Gleans from Monday Bible Study with Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
DLBC Gbagada HQ
1st July 2019
Study 17 – THE SIGNIFICANT GROWTH OF GOD’S KINGDOM ON EARTH
Text – Mark 4:21-34
“And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?” (Mark 4:21). “And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it” (Mark 4:33). The Lord Jesus Christ, a Great Teacher come from Heaven, used natural things that the people were familiar with to bring out spiritual truths; from the known to the unknown. He gave an illustration of a candle which when lit in put on a candlestick to give light to everyone around: we don’t light a candle or a lamp and put it under a bed or bushel. As the Master Teacher, He taught concerning individuals. At the Bible Study today, there is a lesson for everyone here to take home. Jesus also taught nations, the whole world as well as Christendom. We light candles or lamps to give light to people so they will not stumble. The word of God is the candle and lights our way. “For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad” (Mark 4:22). Here the Lord is talking about our lives, that we shouldn’t think there is something secret that we can do and heaven will never know, or that will not be revealed; whether in the home, office, school or anywhere, they will come to the open. “And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given” (Mark 4:24). He is telling us that what we don’t use we lose. If you have knowledge, light, skills, talents and you don’t use them, you lose them. But the more you use them the more you develop, acquire and learn more on how to use them. “And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how” (Mark 4:26-27). Here the Lord gives us another parable of a farmer that goes to the field and sows his seed on the farm, and with time, the seed began to grow, but the farmer knows not how. The seed of the word of God that we receive in our hearts brings salvation, assurance, conviction, sanctification, power of God, healing, and we do not know how it happens because it is the work of God. “For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself” (Mark 4:28a). The seed of the word in our hearts which we accept and believe will grow in ourselves and not in another. “….first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear” (Mark 4:28b). When we hear the word of God, first of all, there is conviction, and then conversion. We hear again, there is consecration, commitment and we are growing, producing fruits and committing ourselves to the word of God we are hearing. “But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come” (Mark 4:29). The harvest here refers to the Judgement Day, the day of reckoning when we will tell the Lord what we have done with all the opportunities and privileges that we have got. The parable in verse 30 is teaching us about things that pertain to the kingdom of God, and Christendom, the religion which Christ brought, sown as a small seed in Jerusalem but now has grown into all the earth and become greater than any other religion or confession (Mark 4:30-32). “And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it” (Mark 4:33). The young, educated, adults, illiterate and everyone, He taught in a way that they will understand and know that the word of God is for them. Every family, community, nation and those who read this in any part of the world will know that this is for them. “But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples” (Mark 4:34). The Lord Jesus and His disciples give us good example. When we hear the word of God in public, we go back home as families or individuals to review, meditate and ponder on what we have heard.
The Lord Jesus taught principles that were true for all times. He taught prophetically. He taught what was – (i) Relevant – what they could relate to; (ii) Revealing – great truths of the word of God; (iii) Redeeming – so they will be forgiven and saved. You must have the same attitude and allow the Word to have this effect in your life. (iv) Regenerating – turn them around, change and transform their lives. Make them discover that they have been in the dark and now need to come to the light. Transformation and regeneration will happen in your life. (v) Refreshing – that now they can have the peace of God with purity in their lives. The water of the word is refreshing. (vi) Renewing – His teachings renewed their lives, commitments, vision for heaven and purpose of their lives. (vii) Recovering – those gone away from the truth are restored. So as we come to hear the word and study today, pray that this teaching will be relevant to your life, revealing in your heart, redeeming to your soul, regenerating in your spirit, refreshing in your heart, renewing in your commitments and recovering you to the path that leads to glory in Jesus’ name.
Point 1. THE SHINING GODLINESS OF SAINTS FROM THE HEARTS
Mark 4:21-25; Matthew 5:14-16; Ephesians 5:8,11-14
“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear” (Mark 4:23). You have ears to hear, and the word of God you are hearing will do good in your life in Jesus’ Name. “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid” (Matthew 5:14). Here is another parable that a city on a hilltop cannot be hidden; everybody passing along will see that city. Your light will shine; godliness and the goodness of God will shine through you, but you must make an effort, and ensure that what you are learning is coming out in practical godliness that other people will see, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Don’t hide your salvation, let the result and outcome – repentance, conversion and discipleship, shine before men that they may glorify God the Father. “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). Things are different now as Christ, the Light came into your life, and you are no more in darkness. The things you used to do, you do them no more; the places you used to go, you go there no more; the things you used to drink, you drink them no more; and the worldly dresses you used to wear, you wear them no more. And Christ will give you more light (Ephesians 5:8,11-14).
Mark chapter 4, verse 22 – Nothing hidden. Verse 24 – Necessary and Noble hearing. Verse 25 – New height, gaining new heights every day and walking in the path that takes you higher and higher.
(i) Nothing hidden – Mark 4:22-23; Matthew 10:26-27; Ecclesiastes 12:14
“For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear” (Mark 4:22-23). With the eyes of God watching the whole earth and the record of everything in heaven, there is nothing hidden, not even a whisper. And on the final day, everything is going to be revealed. So, live your life as if all your dealings will eventually come to light; as if every counsel you give, agreement you make with anybody and every discussion will one day come to the open, for nothing is hidden. “Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known” (Matthew 10:26). Don’t fear those who want to compel you to do evil. The thoughts in your heart that make you to be afraid of men than God will come to the open, and what shame it will be on that Judgement Day. “What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops” (Matthew 10:27). Can you say that what you tell, do and agree with anyone in secret, he or she can say it anywhere in the public? If you can, you will live a righteous and transparent life.
(ii) Needful, Necessary and Noble hearing – Mark 4:24; Luke 8:18; 1 Thessalonians 2:13. “And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear” (Mark 4:24). This implies that you hear and meditate, ponder and apply them to your life. Hear and examine yourself, repent from your past sinful life. Hear and take heed, hear and obey the word of God. You hear and pray in the word of God to have spiritual strength and grace to do what you are hearing. You hear and internalize, and don’t allow it to fall on the stony or wayside ground. You hear and be transformed. Take heed to the content, subject, context, conception of what you hear. “Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.” (Luke 8:18). In Mark, it is what you hear; but in Luke, it is how you hear, the posture while hearing the word of God, your attitude and facial expression. You must pay attention and allow the word of God to penetrate your heart. It is how you hear that will tell how it will work in your heart. When a child moves from primary to secondary school, the knowledge he had from the primary education will be built upon as he comes with interest to learn. But for an uninterested child, nothing is gained, and even what he had from the primary will be lost. In the Christian life, we had conviction as the word of God penetrated our hearts, and we are converted. Then we realize that having confessed our sins to God, we must make restitution. As we hear more of the word of God new knowledge comes, then we are sanctified. Then we continue to hear the word of God, and our Christian experiences are kept intact; we are growing. There is another kind of hearer who in the past had tender heart and was converted, but over time he became careless, not taking heed to what he learnt from the word of God. Build on the Word you hear and let not be lost. Take heed what you hear and how you hear the word of God. You don’t count the word as the opinions of men but as from God. It is only then that it will bring forth fruits in your life (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
(iii) New heights – Mark 4:25; Matthew 13:12
“For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath” (Mark 4:25). Do you know that in the offices, it is usually those that are already occupied, willing to work, that are given more responsibilities? In schools, the more you are ready to read and learn, the more you get the new thing the teacher is saying. In the church, the one who is willing to hear and learn the word of God, will make progress, but the careless hearers that are not willing to hear and learn will forget the word they are hearing. The more you exercise, the more strength you will gain. We grow and reach greater heights and new experiences in Christ when we learn and are reaching forth for more of God’s word. We are saved, sanctified, separated from the world, Spirit-filled, saturated with Scriptures, supplicating and praying, but we want more. The one that gets more and more in his life is the one that is not stagnant. If someone is not using his hand he will lose the usefulness of that hand. You will lose what you have if you show no interest, zeal, diligence or dedication. A new language that you learnt and don’t use you will forget (Matthew 13:12). You will not lose what you have as you use it.
Point 2. THE SILENT GROWTH OF THE SEED TILL HARVEST
The seed springs up and the farmer does not know how, for the earth brings forth fruit of herself. Three lessons here:
(i) Discerning not knowing how – Mark 4:26-27; Ecclesiastes 8:17; 11:5; John 3:7,8. Ourwork as ministers, planting of the seed, sowing of the word of God in any heart, is the work of God. Trying to understand how the seed will grow is futile. Don’t say, I don’t know whether the Word is working or not; it is in the hand of God. Go labour on, you cannot fully understand how the seed grows. “Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it” Ecclesiastes 8:17). Salvation, sanctification, transformation, are the work of God and you cannot discern how a change of life happens, so be faithful to teach and preach. “As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all” (Ecclesiastes 11:5). Don’t worry yourself, keep on working, it will bear fruits, and you will not labour in vain in Jesus’ name. Your work will be blessed of God.
(ii) Development by herself – Mark 4:28; Philippians 1:6; 2:13
“For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear” (Mark 4:28). God will make you grow, and you will develop. The word is working in your life, God knows that you are different, clean, so don’t get discouraged, keep coming and learning, you will grow. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). When Jesus comes, when the saints are taken into heaven, you will be there. Don’t get slow, keep coming, don’t give up, the water of the word of God is refreshing your life, something is taking place in your life.
(iii) Destiny at the time of harvest – Mark 4:29; Joel 3:12-13; Matthew 13:39-43; Revelations 14:13-19. “But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come” (Mark 4:29). This harvest is the final destiny of each man. It is the final judgement. What you have done with the word you have heard will determine what God will do with you on that harvesting day of the Final Judgement. You have heard the word of salvation, and holiness, do you accept, receive and believe these, and you are living out these experiences? This will determine what God will do with you on the day of harvest. The harvest is the time of judgement. The children of God who are saved, righteous and holy will get to Heaven, but the careless, negligent of the word and grace of God and not ready will go to hell. So, what will your destiny be, think on this! “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Revelations 14:13). This is your lot.By the grace of God, you will die in the Lord, and the Lord will give you rewards in heaven. The Word will work effectually in your life, in Jesus’ name.
Point 3. THE SIGNIFICANT GREAT NUMBERS OF SEEKERS IN HIS HOUSE
Mark 4:30-34; Matthew 13:31-32; Revelations 7:9-17
Now the mustard seed grows up has many branches and many come to seek shelter and protection under it. “And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it” (Mark 4:30-32). Here the Master Teacher, Jesus taught about the kingdom of God that starts in a small way, but will grow in numbers with great seekers coming in. He prophesied into the future that Kingdom seekers will grow in grace and in their skills in reaching out to other people until great numbers will come into the kingdom. This is fulfilment of prophecy. “Which indeed is the least of all seeds” (Matthew 13:32). Think about how Christendom grew; started with twelve disciples, then seventy others, and then three thousand converted at the day of Pentecost – Acts 2:41, then five thousand in Acts 4:4, then a great number in Acts 6:7; 11:21; 17:6, and until it came to us here. Think of our Church, Deeper Life; started with a small number in Flat 2 in 1973, 2nd August, but now see how the Church has grown all over the world in many continents, and this will continue to grow. Thank God, you are part of this growing Church, and nobody will take your place in His Kingdom. “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb” (Revelations 7:9-10). You will be part of that great multitude in God’s Kingdom, and nobody will replace you in Heaven. We shall all meet in heaven by the grace of God in Jesus’ name.
Ponder on this! We grow and reach greater heights and new experiences in Christ when we learn and are reaching forth for more of God’s word. We are saved, sanctified, separated from the world, Spirit-filled, saturated with Scriptures, supplicating and praying, but we want more. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Ponder on this! This teaching will be relevant to your life, revealing in your heart, redeeming to your soul, regenerating in your spirit, refreshing in your heart, renewing in your commitments and recovering you to the path that leads to glory in Jesus’ name. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Ponder on this! Your light will shine; godliness and the goodness of God will shine through you, but you must make an effort, and ensure that what you are learning is coming out in practical godliness that other people will see. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Hard Sayings – What you have done with the word you have heard will determine what God will do with you on that harvesting day of the Final Judgement. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Reflection – So, live your life as if all your dealings will eventually come to light; as if every counsel you give, agreement you make with anybody and every discussion will one day come to the open, for nothing is hidden. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Words on the Marble – What we don’t use we lose. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
Key Words – The one that gets more and more in his life is the one that is not stagnant. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
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