4 Types of Characters
Notes from Stephen Bohr’s “The Genesis Code”
Jesus identified in the parable of the sower a total of four different groups on this earth:
3 different kinds of wicked – all are lost unless they change
1 kind of righteous people
In the story, there is exactly 1 sower, Jesus:
Matthew 13:37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
There is exactly 1 seed: the Word of God:
Luke 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
The word of God is powerful and effective. There is nothing needed to be sown in addition to it:
Isaiah 55:10-11 For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
The only difference in each different case is the type of soil that receives the seed. All four groups receive the seed, all four groups hear. This implies that all four groups are completely responsible for their own decisions because they all have received the exact same seed.
The seed is sown in the heart/mind:
Mark 4:15 And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.
1. The Wayside
In this type of soil, the seed is snatched up my Satan immediately before it can grow. These are people who either immediately reject or postpone dealing with God’s message:
Luke 8:12 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
One example of this type of person is Felix when Paul preached to him. The Bible tells us that he was afraid. He postponed the message but unfortunately the opportunity to deal with the Gospel never came back again as far as we know from the Bible:
Acts 24:25 Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.”
Another example is King Agrippa. He simply rejects the message by diplomatically saying that he was “almost persuaded”
Acts 26:27-28 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.” 28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”
The Jews who stoned Stephen also fell into this category. When they were told the truth, they became angry, and stopped up their ears:
Acts 7:54-60 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
In the end times, everyone who is not saved will fall into this category. They “did not receive the love of the truth” and therefore were lost. They were not seeking the truth and failed to find it, but they did not seek truth at all and therefore fell into strong delusions:
2 Thessalonians 2:8-11 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie.
The Bible is the truth that is being accepted or rejected:
John 17:17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
2. The Stony Ground
The stony ground consists of some good soil but it lacks moisture. No time or effort was devoted towards understanding and dedicating one’s life towards the truth:
Luke 8:6 Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture.
Because they have no depth of good soil, only a superficial level, the heat of the sun destroyed the growing seed:
Matthew 13:5-6 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.
Just like the crowds that followed Jesus only for the miracles but left when Jesus began teaching the Gospel, all of those with a superficial commitment start off with excitement but cannot face opposition. This superficial commitment occurs because people want to serve the Lord (good dirt) and also want to serve them selves (stones) at the same time. The greatest tests come to a Christian after they are baptized. Without the depth of knowledge and sacrifice, the gospel will not be quite real. Jesus demands complete sacrifice of everything including family if necessary:
Mark 10:28-31 Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” 29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
Jesus creates strife in the household. Truth must be more important than tolerance and family unity. Anyone who accommodates people who are wrong even within their own family is not on the Lord’s side. We must give our allegiance first to God even if our entire family throws us out:
Matthew 10:34-39 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
Judas also falls into this category. Jesus tries to discourage ‘this scribe’ because Judas primarily wanted to follow Jesus because He was popular. Jesus warns him that riches and popularity will not follow Him:
Matthew 8:18-20 And when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him, He gave a command to depart to the other side. 19 Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.”
20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
Luke 8:14 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.
The most common thorns are possessions purchased by money. Notice the deceitfulness of riches is the idea that items bought with riches will make you happy. It does not say that riches themselves are deceitful:
Mark 4:19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Thorns and thistles represent sin, and appeared immediately after the fall:
Genesis 3:18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field.
Consider Jesus’ message to the rich young ruler. Your riches are thorns if we accumulate that what we do not need:
Luke 18:21-23 And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.”
22 So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
23 But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.
The problem is again not being rich but the desire. The desire for riches destroys the poor as well as the rich. Second reference to the same thing, not money but the love of money:
1 Timothy 6:9-10 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Concepts: Send our money to heaven, life does not consist of money, no worry about managing possessions absorbs one’s life. All money is useless when you die:
Luke 12:15-20 And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’
We must make sacrifices now rather than wait until it is convenient:
Luke 21:34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.
One day possessions will be worthless. In that day everyone will have regret for spending so much time accumulating possessions and misplaced their priorities:
Ezekiel 7:19 They will throw their silver into the streets,
And their gold will be like refuse;
Their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them
In the day of the wrath of the LORD;
They will not satisfy their souls,
Nor fill their stomachs,
. Because it became their stumbling block of iniquity.
4. The good ground does what the word of God says – “keeps it with patience.” Eventually this action bears fruit:
Luke 8:15 But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.
The analogy used here is the process of planting. Faith comes by study of the word of god/preparation of the soil with tilling/removal of rocks and weeds. The water is the Holy Spirit.
We must do three things with the word of God:
1. Read or listen to it
2. Hear or understand it
3. Keep, obey, or follow it
Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
The condition required to have Jesus in the heart is keep His word:
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
James states that not hearers but doers will be justified:
James 1:21-25 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
You must have actions that correspond to God’s word. Jesus also says that many Christians will NOT be saved. His immediate descriptive parable is the house on the rock versus the house on sand. It is preparation work or actions at the deepest levels that make the difference. The sand represents no preparation work. Tribulation in the end reveals the difference:
Matthew 7:21-27 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
The final stage of the plant is to bear fruit. These are basically a description of the character of Jesus. Eventually all of His followers will have these characteristics:
Galatians 5:21-26 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
We develop character based on how we spend our time. Our decision is to decide what to spend our time and attention upon:
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.