Matthew 13, The Wheat and the Tares

Wheat and Tares

One of the great parables Christ gave, the illustration of the wheat and the tares, is known as the separation of God’s people in the time of harvest. The following is the Inspired meaning of the parable, as given by the Elijah prophet. It is a study format so that you can print out and study it, if possible with others. May you be blessed. My comments are in green.

THE WHEAT AND THE TARES (MATTHEW 13)

INTRODUCTION: This study reveals that the wheat (faithful) and the tares (unfaithful) are commingled in the Seventh day Adventist church, and will be separated before the second coming of our Lord and Saviour in the clouds of glory. It also reveals who is going to do the separation, when it is going to be, and how it is going to take place.

1. Matthew 13:24-30
Review: Emphasize Matthew 13: 30 – note that the harvest begins with the separation of the wheat and the tares.

2. Interpretation/Meaning
Read: Matthew 13:36-40
a. Man/sower – Christ – verse 37
b. Good seed – Righteous – verse 38
c. Tares – Unrighteous – verse 38
d. Men slept/Servants – Church leaders – verse 25, 29; COL 71
e. Enemy – Satan – verse 39
f. Reapers – Angels – verse 39

3. When is the Harvest?
a. Read: Matthew 13: 39 – The harvest is in the end of the world.
b. But this could not be the very day when Christ returns as generally thought.
c. Read: Jeremiah 8:20
i. Here the wicked cry out that the harvest is past, and as a result they are lost.
ii. This reveals that the harvest was/is a time when you can be saved. Thus, the harvest could not be the second coming.
iii. Thus, the harvest will end when probation closes for all. (See also 5T 353; 7T 16)

d. Therefore, the harvest is during probationary time, when there is still a chance for the people to be saved. After probation closes there will be no more opportunity for anyone to be saved. The destiny of all would have been decided life or death.
e. Read: Amos 8: 11-12
i. The wicked realize that they are hopeless.
ii. There was a famine not of food, but the Word of God.
iii. It shows that there was an abundance of the truth before the close of probation.
iv. The fact that the wicked are trying to find the Word shows that probation has closed and they are lost. v. Therefore, now is our chance to feast on the Word of God, through the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy.

4. Meaning Of The Term “End of the World.”
a. Read: Matthew 13:39
b. Read: Hebrews 9: 24-26 – Paul describes of Christ’s entering the Most Holy Place which took place in 1844, as the “end of the world.”
c. Read: 1 Cor. 10-11 – Paul uses the phrase, “ends of the world” is a term for the last days.
d. Thus the phrase “end of the world” simply means the last days / latter days / our time.
Example: December is the end of the year.
e. The Harvest will not take place in one day. It is a process that needs time.

5. What Is The Field?
Read: COL 70-71
a. The Field signifies the “church in the world.” -the remnant church in the last days which is the Seventh day Adventist —the church of Christ in the world —where the wheat and tares are commingled and will be separated.
Read: Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 46,47

6. When Does The Harvest Begins?
Read: Matt. 13:30
a. The harvest must begin when the wheat and tares are separated.
b. The first thing he will do in the time of harvest is separate the two.
c. Thus the harvest will begin when the wheat and tares are separated in the church (the Field).

7. Who is Going To Do The Separation?
a. Read: Matthew 13: The angel of God are the reapers.
b. Read: TM 47
c. Read: Ezekiel 9
d. 3T 266-267

8. Compare Matthew 13:40-41 and Matthew 24:30-31
a. Matt. 13: 40-41 – gather those that offend (the wicked) out of His church.
b. Matt. 24: 30-31 – He will gather the elect (righteous) and take them with Him to heaven.
c. Thus the harvest of Matthew 13 is NOT’ the second advent but takes place in the church before the close of probation and Christ’s second return.

This is a very keen observation that should be carefully noted. Notice what Matt.13:40-41 says, “As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;”

We notice that the Lord called somewhere on earth “His kingdom”. Now we know that He would never call the heathen nations–his kingdom. That leaves, obviously His church, His people. Notice the people who “offend” and do iniquity are removed from His kingdom (“gather out”).

Compare to the Matt.24:30-31 Scripture. “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

Did you notice that there are two gatherings, and that they are different? Both are given at the Lord’s instruction to His angels. One has the Lord taking “out” the unrighteous and the other has Him removing the righteous from the earth. What amazing detail God’s word is , if we pay close attention  and comprehend every word.

These two gatherings can also be found in different words and scenic view in Rev.14:14-20.

First gathering —“And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.” 

Second gathering — “And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God.”

Summary — The time is surely coming when the faithful and the unfaithful ones in the church must undergo separation. Then the Lord can garner in His sheaves into His barn (the purified Church). We may or may not be there, that is really our choice. The Lord is giving us warning after warning on what to do, so that we might be spared, and be counted as part of the wheat in His barn.

“Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee, when I returned the captivity of my people.” (Hosea 6:11)

(We wish to thank Mountain Dale DSDA organization for this study outline #24)  

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