicked men would
infiltrate His kingdom on earth, and have a powerful and growing
influence over believers.
We see many classes of people in the kingdom, but we shall also
observe that the kingdom isn’t in them. Tobiah the Ammonite
is one such example. Eliashib the priest set Tobiah up in the Temple
in Jerusalem where he is seen living off the priests portion. When
Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem and heard about it, he ordered them
and all their stuff to be cast out. Nehemiah 13:4-9.
Of these parables, the parable of the sower shows the different
reception the word of the kingdom receives from various classes
of hearers, and the issues in their lives. Matthew 13:3-9; Jesus
gives the parable. Then in verses 18-23, He gives the interpretation.
The parables of the tares, and the net cast into the sea illustrate
a mixture of good and evil co-existing and explain that these conditions
will remain in the kingdom of God right up until the end when the
final separation would take place.
The Scribes and Pharisees were opposed to any interpretation of
the kingdom other than their own. They would not hesitate to lie
under oath in order to destroy anyone that preached otherwise.
While the treasure hidden in a field, and the precious pearl, set
forth the incomparable importance of the kingdom, and how priceless
its citizenship is valued.
The Pearl of great price is not Christ as many interpret it to
be else it would mean that He was lost and went to look for Himself.
The pearl is kingdom possession.
The parable of the grain of mustard seed illustrates the abnormal
growth from small beginnings. A tiny herb grows into a great tree
that becomes a refuge in which demonically influenced ministers
operate. The righteous in the kingdom are like a Cedar or Palm tree,
not an herb.
Ezekiel 13:4-9. “O Israel your prophets are like the foxes
of the desert. They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying
“The Lord said, and the Lord has not sent them.” “I
am against you says the Lord God, and my hand shall be upon the
prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies.”
Then the kingdom is likened to leaven which a woman hid in three
measures of meal until all the meal was leavened (corrupted) Rev
Teachers whose practices had sunk to the depths of Satan had infiltrated
the church at Thyatira.
There are 13 types of leaven in the New Testament; and all refer
to devilish doctrines and sinful activity. In spite of this clear
evidence we find that some still proclaim leaven is the action of
the Holy Spirit at work in the church.
Many in the kingdom are unaware they are eating bread contaminated
An eighth parable found in Mark 4:26-28 teaches that growth in
the Divine Kingdom advances by stages, similar to the blade, the
ear, and the full corn in the ear, in the growth of grain illustrating
natural, unconscious and normal growth of the word of the kingdom
in the hearts of men.
These parables, or the greater number of them, were spoken in the
hearing of a miscellaneous audience, and from a reply of Jesus to
a question put by the disciples, it might appear that they were
intended mainly for the ignorant. So we ask the question; why speak
to them in parables?
He replied, “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries
of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given” which
seems to imply, that for the multitude, the parables were affording
them their only chance of getting a glimpse into the mysteries of
the kingdom. But for the disciples such views of truth would be
expounded to a much greater depth in private.
Mark 4:26-34. “Without a parable He never spoke to them;
and when they were alone He expounded them to the disciples.”
At this stage of their training it appears that the twelve never
had a clear understanding of the above parables from the fact that
they asked, and received explanations of them in private from the
Master. The interpretations of two of the parables, the sower and
the tares, are preserved in the Gospels. “All these things,”
Jesus spoke unto the multitude in parables that it might be fulfilled
which was spoken by the prophet saying, “I will open my mouth
in parables, I will utter things which kept secret from the foundation
of the world.” This is found in Psalm 78.
The Kingdom in heaven
There are many different classes of beings in the kingdom in heaven
beside the Godhead. We have many supernatural beings such as Cherubim,
and Seraphim, Living creatures, Archangels, Michael, Gabriel, Lucifer;
and unnamed principalities and powers such as we see with Persia
and Grecia. There is the Old Testament saints and patriarchs. We
have New Testament believers in Christ; the spirits of just men
made perfect who have departed this world, all dwelling in the kingdom
in heaven above right now.
The state of the kingdom on earth
The condition of the kingdom on earth is a very sorry one. It is
a mixture of good and evil. Many have entered into the kingdom by
the door of repentance and faith in Christ and then strayed from
the faith they once embraced. “Who hindered you that you should
not obey the truth?” Galatians 5:7.
Its condition is far from acceptable to God.
Every imaginable unclean thing has crept into it unawares. Some
like Judas were once followers of the Master, but no longer own
Him as their Lord. Jude calls these members, “Spots in our
feasts”. Because of the stigma attached to the modern church
many saints are ashamed to identify with it. The church is in damage
control. In the eyes of the world it’s hypocritical, because
it preaches what it doesn’t practice, and practices what it
denounces from its pulpits. It is seen as two faced hypocrite, a
habitation every unclean practice, with no relevance in the modern
Numerous ungodly practices are taking place within its precincts,
in particular the doctrine of Balaam who loved the wages of unrighteousness.
We have Nicoaitans intoxicated with their own importance practicing
unopposed in its midst 1 Corinthians 16:22.
Mixture in the Kingdom. 2 Timothy 2:20-21.
“In a great house there are vessels not only of gold and of
silver, but of wood and earth also, some to honour and some to dishonour”.
Paul was using the metaphor of a “great house” to describe
Mixture in the house of God, the church, was something that Jesus
took great pains to teach in Matthew 13. Later the disciples, and
in particular Paul, spent a large part of their ministry doing the
same thing. John’s letters to the seven churches in Asia Minor
are a further example as they call the churches to repentance.
Romans 9:22. “What if God, willing to show his wrath, and
to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels
of wrath fitted to destruction.” The mills of God grind slow,
but they grind sure. We should never fall into to the stupor of
thinking that because He is long suffering, He is slack also; or
indifferent about His attitude to holiness.
In Matthew 13 and Mark 4 Jesus related 7 parables. After He had
sent the multitudes away He interpreted the parable of the tares
in private to His disciples Matthew 13:36. His interpretation went
as follows; the field is the world; the wheat are the children of
the kingdom; the tares the children of the wicked one; the enemy
is the Devil. While men slept the enemy sowed his tares where they
shall grow together with the wheat until harvest time; the harvest
is the end of the world. The reapers will remove the tares first,
and pull down every structure and edifice that they have built in
the kingdom, and burn every straw of it, but the wheat will be brought
into the barn. The tares are removed before the saints go anywhere.
Notice that whatever God says, the false prophet says exactly the
opposite? And who do you think the people believe?
The interpretation of the parable of a woman hiding leaven in three
measures of meal is as follows. The woman is Babylon the diseased
harlot church. The leaven is sin and false doctrine working secretly
away as it gradually leavens the whole lump. The woman corresponds
to Jezebel the prophetess in the church of Thyatira Rev 2:20. These
parables are a mystery to the uninitiated, but they have been given
to the children of the Kingdom to understand. This woman is feeding
leavened bread to her unsuspecting household.
Having crept in unawares corrupt servants are operating within the
kingdom of God on earth. Jude 1:4-5 TLB. “I say this because
some godless teachers have wormed their way in among you, saying
that after we become Christians we can do just as we like without
fear of God's punishment. The fate of such people was written long
ago, for they have turned against our only master and Lord, Jesus
Christ. My answer to them is: Remember this fact which you know
already, that the Lord saved a whole nation of people out of Egypt,
and then killed every one of them who did not trust and obey him.”
2 Timothy 2:17-18. “And their word will eat away inside you
like cancer: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the
truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already;
and overthrow the faith of some.”
False doctrine like cancer is a vile malignant, terminal disease.
Soul-destroying doctrines abound in these perilous times in which
we live. Be vigilant, and don't ever be discouraged or surprised
at what you hear concerning ungodly behaviour among preachers.
Jesus said these things would happen.
Let us take note. The days in which we live are perilous indeed.
The enemy is out in full force, tempting and deceiving many of God’s
people. The Lord Jesus desires to purify His people, not only in
heart and mind, but doctrine as well. False doctrines keep believers
in confusion and cloud vision. They hinder the work of the Holy
Spirit in their lives. Our prayer is that the “Body of Christ
will experience a unity of the faith, and a more perfect knowledge
of the Lord Jesus Christ”. The present structured religious
system will never do that. It is doomed and will be consigned to
1 Corinthians 11:19. “For there must be also heresies among
you so that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.”
Deuteronomy 4:23-24. “For the Lord God is a consuming fire
and a jealous God.” Here the Lord warned Israel of the consequences
of disobedience. He will not allow His glory or praise to be given
to another Isaiah 42:8. He expects no less from professing believers.
The foundation of the Lord's work stands firm.
2 Timothy 2:19-21. “The foundation of God stands sure, having
this seal; The Lord knows them that are his. Let every one who claims
to belong to Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there
are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and
of earth; some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man purge
himself, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet
for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work”.
Hebrews 12:28-29. “Wherefore receiving a kingdom that cannot
be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably,
with reverence and Godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.”
The great house represents every Religious System past and present.
Within them there are not only vessels of honour, but also vessels
of dishonour fitted for destruction. Judas was such a vessel. In
Egypt Joseph owned a cup that was more than his servant’s
life was worth if he was caught using it. That is why the crime
Benjamin was accused of was so serious, because it carried the death
penalty. We are vessels that belong to the Lord; He is particular
about what we are allowing our vessels of His to be used for. Who
is using them, and for what purpose they’re using them. He
says, “Let everyone that names the name of Christ depart from
iniquity”. I.e., rebelling against His will.
Exodus 12:38. When Israel left Egypt after the first Passover they
were accompanied by the mixed multitude. Where did these people
come from? Jacob was heir of all Abraham and Isaac’s wealth.
Abraham had 318 soldiers, (Gen 14:14) besides other servants. Isaac
had a great store of servants (Genesis 26:14). All these went down
into Egypt with Jacob; by the time they came out of Egypt they had
been multiplying for 430 years. Among them was the mixed multitude
who wanted to go back to Egypt when things were not turning out
the way they expected in the wilderness.
Numbers 11:4 “And the mixed multitude that was among them
fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept, and said,
who shall give us flesh to eat?”
All religious systems are a mixture. The parables in Matthew 13
It has always been Satan’s aim to pollute Christ’s body
by sending corrupt servants to inject false doctrine into its midst.
Into the first family Cain was born. Aboard the Ark that Noah built
we find Ham whom his father Noah cursed, Ham was the grandfather
of Nimrod. Abraham produced Ishmael. Esau greatly troubled Isaac.
Jacob had many sons who never walked with God. Simeon and Levi were
instruments of cruelty.
A mixed multitude came out of Egypt with Israel. Nadab and Abihu
offered strange fire. Hophni and Phineas made themselves vile. Jesus
chose twelve and one of them had a devil. The enemy took great pains
to sow Tares among the wheat. Bad fish were in the net. Unclean
birds built their nests in the mustard tree of faith. Lucifer was
perfect in all his ways, until the day that iniquity was found in
him. Judas was among the chosen twelve. Little foxes spoiled the
vine. Thorns and briars are in the King’s garden, and dead
flies are in the ointment of the apothecary. All these typify types
of vessels in the house.
God is no respecter of persons, but He has a tremendous respect
for Christian character. Called, chosen faithful, and in that order.
Sadly many are called, but few are faithful. Matthew 22:14.
Vernon McGee pastor of the rescue mission in downtown LA for 40
years used to say, “I was never quite sure when someone came
for help, whether it was a prodigal coming home, or a pig on an
Daniel 2:32-34. Nebuchadnezzar’s image built of gold, silver,
brass, iron and clay. It was top heavy. There it stood with its
golden head; silver breast; thighs of brass on down to its legs
of iron, standing on feet of part clay and iron. There it stood
until a stone cut without hands smote the image upon the feet, breaking
it into pieces so that the wind might carry it away like chaff.
Then the stone became a mighty mountain filling the whole earth.
Nehemiah 13:1-3. “On that day”, the dedication day,
after Judah had finished the restoring the walls of Jerusalem they
separated the mixed multitude excluding them from worshipping in
Jude 3-4. “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto
you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto
you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith
which was once delivered unto the saints.
For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of
old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace
of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, our
Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul warned of divisions and strife in the Agape circle.
“After my departure grievous wolves shall enter in among you
not sparing the flock. Also among you men will rise up speaking
perverse things to draw away disciples.” Acts 20:29-30. These
are strong words; “grievous wolves”, “perverse
things”. They were busy building their kingdoms, something
every denomination and so called local church does shamelessly.
A wealth of experience ministering worldwide has increased our awareness
of our vulnerability to a multiplicity of temptations. The three
greatest points of attack on servants are:
Material security: “The lust of the eyes.” This may
affect attitudes towards money, and possessions; a lack of trust
with regard to Our Lord’s promise to meet and supply our needs.
Matthew 6:31-33 makes it abundantly clear that the New Testament
ministry was mobile, but today because of insecurity we stay with
one flock, year after year, living on the fleece in the comparative
safety of the sheepfold. The result is neither the shepherd nor
the sheep are edified, and neither grows. Under the current system,
unless you’re a pastor, it’s hard to make a living,
so they stay put and stagnate.
Moral failure: “The lust of the flesh.”
Particularly sexual failure: It can be imaginary or actual and is
rampant in the ministry. If you feed an appetite until it’s
full you will not satisfy it but only increase it. There is nothing
so binding that cannot be broken by the power of the precious blood
of Christ. How desperately we need relationships where there is
accountability without fear of condemnation.
Personal esteem: “The pride of life.”
Concerned about what others might think. It may manifest itself
in arrogance or in fear where we are forever measuring ourselves,
by standards of others, rather than the scriptures.