Mt. 13:24-30 π Mt. 13:36-43 π Mt. 13:38 π Mt. 13:38-42 π Mt. 13:39 π Lk. 18:23 π Jn. 8:43-44 π Jn. 8:47 π Acts 13:6-12 π 1 Jn. 3:1-12
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 to 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.”’” ( Mt. 13:24-30; top )
This is Jesus’ analogy about the kingdom of heaven with some special emphasis on how it will be at the end of the age. And if Jesus had left us with just this story, we would be free to conjecture as to what He really meant and we could insert whatever meaning and interpretation pleases us - as so many people in the “prophecy industry” are doing now with the endtimes prophecies. Fortunately for us, the disciples were curious about this particular parable and questioned Jesus specifically as to its true meaning. So, once Jesus begins to define the different elements of this story, we are no longer free to insert our own notions and interpretations. As soon as Jesus begins to label each element of His story, we are stuck with His interpretations, His definitions. However uncomfortable those definitions might become for some of us, it is the truth - the truth that we must face squarely or, just as did the rich young ruler when told he must forsake his wealth ( Lk. 18:23; top ), we must sorrowfully turn away from Jesus and walk off in our own direction, reaping the consequences of our refusal to be set free by the truth of Jesus Christ.
Here is Jesus’ explanation of His story about the tares and the wheat:
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.”
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 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 the 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!” ( Mt. 13:36-43; top )
While there are many things that we could focus on that would clearly demonstrate how modern evangelical Christian religion has missed many points in Jesus’ teachings in this parable and its explanation, we are going to focus primarily on only one element of this parable. Jesus said, ?the tares are the sons of the wicked one.? (v. 38 ) This ?wicked one,? Jesus says, ?is the devil.? (v. 39; top ) Throughout the remainder of the New Testament, there are only three passages that refer to sons or children of the devil. An examination of these passages reveals some dire truths that modern Christian religion has failed to convey to the vast crowds they seek to please with ear-tickling fables about Christ, God and life as it really is.
Let me first lay the foundation and then we will examine the specific stones that make up this foundation. Jesus said:
“Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 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. He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.” ( Jn. 8:43-44 , 47; top )
Luke, the author of the book of Acts, records:
Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.” And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord. ( Acts 13:6-12; top )
The apostle John wrote:
Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. ( 1 Jn. 3:1-12; top )
These are the three passages from the New Testament which speak of the sons or children of the devil. Let us carefully examine each passage and the elements that define who the children of the devil are with great care - lest our negligence cost us a great deal more than we are prepared to pay.
And as we examine these passages, let us keep in mind where we are going to find these “sons of the devil.” They are going to be “in the kingdom.” Jesus said, “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 the 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.” ( Mt. 13:38-42 - emphasis added; top)
Let us be careful to note these things:
The sons of the devil whom we will see described in great detail are, right now, existing side by side with genuine believers - and, in far too many instances, hold positions of leadership within the body of Christ! They use titles like pastor, worship leader, assistant pastor, senior pastor, elder, teacher, priest, father, deacon, apostle, prophet, evangelist, minister, reverend, and bishop - many of the very same words which God uses (with some important exceptions and additions) to describe the functions of leadership in the body of Christ. But what they all really have in common is that they are sons of the devil planted in close proximity to the body of Christ in the hopes that they will prevent the sons of the kingdom from reaching maturity and being harvested.
As we enter the end of the age, the characteristics of the previous age will be superseded by the characteristics of the coming age. So, while it is true that the angels will be the reapers and it is these heavenly beings who will ultimately do the final separation - it will not be this teaching or any actions of any man that causes either the separation or the harvest - the Lord is revealing and/or reminding us of these truths because now is the time when how we respond to these truths will clearly demonstrate to the angels whether we are wheat or we are tares.
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