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The Kingdom and the World

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
September 7, 2021 4:00 am

The Kingdom and the World

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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September 7, 2021 4:00 am

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To set our thinking in motion we need to be reminded that the Lord is the king of the earth as the Old Testament tells us that God is King of the universe that the earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof so we affirm that Jesus Christ is the king of this or half-hour John will unpack the parable of the wheat and the tares.

Surprisingly, this parable is among the most misunderstood and misapplied portions of Scripture. Even though Jesus explains exactly what it means.

Why is that how can there be so many wrong interpretations of this parable. Well, as John takes you through this memorable story today.

He's going to help you learn how to avoid common errors and ensure that you understand the meaning of the text is study is called the parables of the kingdom. So turn if you will, to the book of Matthew. And here's John we come now to the 13th chapter of Matthew, I trust that you have your Bible ready in your mind is open your heart available to the Lord because we have some marvelous marvelous things that God will show us as we look at the second parable in Matthew 13 and it is a parable about judgment. A parable about judgment to set our thinking in motion we need to be reminded that the Lord is the king of the earth the Lord Jesus Christ is the ruler over this earth as the Old Testament tells us that God is King of the universe that the earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof, that the most high rules in the kingdom of men so we affirm that Jesus Christ is the king of this earth. Within that kingdom. The Lord Jesus obviously allows Satan a certain amount of freedom. He allows sinners a certain amount of freedom and yet over it all, he is still the king, he is still ruling every phase of human history, then marks some facet of the rulership of Jesus Christ. The rulership of God in the world. There is no period of time when the kingdom of God is not in effect on the earth of God mediates his rule on the earth through men. Initially, God mediated his rule on earth through Adam. Adam was his agent, Adam was his vice regent if you will. And then there were the patriarchs, through God, through whom God mediated his rule and then the monarchs and then the priests and the prophets, and then the incarnate Lord Jesus Christ, and in a very real sense of God mediated his will and his rule through the apostles who overlapping with Jesus Christ. In the early church were the very source by which God brought revelation to man about his kingdom there is coming a future time when God will again bring his rule to earth as mediated through the living exalted glorified incarnate Lord Jesus Christ and that we know is the millennial kingdom and then finally the earth and heaven will be merged in the eternal kingdom. When the universal kingdom in the mediated kingdom on earth become one in the same. The Bible delineates very clearly. All of these elements of God's rule in the earth, and there is one more that we left out in our little recounting their and that is the period of time from the rejection of Christ to the return of Christ, the age in which we live that to his rule by Jesus Christ. This too is a form of his kingdom.

The Bible designates it in the New Testament as a mystery form that which was not seen in the Old Testament that which was not revealed in the Old Testament that period of time.

Not really delineated but now through the New Testament teaching of our Lord and particularly the expanded teaching of the apostle Paul clearly defined for us.

We are living in that era. Jesus in Matthew 13 tells us what it will be like. He defines for us in seven parables the character the extent the value and the consummation of this. Known as the mystery form of the kingdom. God is mediating his rule on the earth through his church through believers indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Now the disciples didn't see this period of time, as the prophets of old didn't see it either.

So when the Messiah arrived they thought immediately, he would establish his kingdom. And when he established his kingdom immediately. All the rebels and unbelievers would be destroyed and holiness would fill the earth and righteousness would fill the earth and the kingdom would be as it was predicted to be by the prophets of old and so they were always concerned about the kingdom and its character and its power and its consummation even after Jesus died on the cross. They were still curious about the kingdom. That's all he ever talk to them about really. Before his death, it was the kingdom and after his resurrection was more about the kingdom and it led them to ask him in the first chapter of acts in verse six Lord will thou at this time restore the kingdom. Is this the time to which he replied is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the father has put into his own power. That's not your business, they were always concerned about the kingdom. He said it's not for you know but the angel said this same Jesus was taken up from you shall so come in like manner as you've seen him go. The kingdom will come. They said but it won't come until he comes back in its fullness the kingdom you are looking for the kingdom of glory and righteousness and absolute holiness. The kingdom where the Lord Jesus rules with a rod of iron, and tolerates no evil that kingdom, that is not fully anticipated by the prophets awaits his return. But in the meantime, there is a form of the kingdom, and that form is described as the mystery.

This is very hard for the disciples I think you understand because they didn't see this, they only saw the full and glorious consummation. Now I can only help you to understand and probably not fully understand what a devastating truth, this would be to the disciples they saw no such form of the kingdom. No such mingled kingdom.

No such kingdom with good and bad tolerated. They didn't see that they saw a kingdom of righteousness, but kingdom of the holy glory where unbelievers were devastatingly judged and punished, put out destroyed they saw what Barclay calls a new and stainless humanity being brought into existence in the kingdom and the enemies being destroyed.

So having heard the first parable.

They probably would've thought to themselves, well, there's going to be then three kinds of projectors and one kind of true and genuine fruit bearing soil what's going to happen to the reject I can think it in my own mind. They must've been saying in those blasphemous Pharisees in chapter 12, who accused Jesus of being of Satan what to do what's happened to the reject. I think I get it I get blasted away and that they had good reason to think that because they been listening, no doubt to the instruction that came from the mouth of John the Baptist who said when he comes, he will baptize you with fire and fire being symbolic of judgment is fan is in his hand. He will purge the floor he'll gather the wheat to the granary and burn the chaff with unquenchable fire and here's John the Baptist. The immediate forerunner of Jesus Christ and he doesn't even see this interim. Here is the immediate forerunner saying when he gets there is going to be fire and burning up of all the chaff and only the wheat will be kept so is very obvious that they would've thought this and so the immediate problem. The disciples have his luck. If three kinds of people in this world are going to believe, are you gonna blow them away right on the spot.

Is this the time and very likely in acts 16 when they said it is this the time you restore the kingdom. They were really saying is this the time you're going to blast away the unbelievers. Is this the time for their devastating judgment. That's really what they're asking so the Lord needs to explain to them, then what he's going to do with the unbelievers who are in the earth during this mystery form of the king, and he does that in parable number two.

He answers their question. What happens to unbelievers during this age and that parable begins in verse 24 of Matthew 13 and again I confess to you that with infinite omniscience.

That's redundant in itself, but I don't know any other way to emphasize it.

Does the Lord Jesus Christ tell a simple story. The truth of which is absolutely infinite. I made up my mind was bursting my I couldn't even keep up with myself. I get one great thought and no sooner did I get another thought would push it out and I'll never recover. I lost all the greatest thoughts probably it was coming so fast and furious. There is so much in this parable and I am only going to scratch the surface but let's look at three things. The narration, the interpretation, the application and we need no more outline than that because the story carries it so verse 24 another parable put he forth under them, saying, the kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man who sowed good seed in his field. Now this is a parable that about the kingdom of heaven, and that synonymous with the kingdom of God. The kingdom ruled by God from heaven. What form of it. The mystery form, but it even extends beyond that, in a sense, it certainly what is taught in this parable is true of the past and will also be true even of the millennial. So it's a rather sweeping perspective, but it's a parable about God's rule on earth during this period. And he likens this to a man who sowed good seed in his field. Now this man owns the field his field. Keep that in mind is not borrowing the field. It's his field and he shows good seed, not mediocre cedar average seed but good seed really good seed then verse 25.

While men slept in. This indicates that he had accrued helping must've been a wealthy man. He had a lot of folks helping them with the sewing and they were sleeping doesn't because they were lazy, it's because it was night, a man who works hard as the right and the privilege to enjoy his sleep and so at night. His enemy came and sowed tares they knew it as a Darnell, which is the common term for it rather than tears, but he sows Darnell's among the wheat and the word among there is a very strong Greek expression. I mean, he sold them all throughout and then went his way and he said what in the world is this guy doing well. It tells us he was an enemy and 1 Good Way to ruin a man's crop is to saw his field full of weeds say they do that very often, enough so that the Roman government had a law against it, which prescribed a certain kind of punishment.

If you did that that was a really great way to ruin your neighbor just over so is field with weeds that is exactly what this enemy did and then he's stole off into the night.

He went his way. He was us several man who operated in stealth and secrecy and he did an awful thing. Verse 26 says when the blade was sprung up and brought forth fruit when the head appeared, then appeared the Darnell. Also, it became obvious at one point in the growth that this was not wheat so the servants these are the men who no doubt worked for the man came and said Sir it's not thou sow good seed and I feel from where then have to tear another shot and they wouldn't of been shocked if there were just a few of these Darnell's because they were common to the area. It's a grassy kind of weed and it grows wherever it wants to grow and it wouldn't of been shocked if there were a few of them because they always had a few weeds in the crop that they had a deal with but they were shocked because the whole thing was full of their and he said here's where it came from verse 28. An enemy is done it. And so the servants wanting to defend the crop in their master in their own livelihood as well said Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up. Now we can recognize them now because the heads of mature we can tell the difference. It the color was even different. They were a slate gray color by now and so they said we can tell, the plot will go through the field. I will tear them up, but he said nay there were so full in the field and so close to the wheat. He says you your libel and gathering up the Darnell's to route up the wheat with them. So don't do anything verse 30. Let them grow together till the harvest and the time of the harvest.

When that comes I'll tell the reapers to gather the Darnell's bind them in bundles to burn them and gather the wheat into my barn. Now that's the narration very simple story easy to understand but what is it mean will that's what the disciples wanted to know. Look at verse 36 and later on after he's given a couple of other parables in between. It's time to explain the parables and as we learn from the other Gospels. He explained all of them to them because they on their own could not fully understand the but verse 36 is Jesus sent the multitude away so he takes them apart from the rest just the disciples went back into the house.

What house the house he came out of very likely Simon Peter's house in Capernaum. They would back in the house. The disciples came and they asked explained to us the parable of the Darnell's of the field. They wanted to know that now they're back in the house just those apostles and Mark 410 says those who also followed them are believed.

So the only people there are the believers. They're the only ones that get an explanation. And that's the way it is. God only reveals his truth to his own and he answers their question. I note the question they asked, they identify the story he doesn't he doesn't give it a title they did the title they gave. It was the parable of the Darnell so they knew that was the main feature they knew the story was about those things that didn't belong in the field and how in the end they were going to get burned up. They knew that that was the feature that they attached importance to so after they are together and they asked the question the Lord answers the question and they really needed an answer because of the confusion over the form of the kingdom in which they were existing so he explains the what's going to happen to the Darnell's. Those that aren't wheat but look at the interpretation verse 37 he answered and said he that sows the good seed is the Son of Man. I was a Son of Man, Christ. Christ is the Son of Man.

That's his common title for himself uses that more than any other title referred to himself. In fact, only one time in the New Testament is that phrase ever used by anybody else of him every other time. It's his phrase for himself and he uses it because it identifies him in his incarnation. It identifies him in his humanness. It identifies him as he truly participates in our life and identifies him to be all that a man could be the perfect man and identifies him as the second Adam. The representative of the race is his unique incarnation term, but it is also messianic in Daniel 713.

The Messiah is said to be called the Son of Man, so he is identifying himself as the Messiah, God incarnate in that title. It's a marvelous time and so we see that the sower is the Lord Jesus Christ. He's the farmer, sowing the seed now. What is Astellas are some lessons here were to get some lessons as we go through it tells us that the Lord is sowing seed where in his field in his field. Now if you'll notice it says in verse 38 the field is the world so the Lord is sowing seed in the world and may I hasten to add that the world is his field that belongs to him. He is sovereign.

He is monarch he is king of the earth. He holds in his hand.

The title deed, even though he hasn't really laid claim to it fully as he will in Revelation 6 when he unrolled the scroll.

That's a title deed to the earth and takes back. It is his.

Nonetheless, it is his. Nonetheless, and all creation. By the way, grooms doesn't Romans eight waiting for him to take possession of what is rightly his.

So we see then the Lord is sowing seed in the world which belongs to him. It's his field gets his kingdom honey made it did me any planet Adam and Eve. It then Satan came along and usurped everything but it still his. He created and he will reclaim it and it says in the meantime so the Son of Man, the Lord Jesus Christ sows in his own field and was he so well, it says the good seed are the children of the kingdom.

What this means is that the Lord puts the children of the kingdom in the world.

Very simple. You'd be amazed how complex people amid this parable. I've heard people what most commentators that I read I read probably 20 different books on this particular passage. Most of them said the field is the church and that the in the church, the wheat and the tears grow together and you've all heard that that's been the common interpretation.

Jesus said in verse 38 the field is the world London seem to difficult doesn't say when you have to interpret what he meant no he just interpret what he meant it. First of all, the field was a field, just the field with a guy someone and they said the field means the world and now you say, but the world means the church so males might come along. Next generation say the church means the Baptist Church in next generation, the means Baptist Church in the corner. You can't do that. You just leave it where it is the Lords of the field is the world and he knows the word church and if you want to use it and used it field is the world what is it saying God sows his children of his kingdom throughout the world.

Now the disciples could handle that shirt to be an earthly kingdom.

Got to put his people all around the world will have a problem with that, by the way, if you make it to church. You will wind up with such chaos and trying to interpret the parable that it's hopeless because later on when the servant say can we pull out the Darnell's and the Lord says don't pull them out, let them grow together.

If that's the church than we have no right to church discipline. We have no right to expose a heretic with no right to deal with the sin and that's not what the epistles tell us if you make this field, the church, you really got problems. Leave it the way Jesus interpreted it's the world. So you have believing people, not by the way, that phrase children of the kingdom is marvelous phrase where children of the kingdom where the subjects of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have been planted in the world is world. This is a picture not of the world and the church but of the church in the world and we are placed within the world system.

We who genuinely love the king who genuinely affirm his Lordship who truly are subjects of his sovereignty. We are planted in the world. That's a great thought, you know that were not here by accident we are planted by the Lord in that great in the place he wants us in the world that also tells me that were not to be out of the world were not to be off in a monastery somewhere in a cubicle. But when I called to do that when I called isolate ourselves. We been planted in the world. So in this kingdom were going to be supplanted.

All throughout the world and were therefore many reasons. First of all, were there to be matured by the trouble the world gives us right first Peter 510 after you've suffered a little while, the Lord will make you perfect in this world you will have tribulation to be of good cheer. John 1633. I have overcome the world. And James said that that trial in that trouble and those things that happen in the world are what mature you and build you up, so the Lord classes there so that we can develop the also classes there. You ready for this so that we can influence so that we can influence now. A parable can only go so far and then it breaks down is an analogy of spiritual truth, and this is the point at which it breaks down. But I will introduce the thought where in the world influence for good.

The Darnell's or the tear. Did you know that everybody was wheat was once tears drew we were all bad seed before we got converted right somebody say will know if you take this in a Calvinistic predestination since we were planet is good seed. We just grew is good seed no-no. No matter what you believe about the sovereignty of God.

No matter what you believe about predestination.

We are all bad from the beginning so the Lord puts us in the world not only to be perfected and to be matured by the pressure that it brings, but to influence the tears into becoming weak like we did our redemption must be at work and that's why Jesus said in John 17. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that when they're in the world it is keep them from what the Lord can't take them out were supposed to be in the world that's John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary, helping you understand your role in the lives of both believers and the lost the title of his current study here on grace to you. The parables of the kingdom. Now while we have a minute here. We want to let you know about the latest volume in a classic series of books by John and of course John. When I saved the latest volume. It's worth mentioning that this book is both brand-new and in a way, it's not brand-new yeah this is a wonderful wonderful new opportunity really a new direction for grace to you many years ago.

We produce study guides and then decades of gone by we we haven't produce them. But we've gone back to them and really launched our study guides.

The first one was couple months back tremendous response to that and now were launching the second study guide the believer's armor. Now here's the good news about this. This is free to anyone who has never contacted us before we tell you little about the study guides.

It began early in 1980 we produce dozens of these study guides. They were softcover paperback books that corresponded to the sermon series on the radio so you could listen and follow along with the outline that was given to you in the little book of each sermon was covered in 15 to 20 pages included a lengthy section of questions at the end to reinforce the lesson in these little booklets were designed for individual study or maybe group Bible study discipleship one-on-one. Whatever the publishing rights to the study guides have reverted back to us and we decided let's just reintroduce them to a brand-new generation. We are really thankful to be able to do this and as I said the second of the relaunch study guides has now been published.

It's called the believer's armor and it's based of course on that passage in Ephesians 6, special offer. If you've never been in touch with us before we will send you a free copy of the new believers armor study guide help you to understand what spiritual warfare in your life is all about. So request your free copy right away were hoping to get it so you can use this study guide next month when we air the believers armor on this broadcast take advantage of this free offer. If you've never been in touch with us before and by the way anybody else already on removing this, you can order one from ministry for a very reasonable price. Yes, this resource can help you clearly see the amazing resources God gives you for living a life of victory, joy, and obedience. It also shows you how God's people withstood Satan in the past and how you can do the same to pick up a copy of the believers armor study guide. It's free if it's your first time contacting us. Get in touch today. You can call our toll-free number 855 grace or go to our website TTY.org.

The believers armor study guide includes questions at the end of each section that will help facilitate deeper study discussion, then the application is ideal for either personal or group study again. Will send you the believers armor study guide for free. If you've never contacted us before call 855 grace or go to TTY.and when you visit TTY.org. Make sure to take advantage of the thousands of free resources available, including grace stream.

That's a continuous loop of John MacArthur sermons from Matthew through Revelation, it takes a couple of months to get through all of them and then the sermons repeat whether you have 15 minutes to listen or a couple of hours, jump into the grace stream today and anytime for verse by verse encouragement from the New Testament, you'll find grace stream@tty.org now for John MacArthur on Phil Johnson encouraging you to be here tomorrow when Don looks at how God's enemies attack his kingdom, men, how you should defend yourself.

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