The Treasure Hidden in a Feild

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.  Matthew 13:44

Sometimes a verse is taught or understood one way but it never really has an impact, then a completely better understanding is revealed and the misunderstanding is replace with a clearer understanding of God’s ways in these dark times.  The parable of the treasure hidden in a field is one of these often misunderstood verses, in that we believe we need to sell all, buy the field and the treasure is Jesus or the kingdom.

Matthew chapter 13 is an account of several parables Jesus told.  First, a sower sowed seed in a field with various results.  Second, a man sows good seed in a field, but his enemy sows tares.  Third, a treasure hidden in a field is found, hid, and purchased.  Forth, a pearl of great price is a similar story, and finally a dragnet describes the separation at the end.

“Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”  He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.  The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. Matthew 13:36-38

Jesus clearly says the man is Himself, the field is the world.  So it is in this parable of the treasure that the man once again is Jesus, and the field is the world. The treasure hidden is not something we have to sell all to obtain, but Jesus paid the great price in laying aside His divinity, becoming a man, and purchasing the world with his blood.  Mixing John 3:16 into this parable; God so loved the field that he gave his only son that whoever believes would not perish but be His eternal treasure.

  you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13-14   For you were bought at a price 1 Corinthians 6:20 and 7:23

Because the treasure is hidden we rarely really grasp just how valuable we are to God.  Many have obscured this treasure by not heeding Paul’s warning to take heed how we build on his foundation in 1 Corinthians 3:10-12.  So much wood, hay and stubble has been mixed into our religion that the treasure has been buried deeper.  It is my hope that many will discover a treasure map finding the gold, silver and precious stones, and encourage others to build in alignment with the cornerstone, on a sure foundation, and according to the heavenly pattern.

There are threads that run through many books of the Bible.  Probably the best known thread is the scarlet thread of redemption, where little hints, types and shadows of Jesus’ way of salvation are woven into Old Testament passages.   Many other threads can be discovered and traced; The Revelation 21-22 vision of the heavenly city is full of threads.  Jerusalem, the bride, tabernacle, water or river of life, foundations, walls, gates, the number 12, gold, precious stones, lamb, measuring, temple, light, glory, book of life, and tree of life are all in Revelation 21-22 and also found in many other places in the Bible.

Behold, the eternal dwelling place of almighty God is with man.  Have you caught a glimpse of the treasure hidden in a field?  Come, I will show you the bride, the lambs wife.  And he shows us a city with pearls for gates, jeweled foundations, streets of gold.  An old Vineyard song said we will dance on streets that are golden.  I think we will be the streets, walls, foundations.  We are the treasure hidden in a field, refined, combined, and artistically fashioned into the climax of history.  The eternal dwelling place of God.

 

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Andrew Murray on Christian Mysticism

After attempting to dialog with those opposed to the International House of Prayer (IHOP) I realized one of their many issues is their belief that mysticism is polluting the Church.  Andrew Murray is a well respected Christian author and it is my hope that his words can help move the dialog from the extremes toward the center. Continue reading

Guidelines for Ekklesia Gatherings

Last week we began to focus on the verses that make up the discussion of gifting in the New Testament.  The passages involved are as at as follows:  Romans 12:3-16, 1 Corinthians 12:4-31, 1 Corinthians 14:24-33, and Ephesians 4:1-16. I wrote down several points in each section and then worked on consolidating them into main points without just quoting verses.

  • We have been graciously given diversity by one Spirit.  Unity is expressed by diverse people, with diverse gifts, and diverse manifestations. A good recipe has many ingredients for a deep, rich, balanced, and complex flavor and texture.
  • Warning it’s a common issue to think too highly of your own gifting and become competitive, dominate, and controlling.  Make a conscious effort to be humble, lowly, gentle, and long suffering.
  • Love trumps gifting.  Give honor and preference to one another especially the weaker ones.  If your gift cannot be expressed in love then don’t express your gift.  Refuse to get offended.
  • Everybody gets to play.  Let each and everyone use their gifts, make room, take turns.  All do, all learn, and all are encouraged. It is also common to think too highly of someone else’s gifting and become complacent, passive, and audience.
  • The unity of the Spirit is the overriding concern.  There should be a flow of the Holy Spirit that is followed.  Listen, and fit into the flow.  Don’t try to steer the meeting, nor bring confusion, or division.  Find the theme and add to it.  Take it deeper, apply it wider, add color, or harmony.  Be a part of the symphony and keep a close eye on the Conductor.
  • When the church functions properly then it will be known that God is truly among us.
  • We all become better equipped for the ministry not only as we use our gifts, but as the fruit of the Spirit matures because of the interaction.

Did I miss any main points?  What do you think?

Spiritual Children, Fathers, and Young Men

I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.
I write to you fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one.

I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father.
I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one. 1 John 2:12-14

John in this passage is writing to three groups of people spiritual children, spiritual fathers, spiritual young men.  Continue reading

The Purpose and Progression of a Worship Service

How is it then, brethren?  Whenever you come together each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue has a revelation has an interpretation.  Let all things be done for edification.  1 Corinthians 14:26

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Revelation 2:7; 2:11; 2:17; 2:29; 3:6; 3:13; 3:22

What should be the purpose of gathering together as the Church?  A good typical answer is usually something like “Church is the gathering of the saints for the purpose of fellowship, worshiping the Lord, prayer, partaking in the Lord Supper, and for the edification of the saints.”   Continue reading

The Church as a Mighty Tree

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” Matthew 13:31-32

I saw a huge tree; it was very old and gnarled.  Moss was growing on its trunk and hanging from its branches.  I could see the scars and burn marks from various attacks over the years.  Some parts of the tree looked dead and dry.  Bugs and diseases were attacking different parts of the tree.  As I looked away from the old growth of the tree toward the tips of the branches, there were areas of vibrant new growth.  These branches were covered with large beautiful fruit.

The roots system is at least as large as the tree above it. These roots collect water and nutrients and send them to the leaves and fruit through the trunk and branches.  Inside the tree a river is flowing up from the roots to the ends of the branches. Although the bark is hard and rough and dry, it covers and protects the life of the tree which is that river.

This is a picture of the whole church. Continue reading

From ME to WE

and to make all people see what is the fellowship of the mystery…the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the Church to the principalities and power in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 3:9,10

For a long time I have longed for corporate gatherings to become, well, more corporate.  Too often the room is filled with an individual mentality, the songs are in the first person, the message is usually given by the same individual to address individual needs, and the ministry time is also individual in focus.  I’ve come to the point where this religious meeting isn’t Church in the true biblical sense. Continue reading