Message NotesWithout a Parable – Part 6 Page 1
Sunday November 1st 2015
Without a Parable
1). Mt 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field." 37 He answered and said to them: "He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 "The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 "The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 "Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 "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, 42 "and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 "Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
a). As we had seen last week, the parable of the wheat and tares both continues and adds to the first parable that the Lord gives having left the house and sat by the sea, the parable of the sower.
b). It is a parable that is again dealing with fruit production amongst the eternally saved whom the Lord has sown out into the world, and is dealing exclusively with those seen in the fourth part of the parable of the sower –
Mt 13:23 "But he who was sown into the good ground is he who hears the word [of the Kingdom] and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."
c). And it deals with this group with respect to Satan’s deliberate and concerted attack against them in order to stop those producing fruit for the Kingdom from continuing to do so.
d). And we see that trying to stop this fruit production is done by placing tares, described as ‘the sons of the wicked one’ in amongst the wheat, the good seeds, who are described as ‘the sons of the kingdom’.
e). Now in one sense all Christians are ‘sons of God’ through the new creation in Christ, but we would also know that there must be an adoption as a firstborn son in order for rulership to take place within the Millennial
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Kingdom. At the present time, although technically ‘sons’ it would be better to think of ourselves as ‘children’ – Children who are under the ‘child training of the Lord’ - Pr 3:11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor detest His correction; 12 For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
f). Those willingly subjected to the Lord’s child training would be those following the leading of the Spirit who, through doing so, will be producing fruit, demonstrating that they are the ones in line to receive the Kingdom as their inheritance and can therefore be seen as ‘the sons of the kingdom’ – and this is exactly the subject of the verses we find in – Ro 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 ¶ and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
Heb 2:10 ¶ For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
g). And again, to be led by the Spirit is to be continually filled with the Spirit which cannot be separated from hearing the word of the kingdom, as it is only in response to the word of the kingdom that we see fruit being produced by those who hear the word of the kingdom and understand it –
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
h). Those who are ‘the sons of the kingdom’, who are producing fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty, those letting the word of Christ dwell in then richly in all wisdom and the ‘many sons’ being brought to glory are all one and the same.
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2). The tares, those described as ‘the sons of the wicked one’, are also eternally saved, something we can see clearly from the fact that they appear in judgment at the same time and in the same place as ‘the sons of the kingdom’
Mt 13:30 'Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of 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."'"
a). And we had ended last week by asking the question, ‘Is it possible for those who are eternally saved, for whom Christ shed His blood to be seen as sons of Satan?’ Well, the short answer is, ‘Yes’ – and we can know this through the clear evidence of the scriptures themselves - Joh 8:43 "Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 "But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.
b). Jesus is speaking here in these verses from John Chapter 8 to the scribes and Pharisees, eternally saved Jews who ‘sat in Moses’ seat’, those who dictated the religious life of the nation and He tells them directly that they are of their father, the devil, seeking to do that which the devil desires. Now these ‘sons of the devil’ are not Satan’s literal sons, but because of their actions they are overwhelmingly identified with Satan making them appear to be his sons rather than God’s sons. And that which the scribes and Pharisees do that results in this direct association is contained in the verses themselves.
c). Note what we see in v43 - "Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.
And then what we find in v45 - "But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.
The Pharisees spiritual lineage then is determined by their inability to listen to, understand and believe the truth – and the truth which Christ has been telling them, the word of truth which they will not listen to, is the gospel of the Kingdom.
d). That which the Lord says here about the Pharisees is demonstrated again from a slightly different perspective in - Mt 23:15 "Woe to you, scribes
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and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell [Gehenna] as yourselves.
Here we see the Pharisees, the ones who had shut up the Kingdom of the heavens, associated with the garbage dump outside of Jerusalem and they are said to have made those whom they have proselytized twice as much a son of ‘Gehenna’ as themselves. Their ‘sonship’, because of that which they had done is associated with the place where all the refuse from the city was dumped rather than with the Kingdom. Let’s also remember that Gehenna is always used by the Lord relative to those who will not be found worthy to enter the Kingdom in a place of rulership and the association of the Pharisees and those they convert with this place shows clearly where their focus and allegiance lie.
e). Then in addition to this look at what we find in - Mt 16:21 ¶ From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!" 23 But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men."
f). We will of course immediately recognize how the Lord addresses Peter in these verses, ‘Get behind Me, Satan’ – Well Peter is eternally saved and clearly he is not Satan, he is Peter, but what he has just done, recorded in these verses, aligns him so closely with Satan that it is as if Satan himself is speaking. Remember, it is just a few verses prior to this that Peter had the revelation that Jesus is ‘the Christ, the Son of the living God’ – a statement that directly speaks of rulership in the 7th Day and Jesus, with rulership in the 7th Day in view, ‘began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.’
Having heard this Peter has then taken the Lord aside rebuked Him and contradicted the truth he had been told, ‘this shall not happen to You’. Without the Lord’s death and resurrection the establishment of His Kingdom with the heavenly realm occupied by those who would make up the one new man could not happen and preventing the establishment of Christ’s Kingdom would be
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exactly what Satan desires - 1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
g). This exact same thought is expressed in a slightly different way by Paul in - Php 3:17 ¶ Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame--who set their mind on earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
The idea of an individual Christian walking as Paul walks is about the conduct of Paul’s life as a pattern for the Christian to follow - 1Co 11:1 ¶ Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
h). Paul walks, as an eternally saved individual, in faithful obedience to the scriptures with a view to receiving his inheritance in the heavenly Kingdom. There are others though who walk, as eternally saved individuals, in a completely contrary way making them ‘the enemies of the cross of Christ’. Rather than taking up their cross daily and crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires they operate entirely out of their old man setting themselves against God’s purpose for their eternal salvation and in doing so they are at one with the god of this age and enemies of the cross of Christ –
Ro 8:1 ¶ There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
i). As we look at these examples it is easy for us to see why eternally saved individuals are called ‘the sons of the wicked one’ in Matthew Chapter 13 – not literally his sons, but sons through association as a result of their actions.
j). Now, there is something else that we can see in these examples that directs us to both the nature and the identity of the tares sown amongst the wheat.
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k). At the heart of each of these examples is the conflict between the truth of the word of the kingdom and something contrary to that truth which is believed instead. If we take Peter as representative of the others we can see that he says something that is contrary to that which the Lord had said to him.
The Lord had said that He must suffer, die and be raised the third day and Peter said this isn’t going to happen. Now that which Peter said did not just come out of nowhere – there was a thought in Peter’s mind, despite that which he had heard, which he chose to believe instead. Peter’s assertion, ‘this shall not happen to you’ is a lie that is a result of him being not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men and its origin can be found in foundation in Genesis - Ge 3:1 ¶ Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said……………… 3:4 Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die.
l). This is hugely important for us to grasp so that we may properly understand the work of the tares in our parable.
m). If hearing, understanding, believing and acting upon the word of the kingdom is producing fruit for the Kingdom among those who receive it then in order to stop that fruit production these individual Christians would need to hear, understand, believe and act upon something that is not the word of the kingdom thereby producing something other than fruit for the kingdom, and from the example of Peter this contrary belief would originate out of ‘the things of men rather than the things of God’.
n). And this is exactly the role and function of the tares sown amongst the wheat – they construct a message, presumably based on verses taken from the scriptures, but put together in such a way as to be contrary to the word of the kingdom, shifting attention from the age to come to the systems, structures and values of the present age – 1Jo 5:19b………the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
o). The tares are identified for us by Paul in his final words to the elders of the church in Ephesus at Miletus - Ac 20:29 "For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 "Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, [distort, misinterpret] to draw away the disciples after themselves.
The tares, those bringing a false message, would rise up, ‘from among yourselves’, they would be Christians within the church who would deliberately distort and misinterpret the scriptures, thereby corrupting the
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word of the kingdom, in order to ‘draw away the disciples after themselves’. A good example of this can be seen in - 2Ti 2:17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.
Those whose faith was overthrown would have been stopped from producing fruit – Hymenaeus and Philetus are tares with names.
p). And looking at what the Lord says to the Ephesian church in the Revelation - Re 2:4 "Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
We can know that the tares were successful – they began to produce fruit after their own kind, bad fruit, not the fruit required for the Kingdom; something seen in the Lord’s words to Israel recorded in - Mt 7:15 ¶ "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
3). The tares of Matthew Chapter 13 are also identified by Peter in –
2Pe 2:1 ¶ But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 ¶ By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words;……………..15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness…………….18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error.19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn
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from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: "A dog returns to his own vomit," and, "a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire."
What we see in these verses is that these individuals had escaped the pollutions of the world through coming into mature [epignosis] knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but had then turned away from this knowledge.
a). And we can see that this takes place entirely through submission to their carnal nature – they sought to save their life now rather than losing it to gain it again in the age to come.
b). And throughout these verses in Peter we can see the practice of exploitation and manipulation for the purpose of self-gratification.
c). And inevitably as we look at the corruption and perversion of the word of the kingdom as introduced by the tares we will see it addressing 3 interrelated, foundational truths – firstly, the foundation of all foundations, God’s arrangement of scripture within a framework of 7 Days and, secondly, the Lord’s return and the marriage relationship with His Bride –
2Pe 3:3 ¶ knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation."
1Ti 4:1 ¶ Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
d). The NT scriptures are replete with information about these false teachers, those we would call apostates all of which demonstrate the veracity of the parable of the sower and the parable of the wheat and tares.
e). It was exactly as the Lord said it would be – as the word of the kingdom was proclaimed to eternally saved individuals at the beginning of the dispensation [remember that at the beginning of the Church there was no message given to the eternally saved other than the gospel of the glory of Christ] so those individuals who received, believed and understood the
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message began to produce fruit and as fruit began to be produced so the tares arose within the ranks of the fruit bearing with their false message.
f). We of course don’t find ourselves at the beginning of the dispensation of the Church, but close to its conclusion and so the circumstances that we find ourselves in today really can’t exist in the same way as they did at the beginning – Rather we are experiencing the outcome of what Satan accomplished through the tares within the early Church.
g). And in order to see this outcome within its proper historical context we need to go next to the parable that follows the wheat and the tares – the parable of the mustard seed, eventually bringing the whole matter to its conclusion with the parable of the leaven, but first of all let’s look at the mustard seed – Mt 13:31 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven continues like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, 32 "which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches."
h). Again because of what we know about the word parable itself we will understand that this parable adds to and gives further commentary on that which has gone before, now dealing with what happened as a result of the tares being sown amongst the wheat.
i). We had seen in the parable of the wheat and tares that grammatically its beginning should be translated, ‘the kingdom of heaven has become like’, remembering that we are looking at the proclamation, offer, acceptance or rejection of the kingdom of the heavens, the word of the kingdom, not the actual realm itself.
j). In the same way the beginning of the parable of the mustard seed should be understood in the way we have it in the verses above, the proclamation, offer, acceptance or rejection of the Kingdom of the heavens [the word of the kingdom] continues like. It had become like when the tares were placed amongst the wheat and it now continues like that pictured through the growth of the mustard seed – a seed that is ‘the least of all the seeds’ but grows in such a way as to become a tree.
k). But this will have to wait until next time – if the Lord is willing.