By Pastor F. M. Riley
November 30, 2013
“Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto Him, Yea, Lord.
Then said He unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old,” Matthew 13:51-52.
I have written and posted Bible studies on the seven main parables set forth by our Lord in Matthew 13. Up to this point in the series, the Bible studies I have posted are as listed below:
Part One……….The Parable of the Sower Matthew 13:1-9
Part Two……….The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares 13:24-30
Part Three……..The Parable of the Mustard Seed 13:31-32
Explanatory study…..Binding the Bundles for Burning 13:28-30 13:38-42
Part Four………The Parable of the Hidden Leaven 13:33
Parts Five & Six…The Parable of the Hidden Treasure 13:44
The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price 13:45-46
Explanatory study…..You Cannot burn a Pearl 13:45-46
Part Seven……..The Parable of the Drag Net 13:47-50
If any of our readers did not receive these studies, or would like to receive only certain ones, please send me an email or postal letter requesting the entire series, or the studies you want by title. I will be glad to send them to you. There is no cost nor obligation. My financial policy is exactly what it was some 46 years ago when I began writing and sending out God’s Word in my monthly newsletter, Proverbs 23:23; Matthew 10:8; Romans 1:17. I trust the Lord God completely to touch the hearts of the people He wants to help us in this ministry, and then move as He blesses.
There is one more parable in Matthew 13 which is commonly overlooked or ignored by most Christians and commentators. I am deliberately choosing not to overlook or ignore this eighth parable in this chapter. “Eight” is the Bible number signifying”new birth; new things; a new beginning.” Dear readers, after the end of the Tribulation, which is set forth in The Parable of the Drag Net, all of humanity in heaven and in earth will enter into a glorious “new beginning.” Praise the Lord! Glory to God! Now let’s turn our attention to this eighth and final parable in Matthew 13.
The Parable of The Householder
Dear readers, I have now been in the Lord’s ministry for nearly 60 years. In all of these years I know of only one seminary in this entire nation, training young men for the ministry, which even bothers to teach a course on how to “rightly divide the Word of truth,” 2 Timothy 2:15, even though “rightly dividing the Word of truth” is a specific command set forth in the inspired Word. One would think that this would be a required course for ministerial students attending seminaries and Bible schools. I am not trying to be offensive or overly critical, but this lack glaringly shows up in the pulpits and ranks of Christianity today. If the pastors themselves do not know how to “rightly divide the Word of truth,” then how are they ever going to teach this truth to their congregations? Well…???
In this parable the Lord Jesus was obviously speaking to His disciples on this occasion, Matthew 13:10-17. The Lord, after setting forth the seven parables of The Kingdom of Heaven in this inspired chapter, then turned to His disciples and ask them if they had “understood all these things?” Their immediate answer was, “Yea, Lord.” In other words, the disciples of the Lord on that occasion had
enough spiritual discernment to understand what the Lord was setting forth, even though most of the parables were prophetic of future events not yet fulfilled. How could this be possible?
It was possible because those early disciples of the Lord believed the Word spoken by the Lord, John 5:24; Romans 10:17. Many “professing Christians” today need to believe God’s Word at face value for what it actually and literally says, “comparing spiritual things with spiritual,” rather than trying to explain it away with men’s opinions, theories, ideas, and “private interpretations,” 1 Corinthians 2:13; Titus 3:10-11; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Revelation 22:18-19.
The one theme which I intend to emphasize in commenting on this parable is the “key” to spiritual understanding and discernment for God’s people [true believers] today. Many in the churches today, including some true believers, simply do not believe what the inspired Word of God has to say. What the Scriptures actually and literally say in some places simply does not square up with human logic, human philosophy, and the “scientific” theories [barf] which some today are so impressed with, so they reject what the Scriptures actually and literally say in preference for their own or some other man’s human reasoning and logic. Is it any wonder then that they cannot understand spiritual truth?
“Now we [true believers] have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but that which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
But the natural man [unbelieving lost person] receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
But he that is spiritual [born of the Spirit, John 3:3-8] judgeth [discerneth] all things, yet he himself is judged [discerned] of no man,” 1 Corinthians 2:12-15. Think about it!
In this parable there are certain symbols, just as in all of the previous parables…..
In this parable “them” are the disciples to whom the Lord Jesus Christ was speaking.
Likewise the “scribe” the Lord is speaking of in this parable is a true New Covenant believer; a serious scholar or student of the Word who is able to teach or instruct others in the great truths of God’s Word.
The Lord, in speaking about being “instructed unto the kingdom of heaven” is speaking about the very parables in this chapter in Matthew 13, as well as other Scriptures scattered through God’s Word which deal with the Kingdom.
The “man that is a householder” in this parable is the true “man of God” who has been placed over one of the Lord’s churches or congregations to give God’s people “meat in due season,” Matthew 24:45. As “a faithful and wise servant” he has seriously dug deeply into God’s Word including the teaching of these Parables of the Kingdom of Heaven, and therefore is able to point out the great truths set forth in them.
The “treasure” that the “householder” brings forth are the great truths of the Word regarding the promised Kingdom of the Lord, both as it functions during this present dispensation and as it will function in the future “ages to come,” Ephesians 2:7.
Christ Jesus did not want His people to live in ignorance of His Word and His great Plan of the Ages. This is why He gave us His supernaturally inspired living Word and His Holy Spirit to “guide us into all truth,” John 16:12-15. Notice in this parable that the Lord explicitly stated that the scribe which is “instructed unto the kingdom of heaven” will bring out of his “treasure things new and old.” This statement of the Lord introduces the problem that we see in so much of modern “Laodicean Christianity” today. Who is seriously studying the Word? Any honest pastor can tell you that there is a high degree of Biblical illiteracy in the churches and the ranks of Christiantiy today. Of course many preachers today can bring forth the good “old” gospel message of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ that the Lord’s churches and ministers have been preaching throughout this dispensation. And they should! God forbid that we should ever lose sight of that precious “old” gospel message. But Christ explicitly said that when one is “instructed unto the kingdom of heaven,” they will bring forth
out of their “treasure things new and old.”
Sadly, I have personally known and heard preachers boasting about just preaching “the good old gospel message” and never even attempting to give anything “new” from the Word to God’s people as an encouragement to help them grow in “the faith.” Folks, today true believers are leaving the churches in droves. Why are they leaving? This is not how it is supposed to be! I have had many tell me, often in tears, that they simply were not being “spiritually fed” at their church and were spiritually starving for some “meat” from the Word, Hebrews 5:12-14; 1 Peter 2:1-3. Apparently these preachers that are so self-satisfied and contented with preaching the same “old” “salvation message” at every service don’t even have a “treasure” to share. Are all of their church members still lost in sin needing to be saved again? How many times do some of these preachers think their already saved church members can be saved? Hello! Such preachers and pastors are depriving God’s people of the deep truths of God’s Word, boring them to tears with the same “old” “salvation” sermon, and no matter how many times that precious salvation sermon is preached, those already saved cannot be saved again! Don’t these preachers have a desire for God’s people to GROW in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and of His Word? If so, then why are they starving them spiritually. The Word is to help the saved to “grow” in the Lord, 1 Peter 2:1-3. According to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself right here in this parable, the inspired Word contains more than one message. The Word contains some “treasures” that will never be known unless the true “man of God” is willing to dig deeply into God’s Word and bring them out to “feed” the souls of God’s people. THANK GOD the Word contains the good “old” message of salvation. None of us believers would be saved without that message, and none of us should ever forget it. But salvation is only the starting place! After salvation, the Lord Himself expects His preachers to give God’s people some “new” revelations from His Word so that they can GROW in the Lord. Is this just too hard for some preachers and pastors to understand? Sadly, usually these same boasting preachers don’t even recognize that there is a problem. Laodicea is alive and well in the world today! God have mercy!
But now let’s get back to the “treasures” in the Word…..
I am made to wonder how many of our readers have read, or even remember reading Proverbs 2:1-7? I want to refresh the minds of our readers…..
“My son, if thou wilt receive My words, and hide My commandments with thee;
So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: He is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.”
Notice that in these inspired Scriptures God’s Word is compared to “silver” and to “hid treasures.” But notice also that this “silver” and “hid treasures” have to be sought for and searched out or they will never be found. Hello!
Finding these “hidden treasures,” [Psalm 49:1-4; 78:1-4; Daniel 12:4] which the Lord obviously wants His people to know about, involves getting genuinely serious about BIBLE STUDY. No, I don’t care who the preacher is, or what “Bible school” or seminary he went to for ministerial training, he did not learn everything there is to know about God’s Word in that school or seminary. Those who think they did are very much self deceived. 2 Timothy 2:15 and Matthew 4:4 are still in the Bible and both Scriptures still mean what they say, and say what they mean. The study of the inspired Word should be a life long pursuit of every true believer, and especially of those who claim to be “men of God.” God’s inspired Word is inexhaustible! The Lord God graciously reveals His deep and great truths to those who will seriously get into the Word and dig deeply, but one who does so soon learns that the revelation of one great truth in the Word only lays the groundwork for other great truths to be revealed. We never find the bottom of the inexhaustible Word. Praise the Lord! Glory to God! Hallelujah! Thank you Lord Jesus!
At this point I would like to share my own testimony of God’s graciousness for whatever it may mean to any of our readers…..
I was born to Christian parents and brought up in a Christian home. My parents took me and my brother and sisters to Sunday School and church regularly and faithfully. We had Bible study and prayer in our home, and because of this background I learned early in life to love and fear [reverence] God and His Word, and came to a saving knowledge of Christ at a young age. However, like many young teenagers today, I never seriously studied the Word or served the Lord while growing up during my teenage years. It was not until I left home and went into public work that I was led by God’s grace to a true Bible believing, Bible preaching church. After attending there a few months, and listening to the Word proclaimed with spiritual zeal and power and authority (like it always should be), the Lord spoke to my heart calling me into His ministry. Another two years went by in which I bitterly fought God’s call to His ministry. Being a Christian and having a “fire escape” from hell was okay, but being a preacher? That just was not what I had planned for my life. Boy, was I dumb! At that time I had never read Romans 11:29. Folks, it is God who gave each of us life and knows what He has planted within us, equipping us for the life He wants us to live. The Lord called me into His ministry and after two years of fighting against that call, “the pricks were too hard for me to kick against” any longer. On a wonderful Sunday night in May of 1954 I walked down our church aisle, took my pastor by the hand, and humbly told our church body that I was surrendering my life to the ministry of the Lord God, and to whatever purpose He had planned for my life. I have often told people over the years that the Lord didn’t get much that night, but He got all I knew how to give Him, heart, mind, body, soul, and strength. If that church aisle had been any longer I would have been running to leap into the arms of my pastor and into the service of my Lord.
Now I have given our readers this testimony to get to the point I want to drive home to every reader. Even with my Christian background, I shamefully confess that when I surrendered my life to the Lord’s ministry, all I knew about God’s Word was that the Bible had an Old Testament and a New Testament. I had no real idea about what was in either one, except that I had often heard it preached that Christ died for my sins and was my Savior, and I believed that message and was saved, Romans 10:17. I surrendered to the Lord’s ministry with my whole heart and soul that Sunday night, and I hit the ground running. On Monday morning, the very next morning, I opened my Bible to Genesis 1:1 and began to seriously and intensely study the Word, and I have never found a place to stop studying it since that day. I have read completely through my Bible many times, and by God’s grace, I have learned many of the great truths of the Word over these many years of serious Bible study. How many years? Now nearly 60 years.
Does this mean I know everything that is in the Word? Not hardly! God forbid! It does mean that I am well acquainted with the Holy Scriptures and know my way around in the Bible. Therefore I recognize it immediately when a person is actually quoting the inspired Word, and thankfully I am also able to recognize when some “religionist” or “false teacher” is just blowing smoke or hot air. I am not easily fooled by such people, 1 Thessalonians 5:21. I am still finding great “treasures” of truth from the Word every time I open my Bible and ask the Lord in prayer to open His Word to me. I was such a dumb “country boy” when I surrendered my life to the Lord’s ministry, that in reading through my Bible, when I reached 2 Timothy 2:15, I truly believed it meant what it said and said what it meant, and I received it into my heart. I have never found a place to stop studying the Word. Glory to God! I have nothing but pity for those preachers and “theologians” who think they have mastered it all, and no longer need to feed their souls with a daily diet of God’s precious Word. Sadly, it is these kind of Laodicean preachers and pastors today who are depriving God’s people in the churches of the great truths of God’s Word. This does show, as we see true believers leaving churches today in search of some other church, or some little “home church,” or some Bible study group or fellowship where they can find food to satisfy their spiritual hunger for the great truths of God’s Word, Matthew 5:6.
If any preacher or pastor who reads this study, takes offense to what I have said, then they are living proof that they are out of the will of God themselves. I KNOW that there are still good Godly “men of God” who are pastoring churches and feeding God’s people. I love and appreciate and pray for every one of them I come into contact with. I appreciate their ministries and their fellowship, and pray
earnestly that the Lord God will increase their numbers. But it appears that as the older “men of God” are taken home to be with the Lord, the ranks of truly dedicated “men of God” are swiftly becoming smaller and smaller. If there has ever been a time for true believers to pray that God would send “laborers into the harvest field,” that time is today. How desperately the churches and the ranks of Christianity need true “men of God” who will take their calling seriously and put into practice the one Great Commission for Preachers Only. Oh, you don’t know about that one? You’ve never heard about the Great Commission for Preachers Only? Well, let me share it with our readers right now…..
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood,” Acts 20:28.
Folks, if you will read this entire chapter, the inspired Apostle was speaking to “the elders of the church from Ephesus,” 20:17-18. The elders were the overseers of the churches, some of whom served as pastors and some as teachers of the Word. But they were all given the same Great Commission that day from the lips of Paul, speaking by Divine Inspiration of the Lord God. As a young man in the Lord’s ministry, seriously studying my Bible, when I came to this passage in God’s Word, the Spirit of God came upon me and impressed upon my very soul that as a “man of God” pastoring one of the Lord’s churches, I had but one main purpose to fulfill in pastoring a church, and that is “to feed the church of God.” I asked the Lord to write this Scripture on my heart so that I would never forget it, and He did! I knew that if I obeyed this commission for preachers and faithfully preached and taught “the whole counsel of God” [Acts 20:26-27], lost souls would be saved, God’s people would be built up in the faith, and the church would grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. Glory to God! And so it has been throughout the nearly 60 years of my being in the Lord’s ministry, somewhere between 40 or 50 of those years spent pastoring churches. My prayer is that no pastor reading this will ever be able to forget that His one calling above all others when serving as a pastor is “to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood.” May every preacher reading this realize that he, by God’s grace, is a “householder,” appointed as God’s messenger to “give…meat in due season” to the Lord’s “household,” Matthew 24:45; Hebrews 13:7; 13:17.
Due to my serious studies of the Word, I have the blessing of understanding what the Lord meant when He said in this parable that we could bring out of our “treasure” things both “old and new.” I have some great “treasures” that the Lord has graciously given me the privilege of digging out of His Word. From time to time readers of my Bible studies will tell me, “Why preacher, I never saw that truth before, but it is there just as plain as can be.” All I can do in such instances is praise the Lord, and give Him glory, and thank Him for making my life worth living.
Folks, I still remember the small blue poster my mother kept on our living room wall all the time I was growing up. Highlighted on that poster in sparkles was the message, “Only one life, T’will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” Glory to God! Praise the Lord! The statement on that little poster was absolutely true. If you are a true believer, then lift up your heart and voice and give God glory! And study the Word! Feed your soul on God’s Word daily until it permeates your whole being and transforms your life.
In this Parable of the Householder is found the “key” to understanding and “rightly dividing” the inspired Word of God. That “key” begins with believing with your whole heart and soul the inspired Word of the Lord, just as it has been given to us in our supernaturally, Divinely Inspired, Holy Bible. The true believer who wants greater understanding of God’s Word does not go chasing off after man-made theories and opinions, but rather devotes himself or herself to serious study of the Word and believing it for what it actually and literally says, Proverbs 3:5-8. Yes I understand that some statements and terms are not easily understood! GREAT! Thank God! This means that the Lord God has given you an opportunity to call upon Him in prayer for understanding, Proverbs 2:6. He always hears the sincere earnest prayers of His people and answers in His own time and way. Learn to “be still” and to “wait upon the Lord.”
In the context in which this parable occurs, it is obvious that the Lord intended for His disciples to seriously study these seven parables of the Kingdom of Heaven, and this one final eighth parable. In doing so, I pray that our readers have found some hidden “treasures” in God’s precious Word that will
motivate you to devote even more time to serious Bible study, and which “treasures” you can share with others.
This now concludes this series of studies on The Parables of the Kingdom of Heaven. My prayer is that our readers have been blessed by these studies. May the Lord God be pleased to use these studies for His honor and glory.
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Permission is granted to any true believer or Bible believing Christian ministry to reproduce this study to share with others, or to quote from it in context as written.
May God richly bless each of our readers who has had a part in this ministry by your gifts and prayers.
Please address all comments, questions, and correspondence to: Pastor F. M. Riley, Last Call Gospel Ministry, 184 County Road 108, Harrisburg, Missouri 65256, or I can be contacted by email at:
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