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THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER

    The Government
of God

Luke: 8:4-10
4 And when many people were gathered together, and came to him out of every town, he (Jesus) spoke by a parable: 5 A sower (farmer) went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell on the road; and it was trampled on, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was started to grow, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns (weeds); and the thorns grew up with it, and choked it. 8 And other fell on good ground, and grew up, and produced a hundred times the fruit. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that has ears to hear, let him hear. 9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What does this parable mean? 10 And he said, To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God....
Here are Matthew's and Mark's account of the same parable.

11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then comes the devil, and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. 15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

 

      The interpretation of this parable given in the verses immediately following the parable are quite clear. Lots of good and not so good teaching on the interpretation of the parable come out of the nations pulpits. However the focus of this series of articles is the Government of God as it relates to these parable's and that is something rarely addressed with any accuracy. Jesus calls this parable and it's interpretation something that explains what the kingdom or government of God is. Something that needs an explanation because it is a mystery, a secret.  He does not use this term mystery or secret because the idea of the Kingdom of God is something new to his hearers. It is obviously prophesied throughout the law and the prophets and the people of his day openly spoke of it. In fact they probably considered themselves to be quite versed on the subject. (Just like the Christian world today.) Therefore when Jesus uses the term mysterious or secret he is saying it is something the people of his day do not really understand even if they are positive they do understand it. Lets look at the verse used in this websites article "What is the Government of God" to emphasize this: Luke 17: 20-21 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God does not come with observation (visibly):  Nor shall they say, Look here! or, look there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is inside you.
     It needs to be perfectly clear to the reader that the orthodox viewpoint of that generation and ours is that the prophesied Kingdom of God will come visibly. To them it was to come when the messiah comes as the descendant of King David. The consensus today is that Jesus will come a "second" time and set up a visible physical kingdom on this earth, or, on a new physical planet earth. The problem with this is that Jesus did not address their erroneous viewpoint of the coming of the oft prophesied Kingdom of God as a matter of timing. He addressed their (and our generations) error as a matter of  substance. Meaning, that their (and our generations) idea of the meaning of all the Bible prophecy regarding a coming Government of God on earth is erroneous. Very simply, the hundreds of chapters of Bible prophecy that speak of a day when the Kingdom of God on the earth "rules" the world or is the "greatest" of kingdoms that all others are subservient to. These are not speaking of a visible physical kingdom or government. Since they did not understand this, to them it was a mystery, something that was a secret. Unfortunately to our generation that absolutely believes that the prophecy in the Bible regarding a kingdom of God speaks of a visible physical kingdom that is coming.....the mystery remains. Please keep in mind that this does not address the next life. What we will find in heaven and Gods Government there. This only address's what Bible prophecy says of that government on earth which is addressed in a hundred plus chapters of prophecy.

     Here are a few more examples of verses to get a better idea of what this article is trying to communicate. When the Roman governor Pilate asked Jesus at his trial whether he considered himself a king or not Jesus answered: John 18:36 ....My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight....Now Jesus didn't say his kingdom was not in this world he said it does not proceed from this world. Therefore it's not like the kingdoms of this world. It's origin is from somewhere else and to paraphrase it: It does not operate the same way kingdoms that have their origin in the world operate. If it did his servants would fight.  A very famous prophecy in Isaiah chapter 2 says: 2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come everyone, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into sickles : nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
    In numerous prophetic scriptures the mountain of the Lord represents the Government of God. This one in Isaiah is prophesying about that coming Government of God. Notice though that at the same time Gods government wields the greatest influence by the illustration of it being the highest of the mountains, there are other mountains and hills. In other words governments and influence that are not from God but from this world. It's not that Gods government exist to the exclusion of all others but it is being prophesied that his government will be the most influential and as it always has, still reigning in the affairs of men. This particular prophecy also calls this mountain the Lords house. When you are getting into prophecies in the Old Testament about the Lords house it cannot get any clearer as to what it is specifically referring to. The house\temple\tabernacle\dwelling place of God are the true believers. There is no debating that issue. This is one of the clearest New Testament (and old Testament) declarations and doctrines. The people today who are teaching that there is a coming physical building in a physical city where God will dwell are not apostles. They are not writing new chapters of the Bible with declarations and teachings of the meanings of  the Bibles symbolism and prophecies.  The temple and tabernacle, the dwelling place of God, his house were symbolic prophecies, prophetic illustrations of the true tabernacle and house of God that was to come which has been declared by scripture itself to be his people, the followers of Jesus. This is called in the New Testament one of the great mysteries hidden from ages generations finally revealed. There will not be a reversal of the realties that were coming to the earth that most of the Old Testament only symbolized back to the thing that was only a type and shadow of the real. The teachings that ignore plainly declared interpretations of Old Testament types and shadows and proclaim things like a New Jewish Temple or New Messianic Temple are the fulfillment of prophecies like Isaiah 2 are very damaging to the cause of Christ and his people.
     Now lets follow this idea of the Government of God and the Lords house up with the rest of that prophecy and then tie it into the parable of the sower. It says at the end of the sentence in Isaiah 2:2 that all nations will flow to it. Then verse 3: That many people shall go and say, Come everyone, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths. Keeping in mind what the Lords house is: To where or to whom do the nations, do the people go to find God, salvation and instruction about God, his kingdom and his ways? Well for two thousand years now, to Gods people, to the Bible or to a church. This is especially relevant since the fall of the Roman Empire in 1453 AD when the Bible prophesied this great mountain would begin to fill the whole earth. In the last half century or so approx. a billion people have come to Christ in nations that had few or no believers in it before. This shows no signs of slowing down as over 100,000 people a day world wide are meeting Jesus for the first time. So, not only did the Law and the Word of the Lord come out of Zion and Jerusalem in the first place; slowly but surely making it's way into the entire earth.  Zion and Jerusalem were also prophetic symbolisms' of Gods people today.
     Here is the tie in to the parable of the sower. Isaiah 2:4 as a prophecy about the coming government of God uses the same illustrations that Jesus uses in his parable of the sower to describe the process that brings that Government of God. Farming, sowing seed and harvesting a crop.  Isaiah 2:4....and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into sickles. Luke 8:5 A sower (farmer) went out to sow his seed...11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. That is really about as simple, common sense, light bulb going on in your head as it can get. The coming government of God that Isaiah predicts and that Jesus is the King of comes into the earth through the Word of God changing individuals beliefs and hearts and through them their cultures.  Isaiah also verifies this in another way that is perhaps not as clear. The rest of verse 4 says.... nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. What should be taken from this is that this kingdom does not come through force...which Jesus also stated: John:18:36.....My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight. This also corresponds to Jesus answer to the religious teachers of his day concerning the substance of his coming government. That it is not a visible Kingdom. Luke 17:20-21...The kingdom of God does not come with observation (visibly):  Nor shall they say, Look here! or, look there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is inside you. If it is not a Kingdom that comes through force. Whether that force be earthly, angelic or miraculous then it cannot be by it's very definition visible or physical. It must be a kingdom or government that is influential and therefore voluntarily accepted. Or as Hebrews 10:16 says: This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;  There will be a  little bit more in the next paragraph about the issue of the sword, force and human government. Hopefully it is understood that all of the objections based on various eschatology's people hold cannot be answered in the article due to the shear magnitude of the subject. Those are answered in a series of articles on this site connected to this article: End Times Prophecy. This is a book length article that has more information in it regarding end time prophecies than you will find anywhere else on the internet. It's a project in itself to read it and it can be promised that it will do a world of good to anyone that does.

     One of the reasons Isaiah uses this wording: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; is because of  The Government of Gods extensive use of the sword in ancient Israel that Isaiah lived in.  It's not that war or force (earthly and heavenly) are not employed by God's Government today, as many of the hundred plus chapters of prophecies about it clearly allude to like the first part of verse 4. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people... Without going into allot of explanation as to how and why this was one of the reasons for the heavy reliance on the sword: Hebrews 7: 18 For there is truly a disannulling of the commandment going before because of the weakness and profitableness of it. 19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw close to God. They had to conquer territory and hold that territory against the influence of the world around it. It didn't work well because once the territory was conquered they were primarily involved in defending that territory both spiritually and physically in a war of attrition that dragged on for generations. In the Kingdom of God today it's the Gospel that goes in first and if it does not change the culture there is no reason to bring other means to bare. There were logical reasons for God doing things that way in ancient Israel at that time in history though: Mainly, to prepare a beachhead for his invasion of the earth through the Messiah that was to come. It is also worth mentioning that modern republics and democracies that are founded on various degree's of Biblical Principle.  Places where the Gospel went first and transformed significant minorities of individuals that are an influence to the rest of the population have not been fighting unjust wars against each other. They have not sought to conquer their neighbors. This has generally been the story since the fall of the Roman Empire in 1453 AD which coincides with the  prophesies about the rise of the invisible government of God in the earth. These same nations have also somewhat defended the world against wicked empires and tyranny. Something totally new in the world if you compare it to all of it's past history.

     The hope now is that with that additional information the reader can see that the parable is not just about individuals being converted to Christ. That the mystery of the prophesied Kingdom of God is that real conversion through the preaching\teaching of the Word of God is the most basic of means with which all of the prophecies about the coming Government of God in the Bible will come to pass. By no means is conversion the only means but without it all other issues are moot. Nothing prophesied in the Bible about his government can come to pass apart from voluntary (and true) conversion  of a good portion of a nations population and then later of a good portion of the population of the earth. This, a good portion of the worlds population being converted just happens to be the subject of the next two of the parables of this particular set of parables Jesus taught, (in Marks version.)

     As to the subject of individual conversion and fruit. It really isn't the subject matter of this series of articles outside of how it relates to the prophesied Government of God that was to come to the earth. It just so happens though that the next few verses following the parable of the sower do just that.

      Matthew 13:21 And he said to them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? 22 For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. 23 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. 24 And he said to them, Take heed what you hear: with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you: and to you that hear shall more be given. 25 For he that has, to him shall be given: and he that has not, from him shall be taken even that which he has. 26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; 27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knows not how. 28 For the earth brings forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. 29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest is come. [AKJ]
     In these verses we have a basic framework for fruit and growth. Both individually and culturally. Verses 21- 22 teach about spreading the word, being that sower. Versus 24-25 teach about discipleship,  growing in and remaining in the faith. Those verses also apply to cultures and nations as well as to individuals. A nation can (and nations have) receive truths that transform them. Just like individuals they can also stop growing in the truth and begin to fall away. They can lose the truths they were secure in because they are not taking heed to further truth coming to them from heaven. Verses 26-29 teaches how this is the natural course of things. That if people and nations receive the truth it will bear fruit in their lives and lands even if they do not really perceive how it is all working. Not perceiving the Government of God working in their midst's and nations is so pervasive amongst modern Christians. It is so typical for them to believe the world is worse than it ever was when in fact if you compare the beginning of the 21st century to the history of the entire world it has never been better. This thanks to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Government of God, the Bible getting into the hands of common men. Not that the world is anywhere near where God would like to take it which is most likely the subject of verse 29. Only God himself knows the extent to which his Government will influence the world in the centuries and millennia to come. Whatever that extent is though is the harvest he is looking to reap. Righteousness, godliness, nations governing themselves in ways that are conducive to the growth of the Government of God in their midst's is God reaping the precious fruit of the earth. Peoples prepared for eternal life in heaven and having a little taste of it here on earth first is the wisdom of God manifested to all the universe as it states in
 Ephesians 3:10 The purpose of this enlightenment is that through the church the multifaceted wisdom of God should now be disclosed to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly realms.

 

© Daniel Martinovich 2013