The Mustard Plant, Leaven In The Meal.

To refresh your memory, here are the relevant Bible verses;

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- Matt ch13:v11-17
Mat 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Mat 13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Mat 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Mat 13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
Mat 13:15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Mat 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
Mat 13:17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. (KJV)

The primacy of God's word is the underlying theme of Matthew's Gospel, and Jesus' own teaching here confirms it. If someone receives their faith from another, and is converted would God wish the newbie to follow his ministers teaching and be spoon-fed their doctrine? Jesus taught in parables because those that rely on others for explanation and understanding do not have that special connection one finds with God through study of the scriptures. Though they go to church or watch some Christian TV channel or listen to the radio, what they hear may comfort them, help them out and keep them content, but without their own study to bring them into deeper understanding, they miss the whole point. By seeing they don't perceive, by hearing they don't understand.

This is not just an indictment of "slackers", it is a reflection on the very nature of the old covenant. The Holy Spirit was given to the prophets, and was within the works of God in answer to the prayers of his people. A few other examples such as of priests and of course, King David also had a prophetic anointing. - The general rule was that teachers taught, the majority listened. This situation led to the screw ups of tradition and legalism preached by a few that Jesus clearly labelled "whited sepulchres". This is not the way forward for the new covenant when all are called to be teachers, ministers, prophets and heirs of the kingdom. New wine in new bottles.

Moving on;

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- Matt ch13:v24-30
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.
Mat 13:26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
Mat 13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
Mat 13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
Mat 13:29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. (KJV)

Jesus explanation of this parable is later on in the same chapter, so I will not presume you do not remember the identities within the explanation. Most people may assume that "tares" are people who join up not knowing they are dupes of satan. This has been the case where people are happy to look down on other denominations or races or minorities as "inferior". It took me a while to admit that pointing the finger at catholics, homosexuals or any "heretical" group as tares was daft. It was never my right to judge. Anyone who reads the bible and sits completely convinced that their lifestyle, tradition, doctrine, church or "whatever" puts them in no continuous threat of judgement is fortunate indeed. - By not judging I then neither waste my time preaching to the converted or concern myself with the unrepentant. - If they ignored the bible, they'll ignore me.

The problem with most of these groups that people have labelled as tares, is that quite a lot of them may indeed be so. I can't judge on an individual basis. Anyone who pours out their heart to God over the scriptures when they feel convicted of these choices and desire the mercy that is available to them is my brother, my sister and my mother. Those that listen to the soothing voice of their pastors or priests or prophets that assure them everything is fine when it isn't, are the real tares, along with the bastard lying to them.

Again, moving on;

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- Matt ch13:v31-34
Mat 13:31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
Mat 13:32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
Mat 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
Mat 13:34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: (KJV)

A mustard seed is a small thing, and not surprisingly it grows into a small plant. It never becomes a huge tree. If the genuine believers filled with the Holy Spirit become the minority, and the rate of exchange from teachers to listeners, gets out of balance, we can imagine the image of the tree to represent a huge bloated organisation where we have say 30,000 people all relying upon a select few for their spiritual health. (Thus branching in a confused yet apparently upward cascade.) Even small congregations have those dear people we think of as "the go to guys".

The leaven (yeast) added to the meal (grain) is a perfect partner to the mustard tree example. You don't add yeast to act upon grain, you add it to act upon dough. the yeast then acts with the moisture on the dough and it rises. Yeast is actually not a plant or animal, it is a mould. adding leaven to meal may seem like preparation along the lines of self-raising flour, but if all the meal becomes leavened (acted upon) it can then not be made into bread afterwards. Mouldy grain is fit for nothing.

Likewise adding the yeast too early is certain to be trouble when it comes to making the dough - it has preceeded its proper use with "misconceptions". Believers need to remove every expectation thay have of God from their desires before they can begin to understand the true meaning of the gospel; that God is sovereign and that which separates us from God is our preconceived expectations of Him toward us, rather than merely our faults which are actually a result of not understanding the righteous expectation of God for our proper behaviour. Such an example of leaven added too early would be the early "church" then leavened by Pharisees zealous of the law.

From comparison with other NT books, birds are not a good sign prophetically speaking; (they are often used to represent unclean spirits) so also is a bloated church with as many liars at the top as bottom, haunted by unclean spirits and rotten through. (So that the purpose of Father, Son and Holy Spirit are circumvented, even removed in this system.) It is an image we perhaps see everywhere but in our own back yard. Paul and company taught the end would not come unless there had come a falling away first. Where did they get this doctrine? Jesus Christ quite plainly taught just that.

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