(Ver 1.1) This is Part 5 in the Bible Study series of the most significant Parable in the Bible. Jesus said if you do not understand this parable, how then will you understand any parable (Mk 4:13)? That makes this parable on a greater level or a higher plain of importance than all the others. Of course, all of them are still important to us. If you have not studied this subject from the beginning, I would highly recommend that you begin with “Part 1” first. We will be unable to go over every detail previously provided in this series. For example, in earlier lessons we obtained an excellent overview of the sower, the seed and the fruit. These were three positive symbols given to us in the parable by Jesus. In these lessons we should have learned that the Seed represents primarily God’s spoken Word, but that there was also an implied negative counterpart to it that comes from Satan. This negative seed type will result in distractions and deceptions that we can label as “weeds”. Spiritual “weeds” originated from the curse spoken to Adam in Genesis 3:18 when God said the soil would produce “thorns” and “thistles”. Today we will learn more about what these represent.
Finally, we learned about fruit in our last lesson. This subject is the positive intended outcome for God’s incredibly positive Word when planted in good soil. I am convinced that “fruit” is God’s spiritual goal and plan for every human who will cooperate and receive His Word into their heart. I am also convinced that fruit represents requirements or specifications for salvation. This brings us to today’s subject of the soil. The soil represents the unseen heart of a human. However, this invisible heart is NOT the physical blood pumping organ that keeps our human body alive. No, the heart of a human is the unseen captive eternal spirit being on the inside of our body. Our human spirit becomes one with the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:17) after we receive the Word of God, believe, and confess Jesus as our Lord. There was more to our lessons than that, but that was a quick review. We will now continue with this subject and the specific topic of “soil” and “soil types”.
INTRODUCTION TO THE SOIL
I would like to begin this study of the “soil” with an overview of the soil types found in the Parable of the Sower. Soil represents the heart also called the spirit of a human. This is the internal unseen spiritual part of the triune composition of every human (1 Th 5:23). Our heart element is the human portion that will never cease to exist (Lk 16:22-23). We should also understand that Jesus gave us 4 specific divisions of spirit/soil types in the Parable of the Sower. It is also important to note that this parable occurs in 3 Gospels Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8. All accounts of the parable agree, but with some specific details only being mentioned in one parable. This is a major reason why we should read every one given to combine them into an accumulated list of facts to conclude every truth that was taught. It is very much like a crime that occurs with three different witnesses that observe the event from three different angles of perspective. Each witness testimony must be true from each individual perspective but when it is balanced together the combined agreement of testimony provides the most accurate overall information of what happened. Here are the main 4 soil types as described by Jesus:
- Way Side (Mat 13:4, Mk 4:4, Luk 8:5)
- Stony Ground (Mat 13:5, Mk 4:5, Luk 8:6)
- Thorny Ground (Mat 13:7, Mk 4:7, Luk 8:7)
- Good Ground (Mat 13:8, Mk 4:8, Luk 8:8)
We are going to go through each soil type individually picking out the details of Greek Words to help us understand what Jesus said. We will list every descriptive explanatory verse from Matthew, Mark and Luke to learn from. Let us get started with the wayside soil.
#1 – WAYSIDE SOIL OVERVIEW
The first type of soil mentioned by Jesus is called the “way side” soil. This soil type comes from the Greek word G3598 that literally means a “road” or “highway”. That is an informative descriptive term with widespread implications attached to it. Any well-traveled road in Bible days was a soil that was compacted from constant chariots, carts, and human foot traffic as well as other animal hoofs (horses, donkeys, and camels) loaded with people or goods. The soil would be so compressed that scattering seed upon it would do no real good. The seed would rest on the top of the packed surface and would be easily eaten by any birds that were nearby. Let us review the three explanations that Jesus provided to help us understand what this soil type represents:
Mat 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
Mar 4:15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
Luk 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
Can we notice the symbolism? This ground type is called “Wayside”. Remember this is the Greek word G3598 that means a “road”. How would this symbol correspond to a human heart/spirit? What does it mean when someone or something is being walked on symbolically in the Bible? This condition of being walked upon normally indicates a person or a nation that has been defeated, conquered, overcome, and beaten in a battle. God told Joshua in the book of Joshua chapter 1 “Everywhere the sole of your feet shall tread, I have given you”. God was representing to Joshua that wherever he chose to begin walking by faith in the promised land, he would be victorious over those people that were occupying it. God used the symbolism of “treading” upon to describe this victory. Tread is an action verb that means to walk with your feet as in “step on”.
In the Parable of the Sower the wayside soil represents a human heart that has been hardened by Satan to not be able to hear and understand the Gospel. We see this plainly stated in Matthew 13:19. In this verse God declares this soil type heard the Word of God but since they did not understand it, it was easily stolen by Satan. This soil type indicates this person can be easily distracted, deceived, and defeated by Satan. This is implied because of the reference to the “birds of the air” that represent the devils in the world. Unclean and evil spirits can easily come to trick the wayside soil’s mind to prevent the seed from being sown.
Notice that in Luke 8:12 the primary objective of the Word being sown is to cause the human to believe it for their personal salvation. In contrast, the primary objective for the devil’s work is to deceive the soil to not believe the Word so that they will not be saved. This corresponds with 2 Corinthians 4:4 where God informs us “Whom the God of this world blinds the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel (Seeds) of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them”. Pay close attention to presence of a spiritual battle of two opposing kingdoms. One is of darkness (blindness from Satan) and the other is of the light (from God). Now recall Psalm 119:130 that says, “the entrance of thy Word bringeth light and understanding to the simple”. God’s plan is to help people receive and understand the Word and Satan’s focus is to make sure that this does not occur.
This “Wayside” soil type represents the only human heart that is incapable of being saved as it is because of the darkness covering their minds. The inability of the Light of God’s Word to enter their minds causes this lack of understanding and this results in their continued captivity to the darkness. This is exactly why Satan removed the Bible from public schools in the USA in the 1960s. As a result of the elimination of God’s truth being taught in public-school the brains of ignorant children have grown up creating an easy age of deception. Anything sounds good and true when it is not compared to the actual truth. This blindness will remain unless parents teach the truth of the Bible at home. I personally believe that this Wayside soil type was never saved through hearing the Word of God, nor can be. But that does not mean this person cannot be changed to become a different soil type through prayer and a process of seed planting. Let us review what we have just learned:
- The objective of God giving us His Word is for our salvation through hearing and believing.
- The objective of Satan stealing the Word is so that humans will not believe and be saved.
- One strategy for humans not to be saved is for the Word of God to never be heard.
- Another strategy for humans to not be saved is for the Words not to be understood.
- Wayside soil humans are already hard hearted defeated captives of the kingdom of darkness.
We will talk more about this soil type later when we get into some examples. Let us move on to soil type #2.
#2 – STONY GROUND OVERVIEW
Mat 13:20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
Mat 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
Mar 4:16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
Mar 4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
Luk 8:13 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 (G3986) fall away.
The stony ground is the next soil type described by Jesus. Jesus refers to this soil as a type of intermixed hardness of stone under the surface with an implied thin layer of softness of one human heart on the outside. But clearly Jesus claims that the presence of the hard rocks and stones does not allow for the development of adequate roots from the seed to grow deep enough to endure the heat of being a Christian. Jesus said when the sun comes up and shines on this growing seed, it lacks sufficient moisture, withers, fades, and is too weak and dies. Luke 8:13 describes the heat of the sun to be a time of temptation. Literally this word represents a satanically inspired testing time to see if someone really believes the Word of God that was spoken to them. However, Matthew describes it in a much clearer manner in Matthew 13:21. Here Matthew teaches us that the heat of the sun represents “tribulation” and “persecution”. “Tribulation” represents satanically inspired “pressure”, “stress”, “worries”, etc. The word “persecution” literally represents human “sufferings”, “oppressions”, “harassments”, “intimidations”, “discriminations” and can even be physical and mental “tortures” for believing in Jesus and letting others know about the same message that was sown in them.
Notice that Jesus said in Matthew and Luke that this soil type received the Word of God with “Joy”. Jesus said in Mark this soil type had significant “gladness” after what they heard what was taught from the Word of God. This is particularly important because the Word of God is called the Gospel, and this simply means “good news”. The Word of God should make us extremely happy. Why should we be happy? The Good News is based upon Jesus paying the price for our sins dying on a cross, being raised from the dead and giving us His righteousness in exchange so that we do not have to go to hell. Wow, that makes me happy!
I think everyone that has ever been saved has experienced persecution and satanic testing at one time or the other. Notice this soil type indicates that the person began the Christian walk with joy at the beginning of the process of generating fruit. But did not endure through the pressure of persecution to become fruitful. This clearly teaches us this soil type was on the path to being saved but chose to not remain saved because of the pressures of friends, relatives, or other worldly people. Jesus indicates strongly that this soil type heard the Word of God, believed it, and was saved for a short time but then turned away because of Satanic attacks and tests.
I want to quickly address two important facts of truth that were mentioned by Jesus in this soil type. Jesus clearly teaches us that producing “roots” before we produce “fruits” is essential to the process of our salvation. How is this accomplished? Also, Jesus clearly said there is a stone and a rock that can be found that causes us not to remain saved. How can we get these rock elements out of our hearts? Let us address removing the stone first. We will turn to 1 Peter chapter 2 and read starting in verse 6:
1Pe 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
1Pe 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
1Pe 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
Jesus is clearly observed to be compared with a stone. This is an analogous typology that represents a potentially greater spiritual truth. We clearly find the presence of believing the Word of God in this discussion. Therefore, it is right in line with what we are studying and read in the stony ground explanations. Notice the Holy Spirit teaches us that whoever remains in faith by believing in Him (Jesus) will not be confounded. What does the Greek word G2617 translated as “confounded” mean? Strong defines this word to mean “to shame down”. Thayer says it means to “put to shame” or to “make ashamed”. Uh oh! We are catching on to some of the reasons why people fall away after believing the Good News with a joyful heart. Remember this concept because it is important. Feeling a sense of shame after believing the Word of God is what Satan will try to get a Christian to do by using persecution and pressures of the world. It can also be the fact that some of the Words that were heard were not understood enough or at all. We will see this later in an example.
“Persecution” is a major stratagem of Satan. Many weak newly born-again believing Christians will not be able to withstand against the outward peer pressures when someone comes and calls them a stupid idiot for believing in an old book of fables and fantasies. Of course, the Bible is not either of those, but that does not mean the devil is not going to try to convince someone that it is, with his lies. I want us to also focus on the Greek word G4625 that is translated as “offence” in verse 8. This word represents the inner-working mechanism of a trap that causes someone to become ensnared and trapped again, back into captivity that they were previously released and freed from after believing in Jesus. Wow, this sounds important. Please recall what Jesus said that He came to do in Luke 4:18. In this verse Jesus said, “God had sent Him to preach deliverance to the captives”. Preaching is sowing seeds and these seeds if they are believed, will release people from a spiritual prison that they did not even know they were in. Satan will attempt to persecute new believers to get them to return to their past lifestyle and way of living in darkness.
Ok, we need to keep moving with the subject of producing roots. Hopefully you learned that persecutions does come in this life and these are designed to try to get us to turn away from, believing, knowing and growing in the Truth of the Word of God. What are roots and how do we cooperate with allowing them to grow. I do want to emphasize that the first step after receiving and believing the Word of God is for us not to become offended at the words of other people that do not know the truth in the Bible. But there is more to it than this. We also need to pray and ask God to give us boldness to be able to share His Word with others free from any shame that could result by others rejecting it or laughing at it. Getting rid of “stones” that cause the roots to fail will help us move closer to a fruit bearing season Let’s move to root development next..
We must continue in the Word of God to allow God’s seed to be watered. Without continued watering any natural or spiritual plant seed will wither and not continue to grow. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:6 “I planted, and Apollos watered, but God gave the increase”. The word “increase” simply means God produced the “spiritual growth and maturity” through the continued entrance of every word of God spoken into our ears. We also learn from Ephesians 5:26 that the Word of God represents His Water. Therefore, the continued watering of the Word of God, is an essential part of our spiritual growth to produce roots and fruits. Let us review another part of the root subject by reading in Ephesians 3:17:
Eph 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
Eph 3:18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
Eph 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Ok, did you see the connections from the parable of the Sower? We have the main subject of soil by the reference to the human heart. We have the factor of faith remaining in the human heart by a human choice. We also have the subject of deep developing unseen roots in the human heart that are connected to continued believing. Remember what roots do for a seed and the developing plant that comes from the seed. The roots provide essential nourishment for the plant production of eventual fruit when the plant becomes mature. By continual hearing of the Word of God our faith grows stronger and the unseen roots are the symbol for this strength. As we have seen essential nourishment of plants is water and that represents the never-ending flow of the Word of God.
Remember what Psalm 1 teaches us. God says in Psalms 1, “blessed is the man that does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly”. Counsel represents words of advice, guidance, and direction. These words being referred to are obviously not the Words of God. Then in verse 2 God says, “This man’s delight is in the law of the LORD”. These are the wise words of God. So, we have a battle of words being revealed to us. There are two sources of words to choose from and continuing with the Word of God exclusively is the wise choice to make us strong.
Then in verse 3 God says this man is like a tree planted by the rivers (of water/His Word) that brings forth his fruit in season”. Wow, we have some great connections being made by the Holy Spirit to the Parable of the Sower. A tree feeds from the river because of the well-established root system. The river represents the Word of God. The continual supply of the Word of God will produce “fruit”, and this is the goal of salvation that God’s Word is designed for. We have just discovered another trait of fruit failure. This comes from Christians not developing good changed habits of putting God and His Word as their number one priority after first believing. It would seem to imply that because of continued bad habits people are hardened in a part of their heart to become easily offended. Ok, let us quickly review the major points of the stony ground.
- Stony Ground received and believed the Seed of God at first.
- Their hearts were initially filled with Joy and Gladness and began the process of producing roots and fruits.
- But when persecution, trials and tests came upon them to test their faith, they became offended and ashamed of the Word of God unable to stand strong and defend the Truth.
- The stony ground could not endure the test of Satan and fell away being dry leaving to go back into their previous way of life because of a lack of Water from the Word of God.
- The stony ground was initially saved but left the faith because of Satan’s attacks, temptations, tests, trials.
- Stony ground was not able to develop new habits that will result in new thinking, that will result eventually in new actions.
I pray that this was helpful in your understanding this Stony soil type. We will review some of these types later in the examples. But, for now let us move to the Thorny Ground overview.
#3 – THORNY GROUND OVERVIEW
Mat 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care (G3308) of this world, and the deceitfulness (G539) of riches, choke (G4846) the word, and he becometh unfruitful (G175).
Mar 4:18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
Mar 4:19 And the cares (G3308) of this world, and the deceitfulness (G539) of riches (G4149), and the lusts (G1939) of other things entering in, choke (G4846) the word, and it becometh unfruitful (G175).
Luk 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches (G4149) and pleasures (G2237) of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection (G5052).
Ok, soil type 3 is called the “thorny ground”. Jesus teaches us that this thorny ground human was also able to receive the Word of God like the previous stony ground and it is implied that they believed it and were in the process of bringing forth fruit. Also notice that it is implied that this soil type does not have hard places of offences or shame. Jesus further implies this truth in Matthew 13:23 when the seed in this soil type begins the process of first taking root and then the next moving into the process of growth to initiate them producing fruit. We know this because the Greek word G1096 that was translated as “becometh” before the word unfruitful implies the process of being fruitful must have been initiated, in order for it to be terminated and chocked out by the thorns that were growing in the same soil simultaneously.
What then were these thorns? Jesus taught us that the thorns represented “worldly cares” and “deceitfulness of riches” in Matthew 13:23. And in Mark 4:19 Jesus adds the “lusts of other things” to the list of thorny issues. Lust is a Greek word that means to set our heart on something that has the appearance of good in our sight but has evil motives and intentions resulting in our future destruction. Luke 8:14 reveals the choking thorns to be the previously mentioned “cares” and “riches” and these are added to a new concept called the “pleasures” of this present life. This is a remarkably similar concept to “lusts” that do not satisfy us.
Let us start this with understanding the word “cares”. “Cares” is the Greek word G3308 and it represents the concept of “distraction” or “isolation”. If Satan can distract a Christian with something that is not necessary and important but appears desirable, then he has their focus removed from what God desired them to see in His Word. If that does not work, another strategy is to separate a Christian from obtaining support and encouragement from other Christians. Both are tricks that can be used to cause a Christian’s fruits to be choked out. But Christians can apply 1 Peter 5:7 and allow God to take all our cares that are attempting to distract or isolate us when we choose to cast them upon Him. We allow Him to carry them and solve them. We do this while we don’t even worry about them.
“Pleasures” is the Greek word G2237 that means “sensual delight and desires”. This is a truly clear reference to a person that is walking in the flesh and not in the spirit. These wrong desires and lusts based upon the five physical senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound) appear to take control of the human heart to not allow God’s good seed to produce mature fruit.
The Greek word G5052 was translated as “fruit to perfection” but it literally means “to ripen fruit”. This Greek word that means “to ripen” was combined with the absolute negative G3756 word that declares no ripe fruit was produced. God is teaching us that because of the presence of thorns (pleasures and lusts) distracting the believer from the Word of God, the human fruit of salvation begins but is never completed. What other distracting and choking thorns apply to you? What is taking your time away from the Word of God to focus most of your time on a 5 physical sense item in life?
Thorns could represent a lot of things in the human world. But these could include a person that desires and lusts for wealth, fortune, fame, power, control, a celebrity status, stardom, recognition, casual physical sexual relations, highs from drugs or alcohol, maybe it is even cooking and eating too much, or dieting, etc. There are many tricks of the devil used to entice a human away from God, His Word, and His salvation. Let us go over a list of key points that we have observed about the thorny ground.
- The Thorny ground received the Word of God and is implied to have believed it to begin the process of producing fruit for their salvation.
- There are no mentions of being hardened by symbolic stones in this soil type and it is implied by this omission that Satan could not offend them to turn them away from God’s Word by using “persecution”.
- Therefore, Satan tried a new tactic and strategy to divert the believer away from God. Satan places enticing elements of fortune and fame before them and these elements tend to become a greater and greater distraction from being watered by the Word of God daily.
- The end-result of this soil type is a barren bush that has no matured ripe edible fruit. The thorn plants growing in the same soil has become their dominate desire and has completely choked out any possibility of “fruit”.
- Therefore, the thorny ground represents another unsaved human spirit.
We will see some examples of this soil type later in the Bible Study. Let us now move to the good soil overview.
#4 – GOOD SOIL OVERVIEW
Mat 13:23 But he that received seed into the good (G2570) ground is he that heareth (G191) the word, and understandeth (G4920) it; which also beareth fruit (G2592), and bringeth forth (G4160), some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Mar 4:20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
Luk 8:15 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.
Finally, soil type 4 called the “good ground” is the only human heart condition that produces the precious fruit that God is seeking (James 5:7). I would like to go through a few of the key words selected by the Holy Spirit to describe this soil type. The first is G191 that was translated as “heareth”. This word literally means “to give audience”. This is the deliberate choice of human participation to listen closely to what is being said. If I go to church and while the preacher is speaking, I am looking at my phone to see who wants to do something after church, am I giving audience to the speaker. It would be like someone paying $300 for ticket to a concert and they spend the whole evening outside the arena at the food and drink line. When something else takes our priority over what is really the most important subject of the evening that is a wrong human choice.
One of our main subjects in this Bible study on the Parable of the Sower, is the Word of God called “Seed”. This should be our number one desire whenever we can give audience to hear it. Notice this topic specifies there are personal decisions and choices made to participate. This is important to know. The next Greek word is G4920 and it was translated as “understandeth”. This word means “to put together”. It comes from another Greek word “G4862 that literally means to be in “union” with. Wow, this is important even if we do not fully understand it. To be in union is marriage covenant terminology. It would be like Adam “knew” his wife and they had a son (Gen 4:1). Having and participating in gaining knowledge and understanding of the Word of God contributes to the presence of a covenant relationship. Finally, the Greek word G4920 translated as “understand” contains the implication “to act piously”. In other words, after we understand the Word of God, we are supposed to be wise enough to apply it and do it. Wow! Notice what Jesus said in this verse:
Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine (Seeds), and doeth them (Act on them), I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
It would appear, that just hearing and beginning to learn the Word of God is only an initial part of the process for bearing fruit unto salvation. This could be another factor for why some Christians only produce a 30-fold return. These 30-fold soils may only be applying a small part of the Bible while ignoring other parts. God is teaching us that we must “act piously” to continue the spiritual growth process. This simply means that we should become wise enough to do what the Word of God tells us to do. Never forget what Jesus says to some people, “Not everyone that says to me LORD LORD will enter into the kingdom heaven, but only he that does the will of the Father shall enter” (Mat 7:21). How do we know the will of the Father? We read His Word and do it.
The next Greek word in Matthew 13:23 is G2592. This word was translated as “beareth fruit”. It is defined by Strong as “to be fertile”. There is an implied application that this is our responsibility of choice to make our self “to be fertile”. I believe humans have a lot more accountability than we care to acknowledge in this fruit bearing process.
Let us move to the next Greek word G4160. This Greek word was translated as “bringeth forth” in the KJV Bible. But it is defined by Strong as “to make or do”. In other words, this is another Greek word that is assigning human responsibility in the fruit producing process. It represents a verb of human preference, choice, and action. Jesus used this same word in Matthew 4:19 when He spoke to the future disciples in their boats and said, “Follow me and I will make (G4160) you fishers of men”. Clearly, we can see Jesus’ commitment of personal responsibility to teach them to become a human fisherman. But we can better understand that Jesus was not going to force them to do this and they needed to cooperate and begin to take steps to follow. No, Jesus ask them to come, but it was their choice to follow. This is exactly what the Parable of the Sower is teachings. Jesus wanted to save us, so He chose to spread His Seed/Words in our ears so we could permit them to enter our hearts. Then we are required to cooperate to listen to begin the process of receiving them and after believing them to begin the seed growth process by doing them. The first soil type failed completely in this process. The second and third soil types failed later during the ongoing process to not bring forth fruit. But Jesus is talking about the good soil, these people have decided to be a faithful follower of Jesus and His Words to “bring forth” the fruit He desired.
This good soil type desires to hear the words of God, values the Word of God sown more than any other thing found in the world and overcomes every Satanic persecution and distraction to remove it from their heart. This type of ground chooses to be well watered by participating in every opportunity where the Word of God is being spoken and focuses on absorbing and understanding every Word of God that was spoken. What Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:6, “I planted, and Apollos watered, but God gave the increase he was very clearly cooperating with the God designed process of salvation by planting God’s Word in their hearts and then Apollos continued the maturing growth process of the fruit by watering the initial seeds with more of the Word of God. But the people that were listening had to be cooperating with this divine process by intensely listening with an open mind to hear and understand (Acts 17:11). These are the types of good soil that produced fruit. Fruitful people primarily concentrate on the Word more than anything or anyone else in the room that could disturb them. These people do not get consumed or entangled with the short-term pleasures of sin in this world and they continue in the Word of God until they produce as much fruit for salvation as is possible.
It is particularly important to notice that Jesus taught us that some in the good soil type produced 100-fold, while others fell shorter at 60-fold and then finally others fell even shorter at producing only a 30-fold return of fruit to seed and water ratio. This simply proves that not every Christian is going to produce the fruit level that God intended or desired for them to deliver to Him. But we must ask and answer why this variation of fruit occurs. Is it God’s choice, Satan’s work or a human choice that causes many to have no fruit and some to have varying levels from 30 to 100 times fruit production? I believe we can find the answer confirmed in another parable that Jesus taught us:
Joh 15:5 I (Jesus the Word) am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me (human choice), and I in him (a divine choice), the same bringeth forth much fruit (30 fold 60 fold or 100 fold): for without me (Jesus the Word) ye can do nothing.
Joh 15:6 If a man abide not in me (human negative choice), he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire (hell), and they are burned.
Joh 15:7 If ye abide in me (human positive choice), and my words abide in you (human choice), ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
We can see how Jesus claims to be a symbolic vine and His implied believers in Him are described to be His symbolic branches. We can clearly see how these branches wither and die if they choose to not remain in Him. The factor of human choice is mentioned directly 4 times in these three verses. We can further see that there is an implication based upon verse 7 of John 15 that it is the amount of the Word of God that we let come in us and remain in us that will determine the level of fruit production. Jesus is the living Word of God (Rev 19:13). But I believe God is saying we are to keep His written Word in us every chance we get. We can see this in other places in the Bible that confirm this truth (PS 1). Therefore, I believe the key to no fruit, little fruit or much fruit is the amount of time that we spend in the Word of God. Finally, notice this amount of Word remaining in us, is also a contributing factor for God answering our prayers. But that is another topic.
Let us list some of the key points given to us by Jesus in the explanation of the good soil:
- The Good Soil Always Produces Fruit in season.
- Based upon previous soil types this fruit that is initiated endures to become matured fruit.
- This fruit is produced because they first heard the Word of God.
- This person chose to receive the Word (let it enter their minds and heart while ignoring every distraction)
- Keep the Word (regard the Word as Valuable and Important enough to try to remember it)
- Aggressively pursues to understand the Word of God.
- Ignores all persecution to continue in the Word of God.
- Exalts the Word of God far above any other natural or physical desire or pleasure.
- Chooses to “bring-forth” fruit with “patience” over an extended period of time.
- Continues in the Word of God to allow it to transform and renew their mind to water the seed that has been planted.
Let us move on to the subject of the human heart/spirit for a better understanding of soil types.
THE HUMAN SOIL/SPIRIT FIRST CONCEPTS
I would like in this Bible study to move next in the subject of the “soil” to God’s first mention of the word “heart” in the Bible. This is one great, common, and fundamental technique of sound Bible interpretation and understanding God’s design of His Word. It is very much like when a baby is born and the parents eagerly await the first word of their baby. Will it be “mama” or “dada” or “big truck”. God implemented this design on purpose to help us understand every major subject of the Bible. We will use this established law of “First Mention” to discover some very important basics to the subject of the “heart” of man. We will do this by searching for this word “heart” in our Bible program and then going to the verse where it is mentioned and read the context. We will find that this word is first used by God in Genesis chapter 6 and reading with verses 5 and 6:
Gen 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart (H3820) was only evil continually.
Gen 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
This chapter of Genesis can be considered widely controversial to many Bible teachers and students. God placed some things in this chapter that are exceedingly difficult for people today to accept. The time frame of this chapter was shortly before the flood of Noah. We read in verse 5 one part for the need for God’s judgment to practically destroy the entire earth and to start fresh with just 8 people that survived. Notice in verse 5, that God was observing His human creation on the earth and He remarked that they were greatly wicked. Many will assume that this was the physical acts of their flesh and I believe that was the external lack of positive fruits that could be observed. But I believe God was more interested in what was happening in their internal spiritual condition first. God teaches us that He sees things not as man sees them but since He is a Spirit, He judges’ a human spirit first. Let us review an evidence of this truth:
1Sa 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart (H3824).
We learn something especially important by reading 1 Samuel 16:7. God speaks to the prophet while he is looking on the outward qualities of the man standing before him. God’s prophet was judging in his heart based upon the man’s outward appearance. But God clearly tells us this is not His focus or His priority. It is very clearly stated that God judges a human based upon their unseen heart. Ok, we have just learned that the unseen part of the man is God’s principal focus. All three verses that we have read so far have the key word “heart” (H3824 and H3820). By the way H3820 is a form of the word H3824 so there is a direct connection. Let us get back to Genesis 6 now.
In Genesis 6:5 we learn that God was genuinely concerned that man’s heart had become very wicked. I would like to point out that the Hebrew word H120 that is translated as “man” can also be transliterated as “Adam”. It is the same Hebrew Word. But here God is not speaking of one Adam as an individual but rather as all humans collectively comprised of every descendant that came from Adam’s body. That would include people today. Keep that in mind. God then teaches us that these Adam descendants were very wicked. Wicked is a Hebrew word (H7451) that means “bad or evil” in the sense of natural behavior or moral intent and desires. God then begins to describe the initiating process for this wickedness. God says that man’s wickedness originated from an internal spiritual process dealing with the human “imagination”.
What is imagination? And do people today still use this divine gift of imagination? Perhaps you have been to Disney World. They thrive on making a fortune taking advantage of their human imaginations. Perhaps you have heard of Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Little Mermaid, and on and on. Obviously, human imagination is still thriving in our world also. This should give you some idea that imagination is alive and well in the modern age. But what is it exactly?
Here is where we begin to go much deeper into a complex subject. Imagination can be either good or evil or positive or negative. The Hebrew word H3336 that is translated as “imagination” literally means “a form”. This Hebrew word comes from H3335 that literally means “to squeeze into a form” or “mold into a shape”. This represents a process concept that can be visualized very well from the observable actions of a potter that is molding a shapeless useless lump of soft clay into a lovely pot which is useful. A potter is normally using and applying their imagination to change a lump of useless stuff into something especially beneficial. That concept of imagination represents creativity and design. No exquisitely designed vase has ever “evolved” from a lump of clay of its own will power over a very long period of time.
God uses the Hebrew word H3335 in Genesis 2:7 when He formed the body of man from the dust of the ground. Wow, I pray you are paying attention. Remember God says in Genesis 1 everything that He created was good and was summarized to be collectively “very good” in Genesis 1:31. But, before this we know that man was “made” in the image and likeness of God in Genesis 1:26. Therefore, we learn that God must have transferred a portion of His divine ability into humans to design and make non-functional things into useful objects. Exercising this ability can be considered human imagination being applied on a lesser level than the God kind of awesome imagination. This human imaginative ability had to be a divine pattern of intelligent design. A human that can manufacture good objects had to come originally from God the utmost imaginative intelligent designer and creator. However, man in Genesis 6 was not using this God given gift of their imagination for creating anything good. No, we are told that all of man’s thoughts were coming up with designs and plans for only evil. That is a major problem that required God’s attention.
Finally, Genesis 6:6 God gives us some new information that He has a heart. God uses the identical Hebrew word H3820 translated as “heart” in verse 5 describing man’s heart to refer to His divine heart. Therefore, we learn where man obtained their spirit from. In verse 6 God’s heart is grieved for the current state of man’s heart being so evil. Uh oh! Did not God create humans in the state of good at the beginning? Didn’t He use His omnipotent power to create them the exact way that He desired? We just learned that man was created in a described state of “very good”. But, now 5 chapters later in Genesis 6 God is very regretful that He even made them. Does this sound familiar? Do you remember what God said about Satan when He was created? Reread Ezekiel 28:15 where God says, “You were perfect in the day you were created until iniquity was found in you”. That is a remarkably similar description to what just happened to Adam’s lineage almost 1500 years later in Genesis 6.
What we are learning is the concept of “freewill”. Apparently, God’s created angels and human both had been created with the ability to make their own independent decisions to do as they please even though they had everything that they already needed to be happy. It was Satan’s choice to rebel even though it was not morally permissible or acceptable in the eyes of God to do so. It was this way with God’s human creation also. It is still this way in humans today. Every person has the freewill to make whatever choices they wish either good or evil daily. Adam and Eve had everything they needed including fellowship with their Creator but they too rebelled. This concept of “freewill choice” will play a major role in us understanding the heart of man in the Parable of the Sower. We have already seen this in Parable but now let us examine some relevant Bible examples to prove it further.
EXAMPLE 1: SOIL TYPE 1 AND SOIL TYPE 4 COMPARISON
I would like us to go through a few Bible examples of these important soil types that the LORD has taught us about in this subject. I love to use the Bible to understand the Bible. God’s design of His Word is so immensely amazing. He has designed this book masterfully as a well-integrated set of truths using positive and negative examples for us to learn from. For example, He teaches us a simple parable of sowing seed and that represents a great beginning, but then He places living models and patterns of these basic truths right in front of our eyes to confirm what was metaphorically taught in the parable. We are going to begin this section by reading a story of Jesus teaching and healing a lame man. In this story please look for the presence of at least two different soil types (humans) that Jesus (the Sower) is sowing His Father’s Words. Notice how each of their hearts received the Word and then notice their responses and attitudes:
Mar 2:1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.
Mar 2:2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached (Sowed) the word (Seed of God) unto them (All Soil Types/hearts).
Luk 5:17 And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching (sowing Seeds from the Word of God), that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by (Soil Type 1), which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power (G1411) of the Lord was present to heal them (EVERY SOIL TYPE).
Luk 5:18 And, behold, men (Soil Type 4) brought in a bed a man (also Soil Type B) which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him.
Luk 5:19 And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.
Luk 5:20 And when he saw their faith (Soil Type 4), he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.
Luk 5:21 And the scribes and the Pharisees (Soil Type 1) began to reason (In their Minds), saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?
Luk 5:22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts (Negative Words of Unbelief in the Minds of Soil 1), he answering said unto them, What reason (Negative Judgments Based Upon Your Ignorance), ye in your hearts (Soil 1 spirits)?
Luk 5:23 Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?
Luk 5:24 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, he said unto the sick of the palsy, I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.
Luk 5:25 And immediately he (Soil 4) rose up before them (Soil 1), and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.
Luk 5:26 And they (Soil 1) were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day.
Mar 2:12 And immediately he (Soil 4) arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all (Soil 1); insomuch that they (Soil 1) were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.
Many times, in the Bible God uses direct comparisons of opposite beliefs, attitudes, motivations, desires, reactions and results to teach and confirm to us very profound truths. In this story of a lame paralyzed man that could not walk, is found one of these examples of opposing soils types. You probably noticed that I included a few verses from the story found in Mark to fill in details that were not included in Luke. Please note that I do not plan to teach every verse. I pray you read it over closely and paid attention to the underlined words and my added explanations in the parentheses to help identify a few of the important differences between these two soil types that I called Soil 1 and Soil 4.
What was the number one difference between these two types of soil? Perhaps you noticed in Luke 5:17 that the Power of the LORD was present to heal everyone but only 1 lame man received anything from Jesus! Please do not let that bypass your focused attention. What was the reason for Jesus not healing everyone? It should become obvious that it was the positive faith combined with their attitudes of purpose and determination within their hearts of the men in Soil Type 4 that were radically different from the negative attitudes found within the Soil Type 1 hearts.
The house where Jesus was teaching was jammed packed with people of Soil Type 1. They were sitting everywhere and even blocking all the doors and windows. On the surface this would appear to be a positive desire to hear the Words of God spoken by Jesus. But we learn from other scriptures that many of the Sadducees and Pharisees desired to trap and trick Jesus into saying something that could be used against him in a kangaroo court (Mar 12:13, Luk 11:54, Luk 20:20). We know the end of the story by reading the Gospels. Jesus was taken before the Roman government and the demand for His execution was not going to be denied. Therefore, we begin to understand what type of soil these religious leaders sitting with Jesus in the house represent.
Notice the especially important contrast of the 5 men we called Soil Type 4 on the top of the roof of the house. They possessed determination and confidence that Jesus was their answer to the lame man’s problem. Pay close attention to verse 5. This verse claims that Jesus saw their (the 5 men of Soil Type 4) faith. What is faith? I pray you have read the Bible Study Series called “Understanding Bible Faith”. Romans 10:17 is where we learn how faith comes to every human. According to this verse in Romans, God reveals that these 5 Soil Type 4 men, have already heard the Word of God from Jesus and have believed His Seeds planted in their hearts. This is dramatically an opposite of the religious men sitting in the house and blocking the doors to not allow any others soil types to come in.
It should now be plain that these men on the inside of the house Soil Type 1 were the Wayside Soil type. These were men that had a hardened surface of pride, that would not allow the Word of God to penetrate their hearts. It was this trampled-on soil type that was easy for Satan to steal the Word Seeds up quickly before entering their hearts. But, notice how Satan did this sly work. Satan used their own thoughts and said to their minds “who is this that blasphemes, who can forgive sins except God”. Do you understand that most of Satan’s thoughts that are placed in your mind are given to you as if you had thought of them? This is a masterful trick of deception. People are most easily tricked when a thought is believed to be from their own mind spoken in the first person about them self or someone else. Satan’s thoughts are almost always spoken in the human mind as if it was our own personal thought. That was a gift from the Holy Spirit and worth reading this entire lesson if you won’t forget it.
These men inside the house were simply distracted from believing this man named Jesus was more than a man, that had just forgiven a lame man’s sins and healed him. In fact Jesus was the creator God in the flesh standing in front of them in a human form (John 1:1-14). No one present in the house before the lame man was able to think correctly and choose to have an open mind to receiving the truth. These religious men did not know enough and did not want to learn. They did not know Jesus was born in Bethlehem the city of David (Micah 5:2). They did not know His mother’s lineage was directly from King David (2 Sam 7:13, Luke 3:31). They also did not know He was born of a woman that was a virgin who had never had physical sex with any male and according to Isaiah 7:14 this made Him God as well as a human son of David simultaneously. By fulfilling just these 3 prophecies Jesus is proven to be a human child of Mary and the Son of God. Therefore, according to Hosea 4:6, God says His people are destroyed for their ignorance and because they have no desire to learn the truth. Finally, another reason other than pride, desire and ignorance is based upon their prejudicial beliefs. Human beliefs based upon our personal preconceived information absent of the real facts is a major blindness that causes people’s eyes to be unable to receive the truth. It was only the lame man that received the healing through Jesus, even though the Bible clearly says, “the power of God was present to heal them all”.
Here is what I take away from this example of these two soil types. Most of the people that were present listening to Jesus were unable to be saved because they refused to listen and see (receive) truth from the correct perspective. Most of these men were educated and sophisticated religious types of leaders with roles of power and influence. They also believed things mostly based upon their five physical senses. We know this from reading Luke 5:26 and Mark 2:12. These two verses claim that they left Jesus being amazed saying, “we have seen strange things” and “we have never seen it done like this before”. This confirms they only were looking at natural things and ignoring the spiritual words being spoken to them.
But, the five men that had faith from hearing the Word of God went away rejoicing and giving all the glory to God having received the healing that was always there. These 5 men with faith that I called Soil Type 4, they represent Jesus’ “Good Soil” and they were on the way to being saved.
Joh 5:34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.
The Greek word that is translated as “saved” in this verse is “sojo” G4982. Mostly it is translated as “save” or “saved” but it also means “healed” or “made whole”. According to the last statement in John 5:34 Jesus claimed that His words that were being sowed into the human lives on the earth, they were designed by God to “save” us. We get a further confirmation of this truth by reading what Paul wrote to the Roman church:
Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power (G1411) of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Notice what God says in this verse. The Gospel of Christ is the “power” of God which has the potential to produce human “salvation”, but only to those that believe it. In other words, God’s Word is sovereignly powerful to save anyone, if they choose to receive it, believe it and act on it. The Greek word translated as “power” in Romans 1:16 is the exact same word selected by God in Luke 5:17 to describe the “power of the Lord” that was available to heal everyone present. This is not a coincidence.
We are gaining significant understanding that soil types have a role to play in the powerful Word of God seed sowing salvation process. God clearly teaches us these concepts by giving us 4 soil types and only 1 good seed type being sown by one good sower. Jesus was sowing seeds to the Jews first while walking the land of Israel. But, after His death, burial, and resurrection, the Word of God Seed for salvation began to be spread to Gentiles. Natural seeds work like Spiritual Word seeds. The concepts are significantly similar in operation by God’s design. A natural seed that remains in a packet unopened represents a preacher that keeps their mouths shut to never share their seeds inside them with anyone.
We know that everyone present in Luke 5 and Mark 2 when Jesus healed the lame man could have been healed by the same “Power of God” by receiving, believing and acting upon the same Words that were being spoken by Jesus. This firmly convinces me that it is the human’s choice what type of soil we want to be. I do understand that it takes the Holy Spirit’s drawing of humans to also be saved (John 6:44). But that does not mean God only draws to Him some to be saved and not others. This also does not mean that the Words (Power of God) are being spoken only to a few and not to everyone present at the same time. That type of belief would be a doctrine of “bias” and “favoritism”. Many religious people put all the responsibility of who is saved and who is not only on God’s sovereign choice. This belief eliminates a man’s responsibilities of choice and freewill to believe or not to believe like John 3:16 claims. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.
Can we begin to see how the choices to what we hear and believe and how we hear can result in our spiritual, mental, and physical outcomes? I know speaking personally of my own experiences of making good and bad choices, I have either succeeded or failed to receive what God wanted for me for years because of my beliefs or unbelief. Let us go on to a new example of two other soil types found in the Bible.
EXAMPLE 2: SOIL TYPE 3 AND SOIL TYPE 4 COMPARISON
To begin we will read from the book of Luke and chapter 10:
Luk 10:38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha (Soil 3) received him into her house.
Luk 10:39 And she had a sister called Mary (Soil 4), which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
Luk 10:40 But Martha was cumbered (G4049) about much serving (G1248), and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
Luk 10:41 And Jesus (the Sower) answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful (G3309) and troubled (G5182) about many things:
Luk 10:42 But one thing (G1520) is needful (G5532): and Mary (Soil 4) hath chosen (G1586) that good part (G3310), which shall not be taken away from her.
Here are two more of the basic four soil types being taught to us from one real life true Bible example. We will call these the MARY (Type 4) and the Martha (Type 3) soils. I am sure you can already begin to see which of the 4 soil types each woman represents from the Parable of the Sower. We will deal with the positive Mary Soil Type 4 first. She was described by Jesus in verse 42. This verse contains two great Greek Words that need to be understood to appreciate the Parable of the Sower.
The first Greek word was G1586 and it was translated as “chosen”. This word clearly teaches us that it is the human’s right and freedom to choose to listen to the Words of God being spoken or not to listen to the words of God. Mary was intensely listening and paying attention to every word coming out of the mouth of Jesus. Mary made Jesus and His Word her number one priority. We understand this by the Greek word G3310 that was translated as “part”. This word informs us of Mary’s choice to be with Jesus instead of doing other things of less significance. The Greek word G3310 shows us Mary was “participating” with receiving the Words of Jesus and Martha was not. Mary made it her number one main concern to listen intently with her whole undistracted heart and Marth did not. We understand this by the Greek word G1520 that was translated as “one thing”. One thing means there were no other things on her mind. In other words, Mary was only thinking of what Jesus said and not what she was going to eat for lunch or whatever else could distract her. Wow, this is important.
Remember the focus of thoughts from the last soil type example of the religious rulers? They appear to be focused on what Jesus said to accuse Him of blasphemy. But Mary was listening with no wrong motives and was open to hear whatever was spoken even if she did not fully understand it all immediately, or agree with it, or receive it completely.
Mary “chooses” to be a type of good soil by focusing on Jesus and His words and making it her focused precedence without prejudicial judgments. Also notice that she took a place of humility at His feet listening very closely to every Word that was being sown into heart. Humility is a key to receiving anything from God and this attitude was the opposite of the position taken by the religious leaders in the house at Capernaum. Mary clearly gave Jesus more of her selfless priority than anything else that she could have been doing to work, cook or serve him. All these works can be good unless they cause us to become distracted from knowing and hearing from Jesus. That is especially important to learn. What we focus upon and place our priority upon in our mind will determine what type of soil we choose to become. Also, the humbleness of our heart will allow the Word to enter while the pride of what we think we know already will close our mind from receiving.
Obviously, Martha was a representative type of a negative non-fruit producing soil. She was very distracted by worldly priorities of doing good works of service for Jesus instead of sitting at His feet to make Him her priority. These choices that Martha made choked out the Words of Jesus that were being spoken to everyone in the house. The Martha Soil Type 3 fits the thorny ground soil type very well. Jesus clearly said she had “cares” that caused her to think that hearing from Jesus was not as an important focus as her works of service for Him. What was the primary difference that caused the Marry soil Type 4 to be wiser than the Martha Soil Type 3? They were both sisters living in the same house.
Here is where some Bible teachers would attempt to claim that this was God’s sovereign selection or election. One woman named Mary was created to be saved and the other named Martha was not chosen. But that cannot be true. Humans love the sovereign God belief that everything in life that happens to them was His choice. This removes the responsibility for their bad choices and places them upon the shoulders of God to blame Him alone. It is the classic blame shifting we read about in Genesis 3. Adam said it was this woman that you gave me. Eve said it was this serpent that deceived me. This is a major deception of the enemy. Satan likes humans to believe they have no responsibility for their own bad choices. However, using God’s evidence given to us from the Bible proves this is NOT TRUE.
No, here we have an example of two soil types that were determined by their own individual priorities, desires, and choices. One woman named Martha cared more about doing some worldly good serving things than listening to the Word of God. Maybe you know people like this in your church? They are great volunteers and servants but if you asked them about the Bible, they might have difficulty to know what it says or means. Wow, does that mean we should not serve or do good works? Absolutely not! This only means the soil type should make the Word of God and fellowshipping with Jesus their number 1 priority above serving. When God is speaking, we should shut up, stop what we are doing and listen. We should change our focus off the world and make Him our goal.
Let us ask the question what would have happened if Martha had made the same choice as Mary? Do you believe that Jesus would have let everyone in the house go hungry? I remember when Jesus fed 5000 once and 3000 another time after everyone listened without complaining of their hunger. These large numbers of people were further examples of the good soil type. They were hungrier in their spirit for His Words than they were for any natural food in their stomachs. What did Jesus finally do? I know you remember that He fed them from a small amount and after this they had a lot of food left over. God was able to multiply a small amount of natural substance to feed them all. Let us move into another example of the thorny soil.
EXAMPLE 3: A DIFFERENT PATTERN OF SOIL TYPE 3
Mar 10:17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running (SOIL 3), and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
Mar 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
Mar 10:19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
Mar 10:20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
Mar 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
Mar 10:22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
Mar 10:23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
Mar 10:24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
This is an incredibly significant example of how a man’s desires for his natural possessions and wealth overruled his desires for God’s Kingdom. We can tell by the way the man approached Jesus, that he was humble, honest, and sincere. He had a significant desire to know the truth. He even knew a lot of the Bible commands and trusted in his service to obey them. But when the truth was presented in love to him by Jesus it caused a new problematic change in his focus and attitude. Suddenly the rich man took his eyes off Jesus and in his mind reflected on everything that he had accumulated to exalt them more than his desire for eternal life. Jesus was deeply saddened by this man’s reaction and bad choice. The rich man was also saddened but still turned away from following Jesus and longer. This was not a wise choice. In contrast we can read about Moses who was raised in Egypt by Pharaoh’s daughters and he obtained everything that the world could possibly offer, fortune, fame, a life of luxury and power, etc. But, according to Hebrews 11:25:
Heb 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
According to God’s Word Moses made the right wise choice to suffer affliction rather than to enjoy temporary pleasures for a short season of his life. The eternal rewards of making wise choices like Mary and Moses will pay off with far greater benefits than living life here on earth to get only get rich..
EXAMPLE 4: A BIBLE PATTERN OF SOIL TYPE 2
Joh 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
Joh 6:52 The Jews (Soil Type 1) therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
Joh 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
Joh 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joh 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
Joh 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
Joh 6:57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
Joh 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
Joh 6:59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
Joh 6:60 Many therefore of his disciples (Soil 2), when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
Joh 6:61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples (Soil 2) murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
Joh 6:62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words (Seeds) that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Joh 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
Joh 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
Joh 6:66 From that time many of his disciples (Soil 2) went back, and walked no more with him.
This is a long set of verses that center on the primary subject of “How to receive Eternal Life”. Jesus is speaking about spiritual truths that are difficult to understand for unsaved and naturally minded Christians. It is noticeably clear that Jesus is the Sower in this story. He is there in the synagogue teaching God’s Words. This is clearly the “Seed” of God being spread verbally from His mouth. If the soil (people present) received it, it would allow the fruit growing process to start or continue. However, there are two major problems revealed in this passage taking place in the hearts of a lot of the people that were listening. First, they did not understand that He was speaking of Spiritual things called “Bread” also known as “Words” and they were only thinking of physical natural bread. They were also “ignorant that His flesh did come from heaven sent to them by the Word of God (John 1:1-14). God did this by sending His Word to the heart of Mary who received it, believed it and conceived it to produce the male child Jesus in her womb (Luke 1:38). Therefore, we have a factor of ignorance and a lack of understanding that caused a significant problem. Let us look at the next problem.
Problem number two was revealed by Jesus in John 6:61. Here Jesus asks them “Does this offend you?” This Greek word translated as “offend” is G4624 and it comes from G4625 that we have looked at earlier that means “to set a trap” in order to capture or recapture a free and living creature. The Greek word G4624 means “to trip or cause to stumble”. This is a fully accurate description of one of Satan’s key strategies to stop people from being saved. Many of Christ’s followers admitted they did not understand what He was talking about in John 6:60. They said, “This is a hard saying, who can hear it”. They were saying, “Who can participate with these words?” It was the wrong thinking of these disciples that caused their offence in their heart.
John 6:66 is the final confirmation of which soil type these disciples that could not participate with the Word of God. This verse says, “from this day they turned back and walked no longer with Jesus”. These were obvious personal choices that they made to begin to “walk with Jesus” and to “walk no more with Him”. It was the Words that Jesus spoke that caused them to make both decisions. With the first words that they heard, they must have received and believed them with gladness. But the later words in this example were suddenly offensive to cause them to be turned away. What made them offensive? We should have just learned it was their lack of understanding and their choice to not continue to participate to learn what they meant. This was a great specific example of Soil Type 2 called the “Stony Ground”. Jesus’ words became a stumbling block of offence and Satan used it masterfully to get them to all turn away.
We could go through example after example in the Bible of the four types of soil given to us in this Parable of the Sower, but I will leave that to you. I would highly recommend that while you are reading the Bible, pay close attention to why some received, believed, and were saved and why others that heard the same words were not. There are always reasons given in almost every reference. Just look up the Greek words that are used to describe each situation and individual. Notice what was said and how it was heard. Was it taken as it was intended or was it misunderstood as something totally different like we read about in John 6 about Jesus’ body being Bread from Heaven?
I hope and pray that this lesson was a blessing to you. I really am blessed to write them and give them to you to read, study and learn. Also, I am blessed to hear your comments and questions. I pray that everyone will be ready to meet Jesus, because I believe He is coming soon. God Bless you all until the next lesson.
(ver 1.1) This is now Part 4 in the essential Bible study series that is dedicated to helping everyone to better understand the Parable of the Sower. If you have not read this series from the beginning, I would strongly suggest that you go back and start reading with “Part 1” first. If you have already read from the beginning, I hope that you have enjoyed following this series. I believe this information has some of the greatest foundational truths about how the kingdom of God operates and why some people are saved, and others are not. Won’t it be sad for someone to have had the opportunity to hear the truth but not value it enough to receive God’s seed into their heart. I believe that this will be the reason why God says in the book of Revelation that He will wipe away all tears from our eyes (Rev 21:4). If someone you knew rejected God’s Word and chooses to go to hell versus believing the Good News that you tried to tell them about, how would you react? I will probably be weeping at judgment day.
I recently attempted to witness to a Jewish lady on her death bed in a nursing home. I had known this kind lady for approximately a year. We would visit this nursing home once a week and bring Jesus and the Bible to anyone that would listen, hear and believe. I tried to mention Jesus to her more than once. But she never opened her heart to receive the truth that Jesus was her Messiah. On her death bed, I told her very plainly “Jesus loves you and doesn’t want you or anyone else to die and go to hell”. That is certainly a true statement, but she was just still very hard hearted and unwilling to listen. I prayed for her and left her room feeling very sad. It was only a couple days later that I heard she passed away. That grieved my heart even more and I could only hope that she gave her heart to Jesus after I had left speaking to her. No one can make anyone else see the truth or force them to receive the “seed” to be born again. We can only do our best to plant the seed by speaking it in love and praying for them.
Today’s subject of “fruit” is as deep as the previous subject in the series on “seeds”. There is a direct law of continuous co-existence given by God in Genesis 8:22 between seeds the cause and fruits the results. God teaches us in this verse that “as long as the earth remains seedtime (sowing seeds) and harvest (reaping fruit) will never cease”. Also, in Genesis 1:11 God states another law that any certain fruit originates from only the same certain seed of the exact kind and it continues to say that we only obtain that certain seed to produce these certain types of fruits from the fruit itself of the exact same kind. It is a great unexplainable mystery of Divine creation to atheists and evolutionists.
Introduction to “FRUIT”
This is truly an amazing subject. The importance of learning, knowing and understanding this Parable is the key to so many of our basic successes in life and for us learning any other parable in the Bible. The antithesis of that statement is not learning, knowing or understanding this Parable is probably one of the main reasons why Satan is so easily able to take the Word from our heart to win the spiritual battle that we are in. As we learned in previous lessons the “Seed” of the Parable is the Word of God. We should also know that God’s Word is always pure (PS 119:140) and honest (Jo 17:17) and is designed by the LORD to produce the same good results in all people. The result of bringing forth this fruit is what we can call receiving “eternal life” (Mat 4:4). But we also learned that the positive element of God’s Seed has a counter negative type of seed (evil words of lies and deception) that are trying to produce Satan’s evil nature and outcome of “eternal death” in every person. This is just an example of the law of Genesis being restated. God is Good and His Seed is good and the Fruit from His Seed is also good. Please allow me to provide a verse that is a confirmation for God’s “fruit” representing the good element of receiving “eternal life”:
Pro 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
This is a verse that is of great significance. Remember the Tree of Life was one of two main trees that God placed in the center of the Garden of Eden. God did not forbid Adam to eat from this good tree of life; this implies that it was His intention for man to never die. We can find that this is how it will end up in the last chapter of Revelation. But eating this fruit of eternal life opportunity changed when Adam ate from the tree of death (knowledge of good and evil). I hope and pray you are understanding what the LORD is teaching us here. It appears from reading Genesis that after Adam sinned and before Adam or Eve could eat from the tree of life, an angel was placed around it with a flaming sword to guard the way to it (Gen 3:24).
Notice what this verse in Proverbs 11 says. It speaks of the fruit of a very specific subset of people called “righteous”. The adjective of righteous limits who has the right to produce and eat of this fruit. The righteous represent only saved Christians that have been redeemed from the kingdom of darkness by the shed blood of Jesus Christ (Rom 5:19). Notice the implied truth that all people have some type of fruit, but those that are unrighteous cannot have the fruit of life. Therefore, based on the antithesis truth that can be extracted, this teaches us that “the fruit of the unrighteous is a tree of death”. This means that these made righteous were previously unrighteous people with this fruit of eternal death. But they have now been reborn (John 3:7) into a new potential dimension of spiritual existence to produce the fruit of life. Here in Proverbs 11:30 saved people are being called a “tree with never ending life” because of the associated presence of this righteous “fruit”. Based upon this knowledge there are other additional implied but unstated direct truths that can be derived from reading this verse.
For example, there had to be a “seed” that produced the tree that produced the fruit. This is a profound and applicable truth connected with the Parable of the Sower. It also matches the principles given to us in the Parable of the Wheat and Tares when God informs us of the existence of two opposing seeds that are sown in the same soil to produce two opposing types of good and evil fruits. These two types of fruit were allowed to grow together in the same environment in order to cause the good wheat to not be pulled up when forcing out the bad tares. Finally, I will say that this verse in Proverbs further implies that a righteous person must have this specific fruit or without it they have no lasting life. This too is a very profound parallel to our study of the Parable of the Sower.
As you should be able to realize, the subject of “Fruit” is a very essential topic in the Parable of the Sower. It is a classic example of God’s created law of “cause and effect”. The “fruit” represents the end effect of the originating seed cause. Without the good seed (Word of God) there would not exist any good fruit of life. This is a very profound statement to consider. Please let me ask you a question. Why did Satan ban the Bible from Public Schools in the USA in 1962? He did this so that there would come a generation of children that would not hear God’s Word to produce life. Since that very bad Supreme Court decision the USA began to have mass shootings at schools, universities, movies, shopping centers and other events where helpless undefended people gathered. The seeds of death breeds the fruits of death and they become greater and greater in numbers. People today ask why are these things happening? They believe the solution to end the evil is to remove the guns and that is exactly what Satan wants to happen next to make everyone unable to defend themselves. But the ONLY solution to the evil fruit of death is to teach the Word of God to change hearts to bring forth life producing fruits of righteousness. That is the only real solution, believe it or not. Satan hates this truth and does not want you to share it with others, but please do it anyway.
What does the Symbolic Fruit in the Parable represent? Does it only represent eternal life and salvation? I will say that if we believe that the symbolic “fruit” in this Parable of the Sower only represents one definition such as “eternal life”, I believe that we would be missing some very important additional items that the LORD desires for us to know about the subject. For example, many people believe that the “fruit” in the Parable of the Sower only represents “salvation”. But others in the church believe the “fruit” only represents the “fruits of the spirit” which are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance found in Galatians 5:22-23. But, in studying this subject, I believe the LORD showed me that this symbolic “fruit” in the Parable represents 1 general meaning we can label as Salvation or Eternal Life and at the least 3 additional qualities simultaneously.
Fruit of the Righteous = Salvation/Eternal Life & Arises from a Combined 3 Variable Fruit Types:
- Fruit of the Womb/Sowing Seeds in Others
- Fruit of our labor for Christ Jesus
- Fruits of the Spirit
It could be stated like a mathematical equation FRUIT OF LIFE = A FRUITFUL WOMB + OUR FRUITFUL LABOR + A FRUITFUL SPIRIT. All these last 3 types of fruits can vary from 0 to a very large number depending upon human desire, dedication and commitment. The existence of these three types of variable fruit types would also help us understand how some saved Christians could produce only 30 times, while others 60 times and still others 100 times. I hope we can explore this in more detail in this lesson, but if not, I will do another lesson just on this topic, the LORD willing.
LEARNING FROM THE BIBLE DEFINITIONS OF FRUIT
Any serious Bible student should always be interested in digging deeper into the meanings of the original language words selected by God to describe every subject and “fruit” is no exception. In this section of the lesson I plan to focus on two primary key Greek words. The first is G2590 and second is G2592. G2590 occurs 66 times in the N.T. in 56 verses. It was translated in the KJV Bible as the plural “fruits” 10 times in 10 verses with the majority of the other verses as just “fruit”. This word is used by God in the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:8, Mark 4:7-8 and Luke 8:8. I would like to go through every verse where God used this word in the Bible but, the lesson size would be extended far too long. I would suggest that you do this detail study on your own. Using a good Bible software program on your computer go search for the words G2590 and G2592 and read all the verses as well as the context of each. Then write down whatever stands out because this is usually the Holy Spirit speaking to you about these verses. If you do not have a good Bible software program on your computer, I recommend “eSword” because it is a completely free download for most Windows compatible PC’s or you can get it for around $10 for an Apple based computer. This is not a advertisement for this program; I am just suggesting it based upon my experiences of using it for almost 20 years.
The second key Greek word found in the Parable of the Sower that is very important to the subject of fruit is G2592 and it was translated as “beareth fruit” in Matthew 13:23 and “bring forth fruit” in Mark 4:20 and Luke 8:15. We will dive deeper into this Greek word soon, but first let’s place our attention on the word G2590 translated as “fruit” and read the Strong’s definition to learn something that I believe is amazing:
Probably from the base of G726; fruit (as plucked), literally or figuratively: – fruit.
This is a very interesting word. The literal definition of this Greek word is “fruit”. But it is specifically related to an example of “fruit” that was plucked by force from a tree. This meaning is very profound when applied to people. The word “plucked” can be defined as “take hold of something (a person for example) and quickly remove it from its place”. It can be furthered defined as “to quickly or suddenly remove someone from a dangerous or unpleasant situation”. Wow, what does that sound like to you? I call it God’s purposeful definition for the “rapture”. You see if you notice in the definition Strong indicates that this word G2590 must have come from the base of another Greek word G726. If you look up this word’s definition it means “to seize by force” and can be translated many times as “catch away”, “catch up”, “pluck”, “pull” or “take by force”. G726 is the word used by God through Paul to describe the rapture event in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 where it is written “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (G726) together with them in the clouds to meet the LORD”.
The Greek word G726 is transliterated as “harpazo”. There are a lot of people that call themselves Christians that refuse to believe in this rapture event that is theologically sound. That is very sad to me since just because the literal word “rapture” was not in existence at the translation of the original KJV Bible does not mean the word definition and concept is not clearly found in the original text using other words. What I would suggest is that everyone study this subject in more depth with an open mind before criticizing those people that teach about the “rapture” calling them false teachers or worse.
I would highly recommend that you go and search your Bible program for the word G726 and you should find 13 verses. In at least 4 verses it is directly speaking of people being taken up and away from the present location on the earth by a supernatural force not by their request.
What am I trying to say with this G2590 word definition message? I think you are smart enough to understand the message from what has just been revealed. It should be obvious that a person having “fruit” is connected with them being “raptured”. Now, rapture is not my message, it is the LORD’s message and I am just a messenger. It is the Author of the Bible that selected and connected the word “G2590” translated as “fruit” to G726 defined as “a forced departure”. What I conclude from this information is that when the rapture occurs suddenly, only those Christians with real spiritual fruit will be taken up. This makes it sound very important for us to learn and know what this “fruit” represents. Can we agree?
What I have discovered from my Bible study is that it is only the presence of the real God kind of “fruit” that is an indicator of human salvation. If we go and read Matthew 7:15-20 we find the LORD’s description of two kinds of fruit, one good and one evil. Jesus asks, “Do men gather grapes from thorns?” “Or figs of thistles?” Grapes and figs are symbolic good fruit describing good people and thorns and thistles are both symbolic bad/evil fruit describing bad/evil people. Jesus states very clearly “By their fruit you will know them”. I think this is very important in understanding the Parable of the Sower fruit.
Therefore, I believe that it is very important for us to judge our self to see if we are producing only “God’s good kind of fruit”. What I would like to do is go through some new scriptures that teach us this truth. These are all words spoken by Jesus on the same subject of producing fruit, but they are given using a slightly different parallel analogy. Please read these words slowly and carefully. Notice the words that are underlined:
Joh 15:1 I am (Jesus, the 2nd Personality in the Trinity) the true vine, and my Father (the 1st Personality in the Trinity) is the husbandman (Garden Owner/Worker).
Joh 15:2 Every branch (Christian) in me that beareth (G5342) not fruit (G2590) he taketh away: and every (Christian) branch that beareth (G5342) fruit (G2590), he purgeth (G2508) it, that it may bring forth more (G4119) fruit (G2590).
Joh 15:3 Now ye are clean (G2513) through the word (G3056/logos/the Seed) which I have spoken unto you.
Joh 15:4 Abide (continue, stay, remain) in me, and I in you. As the branch (Christian) cannot bear fruit (G2590) of itself, except it abide in the vine (Jesus/Word); no more can ye, except ye abide (continue, stay, remain) in me (the Word).
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth (continues, stays, remains) in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit (G2590): for without me ye can do nothing.
Joh 15:6 If a man (Christian) abide (continue, stays, remains) not in me (the Word), he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men (angels) gather them, and cast them into the fire (hell), and they are burned (in hell).
Joh 15:7 If ye abide (continues, stays, remains) in me (Word), and my words (Seeds) abide (continues, stays, remains) in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Joh 15:8 Herein is my Father (the Garden Owner) glorified, that ye bear much fruit (G2590); so shall ye be my disciples.
As you probably know the words in parenthesis are not in the original translation. I placed these explanations of what Jesus was speaking of to help us better understand the truths being stated. I also placed certain Greek words in parenthesis to identify the important definitions that we may need to look up and study.
Jesus begins in verse 1 with the declaration of “He is the True Vine”. This is a symbolic definition connecting Jesus to be the spiritual reference to the TRUE Vine. He was informing us that He is a human’s only source of real spiritual life and any others who claim to offer true life the same is a false pathway that produces death. The next statement is another spiritual definition of His Father to be a symbolic “husbandman”. This Greek word literally means “a Farmer”. A farmer is someone that works the land or soil to produce a fruitful crop. We have a lot of parallel truths being given to us in this description that matches the symbols found in the “Parable of the Sower” but with slightly different symbolic details being given to us.
In verse 2 we are introduced to a new detail called a “branch” of Jesus the True Vine. This is a powerful concept being described. Have you ever done a study of your “family tree”? You see in a natural family tree diagram you are symbolically connecting your ancestry to be like a tree with a lot of branches that sprang out of a trunk to produce some fruit. Wow, this is what the LORD is teaching using a vine with branches. Jesus is describing the same type of natural family tree paradigm with lots of spiritual family members using a vine analogy. In 1 Corinthians 6:17 God tells us that “whoever is joined with the LORD is one spirit”. Remember in this John 15 story we are being taught spiritual concepts through the applications of natural truths. When we become Christians, we became symbolic branches that are attached to Jesus our Vine, living on the inside of us and we are now one with the Vine (Jesus).
How does a vine and its branches work and what does it mean spiritually? In the natural a vine originates from a seed and develops roots that produces the main head vine that receives moisture from the soil and carries it though the entire vine structure to all the branches so that they can produce fruit. I believe in this discussion the Holy Spirit and the Word of God are represented by the moisture coming from the root proceeding through the head vine (Jesus) to feed us the branches (Christians). We know this because in verse 3 Jesus reveals that we in the church called branches are made clean (G2513) by the Words of God spoken to us. We can better understand this concept by reading Ephesians 5:26 where Christ is stated to be moving to cause His church to become a sanctified and cleansed (G2511) bride by the washing of the water by His Word.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse (G2511) it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
The Greek word G2511 used in Ephesians 5:26 is defined as “to make clean”. It can also be translated as “purify”, “purge” or “cleanse”. It is normally referring to a present tense work of cleansing. In other words, it is not normally used as the past tense of someone that has already been cleansed (made clean). What is it that Jesus is cleansing from the Church? That is a great question that desperately needs our understanding. Many in the church today ask, “Aren’t we all supposed to be completely forgiven with all our sins (past, present and future) completely covered by the Blood of Jesus so that God calls us righteous?” The answer to that is yes, that is all true, BUT we all still sin and that is a major issue that God wants to address in us to make us pure. NO sin is acceptable to God and our unconfessed sin still has consequences. However, according to 1 John 1:9 “God is faithful and just to forgive all of our sin and cleanse (G2511) us from all unrighteousness, IF we confess and ask him to forgive us”.
1Jn 1:8 If we say that we (the Church Bride) have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Despite what some preachers teach, these verses in 1 John 1 are written to real saved Christians. We are instructed by the LORD to confess our sins in order to be forgiven for them. Let me type the antithesis truth of this statement so that we can see what happens if we do not do the first part of the verse. “If we do NOT confess our sins, He will not be faithful or just to forgive us our sins, nor will He cleanse us from all of our unrighteousness”. That is a very strong unstated truth whether we want to believe it or not. One very popular unnamed preacher that I heard recently said “We should confess our sins (present tense) because He has already forgiven us (past tense). I’m sorry but, that is illogical thinking. I do something wrong and sin against God and then come to Him and ask for forgiveness but He does nothing because it was already done 2000 years ago?” What if I did that to my wife? I hurt her very badly with some unkind words and then say I’m sorry.” Is she going to be like this preacher said and tell me “that is ok, I already forgave you when we first got married”? I don’t think so. No, asking for someone for forgiveness and receiving their forgiveness all present tense now should be a normal ongoing part of any healthy relationship, natural or spiritual.
Notice the terminology in verse 27 of Ephesians 5. God is speaking of a clothing issue. This is like a bride with a wedding dress. Does any bride wanting to be beautiful for her future husband want her dress to be stained, spotted, torn or wrinkled when meeting her husband at the altar? She doesn’t if she is in her right mind. This is a picture of the bride Church that is used by God in this verse. What church member wants to stand before the Holy Sinless Lord Jesus and be unclean, impure and stained with sin in their garment? You better not! If you don’t care there is a major issue of deception taking place somewhere. You see Ephesians 5:27 says God desires us to be Holy. That means without sin spots. I’m going to give you another scripture about this condition as we continue.
If you look at the definition of G2511 used in Ephesians 5:26 and 1 John 1:9 you will find that it comes from the Greek word G2513 and this is the exact word used in John 15:3 when Jesus said “Now you are clean (G2513) through the words that I have spoken to you”. Notice the difference between G2513 and G2511. G2511 is a past tense completed work “now you are clean” and G2513 is a continuing future tense work of a cleansing in progress. The John 15:3 G2511 is like saying I already had my bath with the Word of God. But the Ephesians 5:26 reference is like I just got dirty again in sin and G2513 appears to be that He is washing me again in response with His Word. In other words, Ephesians 5:26 and 1 John 1:9 both describes a present tense work of God in progress of us being washed and represents someone that is NOT yet fully clean (without sin). This information about cleansing the church of our sins matches the description of cutting off the unfruitful branch or pruning the fruitful branches in John 15:2 that we are about to discuss next.
Notice the facts that are given to us in verse 2 of John 15. There are two opposing types of branches being spoken of, one type has no fruit because of an unstated or implied factor of sin and the other type of branch has some fruit of varying levels that have need to be increased. The unfruitful branch is eventually cut off from the Vine (Jesus) and that is amazing. That should awaken you if you think you are a Christian and do not have any visible fruit. This truth places the responsibility of producing fruit primarily on the branch’s cooperation and participation to abide (continue, remain, stay) in the Vine. It also teaches us that it is possible not to continue in the Vine to cause zero fruit production and this causes us to be cut off from our source of eternal life. That knowledge should literally scare you. I know that people do not like this kind of preaching, but it is still the truth.
I am going to introduce you to another scary set of verses about church members being cut off. Please open your Bibles and go to Revelation chapter 3 and read verses 1 through 6. Jesus is speaking to the church in Sardis and these words apply to the church in your city also. In verse 3 Jesus commands them to repent. A lot of churches do not teach this part of the Bible because they focus only on an unbalanced Grace extreme. But Jesus says in verse 4 there are a “few” who have not defiled their garments. What is that speaking of if not sin? Jesus is utilizing a symbolic clothing condition of being unspotted for those in the church that possess purity, holiness and are without sin. You see a clean white garment is what a virgin bride wears to her wedding to be joined to her husband like we have been discussing. This is how Jesus wants us to be when He comes for us. If you read Revelation 19 and 20 you will find His people that were taken to heaven and that come back with Him to the earth will be clothed in pure white linen. I pray that this is being received. Let’s move quickly to the branch type that is producing fruit in small levels.
What caused the fruit possibility to begin to spring forth in the fruitful branch type of John 15? We learn this answer several times in this John 15 passage that it is the branches’ choice to “abide” in the Vine in unison with the additional choice to allow the Vine to abide in us. Abide is a Greek word G3306 that is defined as “to stay” and that represents the human right of choice for decision-making ability, where exercising our will power, self-determination and self-control to hold fast to the True Vine source of life. This literally means we can make the very stupid choice if we are deceived to do so to let go of the True Vine and wither and die. Remember the Bible very clearly says that “Those that are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God”. This is just another way of asking “Are you listening to the Spirit of God speaking inside of you?” Or you could ask “Are you listening and obeying the Word of God that you are reading and studying every day?” Either way, if the answer is Yes, that is great step to producing fruit, but if the answer is no to either question it is only a matter of time until our branch might be cut off. Let’s talk quickly about “pruning”.
Notice that the fruitful branch type that abides in the Vine is “purged” so that it will produce even more fruit. Wow again, because this verse informs us that a little bit of fruit is a good start and allows us to stay connected in the Vine, but this informs us that maximizing our fruit production is what God desires. Do you see the parallels to the Parable of the Sower? The Greek Word translated as “purgeth” in John 15:2 is the Greek word G2508 and it means “to cleanse”. Weren’t we just talking about cleansing our life from sin and washing our garment clean? This Greek word G2508 also comes from the Greek word G2511 translated as “clean” in verse 3 of John 15. We have a direct connection to being clean as God’s goal and we learn this work of the Word of God washing us inside will cause us to reduce our sin and increase our fruit. That is just how God designed it to work. Let’s go over quickly the Parable of the Sower apply what we just learned.
In the Parable of the Sower we have three soils that produce no lasting fruit and they are not saved. In the first soil type it did not even begin the seed growth process. In the second soil type it started to produce roots and the early vine but withered and died before it had any fruit, does that sound familiar?. In the third soil type the seed was established, roots grown, a vine produced and it began to produce fruit from branches but the fruit was choked out by a greater abundance of weeds and thus they did not achieve eternal life and died. We have ONLY one soil type that produces lasting fruit some 30 times, some 60 times and finally others 100 times. It appears to me that those that are producing the most fruit have been pruned and clipped by God the most effectively to remove the choking sin. Of course, that statement places the total responsibility on God to why some have 30-, 60- or 100-fold return and that just can’t be truthful since that would make God a respecter of person. Therefore, this means that it must be how the Christian responds to the pruning that causes it to become effective to produce more fruit. What is pruning? I’ll give you a couple of verses that I believe will help explain it:
1Co 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
1Co 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
God is the ultimate Supreme Judge. This informs us that He will judge Christians if we do not judge our self, first. God says He does this to help us NOT to be condemned with the WORLD! The world represents the 3 types of soil that produces NO FRUIT. The judged people in this verse are those that are getting sin pruned off their lives so that they can produce even more fruit. Wow, God is awesome. Did you understand what is going on here? Sin like we talked about before, is in everyone in the world because ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Those in the first three soil types are dominated and controlled by their lusts and sin to not produce any fruit. But Christians that produce at least a little fruit are corrected to remove more sin so that new fruit can spring forth faster. But, this is only accomplished by the Christian reading and studying the Word of God and then applying what is learned. I just said some very important things and I pray you received it.
I’m not going to go through every verse in John 15 for the sake of time. I would recommend that you go through it and notice the impact of the Word of God and those that remain in the Bible learning more to become clean and those that do not remain in the Bible and get cut off and burned in hell. All of this is applicable to the Parable of the Sower and why some people are saved, and others are lost.
We need to move on quickly to our second Greek word G2592 that was translated as “beareth fruit” in Matthew 13:23 and “bring forth fruit” in Mark 4:20 and Luke 8:15. I want to do this by first providing the three main verses in Matthew, Mark and Luke where Jesus explained what was represented in the symbolic good soil that produces “fruit”. Please read these Jesus interpretations and compare the similarities and differences very closely:
Mat 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit (G2592), and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Mar 4:20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit (G2592), some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
Luk 8:15 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 (G2592) with patience.
These are all very important verses of truth. Jesus is teaching the explanation for the “good ground” from three slightly different perspectives of detail. In this lesson I am not going to teach the subject of the “Good Soil”. But I do want to focus on the aspect of “Producing Fruit” which is found in all three explanations. The primary Greek word that is used in all three explanations is G2592. Let’s review the Strong’s definition for this word.
From G2593; to be fertile (literally or figuratively): – be (bear, bring forth) fruit (-ful).
We are taught that this translated phrase “to bring forth fruit” comes from the Greek word G2593 and that root word literally means “to be fertile”. Fertile in relationship with soil means to be capable of producing abundant levels of vegetation or crops. However, that is not all the possible relationships to what “fertile” can be applied. In the relationship to humans, animals and some plants fertile has the definition to mean “able to conceive a child or a seed”. In relationship to a “seed”, fertile means “capable of becoming a new distinct type of the same kind”. When used in relationship to the human mind, fertile means “the ability to produce many new and inventive ideas”. Wow, I believe all of these are applicable to our subject discussion on being “fruitful” from the planting of God’s Word in our heart.
This Greek word G2592 is only found 8 times in the New Testament. Four times it was spoken by Jesus with 3 usages in the Parable of the Sower and once in the Parable of the Growing Seed found in Mark 4:26-29. The Parable of the Growing Seed is an awesome discussion given by Jesus concerning a more detailed description of how fruit is produced and the stages it goes through over time. One of the main points of the Parable is how the entire process takes a significant amount of time to develop any mature fruit. Keep this in mind if you just got saved. There is a high degree of likelihood that instant fruit is not going to occur in your life.
If we search our Bibles for the Greek word G2592 we find that the only other times this Greek word is found (other than the Gospel Parables) is when Paul used it twice in Romans 7 and twice in Colossians 1. Both are important passages to our discussion so I will go over them as the LORD leads:
Rom 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit (G2592) unto God.
Rom 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit (G2592) unto death.
This is a vastly misunderstood context of verses found in this chapter. In the beginning of this chapter Paul is writing to a very specific sub-set of the whole all-inclusive church class of members. He says in verse 1 “I am speaking to those that know the law”. This simply means that God through Paul is speaking to those natural Jewish people that were in the old covenant and knew (a marriage covenant term) the Torah (law). Paul then goes on in verse 1 through 3 to explain how the law (Torah) says that a wife that is joined to her husband in covenant marriage is bound to that covenant until her husband is dead otherwise, if she leaves him and marries another she commits adultery. This was the bad news being presented first. We must understand that the natural nation of Israel was in a marriage covenant with Almighty God (Jer 31:32). This meant by stated law they were not able to enter into a covenant legally with anyone else including Jesus. But now, in verse 4, God through Paul writes to give these Jewish people some good news. Because Jesus died on the cross, they were legally free from the bondage of that Old Covenant and the law to enter the New Covenant marriage with the risen from the dead LORD and Savior Jesus Christ (Messiah). He then tells them that this was accomplished by God so that they could now bring forth good fruit (G2592) unto God for salvation. This is the key word that we are interested in that was used by Jesus to describe saved people in the Parable of the Sower named the good soil.
We know verse 4 is speaking of God’s “good life producing fruit” because we can clearly read in verse 5 to learn how these natural Jewish people previously “brought forth fruit” (G2592) the opposite type of fruit leading to death. This negative fruit of death was the consequence of them living in the flesh and being controlled by their lustful desires under the law. This is just another confirmation to teach us that there are two kinds of fruit one was grapes and figs and the other was thorns and thistles.
I want you to understand that these two opposing types of fruit that can be produced by any human even a Christian. One type is operating in the Spirit and brings forth the fruit of “life” and the other type is someone operating in the “flesh” bringing forth the fruit of death. The Parable of the Sower is specifically speaking of producing the spirit life fruit type in the “good soil” but the other 3 soil types related very specifically to operating in the flesh and sin produces the consequences of the death fruit type. Notice that the Greek word G2592 is used in both verses of Romans 5 and they were each translated as “bring forth fruit”. Let’s move on with the other primary reference concerning “bringing forth fruit” found in Colossians 1:5-10.
Col 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
Col 1:6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit (G2592), as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
Col 1:7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
Col 1:8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
Col 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
Col 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful (G2592) in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
There are so many truths to learn from these six verses that I cannot teach them all. But, notice the words that I underlined beginning in verse 5. In this verse Paul is writing about a people that heard the Word of God and this is equivalent to receiving God’s Seed. This automatically connects us to the Parable of the Sower. Verse 6 then compares these people to others in the world that have also heard the Gospel. This appears to represent the great commission that the LORD gave to us all in Mark 16:15 when Jesus said “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel, to them that believe and are baptized they will be saved and to them that believe not they shall be damned.” That is a very strong statement that places the responsibility for hearing and believing on the combined work of a sower sowing good seeds (Word of God) and a listener that pays attention in order to receive these seeds (words) and to believe them. It also sharply creates a dividing line of severe separation between two radically different types of people. God designed His Seed to be heard and then believed by everyone. God’s Seed is intended and planned for success in everyone. But the success is still clearly dependent upon the listener to believe or to not believe and that is our individual freewill choice.
Let’s review some of the implied Parable of the Sower elements being connected in these verses. Clearly there must be the seed (Word of God) planter preaching the Word of Truth to produce “fruit” in people. Verse 7 identifies one Seed sower by name calling him Epaphras. Then notice in verse 8 that this man Epaphras had spoken to Paul about the people’s “love” in the spirit which is a direct connection to the “fruit of the spirit” mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. Therefore, these people being spoken of represent “good soil”. Finally, in verse 10 God brings in a new connection of a different type of “fruit” that should also exist in these people through knowing the will of God. In this verse Paul clearly writes that there should exist an additional type of “fruit” that comes from Christians doing “good” works (His Will). Wow, I think that is very awesome. We have just observed three types of fruit spoken of in one connecting passage. There was the fruit of the spirit, the fruit of good works and the implied fruit of the womb that produces salvation in others by spreading the seed.
The reason these verses are included that we have been studying are because God connects them to the Parable of the Sower by specific Word Selection. Because these Greek words are only used in the Parable of the Sower (Mat 13, Mark 4 & Luke 8), Romans 7 and Colossians 1 we must conclude that these are all related to the same subject. I am a very firm believer that the Bible interprets and explains itself. One way God interprets His word is by us looking up His usage of specific Words from one verse in other verses in the Bible. By doing this we gain a much clearer and balanced knowledge of the whole subject.
I have gone much longer than I wanted. I think I’m over 6000 words. There is so much information on the subject of “Fruit” in the Bible that there could have been a 12 Part series. We did not discuss every type of fruit in the Bible. We did not discuss the negative type of fruit in detail. We did not cover all the scriptures about fruit in the New Testament much less the Old Testament. Perhaps the LORD will direct me to teach this more in the future.
Do you understand how a natural seed works completely to explain how it brings forth fruit? Most of us cannot in great detail! How then can we fully understand how the spoken Word of God can enter a human heart to change them from eternal death to eternal life? But we know that it works because we can see evidence in the lives of people throughout the Bible and here in the present world. Paul a confessed murderer became the most prolific New Covenant Bible writer and teacher in the Church’s early days. Peter a known liar who denied knowing Jesus three times becomes a radically bold preacher of the Truth to the Jewish people and was even crucified to confirm his faith. Peter never denied Jesus again. That is just two examples of radical transformation given from a God of second and third chances. Perhaps you have been radically changed also. If so, please leave your testimony at the end of this lesson. But I’ll end the lesson with this verse:
Jas 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
Our God is patiently waiting for His fruit to grow mature in our lives. As soon as it occurs, I believe He will be coming for us and I do not believe that it will be very long before this happens. God calls this fruit “precious” and that means we are very valuable to Him. Please yield to the Holy Spirit with me and allow Him to prune the sin off our lives so that we all may produce more fruit for His glory. It would be a very unhappy time if when He comes to catch us away by force that we did not have any valuable fruit that He was looking to harvest. I pray that we take this message to heart and judge our own sin before we are judged.
I did not cover this subject of “Fruit” completely. The Lord willing I will add more lessons on this subject in the future. Thank you and God Bless you as you continue to grow in the Grace and the knowledge of Him.
If you would like to continue reading this series please go to “Part 5“.
(Ver 1.1) This is Part 2 in a series of very essential basic Bible lessons concerning the subject of Understanding the Parable of the Sower. The first lesson was simply the introduction to the subject and it contained an overall perspective of the information taught by the LORD Jesus. In that lesson we read the parable given to us in the Book of Mark. We followed this by reading the explanation of the Parable in the same chapter given from the lips of Jesus to his disciples. From this information we derived a list of the main named elements. There were 8 in my list 1) a sower, 2) seed 3) soil, 4) enemy birds, 5) enemy stones, 6) enemy sun heat, 7) enemy thorns and 8) fruit. I then called the sower, seed & the fruit to represent positive good elements and the 4 enemy elements to be recognized as negative evil elements opposing the good. That only leaves the soil and I called this the variable element that will change. I hope and pray that you were able to read this because this information will not all be repeated in today’s lesson. If you have not read from the beginning of the series I would highly recommend that you go back and start with “Part1”. We will begin the subject again with this outstanding foundational claim spoken by the LORD Jesus:
Mar 4:13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
From this statement in Mark 4:13 we should begin to understand that if we do not know and understand this parable that no other parable understanding will be entirely possible. Today we will be diving deeper into one of the fundamental positive elements taught by the LORD Jesus. Our key subject today will be focused on the key positive essential element called the “Sower”. This is an extremely indispensable part of the parable as evident by the name of the story being called “The Parable of the Sower”. I believe this topic will be a blessing to us to learn.
INTRODUCTION TO THE SOWER
I believe Jesus was teaching his disciples a natural story about a significantly higher spiritual subject using an indirect third party viewpoint perspective. Jesus actually used this technique of speaking frequently. In this teaching we will soon learn that Jesus is given to be the ultimate sower example to follow. I believe that Jesus is the pattern that truly saved disciples must attempt to grow up to become. The “Sower” is certainly one of the greatest elements at the time this parable was originally taught. Without the work of a sower the seed is unable to produce and really could be considered dormant. It is as if I owned a farm and had a barn that was full of seed but yet my fields were bare because I had failed to plant them.
Mat 13:18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
According to the LORD Jesus He named this lesson the “Parable of the Sower”. Therefore we all should agree with Him that this is the name. This name implies the importance of this type of worker. In this lesson today we will be focused upon answering the basics of “Who”, “What”, When”, “Where” and “Why” of the specific “sower” subject. For example, “Who is this stated worker?” “What is their intended purpose?” “When does the work occur, begin or stop?” “Where can the work take place?” “Why is this work necessary or important?” There are literally so many questions that we could ask that I could not write them all down or even attempt to answer them all in one lesson. However, we will attempt to answer the major questions even though the answers may be expanded into other lessons because many of the subjects being discussed cross over into other subject element boundaries.
WHO IS THE SOWER IN THE PARABLE?
The Greek word translated as “sower” in this verse is G4687. This Greek word according to the Strong’s Dictionary reference literally means to “scatter” seed and that simply means to “sow” seed. This Greek word is found in 42 N.T. verses. It was translated in a number of forms of the root word “sow”. For example, “sower”, “sown”, “sowed” and “soweth” are just some of the most popular translated English words. However, this Greek word was also translated as “received seed” in several verses. Both definitions are technically true simultaneously and both are directly related to the subject of seed scattering. Seed scattering is the dual release of seed as well as the catching process. Both actions occur based upon the single active work of a sower. Notice that it is not the sower’s responsibility to catch the seed but only to throw it or place it where he would like for it to go.
It is very much like someone throwing a small rock into a pond. The single motion of tossing and releasing the rock into the water automatically causes the water to receive the rock and react with the laws of physics to cause waves extending from the entry point. This is in effect what is occurring with seed scattering paradigm with some differences. Also note that one seed throwing action causes the release of power to potentially cause other designed laws to become effective. Let’s look at another verse that was spoken by Jesus in the book of Mark concerning this subject of the “sower” to understand what kind of sower is being spoken of in this Parable:
Mar 4:14 The sower soweth the word.
In this verse both the translated words “sower” and “soweth” are the exact same Greek word G4687. This information simply confirms further that the scattering concept being discussed is about someone throwing word seeds out and someone listening to take the power. This power can represent words that make it possible for new potential life producing results that previously had never occurred before. This is how the natural process works but notice that Jesus is speaking spiritually to what seeds represent in the parable. Jesus is clearly not speaking in literal natural terms and He explains His lesson is spoken in the “figurative” spiritual application.
Jesus is teaching an amazing spiritual concept using a more easily understood natural description. According to this verse spoken by Jesus in the book of Mark, a “Sower” (the described seed scattering worker) is defined to be literally anyone that is speaking “words” to implied listeners. This verse provides us the spiritual definition of what “seed” represents. We will be discussing “seeds” in the next lesson in the series, God willing. But, according to Jesus ALL spoken words are potentially a type of a seed. That is an amazing claim if you take the time to think about. Jesus is literally implying that we all should think to our self before speaking. Ask is what I am saying to others the result that I wish to plant and grow in them? What kind of seed am I speaking to people? I know a lot of people will not believe this, but it is true none the less.
Jesus does not actually define who the sower represents directly in this verse nor does he answer the “who” question in any of the other parable explanations found in Matthew or Luke. But, I do believe very strongly that Jesus was speaking this parable of Himself and His work using the external third person point of view. Jesus actually did this frequently in many of the things that He talked to people about. It is actually a very common method of speaking or writing. Many people do this and it if you go through and read the Gospels with this in mind you should be able to easily see it.
This verse in Mark 4:14 has some far reaching impacts of implied meanings even beyond the direct context. In the first lesson I introduced the concept of this Parable of the Sower to be a spiritual battle of spiritual words. I believe this so deeply that I pray that you will join me in this understanding very soon. What this verse implies is that anyone speaking audible words that are either good or evil is potentially planting seeds within the lives of human minds and hearts that choose to hear, listen, pay attention and understand. If you do not yet see this up till now, please don’t throw it in the trash until you read some other verses on the subject.
What I believe is that we should begin to understand that this sowing principle is how human life operates from the beginning birth to the ending death cycle. If you have ever had children and watched them grow up, you must certainly agree with this concept of seed planting being Words that can positively teach, direct, help, guide, encourage, praise and correct a child to get them headed in the right direction for the rest of their life. No child comes out of the womb speaking complete understandable sentences. We are required to speak seeds into them for literally many months before the first meaningful seed planted will be returned to us. But, finally they say “mama” or “dada” or whatever you taught them to say. These are examples of positive seed plantings. It is truly an amazing process of a good life. But, we can also speak negative, mean, angry or evil words that will also have the same effect in reverse being returned to us from their mouths. That is certainly not a positive of fruitful outcome.
Of course the main emphasis in this parable is focused primarily upon “Good Seeds” spoken by the “Good LORD Jesus” spread to all humans in order to produce “Good” fruit” in return. But, the antithesis of this Good truth return objective is still true also and I’ll introduce a new parable very quickly by giving you an additional part of a direct related story spoken by Jesus on the subject of sowing.
OVERVIEW OF the PARABLE of the WEEDS
Mat 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
Mat 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
This parable was spoken by Jesus in the same context of the Parable of the Sower directly after the explanation in Chapter 13. Notice the fact that again this parable is spoken in the external “third person point of view”. But, we will soon discover that this reference in verse 24 to just “a man” that sowed good seed is a directly defined reference about Jesus. Also we need to notice that this verse contains the exact same Greek word G4687 that was used in the parable of the sower. This makes this parable related by both the laws of contextual reference and the more direct named word selection and subject matter reference.
It is also very important to take note of two other Greek words that follow the Greek word G4687 in verse 24 and these were translated as “good seed”. This is really amazing truth after you learn it. The Greek word G2570 that is translated as “good” literally means “valuable” and “virtuous”. Wow I hope you are seeing the type of seed being described here. This Greek word is a qualifying adjective that severely limits the type of “seed” being described. I personally believe that this Greek word describes God’s Word Seed perfectly. The usage of God’s limitation of “Good” also implies by the law of antithesis truth that there must also exist “evil seed” and that the two are extreme opposites.
Then we need to notice the next word translated as “seed” as being the Greek word G4690. The English transliteration of this Greek word is “sperma” and yes we get the English word “sperm” from this Greek word. Natural human sperm is just one type of “seed” listed in the Bible. Therefore a human male was designed by God to be a natural sower of seed into a female. This process of producing natural human life is also called bearing fruit and we will probably talk more about this when we get to that part of the subject lesson.
But, this Greek word G4690 translated as “seed” comes directly from the “Sower” Greek word G4687. In other words without a “sower” speaking words there would be no “seed” word to be planted. It really is teaching us that seed sowing is literally dependent upon the existence of sowers. Do you believe that the seed word originating from a sower is an accident or is found by chance random occurrence? I do not. I believe that this is a statement of designed truth concerning who produces “Good” seed and how this process works in us. I believe that God’s Word is His Seed that produces His Life in us to be born again spiritually and we are going into this much deeper later in this lesson series when we discuss the seed and the fruit.
This new parable story spoken by Jesus is often called the “Parable of the Weeds”. According to Jesus the Kingdom of heaven seed represents “Good Seed” that produces symbolic “wheat” that is harvestable and the “tares” represents evil seeds sown by an enemy into the same ground. You see in verse 25 Jesus speaks of two very important factors. One is the Greek word G2190 that was translated as “enemy”. This Greek word literally means “to hate”. That word represents the opposite description of God who is described to be “love” (agape, G26) in 1 John 4:8. Hate and love are antithesis opposing definitions of forces of power. These are clear descriptions of two opposing extremes. God is Love and the enemy being spoken of is Satan who is “hate”. Satan hates you and me and he hates God.
Next we need to notice the Greek word G4687 that is translated as “sowed” in verse 25. This is again the exact same Greek word translated as “sower” in the Parable of the sower and “sowed good seed” in verse 24. They are all connected directly together. We are beginning to put some major pieces of the puzzle together to understand the Parable of the Sower and the Parable of the Weeds. Both are concerning the subject of sowing words. There are stated “Good” words that produce harvestable symbolic “wheat” in the Parable of the Weeds and the implied “virtuous” words of God that produce symbolic “fruit” in the Parable of the Sower. God is giving us a very detailed look into the enemy in both parables and how Satan operates.
Here in both Parables is found amazing parallels of truth using similar representations. I am not going to go into this parable in much further detail today. I mainly wanted to show the divine connection to why “weeds” appear was because of the stated work of a hateful spiritual enemy called the devil. God is introducing us to the fact that there is a described spiritual battle for humans and their end is determined by whose words these humans value. Some will become children of Satan by valuing his lies of deception and some will become children of God by valuing His Virtuous TRUTH. We will move into this more later. But, I do want you show you that Jesus claimed that He was this stated man that sowed the Good Seed mentioned in verse 24:
Mat 13:37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
When this Parable was first taught to the disciples and the natural people of Israel, Jesus was the named “Sower” mentioned in the Parable. When we read further in his explanation of the Parable of the Weeds in verse 37, we discover plainly that the “Good seed” originated from the spoken words given by the “Son of man” (Jesus). There are over one hundred verses in the Bible that refer to Jesus as the “Son of man”. I will not give you them all here because you can easily go and search them for yourself. There are so many confirmations that there is no refuting that this refers to Jesus. This teaches us that any “good seed (sperma)” will originate from God and Jesus.
We understand that a natural sower is defined to be someone that sows (plants) seeds by scattering them in or on the natural ground (soil). But according to what we just learned from Jesus a Spiritual Sower is someone that scatters good or evil “Words” on or in the ears, minds & hearts of humans. We must understand that Jesus was only sowing “Good” (valuable and virtuous) words. We will learn the good type of Word in next lesson concerning “seeds” that Jesus spoke the “Word of God” (Luke 8:11). It makes logical sense to me that Jesus was speaking only God’s Words. However, we can confirm this when we search further in the Bible to learn that Jesus actually claimed to be a spokesman for His Father. Verify this claim here in John:
Joh 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
Jesus claimed in this verse that the “Seeds” or “Words” that He spoke including those that were found in the Parable of the Sower must have come directly from His Father in heaven by a divine command. In fact we should learn from this statement that every word spoken by Jesus in our Bibles were direct words from the Almighty God. This makes these Words directly inspired and divinely essential messages. There were no imperfections or untruths that could be found in them (Tit 1:2). These “Seeds” had to have an extremely important purpose. We will be diving into this subject in the next lesson when we further discuss in more detail the “Seed”.
ARE THERE ANY SOWERS TODAY?
We all should know that Jesus died and was raised from the dead and ascended back to heaven where He currently sits at the right hand of the Almighty awaiting the time of His return. Therefore, we need to ask a new question since we know that Jesus is not physically present on the earth to sow more seeds in any new humans born in the last 2000+ years, did this Parable end? Did the death of Jesus mean that sowing of seeds into humans has ceased? There are some denominations that have beliefs like this, but they usually do not extend them to seed sowing for some reason. But, should we just assume that the seed sowing process of the Parable of the Sower stopped or does it still continue today? We actually need verses to fix our beliefs on, in order to answer this question to remove any doubts. But, we can learn and know the answer from reading further in the New Testament that any man or woman speaking, teaching, or preaching the Word of God can also be named to be a seed planter aka a “sower”. For example, notice this verse written by the Apostle Paul written to the Corinthian Church:
1Co 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
1Co 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1Co 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
These verses here contain some amazing truths. Notice what is claimed by the Apostle Paul? Paul informs the church that he was a minister and that his work performed to them was to “plant” seeds (verse 6). The Greek word G1249 in verse 5 translated as “ministers” is not a high claimed position of great authority in the church. This word literally can be translated as a servant, or someone that runs errand, or even as a “waiter” of tables for those that are present eating. Paul is an extremely humble man that is not claiming to be anyone special or important in any of these statements. If Paul felt this way who wrote 2/3 of the New Testament, how can any of us ever think we are any better?
Why am I bringing these verses into our lesson on the Parable of the Sower? I would pray that it is already very obvious. Paul is repeating a significant number of positive elements found in the Parable of the Sower here in these three verses. Paul in these statements is focused on how seed planting successes occurs and who gets the honor and the praise for any of it. Paul is teaching us about his contribution and participation in the common elements of “being a sower”, “possessing seed”, “sowing seed” into “soil” in order to produce “fruit”. They may not all be mentioned directly but they are understood to be present by the direct mention of the words “planting” and “increase”.
The Greek word G5452 that was translated as “planted” literally means “to set out in the earth”. In other words this Greek word G5452 means “to implant” seed in the natural realm which must represent the parallel spiritual reality of imparting God’s Word in the human heart (symbolic soil). Earth in this Greek definition G5452 is a clear synonymous reference to the successful and fruitful soil type that we have yet to discuss in detail. The Strong’s definition goes further to state that this word figuratively means to “instill doctrine” into humans. Therefore we are definitely on the right track to speaking words to people.
The Greek word G837 translated as “increase” in verse 6 literally means “to cause to grow”. I introduced in the first lesson that “fruit” represented “salvation” and “spiritual fruit”. But we have not discussed this yet either. But that is exactly what Paul infers by verse 5 stating what he preached caused these people in the church to believe and believing God’s Word is the foundation of Bible faith and salvation. We will discuss later that faith is a basic requirement for salvation and there are many verses that will confirm this truth such as John 3:16, Romans 10:9-10 and Ephesians 2:8.
Then Paul adds a new unstated element not found in the Parable of the Sower called “watering” or “water”. If you have read all of the Bible lessons on this blog, you will already know that the same Word of God represents multiple facets of essential life producing forces called “seed”, “water” and “light” and these are the basic requirements that must be combined with the soil to produce new “fruitful life”. We will be going into much greater detail later when we speak about other elements after the “sower”. But, let’s first move to two further verses in the Paul letter to the Corinthians:
1Co 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
1Co 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
The Greek word that I wish to focus on first in these three verses is G1091 that was translated as “husbandry” in verse 9. This word literally means “a farm”. This should be another obvious connection to the Parable of the Sower using God’s law of selection of synonymous terminology. A farm is usually defined as an area of land that is used to produce and grow crops for harvest. Humans are literally called to be the spiritual ground that grows spiritual fruit from the implanted spiritual Words of God. But, yet this does not occur automatically or magically or forcefully. We will be discussing this aspect of the discussion later in the elements of “soil” and “fruit”.
These verses found in Corinthians are just one major proof text that God desired everyone in the church to become His “farm land to produce His fruit” as well as simultaneously growing up spiritually to become His “seed planters” or “seed waterers”. We may not all be called into the office of “Apostle”, “Prophet”, “Evangelist” or “Pastor” or “Teacher”, but we are all still called servants of God. Notice again in verse 5 the ending statement. Paul claims they were minister servants of the LORD and then claims this responsibility was given to “EVERY MAN”. Then in verse 9 God calls the church body to be His “co-laborers”. This word literally means we must cooperate and coordinate our efforts with His planned work for our lives. These are just more ways to proclaim the great commission given from the LORD Jesus to everyone in the church:
Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Go into the entire world, and sow seeds in the entire world by proclaiming out loud of His exceedingly Great News. Jesus is commissioning all of His people to become “sowing servants” of His Word. If we are just receivers collecting His Words and not spreading the seed to others then we are being disobedient barn storage facilities. The Greek word G2784 translated as “preach” in this verse literally means someone who is like a town crier that brings good news to the people of a city. Clearly this is a “seed” planter that is attempting to follow after the LORD Jesus’ patterned example found in the Parable of the Sower. What is the purpose of being a seed planter for God? If we read the next verse we will learn God’s designed goal:
Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
We are being introduced to God’s primary purpose for speaking His Word to people in the world. According to Jesus it was God’s design for His Words to be believed by a human faith choice and then this belief would place us onto a course or pathway whereby we could be saved. We actually read this in 1 Corinthians 3:5 also. We learn the fact of salvation is dependent upon our beliefs in God’s Word by reading verses like this as well as Ephesians 2:8 and even John 3:16. Whoever believes God Word to the end is the one that receives the free gift of His Great Grace.
But, then comes the bad news if any human does not choose to believe His Words spoken by His sowers, they are damned. Wow, that is so strong. What a significant warning. What a great responsibility that we are given. Is it possible if someone does not state the right words in the right way at the right time with the correct attitude and motive that the responsibility for why some are not saved could be on the sower’s hands? That is something that I believe we must take into consideration. I believe that we all must be led by the Spirit of God in everything that we do including sowing seeds.
Perhaps you have already deduced that sowing seeds is why I do a Bible study Blog on the internet. This blog is an attempt to spread God’s “seed” to every nation on planet earth. By the immense Grace of God these Bible lessons have gone into over 250 different nations already. That would be an extremely difficult physical effort for anyone to travel to reach each one personally. I praise God for using an insignificant man like me to spread His Word and I pray that you will also join me in becoming a “seed of God sower”.
I will end this section on the “sower” with this stated truth. When the LORD Jesus was teaching the Good News while Sowing Seeds into the hearts of people on the earth in His physical body during His short 3 ½ years of ministry, this was the closest to perfection that was possible for the Parable to have successful crops of fruit. However, we also know from reading the Gospels that most of the people that heard Him teach and preach these “Seeds” were possibly the same ones that killed Him on a cross. Think about it. There were only 120 believers in the 50 days from His death in the upper room in Acts 2 awaiting the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We know that when Jesus was on the earth that he sometimes taught to over 5000 people at one time and over 4000 at another time. He traveled wide and far throughout the region to preach the Word of God to people. Where were all of these thousands of people that heard the “Seed”? I think that is amazing.
This truth only proves that imperfect humans today that are attempting to follow Jesus’ example of sowing should not expect to make everyone accept what they are teaching them as “Good News”. The servant is never greater than the master Jesus said. If they persecuted me Jesus said, they will certainly persecute you also. Believe me I know this for sure. Some people are such very nice Christians that say good things about my lessons even if they disagree with something, and others sound like demon possessed people and say the meanest things. Just learn from Jesus and don’t let the praise of anyone or the condemnation of anyone else be the motivating source for preaching or teaching God’s Word. Remember what Paul said, it is not the sower of the seed or the one that waters that is anything, but rather it is God that that causes the increase of the fruit to grow that is important. Okay we answered some basic questions about the sower today so we will review:
- WHO? Jesus was the initial Primary Sower Example.
- WHO? But, Christians today have the same responsibility to sow seeds.
- WHAT? Being a Sower is simply sharing God’s Word with someone.
- WHAT? The reason we sow God’s seed is to get someone saved from a certain eternal death in hell.
- WHEN? It is implied that the time to sow is now.
- WHERE? It is implied whenever the opportunity presents itself.
In the next lesson in the series we will move into the very positive subject of understanding the “Seed”. I know we could have covered a lot more information in this subject of understanding the sower. If you have any specific questions on this part of the subject I would welcome them. I pray that you have enjoyed this lesson but I believe the next lesson will even be better. God Bless you.
If you would like to continue to study in this series please go to “Part 3“.