I attended Pentecost services at Church of God International who observes the Feast on the Sunday, May 31 the day after the seventh-day Sabbath, instead of the Jewish community that observed the feast on Thursday eve to Friday eve of May 28-May 29.
However, I learnt something that challenged my perspective that I want to share. Before I do so, as usual, I want to give you the details of the location and the context of how I came into the understanding that I did.
- the parable of mention spoken of in Matthew 13:31-32 (King James Version)
- The event details
- the message and lesson learnt
Matthew 13:31-32 (King James Version):
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 becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
Fellowship: Church of God International
Date: Sunday, May 31, 2009 (Pentecost)
Location/Venue: Sagicor Auditorium, 28-48 Barbados Avenue, Kingston 5
Messenger: Pastor George Ramocan
Time: Evening service
The sermon of Pastor Ramocan spoke on the parable of the Mustard seed. He challenged the congregation that much of what we learnt about the parable from the churches that we were from was incorrect. He stated that the mustard seed does not grow into a tree. It is a herb bearing seed. He defined a tree as a plant with hard bark that wood. A herb is one with a softer bark that does not produce wood.
Thus in the parable, when Jesus stated that the mustard seed grew into a tree, it deviated from its nature.
I was shocked and said he was incorrect. For some time ago before his sermon, I did a Web Image search for mustard and saw trees. (My librarianship training failed me this time, as I believed the images posted on the Web, not realizing that someone had put it there to illustrate Jesus parable.)
Pastor Ramocan went on to state that "the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof" represents evil spirits.
He then went on to suggest that the parable indicates that the Christian Church at the end of the age will deviate from the pure movement that Jesus Christ started, and become inhabited by Satan and his demons. I was shocked!
When I came home that night, I drew for my Bible to look up "mustard".
I checked The Smith's Bible Dictionary that stated that the mustard is a plant and does not grow into a tree. The parable of mention is a "proverbial simile" with no literal accuracy. The mustard plant according to the same entry is too small for birds to make nests unless they are very small birds, such as linnets and finches. Birds may settle on it for its seeds which they are fond of. The plant could perhaps grow as tall as a horse and its rider. The entry also indicated that there are seeds smaller than the mustard seed.
Then I remembered that mustard is that which is placed on hot dogs.
As I wrote this, I also checked my English Language dictionary. Just for a second source. I consulted the Pocket Oxford English Dictionary which also confirmed that the mustard is a plant.
As such, I realised that Pastor Ramocan was correct.
I also remembered that what William Schnoebelen wrote in a book that I finished reading the other day, Masonry: Beyond the Light, that Lucifer is waiting for the World to reach a place where he can come and settle on earth amongst the citizens of the world. Schnoebelen also in revealing his perspective on the pyramid and the all seeing eye that adorns the US dollar indicates that the all seeing eye represents Satan and his demons hovering over human hierarchy and authority. Schnoebelen also presented in his book the idea that the Devil has established many secret societies where he have many of the world leaders making oaths and promises that basically enslave them to be willing servants of his will. Masonry and other secret societies with oaths and rituals according to Schnoebelen are basically worshipping Lucifer and giving him authority over these leaders in order for them to be possessed by demons and be controlled by these demons. Consequently this will lead them to be under the rule of Satan or Lucifer.
It all makes sense now, doesn't it?
Schnoebelen, William J. Masonry: Beyond the Light. Chino, CA: Chick Publications, 1991.
Smith, William George, F. N. Peloubet, and M. A. T. Peloubet. Smith's Bible Dictionary. Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers, 2005.
Soanes, Catherine, Sara Hawker, Julia Elliott, F. G. Fowler, and H. W. Fowler. Pocket Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.