God gives us His seed, His divine life and it is the seed that will, if we continue to be faithful, will germinate and we will through that have eternal life in the Kingdom of God.
The book of Genesis is a book of beginning or origins. It records the very beginning. In fact, Genesis 1:1 Genesis 1:1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
American King James Version×says "In the beginning" and it starts that way. It states that God created the heavens and the earth. It gives us the beginning of the human race; the beginning of Adam and Eve; first sin; first baby born; first murder; first person getting drunk that we know of; there are just a lot of firsts in the book of Genesis and when you begin to look at it, Genesis 1 especially, establishes a pattern for the future. Many times we read over it and we don't realize that there's more information under the surface than one might realize.
We find that God created life on the earth and you find that life does not come from dead matter — that God Himself is a source of all life. Let's go back to the book of Genesis, chapter 1 to begin with, and let's notice the creation week and as we progress through this creation week, I want you to notice how God began to reveal Himself and the purpose for life. Actually there is a pattern — as we go through this you will see — that's built into all life that if it had been understood would have given humanity a clue as to what God is doing and you and I with God's Spirit, looking back, perhaps have a better change of doing that.
Genesis 1:1 Genesis 1:1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
American King James Version×talks about: in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and from what we understand this was the original creation, from the very beginning and yet you find something happened:
V.2 — The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.
So what you discover is that something occurred. The earth, the word "was" we have always said could be translate "became" — The earth became without form, and void. The Hebrew word tohu and bohu, meaning in chaos and confusion. Now we know that God is not the author of confusion and so it is seems that something happened to cause the earth to become in that state and when you go back and read in the scriptures you find that Lucifer led one third of the angels in rebellion against God and there was warfare and destruction. Now you can see the same thing today. Whenever there is a war, whenever there is fighting going on, there are all kinds of confusion: Chaos, destruction that takes place and this apparently is what we find that had occurred here.
Now beginning in verse 3 — I want you to notice the first thing that God did.
V.3 — Then God said, "Let there be light; and there was light.
V.4 — And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.
V.5 — God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
So the first thing God did was to bring light out of darkness. Now what is the first thing that God has to do when He calls a person, when He begins to work with them and open their mind?
2 Corinthians 4:6 2 Corinthians 4:6For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
American King James Version×For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
So the first thing that God has to do with us is to bring us out of the darkness and to bring us into the light. We have to see the light to be able to see. As long as the earth was covered in total darkness there was chaos and confusion. There was very little to see but once the light shone on the earth one could see the state of the earth and when God's light begins to shine into our minds and our hearts we begin to see not only the state of the world, the state of the human race, but we begin to see our own state, our own predicament - who we are.
Likewise, when you begin to ask the question: Who is the light of the world? — we find that Jesus Christ was the light on the earth when He was there and He still is to the Church and each one of us is to be a light today. So you find that there are certain themes that God establishes in Genesis 1 that are themes that are carried on throughout the rest of the Bible and certainly light is one of them. Now in verses 6 to 8 you find that God created a firmament. He divided the waters above the firmament and those below and what God did here — He created an atmosphere. He made the earth suitable for life. Prior to that it was not suitable. So early on we find that God's purpose is that He wants to create number one, but not just create, He wants to create life.
Now beginning in verse 9 we find that God created the dry land. He separates the water into places — we call them lakes, oceans, streams and then He brought about dry land and there was a purpose for this dry land, as we read in verse 11.
Genesis 1:11 Genesis 1:11And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth: and it was so.
American King James Version×Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so.
V.12 — And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Now we find that God created three types of vegetation here. He created the grass, the herbs and the trees and we find that they were able to continue to grow because they perpetuated themselves. And how did they perpetuate themselves? Well, through their seeds, as it says here. They were productive and they then also produced fruit. Now you stop and ask yourself: How often do you find the word "seed" or the word "fruit" or "reproduction", these type of things throughout the scriptures? Well we will see that they are mentioned on many different occasions.
Now beginning in verse 14 we find that God said, "let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night;
Now on the first day God had already created light so basically what this is talking about, God made or appointed apparently, the lights to be seen and set or placed in their proper position. Now who is the source of all light? Well, God is. We find that Satan is described in the Bible as the source of darkness. Now before our conversion we all walked in darkness so God had to cut through the darkness so that the light would shine into our hearts and our minds. There was a time when you and I were in total darkness. We didn't understand the truth. We didn't understand God's way and just like the earth we were in darkness but then God created the light, made the light, so that it would shine into our minds and our hearts.
Now what God did here is that He gave the earth a proper rotation. He did the same for the moon and He established the orbit around the sun so that we could count time. God is the one who created time. God lives in eternity as we know. Time is a measurement of the rotation of the earth on its axis, which is a day; rotation of the moon around the earth: a month; and the earth's rotation around the sun: we have a year. So we find that God established time. Now is time something that God needs? No, He dwells in eternity, meaning that where He dwells you don't have these physical limitations that we do.
We find the pattern was established so that there would be seasons as it goes on to say here, and there would be days, years and for signs. So we find that there are four seasons. We find that God has established the Holy Day seasons. There are years that are counted off and so if we live to be seventy or eighty or ninety years old we consider ourselves to be elderly. So God set and established the system so that we could count time because He was going to give His people Holy Days to observe.
V.20 — Then God said, "Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens."
V.21 — So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind.
So God created the fish and the birds and I want you to notice that they reproduced after their own kind. Now God said the same thing about vegetation that it would reproduce after its kind. Corn produces corn. Some of these things are so obvious. Apple trees produce apples. Cows produce horses, right? No, cows produce cows. Horses produce horses, and so you find God set a system where kind reproduces after itself.
V.24 — And then God created other living creatures according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind:
V.25 — And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, — So God again creates cattle, creeping things, after their kind.
Now in verse 26, let's notice that God does something completely different.
V.26 - Then God said, "Let Us — and again you notice it says Us, not Me, but "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. Man was made in the image of God according to His likeness and then man was given dominion over the earth — the creatures of the earth.
V.27 — So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
V.28 — Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
As I said, God did something completely different. He creates man as the very pinnacle of His creation. Now it doesn't say here that man is to reproduce after his kind even though we know do reproduce human beings but man was made in God's image according to His likeness. So we look like God. We are made in His image on the physical level, not the spirit level but the physical and we were given dominion over the whole earth.
You come to chapter 2: God creates the Sabbath Day. God gave us the seven day week as we know and it is a type of the seven thousand year plan that He is working out, so we find that the final day of that week is a rest day and it's a type of the Millennium.
So you find that there are a lot of types in the book of Genesis chapter 1 as well as analogies, as we will see, but the question is: What does all this have to do with us? What does it have to do with you sitting there today? What does it have to do with our growth, our overcoming? What does it have to do with helping us get into the Kingdom of God? What does Genesis 1 and 2 have to do with the plan of salvation? What we are going to find out today as we proceed through the sermon — there are many ways that you could approach this, many aspects that you can take up from what I have already summarized in Genesis 1 and 2, but I want to focus on one aspect today especially, as we go through this.
In Genesis 1 verse 29 we will begin to look at that and I want you to notice here that God does something:
Genesis 1:29 Genesis 1:29And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
American King James Version×And God said, "See, I have given you — talking to the man and the woman — every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.
Now we find one of the purposes for God creating the vegetation: It is for food.
V.30 — Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, - there is life contained in them — I have given every green herb for food"; and it was so.
We find the purpose for creating the vegetation is that it is there to sustain our lives because we can't go on living without fuel. We find that vegetables, animals and the human kingdom have life in itself but it is not self-sustaining life. It has to be fed in order to continue to live. You and I can only go for a certain period of time without eating. For some people that is 2 or 3 hours. For other people that might be a day or two but you find that our life is not permanent. We can die. We understand that. So we come to understand very quickly that the physical creation is temporary. It is not permanent and it was not meant to be permanent but it is only temporary.
Now, backing up to verse 11 again in Genesis 1 you find that when God created the grasses, the herbs, the fruit trees, that they yielded fruit. They yielded seeds and they reproduced according to their kind. Herbs yield seeds that can be planted and fruit has seeds within it. They reproduce through their seed. Now that is a very important point. They yield fruit according to their kind. So we have three characteristics that are mentioned here: seed, fruit and after its kind, and those three are the way that God has set in motion - there is a pattern that God has set in motion and you find that it has been followed to our day today and God follows the same pattern, as we will see.
The word for seed here in the Hebrew — guess what means "seed"? It is a word that means seed but it also means semen. It also means offspring. It can be translated in all of these different ways. When you look at the animal kingdom and the human kingdom you'll find that part of the definition of seed is male-semen that unites with an egg from the woman that then produces a separate life and can eventually produce a child.
Leviticus 15:16 Leviticus 15:16And if any man's seed of copulation go out from him, then he shall wash all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the even.
American King James Version×, we read in the King James Version: And if any man's seed of copulation go out from him, then he shall wash all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the even. So it is talking about the seed of copulation.
The same verse in the New King James version says: ‘If any man has an emission of semen, then he shall wash all his body in water, and be unclean until evening.
So God's original purpose was that a man should love a woman and as a result of that union children would be reproduced and so God set a pattern in motion that He has followed ever since that time. Seed also refers to offspring, meaning the children that come from that union.
Now it is significant that the seed contains the genetic blueprint of the plant, of the tree, or the animal or the human, to pass on to its offspring or to what is produced after its kind.
Let's go over here to Genesis 5 verse 3 and notice how it described man though:
Genesis 5:3 Genesis 5:3And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth:
American King James Version×And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.
So Adam and Eve produced a son who looked like them; had their likeness and their image; their shape; their form. I've got five sons and my five sons bear a striking image to both me and my wife and they are like us in so many ways — their mannerisms. Norma is always telling me: You are just like you mother, in this way; or you are just like your dad, in that way. She's told me before, you know when I get out and walk, she said: That looks like your dad walking across a corn field or a ploughed field. We all have certain mannerisms, certain likenesses, but also have the general shape and form, in other words the same colour eyes and hair, you know, perhaps height, things of this nature.
You find that Adam and Eve produced a son after their own likeness and their own image. They didn't have a cow, they didn't have a tree, they didn't have grass. I don't know how many of you ever watched Bill Cosby but one of the classic shows that he had on was where he was dreaming that he and all of the other males in his family had babies, except they didn't have babies. They went out and had a car; one of them had a boat and they had all kinds of different things but it was a parody on if men knew what women went through there wouldn't be as many children around. Well, I think of that when I read this scripture because they produced a child that was like them. Our children look like us but notice we are also all made in God's likeness and God's image even though they look like us. There is a duality there as we will come back and take a look at.
1 Peter 1:22 1 Peter 1:22Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned love of the brothers, see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently:
American King James Version×Peter writes: Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
V.23 — having been born again, not of corruptible seed — or as the margin says: perishable seed — but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,
Brethren you and I, once we are baptized, have hands laid on us and received God's Spirit, we have a new life dwelling within us. This new life is not from a perishable seed, meaning from your parents or from another human being. You and I owe our lives to our parents, don't we? Each one of us have parents -You know a father, a mother. Our spiritual life is from imperishable, as it shows here, seed, that is, it is from God. It is not from another human being but from God.
John 6:40 John 6:40And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which sees the Son, and believes on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
American King James Version×And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
So the Spirit of God is able to impart to us life and it is not physical life, it is everlasting life. But notice:
V.53 — Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
Now He was talking to human beings. They were alive physically but not spiritually.
V.54 — Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
You and I, when we receive God's Spirit, the very Spirit of God is the seed of eternal life in us when we are begotten by that Spirit. When a woman conceives she has a physical life growing within her. There is a sperm cell that unites with an egg; there is a separate creation that takes place. In a sense we are the egg. God's Spirit comes in, unites probably with the spirit of man; there is a new life that is created and later on a child is born. Well God is going to have a family that He is creating and as we read over here:
V.63 — It is the Spirit who gives life; — The Spirit is what gives life. — the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
So these words contained here nourishes that spiritual life because they are spirit and life. You and I eat physical food to nourish the physical body, to give us the physical energy that we need but in order to grow spiritually and have a spiritual life there is spiritual food that we must eat and that spiritual food is very clearly articulated here as the Word of God that God gives to us. So spiritual life comes from God. In fact back in 1 John 3:9 1 John 3:9Whoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
American King James Version×— many have mused over this scripture:
1 John 3:9 1 John 3:9Whoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
American King James Version×Whoever has been born of God does not sin, — Why? — His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
Now what you find: God's seed remains in us and we cannot sin. Now every one of you here knows that you sin, don't you? We all sin. We are all human. What this means is that God puts His seed within us and you and I are to grow, we are to produce fruits. West Word Study of the Bible, the translation in West's translates it this way: "Everyone who has been born out of God, in other words receives the Spirit from God, with the present result that he is a born one of God does not habitually do sin. The tense in the Greek here has to do with practicing sin, living in sin, habitually sinning. His seed", as West goes on to say, "refers to the principle of divine life in the believer. It is this principle of divine life that makes it impossible for a Christian to live habitually in sin for the divine nature causes the child of God to hate sin, love righteousness and gives him the desire and power to do God's will".
And so you'll find, you and I brethren, have the divine nature of God dwelling within us and that we are to no longer live in sin, practice sin as a way of life, habitually sin, and we do sin but it is not a way of life with us. Our way of life is a completely different way of life now. Our way of life is to live the way of God and is in fact called "a way". We live that way. Christ said: I am the way. We live, follow the example of Jesus Christ and what He said.
Now with that in mind let's go over here to Matthew 13 beginning in verse 18. We have the parable of the sower — the sower of the seed.
V.19 — When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.
Now the parable of the sower: The seed equals the word of God, the Message going out. There are many factors that can cause a seed not to grow. How many of you here grew up on a farm? Could I just see your hands? Quite a few of us grew up on a farm. I grew up on a farm. In fact my dad was a share-cropper which simply means we shared the crops. We got the small share. You don't get the big share when you are a share-cropper. We grew corn; we grew wheat; we grew oats; hay, a little bit of cotton, tobacco, you know almost anything you can think of we grew, and you know that there is a lot of work involved in making sure that a crop grows and matures and that is what this parable is all about. There are many factors that cause a seed not to grow or to mature.
You and I have the spirit or the seed of God dwelling within us. What is it that might not allow us to grow or reach our full potential to where we can be in God's Kingdom? Well the one thing this parable shows is first of all you need good ground for seed to grow. A seed will not mature and grow in poor soil to the degree that it will in good soil. Let's notice here again we find that many people who hear the word, hear the truth as we tend to call it, they hear it and things come along and immediately snatches it away. It doesn't even have a chance to get settled. What if you are planting seeds such as grass seed on the ground and before they have a chance to take root birds come along and peck them and they are gone? Well the same thing is true here. It is talking about how Satan will come along and snatch them away.
V.20 — But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
It sounds right. It sounds good. It is exciting!
V.21 — yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
So here are those who stumble over persecution, trials, tests. They don't have any root.
Rocky soil doesn't have very much soil to it so therefore the roots can't go down very deep. Have you ever seen a tree blown over in the wind? You'll find what kind of soil was under there because if there are not roots that go and spread out and go way down into the ground to anchor that tree, it can very easily be blown over and I have seen all kinds of trees that had been blown over in that way. You and I have to be anchored, brethren.
V.22 - Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
So the cares of this world, of society around us, choke out the truth and the way of God and then we find:
V.23 — But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, - that is all of us here. We hear the word; we understand it; we agree with it — who indeed bears fruit — so notice, there is fruit to be born — and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."
So, what kind of fruit does God expect us to bear? Well you are not an apple tree so you are not going to produce apples. You're not onions so you are not going to produce onions. You are not a cow so you are not going to produce calves. What kind of fruit are you and I suppose to produce? I think we all know the answer.
Galatians 5:22 Galatians 5:22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
American King James Version×But the fruit of the Spirit — so this is what you and I are to be producing — is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
V.23 — gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
V.25 — If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
If we have God's Spirit living within us, Christ living His life within us, then you and I are to walk in that Spirit. We are to use it so that the walk, the way of life that we live, is exemplified by that.
I believe the song we just finished singing on page 50 talked about fruit matures with age. I heard that somewhere through there — it struck me that fruit does mature with age. I remember growing up we had two big pear trees in our back yard and those pear trees were about half ripe. It reminds me of the sermonette — I couldn't resist climbing up in to those trees and starting to eat the pears even though they were green and I would eat two
or three pears and I would get a tummy ache but you know, they were so good while you were eating them! What you find as the fruit matures though, its better tasting. It has a succulence, it has nutrition about it, and a taste about it that it doesn't have when it first starts.
Hebrew 5 tells us that you and I are to be those who have matured, who are of a full age. We are to no longer be babes in Christ. We are to grow up and the longer that we are in the faith - many of you here have been around the Church for forty, fifty, thirty, twenty years and you have grown. You have matured. You have been able to see the fruits of God's Spirit begin to mature. You grow in love. You grow in joy. You grow in patience. You grow in these fruits and you mature. This is what God is looking for. He is looking that His seed, planted within us, will bring forth the proper fruit.
Now Godly fruit is not just good works. Even unconverted people can do good works. There is a difference in good works and Godly fruit. Good works mean you can go down and pick up cigarette buds off the high-way. It means that you can work in a soup kitchen. It means that you give you clothes when they are about worn-out to good-will. You do good works and anybody can do that. That is not Godly fruit and there is a difference. We need to realize that Godly fruit cannot be duplicated by Satan because it comes from God. Matthew 7:9 Matthew 7:9Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
American King James Version×explains a principle dealing with this:
Matthew 7:9 Matthew 7:9Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
American King James Version×Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
V.10 — Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?
V.11 — If you then, being evil, — he is talking about unconverted human beings — know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
What you find, is even people in society can do good things. Why? Because they sit under the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You and I are to sit under the tree of life. The tree of life is different from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Fruit cannot be there unless the seed is present to pass the persons characteristics of the after its kind, or in this case in God's image. In order for Godly fruits to be here the Godly seed must be present otherwise it is not going to be there.
Chapter 13 and verse 24 of the book of Matthew talks about the parable of the tares — we won't go through this but verse 24 and 25 tell us that there are good seeds and there are bad seeds. The good seed represents what God is doing through His Spirit, how He is creating His holiness, His righteousness within us and that is not something that Satan can duplicate. He might duplicate good works but not the fruits of God. When God places His seed within us we are to produce fruits after God.
2 Peter 1 - The divine power or Spirit or seed God gives us: three things are mentioned here:
2 Peter 1:2 2 Peter 1:2Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
American King James Version×Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
V.3 — as His divine power — that is God's Spirit — has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
V.4 — by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
So the divine power or Spirit of God imparts to us:
•The divine nature of God.
These are all intertwined with one another. We humans have the seed of physical life within us contained in an egg in a woman. Semen from the man is passed on to the next generation and when those two combine a new life is formed and you find characteristics from the mother and characteristics from the father unite together and you have a new creation. Now God has life within Himself. When we receive the Holy Spirit we have new life within us. This is why the scriptures say we have eternal life.
I want you to notice a singular principle of agriculture that a seed must give up its life in order to reproduce. Let's go over to 1 Corinthians 15.
1 Corinthians 15:35 1 Corinthians 15:35But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
American King James Version×— But someone will say, "How are the dead raised up? How is there going to be a resurrection? And with what body do they come?"
V.36 — Foolish one (he says), what you sow is not made alive unless it dies.
V.37 — And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain — perhaps wheat or some other grain.
V.38 — But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.
Okay, you put a seed in a ground - a new life starts. A plant pops up and it starts to grow, and guess what? You've put a seed in the ground - it can be a corn-seed or a beet-seed and the plant that grows doesn't look like the seed, does it? It is not a kernel of corn growing up; it is a plant that grows but eventually as it grows and matures, guess what? Fruit is produced and so you have a corn-cob and there is corn on it. You have a bean-stalk and there are beans inside of pods and you find that fruit begins to be produced. You plant an apple-seed and a tree will grow from it and it produces fruit. The tree doesn't look like the seed but that seed does contain the genetic blueprint of the tree in it and eventually there will be a tree that will grow from it.
Now in John 12:24 John 12:24Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it stays alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.
American King James Version×we find how this principle applies to us.
John 12:24 John 12:24Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it stays alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.
American King James Version×Most assuredly, Christ said, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.
So what you find: that seed gives its life for a new life to come forward, a new plant to be produced, and you can go back later on and look at a seed from a kernel of corn or a bean or whatever and you can see the thing breaks open and the plant begins to grow from it and you have a new life that develops or comes out of this. Jesus Christ goes on to say:
V.25 — He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
Now what you find: Jesus Christ was about to die, was He not, but He was going to be resurrected. His sacrifice made it possible for us to have our sins forgiven but it is His life, for He lives in us, that imparts eternal life to us. It gives us His life. We have the seed of a different kind or of a different nature within us. You and I must grow to look like our Father. God is reproducing His kind. We are to develop the character of God, His righteousness and His holiness. We develop in the very spiritual image of God - I think is the terminology that the scriptures use. We have to develop in His spiritual image and in His spiritual likeness. We are made in the physical likeness and image but we have to become spiritual.
We must die first before God can place His seed or His Spirit within us. In Romans 6:2 Romans 6:2God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
American King James Version×— a scripture that we always read and go over with those that we are counselling for baptism - we explain this principle.
When you were baptized - you and I are to die to sin. It is no longer to have its strangle-hold over us as verse 3 and 4 says.
V.3 — Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
V.4 — Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Notice, we die. The old man, the old way of life, the old way of thinking dies and we come up to live a new life - a new way of thinking; new approach; new habits. It is a different way. Colossians 3 verse 3 explains this even more fully.
Colossians 3:3 Colossians 3:3 For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
American King James Version×For you died, - so that is all of us if we've truly been converted and baptized. The old man dies - you died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
V.4 — When Christ who is our life — so you see, now there is a new spiritual life being developed — appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
V.5 — Therefore, we are told, put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
We have died and Christ is now our life. He is living within us. We all are familiar with Galatians 2:20 Galatians 2:20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
American King James Version×- I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. Jesus Christ lives within us. He is living His life. Now it is interesting - if you look up in West's translation of Philippians 2:13 Philippians 2:13For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
American King James Version×, we read this:
Philippians 2:13 Philippians 2:13For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
American King James Version×— God is the One who is constantly putting forth energy in you, giving you both the desire and the power to do His good pleasure.
Where does the power come from, where does the desire come from, where does the energy to keep going, to obey God — it all comes from God. God gives us the energy of His Spirit. He is constantly supplying it to us.
You and I as human beings eat fruit to supply energy to the body to have strength to work, motivation to work, to live. We eat on the Word of God. This is why Christ said His words are life. He gives us the desire to obey Him spiritually. He gives us the power to obey spiritually. He gives us the power to overcome and whenever we begin to feel like quitting, giving up, our trial is too big for us, whatever challenge we might be faced with, we need to go to God and we need to pray and say: God you have promised to give me this strength, this energy, this power, this motivation and I realize I need to do my part. Help me! God will give us that strength. The seed of God implanted in us gives us what we need to overcome and to practice what is right.
In 1 Corinthians 3 beginning in verse 5 we find this articulated in the scriptures.
1 Corinthians 3:5 1 Corinthians 3:5Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom you believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
American King James Version×Paul asked the question: Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?
V.6 — I planted, — so he came along and planted the seed in the ground — Apollos watered, — I want you to notice a very important principle. Where does growth come from? — but God gave the increase. That is where growth comes from — from God.
V.7 — So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.
God is the one who calls us to grow, to give the increase. The germination of a seed is a miracle. Seed can lie dormant for years. You may have heard — right now there are lots of ads on TV and papers about buying seeds. Seed now is almost worth as much, probably is worth more than money, and there are seed-banks where they save varieties
of seeds and they've got thousands of varieties of seeds. Seed that are no longer in production but where they have maybe a pound or two of them that they are saving for future generations. A seed can be stored away for hundreds of years and in many cases can be put in the right conditions, right soil, right heat, right water and it will begin to germinate.
Germination of a seed is a miracle. It takes the right conditions for it to start to grow and God is the one who causes the growth in us. He creates the right conditions for us. Our part in the process is to make sure that we are good ground; that we are receptive; that we are willing to listen to what God says.
So brethren, what is God's ultimate purpose in all of this? Remember that mankind alone was made in God's image and after God's likeness. It doesn't say that about the horse or a cow or a monkey or any other animal. We look like God; we have limited qualities like God; we have a mind, emotions; we have self-awareness; we have the ability to learn, to grow, but this is all basically on a physical level. Once God places His seed in us He begins to develop His character and righteousness within us. We are begotten by the Holy Spirit and begin to take on the nature of God and in this life we find that what God is doing is developing His character within us. In the resurrection we will become a spirit being after His kind on His level of existence.
Let's back up to 1 Corinthians 15 verse 35. We have already read through the first few verses here. We find that at the end of the physical life you and I all live, this human body will cease to exist on the physical level. Dust you are, to dust you shall return. The physical body returns to the ground.
In verses 37 and 38 we find that God will give us a body as it pleases Him and beginning in verse 42 we find:
1 Corinthians 15:42 1 Corinthians 15:42So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
American King James Version×So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.
V.43 — It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.
V.44 — It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
You and I in this life, just like a seed being planted in the ground, will one day die and yet from that there will be a new life. Now this goes beyond what we've been talking about God begetting us. There will be a new life born of God through the resurrection into His very family into His Kingdom and God will give us a spirit body.
V.49 — And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, - and the man of dust, in other words human beings, were made in the image of God, after His likeness — we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.
We physically were made in the shape but not in the composition of God. We will bear His character image and composition in the resurrection as verses 50 through 54 shows: We will be made immortal. We will not be subject to decay at that time. We will be created in God's image as it says here, as well as in God's likeness. Genesis 1 specifically says man was made in God's image after His likeness. You and I are going to be in the resurrection made in God's image after His likeness.
1 John 3:1 1 John 3:1Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew him not.
American King James Version×Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
V.2 — Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. — in His glorified state and we will be like God.
We will exist on a different plane, a different level, a different dimension. We now have life within us and that's a physical life but we will have life at that time that is not dependent upon food. It is not a temporary life.
What we find is simply this: If you go back to where we began today — I mentioned that Genesis 1 set a pattern and that there is an analogy, duality, when you begin to think of it, patterns that God revealed. You see those patterns carried on throughout the Bible, throughout the scriptures. God uses those same type of patterns to teach us throughout the scriptures.
If I could go back and summarize what we have just covered:
You find first of all that out of darkness came light. You and I are called out of darkness today into the light; you and I are the light of the world; we are part of Christ's body. He is the light. There is coming a time when we will be in God's Kingdom and there will be no darkness in that Kingdom, for ever. Satan will be banished. Where? Into outer darkness. So he is banished into outer darkness which symbolizes his state of mind, confusion. The Kingdom of God will exist in light forever.
Seed: the physical is a type of the spiritual. God gives us His seed, His divine life and you and I have that seed, that life, dwelling is us now and it is the seed that will, if we continue to be faithful, will germinate and we will through that have eternal life in the future.
Fruit: We produce fruit. We produce spiritual fruit and work today. In fact the physical family life, the creation, all of the new life that we see around us is a type of what God is doing. There is coming a time when we will be one with God and we will continue to grow for eternity. We won't have it made once we step into eternity. We will continue to grow in knowledge, understanding, just as we do today. We still have a lot to learn.
Reproducing after its kind: Again you find the physical life replicates itself and again that is a type of what God is doing. We are begotten by God presently. We have to grow. We have to mature but one day we will be born into the very family of God, the Kingdom of God. God has given us time to do that. God created time in order to develop character. Apparently He has a seven thousand year plan that He is working on. He has given us the Holy Days to picture that plan.
You and I will eventually exist in eternity. We will not be subject to time because of the physical any longer and we are given dominion over the earth right now but eventually all things will be put under our feet, referring to the universe. God will give us the opportunity to rule with Him in the universe.
The Sabbath being a type of the thousand year peace, the Millennium: We know that eventually it is also a type of what God is going to do where we will have an eternity of peace with God's way of life extended throughout the universe.
So brethren, God began to reveal this plan back in the book of Genesis and He showed through the physical creation a tremendous amount of what He is doing. As we read through Genesis let's not just skip over some of these chapters. Think about them. Realize the parallels, the examples they set for the future and how much God has revealed to us. We have His seed in us. We have His divine nature dwelling within us and God gives us the power and the strength to endure to the end so that one day we will be members in that family.