Introduction – Part 01a

Mysteries of

The Kingdom of the Heavens

(A study of the seven parables in Matt.13)

 

Part 01a

INTRODUCTION Continued

 

Let us continue our study of the seven parables in Matt.13.

 

“Parables”

From this point onwards, Christ started using parables predominantly in His ministry. Parables are not useful to those who have rejected the previously revealed truths. Parables are given only to those who have received the previously revealed truths, so that they can understand additional truths (Matt.13:10-13). The parables are not meant for the Jews who did not want to obey “the Word of the Kingdom” and have refused to submit to the authority of their King, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

“On the same day”

The first verse of the chapter also sets the theme for the message of the whole chapter. It reads, “On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea.” “The house” refers to the “house of Israel” into which its Messiah had come and the sea refers to the other nations referred to as the Gentiles. “The same day” refers to the happenings recorded in Chapter 12. That was a turning point in the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

The dual kingdom

When God created the nation of Israel, He desired to make them a nation above all other nations and dwell in the midst of them, exercise His authority over all other nations through them and dispense His blessings to all other nations through them (Gen.12:1-3; 22:16-18; Exo.19:5-6; Isa.43:1, 7). In Gen.22:17 (Heb.11:12), God told Abraham; “…I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand” If we continue to study about this kingdom, we can understand that the coming glorious kingdom is a Dual Kingdom, consisting of an earthly part and a heavenly part. Even today, we have the visible earthly human rulers over every nation on this earth and the invisible Satan and his angels seated in the heavenly places are also exercising their authority over the whole earth (Eph.2:2, 6:12, John 12:31; Luke 4:5-6)

 

The earthly part of that kingdom – offered to the Jews

During the days of the Old Testament, God offered the earthly part of that kingdom to the nation of Israel. But they could not attain to this purpose because of their unbelief and disobedience (Heb.3:18-19). God continuously spoke to this nation through His servants, and called them to repentance. This is the same message given by all the prophets sent to the house of Israel. For example Isaiah pointed out to the sinful condition of the nation (Isa.1:4-6) and called them to repentance (Isa.1:16-19) and also clearly told them what will happen to them if they repent (Isa.1:25, 26. 2:2-4). If they repent, the earthly part of the kingdom will be given to them. Isaiah continued to give the same message and all the prophets gave this very same message. But the House of Israel not only refused to heed to the message and to repent but also killed and crucified some of the messengers and some of them were scourged in their synagogues and persecuted from city to city (Matt:23:33, 34). Even then, God has made an unchanging promise to the House of Israel that He will one day, definitely restore them to the earthly segment of that kingdom (Isa. 2:1-5; Jer.31:31-37; Ezek. 36:24-38; 37:21-28; 39:25-29; Dan.9:24-27; Amos 9:13-15).

 

The heavenly part of that kingdom – offered to the Jews

In the New Testament, starting with John the Baptist, the heavenly part of that kingdom was also offered to the House of Israel (Matt.3:1, 2). Then Christ and His disciples went to no other nation but only to the Jews with this very same message (Matt.4:17; 10:5-7; 15:24).

The message of Christ and His disciples to the house of Israel was that they should “repent” and submit to the authority of their Messiah so that they may be restored to the original purpose for which they were created (Acts 1:6; 3:19-21). But they not only refused to heed to their message but persecuted and tortured all of them and also killed some of them including their Messiah. Even in the Book of Acts, we see how God is making an earnest and final attempt to bring the Jews to repentance and submission to their Messiah. Till 70AD, i.e. as long as the Jews existed as a nation, God is sending His servants in every place, “first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles” (Rom.1:16; 2:9, 10; 3:26) calling them to repentance and submission to their Messiah (to be baptized in the name of Jesus). This is exactly what happened throughout the Book of Acts (Acts 13:46; 18:5, 6; 28:28, 29). The Jews continued to refuse to heed their call and also severely persecuted the messengers.

 

The heavenly part of that kingdom – offered to the church

Therefore, beyond the time of the Book of Acts, the nation of Israel was set aside and offer of the heavenly part of the kingdom has come to the church. Although this was foreseen in Matt.13:1; 21:43, it actually came to pass at the end of the Book of Acts, in 70AD when the Jews ceased to exist as a nation in their Promised Land. But on a future day, at the end of the tribulation period, all Israel will repent and be saved (Rom.11:26, 27) and will be regathered and restored to the earthly part of the coming kingdom.

Now, in the church, the heavenly part of the coming kingdom will be given to the overcomers, those who are willing to suffer for the Lord, those who yield to the will of the Lord in all matters and are transformed continually into His image and likeness Matt.5:19, 20; 7:21-23; 18:3; Rom.8:17.