The following article is an excerpt from the book “The Day of God” which, will be available soon on Amazon.com. It is part of the chapter titled: “The Way Of Cain.” Is it possible that Jesus spoke of the coming internet as he shared the Kingdom of Heaven parables?
There are seven parables in Matthew 13. The first four were spoken to the multitude; the last three to the disciples. The first four give us the external view of the history of Christianity; the last three speak of that which is internal or spiritual. The first four are arranged in two pairs, the first two giving us the characters, the wheat and tares. The second pair set forth that which distorts the truth, the mustard-tree and the leaven.
The first parable represents the sowing while the fifth and sixth declares the crop produced. In a similar manner, the second parable represents a sowing, while the third and fourth describe the harvest that springs from it.
The crop from the second is mentioned before the first because as it is written, “Howbeit, that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.” 1 Cor. 15:46. Cain was born before Abel, Ishmael before Isaac, and Esau before Jacob. The nation of Egypt existed before Israel; Saul came to the throne before David and the twelve Apostles came before Paul. This pattern continues throughout the Word.
Let’s review the details of these parables. The first represents the Lord still here upon earth, sowing the seed of the kingdom. It defines the ratio of the gospel’s success, and forewarns us that only a portion produces abiding results. It makes known, from the human side, the various hindrances which render most of the seed infertile. Thus, this parable plainly repudiates the popular delusion, which supposes that this age will yet witness a universal reception of the gospel; it negates any expectation of a millennium brought about by the labors of man. It declares that most of the seed is either caught away or choked, and general barrenness is the result. The history of the last twenty centuries has fully corroborated the teaching of this parable and made manifest the fulfillment of Christ’s prediction.
The second parable carries us forward to a point after Christ’s ascension, to the time when the men chosen by Christ preached the gospel of the circumcision. It shows us the two forces at work in the world, the newly formed church in Israel empowered by the Holy Spirit sowing the “good seed” and the spirit of the world sowing his “tares.” Because of the unfaithfulness of those called to preach, while “men slept,” the enemy got in his work, and as the result the crop in the field, as a whole, was spoiled.
Though the “tares” were detected, orders were given that they must not be removed; they were to “grow together” with the wheat until the harvest. Christ said, “Let both grow”; do not waste time in seeking to get rid of the “tares.” The responsibility of a faithful believer is to preach the gospel. It is interesting to note that tares can neither injure the wheat nor prevent the garnering of it. The sowing of the tares was by God’s permission.
The third parable carries us from a time when the outward character of professing Christianity underwent a radical change. That which had been despised, had become popular; that which was so insignificant in the world, assumed huge proportions. But instead of this being a great blessing, it was a fearful curse. So far from its being a triumph for the Gospel, it evidenced a victory of Satan. The little mustard-seed developed into a monstrosity, and produced that which gave shelter for the agents of the darkness. Instead of living as strangers and pilgrims here, professing Christians took part in politics and sought to reform the government. Instead of having as their hope the returning Christ, they sought to improve the world. The true gospel of the circumcision preached by Peter was soon replaced by the traditions of men which we see everywhere in the world today, yet God had a plan. He called Paul to introduce the gospel of the uncircumcision revealing the sacred secret, the mystery of the body of Christ. This will be covered in detail in the chapter titled: “The Hidden Secret.”
The parable of the leaven presents an equally tragic transformation. Just as the mustard-tree depicted the outward corruption of Christianity, this parable shows us the inward corruption. Into the “meal,” which represents the gospel, a foreign element was stealthily introduced. This was designed to make the food of God’s people lighter and more palatable to the world; but it corrupted the same. The Lord announced that this evil process would continue until the whole was leavened.
But though these four parables give us a sad picture of the unfaithfulness of men, there has been no failure with God. In spite of the entire breakdown in human responsibility, God has been slowly but surely working out His “eternal purpose.” For it is written: “Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world,” Acts 15:18,
The fifth parable begins with: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field.” If scripture is allowed to interpret itself, there will be no difficulty whatever in discovering the “hidden treasure”. It is written, “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine.” Exodus 19: 5. Next we read, “For thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy God and the Lord has chosen thee to be a peculiar treasure unto himself.” Deut. 14:2. “For the Lord has chosen Jacob unto himself and Israel for His peculiar treasure.” Ps. 135:4.
These passages speak of Israel. They are God’s treasure on earth. Confirmation of this definition of the “treasure” in our parable is found in the fact that never once in the New Testament is the word “treasure” used of the believers.
Let’s look at the second detail in it: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; which when a man has found…” That is the next point, the finding of the treasure. That is so very simple it needs no interpretation. The “man” here is Christ. The finding of the treasure by Christ refers to the days of His earthly ministry. It is written “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew 15:24 Christ, the Man, came to Israel, the Jews. His ministry was confined unto them. The treasure was found. It was no longer hidden. The nation of Israel was not as it was in the days of Moses in Egypt. The sons of Jacob were in their own land. They had their own temple; the priesthood was still intact. It was to them Christ came.
“Again the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; which when a man has found, he hides.” There is a distinct step in each clause. He “hides” it. That is the most solemn word in the chapter, with the one exception of the furnace of fire. Christ presented Himself to the Jews and the Jews rejected Him, and because of their rejection, he rejected them and pronounced a sentence of doom upon them: “Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.” He now severed ties with Israel.
So here in the parable: first we have the treasure hid in the field: that was Israel’s condition at the beginning of their national history in Old Testament times. Second, we have the Man coming to the treasure: that was the earthly ministry of Christ. Third, we have the treasure hid once more: that was Christ’s rejection of Israel. The “hiding” of the treasure referred to the last dispersion and scattering of the Jews throughout the whole earth. And, so effectually has He “hidden” the treasure that ten out of the twelve tribes are still lost. Yes, they are hidden, so securely hidden that no man to this day knows where they are.
Next, we have the Man purchasing the treasure and the whole field in which it was found, referring to the death of Christ. Have you noticed there is a fifth point omitted? The logical completion of the parable would be the Man actually possessing the treasure he purchased. He hid it, he purchased it but he did not take possession of it. Why is that left out? Because it will not be accomplished until he returns to inaugurate the millennium. That comes after the times of Jacobs troubles also referred to as the latter days and the great tribulation. The latter days begin when those who are the elect chosen by grace, both dead and alive, are gathered together in the clouds. The gathering together of the body of Christ will then complete the first part of God’s plan for the ages, the restoration of the heavens, as the Devil and his angels are cast out to the earth. Revelation 12:9. This is when Satan makes his final effort to destroy the nation of Israel. When the battle of Armageddon is over and Satan is locked away for a thousand years in the bottomless pit, the millennial rule of Christ shall begin. With the restoration of the earth and the revelation of Grace to the bride, Israel shall be manifested as God’s peculiar “treasure’’ on “earth” Isaiah 62:1-4.
This brings us now to the sixth parable. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” Matthew 13: 45, 46.
For all those who are caught up in the works of man aka “the way of Cain”, the general conception is that Christianity is likened unto one who earnestly desired and diligently sought salvation. Ultimately his efforts were rewarded by his finding Christ, the Pearl of great price. Having found Him, as presented in the Gospel, the sinner sold all that he had: that is to say, he forsook all that the flesh held dear, he abandoned his worldly companions, he surrendered his will, and he dedicated his life to God. It is in that way, he secured his salvation.
There are several flaws here when you rightly divide the word of God. First, we are told this parable teaches that the sinner earnestly and diligently seeks salvation. But the truth is there has never been a single human on this earth who took the initiative in seeking salvation. Man ought to seek salvation. He ought to seek it, for God commands him to: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord.” “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found,” is His command; but fallen man in his natural state never does and never will seek the Lord or His salvation.
I know some reading this are already saying, “I cannot deny my own experience; I know quite well there was as a time when I sought the Lord”. I do not deny your experience; what I would ask you is this. Was there something you experienced before that? What caused you to “seek” the Lord? Ah, the truth is, you sought Him because He first sought you, just as truly as you love him because He first loved you. It is not the sheep that seeks the shepherd; it is the shepherd who seeks the sheep; and having sought the sheep, he creates in the heart of that sheep a desire after himself, then it begins to seek him.
The way of Cain promotes that the natural man is seeking Christ; “the pearl of great price.” To believe this is to wrongly divide the written word. “There is none that seeketh after God.” Romans 3: 11. There are multitudes that seek the lusts of the eyes and the lusts of the flesh, but there is none that seeks after God. He is the great Seeker.
Next, we are told by those who wrongly divide the word that, having sought and found Christ, the pearl of great price, the sinner sells all that he has and buys it, But that cannot be, because the sinner has nothing to sell. He has no righteousness, for it is written that all our righteousness is as “filthy rags.” Isaiah 64:6 He has no goodness, for it is written “There is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Romans 3:12 He has no faith, for that is God’s “gift” Eph. 2:8. Man has nothing to sell. The popular view of this parable turns God’s truth upside down, for He declares that salvation is without money and without price Isa. 55:1.
Finally, the way of Cain teaches that man seeks salvation by forsaking his natural ways and then forsakes all in finding salvation yet, it is written “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” Titus 3:5.
This parable is rightly divided in light of the work of Christ and not the works of man. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchantman. The “man referred to is Christ, as he is all through this chapter. The man that sowed the good Seed in the field in the first parable is Christ. The man referred to at the beginning of the second parable is Christ, and the man in this parable, the merchantman, is the Lord Jesus. Now, notice three things concerning this man.
First, he desired this goodly pearl: “the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchantman seeking goodly pearls: who when he had found one pearl of great price went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” The parable begins by stating that the merchantman had set His heart upon this pearl. The pearl represents all those (both Jew and Gentile) who would believe the gospel entrusted to Peter, the gospel of the circumcision. This was the church the Lord Jesus desired whose inheritance was the earth. The body of Christ was a mystery, a secret hidden in God until he revealed it to the Apostle Paul. This was a different church with a uniquely different inheritance.
The second thing is that He regarded this pearl as being of “great price.” It is not in the mind of man to think of himself as God thinks of him. It is written, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Is 55: 9
In the third place, we are told that the merchantman not only desired this pearl, and esteemed it of so great value, but He sold all that He had.
God reveals the treasure and the pearl in Revelation 7. Here we see both Israel (the treasure) and those believers who are called out from both Jew and Gentile (the pearl) who have heard and stood faithful to the gospel of the circumcision, the gospel of faith whose lives have been made white in the blood of the lamb. Revelation 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Their inheritance is earthly along with the 144,000 from the tribes of Israel in the previous verses. The body of Christ called and elected by grace are those chosen by God and their inheritance is in the heavens. The body of Christ is not included in the seven parables. This sacred secret was not known until God revealed it to Paul.
The very fact that Matthew 13 contains seven parables indicates that we have here a complete history of the Christian gospel of Faith (circumcision). The way of God as preached by the gospel of the uncircumcision is grace which only God can provide. In the prophetic outline presented by Christ, the salient points and principal epochs in this history are noticed. In the first, which is introductory, the earthly ministry of Christ is in view. The second describes what took place in the days of the apostles. The third brings us down to the fourth century, when the little mustard-seed became a great “tree,” which points to the union between the State and professing Christianity in the days of Constantine. The fourth takes us to the end of the sixth century, and forecasts the rise of the Papacy, the woman corrupting the meal.
After the fourth parable there is a manifest break: the Lord leaving the seaside and retiring within the house. He was hidden from the multitudes. How accurately this corresponds with the history of the church. Following the establishment of Romanism, the Dark Ages appeared and the multitudes forsook Christ.
After the break, come the fifth and sixth parables spoken to the disciples only. These forecast the great reformation in the days of Luther, Calvin and others. Most significant is it that the central object in each is Christ seeking that which was hidden and bringing it to light. That which He first unearthed was the treasure hid in a field. How manifestly this found its parallel in the recovery of the precious word of God that had for so long been kept back from the people. The parable of the one pearl anticipated the recovery of the truth of the oneness in Christ of all God’s people. This recovery, will not come to fruition however until Christ returns and sits upon the throne of David.
The seventh parable, speaks of the conditions of modern day Christian America. In the light of this, how significant are the words in the following verse “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea and gathered of every kind” Matthew 13: 47
Christian America spares no effort to attract fish of “every kind.” In the modern church services of our present day, there is something to suit the tastes and meet the physical needs of all. Social, economic, and diplomatic issues are discussed to satisfy the political mind. Worldly amusements are introduced to attract the lovers of pleasure. Grand organs are put in and professional vocalists engaged to soothe and charm the aesthetic. Dramatic speakers, so-called “Evangelists,” who are but religious showmen, are employed to please the sensation-monger. In short, everything that can please the flesh has been brought into the churches to draw the crowds and thus catch fish of “every sort.”
Near the close of the twentieth century, the spirit of the world, the prince of the power of the air, introduced the worldwide inter-NET to capture and deceive the remainder of those in the world.
The spirit of the world begins his work of deception with all who are called of God with the same three temptations experienced by Eve and The Lord Jesus Christ. The lust of the eyes asks man to question God’s provision. The lust of the flesh asks man to question God’s protection and lastly, the pride of life asks man to question God’s providence. When man rejects God’s revealed Word, FEAR manifests itself in “the way of Cain”. The only safe haven is to follow the example of the Lord in the wilderness as he responded with a clear “It is written.”
The business of a faithful minister is not to tickle ears, but to study and teach the rightly divided word of God.
All man-made religions ultimately develop into the form of a tree. When the word of God is questioned and wrongly divided, a pattern begins to form and the birds of the air succeed in corrupting the trunk, limbs, branches and twigs. The way of Cain has continued to deceive the world. All men born of the blood of Adam must choose to believe and walk according to the truth of God’s revealed written word. Satan knows this and has been mastering his deception since the day he first asked Eve “Hath God said”?
This religious deception will continue until the gospel of the circumcision is fully restored during the years of the great tribulation after the times of the gentiles are fulfilled and the body of Christ is exchanged with the devil and his angels. Revelation 12: 9