A Mustard Seed: Not So Impressive to the Natural Eye

It's amazing how much is spoken about the Kingdom of God in the New Testament while so little is spoken of it in the churches. One of the very first times Yahshua spoke, He spoke about the Kingdom of God.1 It says, "It's right at the door! The Kingdom is right here! It's at hand!" And of course, all the Jews were looking for the Kingdom that was going to come and rout out the Roman Empire and establish Messiah's rule on the earth. That's what they were thinking He was talking about. Yahshua said, "It's right at hand," but of course two thousand years later, it still hasn't happened. But what He was talking about was the community He was going to establish by His Holy Spirit, which would be His reign in people's lives in the midst of a darkened world.

You can see that there are two manifestations of the Kingdom; the one now is like the mustard seed. We're like a mustard seed that's so tiny you can hardly see it. It's hardly observable. The birds of the air and the tiny field mice can hardly see it. It's so small, but it gets larger and larger and larger as it grows. It's not so observable, that Kingdom we're a part of, which will bring in the Millennial Kingdom when Yahshua returns to this earth. Then it will be totally observable. It will be a sudden display of the power of God.

So Yahshua talked about the mustard seed in Matthew 13:31-33, how it falls to the ground unnoticed even by the birds and the mice and any other creature that would want to steal that seed. The seed sprouts up into a bush, and grows and grows so large that it's greater than all the plants in the garden. It's the biggest one. And all the birds of the air can nest in its branches -- all the birds of different feathers, as it speaks about in Ezekiel 17:23. When that tree grows, all the birds of every feather, meaning different nationalities, cultures, and races, will come and dwell together in that one tree in one brand new culture and nation.

That is unheard of today. One kind of bird will occupy one tree and another the other tree, but they won't mix together. But in the last days, they will dwell together. People from all different cultures will come together to be a part of that one new culture.2 That is contrary to fallen nature. In the natural world they can't live together. But we who believe will be able to live together, and that will be the greatest witness that the heavenly Father has done something in the hearts of men -- that we can come out of that fatally flawed society and live together in peace.

So it begins small, and people even scorn it, but against all odds it grows and spreads throughout the world. And that mighty tree will bring healing and shelter to all the depressed and lonely people -- all the people out there who need a home. He makes a home for the lonely.3 In Luke 17:20, the Pharisees were asking, "Is the Kingdom going to come?" Yahshua replied, "The Kingdom of God does not come with observation. Nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the Kingdom of God is among you."

The Kingdom of God certainly wasn't within them (as some translations read), for He was talking to the Pharisees. It is properly translated, "among you," as in the Living Bible, or "in your midst," as in the NASB. The translators missed the whole point, for the Kingdom that He's talking about doesn't come about noticeably or suddenly, with power and great armies. No! It comes "without observation." The Pharisees didn't even know that the Kingdom of God was in their midst. They were asking for the Kingdom of God and Yahshua said, "The Kingdom is among you right now!"

It's just like the people around us today -- they don't understand that the Kingdom of God is in their midst. They may see a people living together who seemingly like one another, and are a little bit different, and they seem peaceful. But what they are seeing is just a tiny little seed growing. It's growing and growing, little by little, but it's not so observable yet, not as it will be when the consummation of the age comes, after we have proclaimed the Gospel of the Kingdom as a witness.4 We will have declared it by the witness of our life, by our living together just like Acts 2:44. And as we continued to grow, colonize, swarm, and spread all over the earth, then people were able to observe our behavior5 more and more.

But now, we are struggling to even survive. It's against all odds that this mustard seed will sprout. But if it sprouts, even though from the tiniest seed, it becomes the biggest tree in the garden, and all the birds of different feathers will gather in its branches.

So the Kingdom doesn't come suddenly. It starts with the smallest seed. But that seed is still in the midst of all the people in each locality as it grows and grows. One might think the Kingdom isn't coming, but it's as in Yahshua's day -- the Kingdom was in their midst and they didn't know it.

The apostles said in Acts 1:6, "Is this the time that the Kingdom which will rule the entire earth is going to come?"6 But He said, "It's not for you to know." It was not for them to know, because Daniel is a sealed book, and its unsealing has to wait until the time of the end.7 We know that in the very end of days, knowledge will increase and men will travel to and fro.8 Knowledge will increase exponentially and become instantly available. Probably in those days, two thousand years ago, they thought they were in the last days because they had the Roman roads to travel on, but it is speaking of an exponential increase.

So it says in Luke 17:20 that the Kingdom does not come so that it is so apparent. It comes as the mustard seed -- stealthily, which means to bring to pass in a not-so-observable manner. It unfolds a little at a time. It just sneaks in there and grows. No one really knows. Even the governments don't know what's going on. If they knew this was the Stone Kingdom of Daniel's prophecy that is going to destroy all the governments and kings of the earth, they might do something about us (but God would just laugh at them, as Psalm 2:4 says). But it is growing stealthily. It is right in the midst of them and they don't even know it.

When Yahshua comes back, it's going to be a grand event, but now the emergence of the Kingdom is not such a grand event. Right now it's just little, humble us, and we gather people as Daniel 2:44-45 says -- a "stone" cut from the mountain of the world without human hands.

The first message Yahshua preached was that the Kingdom of God was at hand. But they were thinking, "The Messiah is coming to take over the world." But the people of Israel were totally rebellious at that point in their history. They felt as if they could just be given the Kingdom right then, but they didn't deserve it. Yahshua said, "I'm going to take the Kingdom away from you and give it to a nation who will produce the fruit of it. Since you didn't produce the fruit, I'm going to give it to a nation who will!"9

That's why Paul said that "our twelve tribes who serve God night and day" will do it for them,10 because we are here in their place, doing what they didn't do.11 We do it for them in order that in the next age they can have the land that God promised to Abraham12 when He walked through the split animals as if to say, "Let it be that if I don't give you this enemy-free land, I'll be cursed Myself." He made a self-cursing oath. So there has to be a people who will carry it out for Him by His grace.

It says in Matthew 12:50, "Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, my sister, and my mother." If you look up the word does, there is a great definition. It means to carry it out, to cause or make it happen. That is the one who does the will of our Father in heaven.13 No one can do that except by being in the Body of Messiah, which has to be restored on the face of the earth.

Two Aspects of the Kingdom

We have to understand about the two aspects of the Kingdom. The apostles said, "Is it us? Is the Kingdom going to come now? Are you going to return and establish the Kingdom in our lifetime?" They thought He was going to usher in the Kingdom after He rose from the dead. But Matthew 24:14 was a long ways off -- two thousand years ahead, and they couldn't fathom that. Yahshua would have discouraged them if He had said, "No, you are all going to fall away." But Paul wondered whether he had labored in vain, though he knew he would have his reward.14

People lost their first love and became scattered and divided. And we may see similar things going on in our midst, but we can't lose heart because we know the threshing floor has got to be cleared out. It's only the true wheat that will remain. All the chaff has got to be blown away because the chaff has no glory. But the wheat has glory; it has weight. You throw it up in the air and the chaff will blow away, but the wheat falls down at Yahshua's feet.

So it says does in Matthew 12:50. It's not the one who mentally believes, but the one who does. Faith without works is dead. Does speaks of a doer -- one who takes an active part in bringing about what Yahshua told us to pray for in Matthew 6:9-11. We need to pray, "Father, I want your will to be done!" And who is going to do it? Someone has got to do His will, and whoever does it, that's His family. That's His brother and sister and mother. If we're not praying for it, we're certainly not going to do it. Only those who are praying for it will do it.

So the word does is speaking of the one who carries out His will, who brings it about, who does it deliberately, knowing what he's doing. He causes or produces an effect, bringing it into existence. At first it's not so glorious, not so impressive to the natural eye.

Mysteries of the Kingdom

That's what Yahshua said in Matthew 13:11, "The mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven have been revealed to you, but not to others." The kingdom that's now forming will become a great mountain that will fill the whole earth.15 There are not two kingdoms -- a kingdom now and then a kingdom to come. There's only one kingdom, and it turns into a great and mighty kingdom that governs the whole world.

Right now we're not political at all. We're not involved in the world's governments, but in the next age it will all be the Kingdom of Yahshua. It will be a great and mighty kingdom as it talks about in Daniel 2:34-35. The stone, formed in this age, becomes a great mountain and fills the whole earth. As the parable in Matthew 13:33 says, the woman puts the yeast in her dough and it permeates the whole lump. Just a little leaven leavens the whole loaf, which is the whole world. But it is not in this age, but in the next age.

Yahshua spoke all these parables using similes and metaphors, and they can be so confusing in our minds. He spoke in so many figures of speech -- about farming, fishing, women baking bread, and merchants buying pearls, and so much more. We have to consider it. It's only given to His disciples to understand it. The natural mind can't comprehend it. It's the secret, the mystery of the Kingdom.

Resistible or Irresistible?

The Kingdom that is going to come will be irresistible, but the Kingdom now is resistible. You can resist it if you want to; you can shun it. God made it that way because He only wants the pure heart of man. He doesn't want anything except a pure, loving heart for our Creator. Those are the only people who are going to bring in that Kingdom -- those who love Him with all their heart, soul, and strength.

So the Kingdom now is resistible. The men of the earth can resist it. But the day will come when they won't be able to resist it. It's going to come and flatten everything out. Then Yahshua will reign supreme, and we'll rule with Him over the nations - on the earth and then the universe.16

Our Father is going to have His will done by a people who do His will in this age. We may think we can just say, "Father, your will be done." When I was young, I had to pray it in school every day. But we didn't have an iota of understanding about it. It was just something we memorized. But when we pray, "Father, your will be done," that means, "Give us the power and the strength and the grace to do it, to bring it about." That's what it means. "Deliver us from the evil one."

All those who are falling into sin are not praying to be delivered from evil. They could care less about His Kingdom. They aren't praying to be delivered. If we pray to be delivered from evil, do you think our Father is not going to deliver us? Of course, He's going to deliver us! That's what He wants to do! If we say, "Deliver us from evil" and evil comes upon us, what is that? It doesn't make sense.

We're chosen as Abraham was chosen. All the seed of Abraham are chosen. Why are we chosen? We are chosen that we would command our children.17 Parents are to command their children or they're not the seed of Abraham. And the children are to be commandable. And the outcome of that is to bring about what God had promised Abraham. We have to bring about the promise of the enemy-free land for Abraham's natural offspring. Then the Kingdom will come and be established in the next age, and all the apostles will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel in the next age.18 Who's going to bring it about? It's not going to just happen out of the blue. It's going to take a people who will put all of Yahshua's enemies under His feet19 and crush the head of the serpent.

  • 1. Mark 1:14-15
  • 2. Galations 3:28; 1 Peter 2:9-10
  • 3. Psalm 68:5-6
  • 4. Matthew 24:14
  • 5. 1 Peter 2:12
  • 6. Daniel 2:35
  • 7. Daniel 12:9; 2:44-45
  • 8. Daniel 12:4
  • 9. Matthew 21:43; 1 Peter 2:9
  • 10. Acts 26:7 in the Williams New Testament "...which promise our twelve tribes, by devotedly worshiping day and night, hope to see fulfilled for them. It is for this hope, your Majesty, that I am accused by some Jews." Genesis 18:19
  • 11. Genesis 15:18
  • 12. Genesis 15:8-21; Jeremiah 34:18-20
  • 13. Matthew 7:21; Ephesians 6:6; Hebrews 10:36; James 1:25; 1 Peter 4:2; 1 John 2:17; 3:22
  • 14. Galatians 4:11; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 3:5
  • 15. Daniel 2:35
  • 16. Revelation 21:24; 22:2
  • 17. Genesis 18:19
  • 18. Matthew 19:28
  • 19. Hebrews 10:13; Acts 3:21; Romans 16:20

The Twelve Tribes is a confederation of twelve self-governing tribes, composed of self-governing communities. We are disciples of the Son of God whose name in Hebrew is Yahshua. We follow the pattern of the early church in Acts 2:44 and 4:32, truly believing everything that is written in the Old and New Covenants of the Bible, and sharing all things in common.

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