( JOHN 12:24 )
VERILY, VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, EXCEPT A CORN OF WHEAT FALL INTO THE GROUND AND DIE, IT ABIDETH ALONE: BUT IF IT DIE, IT BRINGETH FORTH MUCH FRUIT.
The word of God is a book that is filled with mysteries and parables that God uses to teach by his Spirit to those that are truly interested in seeing the things he desires for each f us to see. There’s another verse of scripture that comes to mind as I say that. Therefore, we’ll try to incorporate it into this as well.
( Mark 4:8 )
AND OTHER FELL ON THE GOOD GROUND , AND DID YIELD FRUIT THAT SPRANG UP AND INCREASED; AND BROUGHT FORTH, SOME THRITY, AND SOME SIXTY, AND SOME AN HUNDRED.
( Mark 4:20 )
AND THESE ARE THEY WHICH ARE SOWN ON GOOD GROUND; SUCH AS HEAR THE WORD, AND RECEIVE IT, AND BRING FORTH FRUIT, SOME THIRTYFOLD, SOME SIXTY, AND SOME AN HUNDRED.
As we can see in the second verse we used in ( Mark ) he’s using the seed as a reference to people that hear the word of God.
As I looked at this; I realized that even fruits and vegatables are somewhat the same way. For instance, an apple will only have around four seeds in each apple, a tomato will have hundreds, a peach will only have one. Just consider this; what if every fruit or vegatable that ever grew to maturity actually produced fruit from every seed that it produced, just consider that for a moment! Most healthy tomato seeds planted in good ground will produce as many as ten to fifteen good strong tomatos meaning, each of them have hundres of seeds. Do you see what I’m saying?
God has so blessed us and, we don’t even realize just how blessed we are! Just think, in certain areas of this world there are people starving to death. If you could send one tomato for instance to that place, see to it each seed in that tomato was planted in the best soil possible; just how many tomatoes could be gernerated? It wouldn’t even have to be perfect. I heard a preacher say once that a man could take a bull dozor and completely clean off a whole acre of ground. Then, in less than a year; something would be growing back in that cleared spot.
I’d also like to make this point. You can build a pond. I realize that most ponds or lakes that are built are fed by some kind of stream but, I know of a few instances where they weren’t, however there is still fish those ponds as well. How did those fish get there? Over the years, hearing men talk about this, I’ve heard a few ways that men say that it happen. I just say it’s a blessing from God to mankind!
I know that a lot of people might not believe this but, I’ve actually seen it with my own eyes. I lived on a tobacco farm as I grew up. One day as we were working in the field a thunder storm came up and we ran for shelter. It was a pretty fierce storm but, as soon as the rain stopped we went back to work in the field. We seen two things that just amazed me. There were right many little frogs hopping around and we even seen a little fish laying in the row. I thought! How did they get here? What the sssumption is that just as the sun draws water up from ponds and lakes, when a storm comes up with the winds and so on it is possible that things little such as fish and little frogs can be drawn up as well and they are then rained back down to earth. To make a spiritual point here; the little fish I seen did’t ( land on fertile soil ), meaning he died out while possible other little fish might have landed in a pond somewhere and had the opportunity to grow and multiply!
Now, I can’t prove that! Maybe a bird flew over and dropped the little fish, I don’t know but I do trust God’s provisions and know well how he blesses mankind. Even the vilest of sinners, those that won’t even acknowledge God is blessed as long as they live by the provisions of God the Father.
I often write about seeds. It might be the farmer that lives within me that causes that, I don’t know, however the truth of the matter is that it takes something more than just being ( a seed ) to bring about fruit or for that matter, even growth. A single seed can fall into fertile ground but it still needs water to bring about germination. If that soil is dry then that seed will simply dry up. as a matter of fact; the dry ground will draw the moisture out of that seed, drying it up and killing it.
Jesus used ( the seed ) as a spiritual lesson, a parable to teach a spiritual point. Even I just made the point that it takes water to cause a seed to grow. In scripture water is often used as a type of God’s spirit and how it moves on a person. I like this particular verse:
( Ephesians 5:26 )
THAT HE MIGHT SANCTIFY AND CLEANSE IT WITH THE WASHING OF WATER BY THE WORD.
Do you realize that the word ( washing ) shows action? It’s has a cleansing effect but, within that cleansing, it takes action. Let’s say you put your clothes in a washing machine. That machine is designed to clean clothes. But, if you just place your clothes in that machine and walk of, nothing’s going to happen! If you actually start the process, what is the first ingredient that happens? Well, we can say that it adds water but., it also takes power to bring about that water.
I’m sure most people will agree with me that the simple fact of adding water and that we cause an aggitation effect with cause a cleansing. However, very often we must add something to the water to bring out badly stained spots in our clothing.
Within this spiritual picture, what can we see in the verse we mentioned. First of all, we must understand that we all need to be cleansed, we need to be placed in God’s washing machine! Every member of this human race must be placed in the washing machine, no exceptions. Not only that but, we are just like the clothes we wear; we need a continual washing, it’s not just a one time deal. Although we become new creatures in Christ Jesus when we are born again, we still need the cleansing power of God’s word, no exceptions.
So, let’s consider a local Church as a ( washing machine ) When any person, lost or saved walks into any Church, they just placed themselves into God’s washing machine. That person, even if this is their first time ever being in that washing machine is their with a lot of other dirty sinners that needs cleansing even if they are regular members of that ( local washing machine ).
Since we already know that every person there is stained, we must add some cleansing ingredients to this now. Just being place in the washing machine will not get the job done as we have already mentioned.
The very first ingredient has to be water. As we have already stated, that water in a spiritual sense represents the ( Holy Spirit of God ). Now, what is the only way ( God’s Spirit ) can get into any building! He must come in, not only in a person but, that person must be willing to allow him to be seen above themselves. Again, think on this, can you see how the cleansing effects of one drop of a cleaning sulution in a whole load of clothes will not be very effected but, if you place the proper amount in, it will cleanse clothes? It’s not to say it won’t be effective at least when it comes to God’s Spirit in one person but, my point is the more that Spirit is seen in a Church, the more cleansing will be possible.
I’ll give you a personal example of this. I was once invited to speak at a Church. As I give this personal example, I don’t want to come across as being more spiritual than anyone else. I’m simply trying to make a spiritual point. When I took the pulpit and tried to preach the message I felt God had laid on my heart. As I began to preach and, all through the message, it was like my words were bouncing off a brink wall and coming right back to me. Is it possible that the people there were ( seeing the man ) rather than hearing the message he was preaching?
I felt like I wasn’t welcome. Actually I was facing some bad times in my life and, the pastor of the Church was simply trying to be a friend and supportive but, that doesn’t mean that his people had the same mindset does it? Do you remember in the ( Book of Acts ) when it says ( they had all things common )? Do you realize that not one of those people were perfect, they had that in common didn’t they? They all we seeking to allow the Spirit within them to control them. they all had that in common.
When Jesus says ( unless a seed fall into the ground and die ), it abideth alone. God’s desire is for us to learn to hear his voice and, to act on the voice we hear. You see, when I was saved, the very first time I entered the Church, those people were all sinners meaning they were less than perfect. They didn’t se me as a sinner, at least not more of a sinner that they were. They seen me as being only different in the fact that they were saved sinners and, I was a lost sinner. They all had ( God’s Spirit in common ) and they acted on the Spirit.
Another way to say this same thing is they drew me toward Christ while if we are not careful ( our self righteousness ) will push people away. Can you see how that the pastor of the Church I went to speak in was seeking to show men love and support, to take me as a ( saved sinner ) under his wing and cause God’s Spirit to revive me? However, the circumstanses allowed the very people he pastored to hide the Spirit they said they had within them.
Just a few days ago someone share with me how they planted a seed but it didn’t come up. I think it was an apple seed. I asked them, did you plant the apple or just the seed? Thet replied, the seed. I answered, you should have planted the whole apple. A seed is within exactly what it needs to be nurished. I’m not saying you can’t just plant a seed and it will grow because often it will but, the fact still remains that ( the seed is often inside of all it needs to develop into a tree or plant, not always but sometimes.
As an apple rots away, the seed within it uses what is rotting to grow thereby. Can you see a spiritual picture there? Let’s say you poured out a whole busel of apples in the woods close to your house. Every once in a while you would walk by that place and see the apples as the began to rot away, you could smell the stink of the decay. However, one day you walk by and notice a little plant coming up out of all that decay, it was an apple plant!
As God looks down at this earth, what does he see? He sees a multitude of dead, rotton flesh, corrupt because of the sin curseness therein. Personally, I’ve never been around a person that has been dead for a few weeks so, I can’t tell you what it smells like. I have seen and smelled dead animals if that can relate. Can you imaginge the smell that arises into God’s nostrils from the corruption of this world? The stink he deals with on a daily basis? Often even his spirit will be within a person’s flesh but, that person will not allow that spirit to be seen or grow therefore, to God that flesh still stinks with corruption.
However, every once in a while someone will allow their flesh to die, their seed to fall into the ground and allow God’s spirit to be seen. As God looks down from his heavenly throne he see that little tree began to sprout forth from the corruption we see in this world and, as time moves foward he also sees the fruit that comes from that little plant.
The flesh of a born again believer is just as corrupt as any other sinner’s flesh. However, that person that is born again allows his sinful mind, his sinful ears and eyes to soak in the very word of God. He allows those things he feels, sees, hears to come forth out of his lips of clay and uses his mind to proclaim the very things that God would have him to say and never the world. Because of ( the willingness ) of that sinner to be yielded to God’s Spirit he will never be alone, he will multipy, not for himself but all for the glory of God. ( God sees that little plant as it grows and matures )!
If we can go back to the pile of apples that were thrown out it’s easy to see how many of those seeds can be covered with so much of the corruption as the apples rot that they never have a chance to develop. Even if one little seed right on top of the pile sprouts it’s very possible that it won’t make it because it can’t build a good root system in all the corruption. However, the seed that might sprout on the edge might be able to find furtile soil and grow to a healthy tree, producing fruit.
If we look at this from a spiritual standpoint it’s not that way is it? We, as people, while all our flesh is corrupt have the the very same opportunity to see ourselves for what we are and take root spirituall and grow. We live in a sin cursed world but, as far as we are concerned we all are scattered all over the earth. However, we must see ourselses as sin cursed and, in desperate need of a savior. Very often we bury ourselves in the pile of corruption offered by this world and, at that it makes it hard to see the spiritual need in our life. We surround ourselves with sinful things, blocking out the very savior that desires to help us see our spiritual need.
Also, our world is filled with deception! That deception often comes from the very people that are supposed to be shedding light on our spiritual needs. While an apple seed or, the seed from any fruit doesn’t have the power to move on it’s own; we as human beings do have that ability. If we are surrounded by corruption, covered by deceit and misinformation we have the ability to move to a better place to prepare ourselves to stand before God.
Most seeds have a hard outer shell. However, the ends or edges are easily opened especially when it is covered with water. The water softens it and allows life to spring forth. When we consider this from a spiritual standpoint, we also have a hard outer shell as people. The world begins to harden us almost as soon as we are born. The way it works is we are taught to be depentant on ( worldly things ) and ( worldly mindset ) almost from birth. Wise parents will begin to teach their infant children about their need for spiritual growth almost from birth. I’ve heard of mothers reading scripture out loud hoping their unborn child would hear God’s word even before they are born.
This kind of teaching will cause ( the water of the word ) to help keep the outer shell soft and ready to ( die to self ) and begin new life in Christ Jesus. I want you to notice this verse of scripture.
( Jeremiah 23:29 )
IS NOT MY WORD LIKE AS FIRE? SAITH THE LORD; AND LIKE A HAMMER THAT BREAKETH THE ROCK IN PIECES?
I also like the next verses:
( 30-32 )
THEREFORE, BEHOLD, I AM AGAINST THE PROPHETS, SAITH THE LORD, THAT STEAL MY WORDS EVERY ONE FROM HIS NEIGHBOUR. ( 31 ) BEHOLD, I AM AGAINST THE PROPHETS, SAITH THE LORD, THAT USE THEIR TONGUES, AND SAY, HE SAITH. ( 32 ) BEHOLD, I AM AGAINST THEM THAT PROPHESY FALSE DREAMS, SAITH THE LORD, AND DO TELL THEM, AND CAUSE MY PEOPLE TO ERR BY THEIR LIES, AND BY THEIR LIGHTNESS; YET I SENT THEM NOT, NOR COMMANDED THEM:
As we read these verses we see that God’s word is designed to be like a fire upon mankind, like a hammer that breaks down that outer hard surface, mellowing the heart that God’s word might penetrate and take root. God calls ( prophets ) or men to proclaim his word to mankind. According to these verses we see that those men change what God desires for them to say and that causes people to ( err ) from the truth.
Jeremiah was such a man! A man that sought to say exactly what God told him to say. Because of the hardness and unwillingness of man to change; they sought to shut him up and, other men became willing to say what made the people happy. God says he was displeased with this. We see in these verses the phrase ( my people ) speaking of the Nation of Israel, The Nation of Israel was ( God’s chosen people ). The people in gerneral in this world are called ( Gentiles ) and, are not at all chosen by God. However, God has devised a way that all men might be saved. The point I’m making is that; as we look at the world, every man is a ( hell deserving sinner ). Every person must be born again, having that outer shell, the hardness of our hearts cruched by the hammer of God’s word.
We all must ( fall into the ground ) and die to ourself and allow God’s spirit to take root within us and bring forth a tree that will bear Godly friut. Now, consider this; if I take a hammer and hit you on your finger, will it hurt? That is a very true fact! It’s the same way with any man preaching God’s word in truth. That truth will hit you right between the eyes and cause you to feel the pain of what you really are, a hell deserving sinner, completely without hope in the corruption of your flesh. Any man or woman that says they preach but, continues to and, allows you to feel good about who you are , just as you are is and, will always be you very worst enemy.
Even when we are ( born again ) the preaching of God’s word will never let you rest until you are ( dead to yourself ) and truly seeking to be completely pleasing to God the Father. I like to say it this way. Good solid ( Holy Ghost ) filled preaching will stick to your bones! When you leave the service, it is going with you and, it will cause you to ( consider what ) you need to change within yourself. What is it that needs to die in you this week to make you more like Christ! Just about the time, by conviction you get that settled, here comes another ( Holy Ghost ) filled message beating you with that same loving hammer once again.
Sin and selfwill causes each of us to be calloused and that is the tough outer shell of each of us. Have you ever considered what happens in a drought? It takes water to soften the outside of a seed that it might sprout. Without that water a seed will just lay in the ground and die. We are living in a time when there is very little true gospel being preached. We can call that a ( spiritual drought ). We’ve beem bombarded with false teachers and Churches looking to have big numbers and big buildings but, have locked the ( true Spirit of God ) outside the building.
There can be multiple reasons for this. The main reason is that the people refuse to hear the truth. They love to feel good about themselves and to think they are fine just as they are. Also, there are men that are willing to tell them just what they desire to hear as long as they are compenstaed to do so.
I’d like to share this story with you before we actually close. Twice as I worked as an electeician over the years I met two young men and had a priviledge to witness to them. Both of these young men were both members of the same ( religious sect ). These two events happen at least ten years apart. As I witnessed to these men at work I asked them if it would be alright if I came to their homes and sit and talked with them.
When I went to their homes, both young men still lived at home with their mothers. Now, this is the point I desire for you to notice. I looked straight at both young men and asked them this. Have you been born again? Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal savoir? In both cases; just as soon as I finished asking the question, their mothers said ( yes he has ), not giving their sons a chance to respond to the question. In both cases I looked at the mom and said; Ma’am, I wasn’t asking you, I want to hear it from them. In both cases, the mom continued to talk not allowing them to give an answer.
Now, I want to share something ( I believe ). When I say that, I say it to let you know that you don’t have to look at it the same way I do but, at least hear me out. There was a time when God’s Spirit was very strong in our country and in many parts of the world. As men preached the gospel and sought to stand behind their pulpits and say exactly what God told them to say. The Holy Spirit was hammering on the hard shells of sinful men and changing their lives. As those men grew, they felt the call of God, studied God’s word and preached with the very power of the Holy Spirit having no education, no schooling at all, just simply seeking to the best of their ability to speak what God told them to say.
We have to understand that from the time of Christ there has been sects of false teachers such as the Pharisees and the Sadducees. These false teachers had learning institutions and taught their teachings to men. I’ll even say that Good, God fearing men started good schools for the purpose of teaching scripture.
However, as time moved foward even the good schools were infiltrated by evil men, destroying the truth and changing it to the doctrines of men. There is a religious sect that teaches that you must be a member of that religious group or you are not a child of God. ( I believe ) that over the years that ( religious sect ) has infiltrated even the very best schools and now those schools are to some degree transformed into that very same way of thinking.
For instance, in the average Church setting today; you can say you believe in Jesus Christ, get baptized and join that Church. From that point on you are never questioned about your salvation again. The teaching of ( dying to self ) ( being transformed by the Holy Spirit ) is never even mentioned. In most cases ( the educated pastor ) talks or preaches to his whole congregation as if they are all ( children of God ) never even hinting that anyone their might be lost and on their road to hell. In the average Church today ( education ) ( by men ) is a requirement! These pastors ignorantly teach what they are instructed to teach and, the way they are instructed to teach.
Do you realize that you don’t have to formally say something to imply that it is a fact? In the ( religious sect ) I’m speaking of they actually teach that you have to be members of that Church to be part of God’s family. However, if that is not said but, the people are given to believe that ( Church membership ) is all they need, what’s the difference?
Unless a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it remains alone! ( Ye must be born again ). You must be transformed. All these things are found in scripture and we must understand what it means to ( die to self ).
Scattered all over this world is corruption in the form of human flesh. We all live on the surface of this earth. Unlike a pile of rotton apples, we all have the same opportunity to hear God’s word and to allow the Holy Spirit of God to softened our sinful outer shell and be born of God’s Spirit, To be born again! As God the Father looks down from heaven he sees all the corruption that covers this earth. He also sees each of those people that have received his Spirit and are beginning to bring forth new life, life from his Spirit that he allowed to spring forth as each person sees themselves as ( hell deserving sinners ) and asked Jesus Christ to be their Savior.
Are you one of these people? Have you seen yourself as ( being alone ) and of no value to God the Father ( Just as you are )? Have you died to yourself and now; are you allowing God Spirit to spring forth in your life and, are you bearing fruit for his glory?
This act is the act of salvation! This picture is the art of being born again! Allow God’s Spirit to spring forth out of you life, be willing to die to yourself!
ONE DAY, YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID!
2 Timothy 1:7