The message of a 100-fold harvest has been distorted by many for their own gain. It's often used during offering time or fund-raising events for God’s people: Give your money into our good ground, and it will bear fruit, giving you up to a hundredfold return!
This is then "backed up" by the following scripture:
Behold, there went out a sower to sow: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred, Mark 4:3-8.
This parable of the sower and the seed is recorded three times in the Bible, stressing its importance: Matthew 13:3-9; 18-23; Mark 4:3-20; and Luke 8:5-8; 11-15.
Jesus amplified its importance when He said, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? Mark 4:13.
In truth, the message of the 100-fold harvest isn't about money at all. It's actually about walking a victorious Christian life in this present age.
Take a look at the explanation that Jesus gave when the disciples asked what the parable meant. He said:
The seed is the word of God (not money).Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. --
They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience, Luke 8:11-14. (brackets mine)
Jesus explicitly said: the seed is the word of God.
God created the ground/soil/earth to bring forth fruit.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good, Genesis 1:11-12.
God spoke, and the earth brought forth.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so, Genesis 1:24.
When God spoke, His words were the seeds that were 'planted' in the earth. And, the earth brought forth exactly what God said.
After this initial creation, whenever a seed is sown into that earth (and the conditions are right), the earth brings forth the plant. God's Word is the seed.
Even our salvation came about with God's seed: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible (seed), by the word of God, 1 Peter 1:23.
Likewise, God created man's heart to bring forth fruit when words (the seeds) are planted in it.
But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit, Luke 8,14.
These words are ones we speak or hear. Proverbs 18:21 tells us: Life and death are in the power of the tongue.
Key Point: The tongue has the power to plant seeds into our heart, seeds of life or death.
Jesus explained that the ground was our heart. For an in-depth look at the four types of ground/heart, see the article, Parable Of The Sower And The Seed.
The key points taken from the first three types of ground/heart are:
The fourth, the good ground/heart, happens when we study, meditate and make God's Word the most important thing in our life. It's hearing the Word and acting upon it. It's the heart that Jesus said would bring various degrees of harvest, 30, 60, or 100-fold.
The question is, is there some way to help get that hundredfold harvest instead of just 30 or 60-fold?
In the physical realm, when man sows his precious seeds into the rich soil, they bring forth much fruit – it's that good harvest the farmer worked so hard for. But there are times that he doesn't get that hundredfold increase. He would say that 'life happened' and his huge harvest suffered because of it.
Spiritually, that occurs in our lives as well. We have good ground because we've done those three points listed above. But, 'life happened' and we don't see the 100-fold harvest manifested.
It's interesting to note that the following three areas that impact that 100-fold harvest are actually similar to the first three types of grounds that Jesus taught about in Mark 4:15-20.
In our vegetable garden, I planted a row of carrots. At harvest, I pulled out puny carrots! What happened? I had watered. I had good earth. I had good seed.
But the wind blew in weed seeds, and I didn’t notice. They choked the carrots and my 100-fold return didn't happen.
This occurs in our lives as well. We have good soil in our hearts. We study God’s Word and as a seed, that Word grows. However, other things can grow as well, if we’re not careful.
For example, many years ago, I had received a seed, migraines, from my Mom.
She phoned to say that when I get them, since they’re hereditary in our family, she got a new medication that finally worked. She wanted to let me know, so I could tell my doctor. It wasn't that much later when I started suffering with recurring debilitating migraines.
I knew the faith message. I believed in healing. I had prayed for others. But no matter how much prayer I had, not much changed. The migraines continued and grew worse.
I knew and quoted 1 Peter 2:24, “by whose stripes I HAD been healed”, but I knew this was not a regular sickness – it was hereditary!!! I tried to stand on the Word, but fear kept getting in. I spoke against that fear (which kept limiting my faith), telling it to leave, in Jesus name.
It got a bit better. Instead of three days, now each episode only lasted two days. I had a 30-fold harvest! I went to the doctor, got the pain medication (the one my Mom was using). Now I had 60-fold harvest with the migraine pain being managed with my limited faith and medication.
I started digging into the Word for that 100-fold harvest – that complete healing. I came to Galatians 3:13: Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.
I searched for the curses we'd been freed from. Deuteronomy 28:15-68 lists the curses, which included numerous sicknesses. I could NOT find hereditary sicknesses or migraines UNTIL came to verse 61: Also every sickness and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law them will the Lord bring upon thee.
With joy, I recognized that it meant all sicknesses and plagues were included, even those not written. And that included hereditary ones!
Once this truth was revealed to me, it was a simple matter of using Mark 11:23-24 (see how to pray for healing) and receive that 100-fold harvest: total healing from migraines!
I now knew that I should have guarded what was spoken as a seed into my life when my Mom said, “You'll get migraines.”
I should have refused to accept it – literally pulling it out by replacing it with the Word of truth (1 Pet 2:24) about that situation. Proverbs 4:23 says: Keep (guard) thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life, (brackets mine).
I should have spoken against it, applying Proverbs 18:21: Death (migraines) and life (health) are in the power of the tongue, (brackets mine).
By not actively speaking life and health to myself in that situation, I had allowed the hereditary migraine seed to enter, to grow, and to choke out the healing harvest that was to be mine.
But God's Word renewed my mind and I received a 100-fold harvest of healing that day.
The first problem with getting a 100-fold harvest is having weed seeds thrown in. These are false teachings and negative words (things contrary to the Word). One needs to recognize them, remove them, and then plant the Word of truth.
Ideally, we need to recognize the words BEFORE they take root. When we hear things that are contrary to God's word, we need to immediately act against it.
Key Point: All words are seeds searching for a place to grow.
Every spring, the first crop we had from our garden were stones. The winter's freezing and thawing would push hidden stones up to the surface from deep below. We'd have to remove them before we planted our precious seeds.
This can happen in our Christian life as well.
This really isn’t the same as the stony soil mentioned in the parable. This is the good soil, but there are problems, hidden problems, way down deep.
My name “Gerhild” means “warrior maiden with a spear”. However, I was shy growing up. Painfully shy. It was difficult to get involved with others and share Jesus. I was fearful, easily intimidated, nervous, and afraid – definitely NOT a warrior!
I needed to change my thinking and needed to learn what I was in Christ. I had to transform my mind to the Word, (Rom 12:2).
The word “transformed" is the Greek word “metamorphoo”.
Metamorphosis is what happens in the caterpillar. It is transformed in the cocoon and a butterfly emerges.
Slowly, I was being metamorphosed as these following scriptures became reality:
I knew who I was in Christ and I could do all things through Him. I could boldly go forth --- except I would often stumble up against --- a stone.
The stone was labelled “You’re shy” ... “You can’t speak in public” ... “You’ll make a fool of yourself” ... “You have nothing worthwhile to say” ... “Nobody wants to listen to you”.
It was frequently easier to let the stone block my path, and I’d back away.
It took effort to pick up that stone, throw it away and then do what needed to be done even though I felt afraid.
How? “I can do all things ...” “Go has not given me a spirit of fear ..."
I would go along and there were more opportunities to be bold – and “wham” another shyness stone. Satan, knowing past problems, would make sure they'd pop up at the most awkward and inopportune times. Other past issues can be things like past hurts, past abuses, and past relationships that one keeps stumbling over.
I learned to pick up, throw away, and keep going, doing it afraid, if necessary.
I was being transformed by the renewing of my mind. I was getting into the Word, and the Word was getting into me.
I was going from 30-fold to 60-fold, and I am working towards that 100-fold. I may not be all the way there yet, but I'm on my way!
Back to our actual garden. For the first few years, after making sure we were taking care of weeds and stones, with great joy we were regularly getting a 100fold harvest with excellent fruit and veggies.
But then, after a couple more years, a third problem cropped up, and we really didn't even notice it.
Our neighbor farmer looked over the fence one day and offered to bring over manure because he thought our veggies looked malnourished. I was totally surprised because we hadn't even noticed. After our initial preparation of the soil, we had planted tomatoes and expected a regular harvest every year. Now, on close inspection, we saw the plants were spindly … malnourished.
This happens in our Christian walk as well. We get so busy and we don’t stop to refuel.
We keep on walking and working. In the natural, we'd soon get exhausted, stop and demand food.
In our spiritual life, we don’t often realize when we've become exhausted and malnourished. We’re on a downhill slide and don’t stop to check our spiritual harvest. In the case of our tomato plants, we didn’t even realize it until someone else pointed it out. What help did those tomatoes need? Nourishment.
What helps our spiritual life? Spiritual nourishment: the Bread of Life, the Word. Just like we need daily bread to feed our bodies, we need spiritual bread IF we want our hearts to be fertile soil for the Word of God to continue to grow.
Paul told Timothy that he was to study to shew himself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth, 2 Timothy 2:15. The Bereans were commended because they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, Acts 17:11.
Both “study” and “search” imply WORK. It takes an effort. It’s not just sitting down and quickly gulping down one chapter of the Bible a day. That’s like having fast food – not very nourishing.
There’s only one way to de-weed, de-stone, and nourish our heart’s soil. It's by the renewing of our minds (Rom 12:2).
'Renew' means to renovate – to return to the way it should be, the way God intended it to be. Just as renovating a house is work, so is renewing our mind. It takes an effort.
So important is this idea of renewing that Paul repeats it in Ephesians 4:22-24: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
The 'putting off' and 'putting on' is our work, and it's done through the renewing of our minds. God doesn't do it for us. We need to do it.
Romans 12:2 says: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Key Point: Renewing our minds will affect our harvest!
We renew our minds by getting into the Word. We involve the Holy Spirit by depending upon Him to reveal the truth of the Word.
It also involves spending time with God in prayer, in worship, and in meditation.
When we renew our minds, we come to know God’s good, and acceptable, and perfect will.
The next season, after we paid particular attention and had it right – no weeds, no stones, and well-nourished soil, we had beautifully shaped carrots, delicious red tomatoes, and potatoes big enough that one would feed a family of four!
A 100-fold Spiritual harvest in our lives is when:
Matthew 7:20 says that by their fruits you shall know them. Yes, this is talking about others, but make it personal: By my fruits, I will know me.
Is there some area in your life where you do not see a full harvest of fruit?
In those areas:
First: Are weeds choking your harvest?
Second: Are stones hindering your harvest?
Third: Have you allowed yourself to become spiritually malnourished?
The answer to each is to get into God’s Word and have God’s Word get into you. Spend time in God’s presence, in worship, in prayer, in mediation, in the Word. That’s the cocoon where your transformation takes place!
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind and get that full 100-fold harvest!
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Unless stated otherwise, all Bible passages quoted in blue are from the KJV translation.