The message of the kingdom must get into a person. Once mixed into their life, it’s like leaven. It causes the person to rise! Once this message is in you, you will never be the same. You will nearly have a new Bible. You are no longer flat. The kingdom will expand you and make you better. Every person I’ve shared the message about the kingdom with, who received it like good soil, became productive – 100-60-30 fold better.
PARABLES OF THE KINGDOM
By Pastor Delbert Young
Scriptures: Matthew 13:31-33, Acts 1:6, Matthew 16:21-23, Luke 17:20-21, Psalm 72:8-11, Revelation 11:15
Matthew 13:31-33 He told them another parable: “THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.” He told them still another parable: “THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE YEAST that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
We talked about the mustard seed last time, but we need to keep the thought of these two together. They speak about small beginnings which produce massive effects. They speak about influence. So it is with the kingdom. It began with a handful of individuals, but today it is worldwide and continues to grow and expand.
All the parables are taken from common use. As a boy, Jesus would have seen his mother Mary do this many times. She made bread, or better described as sourdough bread. This was done in ALL homes. Every person standing there had seen this daily. The woman made fresh dough then took a small piece of saved dough already fermented from a previous loaf called leaven. The leaven was kneaded into the new dough. It permeated the new loaf causing it to ferment and rise.
The NIV said a large amount of flour. King James says three measures of meal. I wanted to know how much flour, or meal, this was. According to Bible Tools three measures of meal is about two gallons. An average loaf of bread requires about three cups. Two gallons of flour would make about eleven loaves of bread. The most bread gorging families would not eat eleven loaves of bread a day. Jesus is pointing to how such a small amount of leaven will affect a massive amount of dough.
I believe we would all agree bread with yeast/leavened is superior to bread without yeast. Without leaven, bread is flat, hard, dry, and tasteless. Leavened bread is soft, tasty, and moist. The leaven influences a massive amount of dough, but it also influences it positively. It makes it better.
Another thing we see is the woman mixed the yeast into the large amount of flour. It doesn’t work until it is mixed into. The message of the kingdom must get into a person. Once mixed into their life, it’s like leaven. It causes the person to rise! Once this message is in you, you will never be the same. You will nearly have a new Bible. You are no longer flat. The kingdom will expand you and make you better. Every person I’ve shared the message about the kingdom with, who received it like good soil, became productive – 100-60-30 fold better.
The power of the kingdom is great. The influence a little leaven has is amazing. It begins small but beginning small does not hinder it. It is so powerful. The loaf not only rises upward. It expands in every direction. If you truly hear the gospel of the kingdom, it will change your life about everything. The word of God will expand in every direction. Inside this message is a processing, moving, and fermenting supernatural power.
We have some understanding about leaven, its power, and how Jesus thought about it. Now we need to note a warning Jesus made concerning leaven.
Matthew 16:6 Then Jesus said unto them, TAKE HEED AND BEWARE of the LEAVEN of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
Matthew 16:12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of THE DOCTRINE of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
Jesus put an absolute double emphasis on this warning – TAKE HEED AND BEWARE. This is serious. What was Jesus warning us about? One thing is legalistic religion. Legalism is an enemy to the gospel of the kingdom. God wants us to love him and do what he says from our hearts, not from legalistic commands. The gospel is life-giving, not life-taking.
It’s also the doctrine as a whole we allow mixed into us. When we allow someone to teach us, we must be cautious. What they teach, their doctrine, will get into us. It’s fermented from previous teachings from somewhere and once it gets in, it’s like leaven. I will affect everything. I attempt to put every scripture we use in your notes and on these screens, but I’m still amazed how few people bring their own bible to church to check me out. “Well, you know, it’s Pastor Delbert. What he says is right on.” Well, allow me to warn you. There was a day when I taught the kingdom as something coming in the future after a great tribulation and rapture. I had all my charts and graphs. In fact, I was teaching the Book of Revelation to a Sunday school class when I realized something wasn’t right about my doctrine. I was a Pharisee or Sadducee putting negative leaven into people. Ask you a question: How do people who teach false doctrine – leavened doctrine – nearly always learn it? Usually, they were leavened by someone who taught it to them. Apostle Paul said,
1 Corinthians 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
We might say, “One bad apple spoils the bunch.” Leaven in the context of bad teaching is a negative influence. Leaven in the context of the kingdom of God is positive influence. The thought of leaven is massive, life altering, influencing either for good or bad. With this said, I challenge you to get out your Bible, get a Bible program for your computer or phone, and study the kingdom. Go online, search it out, but TAKE HEED AND BEWARE OF THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES AND OF THE SADDUCEES.
Years ago, we had a kingdom conference. A man and his wife came who had just retired from the ministry. They had been leavened with the dispensational teaching of the rapture and great tribulation and were so certain the rapture would happen they saved nothing for retirement and incurred heavy debt to leave the devil. As he heard the teaching of the kingdom, he felt dumb and used. This is the leaven Jesus warned about.
You are a new lump of dough when you come to Christ. Be extremely cautious which leaven you allow kneaded into you. Make certain its kingdom based. Once you get the positive leaven of the kingdom into you, you will be repulsed by the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. You won’t be able to listen to or watch them.
Jesus explained the leaven of the kingdom is kneaded into lives and as this happens, it is kneaded into the world. Leaven works its stirring upheaval as it bubbles and heats. The Pharisees and Sadducees experienced a difficult time with the leaven Jesus brought. The kingdom has always done this to people. The Old Testament kingdom prophets brought upheaval to the people and kings. We see this with King Ahab and the prophet Elijah.
1 Kings 18:17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you TROUBLER OF ISRAEL?”
Leaven from God troubles people. The New Covenant kingdom leaven is worse. We see this with Paul and Silas on a mission trip.
Acts 17:6 “…These men who have caused TROUBLE all over the world have now come here
Acts 16:20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an UPROAR
People have been in an uproar about the kingdom for two thousand years. I’ve put my share in an uproar. When I first came to town, I was getting phone calls on a regular basis talking about everything from the messages I taught to the music we played. I still trouble and put people in an uproar with the leaven of the kingdom.
It began with one baby born in a manger who took his leaven and leavened 11 men who took their leaven and leavened 120 men and women who leavened 3,000, who leavened 5,000, and then on and on and on. Today, look across the planet and you find billions of Christians. 2.1 billion people name the name of Jesus calling themselves Christians. More people are Christians than any other belief or “religion.” The kingdom is permeating through the world. Plus, as we said last time, the nations nesting in the branches of the mustard seed tree experience freedom, dignity of life, justice, the sense of right and wrong, education, enterprise, dignity of a woman, care of children, care for the poor and on and on. All this comes out of the leaven placed into the hearts of people. The opposite is true for the nations who reject the kingdom. The world has been leavened. The leaven is now bubbling and working its amazing effect expanding, rising, and flavoring the whole world.
We discussed in the parable of the wheat and weeds/tares how in the kingdom the two grew together. The tares/evil were allowed to grow with the wheat/children of the kingdom. Jesus said this is how the kingdom is. One reason Jesus allows them to grow together is so the children of the kingdom can have an opportunity to leaven the evil. God planted a little piece of leaven in Bethlehem in a manger in a stinking stable. Yet, eventually every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all. Now this leaven is in me and you. We call it the Spirit of God. It’s moving in this world because it’s moving in you and me and 2.1 billion others.
The plan is not to do what the crusaders attempted to do with force. It’s not by guns and armies and force. The plan is not to put people in the bondage of legalism. It’s not by might or power but by my Spirit says the Lord. It’s with leaven. How genius is this! How amazing! How simple, but how effective!
Here are a few statistics to encourage you. There are 100 million Christians in China and 30,000 people are coming to Christ every day in China! There are from 10,000 to 15,000 house churches in Cuba.One thing coming out of the Iraq and Afghanistan mess will be the influence of the kingdom. Churches are starting all over this world. People are coming to Christ every day. Both our children attend two of many churches in Atlanta who have police directing traffic for all three Sunday morning services, not just the 11:00a.m. The king’s plan has worked and is working. According to Wikipedia, “The United Bible Societies are presently assisting in over 600 Bible translation projects. The Bible is available in whole or in part to some 98 percent of the world’s population in a language in which they are fluent.” In spite of the birds who take the seed from the pathway soil, the blistering persecution killing the plants with shallow roots in rocky soil, the choking of the thorny soil’s cares of the world and deceitfulness of riches, and the tares growing with the wheat, there is good soil producing much fruit, the wheat continues to grow, the mustard seed grows larger and larger, and the leaven is influencing the whole world. King Jesus said,
Matthew 16:18 …I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Christ is building his church. The King is advancing his kingdom and nothing, nothing will stop it. It’s barging through any gate hell builds.
Revelation 11:15 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and HE WILL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER.”
If anything should encourage you, this parable should. It does me. I see so easily how the kingdom works. How God doesn’t need and isn’t planning a great tribulation to bring his kingdom to the whole world. It’s the good soil, the wheat, the mustard seed, and the leaven bringing the kingdom as we speak. History itself proves it.
So, I ask who are leavening? Who are you putting a piece of kingdom leaven into and kneading? You’ve been leavened and the kingdom is growing in you, but who are you taking a small piece of yourself and kneading into? Once you get it in, it will rise and expand and boil and permeate. It’s powerful stuff.
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