May 10, 2006 ÓHomer Kizer
Commentary — From the Margins
Good Seed in a Field of Tares
The same day that Jesus asked, ‘“Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’” (Matt 12:48), indicating movement from physical family [birth parent & siblings] to spiritual family [those disciples who do the will of the Father], Jesus also related two parables that are central to understanding what has occurred and what is occurring within the Body of Christ, the Church. Thus, days, now, before the May 19th worldwide release of the movie The Da Vinci Code, directed by Ron Howard and based on the best-selling novel, understanding these parables is the challenge Christendom faces, a challenge central to the schism between the two spiritual sons of Isaac that will be born of promise when the seven endtime years of tribulation begin.
The Apostle Paul begins an allegorical interpretation of Hagar and Sarah in the 4th chapter of Galatians. He identifies Hagar with Mount Sinai in Arabia (vv. 24-25), and with present-day Jerusalem. He then identifies disciples with Isaac, saying that they are children of promise and that the children of the slave shall not inherit with the son of the free woman. He stops his allegory where he stops in history, but the allegory itself continues: to the free woman is born a son, who marries within his family and to whom sons are also born by promise (Gen 25:21). And about these two sons, the elder is hated [disrespected] by God while the son is still in Rebekah’s womb whereas the younger is loved (Mal 1:2-3 & Rom 9:8-12). Both sons are of promise; both sons are of Isaac; and both sons represent Christendom in the womb the last Eve. And within the same context the Apostle Paul says that from the same lump of clay, the potter creates one vessel for honored [special] usage, and one vessel for dishonorable [ordinary] usage. One son will be born to the last Eve for honored service, one for dishonorable service; one will be born loved, one hated even though neither will have, at its birth, any sin reckoned against it.
In the parable of the sower (Matt 13:1-9), seed is scattered on the path, on stony soil, among the weeds, and on good soil where it brings forth a hundredfold, sixty-fold, thirty-fold increase. The seed scattered on the path corresponds to the seed that brings forth a hundredfold increase, and as the seed on the path does nothing (i.e., has no growth, but is snatch away before it sprouts), the correspondence itself [the fruit of both seeds added together] equals a hundredfold increase. Therefore, in order of presentation, the seed sown on rocky ground corresponds with the seed on good soil that brings forth a sixty-fold increase, and the seed sown among the thorns corresponds with the seed on good soil that brings forth a thirty-fold increase. The seed on rocky ground sprouts, grows, but has no root, so when faced with persecution or tribulation, the stalk of grain dies. Likewise, the seed sown among thorns sprouts, grows large, but the cares of this world chokes the word, and the stalk of grain dies. And each of these correspondences equals a hundredfold increase; thus, the seed on stony soil would have brought forth a forty-fold increase if it had not died, and the seed sown among thorns would have brought forth a seventy-fold increase if the cares of the world had not prevented it from ripening. So contained within the parable is a warning to endure to the end, that doing good works in the name of Jesus and making many disciples isn’t enough if later on persecution or the cares of this world can separate the person from Christ—but nothing can separate those disciples whom the Father foreknew, predestined, called and justified from the love of Christ (Rom 8:29-39). Yet persecution and the cares of this world will separate some disciples from Christ.
Scripture doesn’t contradict itself: what is at work is the global condition of two sons being born of promise to the last Eve, both still in the womb but one already hated [or not respected] and one loved. Christians, today, are either hated by God, or loved. Yes, some are hated and not respected, for they are lawless (Matt 5:19), and they are teachers of lawlessness (Matt 7:21-23). God will not long tolerate being mocked by disciples. The vessel doesn’t tell the potter when the vessel will come to the wheel to be shaped.
In the decades after Calvary, Christianity was a sect of Judaism. But as the gospel entered Asia Minor, converts were of the nations; they were Greeks, and other peoples absorbed in Greek culture and philosophy. And a hybridization of theology occurred, for those converts pastoring Hellenistic fellowships didn’t understand the movement from physical to spiritual without borrowing heavily from Platonism.
Hybrid grain grows larger and faster than open-pollinated seed…when I was a child on a northern Indiana farm fifty-plus years ago, my dad was an early grower of, and salesman for DeKalb hybrid corn seed. He grew ears that reached from his elbow to his curled fingertips. But Grandpa wouldn’t grow hybrid seed. Grandpa saved his own seed, selecting the best from each year’s crop, but the ears of corn he grew were only three-fourths as long as dad’s. And the hybrids revolutionized American agriculture.
Hybrid Christianity revolutionized Christendom.
The Roman Church and the Orthodox Churches are the result of hybridization.
In the parable of the weeds (Matt 13:24-30), the farmer sowed good seed on good soil, a field capable of bringing forth a hundredfold increase. But at night, the Adversary sowed the field with weeds or tares—with hybrid seed—that looks like the desired grain when it sprouts, but which brings forth seed that doesn’t breed true. Grain only fit for pig feed. Grain the farmer cannot plant back into the field if the farmer expects a reasonable crop.
When Jesus explained the parable of the tares to His disciples, He said the field was the world and the one who sows good seed is the Son of Man. The good seed is the children of the kingdom of heaven—those disciples who are foreknown—and the tares are the sons of the evil one. The harvest is the end of the age, and the weeds are left to grow among the children of God until then. The hybrid corn is left to grow with the open-pollinated corn until both are to be harvested, the hybrid grain first, when it will be gathered and burned.
All grains are wind pollinated, meaning that the sterile or false pollen of the hybrids will fertilize the open-pollinated stalk, thereby causing both stalks to make ears. But none of the ears will breed true. All have been contaminated. And the one who sows will have to start over with good seed, or spend centuries breeding out the false doctrines…nearly five centuries ago, a remnant of Israel left spiritual Babylon to rebuild the house of God in the Jerusalem above. This remnant has slowly trudged towards Jerusalem—has trudged with the slowness of breeding out the genes of hybridization.
Look at the splintered Churches of God from a historic perspective: one generation of drawn disciples leaves the world, or leaves broad-road Christianity, but the children of that generation, or the children of its second generation—contaminated by the pollen of hybrid Christianity—become hybrids themselves instead of continuing on the narrow path leading to the Jerusalem above. My children are hybrids: they look at themselves and see that they look how they are supposed to look, just as a hybrid ear of corn looks like a bigger, better version of an open-pollinated ear. But they now profane the Sabbaths of God as ancient Israel profaned these Sabbath days.
The man who, alone, for forty years carried the revelation needed for typological exegesis to develop, with moist eyes, told me of his sons who weren’t willing to lose ministerial employment over “doctrine.” This man sat out WWII in a Conscientious Objector camp because of his Mennonite upbringing, because he was not willing to compromise principle. But two of his three sons—all three formerly employed by the most visible Sabbatarian Church of God fellowship—gave up keeping the Sabbath to keep their jobs, and his third son rejected the revelation he carried. The two sons are fully hybridized. The third son is intellectually fossilized. And the decisions of his sons as they reacted to the cross-pollenization of their faith deeply hurt this faithful servant of God; yet, his sons believe they are still serving God as they now preach hybrid mush and bone meal to their congregations.
Hybrid corn yields more bushels per acre, but the seed has lower protein content and will not extract certain trace minerals from the soil. Hybrid Christianity has spread knowledge of Jesus Christ to every corner of the globe, but its doesn’t teach converts to live as Jesus lived—and if a convert will not live or attempt to live as Jesus lived, the convert will not enter the kingdom of heaven. The encoded message of Scripture is that simple.
But the hybridization of Christianity is not as simple. The nation of natural Israel forms the visible, lively shadow of the Church, an invisible nation of the heavenly realm that is bivouacked here on earth in tents of flesh. So it is to the prophet Ezekiel where a disciple goes to see the history of the Church in the heavenly realm, where no flesh can enter to make direct observations or measurements. And what a disciple finds is that because Israel would not put away the detestable things of Egypt, and would not forsake idols, the nation that left Egypt and the children of that nation did not walk in the ways of God and profaned His Sabbaths. Because the children’s children did not repent and begin to walk in His ways and keep His Sabbaths, God—yes! God Himself—gave Israel statutes that were not good, and rules by which the nation could not have life (Ezek 20:25-26). Because of Israel’s lawlessness, God defiled Israel by causing the nation to burn its firstborns to a false deity, a practice Israel had already borrowed from its pagan neighbors as Israel hybridized the commandments.
From the shadow, disciples should realize that because the Hellenistic Church borrowed theology from Plato and neo-Platonists, from Paganism, God (Father and Son) caused the Church to defile herself by giving to the Church traditions and the practices by which disciples cannot have life, but will be thrown by their “parents” into the lake of fire. Thus, disciples who continue in fellowships rooted in historical exegesis form that hated, firstborn son of the last Eve. For what part of ‘“Do not think that I [Jesus] have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets”’ (Matt 5:17) does the disciple not understand?
Judas Iscariot was drawn by the Father and given to Jesus to fulfill Scripture (John 17:12). He was called to be a son of destruction; he was created as a vessel for dishonorable usage. And the hybridized Church has also been called to fulfill Scripture about brethren betraying brethren, about the love of many growing cold, about many false prophets coming in Jesus’ name.
Perhaps the Roman Church will bring legal action against those who profit from exposing the hybridization of Christendom. After all, judge and jury will consist of wild or hybrid seed. But in the heavenly realm, those who teach lawlessness have no name, nor crown. They will never enter heaven for they are of this world, as is this movie about a murder in the Louvre. But the mass murdering of infant sons of God isn’t yet on cultural radar scopes, for this invisible slaughtering of the firstborn son of the last Eve fertilizes the soil where hybrid seed brings forth its worthless crop.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."