The Parable of the Leaven, the Tares and the Rapture PII

Parable Leaven TaresMatthew 13: 24-43

How would you explain the key words of Wheat, Good seed, enemy and Tares? What is in your life right now that these words could represent?

Look at some key words for us to wrap our heads upon:

Leaven” is yeast and would be mixed in the flour and water and baked to make bread that is fluffy, more palatable and easier to eat. Or you would lust have a large flat, dry cracker. As with cities today baking was a profession and you obtain your bread from the local bakery or family co-op., Because, ovens were expensed to build and the practicality of laboring in the field in which women did too, and making bread which is an all-day event of gathering, milling, kneading, and baking would be most difficult. But some people pooled their resources and had a community oven and took turns making and proving bread for their community.

Leaven is also a symbol for evil as a little evil can do a lot of damage!

Point? It only takes a very small piece of yeast for a large amount of flour. Just like faith!

“Three measures” of flour is about a bushel and would make enough bread for over one hundred people.

What is Jesus doing? He quotes from Psalm 78:2.  He shows His concern for the entire world not just Israel.

Parables disclose and close. Sometimes their meaning is not apparent or literal and takes prayer understanding and thought. They also reveal the truth to those who listen and conceal truth from those who refuse to hear. We have to be open and available for His Word to impact us (Psalm 72:1-6). (For more info read the last study on Parables from Matthew 13:1-23)

Explain to us,” Jesus was teaching farmers and most of His disciples were fisherman, perhaps they did not understand the metaphors, maybe they were not listening, perhaps their hearts and minds were closed off.

There are times people will not care or listen to us or God. We are still responsible to proceed with maturity, tact and love to proclaim His Word. We are not responsible how people take it or treat us, we are only responsible to trust and obey. Even when you feel like a failure, He is still there loving us and our efforts are never a waist when we are in Him! He is in control His timing is sovereign.

Harvest,” is a symbol for the End Times (Ezra. 4:30-32; Isa. 32:13-15; Jer. 31:27-28; Hos. 2:21-23; 6:1).

Point? God supplies the seed, we cast them, and He germinates them. Sometime later a seed you sowed may germinate, you never know!

Gather out” / “weed out” refers to Christ’s divine authority over the final judgment when all those who refused to accept His grace will be cast off into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 19:20).

“Weeds” are the reprobates (Rom. 1) Who refused Christ and took themselves or Satan as their lead.

The “wheat” is His chosen people who by faith accepted Him and He was their leader.

Shine,” all of our efforts even though sometimes we cannot see them will shine forth in eternity, so have faith and confidence in His Kingdom!

Furnace,” is Hell (Mark 9:43-48; Matt. 25:41-46; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Rev. 20:10-15) which is the final place for all those who rejected God. It is the final condemnation and judgment. God does not sentence people there, we send ourselves there (Eze. 33:11; John 3:18-21; Rom. 1:18-32; 2:8; 2 Thess. 2:9-11)!

God is willing and able to save us from Hell, but are we willing to accept His love and free gift, strange as it may be most people refuse (Matt. 5:29-30)!

So, what is the sequence? Who is gathered up first? The faithful Christians? NO!

So, if there is a rapture, and now I think you should hope not, who is taken? Also read Matthew 24 too. The “Weeds” who are pulled and burnt! Evil people who are not redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb!  Those who are wicked.  Those who refused Christ. Look carefully in order of the sequencing, as many have overlooked this to make their dogmatic point.  First, weeds, the enemy are gathered up and thrown into the furnace of fire, Hell. That also means people who teach false doctrines, perhaps that is why this passage is omitted. Then the Harvest of the wheat, meaning the mustard faith folks, those who are the children of the Kingdom of God, are gathered into the barn.

Outline out a plan to put into practice some of the precepts of these parables,

  1. A willingness to listen.
  1. The ability to practice real authentic faith.
  1. Be willing to trust Him regardless of your circumstances.
  1. Practice surrendered obedience.

Which is far more important that a theory that is wrong….

 

 

The Parable of the Mustard Seed, the Tares and the Rapture

taresCarefully read Matthew 13: 24-43, notice verses 37-40.

First off, God is faithful and He chooses to save us (elects) even though we do not earn it or deserve it. He does this not by foreknowledge even though He has it, rather according to His purpose (Eph. 1:3-14; 1 Cor. 1:8-9; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; 2 Tim. 1:9-10).

But, God does not force Himself upon us, His grace is offered, we have to accept it by faith alone, which requires the precepts of these parables, which is a willingness to listen, the ability to practice real authentic faith, to be willing to trust Him regardless of our circumstances and our surrendered obedience. With these precepts we can seize the knowledge that Christ will prevail greatly with a minute for the vastness of His glory. We are the minute as our abilities and qualifications fall short and would be impossible to do anything grand, but in Him we can!

Take a close look at the context and the key words:

Tares” or weeds refer to a species of rye that is poisonous it looks like wheat in the early stages, but you can’t tell until it is too late and your crop is ruined. Its roots impact and destroy and cannot be uprooted without uprooting the wheat as well. Kind of like fake Christians or prideful pastors!

So, the reapers would wait and just before they bud they can cut the bud and prevent the weed from maturing. If its grains get mixed up the bread will make you sick. Just like how toxic people and false teachers invade our lives and cause worry and strife. Yes, our hope is that God is still in control even when we are tangled in someone else’s mess. If God uprooted all things and people who cause us ill, we would not have opportunities to grow and become mature and faithful. Our spiritual roots would be too shallow and we would be quickly uprooted by and wind of the problem.

God will cut the weeds the problems in His right and proper time before it matures and strangles us.

Now it gets interesting, who is “taken: first? God’s faithful or…?

Time of harvest” is God’s judgment and the reward of the elect-His children who by faith are saved. We may be surprised to find out who were the tares in His Church.

The enemy,” yes it does, it refers to counterfeit Christians (2 Cor. 11:26; Gal. 1:6-9) who speak false doctrine and have tainted hearts (Rom.10: 1-3; Rev. 29). How can we take comfort in this? Because Satan cannot uproot us, he has to instigate others to try to uproot us. He will even provide a counterfeit Christ (2 Thess. 2:1-12) but we will still prevail by Christ’s work.

Mustard seed” in Palestine refers to an insignificant small seed that produces a large 10+ foot tree like bush. It is one of the main spices. For us, this means things look small and we may overlook how God is working, yet He is there and by faith we too can grow large to produce great results and be a blessing. “Birds nesting,” is a picture of Israel as the trees and how the gentiles will be grafted into the covenant resting in the Messiah’s branches (Dan. 4: 10-12; Eze. 17:23).

Who is gathered up first, faithful Christians or those who are evil? Look carefully at order of the sequencing, as many have overlooked this to make their theological point. 

It is interesting to note, that some liberal scholars use this passage to refute Jesus’ omniscience because the orchid and fern seed are smaller; however, that would have made no sense to His hearers who never seen or heard of an orchid or fern and by the way the fern has no seeds they are called spores!

One of the key applications of the Parable of the Mustard Seed and Leaven, is that sometimes God has to get our attention through adversity, sometimes we have a willingness to listen. He has to break our pride and misplaced priorities. What we need to do is be aware, look to Christ, and learn and not jump to conclusions. Allow God’s masterful work to unfold. This is just as much about the end times as in our sanctification.

The key Jesus uses to He explain what many are calling a “rapture,” is to point us is to real impacting faith, not so much how or when He returns.

Furthermore, what Christ says is the utmost of importance is how we are able to receive Him. Are we being able and willing to understand? Thus, what and how He is about to do or what will unfold before He comes back. What is essential is not theorems; rather, our faith development and deployment. These are the items Jesus points us to in End Times Parables, which is far more important than our theories of what may or may not happen. Sometimes, that may not be until eternity as it was with Job. Our key is to trust and know He is in control and He will be there with us carrying us through.

It is not about understanding ourselves, or theories, rather it is understanding Christ, Christ the Lord. Ask Him to show you His deep hidden treasures, but also be willing to listen and grow.

What the Parable of the Tares Teaches us About the Rapture?

In a previous article, I showed that the wicked are taken out of the picture before the gathering of the Church. In this article, I will show that this teaching is also found in the parables of Jesus, particularly in the Parable of the Tares.

Matthew chapter 13 first records the Parable of the Tares (13:25-30) and then its interpretation by Jesus (13:36-43). The parable is about a farmer who had an enemy. When the farmer sowed his wheat, the enemy came during the night and sowed “tares” amongst the wheat. Tares are a kind weed commonly found in Palestine, also referred to as “cheat” or “bearded darnel.”

The servants of the farmer wanted to go through the fields and rip out all the tares, but the farmer stopped them saying that the process of tearing out the tares would only make things worse because the wheat would also be torn. They were to be allowed to grow together until harvest time and then the tares would be gathered first and thrown into the fire. This would be followed by the harvest of the wheat.

You’ve probably already guessed the meaning of this parable, but in case you haven’t, Jesus interprets it for us. So, we have here one of the few occasions when Jesus interprets his own parable for his disciples.

Jesus says that the sower is “the Son of Man” (v. 37), a title that He frequently used to refer to himself. The field “is the world” (v. 38). This parable is not talking about wheat and tares growing up together in the church, but in the world. The good seed represents the “sons of the kingdom” (v. 38). These are the redeemed, that is, the Church of God.

The tares represent the “sons of the evil one” (v. 38). These are the wicked, those who refuse to follow the Christ of God. The enemy is the devil (v. 39). The harvesters are the angels of God who will participate in the judgment of the world (v. 41). The harvest is the Day of Judgment when the tares are gathered up and “thrown into the furnace of fire” where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (v. 42).

The world is God’s field, but the devil will continue to sow wicked men and women in that field until the end of time. Christians are prohibited here from attempting to eliminate the wicked by force. Instead, the wicked and the redeemed are to grow up together until the day of harvest.

Now, in relation to the topic of this post, I come to the important question: WHO IS GATHERED UP FIRST, the Church or the wicked? Stop a moment before you answer that question. Go back to the text and read it. I’ll wait . . .

In the parable itself, the sower says to his servants: “First, gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up” (v. 30). In Jesus’ interpretation he says:

“The Son of Man will send forth his angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father (vv. 41-43).”

Did you notice the words that indicate sequencing? FIRST, the wicked are gather up and thrown into the furnace of fire. THEN the wheat (i.e., the children of the kingdom) are gathered into the barn.

Remember that the word “rapture” means “to be gathered up.” The only ones “gathered up” in the Parable of the Tares are the wicked. More importantly, they are gathered up BEFORE the believers are gathered into the Lord’s barn (v. 30).

Dr. Greg Waddell
Director of Institutional Improvement
Mid-South Christian College
DrGregWaddell (at) gmail.com

See his Blog: www.SpiritOfOrganization.com