Are Parables A Blessing and A Curse?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Van, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. Van

    Van
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    Early on in Christ’s public ministry, Jesus mainly taught plainly such that common people could understand that Jesus was presenting a radically different perception of God than they had been taught by the Pharisees. Knowledge of Jesus spread by word of mouth, and crowds gathered when He taught. But at a certain point in His ministry, rather than teach plainly, Jesus started to present His truths in the form of parables that raised questions and caused the hearers to wonder as to the meaning and to the application in their own lives.

    The Greek word translated “parable” means to toss or cast alongside. The idea being that Jesus presented a story consistent with the culture of the times, such that the story made sense and presented some understandable cause and effect circumstance. Then privately Jesus would cast alongside the spiritual truth illustrated by the story. In summary, a parable is an illustration of a moral or spiritual truth, using a material circumstance familiar to the hearers. Parables are more elaborate than a simple simile, but because they usually present one truth, they are not as elaborate as an allegory conveying multiple truths. However, some “parables” contain details with allegorical significance, so the distinction between these types of illustrations is general in nature, with the text providing numerous exceptions.

    The question that arises from the observation of the onset of a differing teaching style by Jesus is “Why?” Was it simply a ploy to teach by implication and thus avoid the snares set by the Pharisees? Nope. Was it simply to fulfill scripture, to put a check mark in a box, to bolster Christ’s reputation as an instrument of God? Nope. Well then, what was the reason? When all else fails, we might try looking at scripture to see if God revealed the answer!

    As Chapter 13 of Matthew opens, we see that a large crowd has gathered around Him, and so He uses a boat and perhaps a rising shoreline to create an amphitheater effect such that His presentation of God’s truth can be seen by the large crowd. Next we see that Jesus sat down in the boat, while the crowds stand on the beach. Whether His sitting has significance the text does not say, perhaps the boat was unstable and He sat merely to avoid the hazard of falling out of the boat, but perhaps by sitting Jesus was signaling that He was going to teach disciples, because when Jewish Teachers taught disciples they sat down. See Matthew 5:1. So let me set before you the possibility that Jesus was not making an effort to preach to the whole crowd, but rather to reach and teach those within the crowd who were “of My sheep” i.e. His disciples.

    Now after Jesus presented “many things in parables” (Matthew 13:3) the disciples came to Him (verse 10) and asked, “Why do You speak in parables?” And what was Christ’s reply? To you (disciples) it has been given or granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to “them” (non-disciples whoever they are) it has not been granted. So it seems that once a crowd of the lost had been drawn by preaching, then Jesus sought to teach those within the crowd who had been granted at that time to know the mysteries.

    Matthew 13:12 presents us with great insight into the work of God in our lives. So lets camp here and consider the verse with great care. Jesus tells us, “For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.” In the parable of the Talents, Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus uses very much the same words to describe the slave who did not use what he had been entrusted with, and therefore even that small amount was taken away. See verse Matthew 25:29. From Mark 4:21-25 we can also infer that the “item” that the person has in either a large or small amount is the light of God’s revelation, for it was given to be used, and therefore if we bury it, our understanding will diminish, but if we use it and grow we will be given more light! Luke expounds the idea in very much the same way, we are to take care in “how we listen” such that we hear God’s word and apply it to our lives (Luke 8:16-21). In summary what people have or have not to make them “of My sheep” is receptivity to God’s revelation for they not only hear it, but seek to apply it to their lives. Thus when a “disciple” hears a parable, they ponder its spiritual meaning and prayerfully seek to apply the truth to their lives, whereas the “non disciple” hears the parable and may or may not understand the spiritual implication, but in any case does not seek to apply it to their lives. So as they hear God’s revelation, their knowledge might increase, but they do not grow, their life does not change. For whoever has a willingness to follow Christ, to him more will be given, and he will have in abundance; but whoever does not have a willingness to follow Christ, even what he has will be taken away.

    Thus the shift in teaching style results in impacting his audience in a significantly different way. Rather than being spoon fed, the audience must actually engage in an effort to grasp the truth, and to those who are willing to do so, more light will be given. His students must exercise their “spiritual muscles” but those who are unwilling head down the path of “spiritual atrophy” perhaps starting in a place of good soil, walking through the thorns, over the rocky soil and end up beside the road.. “But whoever does not have, even what he has will to taken away.”

    And finally Jesus completes his explanation for the reason he was teaching in parable with this final insight, verse Matthew 13:16-17, that the faithful in times past had desired to grasp the light provided by Christ’s life and parables, but those who now have the revelation and desire to grasp it are blessed. And as Jesus taught in parable, He would call out “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
     
  2. The Biblicist

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    First, this is a failure to understand the overall context of Matthew 13. From Matthew 10 to the very conclusion of Matthew 13 there is one consistent theme. John and Jesus are being rejected by the leadership, by cities and by the vast majority of Israel, by his home town and finally by his own family. THUS PROVING A TRACK RECORD OF NON-RECEPTIVITY. The obvious implication in the mind of his disciples is, if you are what you claim to be then why are the professing people of God rejecting you. This is the precise issue that Matthew 13 is designed to answer.

    1. Not all who profess to receive the word are true believers - parable of different grounds (hearts).

    2. Not all who LOOK LIKE believers (tares) are true children of the kingdom - parable of the sower in the field.

    3. Satan has planted tares, deception and false teachers in the professing kingdom of God and so the kingdom appears to have a greater size than what constitutes the true spiritual kingdom.

    The real people of God have RECEPTIVITY to his teachings because they have the good heart, and they ARE the good seed and thus are the true people of God. Those who do not have RECEPTIVITY to his teachings ARE NOT THE TRUE PROFESSING PEOPLE OF GOD.

    Jesus plainly says that "NO MAN CAN COME TO ME" (J. 6:44a) and therefore NO MAN HAS POTENTIAL RECEPTIVITY as Van is vainly trying to teach by perverting God's Word.

    It is in this overall and immediate context Matthew 13:10-23 is found.
     
    #2 The Biblicist, Dec 23, 2014
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  3. Van

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    Lets see, (1) Van does not understand, and (2) Van is vainly trying to pervert.

    Matthew 23:13 teaches men who have not been regenerated with irresistible grace were entering heaven. Thus they had receptivity, and the claim that all fallen men unaltered by irresistible grace do not is simply unbiblical. So it is Calvinism that perverts God's word.


    Did you note where Jesus said our ability receive the light will be taken away. Thus natural fallen men start out with the receptivity, but some loose it as illustrated by the four soils of Matthew 13.

    It is true no one can put their trust in Christ unless God allows it, so if He hardens a person's heart, then they cannot even understand the gospel. And again, Matthew 23:13 demonstrates the Calvinist interpretation of John 6:44 is bogus, because the men were entering heaven, thus God had allowed them to trust in Him.

    Let him who has ears to hear, listen to what Jesus actually says, and do not let yourselves be blocked by the clever stories of men.
     
  4. The Biblicist

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    Matthew 23:13 says no such thing. He defines the kind of gospel they were preaching. It was one that made the believer a TWO FOLD MORE CHILD OF HELL. Thus, it was a VAIN FAITH that embraces ANOTHER GOSPEL which shuts up heaven to them.

    The world is full of RELIGIOUSLY INCLINED people who are eager to go to heaven and miss hell FOR ANY NUMBER REASONS. Those who embraced their false gospel had a VAIN FAITH and that joined with a false gospel shuts up heaven to them.


    13 ¶ But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
    15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.


    No human being can PREVENT entrance into heaven UNLESS and EXCEPT it is by providing them a FALSE GOSPLE and they willing embrace by a VAIN FAITH.
     
  5. plain_n_simple

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    Those poor Cals will be lonely as they think they will be the only ones in Heaven.
     
  6. The Biblicist

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    There certainly will be none in heaven that embrace a false gospel, and that is precisely what the Pharisees and Sadducees not only embraced but were preaching and others were receiving by a VAIN faith.
     
  7. Van

    Van
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    So the men were entering heaven, thus seeking God and trusting to some degree in Christ. But they were blocked by false teaching. If they had been regenerated by "irresistible grace" to enable them to seek heaven, they could not have been blocked because the grace is irresistible. Therefore "Matthew 23:13 teaches men who have not been regenerated with irresistible grace were entering heaven."

    And once again, a Calvinist has simply denied the teachings of Jesus.

    Let him who has ears to hear, listen to what Jesus actually says, and do not let yourselves be blocked by the clever stories of men.
     
    #7 Van, Dec 23, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2014
  8. Iconoclast

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    Van
    Lets see, (1) Van does not understand, and (2) Van is vainly trying to pervert.

    :thumbsup::wavey::thumbsup:
     
  9. plain_n_simple

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    Awesome...:thumbs::godisgood::applause:
     
  10. The Biblicist

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    So van actually believes that false teachers are capable of preventing other humans from entering into heaven. This is hilarious! He repudiates irresistable grace by God but teaches irresistable power of false teachers over other humans PREVENTING THEM from entering heaven!!:laugh::laugh: So Van has given sovereign power to false teachers over other man, so they can dictate who can and who cant enter heaven - this is hilarious!

    Perhaps Van should be singing "All hail the power of Sovereign False teachers" who can allow or prevent people from entering into heaven!!!!!

    The truth here is so obvious that it must be intentionally ignored to miss it. Jesus tells them bluntly HOW they are preventing people from entering into heaven and that is by preaching a false gospel. Their gospel makes their converts a "twofold more child of hell" or DOUBLE LOST, because they are lost but think they are saved. They thing they are entering into heaven but are entering into hell. It is this false gospel that prevents them from entering into heaven, due to their VAIN FAITH in something that cannot save.

    This is eisgesis at its very best. Van ignores a primary principle in proper exegesis and that is to simply identify who is being spoken unto. Jesus is not speaking unto true believers! Jesus in not speaking unto gospel preachers! Jesus is speaking unto those who preach justification by the works of the law. They promise salvation to those that hear them but those who are believing in their message in order to enter heaven are "made a twofold more child of hell". So clear, so easy to see if one has eyes to see.
     
    #10 The Biblicist, Dec 24, 2014
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  11. clark thompson

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    The parables talk about different things some bad and some good but all to learn the parables themselves were taught so Jesus could explain to His inner crowd we have the Spirit as His followers today to teach us.
     
  12. Van

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    Note the effort to change the subject. Unregenerate men seeking God is taught by Jesus, but Calvinism says to ignore Jesus and believe in the clever stories of men.

    God is sovereign, which means He either causes or allows whatsoever comes to pass. Calvinism irrationally teaches God causes whatsoever comes to pass, yet somehow mysteriously is therefore the cause of sin but not the author of sin.

    Finally the Calvinist claims the men were not actually entering heaven, again saying ignore Jesus and believe in the Calvinist rewrite.

     
  13. The Biblicist

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    There is no change in subject! Van actually admits it is the false teaching of men that block other men from entering into heaven. Here are his words:

    listen to what Jesus actually says, and do not let yourselves be blocked by the clever stories of men. - Van.

    Jesus says one verse down that it is the nature of their gospel that makes their coverts two fold more children of hell. Why? Because they are lost and received a false gospel and think they are saved when they really are not saved.

    The whole world is full of people willing to come to God through the WIDE GATE and BROAD WAY false gospels. The point Jesus is making is that entering heaven cannot be obtained by faith in a false gospel and these men were guilty of preaching a false gospel that shut up the door of heaven to all willing to enter heaven BY THAT FALSE GOSPEL. However, "no man can come to me" by the true gospel without Divine intervention because all men without exception are spiritually dead in sin and thus total universal inability to come to Christ.

    People do not come to Christ in order to become a sheep, they believe not BECAUSE they are not of his sheep (Jn. 10:26).

    Jn. 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

    He is explicitly saying "because ye are not of my sheep" you do not believe. He is not saying "ye must believe IN ORDER TO BE of my sheep" but that is what Van is twisting God's word to mean.

    Van has no clue about the gospel of Christ or proper exegesis but keeps on putting out nonsensical jibberish.
     
    #13 The Biblicist, Dec 25, 2014
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  14. Van

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    More effort to change the subject and run from the truth. Unregenerate men were actually entering heaven. Thus the Calvinist doctrine of total spiritual inability is mistaken and unbiblical. This is the subject.

    Calvinism and exhaustive determinism claim false teachers do not matter, no one will respond to the gospel unless God alters them with irresistible grace. This too is mistaken and unbiblical.

    The Calvinist claims, irrationally, that the men were entering heaven through the wide gate. But the wide gate does not lead to heaven.
    On and on they post, one absurdity after another.

    Listen to the words of Christ. He says if we do not strive to understand and apply the light of God, our ability to respond, our receptivity will be taken away. Ask yourself this, if everyone suffers from total spiritual inability, why did Jesus teach in parables. He would not need to. Calvinism turns the whole of scripture on its head.

    Did Jesus or anyone else say we must believe to be "of My sheep?" Nope, yet the Calvinist drags yet another nonsensical notion across the discussion of parables.
     
  15. The Biblicist

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    Now, look carefully at what he said. He did not say that unregenerate men had the POTENTIAL to enter heaven? No! He said that unregenerate men "were ACTUALLY" entering heaven. He did not say unregenerate men were thinking about entering heaven but "were actually" entering heaven. He did not say, that unregenerate were actually THINKING about entering heaven. Now we have heard the word of Van, what Does Jesus say?

    "Except a man be born again HE CANNOT ENTER the kingdom of heaven" - Jesus

    Van says they "were actually entering heaven" as unregenerate men but Jesus says that is impossible. Who will you believe? The words of Van or the Words of Jesus???
     
    #15 The Biblicist, Dec 26, 2014
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  16. Van

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    The Calvinist would have you think Jesus did not say the "nor do you let those who are entering to go in." Jesus did not say they were potentially entering. Jesus did not say they were thinking about entering.

    Therefore, Calvinism denies the very words of Christ. But perhaps I translation shopped and other translations say something different?
    The question you have got to ask yourself, why would anyone pay any attention to Calvinism's misrepresentation of Jesus, in passage after passage, including Matthew 23:13-14.

    Listen to the words of Christ. He says if we do not strive to understand and apply the light of God, our ability to respond, our receptivity will be taken away. Ask yourself this, if everyone suffers from total spiritual inability, why did Jesus teach in parables. He would not need to. Calvinism turns the whole of scripture on its head.
     

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