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The Parables #21

BECAUSE WE ARE THE  PEOPLE OF GOD WE ARE THE TARGET OF THE DEVIL – Continued.

3. The devil is the arch deceiver. Note the various names, evil names, God gives him here in this verse. “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him,” Revelation 12:9.

Again, note the warning of God about this evil being, the devil.

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ . . . . . For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works,” 2 Corinthians 11:3, 13-15.

Here is a glimpse into the future of the devil’s evil plans and the defeat to which God shall bring him.

“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved,” 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10.

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The Parables #20

One last passage of God’s Word before we move on to another consideration which arises from this parable. Despite the fact that the Christian brings good to this world the Christian is hated. Here is what the apostles were considered to be . . . .

“We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; and labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day,” 1 Corinthians 4:10-13.

Now we come to another consideration.

III. BECAUSE WE ARE THE  PEOPLE OF GOD WE ARE THE TARGET OF THE DEVIL DECEIT.

“But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way . . . . . the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil,” 25, 38-39.

1. Notice the craft of the devil. “While men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat.” Also, the ‘tares’ look like the ‘wheat’! Imitation Christians and counterfeit Christianity are weapons of the devil to hinder and harm the purpose of God.

2. Such deceit is not seen at first. “When the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also,” verse 26. The evil scheme was not seen at the first.

3. The Lord uncovers the evil plot. Were we not taught by the Lord we would be continually deceived.

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The Parables #19

The influence of God’s people is overall beneficial – Continued

We find the same wonderful truth in the OT.

Just think of this word “Good” as in good seed. This word, the strongest word used of ‘good’ means “a harmonious completeness.” There are many people in the world who are considered “good” and we would have to acknowledge that they do good things, show love and kindness to others and yet they need to be born again before they can enter heaven. That puzzles many. There is something ‘incomplete’ about there goodness. There is something lacking. They do goodness is marred by a desire to gain favour with others, to gain the praise of the world or even to try to get to heaven. That makes their goodness faulty, incomplete!
The Christian seeks to do good “to the glory of God”! That makes their goodness complete and whole!

Look at these verses as we further consider the good that God’s people do in this world. “And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD hath blessed me for thy (Jacob’s) sake,” Genesis 30:27.
“And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field,” Genesis 39:5.
“And Elisha said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look toward thee (Jehoram the son of Ahab), nor see thee,” 2 Kings 3:14.

It is made clearer when we consider the world’s view of the Blessed Saviour. “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not,” Isaiah 53:3.

“But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.” Psalm 22:6-8. As with Christ, so with the believer!

How undervalued are the people of God. “Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day,” 1 Corinthians 4:13.  “But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used,” Hebrews 10:32-33.

“We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; and labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day,” 1 Corinthians 4:10-13.

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The Parables #18

The influence of God’s people is overall beneficial.

The good seed is ‘wheat’, verse 29.

How beneficial wheat is! Everyone has breakfasted upon it today in one form or another. Either as a cereal or toasted bread. The Prairies of Canada and the USA are known as the ‘breadbasket’ of the world because of the huge harvests of wheat they produce. In like manner the ways, the actions of godly people benefit mankind. Furthermore, Christ calls His people the “light” of the world; the “salt” of the earth. Both of these things benefit mankind.

One enlightens and the other preserves.

Paul illustrates the preserving power of the believer. Read – Acts 27:22-26.

“But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee,” Acts 27:21-24.

Peter states the same truth. Read –  2 Peter 3:9. God is longsuffering toward a wicked world for the sake of His elect. He will bear with the world’s sin until the last off His elect are saved in this age. Then judgment shall fall!

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The parables #17

THE GOOD SEED PICTURES CHRISTIANS – (Continued).

We will continue the point we were making the last time we were together, just before you had your mid-term holiday, just over a week ago.

We are looking at Matthew 13:38. “The good seed are the children of the kingdom.” We are God’s planting in this world. We are part of God’s kingdom and must ever put God’s kingdom first.

This is what the apostles did. They put God’s kingdom first! The enemies of the gospel in their day said: “Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us,” Acts 5:28.

Note the apostles’ response! “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men,” Acts 5:29.

That choice has had to be made by God’s people throughout the ages and it has brought suffering, persecution and death to countless multitudes of the saints of God.

The time of such intense conflict draws near again! God’s people will have to show courage and oppose the desires and demands of the world and stand firm for the laws of God’s kingdom.

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