Sowing and reaping
“The Seed Principle”
According to the Bible in Genesis 8:22 we see a reference to a “seed principle”;
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (AMP Bible)
There is also a reference in Jeremiah 5:24 “They do not say to themselves, 'Let us fear the LORD our God, who gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.' NIV God refers to a times and seasons, thereby giving a reference to certain conditions that must be met before one can reap a harvest.
I find it interesting that there are principles in the Bible that Jesus spoke of in which have a natural connotation, along with a spiritual connotation.
Jesus spoke to the people in parables, because this was a natural way for them to understand, but they also had a double meaning in a spiritual sense. We read this through the parables of the seed and sower in (Mathew 13:1-53)
According to http://www.myschoolhouse.com/courses/O/1/125.asp a physical seed has three parts, the seed coat, the embryo and the endosperm. In the physical, the seed already has the components of what it will become but needs the proper conditions to be met for germination to take place.
The word germination in the Greek means “to wake up”. In the physical, when the seed begins to germinate the conditions of the proper amount of water, sun light and nutrition must be met. After germination takes place, there is tremendous pressure placed on the seed; then the embryo breaks forth. We do not see the germination process take place as it begins underground.
The Believer in Christ is like the seed, the worldly circumstances are like the pressure that the seed, or Believer endure. When the germination process or “waking up” occurs, the seed begins to sprout and grow into maturity; then when the seed is fully formed and abides in Christ, it can bear much fruit. (John 15)
So, as it is with a spiritual germination. In John chapter 3 Jesus is speaking to Nicodemus about being born again; He tells Nicodemus that you cannot see where the wind comes or where it goes; but such is those who are born of the Spirit.
In John chapter 4:36 Jesus explains the parable of the one who reaps a harvest they did not plant. This is a spiritual saying for that day as the people could relate to farming terms.
In the spiritual sense; in the parable of the seeds sowed. The farmer represents Jesus, the Son of man. The field is the world, and the “good seeds” are the sons of the kingdom or believers. A human being has a threefold part of their personality; mind, will and emotions; just as a natural seed has three parts. As a son of the kingdom, we already have in us the embryo of a belief in God. We then need the wind of Holy Spirit, which is Pneuma; sunlight; which is the light of God and water which is representative of baptism.
When all the conditions are met, the germination process takes place in the spirit; we “wake up” whether it be under extreme pressure or extreme sorrow; the process has already begun.
In a reference to the mustard seed; which is the smallest seed (Mark 4:31) but can result in the tallest plant; and there can be a multiplication process that is unfathomable in the natural. So, as it is with the multiplication process in the spiritual.
As a believer in Yeshua Messiah; we already have all the natural components in the spiritual embryo form of what we can attain and what we can be. What we must do
is to foster the correct conditions so they can be met. When this happens; Jesus said in John 15:1-27 how to bear fruit. Jesus explains the results of the seed principle which involves planting, cultivation, germination and reaping the harvest.
When Jesus plants a seed He makes sure all the conditions are met, so that germination can take place. When the seed sprouts and the plant comes to full maturity; it produces fruit and more seeds. Jesus also explains the pruning process; as He cuts the branches back; but it is not unto death but unto life. It is always his desire to be the true husbandman, and to attend to the plant or believer. Jesus is always the Lord of the harvest. His intention is never to kill the plant; but to make it more fruitful and beautiful.
One thing that believers tend to forget, that a seed must die in order to bear more fruit. Jesus spoke of this in John 12:32, “But, when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself." 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.” NIV.
There are more aspects to the seed principle they are planting, cultivating germination and harvesting.
In addition to their being a natural seed planting and a spiritual seed planting; our Heavenly Father plant seeds. The Bible refers to the heavenly Father who plants His word as wheat (Matthew 13:25-30) Satan also plant the seeds; which Jesus refers to as “tares”.
Tares are referred to as “weeds” in the New Testament. According to Webster's dictionary a tare is something that is “empty and without contents”. In other words a weed or a tare takes up soil, nutrients and sunlight but is empty inside and produces no fruit. (Matthew 13:25-30) Jesus said these weeds will be gathered and burned in the fire.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 15: the Apostle Paul speaks of how man should not sow to the body, but should sow to his spirit. He speaks about “man” dying to “self” or the flesh in order to be more fruitful. The flesh brings corruption and it is raised in the resurrection is incorruptable. When a person places their trust for salvation in Jesus Christ they are now a seed that is “incorruptible”; therefore will be raised in power.
The first man Adam (Genesis 2:7) came in the flesh; but the second man or second Adam with an incorruptible seed of the woman did not require genetic material from Mary or Joseph. The “seed of the woman” was self-contained so that Jesus, the second Adam was a life-giving Spirit. The first man was made from the dust of the earth, but the second man Jesus came from heaven. Paul goes on to write in I Corinthians15:50 that flesh and blood are not able to inherit the kingdom of God; nor does flesh inherit the incorruptible treasure of heaven.
When we place our faith in Jesus Christ as corrupt human flesh; we are transformed by “metamorphosis” marked by a change or transformation in character condition or function: a change in structure during normal development. (Dictionary) into an incorruptible spirit that will result in eternity with the Lord.
In the insect world to determine metamorphosis: “means to undergo a change from an infant or juvenile to an adult”.htps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metamorphosis
Paul uses the word metamorphosis in his epistles to signify the transformation of the physical believer from immature to mature. He also refers to the corruptible physical state of humanity in the flesh, as “immature”. However, Paul speaks of attaining maturity on the day of Christ Jesus in I Corinthians chapter 15; when believers shall reach full maturity with an incorruptible and spiritual body. It is at this time that the spiritual metamorphosis is complete. Paul quotes directly from Isaiah 25:8“Death it was swallowed up in victory”.
John chapter 15 speaks of the relationship of believers to Christ. Jesus says he is the true vine dresser or husbandman and that He removes every branch in him that does not bear fruit. Jesus also says that he will prune the branches so that they will bear more fruit. A cultivation process involves abiding in “staying attached to” the vine; the vine is Christ Jesus.
If we abide we are able to commune with Holy Spirit. In Galatians Chapter 5:16-26 Paul instructs the church in Galatia about what the manifestation of the fruit of walking with Holy Spirit is. Paul contrasts the manifestation of walking in the flesh and tells the church these behaviors are evident to all.
The Apostle Paul warns the church in Galatia in Chapter 5:19-21” the works of the flesh are apparent, which are immorality, impurity, licentiousness with idolatry, sorcery, and strife, jealousy, anger, outbreaks of selfishness, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing and like things. I tell you before hand, just as I told you before, that the ones who are doing things such as these will not inherit the kingdom of God.
The definition for the word factions, selfishness and dissension is to (be a group or click in a party seeking to promote partisan self interests causing conflict and quarrels.) (Dictionary)
The cultivation process as a believer is a very serious matter to God. In 2 Peter 2:20-22, the Apostle Peter writes, “for it after escaping the defilement of the world, with knowledge of our Lord and Savior Yeshua Messiah, and again in tangling with these who are defeated, their last state has become worse than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than if they had known, to turn back from the holy commandment after it was delivered to them. The true proverb happened to them, “as a dog returns to his own vomit and a hog after being washed as wallowed in the mud” Proverbs 26:11 (One new Man Bible 2011)
God admonishes the believers through this passage if they disobey; their last state will be worse than the first.
In Matthew chapter 21:18-20 we read that Jesus is walking with the disciples and he comes across a fig tree that has leaves but no fruit. In ancient Israel when a fig tree has leaves it most certainly would have borne fruit. In this particular case Jesus curses the fig tree because that symbolizes barrenness and spiritual fruitlessness; which is an earthly depiction of a spiritual truth. I believe Jesus is addressing the believer's fruitlessness in their life.
In the book of Hebrews chapter 6:7-8 the writer states that when the farmer plants a seed he expects a blessing; but if the land brings forth anything except that which was planted it is worthless and is in danger of being cursed.
One New Man Bible “for the land that has often drawn grain that has come upon it and bears useful plants for those who it is cultivated, (promotes growth, refine, develop) receives a share of the blessing from God; but when it bears thorns plants and the soil is worthless and close to cursed, for which the end is to be burned over.”Hebrew 6:7-8(Morford)
Life is filled with choices; choices that affect us on an everyday basis in everything we do which means our everyday choices are not without significance. Our choices affect us and others in dramatic ways whether we see it immediately or not. While earth remains, no man will be able to change the laws of sowing and reaping.
All life comes from antecedent life: from the labor and sowing of others. What we reap was planted either naturally or purposely, either by God or by man, and for either positive or for negative results. We reap the fruit of much for which we have extended no labor because we enter into the labor of others either for good or for bad. In other words, this law of the harvest, we reap only what has been sown, there is both a positive (spiritual) and a negative (fleshly) side.
“The principal multiplication”
Whether we like it or not the seed principle of multiplication has four facets; they are positive and negative; physical and spiritual.
You can have positive multiplication in the physical and spiritual and you can have negative multiplication in the physical and spiritual.
In Genesis chapter 4 the Bible talks about Cain and Abel and how Cain was a tiller of the ground and Abel was a shepherd of the sheep. The Bible states that Cain and Abel both brought offerings to the LORD. However, God rejected Cain and his offering but he accepted Abel and Abel's offering. Since, Cain was a tiller of the ground he probably worked a lot harder than Abel did. Abel was a shepherd and you follow the sheep around but was able to take time off and rest.
In Genesis chapter 3when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, it states that God took animals and made coverings for Adam and Eve. Prior to that, they had taken fig leaves
to cover themselves. It is my observation that Cain had known that his parents had used the fruit of the ground to cover their sin, when only a blood sacrifice would do.
I parallel the rejection of Cain’s offering which came from the ground, to Adam and Eve's trying to cover their own sin; which in this case is parallel to their nakedness with fig leaves. Since the ground had been cursed, the fruit of the ground was not an acceptable offering to the Lord. Abel's offering was acceptable because an innocent animal’s blood was shed. The Bible says without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sins. (Hebrews 9:22)
This was a temporary fix for the atonement of sin until Jesus; the perfect Lamb of God that took away the sins of the world.
In Luke chapter 1:55 states that, Abraham's seed is forever. This speaks of the lineage of Jesus, through the seed of Abraham and David. Since we are the “vine” that has been grafted into, (Romans 11:17-24) the line of Messiah we are now part of his lineage, and His seed which will remain forever.
In John chapter 15:2 Jesus said he is the vine and his father (God) is a vine dresser. In Zechariah chapter 3:8 the writer speaks of a “Branch” which is a title given to Messiah.
The Bible also speaks of the branch that will shoot up as a tender plant out of the lineage of Jesse; this is reference to King David and had God promised that the Messiah would come from David’s line. (Isaiah 53:2)
God makes a promise to Abraham, and to Abraham's obedience there is multiplication of blessings all the way through his line; through Judah, Jesse and David. Isaiah 4:6states that the“Branch”,Messiah - Jesuswill be the fruit of the land.
“The negative side of seed multiplication”
In the book of Judges the tribe of Dan abandoned the priesthood and starts to worship idols. Judges 18:30-31There the Danites set up for themselves the idols, and Jonathan son of Gershom, the son of Moses, and his sons were priests for the tribe of Dan until the time of the captivity of the land. 31 They continued to use the idols Micah had made, all the time the house of God was in Shiloh. NIV
The Lord takes the seed principle of multiplication very seriously and in the book of Revelation Chapter 7:5-8 the tribe of Dan is omitted for their worshiping false gods and entered into gross idolatry and is replaced with the tribe of Manasseh. Manasseh was from the tribe of Joseph in Genesis chapter 41:52. We can read the story of Joseph and he had two sons Ephraim and Manasseh; which God describes them as “half tribes”.
Another example of negative seed principle is King David. His sin with Bathsheba resulted in an illegitimate child being conceived. Bathsheba gives birth and David prays to the Lord as the child is sick. The child dies, and Solomon is the second child of David and Bathsheba.
In Galatians 6:7-9 states, God is not mocked and a person will reap what they sow; whether it’s good seed or bad seed; we will reap a harvest. Life is filled with choices; choices that affect us on an everyday basis in everything we do which means our everyday choices are not without significance. Our choices affect us and others in dramatic ways whether we see it immediately or not. While earth remains, no man will be able to change the laws of sowing and reaping.
In II Samuel chapter 12, the LORD sends the prophet Nathan to confront King David about his adultery with Bathsheba and having her husband killed to cover his sin; Nathan tells King David the consequences of his sin. After King David has sowed seeds of wickedness and then has Uriah murdered; Nathan tells David that his son will die as a result. The Lord also tells King David in II Samuel that the sword will never depart from his house because of sin. David had sown the seeds of wickedness, and now will reap a harvest of wickedness. 2 Sam 12:10 Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Urah the Hittite to be your wife. NKJVi