|Mark 4 |
1 Now again he began to teach by the seaside; and such a great multitude gathered around him, that he entered onto a boat which sat in the sea, while the whole multitude was on the land next to the sea.
2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said to them in his teaching,
3 "Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.
4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it.
5 And some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and it immediately sprang up but it had no depth of earth.
6 So when the sun came up it was scorched; and because it had no root it withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and so it did not yield any fruit.
8 But others fell on good ground, and yielded fruit that sprang up and increased and produced, some thirty, some sixty, and some a hundred times."
9 And he said to them, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
10 Now when he was alone, those who were around him with the twelve asked him about the parable.
11 And he said to them, "To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all these things are told in parables;
12 'That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; otherwise they might turn, and repent and be sent away.'"1 [This verse seems to conflict with a loving God, which the footnote explains.]
13 And he said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How then will you know any of the parables?
14 The sower sows the word.2 [The Greek for word in this verse is logon <3056>, which in English means: 1) of speech; 1a) a word, uttered by a living voice, embodies a conception or idea; 1b) what someone has said. This does not refer to hearing the Bible read; instead it refers to hearing Jesus speak to you from within your heart. The Word of God is the name of Jesus, and there is a small measure of the Word and light in every man's heart, which is there so that we might hear it and obey it; that is the word of faith that the Apostles preached. John 1:1-4, John 1:7,9, Rev 19:13-16,Rom 10:8,17, Deu 30:10-14, Eph 4:21. The words we hear and receive with meekness are engrafted into our heart. James 1:21. The words he speaks to us are Spirit and impart the life of God to us. John 6:63.]
15 Some are the people along the path where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan comes immediately, and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.
16 Others are the ones like the seed sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with joy, [There is little-to-no joy when you hear someone read the Bible; but when you hear the Lord speak to you, you have great joy!]
17 But have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time; afterward, when affliction or persecution rises for the word's sake, they are immediately offended. [Every believer who takes up the inward cross of self-denial will eventually undergo a trial of their faith with affliction and persecution. Some will be offended and fall away, back into the world. "By your firm and patient endurance do you [possess] attain the true Life of your souls." Luke 21:19]
18 Others are like the seed sown among thorns, who hear the word,
19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
20 And there are those who are like seed sown on good ground, who hear the word and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirty fold, some sixty, and some a hundred times as much."
21 Then he said to them, "Is a lamp brought in to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? And not to be set on a lamp stand?
22 For there is nothing hidden, which will not be manifested; nor is anything kept secret, except that it should come to light.
23 If any man has ears to hear, let him hear."
24 And he said to them, "Take heed what you hear; with what measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.
25 For he who has, to him more will be given; and he who does not have, from him will be taken even that which he has."3
26 And he said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man sowed seed in the ground;
27 He sleeps and rises, night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows up, he does not know how.
28 For the earth brings forth fruit by itself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
29 But when the fruit is brought forth, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."
30 And he said, "To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or what parable shall we use to describe it?
31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is smaller than all the seeds on the earth,
32 But when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out great branches; so that the birds of the air may lodge under the shadow of it."4
33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. [The word he spoke, was the words he heard from the Spirit before he spoke; the word that is in our hearts and is heard to be obeyed. The word is not the Bible.]
34 But he did not speak to them without a parable; and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.
35 Now the same day, when the evening had come, he said to them, "Let us go over to the other side."
36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him along in the boat, just as he was. There were also other little boats with him.
37 And there arose a great wind storm, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was becoming filled.
38 Now he was in the back part of the boat, asleep on a pillow; and they awakened him, and said to him, "Master, do you not care that we perish?"
39 And he arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Peace, be still." And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40 And he said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?"
41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, "What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"
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1 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; otherwise they might turn, and repent and be sent away. This is one of the most curious verses in the Bible. The quoted verse in Isaiah 6:10 is they might repent and be healed.
This New Testament verse is typically translated as "forgiven," yet the original Greek for this verse has the word afeyh, which has nothing to do with forgiveness; instead it clearly means to be sent away. The translators had no clue how to resolve this complete tear in their doctrines, and so they chose a word that was compatible with their beliefs: forgiveness, which is closer to the "be healed" in the text of Matthew and Isaiah. However, if God didn't want people to receive forgiveness or be healed, they wouldn't, and there would be no necessity to keep them from hearing; there is no automatic healing or forgiving. So why is He speaking in parables to prevent them from hearing and repenting?
The correct translation: that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; otherwise they might turn, and repent and be sent away. " Sent away" is under His control, and makes more sense because even if they did hear and repent, He would still send them away. However, that brings up another question: why would the Lord not want certain people to understand his parables? And if they did understand and repent, why would He send them away? Everyone knows that God is a loving God and he is forgiving; "to be sent away" just doesn't sound like a loving God. We have scripture and teachings that seem to contradict this being sent away:
In the previous verse 11 to this one, the Lord has told us that through parables he is hiding the message of the gospel to those "outside." Why? Because unless the Lord first determines that a man has a love of truth by his responses to his quiet, anonymous pleadings to depart from evil, and unless the Lord has then given that man a hunger for God, then that man does not have the motivation necessary to continue on the cross to death of self. The Lord further explains in the Parable of the Sower immediately following this verse in Mark Because of afflictions and persecutions, or the cares of this world, or the deceitfulness of riches, or the lusts for other things, (verses 17 and 19 of Mark), he then stops his seeking God, failing to finish building the tower, (the temple inside of his heart); and then at his death he would be sent away to outer darkness. His time in outer darkness could be much longer and more difficult than if he had never heard; and in love of all men, God tries to spare us of this failure; he tries to spare those incapable of carrying their cross to death, who might turn, and repent and be sent away. Plus, a man's failure to bear the cross to death of self affects others who witness his failure, as Jesus described:
If any man comes to me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters — yes even his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
And whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost to see if he has the money to finish it?
Lest, after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will mock him,
Saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.' Luke 14:26-30
From the Word of the Lord within: "He will give root to those who seek him a third time. Until you look me in the face, and then return to sin, you can come back to me."
The problem is for those who fail to come back to him, or for those who have become so pure, they have looked him in the face and then returned to sin. After someone has tasted the power of God and goodness of the word of God, Jesus within them, should they return to the world, they will have betrayed the Just One within them. They will have sold Jesus for money, or pleasures, or possessions, or the approval of men; just as Judas sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Jesus, speaking of Judas said, "woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born." Matt 26:24. George Fox also stated in Letter 25 and Letter 211 that any of the early Quakers who had started in the true way and returned to the ways of the world or the deficit sects, would suffer a similar fate.
All you that have known the way of truth, and tasted of the power of the same, and now turn back into the world's fashions and customs, you stop those who are coming out of the world, you make them to stumble at the truth, you make them to question the way of the Lord, which is out of the way of the world, and its ways; and you grieve the righteous, and sadden the hearts of the upright and simple. You had better never have known the way of light, life, and power; you are the cause of many keeping in darkness; you are the cause of the boasting of the wicked, and make the wicked to take you for an example, and their object against truth, and them that live in it, to plead against its ways.
And you who are turned from the light, with which Jesus Christ has enlightened you, and turn to the hireling priests who are changeable,from the priest who never changes, you walk in Judas' steps, and woe will be your end; you had better never have been born, you are betrayers of the righteous;
Similarly we are counseled: Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and so be identified with those who miss the mark, 1 Tim 5:22. When you are completed and walking in the kingdom of God, you may have the power to transmit the beginning measure of the Holy Spirit to individuals by laying on of your hands. The caution here is to wait and be sure you are led by the Spirit before doing so; otherwise the person on whom your lay hands may return to sin, which would disgrace the way and the truth, and that person would be worse off than if they had never heard the way of truth.
Only God knows who is capable of bearing the cross to death of their sinful nature, and God draws those men. The parables only appeal to those whom God has drawn, and only those who have been drawn will seek to understand the parables.
A fair question would be: "then why are parables now being clearly explained to everyone in this web site?" The web site is a voice in the wilderness of the internet, one of millions of web sites. The only people who have arrived at this point in the site, are those who have a strong hunger for God, those whom he has drawn and given the hunger to seek Him. So, the site speaks to those on the "inside" not the "outside." Those on the "outside" read a few sentences of this site and flee to sites that support the lies their itching ears have embraced.
2 The sower sows the word. This parable is how the spoken word of God, from within a man, is listened to and heard. These words are teachings and commands from within the heart of a man, the word of God in the heart, that is heard and produces faith. Some are heard by the disinterested and immediately stolen by Satan, to become of no effect. Some commands and teachings are lost when people resent the heat of afflictions and persecutions, which all who are determined to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer. Some are lost due to the cares, lust for money, and lure of the pleasures of the world —choking them out to be forgotten and unpracticed. But some are received in a sincere heart, which continues to obey the teachings; such obedient people then produce fruit — the fruit of the Spirit: love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control, etc. Jesus also next said to them: Take heed what you hear; with what measure you use, it shall be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.
Who is the sower that sows the seed, and who is speaking the word of God? It obviously is the Holy Spirit, whom is promised by Jesus to guide us into all truth and teach us all things. Now, since the Holy Spirit is the sower, do you think he is reading scriptures to people? Or if you think the Holy Spirit teaches you when you read the Bible, ask yourself this: 1) How can you learn all things and all truth by reading the Bible? All things and all truth are not in the Bible. 2) If you can learn from the Holy Spirit by reading the Bible, why, with millions of people reading the Bible every day, are there 41,000 different sects in Christendom today, each with a different opinion as to what the Bible means; when the purpose of the Holy Spirit is one faith, all to be in the unity of the Spirit? Clearly the sower is the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is speaking words to his listeners in their hearts, in complete recognition of their individual characteristics and requirements, in language that is tailored to each listener, in regard to subjects and mysteries that are not included in scriptures. Clearly the word of God, who is the spirit of Christ in your heart, is not scriptures.
3 Take heed what you hear; with what measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. Not what you hear someone reading. Not to hear your preacher, speaking from his carnal mind, which is enmity with God; but what you hear the Lord speak to you. The Spirit of God visits every man, gently reasoning with him to change his ways. Today, if you hear his voice from heaven, do not harden your hearts. Hebrews 4:7. See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. For if they did not escape when they refused him who spoke on earth, how much more will we be liable, if we turn away from him who speaks from heaven? Hebrews 12:25. And if you wish to please God, you must go to him; you must wait on him — listen silently, with the humility of a sinner in need of his changing power — grace. The only way to spiritual progress is to hear and obey. Surely he loves the people; all your holy ones are in your power. And they sit at your feet, each receiving your words. Deu 33:3.
The Lord's voice is kind, gentle, pure, easily understood, easily accepted, peaceable, complete, morally correct, encouraging — never with even a hint of sarcasm, bitterness, or condemnation — never incomplete, leaving you guessing what he wants; instead His words are full of love itself — his spirit of Love — for he is Love. He will tell you things about Himself. He will encourage you. He is kindness. He will tell or show you things about yourself; some will be things that are ugly. But since he is your friend, you know that he is showing them to you for your own good. So you listen and watch. And you don't run; stand before the Son of Man. And you repent of what he shows you. And sometimes he gives you commands. You are hearing the Word of God, the living Word. And hopefully you will obey his commands and show him you love him by being obedient.
So wait, watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey.
4 the kingdom of heaven is like the grain of mustard-seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is smaller than all the seeds on the earth. But when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out great branches; so that the birds of the air may lodge under the shadow of it. Mark 4:30-32. So, in the beginning of your seeking the kingdom within, it is smaller than the tares of the world, which are the lusts, pride, worries, cares, and pleasures. But, if the seed of God's kingdom is watered and fed, it grows to be the largest of all; this seed is watered and fed through seeking the Lord, through silent waiting for him, through listening for his voice, hearing his teachings and commands, and obeying them as directed from God.
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