SPIRITUAL WARFARE

PARABLE OF THE SOWER

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(Subjects in this Section)

1-EXCUSES
2-THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER
3-(OVERVIEW OF THE THORNY HEART)
4-ON THE LAST PARAGRAPH, NOTE
5-EXAMPLES OF A GOOD HEART VERSUS A WAYSIDE HEART

1-EXCUSES

    THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE UNTO A CERTAIN KING, WHICH MADE A MARRIAGE FOR HIS SON-Mt 22:2.
    A KING...SENT FORTH HIS SERVANTS TO CALL THEM THAT WERE BIDDEN TO THE WEDDING: AND THEY WOULD NOT COME. AGAIN, HE SENT FORTH OTHER SERVANTS, SAYING, TELL THEM WHICH ARE BIDDEN, BEHOLD, I HAVE PREPARED MY DINNER: MY OXEN AND MY FATLINGS ARE KILLED, AND ALL THINGS ARE READY: COME UNTO THE MARRIAGE. BUT THEY MADE LIGHT OF IT, AND WENT THEIR WAYS, ONE TO HIS FARM, ANOTHER TO HIS MERCHANDISE: AND THE REMNANT TOOK HIS SERVANTS, AND INTREATED THEM SPITEFULLY, AND SLEW THEM. BUT WHEN THE KING HEARD THEREOF, HE WAS WROTH: AND HE SENT FORTH HIS ARMIES, AND DESTROYED THOSE MURDERERS, AND BURNED UP THEIR CITY. THEN SAITH HE TO HIS SERVANTS, THE WEDDING IS READY, BUT THEY WHICH WERE BIDDEN WERE NOT WORTHY. GO YE THEREFORE INTO THE HIGHWAYS, AND AS MANY AS YE SHALL FIND, BID TO THE MARRIAGE. SO THOSE SERVANTS WENT OUT INTO THE HIGHWAYS, AND GATHERED TOGETHER ALL AS MANY AS THEY FOUND, BOTH BAD AND GOOD: AND THE WEDDING WAS FURNISHED WITH GUESTS-Mt 22:2-10. Many make excuses and refuse to come to the wedding.

    These were older people. They owned things. They were comfortable. These were settled down in their ways. These did not even consider the invitation. These did not even make excuses. These appeared to mock and ridicule the invitation. These persecuted and killed God's servants. The older a person is, the harder it is for them to surrender all and follow Jesus. This is also spiritual warfare.
    There are three such parables. The other two appear in Lk 14:16-24, and 9:59-62.

    THEN SAID HE UNTO HIM, A CERTAIN MAN MADE A GREAT SUPPER, AND BADE MANY: AND SENT HIS SERVANT AT SUPPER TIME TO SAY TO THEM THAT WERE BIDDEN, COME; FOR ALL THINGS ARE NOW READY. AND THEY ALL WITH ONE CONSENT BEGAN TO MAKE EXCUSE. THE FIRST SAID UNTO HIM, I HAVE BOUGHT A PIECE OF GROUND, AND I MUST NEEDS GO AND SEE IT: I PRAY THEE HAVE ME EXCUSED. AND ANOTHER SAID, I HAVE BOUGHT FIVE YOKE OF OXEN, AND I GO TO PROVE THEM: I PRAY THEE HAVE ME EXCUSED. AND ANOTHER SAID, I HAVE MARRIED A WIFE, AND THEREFORE I CANNOT COME.
    SO THAT SERVANT CAME, AND SHEWED HIS LORD THESE THINGS. THEN THE MASTER OF THE HOUSE BEING ANGRY SAID TO HIS SERVANT, GO OUT QUICKLY INTO THE STREETS AND LANES OF THE CITY, AND BRING IN HITHER THE POOR, AND THE MAIMED, AND THE HALT, AND THE BLIND. AND THE SERVANT SAID, LORD, IT IS DONE AS THOU HAST COMMANDED, AND YET THERE IS ROOM. AND THE LORD SAID UNTO THE SERVANT, GO OUT INTO THE HIGHWAYS AND HEDGES, AND COMPEL THEM TO COME IN, THAT MY HOUSE MAY BE FILLED. FOR I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT NONE OF THOSE MEN WHICH WERE BIDDEN SHALL TASTE OF MY SUPPER-Lk 14:16-24. Many have been invited to the marriage feast also, but they will not come. Spiritual warfare.
    These are younger people. They were not as hard as the older people in Mt 22:2-10. They hear the invitation, but they make excuses. They had many plans. They had just bought things. They had just got married themselves. Their whole life was before them, and they did not want to change.

    AND HE SAID UNTO ANOTHER, FOLLOW ME. BUT HE SAID, LORD, SUFFER ME FIRST TO GO AND BURY MY FATHER. JESUS SAID UNTO HIM, LET THE DEAD BURY THEIR DEAD: BUT GO THOU AND PREACH THE KINGDOM OF GOD. AND ANOTHER ALSO SAID, LORD, I WILL FOLLOW THEE; BUT LET ME FIRST GO BID THEM FAREWELL, WHICH ARE AT HOME AT MY HOUSE. AND JESUS SAID UNTO HIM, NO MAN, HAVING PUT HIS HAND TO THE PLOUGH, AND LOOKING BACK, IS FIT FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD-Lk 9:59-62.
    These may be the youngest people. They are not tied down with being comfortable. They are not tied down with many possessions. They are not tied down with having just got married or having just bought things. They hear the invitation to follow Jesus. They did not mock. They did not say no. Yet the first one wanted to hesitate and do something else first. Jesus admonishes him. When Jesus calls to do something, absolutely no excuse is acceptable, not even burying the dead.
    The other also wanted to hesitate and go and say farewell to those at his house. Jesus admonishes him that once a person is called to follow Him, he is not to look back. For if a person looks back, rather than ahead to Jesus, he is not fit for the kingdom of God. This is also spiritual warfare.

2-THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER

    Mt 13:3-9-(Group one). AND HE SPAKE MANY THINGS UNTO THEM IN PARABLES, SAYING, BEHOLD, A SOWER WENT FORTH TO SOW; AND WHEN HE SOWED, SOME SEEDS FELL BY THE WAYSIDE, AND THE FOWLS CAME AND DEVOURED THEM UP:
    (Group two). SOME FELL UPON STONY PLACES, WHERE THEY HAD NOT MUCH EARTH: AND FORTHWITH THEY SPRUNG UP, BECAUSE THEY HAD NO DEEPNESS OF EARTH: AND WHEN THE SUN WAS UP, THEY WERE SCORCHED; AND BECAUSE THEY HAD NO ROOT, THEY WITHERED AWAY.
    (Group three). AND SOME FELL AMONG THORNS; AND THE THORNS SPRUNG UP, AND CHOKED THEM:
    (Group four). BUT OTHER FELL INTO GOOD GROUND, AND BROUGHT FORTH FRUIT, SOME AN HUNDREDFOLD, SOME SIXTYFOLD, SOME THIRTYFOLD.
    WHO HATH EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR
   Mt 13:18-23-(Group one). HEAR YE THEREFORE THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER. WHEN ANY ONE HEARETH THE WORD OF THE KINGDOM, AND UNDERSTANDETH IT NOT, THEN COMETH THE WICKED ONE, AND CATCHETH AWAY THAT WHICH WAS SOWN IN HIS HEART. THIS IS HE WHICH RECEIVED SEED BY THE WAY SIDE.
    (Group two). BUT HE THAT RECEIVED THE SEED INTO STONY PLACES, THE SAME IS HE THAT HEARETH THE WORD, AND ANON WITH JOY RECEIVETH IT; YET HATH HE NOT ROOT IN HIMSELF, BUT DURETH FOR A WHILE: FOR WHEN TRIBULATION OR PERSECUTION ARISETH BECAUSE OF THE WORD, BY AND BY HE IS OFFENDED.
    (Group three). HE ALSO THAT RECEIVED SEED AMONG THE THORNS IS HE THAT HEARETH THE WORD; AND THE CARE OF THIS WORLD, AND THE DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES, CHOKE THE WORD, AND HE BECOMETH UNFRUITFUL.
    (Group four). BUT HE THAT RECEIVED SEED INTO THE GOOD GROUND IS HE THAT HEARETH THE WORD, AND UNDERSTANDETH IT; WHICH ALSO BEARETH FRUIT, AND BRINGETH FORTH, SOME AN HUNDREDFOLD, SOME SIXTY, SOME THIRTY.

   Mk 4:3-8-(Group one). HEARKEN; BEHOLD, THERE WENT OUT A SOWER TO SOW: AND IT CAME TO PASS, AS HE SOWED, SOME FELL BY THE WAY SIDE, AND THE FOWLS OF THE AIR CAME AND DEVOURED IT UP.
    (Group two). AND SOME FELL ON STONY GROUND, WHERE IT HAD NOT MUCH EARTH; AND IMMEDIATELY IT SPRANG UP, BECAUSE IT HAD NO DEPTH OF EARTH: BUT WHEN THE SUN WAS UP, IT WAS SCORCHED; AND BECAUSE IT HAD NO ROOT, IT WITHERED AWAY.
    (Group three). AND SOME FELL AMONG THORNS, AND THE THORNS GREW UP, AND CHOKED IT, AND IT YIELDED NO FRUIT.
    (Group four). AND OTHER FELL ON GOOD GROUND, AND DID YIELD FRUIT THAT SPRANG UP AND INCREASED, AND BROUGHT FORTH, SOME THIRTY, AND SOME SIXTY, AND SOME AN HUNDRED.
   Mk 4:14-20-(Group one). THE SOWER SOWETH THE WORD. AND THESE ARE THEY BY THE WAY SIDE, WHERE THE WORD IS SOWN; BUT WHEN THEY HAVE HEARD, SATAN COMETH IMMEDIATELY, AND TAKETH AWAY THE WORD THAT WAS SOWN IN THEIR HEARTS.
    (Group two). AND THESE ARE THEY LIKEWISE WHICH ARE SOWN ON STONY GROUND; WHO, WHEN THEY HAVE HEARD THE WORD, IMMEDIATELY RECEIVE IT WITH GLADNESS; AND HAVE NO ROOT IN THEMSELVES, AND SO ENDURE BUT FOR A TIME: AFTERWARD, WHEN AFFLICTION OR PERSECUTION ARISETH FOR THE WORDS SAKE, IMMEDIATELY THEY ARE OFFENDED.
    (Group three). AND THESE ARE THEY WHICH ARE SOWN AMONG THORNS; SUCH AS HEAR THE WORD, AND THE CARES OF THIS WORLD, AND THE DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES, AND THE LUSTS OF OTHER THINGS ENTERING IN, CHOKE THE WORD, AND IT BECOMETH UNFRUITFUL.
    (Group four). AND THESE ARE THEY WHICH ARE SOWN ON GOOD GROUND; SUCH AS HEAR THE WORD, AND RECEIVE IT, AND BRING FORTH FRUIT, SOME THIRTYFOLD, SOME SIXTY, AND SOME AN HUNDRED.

   Lk 8:5-8-A (Group one). SOWER WENT OUT TO SOW HIS SEED: AND AS HE SOWED, SOME FELL BY THE WAY SIDE; AND IT WAS TRODDEN DOWN, AND THE FOWLS OF THE AIR DEVOURED IT.
    (Group two). AND SOME FELL UPON A ROCK; AND AS SOON AS IT WAS SPRUNG UP, IT WITHERED AWAY, BECAUSE IT LACKED MOISTURE.
    (Group three). AND SOME FELL AMONG THORNS; AND THE THORNS SPRANG UP WITH IT, AND CHOKED IT.
    (Group four). AND OTHER FELL ON GOOD GROUND, AND SPRANG UP, AND BARE FRUIT AN HUNDREDFOLD. AND WHEN HE HAD SAID THESE THINGS, HE CRIED, HE THAT HATH EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR.
   Lk 8:11-15-(Group one). NOW THE PARABLE IS THIS: THE SEED IS THE WORD OF GOD. THOSE BY THE WAY SIDE ARE THEY THAT HEAR; THEN COMETH THE DEVIL, AND TAKETH AWAY THE WORD OUT OF THEIR HEARTS, LEST THEY SHOULD BELIEVE AND BE SAVED.
    (Group two). THEY ON THE ROCK ARE THEY, WHICH, WHEN THEY HEAR, RECEIVE THE WORD WITH JOY; AND THESE HAVE NO ROOT, WHICH FOR A WHILE BELIEVE, AND IN TIME OF TEMPTATION FALL AWAY.
    (Group three). AND THAT WHICH FELL AMONG THORNS ARE THEY, WHICH, WHEN THEY HAVE HEARD, GO FORTH, AND ARE CHOKED WITH CARES AND RICHES AND PLEASURES OF THIS LIFE, AND BRING NO FRUIT TO PERFECTION.
    Group four). BUT THAT ON THE GOOD GROUND ARE THEY, WHICH IN AN HONEST AND GOOD HEART, HAVING HEARD THE WORD, KEEP IT, AND BRING FORTH FRUIT WITH PATIENCE.

    The following contains the three versions of the parable of the sower (group one) combined.
   (Group one). BEHOLD, A SOWER WENT FORTH TO SOW; THERE WENT OUT A SOWER TO SOW, A SOWER WENT OUT TO SOW HIS SEED:
    AND WHEN HE SOWED, SOME SEEDS FELL BY THE WAY SIDE, THOSE BY THE WAY SIDE ARE THEY THAT HEAR; BUT WHEN THEY HAVE HEARD, AND THESE ARE THEY BY THE WAY SIDE, WHERE THE WORD IS SOWN; WHEN ANY ONE HEARETH THE WORD OF THE KINGDOM, AND UNDERSTANDETH IT NOT, AND IT WAS TRODDEN DOWN, AND THE FOWLS OF THE AIR CAME AND DEVOURED IT UP. THEM UP; (Satan is called the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience-Eph 2:2). SATAN COMETH IMMEDIATELY, THEN COMETH THE WICKED ONE, THEN COMETH THE DEVIL, AND CATCHETH AWAY THAT WHICH WAS SOWN, AND TAKETH AWAY THE WORD THAT WAS SOWN, IN HIS HEART. IN THEIR HEARTS. OUT OF THEIR HEARTS, LEST THEY SHOULD BELIEVE AND BE SAVED. THIS IS HE WHICH RECEIVETH SEED BY THE WAY SIDE

    The parable of the sower covers nearly the entire scope of the Bible and all people. It portrays people rejecting God’s Word, to those that receive God’s Word but then fall away, to those that receive God’s Word and bring forth fruit. Much of the entire Bible can be cataloged under one of the four headings that are illustrated in this parable.

    The seed is the Word of God. The Word is sown. The Word of God goes forth by both the written word and the spoken word. It is read. It is heard.
   (Group one). The type of ground that the seed (or the Word) lands on illustrates the kind of a heart that a person has. The seed that falls by the wayside is illustrating that there is absolutely no place at all for the seed to take root and grow. This is illustrating that in the heart of the person that has a wayside heart, there is no place for the Word of God to take root and grow. There is no way for this person to believe and get saved.
    As God’s Word goes forth, it is heard by group one which are people that have a wayside heart.
    Within this group is a wide range of people. The one thing they have in common is that they do not get saved.
    Some refuse to listen to God’s Word. Some will listen.
    Some hate hearing God’s Word. Some will hear it gladly.
    Some of these people are ordinary people. Some are religious.
    Some of these people are elders, ministers, priests, rabbis, missionaries, and presidents or heads of huge denominations, yet they will perish. Nevertheless, most are absolutely positive they will not perish. Some are the pastors of small churches. Some are the pastors of some of the biggest churches anywhere. Some have radio ministries. Some have television ministries. Some write books about the Bible. Some are Bible college professors. Some are Bible translators.
    Some are politicians or presidents of countries. Some are not.
    Some of these people know they do not understand the Word. Some are positive they do understand God’s Word fully, even though their understanding is wrong and distorted.
    Some despise Christian radio and television. Some listen to it faithfully.
    Some hate Christian tracts. Some gladly read them.
    Some want nothing to do with religion. Some do.
    Some are hateful people. Some are very nice people.
    Some of these people go to many Christian crusades or rallies. Some do not.
    Some of these are stiff-necked people. Some are not.
    Some will try to kill Christians and think that they are doing God a service. Some will not.
    Some know they are not saved. Some are positive they are saved. Some are not sure.
    Some go to church. Some do not.
    Some teach Sunday school. Some do not.
    Some sing in the choir. Some do not.
    Some read their Bible. Some do not.
    Some pray. Some do not.
    Some truly believe they are following Jesus. Some do not.
    Some will scoff at God’s Word. Some will not.
    Some have no religion at all. Some do.
    Some are members of cults. Some are not.
    Some are big givers to charities. Some are not.
    Some give large amounts of money to their church. Some do not.
    Some believe in Jesus. Some do not.
    Some think they obey God’s Word. Some do not.
    Some acknowledge they have rejected God’s Word. Some are positive they have not rejected God’s Word.
    Some are very poor. Some are very rich.
    Some cannot read. Some can.
    Some are very uneducated. Some are college professors.
    Some of them do not believe in hell. Some do.
    Probably none of them understand what hell is really like and probably none really believe they will go there, even though some may say they do.
    Nevertheless, despite what they think, the following is true.
    This group rejects God’s Word in their heart and does not get saved. However, many of these people do not understand that they reject God’s Word, because the darkness they are in blinds their eyes.
    When they hear God’s Word, however, they may think they understand, yet they do not. Some may understand a short time. The Word of God is trodden down or broken, or ripped apart in their hearts. It becomes distorted. It is marred. The Word as it is perceived or received in their heart is not the same as was transmitted. Their receiver is a wayside type of receiver. The truth needs to be received by a truthful heart. The demonic forces come and devour the Word up. Satan comes immediately. He catches away the Word that is sown. He takes the Word out of the person’s heart. Satan and the demonic forces are able to do this to these people, because they have a wayside heart.
    Note the fowls, which can represent demons, or demonic forces, or the devil, the wicked one, and Satan. They may come immediately or may come more slowly.
    The Word is trodden down, not understood, and taken away immediately from their heart.
    If their heart was not a wayside heart, they should believe and be saved.

    The following contains the three versions of the parable of the sower (group two) combined.
   (Group two). SOME FELL UPON STONY PLACES, AND SOME FELL ON STONY GROUND, AND SOME FELL UPON A ROCK; WHERE THEY HAD NOT MUCH EARTH: WHERE IT HAD NOT MUCH EARTH; AND FORTHWITH THEY SPRUNG UP, AND IMMEDIATELY IT SPRANG UP, AND AS SOON AS IT WAS SPRUNG UP, BUT HE THAT RECEIVED THE SEED INTO STONY PLACES, THE SAME IS HE THAT HEARETH THE WORD, AND ANON (at once) WITH JOY RECEIVETH IT; BECAUSE IT HAD NO DEEPNESS OF EARTH: YET HATH HE NOT ROOT IN HIMSELF, BUT DURETH FOR A WHILE: (repeat-AND SOME FELL ON STONY GROUND, WHERE IT HAD NOT MUCH EARTH; AND IMMEDIATELY IT SPRANG UP,)-BECAUSE IT HAD NO DEPTH OF EARTH: AND THESE ARE THEY LIKEWISE WHICH ARE SOWN ON STONY GROUND; WHO, WHEN THEY HAVE HEARD THE WORD, IMMEDIATELY RECEIVE IT WITH GLADNESS; AND HAVE NO ROOT IN THEMSELVES, AND SO ENDURE BUT FOR A TIME: (repeat-AND SOME FELL UPON A ROCK; AND AS SOON AS IT WAS SPRUNG UP, IT WITHERED AWAY,)-THEY ON THE ROCK ARE THEY, WHICH, WHEN THEY HEAR, RECEIVE THE WORD WITH JOY; AND THESE HAVE NO ROOT, WHICH FOR A WHILE BELIEVE, AND WHEN THE SUN WAS UP, THEY WERE SCORCHED; AND BECAUSE THEY HAD NO ROOT, THEY WITHERED AWAY. FOR WHEN TRIBULATION OR PERSECUTION ARISETH BECAUSE OF THE WORD, BY AND BY HE IS OFFENDED. BUT WHEN THE SUN WAS UP, IT WAS SCORCHED; AND BECAUSE IT HAD NO ROOT, IT WITHERED AWAY. AFTERWARD, WHEN AFFLICTION OR PERSECUTION ARISETH FOR THE WORD’S SAKE, IMMEDIATELY THEY ARE OFFENDED (or stumble). (repeat-IT WITHERED AWAY)-BECAUSE IT LACKED MOISTURE. -AND IN TIME OF TEMPTATION FALL AWAY.

    The Word of God is sown. The Word of God goes forth by both the written word and the spoken word. It is read. It is heard.
   (Group two). As God’s Word goes forth, it is heard by group two. These are the people that have a rocky or stony heart. Their heart is like a rock or a stony place or stony ground.
    Within this group is a wide range of people. They all have this in common—they believe the Word which springs up in their heart. They repent. They receive the Word with joy. Indeed, it is written that they that GLADLY RECEIVED HIS WORD WERE BAPTIZED-Acts 2:41. They all get saved. Some get saved immediately, others later on. One receives the Word (Jesus) with joy. Another immediately receives the Word (Jesus) with gladness, but they all fall away. Some fall immediately. Others fall at a much later date.
    This may be compared to a seed that falls among rocks, but there is a bit of soil. So the seed begins to root itself and starts to grow or spring up.
    But once the plant begins to grow, which is symbolic of the person getting saved, things begin to happen. It may be said that the person hears voices in their head that contradict God’s Word.
   Temptations of all kinds come against the new Christian. These temptations may come against him in his most vulnerable areas. Personal desires that are contrary to God’s Word may be overwhelming. Eve was tempted with personal desires. She was deceived by the devil. Adam was tempted by his wife, and he fell.
   Persecutions may come from the true Christian’s family, from his friends, from his church, even from his minister or denomination. Persecutions may come from the police, or government, or his employer, or the most unexpected places because of the Word (Jesus). The Christian may be beaten or even falsely accused and put in prison. It is written, YEA, AND ALL THAT WILL LIVE GODLY IN CHRIST JESUS "SHALL" SUFFER PERSECUTION-2 Tim 3:12. It is written, CONSIDER HIM (Jesus) THAT ENDURED SUCH CONTRADICTION OF SINNERS AGAINST HIMSELF, LEST YE BE WEARIED AND FAINT IN YOUR MINDS-Heb 12:3. Consider Jesus. He was in AGONY...HIS SWEAT WAS AS...GREAT DROPS OF BLOOD-Lk 22:44. Consider Jesus. The men MOCKED HIM...The religious leaders SPAKE AGAINST HIM. They ACCUSED HIM-ref Lk 22:63,65; 23:10,11. He was SCOURGED-Jn 19:1. And finally they crucified Jesus. HIS APPEARANCE WAS SO DISFIGURED BEYOND THAT OF ANY MAN, AND HIS FORM MARRED BEYOND HUMAN LIKENESS-Isa 52:14 NIV.
   Afflictions (or troubles, tribulations, hardships, problems, difficulties, and sufferings) also come. All kinds of sickness or health problems may come. Various afflictions that may not even be imagined may arise. There may be times when you have little or nothing to eat, and no place to lay your head. It is written, WE MUST THROUGH MUCH TRIBULATION (or many hardships) ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD-Acts 14:22. Yes, we have victory in Jesus, but that does not free us from going through these things. Those who stand firm through the test have the victory through Jesus. It is written, THE SON OF MAN (himself) MUST SUFFER MANY THINGS-Mk 8:31. And the Christian is to suffer also. IF WE SUFFER, WE SHALL ALSO REIGN WITH HIM-2 Tim 2:12. FOR UNTO YOU IT IS GIVEN IN THE BEHALF OF CHRIST, NOT ONLY TO BELIEVE ON HIM, BUT ALSO TO SUFFER "FOR HIS SAKE"-Phili 1:29. And what of Moses? He chose RATHER TO SUFFER AFFLICTION WITH THE PEOPLE OF GOD, THAN TO ENJOY THE PLEASURES OF SIN FOR A SEASON; ESTEEMING THE REPROACH (the sufferings, the disgrace, the hardships, the persecutions, the afflictions that would take place for the sake) OF CHRIST GREATER RICHES THAN THE TREASURES IN EGYPT...FOR HE ENDURED, AS SEEING HIM WHO IS INVISIBLE-Heb 11:25,27.
    In group two, these things begin to kill the new plant that has sprung up. These things begin to kill the new Christian. He begins to shrink back from doing God’s will and from obeying the Gospel. His faith begins to fail. The new Christian begins to die because the seed (God’s Word) has fallen on rocky ground. The new plant is not getting enough moisture or nourishment. When water falls on a rock it dries up quickly. The new plant does not have enough good dirt to keep growing in. The roots that are developing from the seed are not finding enough dirt to keep increasing. The plant begins to wither. It begins to gradually die. It is starving to death. It begins to shrivel up. The new Christian’s heart is so full of stones that God’s Word in him begins to die as various devices are brought against him by Satan.
    Consider a new plant in the garden. After one day without water, it droops a little. After two days, it looks bad. After several days without water it dies. However, a large plant may die much more slowly.
    The seed that sprung up has no root or does not have enough root to continue to grow as all these things begin to hinder it. The Christian has nothing to stand on. The sun rises higher and higher in the sky. The plant begins to shrivel up. It withers under the intense sun. The new Christian that has sprung up withers when the going gets tough under all the pressures that come against him, as they become more and more intense. The tribulations, the temptations, the persecutions, the afflictions and troubles are just too much for the new Christian. This is symbolized by the plant that sprang up and withered.
    The reason (the plant) or Word in the Christian’s heart begins to wither or die is it lacks moisture. It doesn’t have enough deepness of earth to keep growing. It doesn’t have enough good soil. We can only stand by faith that comes from God’s Word being rooted in our heart.
    In some cases, the new plant (or Christian) that has sprung up withers away almost immediately. The Christian becomes offended in some way almost as soon as he believes. Some trust God for a longer period of time, perhaps even years but then fall away as the blaring, hot sun becomes more and more intense. The plant (which illustrates the Christian) becomes scorched. The pressure Satan brings against the Christian finally becomes too much. The Christian becomes offended in some way and wrong thoughts or voices take over. He doesn’t understand. He doubts. The plant (or Christian) withers and dies. Outwardly he may take on the appearance of a Christian, but on the inside he is spiritually dead.
    The bottom line is that they no longer truly understand and believe God’s Word. Doubts, questioning and even anger may set in. God’s Word in their heart did not have enough root or moisture. God’s Word was not able to penetrate deeply enough or develop good roots, because the heart was as a rock or was stony and did not have enough earth. The deep roots or foundation that was needed to stand against the onslaught of a hurricane or cyclone is not there. Their faith fails. They no longer stand by faith. It was proved not genuine.
    Deceit and all forms of misleading doctrines can enter into the picture. Satan tries to keep the Christian from hearing, reading, and studying the Bible. He uses the traditions of men that contradict God’s Word. He is a master of deceit. Satan also uses the watered-down word to help kill the Christian. The watered-down milk is God’s Word mixed with worldly stories, vanity, and vain janglings. If a baby (or Christian) is fed pure milk (or the pure Word of God) he may grow, but if he is constantly fed one part of milk that has nine parts of water mixed in with it, then the baby will probably die from a lack of nourishment. Indeed, in this Laodicean church age, watered-down milk, deceit and all kinds of confusion is what is being fed to the Christians today.
    The falling away from the faith, from the truth, is a symbol of this deceived generation. Thus Satan, blots out the truth of God’s Word, concerning this generation falling, and replaces the truth with the lie of "revival, revival." It is amazing how clear this is in God’s Word, yet how few can understand it. Yet this was also prophesied as a sign that the return of Jesus was near.

1-some fall upon a rock........................ these...………. have no root...
2-some fell upon stony places............ he..........……... hath no root...
3-some fell on stony ground............... and (it).…….... have no root...
  
1-................................………….............. it.......……….... lacked moisture
2-not much earth.…………………...... they.……......... had no deepness of earth...
3-not much earth.…………………...... it......………...... had no deepness of earth...
 
1-sprung up..............................……………………......... receives Jesus...
2-(forthwith) sprung up.......………………………........ Jesus immediately...
3-(immediately) sprang up.…………………………..... receives Jesus immediately...
  
1-with joy..............…………………………………......... for a while believe...
2-with joy.............………………………………….......... dureth for a while...
3-with gladness.……………………………………....... endure but for a time
1-temptation (came) as soon as it......................…….... sprung up...
2-when tribulation or persecution................................. ariseth...
3-afterward when afflictions or persecutions.………. ariseth...
  
1-..............................................................…………...........  
2-because of the Word.……………………………….... when the sun was up...
3-because of the Word.……………………………........ when the sun was up
   
1-and in the time of temptation.......………………....... fall away...
2-by and by he is offended.................. they………….. was scorched...
3-immediately they are offended..…... it…………….... was scorched...
  
1-………………………………….......... it........……….... withered away.
2-………………………………….......... they..……….... withered away.
3-………………………………….......... it........……….... withered away.

    Christians today want a life devoid of problems. They want a life devoid of any difficulties such as sickness, financial worries, troubles, afflictions, or persecutions. Often-times in today’s Laodicean churches, this is what is being taught. It lures some people to come to the church. It is preaching that people’s itching ears want to hear, but it is not truth.
    God’s Word clearly tells us we shall go through many difficulties. If we follow Jesus, we can expect to go through many of the same things he went through. Most churches today are not preparing the new converts for what lies ahead. Over and over the Christian is admonished to "be strong." This is only possible with deeply-rooted faith that is built upon God’s Word, which is truth. The deep roots are needed to stand when the sun is high in the sky, and the scorching heat bears down upon the Christian.
    Today’s church is, at best, lukewarm. The Christians are lukewarm, and the world loves to have it this way. The Bible clearly tells us to wake up. ANOINT THINE EYES WITH EYESALVE, THAT THOU MAYEST SEE...REPENT-Rev 3:18,19.

    The following contains the three versions of the parable of the sower (group three) combined.
   (Group three). BEHOLD, A SOWER WENT FORTH TO SOW; AND WHEN HE HAD SOWED, SOME SEEDS (the seed is the word of God) FELL AMONG THORNS: AND THE THORNS SPRANG UP, AND CHOKED THEM; THE THORNS GREW UP, AND CHOKED IT. AND THE THORNS SPRANG UP WITH IT, AND CHOKED IT. AND IT YIELDED NO FRUIT. HE ALSO THAT RECEIVED SEED AMONG THE THORNS IS HE THAT HEARETH THE WORD; AND THESE ARE THEY WHICH ARE SOWN AMONG THORNS; SUCH AS HEAR THE WORD, AND THAT WHICH FELL AMONG THORNS ARE THEY, WHICH, WHEN THEY HAVE HEARD, GO FORTH,
    AND THE CARE (cares) OF THIS WORLD; AND ARE CHOKED WITH CARES
    AND RICHES AND THE DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES,
    AND PLEASURES OF THIS LIFE,
    AND THE LUSTS OF OTHER THINGS ENTERING IN, CHOKE THE WORD, AND HE (it) BECOMETH UNFRUITFUL. AND BRING NO FRUIT TO PERFECTION. (repeat-IT YIELDED NO FRUIT).

    The Word of God is sown. The Word of God goes forth by both the written word and the spoken word. It is read. It is heard.
   (Group three). As God’s Word goes forth, it is heard by group three. These are people that have a thorny heart. Their heart is like a bush that is loaded with thorns.
    Within this group is a wide range of people. They receive seed. They spring up. They receive God’s Word, Jesus. They get saved. But then some never go forth to serve God or to do God’s will, because of certain obstacles Satan puts in their way.
    However, some do go forth it appears to serve God. But because these have a thorny heart, they are not able to overcome the following things that come against them. Satan throws various obstacles against the Christian to try and stop him. Ultimately these things overcome them. They become unprofitable.
    The cares or worries or preoccupation with the many situations of this world or life that come up enter in. These become thorns and choke or strangle God’s Word in their heart. These thorns spring up with the Word. These may enter in later. These grow up. These can become more and more intense. The cares of this world become so important, because of a lack of trust in God, that the Word takes second place. Because God’s Word is strangled in their heart, their understanding is also choked. They begin to fall into confusion, deceit, and unbelief. Their foolish heart becomes darkened. They become unfruitful. They fall. They become an unprofitable servant. Yet they may not recognize the deceit that they are in and that they have fallen, because the darkness blinds their eyes. Some fall quickly as a result of God’s Word being choked. Others go forth and serve God over a long period of time, but ultimately they also are choked and become unfruitful and fall. They become so deceived that they believe the cares of this life are more important than obeying God’s Word. They become so deceived that they believe taking care of the cares of this life and putting aside God’s work (which they were called to do) is doing God’s will. Some may begin serving or worshipping that which God created rather than serving God-ref Ro 1:25.
    God’s Word warns, BE CAREFUL, OR YOUR HEARTS WILL BE WEIGHED DOWN WITH...THE ANXIETIES OF LIFE (or cares of this life), AND THAT DAY WILL CLOSE ON YOU UNEXPECTEDLY LIKE A TRAP-Lk 21:34 NIV. When the cares of this world come, wait upon the Lord and be patient. The children of Israel in the wilderness were not patient. They murmured and complained. They BELIEVED...HIS WORDS; THEY SANG HIS PRAISE. THEY SOON FORGAT HIS WORKS; THEY WAITED NOT FOR HIS COUNSEL: BUT LUSTED EXCEEDINGLY-Ps 106:12,13. Note, the TRYING OF YOUR FAITH WORKETH PATIENCE-Ja 1:3. All Christians have need of patience.
    God’s Word shows us what our attitude should be regarding the cares of this life. It is written, Mt 6:25-34, THEREFORE I SAY UNTO YOU, TAKE NO THOUGHT FOR YOUR LIFE, WHAT YE SHALL EAT, OR WHAT YE SHALL DRINK; NOR YET FOR YOUR BODY, WHAT YE SHALL PUT ON. IS NOT THE LIFE MORE THAN MEAT, AND THE BODY THAN RAIMENT?
    BEHOLD THE FOWLS OF THE AIR: FOR THEY SOW NOT, NEITHER DO THEY REAP, NOR GATHER INTO BARNS; YET YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER FEEDETH THEM. ARE YE NOT MUCH BETTER THAN THEY?
    WHICH OF YOU BY TAKING THOUGHT CAN ADD ONE CUBIT UNTO HIS STATURE?
    AND WHY TAKE YE THOUGHT FOR RAIMENT? CONSIDER THE LILIES OF THE FIELD, HOW THEY GROW; THEY TOIL NOT, NEITHER DO THEY SPIN: AND YET I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT EVEN SOLOMON IN ALL HIS GLORY WAS NOT ARRAYED LIKE ONE OF THESE.
    WHEREFORE, IF GOD SO CLOTHE THE GRASS OF THE FIELD, WHICH TO DAY IS, AND TO MORROW IS CAST INTO THE OVEN, SHALL HE NOT MUCH MORE CLOTHE YOU, O YE OF LITTLE FAITH?
    THEREFORE TAKE NO THOUGHT, SAYING, WHAT SHALL WE EAT? OR, WHAT SHALL WE DRINK? OR, WHEREWITHAL SHALL WE BE CLOTHED? (FOR AFTER ALL THESE THINGS DO THE GENTILES SEEK:) FOR YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER KNOWETH THAT YE HAVE NEED OF ALL THESE THINGS. BUT SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU.
    TAKE THEREFORE NO THOUGHT FOR THE MORROW: FOR THE MORROW SHALL TAKE THOUGHT FOR THE THINGS OF ITSELF. SUFFICIENT UNTO THE DAY IS THE EVIL THEREOF-Mt 6:25-34.
    TAKE NO THOUGHT FOR YOUR LIFE
    TAKE NO THOUGHT...WHAT YE SHALL DRINK
    TAKE NO THOUGHT...FOR YOUR BODY, WHAT YE SHALL PUT ON.
    TAKE NO THOUGHT SAYING, WHAT SHALL WE EAT?
    TAKE NO THOUGHT SAYING, WHAT SHALL WE DRINK?
    TAKE NO THOUGHT FOR THE MORROW.
    THE BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN IS TO WALK BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT.
    In the thorny heart, the cares of this life choke and strangle God’s Word. They perish.

    The riches and deceitfulness of riches enter in also and become thorns and choke or strangle God’s Word in their heart. These thorns spring up with the Word. These may enter in later. These grow up. These can become more and more intense. Because God’s Word is strangled in their heart, their understanding is also choked. They begin to fall into confusion, deceit, and unbelief. Their foolish heart becomes darkened. They become unfruitful. They fall. They become an unprofitable servant. Some fall quickly from God’s Word being choked. Others go forth and serve God over a long period of time, but ultimately they are also choked and become unfruitful and fall. Yet they may not recognize the deceit that they are in and that they have fallen, because the darkness blinds their eyes. So many people are deceived by Satan in this way. A person may be abiding in God’s will, but then very unexpectedly an opportunity to gain some riches occurs. But there is a hitch. In some way, either now or later, the Christian will be tempted to stray from doing God’s will. Often-times when this temptation comes, the disobedience to God is not at first recognized. It often looks like a blessing from God, but in reality it is a trick of Satan to deceive the Christian. Beware. God tells us, BE CONTENT WITH SUCH THINGS AS YE HAVE-Heb 13:5.
    Jesus was tempted with riches and fame. It is written, THE DEVIL TAKETH HIM (Jesus) UP INTO AN EXCEEDING HIGH MOUNTAIN, AND SHEWETH HIM ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD, AND THE GLORY OF THEM. AND SAITH UNTO HIM, ALL THESE THINGS WILL I GIVE THEE, IF THOU WILT FALL DOWN AND WORSHIP ME. THEN SAITH JESUS UNTO HIM, GET THEE HENCE, SATAN: FOR IT IS WRITTEN, THOU SHALT WORSHIP THE LORD THY GOD, AND HIM ONLY SHALT THOU SERVE-Mt 4:8-10.
    The Bible warns, THEY THAT BE RICH FALL INTO TEMPTATION AND A SNARE, AND INTO MANY FOOLISH AND HURTFUL LUSTS, WHICH DROWN MEN IN DESTRUCTION AND PERDITION-1 Tim 6:9. For HE THAT TRUSTETH IN HIS RICHES SHALL FALL-Pv 11:28. Indeed, THE LOVE OF MONEY IS A ROOT OF ALL KINDS OF EVIL. SOME PEOPLE, EAGER FOR MONEY, HAVE WANDERED FROM THE FAITH AND PIERCED THEMSELVES WITH MANY GRIEFS.
    Therefore, LAY NOT UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES UPON EARTH...FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE WILL YOUR HEART BE ALSO. NO MAN CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS:...YE CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON (money)-Mt 6:19,21,24. BUT YOU, MAN OF GOD, FLEE FROM ALL THIS-1 Tim 6:10,11 NIV. Because the rich say, DEPART FROM US; FOR WE DESIRE NOT THE KNOWLEDGE OF THY WAYS. WHAT IS THE ALMIGHTY, THAT WE SHOULD SERVE HIM? AND WHAT PROFIT SHOULD WE HAVE, IF WE PRAY UNTO HIM-JOB 21:13-15? Therefore, LABOUR NOT TO BE RICH-Pv 23:4.
    AND WHEN HE WAS GONE FORTH INTO THE WAY, THERE CAME ONE RUNNING, AND KNEELED TO HIM (to Jesus), AND ASKED HIM, GOOD MASTER, WHAT SHALL I DO THAT I MAY INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE? AND JESUS SAID...THOU KNOWEST THE COMMANDMENTS, DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT KILL, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, DEFRAUD NOT, HONOUR THY FATHER AND MOTHER.
    AND HE ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO HIM, MASTER, ALL THESE HAVE I OBSERVED FROM MY YOUTH. THEN JESUS BEHOLDING HIM LOVED HIM, AND SAID UNTO HIM, ONE THING THOU LACKEST: GO THY WAY, SELL WHATSOEVER THOU HAST, AND GIVE TO THE POOR, AND THOU SHALT HAVE TREASURE IN HEAVEN: AND COME, TAKE UP THE CROSS, AND FOLLOW ME. AND HE WAS SAD AT THAT SAYING, AND WENT AWAY GRIEVED: FOR HE HAD GREAT POSSESSIONS.
    23 AND JESUS LOOKED ROUND ABOUT, AND SAITH UNTO HIS DISCIPLES, HOW HARDLY SHALL THEY THAT HAVE RICHES ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND THE DISCIPLES WERE ASTONISHED AT HIS WORDS. BUT JESUS ANSWERETH AGAIN, AND SAITH UNTO THEM, CHILDREN, HOW HARD IS IT FOR THEM THAT TRUST IN RICHES TO ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD IT IS EASIER FOR A CAMEL TO GO THROUGH THE EYE OF A NEEDLE, THAN FOR A RICH MAN TO ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD-Mk 10:17-25.
    Thus God’s message to the rich is, SELL THAT YE HAVE, AND GIVE ALMS; PROVIDE YOURSELVES BAGS WHICH WAX NOT OLD, A TREASURE IN THE HEAVENS THAT FAILETH NOT-Lk 12:33.
    We are reminded that it is written, FOR WHAT IS A MAN PROFITED, IF HE SHALL GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD, AND LOSE HIS OWN SOUL-MT 16:26?
    In this Laodicean, latter day church age we are now in, some churches deceive many people by misusing Scripture. They preach a message of prosperity and acquiring wealth and riches. They seem to indicate that GAIN IS GODLINESS. Unsuspecting people flock to some of their churches. God’s Word warns his people about such as these. It is written, that IF ANY MAN TEACH...NOT...TO THE DOCTRINE WHICH IS ACCORDING TO GODLINESS...he is DESTITUTE OF THE TRUTH, SUPPOSING THAT GAIN IS GODLINESS: FROM SUCH WITHDRAW THYSELF-1 Tim 6:3,5. People that hear this kind of people pleasing preaching, often become easy targets for Satan to deceive them with the deceitfulness of riches. In such churches, one might never hear the following verses: BLESSED BE YE POOR: FOR YOURS IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD. BUT WOE UNTO YOU THAT ARE RICH! FOR YE HAVE RECEIVED YOUR CONSOLATION-Lk 6:20,24. MY BELOVED BRETHREN, HATH NOT GOD CHOSEN THE POOR OF THIS WORLD RICH IN FAITH, AND HEIRS OF THE KINGDOM WHICH HE HATH PROMISED TO THEM THAT LOVE HIM-Ja 2:5?
    In the thorny heart, the deceitfulness of riches choke and strangle God’s Word. They perish.

    The lusts or desires or coveting or overwhelming selfish cravings of other things enter in also and become thorns and choke or strangle God’s Word in their heart. These lusts spring up with the Word. These may enter in later. These grow up. These can become more and more intense. Because God’s Word is strangled in their heart, their understanding is also choked. They begin to fall into confusion, deceit, and unbelief. Their foolish heart becomes darkened. They bring no fruit to perfection. They fall. They become an unprofitable servant. Some fall quickly from God’s Word being choked. Others serve God over a long period of time, but ultimately they also are choked and die. Yet they may not recognize the deceit that they are in and that they have fallen, because the darkness blinds their eyes.
    It is written, FOR ALL THAT IS IN THE WORLD, THE LUST OF THE FLESH, AND THE LUST OF THE EYES, AND THE PRIDE OF LIFE, IS NOT OF THE FATHER, BUT IS OF THE WORLD. AND THE WORLD PASSETH AWAY, AND THE LUST THEREOF: BUT HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF GOD ABIDETH FOR EVER-1 JN 2:16,17.
    Note God’s Word, WE OURSELVES...WERE SOMETIMES FOOLISH,...SERVING DIVERS LUSTS...BUT AFTER...ACCORDING TO HIS MERCY HE SAVED US-Titus 3:3-5.
    For this know, that EVERY MAN IS TEMPTED, WHEN HE IS DRAWN AWAY OF HIS OWN LUST, AND ENTICED. THEN WHEN LUST HATH CONCEIVED, IT BRINGETH FORTH SIN: AND SIN, WHEN IT IS FINISHED, BRINGETH FORTH DEATH. DO NOT ERR, MY BELOVED BRETHREN-Ja 1:14-16. Satan schemes to choke God’s Word in a person by using vanity, lusts, and worldly desires. Beware of those that SPEAK GREAT SWELLING (or boastful) WORDS OF VANITY, THEY ALLURE (or entice people) THROUGH THE LUSTS (or lustful desires) OF THE FLESH (or sinful human nature), THROUGH MUCH WANTONNESS (or seduction, perversion, or corruption), THOSE THAT WERE CLEAN ESCAPED FROM THEM WHO LIVE IN ERROR-2 Pe 2:18.
    God’s Word tells us clearly, HE THAT SOWETH TO HIS FLESH SHALL OF THE FLESH REAP CORRUPTION; BUT HE THAT SOWETH TO THE SPIRIT SHALL OF THE SPIRIT REAP LIFE EVERLASTING-Gal 6:6. It is also written, FLEE...YOUTHFUL LUSTS:...FOLLOW RIGHTEOUSNESS-2 Tim 2:22. ABSTAIN FROM FLESHLY LUSTS, WHICH WAR AGAINST THE SOUL-1 Pe 2:11. BUT PUT YE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND MAKE NOT PROVISION FOR THE FLESH, TO FULFILL THE LUSTS THEREOF-Ro 13:14.
    Eph 4:22 calls lusts "deceitful."
    This is the Laodicean generation of which it is written, FOR THE TIME WILL COME (which is now) WHEN MEN WILL NOT PUT UP WITH SOUND DOCTRINE. INSTEAD, TO SUIT THEIR OWN DESIRES, (or lusts) THEY WILL GATHER AROUND THEM A GREAT NUMBER OF TEACHERS TO SAY WHAT THEIR ITCHING EARS WANT TO HEAR. THEY WILL TURN THEIR EARS AWAY FROM THE TRUTH-2 Tim 4:3,4 NIV.
    Lusts or covetousness can choke God’s Word. Lk 12:15-Jesus said, TAKE HEED, AND BEWARE OF COVETOUSNESS: FOR A MANS LIFE CONSISTETH NOT IN THE ABUNDANCE OF THE THINGS WHICH HE POSSESSETH-Lk 12:15. FOR THIS YE KNOW, THAT NO...COVETOUS MAN, WHO IS AN IDOLATER, HATH ANY INHERITANCE IN THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST AND OF GOD-Eph 5:5. Beware of the attitude of "I" want this. "I" want that. Why does God call covetousness, idolatry? Col 3:5 tells us, COVETOUSNESS, WHICH IS IDOLATRY. The reason is that a covetous man puts his own desires before those of God. His lusts or desires or covetousness choke God’s Word. Idolatry is not just making a molten calf. It can be anything that comes between a person and God. In many cases, whatever stops a person from doing God’s will may be called an idol.
    In the thorny heart, the lusts of other things choke and strangle God’s Word. They perish.

    The pleasures of this life, the pursuit of happiness, and having a good time also become thorns and choke or strangle God’s Word in their heart. These pleasures spring up with the Word. These may enter in later. These grow up. These can become more and more intense. The Christian is to deny himself, however, he become so entangled in "self," in having a good time that there is just no more room left for Jesus. Many people have the ungodly idea that "if it feels good, do it." It must be O.K. Sin offers pleasure but produces death. Few people in America would give up their favorite television shows for Jesus. Because of pleasures, God’s Word is strangled in their heart. Their understanding is also choked. Pleasures and the pursuit of happiness, and fun, and having a good time become so important that God’s Word gradually becomes less and less important. The weeds or thorns dominate God’s Word, surround it, and strangle it. The person begins to fall into confusion, deceit, and unbelief. Their personal desires make the Word of God of none effect. Their foolish heart becomes darkened. As the Word is being choked or distorted because of the desire for pleasures, the fruit bearing tree gradually bears less and less fruit. They become unfruitful. They fall. They become an unprofitable servant. The desire for pleasure has choked and replaced the desire for God’s Word. The weeds have grown bigger than God’s Word and have killed it. Some fall quickly from God’s Word being choked. Others go forth and serve God over a long period of time, but ultimately they also are choked and become unfruitful and fall. Yet they may not recognize the deceit that they are in and that they have fallen, because the darkness blinds their eyes. They may recede back to being a hearer of the Word, but not a doer of the Word.
    It is written, LOVE NOT THE WORLD, NEITHER THE THINGS THAT ARE IN THE WORLD. IF ANY MAN LOVE THE WORLD, THE LOVE OF THE FATHER IS NOT IN HIM-1 JN 2:15, KNOW YE NOT THAT THE FRIENDSHIP OF THE WORLD IS ENMITY (or hatred) WITH GOD? WHOSOEVER THEREFORE WILL BE A FRIEND OF THE WORLD IS THE ENEMY OF GOD-Ja 4:4. KEEP...UNSPOTTED FROM THE WORLD-Ja 1:27. SET YOUR AFFECTION ON THINGS ABOVE, NOT ON THINGS OF THE EARTH-Col 3:2.
    Beware, for it is written, THIS KNOW ALSO, THAT IN THE LAST DAYS,...MEN SHALL BE LOVERS OF THEIR OWN SELVES,...LOVERS OF PLEASURES MORE THAN LOVERS OF GOD-2 Tim 3:1,2,4.
    We may forget that it is written, SHE THAT LIVETH IN PLEASURE IS DEAD WHILE SHE LIVETH-1 Tim 5:6.
    Demas appears to have been with Paul and Luke in Col 4:14 as we read, LUKE, THE BELOVED PHYSICIAN, AND DEMAS, GREET YOU. Again Demas is mentioned in the Epistle to Philemon. It is written, THERE SALUTE THEE EPAPHRAS, MY FELLOWPRISONER IN CHRIST JESUS; MARCUS, ARISTARCHUS, DEMAS, LUCAS, MY FELLOWLABOURERS-Phile 23,24. Here were fellow servants in Christ with Paul. This certainly means that they were saved. They were bearing fruit for Christ. They appear to have been winning the lost to the kingdom. Paul calls Demas, FELLOWPRISONER IN CHRIST JESUS, and also MY FELLOWLABOURERS. So what happened? How did Satan tempt him? He had the teaching of Paul. He undoubtedly had witnessed great miracles done by the hand of God. Yet, he falls away and leaves Paul.
    Satan used "he loved this present world." He had gone forth and was laboring for Jesus. But the Word of God became choked with the pleasures of this life. He became unfruitful. It is written, FOR DEMAS HATH FORSAKEN ME, HAVING LOVED THIS PRESENT WORLD, AND IS DEPARTED UNTO THESSALONICA-2 TIM 4:10.
    It is also written in God’s Word, WE OURSELVES...WERE SOMETIMES FOOLISH,...SERVING DIVERS...PLEASURES...BUT "AFTER"...ACCORDING TO HIS MERCY HE SAVED US-Titus 3:3-5.
    We may need to be reminded, IF THOU DO AT ALL FORGET THE LORD THY GOD, AND WALK AFTER OTHER GODS, (this could be a person’s TV, automobile, house, job, astrology, or many other things) AND SERVE THEM, AND WORSHIP THEM, I TESTIFY AGAINST YOU THIS DAY THAT YE SHALL SURELY PERISH-Deut 8:19.
    In the thorny heart, the pleasures of this world choke and strangle God’s Word. They perish.

3-(OVERVIEW OF THE THORNY HEART)

    As the thorny heart allows these various devices to come and deceive him and choke God’s Word, he may also hear a stranger’s voice (Satan’s voice) saying:
    Stop going to all those church services, Bible studies, and prayer services. Other things are more important. You don’t have to go all the time.
    Stop going to that church that constantly preaches on sin, repentance, and judgment. Go to that big, fancy church that has all that good entertainment.
    Stop reading, studying, memorizing and hearing the Word of God so much. Other things are more important. Watch that television program. Read that novel. Check the newspaper. Go to that movie. Go out with that pretty girl. Go to that party. Just let your hair down and go and have a good time. You can read your Bible later. You only live once. Eat, drink, and be merry. You need to get some sleep or do this or that.
    Stop serving God. You're just wasting your time. You're not accomplishing anything anyway. Other things are more important. Too many other things need to be taken care of.
    Stop from following Jesus all the time. Other things are more important. You don’t have to go overboard.
    Stop obeying God’s commandments. Other things are more important. You can obey some, but some are just wrong and they are stopping you from doing those things you want and need to do.
    Stop obeying God’s voice. Are you sure that is God’s voice? God wouldn’t tell you, you are to do this or that. Other things are more important.
    Stop fearing God. The Bible doesn’t say we are to fear Him. Only reverence Him. Most of the best preachers do not believe we are to fear God. After all, God is love. Better yet, don't reverence God either. Other things need to be feared. Be afraid if you don’t take care of this or that problem.
    Stop trying to walk by faith. It doesn’t work. You need to do things yourself. Other things are more important. You should walk by what you can see.
    Stop waiting on God. He is not going to answer you. And if He does answer you He may say no. You’ve waited long enough. God does not care. If you don’t act on your own, what you need done will never be accomplished.

    God’s Word tells us, LET US LAY ASIDE EVERY WEIGHT (let us throw off everything that hinders-NIV), AND THE SIN WHICH DOTH SO EASILY BESET US, AND LET US RUN WITH PATIENCE THE RACE THAT IS SET BEFORE US-Heb 12:1.
    All those with a thorny heart eventually fall. They do not continue steadfast in God’s will and serving God. God’s Word becomes choked with the things Satan uses. These devices that Satan uses often hinders Bible reading and study. They hinder doing God’s will and serving God. They hinder being a doer of God’s Word. The Christian shrinks back. They yield no fruit. They becomes unfruitful. They bring no fruit to perfection. They turn from walking in the works which God has prepared for them to do. They turn from doing the will of God. They become as an unprofitable servant, as it is written,
    FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AS A MAN TRAVELLING INTO A FAR COUNTRY, WHO CALLED HIS OWN SERVANTS, AND DELIVERED UNTO THEM HIS GOODS. AND UNTO ONE HE GAVE FIVE TALENTS, TO ANOTHER TWO, AND TO ANOTHER ONE; TO EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS SEVERAL ABILITY; AND STRAIGHTWAY TOOK HIS JOURNEY.
    THEN HE THAT HAD RECEIVED THE FIVE TALENTS WENT AND TRADED WITH THE SAME, AND MADE THEM OTHER FIVE TALENTS. AND LIKEWISE HE THAT HAD RECEIVED TWO, HE ALSO GAINED OTHER TWO. BUT HE THAT HAD RECEIVED ONE WENT AND DIGGED IN THE EARTH, AND HID HIS LORDS MONEY. AFTER A LONG TIME THE LORD OF THOSE SERVANTS COMETH, AND RECKONETH WITH THEM.
    AND SO HE THAT HAD RECEIVED FIVE TALENTS CAME AND BROUGHT OTHER FIVE TALENTS, SAYING, LORD, THOU DELIVEREDST UNTO ME FIVE TALENTS: BEHOLD, I HAVE GAINED BESIDE THEM FIVE TALENTS MORE. HIS LORD SAID UNTO HIM, WELL DONE, THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT: THOU HAST BEEN FAITHFUL OVER A FEW THINGS, I WILL MAKE THEE RULER OVER MANY THINGS: ENTER THOU INTO THE JOY OF THY LORD. HE ALSO THAT HAD RECEIVED TWO TALENTS CAME AND SAID, LORD, THOU DELIVEREDST UNTO ME TWO TALENTS: BEHOLD, I HAVE GAINED TWO OTHER TALENTS BESIDE THEM. HIS LORD SAID UNTO HIM, WELL DONE, GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT; THOU HAST BEEN FAITHFUL OVER A FEW THINGS, I WILL MAKE THEE RULER OVER MANY THINGS: ENTER THOU INTO THE JOY OF THY LORD.
    *THEN HE WHICH HAD RECEIVED THE ONE TALENT CAME AND SAID, LORD, I KNEW THEE THAT THOU ART AN HARD MAN, REAPING WHERE THOU HAST NOT SOWN, AND GATHERING WHERE THOU HAST NOT STRAWED: AND I WAS AFRAID, AND WENT AND HID THY TALENT IN THE EARTH: LO, THERE THOU HAST THAT IS THINE. HIS LORD ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO HIM, THOU WICKED AND SLOTHFUL SERVANT, THOU KNEWEST THAT I REAP WHERE I SOWED NOT, AND GATHER WHERE I HAVE NOT STRAWED: THOU OUGHTEST THEREFORE TO HAVE PUT MY MONEY TO THE EXCHANGERS, AND THEN AT MY COMING I SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED MINE OWN WITH USURY. TAKE THEREFORE THE TALENT FROM HIM, AND GIVE IT UNTO HIM WHICH HATH TEN TALENTS. FOR UNTO EVERY ONE THAT HATH SHALL BE GIVEN, AND HE SHALL HAVE ABUNDANCE: BUT FROM HIM THAT HATH NOT SHALL BE TAKEN AWAY EVEN THAT WHICH HE HATH
    AND CAST YE THE UNPROFITABLE SERVANT INTO OUTER DARKNESS: THERE SHALL BE WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH-Mt 25:14-30.

    BE SOBER, BE VIGILANT; BECAUSE YOUR ADVERSARY THE DEVIL, AS A ROARING LION, WALKETH ABOUT, SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR: WHOM RESIST STEDFAST IN THE FAITH, KNOWING THAT THE SAME AFFLICTIONS ARE ACCOMPLISHED IN YOUR BRETHREN THAT ARE IN THE WORLD-1 Pe 5:8,9.

    The following contains the three versions of the parable of the sower (group four) combined.
   (Group four). BUT (AND) OTHER FELL ON (INTO) GOOD GROUND, AND SPRANG UP, AND DID YIELD FRUIT THAT SPRANG UP, AND BROUGHT FORTH FRUIT, BUT HE THAT RECEIVETH SEED INTO THE GOOD GROUND IS HE THAT HEARETH THE WORD, AND UNDERSTANDETH IT; AND THESE ARE THEY WHICH ARE SOWN ON GOOD GROUND; SUCH AS HEAR THE WORD, AND RECEIVE IT, BUT THAT ON THE GOOD GROUND ARE THEY, WHICH IN AN HONEST AND GOOD HEART, HAVING HEARD THE WORD, KEEP IT, WHICH ALSO BEARETH FRUIT, AND BRINGETH FORTH, AND BRING FORTH FRUIT, AND BEAR FRUIT, SOME AN HUNDREDFOLD, SOME SIXTYFOLD, SOME THIRTYFOLD, -SOME AN HUNDRED FOLD, SOME SIXTY, SOME THIRTY. AND INCREASED; AND BROUGHT FORTH, SOME THIRTY, AND SOME SIXTY, AND SOME AN HUNDRED. - SOME THIRTYFOLD, SOME SIXTY, AND SOME AN HUNDRED. AND BARE FRUIT AN HUNDREDFOLD. AND BRING FORTH FRUIT WITH PATIENCE.

4-ON THE LAST PARAGRAPH, NOTE

    ON GOOD GROUND-RECEIVE IT-FRUIT, SOME THIRTYFOLD, SOME SIXTY, SOME AN HUNDRED-Mk.
    INTO GOOD GROUND-UNDERSTANDETH IT-FRUIT-SOME AN HUNDREDFOLD, SOME SIXTY, SOME THIRTY-Mt.
    ON GOOD GROUND-SPRANG UP-IN-HONEST AND GOOD HEART-KEEP IT, "BARE" FRUIT AND "HUNDREDFOLD"-"BRING" FORTH...WITH "PATIENCE"-Lk.

    The Word of God is sown. The Word of God goes forth by both the written word and the spoken word. It is read. It is heard.
   (Group Four). As God’s Word goes forth, it is heard by group four. Group four are people that have a good heart or a good and honest heart. Their heart is not full of rocks or thorns. They understand God’s Word. They receive God’s Word. They spring up. They keep God’s Word. They yield fruit that springs up. They bare fruit and bring forth fruit. Fruit comes forth, some thirtyfold, some sixtyfold, some an hundred fold, some one hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold, some an hundredfold. Some increases. Fruit is brought forth with patience.
    Within this group is a wide range of people. They receive seed. They spring up. They receive God’s Word, Jesus. They get saved. They go forth to serve God or to do God’s will. Many obstacles are put in their way by Satan such as the other groups. But because they have a good heart, they overcome all of Satan’s temptations by faith. God’s Word continues to grow and develop bigger and bigger roots in their heart. God’s Word overcomes any stones in their heart. God’s Word chokes out and overcomes the thorns that try to appear in their heart. The understanding of God’s Word in their heart continues to grow. There are times that confusion does arise. There are times they just want to give up, but by trusting in God, all things work out for good.
    This fourth and last category is the good heart. They go through the same temptations and problems as all the other people that fell away.
    They should go through much of the same wrong thinking that the person that has the wayside heart goes through. However, they do not yield to the wrong thinking. Their heart chooses to believe the Word of God. They overcome all things.
    They should go through much of the same temptations, persecutions, afflictions, troubles, tribulations, hardships, problems, difficulties, sufferings, and sicknesses that the people with the stony heart goes through. However, they do not yield to these things, but their heart chooses to believe the Word of God. They overcome all things.
    They should go through much of the same cares, worries, and preoccupation with the many things of this world and life that the person with the thorny heart goes through. They should go through much of the same temptations by riches and the deceitfulness of riches, the lusts or desires or coveting or overwhelming cravings of other things, the same temptations of the pleasures of this life that the person with the thorny heart goes through. However their heart chooses to believe the Word of God. They overcome all things.
    Their faith does not fail through all these devices of the devil. They know that THERE HATH NO TEMPTATION TAKEN YOU BUT SUCH AS IS COMMON TO MAN: BUT GOD IS FAITHFUL, WHO WILL NOT SUFFER YOU TO BE TEMPTED ABOVE THAT YE ARE ABLE; BUT WILL WITH THE TEMPTATION ALSO MAKE A WAY TO ESCAPE, THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO BEAR IT-1 Cor 10:13.
    Here are some possible examples of the differences between the people with the wayside heart, the stony heart and thorny heart versus the person with the good heart.
    Two people are tempted with the television. One chooses to watch the television. The other chooses to read the Word of God.
    Two people are tempted with religious deception. One chooses to believe a deceived priest, rabbi, or preacher. The other chooses to believe the truth of the Bible.
    Two people are tempted by many hardships, problems, sickness, or even a death in the family. One turns from trusting God. He may get angry at God and blame God. The other continues to trust in God and praises God and is patient and waits on God.
    Two people are persecuted for the sake of God’s Word. One gets scared and shrinks back. The other does not.
    Two people are tempted with the cares and worries of this life. One puts the cares and worries of this life first. The other is patient and trusts in Jesus.
    Two people are tempted with the pleasures of this life. One puts having a good time first. The other puts doing the will of God first.
    Two people are tempted by the lusts of other things and the lusts of the flesh. One person gives in to these temptations. The other does not, but continues to do the will of God.
    Two people are tempted by the deceitfulness of riches. One follows after money, prospering in this world, and things of this world. The other forsakes the things of this world, denies himself, and picks up his cross and follows Jesus.
    Two people are tempted with wrong thinking. One is rebellious and stubborn. He judges his fellow Christians and even says things that he ought not. The other learns to control his tongue and brings his thoughts in line with the Word of God.
    In each case, the first person did not overcome the temptation or problem by faith. Ultimately their faith was at best lukewarm or completely failed. They did not obey the Gospel. Because of continued disobedience, they fell away. They did not continue to bring forth good fruit. They did not die in faith.
    In each case, the second person did overcome the temptation or problem by faith even though they had many struggles. Their faith did not fail. They did obey the Gospel. They did bring forth good fruit right until the end. They may have fallen down many times, but their faith did not fail. They repented. They got back up and continued to trust in the Lord. They did die in faith. The second person was the one with the good heart.

5-EXAMPLES OF A GOOD HEART VERSUS A WAYSIDE HEART

    Matthew was a tax collector. He had a great responsibility. Surely, if he was to quit his job, he would have to give his employer a month’s notice. There would be no way he could quit his job and just leave everything.
    AND AS JESUS PASSED FORTH FROM THENCE, HE SAW A MAN, NAMED MATTHEW, SITTING AT THE RECEIPT OF CUSTOM: AND HE SAITH UNTO HIM, FOLLOW ME. Today, if Jesus would see you at your job working, and he said, "Follow me," what would you do? Would you say, "I will Jesus, but please wait for I need to give a notice to my employer. I need to say goodbye to my relatives. I need to go home and get some clothes and my checkbook, so I have some money."
    What did Matthew do? AND HE AROSE, AND FOLLOWED HIM-Mt 9:9. Without hesitation, he got up and immediately followed Jesus. A born-again Christian that will not follow Jesus is not fit for service in the kingdom of God. We are called to serve God.
    Now, A CERTAIN MAN MADE A GREAT SUPPER, AND BADE MANY:...AND THEY ALL WITH ONE CONSENT BEGAN TO MAKE EXCUSE. THE FIRST SAID UNTO HIM, I HAVE BOUGHT A PIECE OF GROUND, AND I "MUST" NEEDS GO AND SEE IT: I PRAY THEE HAVE ME EXCUSED. AND ANOTHER SAID, I HAVE BOUGHT FIVE TOKE OF OXEN, AND I GO TO PROVE THEM: I PRAY THEE HAVE ME EXCUSED. AND ANOTHER SAID, I HAVE MARRIED A WIFE, AND THEREFORE I CANNOT COME. THEN THE MASTER OF THE HOUSE BECAME ANGRY...I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT NONE OF THOSE MEN WHICH WERE BIDDEN SHALL TASTE OF MY SUPPER-Lk 14:16,18-21,24.
    What is the difference between Matthew and the other three? One has a good and honest heart. The others did not. The others had a wayside heart. The others put more importance on the things of the world. And what did Jesus say of those that put anything before following Him? What did Jesus say to those that put land, other things, or even a wife before Him? He said, NONE OF THOSE MEN WHICH WERE BIDDEN SHALL TASTE OF MY SUPPER. When God calls a person to come and follow Him, the only correct answer is yes, right now, without conditions. Then step forward in faith, trusting that Jesus will take care of all the problems.
    In the good heart, many hindrances occur. Many side streets come into the picture to cause confusion. Yet those with the good heart run the race that is set before them with patience and finish the race. They win. At the end of the race, they may have some bruises, some scratches, some dents, but they win. They inherit eternal life and should hear the words, WELL DONE, GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT; THOU HAST BEEN FAITHFUL OVER A FEW THINGS, I WILL MAKE THEE RULER OVER MANY THINGS: ENTER THOU INTO THE JOY OF THY LORD-Mt 25:23.

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