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Prisms of Interpretation: The Parable of the Seed

Copyright © Andrew J. Shreeve 2015

 

See the teachings for the introduction of Prisms of Interpretation and the first three prisms: Blood Covenant, Justification / Righteousness by Faith and, The New Creation.

 

Prisms of Interpretation: The Parable of the Seed

 

Over the past three teachings of Prisms of Interpretation, we have introduced the concept that to rightly divide the bible, and to not be deceived by isolated scriptural 'proof-texts', we need to establish correct prisms of interpretation. This means accepting certain scriptural truths as irrefutable or absolute, and then viewing the rest of scripture through the lens, or prism, of these unquestioned truths. It is, therefore, imperative that the prisms we accept are very selective and unquestioned, because if our prisms are faulty all our interpretations will be faulty. Unfortunately, many of us unknowingly hold incorrect prisms of interpretation by unawareness, or lack of knowledge; therefore the need to deliberately cultivate correct prisms of interpretation is imperative if we wish to experience a more divinely empowered life.

 

So far we have introduced three prisms: blood covenant, specifically the blood of Jesus, justification / righteousness by faith and, the new creation. This new prism is: 'The Parable of the Seed'. One reason we introduce this prism is because Jesus said:

 

Know ye not this parable? And how then will ye know all parables?

Mark 4:13

 

Jesus established the parable of the seed as a prism of interpretation. Jesus is teaching that if we don't first master and understand the principles in this parable we will be unable to accurately understand all the other parables. In other words, we need to interpret all the other parables in the light of, or through the prism of, the parable of the seed.

 

The parable of the seed, or 'the parable of sower' as it is traditionally called, is detailed in Mark 4:1-29. Basically, the parable teaches the principles of how God's kingdom works, or operates. This includes how to receive the Lord's power unto: the new creation and eternal life, physical and mental healing, financial provision and, any of the promises, or fruit, connected with the Lord's kingdom.

 

The parable teaches that seed is sown on four different types of ground, yet only one type of ground bears fruit. The seed is the Word of God and the different types of ground are different conditions of the human heart (Mark 4:14-15). The four types of ground, or human heart, are: the way side, the stony ground, the ground with thorns and, the good ground. The parable teaches that the primary issue concerning whether humans experience the fruit, or power, of the Lord's kingdom is: not the Lord's will but, whether humans are able to successfully grow the Lord's Word, or His promises, in their hearts. The primary focus of the parable is the condition of the human heart, and whether it is able to receive and grow the seed of God's Word to fruitfulness, or not!

 

The parable explains many questions which people ask. For example, people often wonder why a good Christian may die early, as an early death appears to contradict the Lord's promises of long life and healing (Psalm 91:16, Ephesians 6:3)? The simple answer (apart from pre-revealed martyrdom, and the Christian not dwelling in the secret place of the most high) is that the Christian was unsuccessful in growing the seed, which promises long life and healing, in their hearts to the degree necessary to bring forth the fruit of that Word, or promise. The parable places the responsibility for attaining God's promises onto us, rather than blaming the Lord for the tragedies of life and promises of God being unfulfilled in our lives.

 

The principle of needing to successfully grow the seed of God's promise in our heart is consistent with receiving any promise from the Lord. If a Christian can grow the seed of a promise of God in their heart they can receive the fruit of that seed, the fulfilment of the promise. This is 100% guaranteed!

 

Divine fate or human free will

Some Christians have an unbiblical concept of when, and how, God might choose to intervene into this world. Some think that the Lord has predetermined everything, and whatever happens in this world, good or bad, is divine fate, or the predetermined destiny and will of the Lord. This erroneous belief, however, absolves the Christian from: taking personal responsibility, taking authority over devils, and developing their spiritual armour so as to fight the good fight of faith; because if everything is predetermined then our actions are not vitally needed to change anything. The truth, however, is that we are labourers together with the Lord and we play an essential part in our success, or failure, with regards to the receiving the promises of the Lord into our lives, and indeed in the lives of those who are still in ignorance of God's kingdom (1 Corinthians 3:9, Hebrews 6:12).

 

1 Timothy 2:3-4 says Godwill have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. It is obvious by studying scripture, and also by observation, that not all men are saved and have come to the knowledge of the truth. Therefore, it is obvious that God's will does not always occur. This is because God has entrusted humans with free will. As the Lord has integrity, the sovereign will of God does not mean that God can overrule circumstances by lying and breaking His written Word, or promises. If circumstances happen in our lives which contradict God's promises we cannot put it down to the 'sovereign will of the Lord'. Rather, we must humbly accept human error, that we have failed to successfully grow the seed of God's promise in our heart and we lack the faith to receive God's revealed written will.

 

The Lord is omniscient in that He knows the future, and who will, and won't, be saved; but that does not nullify human free will or say that humans have no part to play in their eternal, or temporal, salvation.

 

With regards to receiving the fruits of the Lord's kingdom, the parable of the seed teaches that our part is to sow the seed (Mark 4:26). It is also our part to protect, nourish and cultivate the seed until it can take root, grow and produce the fruit of the kingdom (Mark 4:20).

 

Proof in the New Testament Epistles of the Seed Principle

 

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever

1 Peter 1:23

 

This verse teaches us that the receiving of spiritual seed is essential for any person to become born again and to enter the kingdom of God.

 

Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God

Romans 12:2

 

This verse teaches us that for a Christian to receive the Lord's perfect will it is essential that our mind (soul) be renewed, or renovated, by the Word of God. In other words, the seed of God's Word must be planted into our mind for us to be able to receive the good, acceptable, and perfect will of the Lord (Mark 4:14).

 

His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him… whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature

2 Peter 1:3-4

 

This verse teaches us that to receive the Lord's power we need to receive the revelation knowledge of the Lord's promises. We know that this revelation comes as we plant and cultivate the seeds of the Lord's promises in our hearts.

 

Be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises

Hebrews 6:12

 

Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God

Romans 10:17

 

These two verses reveal that we inherit, or obtain, the promises of the Lord through faith; and that faith comes as we receive the seed of the Word of God into our hearts.

 

Conclusion

The parable of the seed is an irrefutable scriptural truth, not just because Jesus taught it as the paramount parable but, because the New Testament epistles reiterate that the seed of God's Word is essential for Christians: to be born again, to receive God's perfect will and, to receive the faith to obtain the power of the Lord's promises.

 

In other words, apart from receiving the seed of God's promises in our hearts, we cannot become born again into the Lord's kingdom, nor can we receive the power of the Lord's kingdom to bring us into His perfect will.

 

The parable is a critical, and important, prism because it explains why many Christians do not receive the fruit, or manifestation, of God's promises. The parable helps us focus our attention upon cultivating God's seed as the means of receiving God's faith which enables us to receive God's power. The parable encourages us to take responsibility: for the level of our faith through the cultivation of God's promises in our hearts and also, for the evangelisation of the world.

 

Prayer

Dear Father God, thank you for the prism of the parable of the seed. Thank you that the parable teaches us that you are faithful and will always honour faith in your promises with the release of your power. We pray you will strengthen us to take responsibility for: the evangelisation of the world and, the cultivation of your promises in our hearts so that we can partake of: your divine, loving nature, your power and, the fruits of your kingdom. We pray this in Jesus Christ name, amen.

 

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