"...Lest the Increase Become Defiled"

These are the words of the covenant which Jehovah commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which he made with them in Horeb.
Deuteronomy 29.1

From the verse above, there is the mentioning of two covenants: one made at Horeb (Sinai) and one made in the land of Moab. The first covenant was made at Mt. Sinai and is described in the book of Exodus. The other covenant was needed because the generation that entered into the first covenant died in the 40-year wandering in the wilderness. Their children were the ones to whom Moses addresses the passage above. When the covenant was made with their parents, they were children so young that Moses described them as having “no knowledge between good and evil” (Deuteronomy 1.39). They were now of age and were going to inherit the land of Canaan. The books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy contain the many statutes, laws, and ordinances that Moses gave to this generation of the children of Israel. The words of this second covenant were in addition to the covenant that was made at Mt. Sinai (Horeb). Among the “words of this covenant” were these: “You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed” (Deuteronomy 22.9). The reason given for this statute was, “…or all the produce of the seed which you have sown and the increase of the vineyard will become defiled.”

Abraham had physical descendants and he had spiritual descendants. Abraham’s spiritual descendants (Romans 9.7-8) are those who have been “born anew” (John 3.3,5). They make up Christ’s church (Galatians 3.26-27). Spiritual Israel was given the same advice as physical Israel in regard to sowing two kinds of seed in the same vineyard.

The connection between these two groups of descendants (physical and spiritual) is seen in the command regarding sowing seed. The seed with physical Israel was a physical seed, whereas the seed with spiritual Israel was the word of God (Luke 8.11). If the true gospel (Galatians 1.6-9) is mixed with “doctrines and commands of men” (Matthew 15.8-9), the increase of the vineyard (the church) will become defiled.

This is why teaching must be “the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4.11). There are God’s oracles (scripture), and then there are interpretations of what God meant by what he said in his oracles. God’s oracles are the spiritual seed that must not be mixed with manmade traditions or human philosophy. Scripture is the standard by which theology is interpreted. Sadly, theology has come to be the standard by which scripture is interpreted.

Scripture (God’s oracles) is truth. Scripture is the word of God. As with physical seed, this spiritual seed produces after its kind. When truth (spiritual seed) was sown into the hearts of people, the result was the conversion of sinners to saints. When people died to sin, they were buried, then arose as a new creation (2 Corinthians 5.17).

This new creation collectively comprises the church on earth. This church is called the body of Christ and he (Christ) is its head (Ephesians 1.22-23; Colossians 1.18). Jesus not only came to die for our sins, he also came to sow the spiritual seed of God’s will (John 12.49). He stated in John 7.16, “My teaching is not my own, but his who sent me.

Jesus’ desire was for all believers to be united (John 17.20-21; 1 Corinthians 12.13). This can only happen by sowing one kind of seed: God’s oracles. This unity existed initially because first century Christians “continued steadfastly” in the same doctrine: the doctrine taught by the apostles (Acts 2.42). What happened? Please read the warning from the apostle Paul in Acts 20.28-30. If you read this text, you will understand why there are the divisions in the religious realm today.

Remember the warning from the apostle Paul to the pastors of the church of Christ in 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. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20.28-30).

Christ’s body, the church, has been severed by corrupt seed (false doctrine). The result is “the increase of the vineyard” has “become defiled.” Is there a cure, a remedy to this religious division? Certainly so: Teach (speak) the same things the apostles spoke. That was what they urged: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1.10).