The Parable of the Tares in the Field
Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’” Matt. 13:24-30
“And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” He answered and said to them: He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons (children) of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Matt. 13:36-43.
“Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.!” They were surprised to hear about the tares. He had not told them about them before! They were amazed that He introduced a strange, new element into the parables, something that in fact had been planted by the enemy, the devil. They were curious and pricked up their ears. They tried to grasp it, but did not have light enough. A little earlier when they had asked with surprise why He spoke to the people in parables, He had clearly told them that what they experienced now, and would experience later, was what the prophets and righteous men in the old covenant had seen with their inner eyes. These men had desired to be there and both see and hear, but they were not able to do that. These were things that would take place far off in the future, in another dispensation. So the disciples sensed that the things they were now seeing and hearing were of exceedingly great significance.
He had said that the parables were the mysteries of the kingdom of God. Think! They were secrets from the kingdom from which He came! A kingdom that existed from eternity past, from before the foundation of the world was laid; a kingdom that was indeed a mystery in itself. Now He had come, and not enough with that, He had brought with Him secrets from that kingdom. They fell on Him, asking eagerly, “Explain to us the parable!”
He told them that the people should not be given an explanation so that they might repent and be healed. Isaiah’s prophecy should be fulfilled in them. The people were living in a daze. They had eyesight and hearing but neither saw nor heard. Their hearts had grown dull. Their ears were hard of hearing and they had closed their eyes. They would not see and hear and understand with their hearts so that they could be healed. Therefore nothing more should be given them and what they thought they had should be taken away from them. By contrast, those who had received something in their hearts from the prophets and the righteous men in the old covenant, should now receive abundantly. What could this abundance consist of? They had understood that it was not such things as clothing, food, money, healing from sicknesses, or the driving out of evil spirits, and neither was it honor and recognition from people. But what was it then that was about to come? He had told them that the time had come that the things that were hidden in the scriptures should be revealed and made known, and that the things that had previously been hidden should be brought to light. Luke 8:16-18. He Himself was the light that would be put on the lampstand. Then all those who opened their hearts and received Him would see the things that had been hidden and concealed in the scriptures of old.
Because of God’s mercy, and with a heavenly calling in their hearts, the disciples had many questions. Were the mysteries of the kingdom of God hidden among the tares? Or were they concealed in the wheat? Or did the angels perhaps have something to do with it? As the sons of Abraham and as vessels of mercy, their hearts were open and they were zealous and full of anticipation. They were alert, searching and full of expectation. The law and the prophets had indeed prophesied up to the time of John, but now John’s time had passed and a new time had begun. Now He had said to them that they could take the kingdom of heaven by force. Matt. 11:11-15. They had to get a hold of this, and so in their enthusiasm they cried out, “Explain to us the parable of the tares in the field!” Matt. 13:10-17
Once again, let’s take a close look at this fantastic parable because truly a great mystery is hidden here. Actually, there are a number of mysteries. Can you see the mystery? The one of which the law and the prophets spoke? The great mystery of the kingdom of God, which is “The gospel of Christ?” Phil.1:27. When this gospel was revealed to the great apostle Paul, he counted it so great that everything else in this world became rubbish and loss to him in comparison. Phil. 3:7-14.
The word used in the Bible for mystery, or secret, comes from the Greek word “mustèrìon” which means mystery. The proper interpretation of the word is a follows: “Hidden truth or plan which no human being can of himself understand or gain insight into.” It must be revealed (apocalypto) by God. “Mustèrìon” cannot be shared between people unless God is there to reveal it to them. This is because it is a divine mystery. Otherwise it would have ceased to be a divine secret or mystery once it was given to a human being. So if when you read these words, you see in your heart something that suits the words the mystery of Christ (Eph.3:1-12), the mystery of the gospel (Col.1:26-29), or the great mystery of godliness (1.Tim.3:16) then you will realize that God is personally revealing Himself to you. He has a purpose in giving you something.
The Good Seed
“He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.” Did you notice what you just read? Let’s read it again. “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.” Do you realize what you are reading? Let me ask you, “Where did He get the seed from? Did He bring it with Him from heaven when He came down to earth? What actually is the seed?” Let’s read on. “The good seeds are the sons of the kingdom…” Do you see it now? The good seeds are people! The children of the kingdom of God are the good seeds, and the mystery is that these children are sown! The field is this world, and He who sows them calls Himself the Son of Man.
Have you read, heard, or been taught about this at all? If so, you have been the object of exceedingly great grace because this is indeed “…the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation…” Eph. 1:13. Do you receive thorough instruction about these things in the assembly you attend?! Take stock. If you are not taught these things, but rather are taught about many other things instead, then the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation is not the message that is preached to you. This is indeed the teaching of Christ – the gospel of Christ. If you do not receive instruction about these things where you go, or from those in whom you have confidence, then I am afraid that that you have come among people who have not been sown or planted by our heavenly Father. You have come amongst those who do not know “God’s Way” (Acts 24:14); to blind and deaf leaders, who lead people who let themselves be lead by them into one ditch or another. Matt. 15:13-14.
Look! The children of the kingdom were sown in order to bear fruit. Listen! The Son of Man sows in the ground those people that He holds cupped in His hand. He sows them as grains of wheat. The eleven grains of wheat were the first ones He received from His Father, and the twelfth one was not from Him. “They were Yours, and You gave them to Me…” John 17:6. When He sowed the eleven first grains of wheat in His field, then began the Son of Man’s “…high-priestly ministry in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle which the Lord erected and not man.” Heb. 8:1-6, and 9:11-17.
The main message in the parable of the tares in the field is not about the sower or the sowers but about the Son of Man, our heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ, and about His church. The sowers have been sent out by the Son of Man. The gospel of Christ, the teaching of Christ, the mystery, has been committed to them and they are God’s co-workers. John 17:6-21. They themselves have been sown and they are at work down in the wheat field, that is the churches of Christ. They are not sowing people but the words of the Son of Man. Mark 4:14. It is the gospel of Christ that they are planting in the hearts and then watering. James 1:21. Those who receive this word from the sowers and preserve it in a good and believing heart are the ones that the Son of Man then takes and sows as grains of wheat because they are good seed. It is first then that they begin to grow in God. 1 Cor. 3:5-9. The Son of Man is above all. Rev. 1:9-20. He has the entire oversight over all things. Heb. 4:12-16. “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, (the very first grain of wheat) the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He might have the preeminence, for it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell.” Col.1:18-19
There are many sowers, but there is only one Son of Man. John 17:18-23. Of course, Jesus was also a sower, but the word that He sows in these parables is the Son of Man’s own fantastic way of proclaiming His gospel. There are intriguing prophesies about the time that would come after His death and resurrection; the time when spiritual blessings would come in abundance. His church would then be like a field of wheat: the children of the Kingdom, the good seed, like grains of wheat. The Son of man would sow these in His field. They would then be God’s field and in the abundance of blessing they would bear fruit for God.
The interpretation of these words is the blessing that was hidden and concealed in the writings of the old prophets, because the Israelites had more desire to go their own ways than to serve the living God. This is now made known by the Holy Spirit, “….on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even to us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles.” Rom. 9:22-24.
This secret is really great. Like a hidden mystery! Most people who consider themselves Christians have never heard anything about it. And then among those who have heard something about it, most have only heard some feeble rumors about it. The reason for this is that the sowers that are round about in the different fields – Christian assemblies – do not know our Lord Jesus as the Son of Man; in other words, as the very first grain of wheat, He who bore eleven grains of wheat at the top of His sheath – He in whom the grains of wheat originate! So the preaching does not build on the Holy Spirit’s instruction in the word and teaching of Christ either. Rom. 10:17.
The field is the world
The world is just like one big field. This field had not been sown from heaven previously, and had never borne the fruit of righteousness for God as it would do now. God the Father had only one grain, only one Son. This only Son desired to have brothers and sisters just like Himself. If this was going to happen, He would have to come in a body like yours and mine, so that His body could in turn be sown – sacrificed. For this reason, He left heaven and came down to this earth. The fields of wheat – the churches of Christ – are the crops or fruits of this one grain; brothers and sisters of the One who came from above. His church is not of this world just as He is not of this world. 2 Cor. 1:12. The wheat is totally exalted above and separated from the spirit of the world or the spirit of the times. 1 Cor. 2:12. This comes about through a new birth and circumcision of the heart in the Spirit. His brothers and sisters live and walk in love and in purity before God’s face by the power and teaching of the Holy Spirit. Their love becomes richer and richer in knowledge and insight so that they can discern and judge different matters and thus be able to keep themselves pure and without offence until the day of Christ. Through this development in Christ they will be filled with the fruits of righteousness unto God’s honor. Phil. 1:9-11. This is hard for people to understand and so they will not praise you for it either. Rom. 2:29. These people do not let themselves be influenced by the spirit of the world regardless of the trends that come and go. They are totally sober and uncontaminated because they drink of the Spirit in the word. That’s why the wheat is hated in this world. The truth that His church sees in the word brings about this separation or sanctification. John 17:14-17. Those who are unfaithful are friends of the world. James 4:4.They drink of the spirit of the times and are therefore influenced and contaminated by the things that the world cultivates and looks up to. The one who does not drink of this spirit is not influenced by it. But, of course, there is a growth and development in everything. 1 John 2:12-17.
In the world – outside the boundaries of the fields of wheat, which are the churches of Christ – many different spirits are at work. There is a fury of activity involving many sowers. Never in the history of the world have there been more sowers than there are today. Words are sown about the most fantastic and unbelievable “heavenly kingdoms” that you could think of. There are many religions, and almost a heaven to suit every taste. Every god that has been invented has his sowers. Micah 4:5.
Outside the fields are also the children of the world, the dust; a great mass of people. Many of them are glued and lumped together in different parties, communities, clubs, organizations and alliances. This is the ground that makes up the field of the world and the clumps of dirt there. One thing that is common for all of them is that they are concerned about only one kingdom, the kingdom of the earth! When these people hear the word ‘heaven’ they simply think of a sterile universe. If ever anyone should find so much as a speck of a bacteria or any such thing on another planet, they would consider it triumphant evidence that everything living has come into being all by itself and that God does not exist. These people also have their messages and sow their words by advertising their own views, or their own clumps of earth.
Today there is only a little left of earth’s resources and glories. All the same, there is plenty enough to suit everyone’s tastes and desires, because as the earth’s resources are used up, new things are constantly being invented and produced. Only a fragment of these things are useful, and we can manage well without most of them. The person who in truth can say as the Master: “…My kingdom is not of this world…”, and who has no desires to nourish, will find that everything is of interest so long as it can serve the furtherance of God’s kingdom, for all things are God’s servants. Psalm 119:91. But for his own part, he finds that only a little of this useful fragment is necessary for his daily sustenance.
People outside the fields of wheat in both of these two categories do not preach Jesus Christ as God’s Son, so they are not the sons of the wicked one; they are not the tares. These people have arisen outside the fields of wheat. They either belong to false religions or to the rest of the world community described above. They have not arisen among or gone out from the children of the kingdom – the wheat.
Now you will likely ask: “But the sons of the wicked one do not preach about Jesus Christ, do they?” Indeed they do! The sons of the wicked one, in this context, do not belong to those who preach about other religions. Neither are they the children of this world, meaning the worldly “non-religious” world. For sure, this is of the devil, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one, but all these groups have their origin in the world and not in the first churches of the Son of Man – the fields of wheat. 1 John 5:19
Listen! The tares, the sons of the wicked one that this parable talks about, have their birth and origin in the early church, the churches of the apostles. That is where they began, and from there have spread and continued to spread until today. You see, the wicked one thought he would do something new, something he had not done before because it had not been possible to do it before. A new breed of the sons of the wicked one would appear in the days of the new covenant. These would apparently be like the children of God, and apparently belong to the kingdom of God through Jesus Christ. 2. Peter 2:1-3. To confuse the issue, says the Son of Man, they would look so like the others that it would be impossible for the angels to unveil the difference in the beginning. It would only be possible for the angels to understand that the tares are really tares when they saw the stalks of wheat shoot up and the wheat kernels begin to form. Not until then would it be possible to compare the tares with the wheat and expose the tares. But when the angels saw this, they reacted also. Matt. 13:26-27
In other words, we can assume by this that it is the way in which the wheat bears fruit – or the way in which the wheat propagates itself, or spreads – that reveals who is who. But this requires spiritual discernment and faith. Really pay attention now! Both of them, that is, both the wheat and the tares become known by what their lives portray, and by their preaching of God’s word. So you who read these words consider for yourself if you belong to the wheat or to the tares. I hope that after you have seen and heard the rest, all that will be left to say is what the Master Himself said; “….blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear.” Matt.13:16.
First of all, let’s take a look at the birth of the tares in this parable; how they originated. And if you do not really grasp the matter at once, don’t worry; later on, we will take a closer look at the origin and growth of the tares, although our main focus will be the wheat. We will learn how the wheat becomes wheat, and how it is sown. We will see how it bears the blessed fruits of righteousness, and in what way it preaches the gospel and teaching of Christ in order for there to be wheat grains on its stalk. This is because it was by taking note of the wheat stalks that the angels exposed the tares.
The Tares – The Sons of the Wicked One
“Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?” Have you ever thought about that? Have you wondered where all the sowers who are not grains of wheat come from? People who do not even preach that we should become grains of wheat? Where do all these sowers come from, do you suppose, those who do not preach the gospel about the very first grain of wheat, the One who sows His children? Those people who do not preach that we must be sown – die as a grain of wheat – in order to be healed from sin and bear fruit for God? And one more thing: Where does their preaching of the word come from, do you think, the preaching that sounds as if it offers such a glorious salvation, where everything is of grace? Where salvation is as a great gift, given on account of an unending and incomprehensibly great love, almost without conditions? The salvation you will receive one day in heaven, totally free, if you just believe it? The fact is, according to the words of the Son of Man, this has its origin in the wicked one and it is passed on down by the sons of the wicked one – the tares. The actual intention is that you in whom the God’s word is sown become a grain of wheat, and nothing else. After that, the intention is that He, the Son of Man who is in heaven, shall sow you in His field. John 3:13.
The Son of Man says that the tares will be a result of the work of His enemy; in other words, the result of the devil’s work in the midst of the wheat, in the midst of the children of the kingdom. The devil comes as an angel of light and deceives these people so that when they hear the preaching of the gospel of Christ by Christ’s sowers, they do not become a grain of wheat. Then the devil, the wicked one, sows his seed in them and they become his children. Yet they think that they are still the children of God. Thus they are deceived. They receive another spirit and “go astray in the faith.” The spirit that these people receive also interprets the scriptures and teaches about Jesus Christ, but the wicked one sows in them another understanding of the Savior and the message of salvation. 1 Tim. 6:20-21. By following this understanding, they do not become what all those who are called are meant to be, in other words, wheat. Instead they become tares. They turn away from the true light of the knowledge of the gospel concerning the Son of Man – the very first grain of wheat (John 12:23-26). Having caused them to take offence and go astray, the devil goes even further and gets them to either change or distort the preaching of the gospel. In this way “another gospel” and “another spirit” appears in the word at the same time as they continue to work as “God’s children.” Those who receive the word from these people do not become grains of wheat either, and then they begin to spread. 1 Tim.3:16 and 4:1-2. These are the ones that the Son of Man calls tares. They are those who do not become wheat and do not preach a ‘grain of wheat’ gospel. The tares are the ones who become the cause of divisions in the wheat field – in the churches of Christ – by deviating from and taking offence at the way of salvation in the gospel of Christ. In other words, they will not in spirit and truth give up everything in this world, be a disciple, deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Jesus in order to destroy sin and the devil – and go the way Jesus went.
In John’s third letter, verses 9-10 we see where a powerful tare tries to exert authority and take over the leadership in one of the apostles’ wheat fields, and he was certainly not alone in this. In verse 10 you can read that John did not intend to spare Diotrephes should he visit them. Then he would do some weeding, because Diotrophes had been backbiting the apostles and had expelled from the field those who received the wheat. Diotrephes was a real ‘tares’ worker, one of the ancestors of the fields of tares. But as we said, when John got there, quick work would be made of that field. The whole world is like a field, and no one is able to hinder those who sow the tares from doing so. These workers have indeed have gone out to sow their seeds so the tares multiply and spread. One can both see and hear them incessantly these days. They discuss and debate with the sowers of the fabricated gods about their religious views, and they advertise the kingdom of heaven and the sacrificial Lamb of Calvary in order to win the children of the world.
As we all know, in the natural there are many varieties of weeds – tares. As it is in the natural, so it is also in the spiritual. Because of competition among themselves, the tares have been divided into many different parties, different types of fields. Therefore there are many different types of tares, Christian leaders, and their assemblies. Common to all the tares is that they do not preach a gospel concerning a grain of wheat, because, of course, they themselves are not wheat. Certain types of tares work against and compete with one another quite openly, and even warn against one another because they believe that the other party is not of God. For this reason there can apparently be several Christian churches in one and the same town. This of course cannot be! But there can be several different fields full of tares in one and the same town, each of them gathering people to themselves. The tares are not one; they are manifold.
The fact is that the leaders of the tares are not one, so neither are their children one, that is, as the Father and Son are one. But the children of the kingdom, the wheat, are one. There are not many different fields of wheat. All the wheat is one, just as the Father and Son are one, and there are not several individual fields of wheat in one and the same town. That is quite impossible. The grains of wheat do not compete with one another for status or position in the field. Neither do they push one another aside when they grow. John 17:20-23. It makes no difference wherever you go in the world, if you go to any of the fields of wheat you will find that they all preach the Son of Man’s gospel of the grain of wheat – in the same way to every person! They are clothed with love which is the bond of perfection, (Col.3:12-15), and are perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 1 Cor. 1:10. They do not gather to themselves or to their own field and are not in competition with one another. They gather to the Head, Christ, in the hope that also you will end up in His hand in order to be sown by Him. 1 Cor. 3:4-9.
We see that already in the days of John, a field of tares had appeared in the very same place as there was a field of wheat. This Christian assembly was described and confirmed in the book of Revelation as a “synagogue of Satan.” Rev. 2:9 and 3:9. From the days of the apostles until now these tares have not just survived, but they have propagated and spread over the whole world and have developed in their divergent understanding and preaching of God’s word. So it is almost impossible these days, or in any case very difficult, to find the wheat fields of the Son of Man among the swarms of the fields of tares in a town, should you have the desire to be converted or if you have been born again. But here, too, Jesus’ own words apply: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Matt. 7:7-8 The important thing is simply to persevere.
“…and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Matt. 13:41-42. Can you see this? This is a very serious matter. These are the words of Jesus Christ. Words from His own mouth! Words that will never in all eternity be changed nor pass away. Luke 21:33. What have the tares taken offence at? And whom do they offend? Indeed, we have already read about it. They take offence at the thought that they must become grains of wheat; put off their old man, give up their lives in this world and follow the Son of Man in order to be saved from sin and its consequences; that they must crucify the flesh with its lusts and desires and begin to fight the good fight of faith, by faith in the promise of a new life that pleases God – if they want to have anything to do with Jesus Christ. 2 Tim. 4:1-8. Then we truly follow after Him and will come to where He is. Not otherwise.
Listen! The angels will eventually gather out of His kingdom all those who are offended by – or cause offence against – the gospel of the grain of wheat, and will cast them into the furnace of fire! This will happen because people are unrighteous towards others, and because they are not able to gain victory over their own unrighteousness. They believe and preach this unrighteousness that God in Christ Jesus has forgiven them. This they do with great confidence and “reliable” references to the words of scripture. Of course, we are speaking about the understanding of the forgiveness of sins that the wicked one has given them.
The only things the tares bother about in the gospel are God’s promises and the forgiveness of sins. They complain about the conditions of the gospel. But they are just dreaming! It is in this understanding of the forgiveness of sins that they dream and sing of God’s kingdom, testify about God’s kingdom, and believe they are working for God’s kingdom since through their preaching they are always winning new converts. But they will end up in the furnace of fire because they do unrighteousness. They are just temporarily – in their imagination - in God’s kingdom, or on the way to it. In reality, quite a different destination awaits them. The tares, the children of the wicked one, are “in God’s kingdom” now, but they are not of God’s kingdom. Similarly, the children of the kingdom, the good seed, are “in the world” now, but they are not of the world.
“Do you want us then to go and gather them up? But He said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.” They truly look so alike in the beginning, at conversion, as when the first small shoots sprout with the early rain showers. Not even the angels of God can see the difference. This does not mean that the wheat and the tares will be in the same field. No! It is important to have as few tares as possible in the wheat field; best of all to have none. Tares will soon begin to spread if they get a chance to grow and become big and hardy, and soon the entire wheat field will be destroyed. To preserve the wheat field from tares is very important. Rev. 2:2.
All the same, the angels are not unemployed while waiting for the time at the end of this dispensation when they will gather up the tares. “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who will inherit salvation?” Heb. 1:14. But don’t count on having them as your servants if you are simply content to be a good and proper Christian outwardly – when people see you! When no-one can see you, both unrighteousness and impurity are to be found in your life. In the end, the angels will not be misled; they actually see you all the time. True enough, all those who are converted look very much alike in the beginning, and no-one has victory right away in spite of a new birth and baptism of the Spirit. As time goes on, if the angels do not see that you separate yourself from the world, become a disciple and take up your cross so every kind of unrighteousness and uncleanness disappears from your body by the gospel of Christ, then the angels will not place you among the wheat, the good seed, the children who are to inherit salvation.
While they are waiting for the end, the angels also have another task. They can transform themselves into both wind and fire and are an integral part of God’s dealings with the world during the different times that the earth passes through. Heb. 1:7 and Daniel 10:13; 12:1. In the book of Revelation, we see the angels accomplish a great work in order to fulfill all of God’s will. They hold the wind, blow trumpets, put an end to the time of grace, empty the vials of wrath, etc. They even proclaim a number of very important messages to the saints. Then it is a good thing to have ears that can hear, eyes that can see, and a pure heart that has believed the Son of Man. Then it will also be good to be able to look back knowing that you have fought the good fight and reached spiritual maturity through the gospel and teaching of Christ, and that you have kept the faith. 2 Tim.4:7-8.
Now there is still time to take up your cross, exercise yourself in godliness, and make yourself ready. Tit.2:11-13 When the time of harvest is upon us, and the angels have arrived, it will be too late to get eyes to see with, and ears that can hear, and to wish to exercise yourself in godliness. 1 Tim.4:7-9 and 6:3-21. When Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, there will be no more dreaming and fantasizing. All those who are disobedient to the gospel of our Lord Jesus, and who have not gotten to know Him because they have continued to walk in the emptiness of their minds and according to their deceiving lusts after they have received Jesus as their Savior, will be cast out and punished on the day that He is revealed from heaven. Eph.4:20 and 2 Thess.1:3-10. All the cries of “Lord, Lord,” all the prophesies, all casting out of evil spirits and all sorts of mighty works in the name of Jesus will then be exchanged for weeping and gnashing of teeth. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Matt. 7:21-23.
“Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Let me ask: Don’t the righteous shine even now? Yes, they do, but they shine under the covering of reproach. Isaiah 4:5. So it is difficult to see it! This is because the tares and the entire Christian religious world consider God’s righteous children to be false preachers who deceive and lead people astray. 2 Cor. 6:8. That is why it is sown with tears under a covering of evil rumors, rejection and mockery. Besides this, the vast majority of people regard God’s righteous children of no worth in this world. Only those who know them properly have respect for them. This is the result of all the falsehood, hypocrisy, and manifest sin which worldly “Christendom” has represented right from the beginning. The wheat, the children of the kingdom, also carry with them a great sorrow and sadness which no one else in the world carries. That is a sorrow over all the people who sit year in and year out in the company of the tares and listen to “another gospel”, not the one they themselves preach concerning the Son of Man, Jesus Christ. This causes them great pain and sorrow because the tares stagnate, cripple, and lead simple souls astray, souls who otherwise would at least have had the chance to come to victory over their unrighteousness, and win eternal treasures through the true preaching of God’s word. For these reasons, the wheat will rejoice exceedingly when all those who sow tares, with their corrupt preaching, will be cast into the furnace of fire. Tears will be dried, the covering of reproach will be taken away, and jubilation will burst forth. This is the end of the reproach, deception, hate and opposition. Therefore the light of their countenance will grow even brighter.
“Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bearing his sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:5-6. The faithfulness of the righteous, in that they have lived and sown the gospel of Christ, and the people they rescue through the teaching of Christ, will shine on that day as the sun shines in the heavens. God’s children’s glorious freedom from all fear and sin and death will then be revealed as marvelous, as dazzling as the sun. This will abound to God’s honor, and to judgment and shame over the children of the world and all the tares for maliciously contradicting and explaining away the “Gospel of Christ.”
If people do not see this before the Day of Judgment, at least then they will see that “…..those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:3
From all this we can see that there are two main groups of workers in this world, preaching an entrance to the kingdom of God through Jesus Christ: these are the wheat and the tares. The wheat preaches a gospel of the grain of wheat, telling how the Son of Man, as the first grain of wheat, became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey Him. People in whom this work of salvation takes place are called the good seed, the children of the kingdom. All the other sowers – preachers of the word of God – fall into the category of the tares.
The very first churches were wheat fields of great significance, yet not free of tares. Satan, the enemy of the Son of Man, was busy fighting for the souls of men. By getting his hands on those who did not want to be grains of wheat, the wicked one managed to raise up co-workers, deceivers, just as Jesus had said would happen. The first letter of John has much to say about these people, calling them antichrists, tares, those who are of the devil, and the children of the wicked one. John says that the sign by which we can know them is that their spirit does not confess that Jesus Christ came in the flesh, and that they do unrighteousness and wrong in many ways. 1 John 2:26 and 3:4-13.
The fact that the apostles preached a gospel concerning the grain of wheat cannot be contested. All their writings, whether by figurative speech or direct exhortation, and all the personal testimonies about taking up one’s cross to follow them just as they followed Christ, testify to prove this. Jesus called Himself a grain of wheat. The fruit of this grain, or in other words, those who follow Jesus, are called the first fruits. This is not merely an incidental way of speaking. 1 Cor. 15:23
This is the gospel – the wheat’s gospel of the kingdom – which “….will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then will the end come.” Matt. 24:14 If it was the gospel preached by the tares which was to be proclaimed over all the earth before the end, then God would presumably have had to hasten matters along and the end would have already arrived, for where has that gospel not reached, and who has not heard it? There is not a corner of the earth today where people do not have radios, and have had them for a number of generations, and where for several decades television has also been available. But it is not the tares that hasten the coming of the day of God. No, it is the gospel of the wheat that accomplishes that through holy conduct and godly fear. 2 Pet.3:10-14. This gospel has now reached you!
We should therefore take the exhortation of the apostle John very seriously. Hear what he has to say to his children: “Look to yourselves that you do not lose those things we worked for, but that you may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ (this is the wheat!) has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, (here are the tares!) do not receive him into your house nor greet him, for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” 2 John vs. 8-11. In this case you would be helping the wicked one by opening your home to one of his tares, and would thereby share in the guilt of spreading his deception in the world. Matt. 18:7. But now, instead, you can become a co-worker for the truth by receiving the gospel and teaching of Christ. So close the door of your house and of your heart to such people; to the children of the wicked one! Flee from the gospel according the tares and their sowers! Instead, open up your home and heart for the gospel of the wheat and draw truth and incorruptibility from your Bible and from your life! Then you will hasten the day of the coming of the Son of Man and you yourself will be there when He comes.
“But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.” I hope most sincerely, dear reader, that you can now see how a believer becomes a grain of wheat by faith in the gospel of Christ, and how he is sown and “dies” as he follows Christ, in order to bear fruit for God. If so, then you will also be able to clearly see the tares with their lying spirit and deceptive preaching so that you can avoid being deceived – in other words, believe that you will be taken with the Son of Man when He comes, and yet not be taken!
“How is such a thing possible?” you will no doubt ask. Or can this be explained in more detail? Yes, it can, and we will take a closer look at this in the following pages. All the parables in Matthew chapter 13 are related to each other, and the pictures that the Son of Man uses here explain and complement one another. They all belong to the mysteries of the kingdom of God. Matt. 13:11
The Son of Man said to His disciples that the hearts of men would be like four different kinds of soil. In other words, four different mindsets, or attitudes of heart in which the seed, the gospel of Christ, would be sown when He sent them out into the world as sowers. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the “parable of the sower and the four types of soil.”