Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As He said these things, He would call out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”Luke 8:8
Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was a hundred, sixty, and thirty times as much as had been planted!Matthew 13:8
Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”Mark 4:8
I looked at the number of the Bible Gem for today and thought what a pity the top circle on the 6 was not closed to make an 8 and the bottom circle of the 9 to make an 8. Maybe it’s necessary for us to wait another twenty gems to get to Bible Gem 888 before we tackle this topic. Do I have to fill in time for 20 Gems so this topic can be handled in Bible Gem 888? The Biblical symbolism for 8 is new life, new beginnings which includes prosperity and abundance. The Chinese symbolism behind 8 is similar – prosperity, abundance, increase and success. Eight is important. Maybe that is why we have this concept of prosperity and abundance expressed in Matthew 13:8 and Mark 4:8 and Luke 8:8. Is it a coincidence or not?
The concept in Matthew and Mark lies at the very centre of the idea of Seed Faith Giving. What Jesus is teaching here is that if we sow into the things of God, the principles of God come into play. For some people their productivity is set at a 30% level. For others their productivity level is set at 60%. For yet others their productivity is set at 100%. It is like the principle behind electricity and the light globe. The electricity is a constant source of input set at 240 volts or 220 volts or 110 volts. The difference in brightness in the room all depends on the globe and the filament that is being used. If you use a 30 watt light globe you will get thirty watts worth of light flooding the room. [I know there are no 30 watt light bulbs – they are either 20 or 40 watts; but I choose 30 for obvious reasons]. If you use a 60 watt bulb you will get 60 watts worth of light in the room. If you choose a 100 watt bulb you will get 100 watts worth on light in the room. Interesting isn’t it. From the same amount of raw power (electricity) you gain varying amounts of light. (Maybe we need 80 watt bulbs or better yet 88 watt light bulbs.) The same thing is true of things spiritual. Jesus is saying it is like that with us. There are those people like the seed which gave a 30 fold increase, some give a 60 fold increase and some give a 100 fold increase. It is all a matter of understanding the principles of God and applying them. God tells us to seek first His Kingdom and all the other things will be added to us. It is all a matter of priorities. Take care of the priorities and God will take care of the rest. You can become prosperous for the kingdom. It is all a matter of your willingness to sow your worldly treasure in faith for it to yield a 30x increase or a 60x increase or a 100x more.
I have talked to you before about the fact that you have a heavenly bank account as well as an earthly bank account (see Bible Gem 564). I have shared with you in the Bible Gems of how God seems to bless things related to His Word. God’s Word holds a special spot in God’s heart. When we understand the principle, we receive the blessing. All that is ours when we apply the principles. I have told you two stories before related to the principles of giving (See Bible Gem 253) where we and other people were challenged to give to God and how He multiplied the blessing. When you understand this principle – the principle of 30 – 60 – 100 then you will find all these things added to you. In the story about the sale of the calves the givers recognized, “God blesses us when we support you. We know God is in it.” Truly when you share in what is closest to God’s heart you will be astounded at the results. Seed faith. Get involved in the main stream of what God is doing and you will amazed at the results. Don’t hold back.To enable you to do that and to sow into Bible Translation and Scripture Use the Berean Insights Website will soon be fully functional and will include a feature whereby you can contribute to the ministry of Berean Insights, Bible Gems, Deeper Bible and more. Simply send money to our ministry and God will bless. You will see the reality of Seed Faith in action.
Please keep reading!!! Don’t stop now. It is important that you finish reading this Gem no matter what you have thought to this point.
Stop, take a breath. Count to 100. I hope you released your breath before counting to 100. Maybe I shouldn’t have set the target as 100. (Perhaps 30 would have been more achievable on one breath. Ha ha.) Do you realize what I have been doing to you so far in this Gem? I have structured this Gem as though I was one of the Prosperity Preachers asking for your money. Give to me and God will release abundance to you! Now that you have suffered through the first three paragraphs above you can cancel the payment you made to my account. I was spinning you a tale. Is that what this parable is all about. Is this all about money and finances? No, no, a thousand times No! This Parable of the Seeds (Sower) should not be applied to money and nor used to encourage believers to give to the Seed Faith gurus. I am not against the idea of giving sacrificially or giving in faith. I do believe it is a principle of God. But it has nothing to do with the 30 fold, 60 fold, 100 fold yield mentioned here. This passage has nothing to do with that.
But it doesn’t matter, does it? If it is a principle of God then it is ok to preach it from any passage, rIght? Wrong! When you apply the notion of seed faith giving to the idea of a 30 fold, 60 fold or 100 fold found in the Parable of the Seeds you are mishandling the Word of God. It has nothing to do with money. As we continue to work through the passage I will prove to you this passage has nothing to with Seed Faith giving. Much less the kind of thing taught by the prosperity preachers. “If you want to be rich in God and have an abundance then give your money to God through me now and you will receive a 30 fold increase at the least. But some of you who have a greater faith to believe will receive a 60 fold increase. If you have faith the size of a mustard seed and believe God with all your heart for the increase He will give a 100 fold increase and will grant you the desires of your heart. Give God your all and He will give to you from your inheritance in heaven and add all these things unto you.”And other such nonsense. THAT TEACHING HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS PASSAGE. But Ian, it seems to fit so well. isn’t that what Jesus is saying? No! Its eisegesis not exegesis. It’s reading into the Word of God what is not there rather than reading out of the Word of God what is there.
I have only covered this interpretation of the Parable of the Seed today because of the number of the Gem. It seemed to go well with the abundance / prosperity theme of the symbolism of 8. It would probably have fitted best in a few days time. But I choose today to make the most out of the 888 symbolism. Wake up and be prepared to check out (like the Berean Christians – Acts 17:11) all that you hear and read in order to test whether it is in accord with the Word of God. The Word of God is our foundation; not the words of some Seed Faith guru. Is what he’s preaching faithful to the Word of God or not? If it is not then put it where it belongs.
Here is another example of this kind of spurious nonsense which I came across this week.
“Money is like a sixth sense – and you can’t make use of the other five [senses] without it.” William Somerset
Oh really. Who said? Well William Somerset said it. Oh, so money is like the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Is it? How on earth is that a truism? It is nonsense. And to tell me that you can’t make use of your ability to see, to hear, to feel, to taste and to smell without money is laughable. Tell that to the poor and destitute: that they can’t use their five senses because they have no money, and see how they respond to you.
I have more to say on this topic but let’s continue to pull apart this passage and test its interpretations until we have arrived at the answer. Next Gem I have something new and different from someone who sent in a response.
True success can never be measured by a bank balance. Money only measures property. Success is a matter of character.Rick Godwin
Money never man a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.Benjamin Franklin
God gives us money so that we will use it to show that He is more precious that what money can buy.John Piper
Never desire another’s success until you know the sacrifice, pain & pressure they went through to achieve it.Rick Warren
The greater the leader you become the more your personal success depends on others.Ron Edmonson