The Blade, The Ear, and The Full Corn

Mark 4:26-29 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.


I.   Most commentaries use this parable to speak of the growth of the individual child of God into a full grown Christian.

A.     These commentaries are wrong.

1.       Christ said the parable was about the kingdom of God, not about individual Christians.

2.       Individual Christians do make up the kingdom of God, but there are other scriptures that speak of their spiritual maturity (progressive sanctification)

B.     It is true that this parable can be applied to the progressive sanctification of the individual believer, but it must be remembered that the proper interpretation of this scripture is speaking about the growth of the kingdom of God.

1.       Progressive sanctification takes places in the hidden parts of a saved persons heart, where God works to produce fruits of His presence.

2.       The person who has just been saved will soon begin to show that He possesses the inward seed of salvation.  This is revealed by comparing his life to the blade as it first protrudes from the soil.

3.       The saved person will soon begin to grow more and more until it is possible to tell a difference in his life.  This is seen as he reaches maturity, and the characteristics of his life reflect that he is a stalk of corn, and not honeysuckle or bramble bush.

4.       The older Christian will reflect the full stalk of corn with much fruit to be passed on to future generation.

5.       The harvest is when that Christian dies, leaving his life as an example of righteousness for others to follow.

C.     Fallacies of the above thoughts.

1.       Every saved person doesn’t mature into a full grown Christian.

2.       Some die shortly after being saved, and do not have the time to produce fruits like a full grown stalk of corn.

3.       Some saved people never become Christians.

a.      Lot is an example of this.

b.      II peter 2:7,8 states that Lot was delivered from Sodom a just (righteous) man, vexed (worn down) with the filthy lifestyle of the wicked.

c.      Lot went on to commit incest with his two daughters, bringing forth children by them.

4.       Some saved people never mature because they don’t have a God fearing church to worship and learn about Christ in.

5.       Matt. 13:22 states that there are saved people who become so engrossed in the things of this world that they don’t have time for serving God. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.


II.   The essence of this parable is the slow and continual growth of the kingdom of God.

A.     The kingdom of God doesn’t grow from a seed to the full corn in the ear overnight.

1.       It takes some time for the seed to die and the first shoots of corn to appear.

2.       It takes some time for the seeds of the kingdom of God to be put into the earth until the very first parts of the kingdom appears to the eyes of men.

3.       It must be remembered that the end result of the kingdom of God is nothing like the beginning.

4.       Gen. 15:16 – “But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.”

B.     Man doesn’t know how the seed grows into a full grown plant with fruit of its own.

1.       God gives life to the seed.

2.       God makes the seed die, then sprout to a new plant.

3.       All this happens out of the sight of men.

4.       Men can see the results of God’s handywork, but we are unable to initiate any of it.

5.       The workings of God in the hearts of kings and men of renown was out of the sight of men.

6.       Israel fully rejected Christ as their king and Saviour, but God was already working in the hearts and minds of others to bring His church into the kingdom of God.

C.     For the earth brings forth fruit of herself…

1.       The farmer is not magic and cannot force the earth to bring forth.

2.       The earth would bring forth if there were no farmers.

3.       Christians are not special, magic or anything else.

4.       We do not bring forth the kingdom of God.

5.       The kingdom of God comes forth because of the forces of God.

6.       God doesn’t need man to do anything that the kingdom of God would come to pass, but He graciously allows us to be a part of his glorious kingdom.


III.   Verse 28 - The development of the kingdom of God is seen in three stages.

A.     Christ is saying there is continual, progressive movement toward the complete development of his kingdom on this earth.

1.       Just as the blade, the ear, and the full corn describe the development of the corn plant and fruit, so Jesus is describing the development of his earthly kingdom.

2.       There are many ways we might describe the development, but because there are three parts to this parable, I will use three parts to describe kingdom development.

a.      The blade could be described as the time before the establishment of Israel as God’s own chosen nation.

b.      The ear could be described as the time God used Israel to bless this earth, and to give him all glory and honor.

c.      The full corn could be described as the time God used local church to bless this earth, and to give him all glory and honor.

B.     The part of the kingdom of God that we are going to discuss is that part that concerns local churches, which can also be divided into three parts.

1.       There is no doubt in my mind that believers before the nation of Israel will also make up a part of the kingdom of God in eternity.

2.       There is no doubt in my mind that Israel is also a part of the kingdom of God and will appear so in the millennium and in eternity.

3.       Because Israel rejected Christ, He is turning to the Gentiles, who will make up the vast majority of his local churches.

4.       Israel fully expected a physical kingdom when Messiah came.

5.       Instead, Christ came to establish his spiritual kingdom, which the Jews rejected.

C.     The different parts of the kingdom as described here.

1.       The blade – the establishment of local churches as the physical center of God’s kingdom.

2.       The ear. – This period represents all the time of the church from His ascension until His return in the rapture.

3.       The full corn in the ear – This period reveals the kingdom of the Living God displayed as Israel wanted to see when Christ first came – during the millennium reign of Christ.


IV.   The blade.

A.     This is that part of the kingdom that involves the establishment of local churches as the physical center of God’s kingdom.

1.       The time period includes the time from when Christ first called out his disciples until the ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.

2.       This time period involves the personal administration by Christ Himself over the affairs of the church.

3.       Matt. 16:18 - And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

B.     The casual observer couldn’t tell there was much of a work going on because it is a work of God and man doesn’t understand the works of God.

1.       The casual observer could readily see the crowds following Christ and the many people being healed.

2.       He wouldn’t be so able to see the spiritual growth of the apostles, and the fact that Christ would soon turn the entire work over to them.

3.       There would be little for the casual observer to distinguish between the religious organization Christ has established and the many other religious organizations that were active at the time.

a.      Acts 5:33-40 (Verse 39) - When the Pharisees decided to kill Peter, Gamaliel informed them of the many religious sects that had grown, then fizzled out.

b.      He stated that if this work was of God, they would be fighting God to kill the apostles.

c.      If this work wasn’t of God, it would fizzle out of its own accord.

d.      The same principle is true today.

1)      We never should be busy fighting anybody.

2)      We might wind up fighting God and not realize it.

3)      We ought to be busy doing what God wants us to do and that will keep us so busy, we won’t have time to fight anybody.

4.       The blade of corn looks almost exactly like a blade of grass when it first comes up.

5.       The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is the kingdom spoken of in Daniel 2.

a.      Verse 34 & 44 - In the days of the kingdoms of Satan, Christ shall establish his everlasting kingdom.

b.      Verse 44 - This kingdom shall never be destroyed, for it is an everlasting kingdom.

c.      The gates of hell shall never prevail against the church of Christ.

d.      Verse 44 is speaking about the kingdom.

e.      Therefore, the promise to the church is more sure than ever because it is safe within the kingdom.

6.       Proof that the kingdom of God (as applies to the church) started with John.

a.      Luke 16:16 - The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.  This passage is explaining to the people alive at that time that the kingdom of God is represented by the church, not by Israel.

b.      Luke 17:21 - Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.  Christ explains that the Jews should be looking for an internal, individual, spiritual manifestation before they look for an external, material manifestation.

c.      Luke 10:9 - And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.  This should convince the common people that the kingdom of God is moving among the apostles, not among the Jewish leaders.

d.      Matt. 12:28 - But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.  This scripture is like the scripture in Luke 10:9.


V.   The ear.

A.     This period represents all the time of the church from His ascension until His return in the rapture.

1.       This period is represented in Daniel 2:44 as the time when the stone was cut out of the mountain until the time it broke the false kingdoms into pieces.

2.       This is God’s stone (kingdom) and it shall not be left to another, but Christ shall rule for all eternity.

3.       This is the period when scattered kernels of corn are seen - like showers of blessings.

B.     During this time period, people will be able to see that the church of Jesus Christ is where we serve God in His kingdom.

1.       Saved people want to serve God, and they want to serve God in His church, so Satan had to devise a way to fool them into not serving.

2.       Satan has very cleverly changed the definition of “church” from a called out assembly to  the called out, thus establishing a universal church instead of a local church.


VI.   The full corn in the ear.

A.     This period reveals the kingdom of the Living God displayed as Israel wanted to see when Christ first came.

1.       This period includes the tribulation, and the millennium. (and other events that take place during these two periods)

2.       Daniel 2:44 states, …and the kingdom shall not be left to other people…

3.       This statement reveals that this period also includes eternity, for once Christ begins to rule and reign, He will continue forever.

B.     Events of this period.

1.       The rapture will take place.

2.       Christ will deal with the world during the seven year tribulation period, when Satan will be allowed to rule over the entire world.

3.       Christ will physically return to the world, cast the Anti-Christ and Unholy Spirit into the Lake of Fire, bind Satan in the bottomless pit, establish His kingdom and shall rule and reign for 1,000 years.

4.       Satan will be loosed out of the bottomless pit at the end of 1,000 years, where he will lead the population of the earth in the Battle of God and Magog.  He will then be cast into the Lake of Fire, along with every unbeliever.

5.       Eternity will begin when the present heaven and earth is destroyed by fire, God creates a new heaven and a new earth and He comes down to the new earth to dwell with men.

C.     The harvest of Mark 4:29 - Christ casting all wickedness into His great winepress.

1.       There is a harvest of souls that we are supposed to be doing, and there is also a harvest of lost souls for judgment that Christ will be doing.

2.       The harvest of Luke 10:2 is the winning of souls, not the harvest that shall come at the end of the world.

3.       Revelation 14:13-20 - When the fulness of God’s kingdom is brought to pass, Christ will harvest the earth, casting everything into the great winepress of the wrath of God.