Mustard Seed Faith
In Matthew 13:31 - 32, we read, "Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof."
Previously on this page, I wrote that the mustard seed parable speaks of how God took Yeshua and sowed Him into the earth through His death on the cross, and from His sacrifice for us grew the Church, which has many branches, and the birds of the air represent the angels who watch over the Church.
Today when I read that parable, I realized that I was wrong in how I interpreted the parable. The traditional interpretation is correct: It merely means that, though faith starts off very small, it can grow strong enough to support others.
It still is true, however, that the Church has many branches and that the angels of God watch over the people in the various denominations to help whosoever would be saved to truly know Yeshua as their Saviour and grow in His grace, in spite of the limitations that the people have placed on themselves by their loyalty to their sect.
Denominations highlight the individuality of believers and God's patience with their various temperaments and tastes and levels of faith. There is error in some of the doctrines that Christians hold because we are human and, therefore, don't comprehend everything perfectly, but each denomination that is genuinely Christian has revelation on some of God's truths, and those truths should be appreciated by all denominations.
I can agree with and appreciate how much the Baptists preach about Yeshua and bring a lot of people to a saving knowledge of Him, as a result of preaching about how His death on the cross paid for our sins. I can appreciate their understanding that baptism is supposed to entail total immersion in water and the contribution they have made to the Body of Christ by reviving this knowledge. I appreciate them for singing the old hymns, preserving for the Church the great truths and power that is in them.
As a charismatic, I can't agree with the conventional Baptist viewpoint about the gifts of the Spirit being obsolete. The Church is not yet perfect and we still need those gifts. In fact, 2000 years closer to the perilous times of the last days, we need them even more than the Early Church needed them. It simply is not like God to reduce the outpouring of His power when the Church's needs are more desperate than ever. It is a lie of satan that miracles and spiritual gifts were only for those days to give the Church a jump start.
To support this fallacy, people quote the verse that says, "Blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe," but this is misapplication of Scripture that needs to be exposed. Christians need to get their faith revved up, so that they can do what they are supposed to do – appropriate the promises of God. There were plenty of times that Yeshua expressed frustration with His disciples for their lack of faith in God's ability and willingness to do mighty miracles. We are supposed to repent of lack of faith, not whitewash it.
In Matthew 17:20, Yeshua said, … "Truly I say unto you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove from here to over there; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." I think that He was saying, "If you have faith like me, etc…" If we have faith like Yeshua, the kind of faith that is willing to die to self for the sake of bringing forth the Kingdom of God, and believe like Yeshua believes (never doubting the power of God, His goodness, His love, and His willingness to deliver people from the oppression of the devil), indeed, nothing shall be impossible for us. Then we will have the kind of faith that will be a refuge to others until their faith grows strong enough to be a support to the people in their lives.
The Bible also says that God has given each of us THE measure of faith. We all the get the same amount. We can all exercise faith for mighty deeds, if we do not have any impurities it it, such as doubt and unbelief.
There are actual occurances where mountains have been removed by faith. One such incident occurred in the early days of Communist China. Missionaries read the scripture about how faith the size of a mustard seed can cast a mountain into the sea to the children in their orphanage. They lived by the sea, but there was a mountain blocking their view of it. They told the missionaries that they wanted the mountain removed, so that they could see the sea. The missionaries were alarmed at this request, but not wanting to say anything to contradict the Bible, in silence, they let the children go ahead and pray for the mountain to be removed.
Not long afterwards, an military officer came to their door to inform them that army engineers were going to remove the mountain behind the orphanage, so that they could build an airstrip by the sea. Getting to watch the construction and then seeing airplanes taking off and landing probably made the view for the kids even more interesting than just looking at the sea.
An incident of mountain moving occurred in Africa. The people in a village where missionaries lived scorned their preaching. When they heard the verse about having faith as a mustard seed to move a mountain, they told the missionaries, "Well, why don't you move this mountain? It blocks us from a village that we trade with and we have to go all the way around the mountain."
The missionaries felt intimidated by this sarcastic request, but they prayed for it to happen, not really believing it would, but trying to believe anyway. That night, there was an earthquake and it frightened everybody, the missionaries included. As there were no lights, it was not until morning that the people saw that, during the night, the earthquake had split the mountain down the middle and it was now possible to go straight through to the other village. People got saved. By the sounds of it, the united faith of those missionaries for that miracle was no bigger than a mustard seed.
Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you.