Matthew 12:31-32
Sunday Morning – 16 Sep 2018 10:43:26 am – Pastor James Yang

“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 ‭NKJV‬‬

Last Monday, for a week, I went to Vanuatu with two short-term missionaries as we were invited by the AOG pastors from my last visit. However, as soon as we arrived there, they said that the meeting was cancelled. It ached my heart. So I asked our missionary there to contact them again and let them know that we flew all the way from Australia to meet them. So they changed their minds and in the afternoon, they asked me to meet them and asked me to do a presentation.

We arrived there and introduced our gospel. However, the person there was running out of time and asked us to send them our doctrine. These are people who are very high up in authority such as pastors of major regions in Vanuatu. They cut off our time and we had lunch together instead.

I testified how I received salvation to the president of the AOG churches. His heart was wide opened. So I said, “How about a meeting with the general secretary (GC) after our evening service?” So we did meet in the evening and I preached the gospel to him. Then he said that he also preached the same gospel in his church last week. However, as I listened to his heart, in fact, he was far from salvation. Nevertheless, I continued preaching the gospel to him. After an hour or so, he finally received salvation. Then he asked to work together. There is a little island called Santos where there is a Korean missionary there. These Korean missionaries told them not to meet us who are from the Good News Mission. It ached my heart to hear there. So I said to the GC – “Would you listen only to one side which the bible says is very foolish? Or would you listen to both sides?” So the GC understood and said that he would cut off their ties to them.

Regardless of all these things, God bestowed His grace upon us. I was so thankful that the GC received salvation. In Vanuatu, the AOG church is second biggest. I could feel that the gospel we have is so succinct. It is so clear that it does not matter who we are as long as we received the Word of God.

On the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, we were invited by the “Bible Church”. There were a number of people (approx. 40-50 people) who gathered. The pastor there received salvation. On the last day, he said that they would gather more people for our next visit.

When the gospel enters a country, it brings forth a lot of changes to the country. On the second morning, we went to the correctional centre to preach the gospel where a lot of inmates received the gospel as well. These were heavy inmates. They lightened up and laughed and so on. The jailers were so shocked. They said that one should not just end like that but have bible seminars as well.

As soon as we finished preaching the gospel, we went to the police academy. They asked us to do the mind lectures there. They gave us two sessions. In the second session, I preached the gospel right away and most students there received salvation. They were so thankful that they presented me a plaque to thank me.

Today’s sermon talks about how Jesus gave us a parable to enter heaven.

“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 ‭NKJV‬‬

The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard tree where the birds of the air can nest there.

In 1 Samuel 16, David was anointed by Samuel the prophet. The family of Jesse invited all his sons to give an offering at the altar. Samuel was about to anoint one of them – called Eliab who was so delighted but God said no. All the sons were rejected to be anointed. Lastly, the last son – David, was anointed. Then do you know what happened?

“Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.”
‭‭I Samuel‬ ‭16:13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Then in 1 Samuel 17, he fought and killed Goliath. As David grew spiritually, he was able to see things from a different perspective.

The atmosphere in AOG was not quite pleasant and yet they invited me for lunch, so we ate. I asked pastor Tim – “Ask the GC to meet with us privately.” So we packed a ginseng tea present (the bible says that presents soften up the heart of another) and gave it to him. He was so impressed. He also had severe diabetes and asked me to pray for him. So I did and his heart became widely opened that he accepted the gospel.

For me I thought that if I could not preach the gospel to anyone, then the trip is a waste. But being able to preach the gospel to the General Secretary and this was so thankful as the Word was soaked in his heart. It immediately brought forth fruit. He asked to cooperate.

In fact, the GC asked pastor Tim to bring some money for the construction they were doing and then they would sign an MOU with us. But we do not do this. We only preach the gospel and did so to him.

As long as the Word enters your heart, then the fruit of the gospel will be born in your heart.

When the seed as small as a mustard seed is sowed into your heart, then it will become a big tree where birds can rest in.

“David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.”
‭‭I Samuel‬ ‭22:1-2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

David had received the promise from God. When a Word was planted in his heart, and as the heart of David began to grow, then later on he became the king of Judah and then unified the country and became the king of Israel. Many people would then nest underneath the tree.

When any Word of God is planted in your heart, then you are David of this generation. You can be Noah of this generation. You can be little Jesus of this generation.

I went to the correctional centre and preached the gospel to the inmates. After they heard the gospel they were so bright. I told them that they were the happiest people in Vanuatu. Some exclaimed “Amen”. Folks, outwardly the inmates look very shabby and sad, but in the eyes of God they are the happiest people since the Word of God is planted in their heart.

The standard of being happy is all dependent on the Word.

Good jobs, good business, etc. does not necessarily make us happy. But true happiness comes from the Word which is from the bible. Then the lives of people change.

For those who have the Word, other people can take refuge under these people.

In other Words, born-again brethren produce the work of salvation. When the gospel is preached and planted, then we can become the tree that can provide refuge.

However, there are things of this world that prevents the tree to grow.

“Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:24-30‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

After we receive salvation, when the Word is planted, it is supposed to sprout and grow. But Satan prevents this from happening. For instance, even after salvation, you may have evil hearts such as adulterous, angry hearts, etc. arising in you. So you wonder why does this happen? You wish you can just get rid of this thought. This is how most people’s hearts flow.

What did the servants say?

“So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:27‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

And the master says:

“He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:28‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

After salvation, I was so happy that I had forgiveness of sins. However, after a month, I could see how my lustful heart, my angry heart, etc. still arise. So I doubted my salvation and I went back to the person who preached the gospel to me. I was so thankful that all my sins were washed away. However, I did not know what to do about the dirty evil heart that still arises from me. The person laughed at me so much.

He then said “According to the Word, you are already made perfect but Satan puts thoughts into you and makes you think that you are not saved.

Folks, the tares we have are still the same irrespective of whether we have received salvation or not.

“Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
‭‭II Corinthians‬ ‭5:16-17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Before we received salvation, were we not thinking that we should be good people and refrain from sins? Most people have such thoughts. But did this work according to our plan? Outwardly, we may be pretending. But do we really have the truth?

Spiritual life should be the same internally and externally. Most people pretend that they are spiritual only outwardly.

Truth is that I could never achieve the standard of a good person.

However, one day after hearing the gospel, I found that I was truly happy because all my sins were gone.

In the army, I fixed cars. I was beaten up by my senior soldiers many times after receiving salvation. I used to fix cars in the army. I was fixing a jeep. I was holding the spanner and I was very thankful as I was remembering how my sins were washed off. I dropped the spanner by mistake and it landed on the senior soldiers forehead. He asked me to get out of the car and I had to follow him. We went to the storage area and he put the huge spanner on the ground and he asked me to put my forehead on the spanner with my arms around my back. I could not even stay like that for more than a minute. My forehead had the imprint of the spanner. It was so painful. My senior said to me that I have become weird. I was beaten up so many times by this senior. Amazingly, my heart was so full of rejoice in the Lord.

“He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:28-29‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

What the owner said is quite impressive. in the eyes of the owner.

The perspective that the owner takes is quite different from the perspective of the servants.

“All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.”
‭‭I John‬ ‭5:17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

What is the sin that does not lead to death? It is all the sins that are already paid for. In fact, from God’s point of view, our sins of the past, present and future are already washed and cleansed.

Satan however, deceives our heart and makes us depart from the world.

God has given our mission a promise. Wherever we go, the work of the gospel can only arise. God tells us to go and preach but many think that they have to do something.

The owner said to the servants to let the tares be. For the wheat may be harmed if the tares are taken out.

The wheat are words – after the Words of God are planted in our heart, Satan continually tries to insert thoughts into our minds. Thus, sometimes we feel that if we live by faith, then we will perish. This is how Satan deceives us. He makes us depart from God.

The servants need to have the same heart with the owner. This also applies to us.

We need to plant the Word in the hearts of people, rather than enforce works in them. E.g. if we just ask people to come to church, then they would feel burdensome. Rather than this, plant the Word in their heart. When the Word enters their heart, then the words can really begin to work. The the Word will grow like a large mustard tree.

However, many people impose laws and deeds and so eventually, people do not come to church.

David killed Goliath but in his hand was no sword. This means David only stepped forward with the Word of God.

Saul on the other hand always gathered might and strong people. However, the house of Saul was always weakening. But David’s one was always growing stronger and stronger. Why?

Spiritual life is not about us doing well. It is about establishing the Word in our heart. Then the Word will lead us. And it will inspire us to live for the gospel. The Word will cut down the fleshful things.

Ruth received the promise from Boaz and in doing so, she could only rest.

Likewise, when we are inside of Jesus, we can truly rest as well. Many people find this very confusing. Many think that they have to do something for the gospel. It’s not that we should work but it is the world where God should work.

If we do not have faith then we will only give up.

For instance, on Saturdays, we gather and go witnessing together. Some of you only come once or twice. They have strong faith that witnessing would not work. Why is this? Because the promise is not established in their heart. They hold on to their own heart and not the promise of the Lord.

If you can understand this subtle but sophisticated world of the heart, then you will understand that you did not follow the heart of the owner but the heart of the servant.

Until the day of judgement, the tares of the world can remain in us but this does not influence the wheat at all.

I felt very despondent when I arrived in Vanuatu and they had cancelled the meeting in AOG. As I thought about it, I felt that this was not the will of God. So we stepped forward and contacted them again and we could have a meeting. In the end, we preached the gospel to the general secretary. We were so happy on the way back home. The circumstances that we see is not that same as what God sees.

If we can really keep in our heart what the owner said – then we can let the tares be and not uproot the wheat.

The tares are sowed by the enemies.

After we receive salvation, we may have all the various and weird thoughts arising in us. These thoughts however can never uproot the salvation we have received. These thoughts cannot harm our spiritual life as long as the Word is established. Then we will bear fruit naturally.

After Joseph had a dream, the dream was clearly established in his heart. He was sold, then to Egypt and he rejected the temptation of Potiphar’s wife. In the life of Joseph, there was affliction one after another. The promise of God however was established in the heart of Joseph and this Word could overcome the temptation of Potiphar’s wife.

This is why he could name his son Manasseh – meaning – God has made me forget all my difficulties and the second was called Ephraim – meaning – God has prospered me. For Christians we should have both Manasseh first and then Ephraim.

Joseph is a fruitful bough – this means that his branches and tree extend to other countries and really, other countries could be safe and feed from Egypt during the famine.

We are people who win other people’s heart – and how do we do this? Not by buying people dinner but by sowing the Word f of God in their heart.

The seed that you plant will germinate and grow into trees that provide rest!

Main point is about planting the Words of God.

When the Word of God is planted then the kingdom of God wil begin.