"For the message of the cross . . . is the power of God" (1 Cor 1:18)

Lesson Eight


by Given O. Blakely

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind; and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down, and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away. So it will be at the end of the age; the angels shall come forth, and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Have you understood all these things?" They said^ to Him, 'Yes.' And He said to them, "Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings forth out of his treasure things new and old" (Matthew 13:47-52)


The role of preaching is pivotal central, in the Kingdom of God. It is a sanctified activity, a holy work, and a blessed endeavor. If we enter into this work with our hearts and souls, our labors will be honored by God. But we must not play at this activity, attempt to use it as a means for personal gain, or corrupt it with the wisdom of this world. To do so is to incur divine judgment. It was this very perspective that was in the mind of the Spirit when He said, "According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each man be careful how he builds upon it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire. Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are" (1 Cor 3:10-17). God will overlook neither good nor bad preaching! This is so because preaching produces fruitage, either good or bad. All preaching must be compatible with the Foundation, which is Jesus Christ the Lord. It must also enable the hearer to knit with the Lord Jesus in order to "eternal salvation." If the preacher, by his preaching, makes this difficult to occur, he will be held in strict accountability--in fact, he will be destroyed. Preaching is that serious.


Scripture apprizes us that we will "reign with Christ" (2 Tim 2:12; Rev 5:10). While that reign will find its full realization in the "ages to come," it begins NOW, in our labors for the Lord. Paul spoke of receiving power to edify the body of Christ. "For this reason I am writing these things while absent . . . for building up and not for tearing down" (2 Cor 13:10). In effect, the various gifts and abilities that have been dispensed to the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:11), are a form of kingdom authority. They are an exhibition of Divine rule in the presence of the enemies of the soul. Regardless of Satan's aggression, and the blinding efforts of his hierarchy of power, the effectiveness of a minister of God to the people of God cannot be stopped. That is authority.


Jesus affirmed the Kingdom of God is like a great net cast into the mass of humanity. It garners people of all types, using them in the fulfillment of God's "eternal purpose." Not everyone that is caught in the net is good. There are some that will ultimately be removed, "severed from among the just," even though they spent much time with them. There are people like Judas, Demas, and others, who have played a role in the Lord's Kingdom, but it will not turn out for their ultimate good. Some vessels are used for dishonorable purposes (2 Tim 2:20-21), like Pharaoh, raised up by God to show as aspect of His working (Rom 9:17).

All of this has a great deal to do with preaching, or proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom. Upon asking His disciples if they comprehended what He was talking about, He referred to His disciples as "householders." They were, in a manner of speaking, in charge of the house. The word "householder"comes from oikodespoth, and means "master of the house," "head of the family," or "in charge of God's family." it is a weighty consideration, indeed. Paul referred to this aspect of the Kingdom when bidding farewell to the elders of Ephesus. "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood" (Acts 20:28). The role of the preacher of the Word is not to marshal the saints for institutional purposes, but to equip them to minister in this world, and reign with Jesus in the world to come (Eph 4:11-20). They are the ones that are casting the net and accumulating the "fish." The good preacher will be the occasion of the revelation of the natures of men. He will be "a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things" (2 Cor 2:15-16)? He is not an entertainer, but a revealer--both of God and men. He is not a slave of the institution, but a "householder" in the Kingdom of God. To be effective for God and lay up treasures for yourself in heave, you must ever keep these things before you. Do not listen to those who make a science of declaring the Gospel, and a career out of preaching. They do not represent the Head of the house in their corrupt approach to preaching.


It is most blessed to sit at the feet of Jesus! He does not speak as the speaks--as the opportunist or the institutional promoter. He refers to the "householder" as a "SCRIBE." "Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven" (NKJV). The preacher is a purveyor, or supplier, of thoughts. He is acquainting listeners with the manner of the heavenly Kingdom, the purpose of God, and the great salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. This is his role in the Divine economy.

His first obligation is to himself learn the Kingdom's "manner." Of old, Samuel informed the people of "the manner of the kingdom," even writing it in a book and laying it up "before the Lord" (1 Sam 10:25). He knew the way royalty behaved (NKJV), and communicated the same to his hearers. He was a precursor of the Gospel preacher. This idea of a Kingdom laborer differs vastly from that of the contemporary preacher. In great numbers of congregations, the "preacher" is a waiter on tables--a sort of servant to placate the consciences of alienated people. The real preacher, however, is acquainted with the heavenly kingdom. He knows of the objectives and privileges of the people of God, and, laboring in the Word and doctrine, brings them into a fuller awareness of the richness of their salvation. He is a "scribe," acquainted with what the Lord has said. That is his first love, and his first obligation: "what saith the Lord?" When he navigates in the Scriptures, he is in familiar ground--his naive territory. That is where his expertise lies. Such is a "scribe, trained for the kingdom of heaven" (RSV) Candidly, you want that to be said of you.

He Brings Out of His Treasure

A personal spiritual treasure is developed by the preacher. It consists of gems and spiritual coins that can be dispensed to others, and are of great value. It is HIS treasure. He has not purchased it from another, nor stolen it. It has been garnered by himself as he plowed in the field of God's Word. The treasure consists of insights and understanding he has received. His expertise is not in probing the treasury of others, but in the treasure he himself has attained. When Jesus warned His disciples not to cast pearls before swine, He referred to the items of value as "YOUR pearls" (Matt 7:6).

This treasure is not limited to mere novelties. Nor, indeed, is it a place for antiques alone. There are also new things in the treasury--not new words, but new insights into old words. As the truth is understood, the instructed "scribe" is able to bring it to bear upon the issues of life. He can apply it like medicine to the sick, and provide it as food to the hungry. With kingdom expertise such a scribe can nourish up the people of God with the Word of God. If they are weak, he can bring strength to them. If they are discouraged, he can bring encouragement. If they are ignorant, he brings illumination.

How many people give heed to the words of the kingdom "scribe" is not the point. The point is that he "brings out of his treasure" spiritual freshness--"things new and old." The Lord will use the words of the "instructed" scribe to accomplish His purpose. The preacher shares his own insights and perceptions--what he has seen and heard. The new is built upon the old. These are insights and applications of the truth that are fresh and invigorating. A living and vital connection is made between the truth of God and human circumstance And need. Seek to be so familiar with the Word of God that the Lord can give you understanding in all things. Refuse to be distracted by lesser things.



"Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles. I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer" -- Job 32:19-20.

Texts from which to choose your presentation Romans 6:19; Romans 8:34; Romans 16:20