Chapter Four



Mark 4:1 And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.

2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,

3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:

4 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.

5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:

6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.

8 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.

9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.

11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:

12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

14 The sower soweth the word.

15 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.

16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterpiano coversd, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.

18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,

19 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.

20 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.

21 And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a pianoel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?

22 For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.

23 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.

25 For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.

26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.

28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.

29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?

31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:

32 But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.

33 And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.

34 But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.

35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.

36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.

37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

CHAPTER FOUR: A powerful parable

1. Parable of sower given, interpreted- Vs. 1-35

2. Parables added and interpreted- Vs. 21-34

3. Command of the elements- Vs. 36-41


1. Parable of the sower given- Vs. 1-35

a. Parable- Para - ballo

Cast along side- Parable illustrates absolute truth.

piano coversning- Parables ought not to be interpreted outside of Jesus' teaching intent.

ILL. John 15:1-7 Verse 7 is the lesson and the point being made.

This parable does not teach that you can lose your salvation!

b. Teaching is rooted in doctrine OR learning is based in dogma.

- Note how the new versions change doctrine to teaching:

ILL. Matt. 7:28; 15:9 (rules for doc.); I Tim 4:13; I Tim. 4:16 (NIV allows doctrine, but not "THE" doctrine. It is "YOUR" doctrine. They hate THE doctrine); II John verse 9-10- (Note that here they allow "THE" if it is only teaching!)

- II Timothy 4:3- The KJV translators knew the difference between "teaching" and "doctrine."

- Try going to your local High School (Secondary School). Tell them you are applying for the job of "indoctrinator." Then apply for the job of "teacher."  What do you suppose the response would be?

- This piano help on doctrine is based in Westcott and Hort's zeal for Madam Blavatsky's hate for absolute truth- for her lust for doubt.

ILL. Parliament of World Religions, 1963-64, Speech by Swami Prabhavananda, page 372 and 377.

Note the hate for dogma, or doctrine.

If you cannot find this, look for articles in magazines like the New Age Journal on religion.  Note how they handle Christian truth and Fundamentalists.

ILL. The Aquarian Conspiracy, Ferguson, p. 376-277.

Note the hate for dogma. Note the word teaching. Note the threat of death to those who present dogma. MSOG teach the same thing! Reconstructionists also.

- Again, look at Jesus- Luke 4:14-32. Vs. 14- "taught"; Vs. 32- "doctrine". What resulted? Vs. 22- "gracious" words; Vs. 28- "wrath". John 7:16-17- "doctrine" of God is the test of Messianic presentation!

- THE doctrine of Christ- Teaching abounds today. Doctrine is rare.  YOU???

[ More on doctrine-- ]

Question: Is it certain that men of intellect will find sound doctrine?

Jeremiah 8:9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?

Luke 9:46 Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.

So, high thoughts and reasoning guarantee nothing.

Question: Where shall we begin to look for sound doctrine?

1 Timothy 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

1 Timothy 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

The law is the foundation of sound doctrine.

Where is the law? Answer-- Old Testament Cf- Proverbs 4:2

Therefore; Where shall we begin to find sound doctrine?

Question: How can we be sure a teacher has found sound doctrine?

II Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Here is what happens over time. Men can't endure it.

Sound doctrine is demanding.

So, when a teacher needs big words and long discussion to teach doctrine, it ain't.

Question: Is there a practical application of sound doctrine?

Titus 2:1-8 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

Note the things that become sound doctrine in vs 1-8.

In seminaries and lofty churches doctrine is kept far from Christian action.

It is debated and buried in bigs words.

Question: What is the ultimate object of sound doctrine?

II John 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

Christ is the object of all doctrine.

If The Lord Jesus Christ is not central, the best sounding doctrine is wicked.

Question: Can zeal for soul winning obscure sound doctrine?

We consider The World Missionary Conference which met in Edinburgh,

Scotland in 1910. At the helm of that meeting was John R. Mott, a Methodist layman with a zeal to reach the world with the Gospel. One aspect of the Edinburgh conference introduced a fatal spiritual flaw. In order to get the participation of every possible missionary and organization and get on with the task of reaching the world for Christ, a decision was made not to discuss"questions of doctrine and church policy with regard to which churches and societies taking part in the conference differ among themselves." It is highly significant that the ecumenical movement had its beginning in zeal to reach the lost with the Gospel, and all of the participants were evangelicals and conservative.

Was it new stuff? The craft that we call modern, The crimes that we call new,

John Bunyan had them typed and filed, in 1682--  Rudyard Kipling was a God hater, as was "Mark Twain."

Cf- Neh. 6:1-6-- So nothing is new. The doctrine of Christ is still the doctrine of separation from sin and the sinful.

Separation TO Christ Himself.

c. The Parable of the Sower- Verse 1-20

(1) Ground One- Wayside Vs. 3-4

Ground is too hard-- Seed cannot even germinate.

Like Pharisees of Jesus' day. Nothing enters their head.

Amheric- Algebenyum- It has not entered me.

As the Gospel was in Chinese and they speak only English.

Lesson: Spread the Word. Stop worrying about time and expense.

Give out tracts wherever you go. You are not to examine the ground. Just fling the seed.

(Discuss the third world sower.)

Fowls eat the seed.


vs. 14- Seed is the Word. Witness without the Word is not sowing.

Tracts without Word-- whole verses quoted- junk.

vs. 15- Fowls are Satan. Vs. 30-32 explains where the fowls roost-

In the Church, kingdom of heaven (Mt.) God (Mk.).

Abnormally huge-- room for Satan! Bepiano coverse.

We are there.

Read: Fruitful in Affliction p. 31, para 3 thru 32, para 3.  Intro era in CIM work. 1940, Japan piano help China.

Lesson: The "wayside" can be very discouraging.  Keep sowing!

(2) Ground two- Stony ground Vs. 5-6

There is soil for germination.

Springs up- There is a plant- It is very exciting.

The Gospel is received and acknowledged.

At this point TBN, many Fundamental Baptists, claim salvation.

Sun withers it- They wither away!


vs. 16- "Gladness" is deceiving. Many profess salvation.

vs. 17- The test-- Affliction and persecution. This is PLANNED by our Lord. II Tim. 3:12; I Cor. 4:12; II Thes. 1:4; Rev. 12:13.

Satan WILL persecute saints in the Body.

Lesson: Some will, after rejoicing in the Gospel, run for cover.

They are not saved. Don't panic and struggle with this.

Also, don't try selective sowing. The stone is under the surface, and you cannot tell it is stony ground until persecution comes.

Story: Dale R______- Tell about terror he caused and felt.

Delivered of devils, saved, and attended Bible study.

Threat of drug lords. He returned to old life. Prison.

Temptation: Guilt for not doing the right thing.

(3) Ground three- Thorny ground vs. 7

Normal healthy plant grew up.  Thorns grew up also. Choked it.


vs. 18- Hear the Word, like it.

vs. 19- Thorns choke them:

(a) Cares of this world- Jobs, social pressure, peers, education, family ties....

(b) Deceitfulness of riches- Mt. 6:24

(c) lusts of other things- Appetites dominate mind. Phil 3:19.

Read: With C.T. Studd in Congo Forests p. 94, para 3 thru p. 96, para 2

Apply to your home area. Philemon vs. 23-24; Col. 4:14; II Tim.

4:10- Demas is example of cares of this world.

ILL. Our garden in Grant when we left for vacation.

(4) Good ground Vs. 8

Here is the good soil, not hard, and it is deep and without thorns.

Lesson: There will be fruit by and by.

EXPLANATION:  vs. 20- Three things characterize the fruit of salvation.

(a) Hear the Word- opposite the wayside.

(b) Received the Word- Like stony and thorny soil.

(c) Bring forth fruit- The only one to give proof of salvation.

Matt. 7:14-21- The fruit has to be right also.

It is impossible to know if a person is saved without fruit.

Statement: "I think so-and-so is saved. They talk like a Christian."

Don't kid yourself.

No fruit? Then you don't know.

Read: C.T. Studd, Athlete and Pioneer, p. 83, para 2 to 85, para 1

Read: Fruitful in Affliction p. 65, para 2 thru p. 66, endof section.

or: Read: CT Studd in Congo Forests p.219-

227 Story of Mamayangu.

(d) Seed / Bride and Weed / Prostitute churches

(1) It helps to deal with the mystery (vs. 11) of this parable to see this:  (Mt. 13:24-30) Read

Seed (Word) is sown-- Mk. 4 shows result. Mt. 13:38 shows geography.

Sower is the Lord Jesus Christ-- Same in both parables.

Results in wheat-- Mk. 4- Fruit by (Mt. 13) true saints. Mystery-- The Seed / Bride Church

Seed (people) is sown-- Mt. 13:38-39- Personal! Cults, religious, Judas folks. They are Satan's servants!

Sower is Christ and Satan-- Satan sews false believers

Results in tares amongst the wheat-- NOT in Philistia-- Not in heretical churches-- in YOUR Bible church.

Mystery-- The Weed / Prostitute church of Rev. 17-18.

"Christendom" or all Christianity is made of the following:


Weed / Prostitute


Bride--  The Bride does not willingly co-operate with the Weed Prostitute

Mystery of mysteries--  Tares are not pulled up. This makes Church discipline frightful.

Question: When do we deal with saints? II Tim. 3:16-4:4

Tares are not wheat turned into tares. They were always lost.

They are not even apostate. They are hard to catch.

Story:  Northern Illinois  church. Stan was a man who attended this Bible church.  During the week Stan owned and ran a card and gift shop, and everyone respected and like him.  On Sunday, he would come to church.  As he walked in the front door, Stan changed physically and in mind.  He stiffened, and he began to look a bit like a zombie.  Stand was possessed of devils.  At church, he hated women, and he would give testimonies and make comments which were unbelievably filthy and hateful.  The problem was that Stand was intellectually very clever, and only the Army Vets and truck drivers could understand the double meanings.  To the average saint, Stan's "testimonies" sounded very spiritual and sweet. Three pastors had run Stan off, only to have the church turn against them and run THEM off.  The little old ladies would take Stan's side every time.  As I spoke, Stand tried to rise and give a "testimony."  I had seen him perform during Sunday School, and the "helpful comment" he made was filthy in the extreme.  It made the older ladies smile with delight and spiritual nievity, while the working men groaned in pain.  So, as Stan began to rise to make a comment in the middle of my sermon, I switched at once and started talking about how we would plead the Blood of Jesus Christ as missionaries in Ethiopis and Kenya.  I quoted a verse of the Blood.  Stan, for a short while, froze helf standing.  He glared at me in pure hate, and finally collapsed back into his seat. I wonder what John Mac Arthur would have done since he rejects the Blood of Jesus as presently active?

Apply to backsliders. They are saved. Rebuke them.

A tare makes a good show.  ILL. Judas was not suspected by disciples.

Left to grow and mature.

How is it today?

Acts 20:29-30; Rev. 2:18-23-- Both groups seem to co-exist.

II Timothy 3:1-7-- You cannot ever escape from these 100%.

They keep popping up with their winter rye weed fruit.

You cannot pull them up! You can avoid them.

You can piano coversn the saints that they are coming.

III John 9-12- The weed is not rooted up. He is restrained.

The seed / Bride example is commended.

Are you turning to the Seed Bride or the Weed Prostitute?

(2) Back to Mark 4-

Question: How did the genuine wheat prove itself?

Ans. Fruit- What is the fruit? The same seed that was first sewn.

Question: When does fruit come? (Wheat)

Ans. At the end of the life. Vine, olive, & fig NOT used here!

(3) There is a definition of how to produce fruit by an Apostle.

I.E. A spiritual cause and effect.

James 1:22-27- Fruit bearing is ACTIVE, not passive.

Vs. 27- Doing to others is balanced with growing in sanctification.

The Word sewn (Mk. 4) produces the same KIND of fruit in increase.

30, 60, 100 fold. Emphasis is NOT on amount.

It is on increase. Increase is true of all genuine wheat.

If you were saved BY God's Word, you will be fruitful IN God's Word

It is a life-long process with the greatest fruit at the end.

2. Parables added and interpreted- Vs. 21-34

a. Parable of the secret work of God- vs. 21-29

(1) The Gospel must be HEARD, not just observed. Vs. 24-25

Cf. Psalms 107:2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;

Romans 10:9-14- How shall they HEAR....?

Ephesians 1:13- Trust is always preceded by hearing.

Revelation 14:16- The Gospel is heard by all before rejected.

(2) The Gospel (hearing to fruit) is a mystery to us. Vs. 21-32

Cf. Psalm 40:9-10- It is no secret to the saints.

Psalm 78:2-4- The Gospel is no secret to out children.

Matt. 10:26-27- The secrets revealed must be spoken.

Discuss Daniel and Revelation.

ILL. Zech. 5:5-11- As the secret is revealed in our time, we must speak.

(3) The Gospel has power in itself. It generates life. Vs. 26- 27

Cf. Romans 1:16- Shame of the Gospel is a sign of no salvation.

II Tim. 1:8- Same thought. What is a partaker. Active verb!!!

Acts 4:20- We cannot do anything else but speak. The true saint comes to a point where he HAS to speak.

ILL- Orie Cochrane- Fear God if he doesn't speak of Christ.

(4) We have no reason to fret over how, when , or where.

Results belong to the creator of the seed. Vs. 26-29 and 22.

Cf. Eccl. 12:14- God keeps a perfect record of all response to the Gospel. See also Eccl. 8:17

I Peter 1:22-15- This is the NORMAL Christian life.

Rev. 14:13-18- Only other mention of the sickle.

Who uses it?

b. Parable of the mustard seed. Vs. 30-34

(1) Miracle of the seed of the Gospel. Vs. 30-31: Similar as before.

(2) Abnormality of the organization (Christendom). Vs. 31-32

ILL. Crystal cathedral. In trouble for tax evasion. Why?

tuning lever claims they get massive income from renting facility- like to Amway Inc.

Hyles monument is a whole city block.

But had to make the junior high boys attend

"Pastor's conf." to get the numbers up.

3. Command of the elements- Vs. 36-41

a. Why was Jesus not afraid?

Answer: Romans 9:22, What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:  23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, God was showing His power in the vessels in the vessel.

They were sinners, but He would glorify Himself through their belief.

ALSO, Christ was immune from fear.

I John 4:18, There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

19 We love him, because he first loved us.

Love is the key to getting rid of fear. Cf. II Timothy 1:7

b. Two kinds of fear:

(1) Fear of the known- Vs. 38. Compare this to Michigan tornados

(2) Fear of the unknown- Vs. 39-41

Here was fear based on spiritual power.

Two kinds of spiritual power at work:

(a) The fear of Satan:

II Cor. 4:4- Power to blind men. Cf II Cor. 11:14-15

Eph, 6:11-12; II Thes. 2:8-11; Heb. 2:14; James 4:6-11; I Peter 5:8.

I John 3:1- The key is love of the brethren. It defeats Satan's fear.

Rev. 20:7-10- Satan's fear is based on his hate for the saints.

He will receive the terror in the end. (Jn. 4:12- 21- Sermon by a devil)

(b) The fear of Christ:

Acts 13:8-12- The power of God supersedes

Satan's power when God wills it that way. (Mt. 28:5-8; 10:28)

Col. 1:12-14- We have deliverance over Satan through Christ only.

Psalms 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

c. Did the disciples have complete wisdom? Vs. 41-- No. They only saw the "man."

Later, they had the complete wisdom.

John 2:22- Resurrection power convinces men. Cf. Rev. 4:11-

Apply vs. 36-41