As found in Matthew 13
“I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.” (Matt. 13:35)
Seven metaphors of the kingdom are proclaimed by Jesus in Matthew 13, not for clarity, as is commonly taught, but to conceal His real meaning, except those to whom understanding is given (Matt. 13:11). One of His secret things seems to be verse 33.
“The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.”
Of all the seven parables the one about leaven is probably the least understood, yet reveals the greatest secrets about the Kingdom of Heaven. Commentaries by the degreed professionals are many, varied, and even contradictory.
Some claim that since all other references to leaven in the Bible are negative this must be also, and therefore represents the church being finally and totally corrupted by the hidden infusion of sin.
Others say the woman represents the false church.
Some say that the amount of dough is a small amount while others say it is a huge amount.
And some claim that the number of loaves has no significance at all. Other commentaries simply ignore it. With all their contradictions I feel my opinion is about as good as theirs.
Jesus has revealed the three callings of mankind in one short sentence. These callings have been placed in a sequence of time and events so that all mankind will have an equal and fair opportunity to be saved. Understanding the callings can answer many haunting questions main stream religions tend to avoid.
The six elements mentioned can be understood as follows:
- Leavenrepresents the Holy Spirit.
- The woman represents God’s church;
- She “hid” the leaven would indicate that it is given to those in a time chosen by the father.
- The mealrepresents people;
- The three measures represent three separate callings.
- That the whole was leavened would indicate that, eventually, any and all of mankind that would be saved are, but every man in his own order (I Cor. 15:23).
The first measure of meal represents the first fruits
The first fruits represent those who are being called and judged in this age. Peter tells us that “the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (His church, I Pet. 4:17).
“Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Cor. 15:20). Other first fruits of the harvest of the earth are mentioned in Romans 8:23; James 1:18; and Revelation 14:4.
This spring harvest began after Christ fulfilled the Wave Sheaf offering (Rev. 5) which opened the way for the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. The calling of the rest of the first fruits is now ready, preparing them for the spring harvest of the earth – the first resurrection.
The first fruits are those in the first resurrection
“Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection,” writes John in Revelation 20:6; it consists of those who shall live and reign with Christ for a 1,000 years. It is termed a blessed calling in Revelation 19:9, and is made up of those who rise first.
Following the greatest ever tribulation, this resurrection includes all those whose names are written in God’s book of life (Daniel 12:1; Mal. 3:16). This is a spiritual resurrection; to a glorified body (I Cor. 15:53-54). They are raised immortal; therefore the second death has no power over them. They have proven themselves in this life and will even be involved in judging angels (I Cor. 6:2-3; Mal 3:16-18).
So when will this occur?
In First Corinthians 15:51-52 we are told of a trumpet that will sound, called the last trump. At that time the dead in Christ (firstfruits) shall be raised, and the living firstfruits shall be changed. In I Thessalonians 4:16 we read of the Lord descending with a shout, with the trumpet of God, and the dead rising, followed by the saints that are still living at that time. This is obviously a very noisy event; and every eye shall see Him (Rev. 1:7); no secret rapture here! Also in Matthew 24:31 we read of a great sound of a trumpet when His elect shall be gathered from throughout the heavens and earth, God’s church , the elect lady (Col. 3:12; I Pet. 1:2; II John 1:1).
Revelation 11:15 describes the sounding of the seventh trumpet, announcing to the universe that the kingdoms of the earth have become the kingdom of the Lord and His Christ. Isn’t this the day of trumpets spoken of in Leviticus 23:24? Many understand that the feast of trumpets announces the coming of Christ. Wouldn’t this also be the trumpet that sounds when His angels gather his elect from the four corners of the earth (Matt. 24:31)?
The calling of the firstfruits ends at the second coming of Christ. This is the first and only opportunity for those called and chosen at this time to have their names placed in the book of life. All whose names were written in the Lamb’s book of life are resurrected to eternal life in the first resurrection and the book of life is now temporarily blank.
At this point the first measure of meal is now wholly leavened with God’s Holy Spirit!
THE SECOND MEASURE OF MEAL
The physical survivors of the tribulation
In Matthew 24:22 Jesus states that unless those days are shortened there would no flesh be saved. The obvious intent is to save some of mankind. Also see Isaiah 1:9, a small remnant is left; and Isaiah 65:8-9 where we read, “… that I may not destroy them all.” After this, Isaiah 27:6 prophesies that Israel will blossom and bud and fill the whole earth.
Satan’s binding mentioned in Rev. 20:1-3 is followed by 1000 years of peace, pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles or “Ingathering” (Ex. 34:22). This represents the fall or great fruit harvest of the earth. This is a larger harvest than the spring grain harvest and is ongoing for the full 1000 years.
The people living at this time will live and die much as we do today. This is a time of the major regathering of the remnant of Israel from the four corners of the earth (Isa. 11:11-12). It is a time of peace and rebuilding of the earth. Remember, Satan is bound and no longer influencing the people of the earth with his lies.
“The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. They shall not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord” (Isa. 11:9). Isaiah 11 and 12 tells of a wonderful time on a restored earth.
At last the deaf will hear and the blind will see (Isa 29:18; 35:5; Matt.13:14-15); swords will be beaten into plow shears; they will learn war no more and nations shall come to the house of the Lord to learn His ways and His laws (Isa 2:1-4, also Micah 4:1-8).
Pastors with knowledge and understanding will serve the people, and all nations will recognize Jerusalem as the throne of the Lord. Judah and Israel will be one nation again, read Jeremiah 3:15-18. The gospel will be preached worldwide: “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (Rev. 14:6).
The new covenant will be made known to all, still having God’s same laws, but will now be in the mind and heart (Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:10; 10:16). God’s holy days shall be observed (Isa. 66:23; Zec. 14:16); no one will die before their time, homes will be built, vineyards planted, life span will be comparable to a tree, and God will answer before He is called (Isa. 65:17-25).
For a peaceful 1000 years the people will be learning God’s ways, rebuilding the earth, and all will know their God. Remember, Satan and his ministers are gone. This will be the opportunity for the earth’s occupants to have their names placed in the book of life, their first and only opportunity.
The second measure of meal is now wholly leavened!
The third measure of meal are those of the third calling
The second resurrection occurs after the 1,000 years of peace. The rest of the dead now live again and have their opportunity to know God (Rev. 20:5-6). This is a physical resurrection described in great detail in Ezekiel 37, the valley of dry bones.
Sodom, Gomorra, Samaria, and the Queen of Sheba are also resurrected along with all others who were never called nor had an opportunity to make an informed decision for Christ during their previous life. This is not a second chance; this is their first and only opportunity (Ez. 16:55 says they are restored to their former state).
This is the Day of Judgment or trial (not sentencing) that Jesus referred to in Matthew 10:15; 12:41-42; Luke 10:12-15. This explains why Jesus spoke in parables, since it was not their time to be called (Mark 4:11-12 and John 6:65). If they understood, they would be responsible and perhaps be judged prematurely. (God) “…is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:8-9). God knows the best time to call a person.
This also answers the question of what happens to babies, children, and those who have never heard the name of Jesus; the only name by which they may be saved (Acts 4:12). This is their resurrection and their first opportunity for salvation; for then the entire world will know the Lord (Jer. 31:34). It sure doesn’t now.
These are the rest of the dead that lived not again until after the 1,000 years (Rev. 20:5). This is the second resurrection, pictured by the last Great Day or eighth day following the Feast of Tabernacles. On this day the high priest gathered “Living Water” (ceremonially clean) from the Pool of Siloam, which was mixed with wine (blood of Christ) and poured out on the holy altar.
Isaiah 12 mentions “in that day” alluding to the last day when men are freely drawing water from the wells of salvation, and that His works are known in all the earth, which is certainly a first. Would this be the time when His gospel will be preached in all the earth before the end (of the world) comes?
We read in John 7:37-38, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, ‘If any man thirst let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.’ ” Wasn’t He prophesying of the events of the actual last Great Day when salvation is open to all?
Remember what Christ said in John 6:44 and 65, some not called. But on this, the last great day, the calling of all mankind to the living waters of salvation has been given. It would also explain why Christ spoke in parables to the multitudes (Matt. 13:11). It was certainly not to make things clear as is often taught.
And in Isaiah 44:3 we read, “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:” Spiritual darkness is removed (Isa. 25:7). Israel is no longer blind (Isa. 6:9-10; 29:10) as they are now (Mk. 4:12).
The whole has now become leavened.
It’s hard to believe that after all this some still choose their own way and so Satan must be released for a short while and some will fall. Then we read “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:14-15).
©Del Leger 2019