(NOTE: This is a ‘rough draft’ of a chapter of my finished book- available on Amazon via Title Link: Thy Kingdom Come- Here and Now!)
Chapter 15: Mysteries of the Kingdom
From Matthew 8 through 12 the Lord Jesus demonstrated His power over all the forces of darkness. From the healing of disease, casting out demons, and exercising divine authority in the power of the Holy Spirit over all the power of the enemy-He went on a systematic campaign of taking ground back from satan. He as the ultimate Rabbi (teacher) modeled for us how we are to carry the Kingdom and likewise do the work of taking back step by step in all areas of our personal influence, what the enemy has stolen.
Matthew 9:35-37;10:1… And Jesus went about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the Kingdom and healing every disease and every sickness. And seeing the crowds, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were harassed and cast away like sheep not having a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, The harvest is great, but the workers few; Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest that He would thrust out workers into His harvest.
And He called His twelve disciples to Him and gave them authority over unclean spirits, so that they would cast them out and heal every disease and every sickness.
The Lord Jesus Christ, King of the heavenly kingdom is not only the Shepherd of the sheep but He is also the Lord of the harvest. His Kingdom is established and consists of living things which can grow and multiply. The authority that the Lord gives to His disciples to cast out demons and heal diseases is a glimpse of the coming age of the millennium, in which all demons are dealt with and cast out and all diseases will be healed.
Isaiah 35:2b;5,6b;8a;10… They will see the glory of Jehovah, The splendor of our God... Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped… For water will break forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert. And a highway will be there, and a way, And it will be called, The Way of Holiness… And the ransomed of Jehovah will return And will come to Zion with a ringing shout, And eternal joy will be upon their heads. They will lay hold on gladness and joy, And sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Matthew 10:16-20… Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be therefore prudent as serpents and guileless as doves. And beware of men, for they will deliver you up to sanhedrins, and in their synagogues they will scourge you. And you will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not be anxious about how or what you should speak, for it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; For you are not the ones speaking, but the Spirit of your Father is the One speaking in you.
Being wise as serpents we would be continually aware and attune to what is going on around us at all times; like a martial artist our ‘sphere’ will not be penetrated by any enemy without extreme resistance. To be guileless or harmless as doves implies not mixed with any evil motive and not bent on hurting others. The adversary is the devil, and by way of allegiance his children. The enemy is not misguided and lost mankind, who we are commissioned to rescue at all cost.
10:24-28;32-34… A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is sufficient for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of His household! Therefore do not fear them; for there is nothing covered which will not be revealed, and hidden which will not be made known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.
Everyone therefore who will confess in Me before men, I also will confess in him before My Father who is in Heaven; But whoever will deny Me before men, I also will deny him before My Father who is in Heaven. Do not think that I have come to bring peace on the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
On this earth we cannot expect to be treated with kindness by the world. On the contrary, we will often be misunderstood, ridiculed, hated and persecuted, for this is how the world treated our Lord Jesus. We can maintain a heart of peace in this reality. We must therefore preach the gospel as a faithful witness for the Lord. Unfortunately many believers give up when they experience opposition, not daring to ‘offend’. But the lost are dangling over a burning hell, with only the Lake of Fire as their ultimate destination unless we proclaim the truths and mysteries of the Kingdom to them with boldness and humility, inspired and guided by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
The sword which the Lord alludes to here is not a physical sword for combat (like a samurai), but I believe He means the sword of the Word that shall pierce through their own soul. It is dealing with the emotions and motives that anchor people in falsehood and the deception of the evil one. We use the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God as our primary offensive weapon in our warfare against the forces of darkness and their minions.
v38… And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
We must love the Lord Jesus above all: above parents, spouse, children, friends… or anything else. At all costs our first love must be the Lord, that we may be accounted worthy of Him. This singular devotion, allegiance, and deep affection is a key to empowered Kingdom living… not loving our lives even unto death.
Matthew 11:25-30… At that time Jesus answered and said, I extol You, Father, Lord of Heaven and of earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for thus it has been well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one fully knows the Son except the Father; neither does anyone fully know the Father except the Son and him to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
Come to Me all who toil and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
To know the Son requires that the Father reveal Him (Matthew 16:17), and to know the Father requires that the Son reveal Him (John17:6,26). Finding rest for our souls in Christ is a rest from rebellion and willfulness. It allows the soul (mind, will, emotions, imagination, motives, aspirations, desires) to bow before the Spirit and receive profound refreshment in Christ. His yoke is easy for us when we are yoked to Him who has already carried the heaviest burden of all: the sin of fallen mankind on the cross at Calvary. From His baptism forward He moved in resurrection power for He was truly a dead man walking… He was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. We are therefore privileged to be invited in this way to share His yoke; His burden for mankind and all creation that need full recovery and transformation.
Matthew 12:28-32;35-37… But if I, by the Spirit of God, cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can anyone enter into the house of the strong man and plunder his goods unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will thoroughly plunder his house. He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters. Therefore i say to you, Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, neither in this age nor in the one to come.
The good man out of his good treasure, brings forth good things, and the evil man, out of his evil treasure, brings forth evil things. And I say to you that every idle word which men shall speak, they will render an account concerning it in the day of judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.
The Spirit of God is the power of the Kingdom of God. How does the Kingdom of God come? Through its power. Casting out demons is one of the most significant manifestations of the reality of the Kingdom of God, for where the Spirit of God is in power, the Kingdom of God manifests, and demons have no ground to resist or stand. The strong man who is the wicked one is bound through the cross of our Lord Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit in His name… with the prayer of faith from our hearts and in our mouths. We must soberly recognize that our words have power, and that we must guard our hearts and mouths from declaring things that void our prayers by contradicting a spirit of faith. Our words justify us when we agree with God and His revelation via the Holy Spirit.
Beginning with Matthew 13 the unveiling of the mysteries of the Kingdom unfolds. Due to the hardness of their hearts, their Messiah had been fully rejected by the leaders of the Jewish religion, which compelled Jesus to break with them. He would now go to the rest of humanity to declare the reality of the Kingdom.
Matthew 13:1,2… On that day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds were gathered to Him, so that He stepped into a boat and sat, and all the crowd stood on the shore.
The house signifies the house of Israel (10:6), while the sea signifies the Gentile world (Revelation 17:15). This transition is pivotal because after forsaking the house of Israel and turning to the Gentiles, He begins to give the parables concerning the mysteries of the Kingdom. They are called mysteries because unless the Spirit of God reveals them no one can understand. He comes out of the house (a place of restriction), goes out to the sea (an unlimited area) and sits in a boat. The boat though it is in the sea, does not belong to the sea. It therefore typifies the church, which is in the world but not of the world.
Matthew 13:3-13;16… And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, Behold, the sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the way, and the birds came and devoured them. And others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much earth, and immediately they sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered. And others fell on the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them. But others fell on the good earth and yielded fruit, one a hundredfold, and one sixtyfold, and one thirtyfold. He who has ears to hear , let him hear.
And the disciples came and said to Him, Why do You speak in parables to them? And He answered and said to them, Because to you it has been given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it has not been given… v13- For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand… v16- But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.
The seed is the word of the Kingdom. There is only one kind of seed, but four different types of soil which is the human heart. The sower is apparently the Lord Jesus Christ. From the Lord’s first appearing when He came to sow the seed until He comes back to reap the harvest at the end of the age, everything concerning the Kingdom is a mystery to the carnal mind. Only the enlightened mind of a submissive heart can understand these mysteries by the work of the Holy Spirit.
vv18-23… You therefore hear the parable of the one who sowed. When anyone hears the word of the Kingdom and does not understand, the evil one comes and snatches away that which has been sown in his heart. This is the one sown beside the way. And the one sown on the rocky places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; Yet he does not have root in himself but lasts only for a time, and when affliction or persecution occurs because of the word, immediately he is stumbled. And the one sown in the thorns, this is he who hears the word, and the anxiety of the age and the deceitfulness of riches utterly choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. But the one sown on the good earth, this is he who hears the word and understands, who by all means bears fruit and produces, one a hundredfold, and one sixtyfold, and one thirtyfold.
The soil of our hearts must be receptive to receive the truths of the claims of Christ. Good soil is carefully prepared, broken up with all the rocks and weeds removed. Hard packed soil has no opportunity to receive the precious seed because birds will come to devour what has not been buried within the soil.
Hosea 10:12… Sow unto righteousness for yourselves; Reap according to lovingkindness; Break up your fallow ground; For it is time to seek Jehovah Until He comes and rains Righteousness on you.
It requires active listening to properly comprehend truth when it is given. We must not let the many distractions and anxieties of this world system strip away the realities of the eternal realm, for all that we see in the physical will likewise require full transformation into God’s perfect design. We were created for fruitfulness and can only fulfill our original purpose to the level that we fully submit to weeding of the hindering corruption, and the careful cultivation that will produce abundant and lasting fruit. The more we surrender to the will of the Father, the more outstanding the amount of fruit that is available for harvest. Let us strive for a harvest of an eternal weight of glory that we may present all our fruitfulness to the Lord, for He is Lord of the Harvest and worthy to receive the product of His labor.
Matthew 13:24-30… Another parable He set before them, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven has become like a man sowing good seed in his field. But while the men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares in the midst of the wheat and went away. And when the blade sprouted and produced fruit, then the tares appeared also. And the slaves of the master of the house came and said to him, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where then did the tares come from? And he said to them, An enemy has done this. And the slaves said to him, Do you want us then to go and collect them? But he said, No, lest while collecting the tares, you uproot the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, Collect first the tares and bind them into bundles to burn them up, but the wheat gather into my barn.
The church is made up of people coming out of the world to God, while the Kingdom of Heaven is coming from God to the world. We are the ekklesia or ‘called out ones’. Here the good seed are the sons of the Kingdom rather than being the word of the Kingdom as in the Parable of the Sower. After the word of the Kingdom has been received, it grows in those who receive it and they are transformed into sons of the Kingdom of Heaven. The enemy satan has sown the tares which are the sons of the evil one in the midst of the Kingdom people, Tares are remarkable in that they resemble wheat and are totally indistinguishable even until they grow several feet. It is only when the fruit appears that one recognizes the good from the bad. At that time the tare is black while the wheat is golden in color. When the harvest begins the distinction will be made between the good and bad fruit.
vv31&32… Another parable He set before them, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, and which is smaller than all the seeds; but when it has grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of heaven come and roost in its branches.
This parable is very deep because mustard seed is an annual herb which does not by nature become a tree. When the church represented as a mustard seed becomes a tree, it has the outward appearance of the Kingdom but has allowed birds of prey to lodge in its ‘branches’. These birds are evil spirits which motivate evil people to seek to corrupt the divine work of the true church. Christendom unfortunately has become an organizational structure and enterprise which in too many ways hinders the full manifestation of the Kingdom of Heaven in our midst.
vv33-35… Another parable He spoke to them: The Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal until the whole was leavened. All these things Jesus spoke in parables to the crowds, and apart from a parable He spoke nothing to them. So that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, “I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world.”
In the entire Bible leaven always represents something bad. Leavening is against the Scriptures, which strongly forbid putting any leaven into the meal offering (Leviticus 2:4-5,11). This signifies improper mixture within the church where pagan practices, heretical doctrines, and other unprofitable things have crept in to spoil the work of the ministry. We must ferret out these things and return the church to the pattern and fruitfulness desired by our Lord.
vv41-43… The Son of Man will send His angels, and they will collect out of His Kingdom all the stumbling blocks and those who practice lawlessness, And will cast them into the furnace of fire. In that place there will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
v44… The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid, and in his joy goes and sells all that he has, and buys the field.
Some interpret this parable to be that the treasure is Christ, the field is the Bible, and the man is the sinner. He gives up everything in this life to ‘buy’ the field in order to appropriate Christ as his treasure. There are some problems with this interpretation because a sinner cannot buy salvation or Christ as an article of merchandise, and if the gospel can be bought, it ceases to be the gospel. I believe another interpretation solves this problem: The field is the world, the treasure is the church, and the man is Christ Himself. The Lord forsakes all to buy her as His precious treasure. … He for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame…
v45 &46… Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls; And finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
The pearl is produced in water or comes out of the sea, which signifies the world corrupted by satan. Therefore the pearl refers to the church, constituted of regenerated believers who are of great value to the Lord. He again is the One who made the ultimate sacrifice to purchase us with His blood for He loves us that much.
v47-51… Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a net cast into the sea and gathering from every species, Which, when it was filled, they brought onto the shore, and sat down and collected the good into vessels; but the foul they cast out. So it will be at the consummation of the age: the angels will go forth and separate the evil from the midst of the righteous, And will cast them into the furnace of fire. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Have you understood all these things? They said to Him, Yes.
The sea represents the world of humanity, while every species signifies the nations. The good are the sheep who are justified in Christ, whereas the foul are the goats who are condemned. The furnace signifies the lake of fire and the final judgment of the nations.
v52 &53… And He said to them, For this reason every scribe discipled to the Kingdom of Heaven is like a householder who brings forth out of his treasure things new and old. And when Jesus finished these parables, He departed from there.
We as disciples of Christ are householders in the Kingdom with the treasure of the new and old knowledge of the Scriptures, as well as the treasure of the experience of the Kingdom in reality. Let us endeavor to so walk as ambassadors of Christ that we truly represent the Kingdom with humility, righteousness, and the full release of the Spirit.