Heretic, Lunatic or Fanatic
Two months ago, I shared Jacob Prasch’s sermon on the “Birds of the Air” with a pastor, and showed how these same birds (agents of Satan) returned and resided in the tree mentioned in the parable of the Mustard Seed.
Two weeks ago, the pastor lamented that when he shared this interpretation with his cell-group, the members were incredulous, and said that he borders on being a heretic, lunatic or a fanatic with his views. The cell members had gone on to refer to commentaries and other resources which have the orthodox teaching of the mustard tree growing big to offer shade and shelter to the needy and helpless. His teaching has not been too convincing!
The Lord does lead and counsel those who ask for His light. Following this resistance, somehow, the Lord lead us to the teachings of A W Pink, (The Prophetic Parables of Matthew 13) which I believe strongly ALL pastors and leaders must chew over and deliberate. In the “Foreward”, Pink wrote
“We purpose giving a series of studies on the thirteenth chapter of Matthew, which, in the writer’s judgment, is, from the standpoint of prophecy, the most important chapter of all the New Testament. There is much in God’s prophetic program which must necessarily remain dark until the parables of this chapter are thoroughly mastered. At present they are much misunderstood and misinterpreted.”
The teaching / interpretation of AW Pink might have hints to the current saga of Christian leaders found guilty of CBT. All the positive and negative comments in the social media and in the websites of those concerned do highlight the pain and torment the parties experience. Perhaps, we need to see behind the trees (as in garden of Eden).
“Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard-seed, which a man took, and sowed in His field: Which, indeed, is the least of all seeds; but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof” (vv. 31, 32).
It should be evident to all, that our understanding of this parable hinges upon a correct interpretation of its three central figures: the mustard-seed, the great tree which sprang from it, and the “birds of the air” which came and lodged in its branches. What does each represent ?
Now there are few passages of Scripture which have suffered more at the hands of commentators than the third and fourth parables of Matthew 13. They have been turned completely upside down; that is to say, they have been made to mean the very opposite of what the Lord Jesus taught. The main cause of this erroneous interpretation may be traced back to a wrong understanding of the expression “kingdom of heaven.” Those who have failed in their definition of this term are, necessarily, all at sea, when they come to the details of these parables.
The popular and current explanation of these parables is that they were meant to announce the glorious success of the Gospel. Thus, that of the mustard-seed is regarded as portraying the rapid extension of Christianity and the expansion of the Church of Christ. Beginning insignificantly and obscurely, its proportions have increased immensely, until ultimately it shall cover the earth. Let us first show how untenable and impossible this interpretation is:
First, it must be steadily borne in mind that these seven parables form part of one connected and complete discourse whose teaching must necessarily be consistent and harmonious throughout. Therefore, it is obvious that this third one cannot conflict with the teaching of the first two. In the first parable, instead of drawing a picture of a field in which the good Seed took root and flourished in every part of it, our Lord pointed out that most of its soil was unfavorable, and that only a fractional proportion bore an increase. Moreover, instead of promising that the good-ground section of the field would yield greater and greater returns, He announced that there would be a decreasing harvest—”some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.’’ In the second parable, our Lord revealed the field as over-sown with “tares,” and declared that these should continue until the harvest-time, which He defined as “the end of the age.” This fixes beyond all doubt the evil consequences of the Enemy’s work, and positively forbids the expectation of a world won to Christ during this present dispensation, Christ plainly warned us that the evil effects of the Devil’s labors at the beginning of the age would never be repaired. The crop as a whole is spoiled! Thus this third parable cannot teach that the failure of things in the hands of men will be removed and reversed.
P/S. I have written in the past about the devices of the enemy to cast Doubt on God’s Word, to Distract us from our pilgrimage, to Distort God’s Word, to Deceive we believers, and to Destroy God’s church. Now, I realise that I missed out on an important truth – Disguise.
I have hinted on looking behind the trees in trying to understand the sad saga of the Church in Singapore with regards to the guilty verdict of 6 church leaders. Wonder whether any weight should be given to the following input on the adviser to the church concerned
It may be interesting to find out about the qualifications and credentials of church leaders, and the institutions they obtained their training :
As pointed out in my previous post (here), City Harvest Church’s (CHC) Rev “Dr” Kong Hee and Rev “Dr” Phil Pringle obtained their master’s and doctorates from the grandly named New Covenant International University and Theological Seminary (NCIU), a diploma mill (awarding bogus degrees for money) in Lake Worth, Florida.
Kevin Dyson is also on the Board of CMN Ministry, which is affiliated with Phil Pringle’s C3 Church (source)