Mystery of the Kingdom
The Paramount Parable
The parable of the sower, upon which this book is based, may very well be the most important of all the parables of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus indicated it was necessary to understand this parable in order to understand all His other parables: “Do you not understand this parable? And how will you understand all the parables?” (Mk. 4:13). This comment demonstrated the importance of this parable.
Why would this particular parable rank above all the others in importance?
The Law of Reciprocity
There are two major reasons this parable is so important. The first is that it is based upon one of the most important and fundamental Laws of the Kingdom of God — the Law of Sowing and Reaping, or the Law of Reciprocity. Simply defined, this Law provides that in due season one will reap what he has sown in multiplied return.
God established this Kingdom Law upon the Earth following the great flood at the time of Noah. Promising to never again destroy every living thing and to never again curse the ground, God established the Law of Sowing and Reaping, saying, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest…shall not cease” (Gen. 8:21,22).
This Law, however, is not limited to physical procreation, but extends in the spiritual realm to “whatever a man sows, this he will also reap” (Gal. 6:7). So that, a person reaps in kind, according to what he sows. The nature of the harvest, in other words, is determined by the nature of the seed which is sown. The Law will work whether the seed sown is good or bad seed.
Likewise, the amount of the harvest is determined by the amount of the seed sown. It will be a multiplied return directly proportionate to the amount of seed sown: “he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully” (2 Cor. 9:6).
The operation of the entire Kingdom of God is based on this Law of Sowing and Reaping. God Himself operated this principle in order to reap a bountiful harvest of children born of His Spirit. He sowed His only begotten Son as a Seed. He died a sacrificial death and was buried in the bowels of the earth, planted as a Seed. Concerning this very act, Jesus said of Himself, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn. 12:24).
When the seeds are planted in the ground, however, that is not the end of them, but rather the beginning. They will in due season rise from the ground in multiplied yield.
Praise God, that is exactly the way it happened in the case of Jesus. God sacrificed His only Seed. He died, and His physical body was “buried” in the earth, yet His Spirit descended even deeper into Hell. But, Hallelujah, that was not the end as Satan and his diabolical cohorts thought, it was the beginning. On the third day, He rose again as the “first-fruits” of many brethren. God sowed one Seed, and reaped a multiplied bountiful harvest of Sons of God!
The only way to reap a harvest is to sow some seed. This is the spiritual Law of the Kingdom of God which also governs this earth. As long as the earth remains, this Law will remain in effect.
The key to understanding the parable of the sower, which Jesus said is necessary in order to understand all the other parables concerning the operation of the Kingdom of God, is to remember that everything in the Kingdom operates through this Law of Sowing and Reaping.
Mystery of the Kingdom Revealed
The other reason Jesus ranked this parable of the sower above all the others is that it reveals “the mystery of the Kingdom of God,” that is, how the Kingdom of God and its fruit is reproduced in people. This parable, in fact, reveals the step by step formula by which the Kingdom of God is reproduced in believers. After Jesus conveyed the parable, the disciples questioned Him about it because they had not fully understood it. Prefacing His explanation, He said:
To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God; but those who are outside get everything in parables, in order that while hearing, they may hear and not understand lest they return again and be forgiven. (Mk. 4:11,12)
Jesus intimates here that the “mystery of the Kingdom of God” is about to be revealed to the disciples, the “insiders.” He says that those who are not His disciples were “outsiders,” and so they were only given obscure parables. Jesus demonstrated that, when asked, He would, then and now, explain His parables to those who have become true learners and followers, while to those outside the Kingdom they remain enigmatic and incomprehensible conundrums. All of the mystery of the Kingdom of God, you see, is concealed in Christ Jesus (Col. 2:2,3), purposely, and cannot be understood by the unregenerate mind. There is a veil that lies over the carnal mind preventing it from perceiving the Truths of the Kingdom. That veil is only removed in Christ when a person turns to Jesus as his or her Lord: “whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away” (2 Cor. 3:14-16).
The principles and precepts of the Kingdom of God are indeed veiled to the unregenerate, and are a mystery to those who are outside the Kingdom. But they are in no wise hidden to those inside the Kingdom, the true Born Again Children of God, despite the misleading statements of misinformed people based on Old Covenant Scripture to the effect: “Well, you know, God is so mysterious, and His ways are past finding out.”
Those dear hearts need to read the New Testament, wherein is revealed the Good News that God has made a new covenant with the Born Again Children of God, a covenant based on “better promises,” in which He reveals the entire mystery of the Kingdom to the beneficiaries.
You see, the New Testament, or New Will, is the revelation of the mystery of the Kingdom of God. A “Testament” is a “will.” Once a will has been read, it is no longer “a mystery,” that is — “concealed knowledge.” Then, it is “revealed knowledge or Truth.” Which is precisely what the New Testament of the Word of God is — the revealed Truth of the Kingdom of God:
…the word of God, that is, the mystery, which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; has now been manifested to his saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Col. 1:25-27)
Paul says the mystery of the Kingdom of God, which had been hidden from all the previous ages and generations, has now been manifested, or revealed, to the saints, that is to say, believers. He said God Himself “willed” to make even “the riches of the glory of this mystery” known to the saints.
Then, he reveals that the mystery of the Kingdom of God is Jesus Christ Himself, living in the saints. He reiterates that in the second chapter of Colossians, saying, “God’s mystery, that is Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:2,3).
Praise God, the Will has been read, and the mystery revealed. God has willed to reveal all there is to know about His Kingdom and Himself to His children. As Paul declared, “He made known to us the mystery of His will” (Eph. 1:9). The writers of the New Testament by inspiration of the Holy Spirit have unveiled and revealed to us the mystery, “which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit” (Eph. 3:5). The revelation of that mystery is the substance of the New Testament.
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul speaks of this “mystery” as “God’s wisdom,” — “the hidden wisdom,” which he says is revealed to believers through the Holy Spirit:
but we speak God’s Wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered into the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.” For to us God revealed them through the spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God. (1 Cor. 2:7-2)
God greatly desires to reveal Himself and all of the “mysteries” of the Kingdom to true disciples. Those outside the Kingdom will continue to get everything in obscure parables. But, just as Jesus gladly explained the meaning of His parables to the disciples when they asked Him, He will do the same for disciples of today.
The word “disciple” literally means “a learner.” If you are willing to learn of Jesus and the “secrets” of His Kingdom, He will be willing to teach you. You must be willing to learn in order to receive revelation knowledge of God.
This is precisely what Jesus was doing through the medium of the parable of the sower – giving revelation knowledge concerning the Kingdom of God. In this parable, He unveiled the mystery of the Kingdom of God and how it is reproduced in believers.
All this we have examined in this chapter is some insight as to why this particular parable is so important. In the next chapter we will examine the actual significance of this paramount parable of Jesus.