Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part XV: Christ As Israel's Messiah Seen By The Opposition To His Ministry, Matthew 11:2-16:12
H. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Edifying Instructions On God's Altered Program, Matthew 13:1-52
2. Christ's Edifying Instruction On Satan's Opposition To God's Discipling In His Altered Program
(Matthew 13:24-43)
  1. Introduction
    1. When Jesus was rejected as Messiah by Israel's leaders in Matthew 12:14-45, that same day (Matthew 13:1), He taught a collection of parables on God's program for believers in view of His withdrawal of His Kingdom, which withdrawal on that day had been predicted back in Old Testament Zechariah 11:8-11.
    2. We thus view that altered program insight, focusing in this lesson on Christ's predictions on Satan's opposition to God's altered program so we can understand how to make edifying adjustments to it:
  2. Christ's Edifying Instruction On Satan's Opposition To God's Discipling In His Altered Program.
    1. Following the Parable of the Sower that describes God's ministry to disciple individuals in our era via the Word, Jesus gave three parables on Satan's opposition to that ministry by Christ.
    2. The first parable on Satan's agenda, the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, exposes his plan to infiltrate groups of believers with unbelievers in order to thwart God's discipleship in them, Matt. 13:24-30, 34-43:
      1. To counter Christ's discipling of individuals with the Word, Satan today sows lost folk, "tares" among true believers, God's "wheat" in organized groups of believers, spreading lost children of Satan (John 8:44) among true Christians to try to counter the discipling process, Matthew 13:24-25, 34-39a.
      2. When God's true messengers of the Word notice this infiltration of lost people, and ask the Lord to purge groups of believers of them (Matthew 13:27), God refuses their request since purging out the lost would upset the discipling process for new, weak Christians in the groups, Matthew 13:29.
      3. Thus, God today permits unbelievers and believers to coexist in organized groups begun by just believers until the end of the age, Matthew 13:30a, 39b-40. Then, the Lord will separate the two sets of people, judging the lost and rewarding believers, Matthew 13:30b, 41-43.
    3. The second parable on Satan's agenda, the Parable of the Mustard Seed, exposes Satan's plan to see such groups expand so much that they become a haven for even demon influenced people, Matt. 13:31-32:
      1. As God allows the unsaved to coexist with the saved in organized groups of believers, Satan promotes organizational growth of these groups to go unchecked, even fueling their development so that they become very large and fast-developing, Matthew 13:31-32a.
      2. In their becoming so immense so quickly, even demonically-controlled parties of lost people will feel comfortable enough to lodge permanently in these institutions begun by believers so as to do Satan's evil work in their midst. (Matthew 13:32b with 13:4, 19 where birds signify Satan in these parables)
    4. The third parable on Satan's agenda, the Parable of the Leaven, exposes Satan's plan to corrupt Biblical truth in organized groups of believers so as to counter the discipleship of individuals in them, Matt . 13:33:
      1. The Greek New Testament term for "leaven" (zume) appears in Matthew's Gospel only in the Matthew 13:33 Parable of the Leaven and in Matthew 16:6, 11-12, which later context identifies it spiritually in Matthew's Gospel to refer to false teaching, Moulton & Geden, Conc. to the Greek Test., 1974, p. 421.
      2. Thus, the parable that speaks of the secret insertion of leaven in three measures of meal until the whole meal was leavened predicts the corruption of true doctrine in groups of believers by errant theology under covert Satanic activity, error that leads to the apostasy of groups begun by believers, Matt. 13:33.
Lesson: To counter Christ's discipling of individuals via God's Word today, Satan infiltrates groups of believers with the lost, he promotes vast growth of the groups so even demon influenced folk can dwell in them to do Satan's work there and inserting error into the groups' beliefs to make them go apostate.

Application: In view of Satan's agenda to counter Christ's discipleship in today's churches, (1) we must resist Satan by faith in God's Word (1 Peter 5:8-9) to (a) let only believers be Church members, to (b) let God grow our body, not make it our aim, and to (c) contend earnestly for the truth. (2) Satan will oppose this, pressuring us to yield to his plan, but we must keep at God's will, ministering the Word.