Friday, October 19, 2018

The Parable of the Wheat and Tares 4

A study of the parable of the wheat and tares/weeds from Matthew 13.   Lawlessness vs Righteousness


[Video Coming Soon]
Scriptures:
  • Matthew 13:24-30
  • Matthew 13:36-43
  • Matthew 23:27-28
  • Matthew 7:15-23
  • Deuteronomy 18:20-22
  • 1 John 4:1-3
  • Romans 4:7-9
  • 2 Corinthians 6:14
  • Titus 2:11-14
  • Romans 3:19-20
  • Genesis 2:8-9; 15-17
  • Revelation 21:23 - 22:5
  • Genesis 2:9
  • Matthew 6:33
Outline
  • Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds
  • Righteousness vs Lawlessness
  • How the Parable Relates to the Gospel of the Kingdom of God
Jesus says that those who commit “lawlessness” or evil will be bundled up and burned in the end time.
Who here has ever committed lawlessness or done something evil?
So we better take another look at what He meant...

Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds

Matthew 13:24-30
Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
25 "But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares [weeds] among the wheat, and went away.
26 "But when the  wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.
27 "The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?'
28 "And he said to them, 'An enemy has done this!' The slaves said to him, 'Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?'
29 "But he said, 'No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them.
30 'Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn."'"
Matthew 13:36-43
36  Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field."
37 And He said, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,
38 and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;
39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels.
40 "So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.
41 "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,
42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
43 "Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
  • The will bundle all who commit lawlessness (evil)
  • These are the children of the evil one

Conclusions So Far

The Field Is the World

  • The field is not the church
  • The field is not the Kingdom
  • The weeds and the children of the Kingdom are both on the earth
  • But the weeds are not in the Kingdom
  • The same way Satan isn’t in the Kingdom, yet he’s in the parable too

The Owner of the Field

  • The owner knew who planted the weeds and when they were planted
  • He already had a plan but He didn’t tell the servants until they asked

The Enemy is Satan

  • Satan is the source of evil in the world...not God
  • The enemy didn’t want to be recognized as the source of the weeds

The Harvest

  • Judgment and punishment from God doesn’t happen until the end time
  • The weeds will be removed first
  • The wheat will remain in the world after the weeds are removed
  • It doesn’t specify that you can’t tell them apart before the harvest
  • It implies that if you identify and try to remove the weeds you may damage the wheat

Sons of God is used spiritually

  • It refers to Christians and those who believed Jesus was the Messiah
  • Sons of the devil is likely spiritual as well

Who Are the Weeds?

Popular Beliefs Include:
  • Believers who sin or backslide but look like “true” believers
  • Non-believers
  • Counterfeit Humans
  • Nephilim -  offspring of women and angels
  • Serpent Seed
  • Satan’s literal descendants
  • The sin in the garden was that Satan and Eve mated
  • Aliens offspring / creations
  • Descendants of a specific evil human (Cain, Esau, Ishmael)
  • The Scribes / Pharisees /Sadducees / False Prophets
  • They’re called the children of the devil
What do we know about the weeds?
  • They are called children of the devil
  • They commit “lawlessness” (wickedness / evil)
In the last lesson we looked at it’s called a child of the devil. In this lesson we will look at who is said to commit lawlessness.

Righteousness vs Lawlessness

Lawlessness

anomia (Greek) -lawlessness
1. properly, the condition of one without law — either because ignorant of it, or because violating it
2. contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness
Matthew 23:27-28
27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 “So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
  • The scribes and Pharisees are the ones who are called lawless by Jesus
  • The Pharisees appear righteous
  • They are lawless (evil)
Righteousness is the opposite of lawlessness
Matthew 7:15-23
15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits.
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
  • Jesus is talking about false prophets
  • It is not saying that you will know backsliding Christians by their fruit
  • People who work miracles, and prophecy
  • They claim to do it in His name but they don’t
What does:” I never knew you “ mean?
  • They weren’t true followers of Jesus
  • They don’t have faith in Jesus
You will know them by their fruits

Bearing Fruit

The bible states Bearing Fruit is:
  • Winning souls to Christ
  • Being generous to the saints in need (2 Cor 9:10-15,
  • Doing good works (Titus 3:14,
  • Giving praise to God (Heb 13: 15-16)
  • Speaking positively (Matt 12:33-37)
  • Exhibiting: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal 2:22-25)

False Prophets

How else do you determine if someone is a false prophet?
Deuteronomy 18:20-22
20 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.”
21 You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” 22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.
  • If they prophesy the future and it doesn’t happen it wasn’t from God

How to Test Prophecy

  • First question is “are they prophesying”?
  • Did they actually claim God said it?
  • Did it come true?
  • There are exceptions
  • Some prophecies are conditional and depend on the repentance of a group or individual (e.g. God destroying Nineveh)
  • Sometimes the prophecy wouldn’t occur for hundreds of years
  • Is it consistent with the Bible?
What about speaking in tongues?
  • It’s supposed to be coming from the Holy Spirit
  • If it isn’t is that false prophecy?
What if you have Holy books claiming to be from God but they aren’t
1 John 4:1-3
1Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
  • Any Spirit that is against Jesus is the spirit of the antichrist

Righteousness

Who is righteous?
righteousness can be defined as “the condition of being acceptable to God as made possible by God.”
  • Being in “right standing” with God
Romans 4:7-9
7 “BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN,
AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED. 8 “BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT.” 9 Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, “FAITH WAS CREDITED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
  • God saw Abraham as being righteous because he had faith in God
  • The sins of those who have faith will not be considered
  • If we have faith in Jesus we are righteousness
  • Our faith covers ALL of our sins
  • It’s not based on our works
2 Corinthians 6:14
14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
  • Non Believers are considered lawless
  • Believers are righteous
Our righteousness is not based on whether or not we sin.  
Our righteousness is based on Jesus’ sacrifice and our faith
We are in right standing with God if we are Christians
Titus 2:11-14
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
  • Jesus has redeemed us from EVERY lawless deed
  • Past, present and future
  • Not just deeds you did before you became a Christian
  • He died to purify a people for His own possession
  • He died to give us the power to live righteously
  • That’s the other reason that He died
The holiness of Jesus is first a gift.
  • He takes your sin and gives you his righteousness.
The holiness of Jesus is secondly an example.
  • He came to show us how we should live

Self Righteousness

When we think our works determine our righteousness, we are being self-righteous.
Romans 3:19-20
Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;
20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
  • You can’t achieve righteousness by your works
Self-righteousness is the opposite of what God desires. Self-righteousness makes a list of rules and checks them off, congratulating itself on how well it is doing compared to others. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were masters of self-righteousness,
  • To pursue righteousness means we must recognize that we cannot please God in our sinful state (Romans 8:8).
  • We turn from trying to justify ourselves by our good deeds and instead seek the mercy of God.
  • No one was justified by rule-keeping but by faith (Romans 3:20Galatians 2:16).
We shouldn’t look at the sins of others and claim they are not righteous or consider ourselves more righteous than them.
God has already forgiven us for any sins we will commit. When we repent and confess it is not to get our sins forgiven it is to restore the relationship with God. It is to be reconciled.

How the Parable Relates to the Gospel of the Kingdom of God

Gospel of the Kingdom of God

We will spend eternity here on earth. Because that is why God created the earth.  God wanted to have His will implemented on the earth.  His original plan was for man to have dominion over the earth and for man to implement God’s will on earth.  Man was supposed to live in communion with God and rule over all the other created beings.

The Parable of the Wheat and Tares

What is the parable explaining?
  • How did evil come into the world?
  • Not - “Who is good and who is evil?”
Perhaps the parable is merely explaining that God didn’t create anything evil.
It is explaining how evil got introduced into the world.
  • It parallels the Genesis explanation of how evil got introduced into the world.
  • It parallels with the Gospel of the Kingdom of God
  • The gospel of the kingdom of God does not start when Jesus came it starts in the Genesis and ends in Revelation

Children of God

God intended for all humans to be His children
Adam was called the son of God
  • Seth was called the son of Adam
  • He was made in the image of Adam...not God
  • Since the fall we were the son of man - not God
We become children of God when we are born again
The parable is an overview of the history of the world
  • The owner planting was at creation
  • The Sower had no intention of there being any other Seed
Genesis 2:8-9; 15-17
The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.
9 Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep [guard] it.
16 The LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;
17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die."

Guard the Garden

Adam was told to tend the earth and guard it
  • Who was he supposed to guard it against?
  • Keep = guard
  • Against the enemy?
  • He didn't guard Eve
  • He was metaphorically asleep
Adam was given dominion over the world

Future Paradise

How does the future eternal paradise differ from the Garden of Eden?
Revelation 21:23 - 22:5
Revelation 21
23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.
24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.
25 In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed;
26 and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it;
27 and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.
Revelation 22     
1 Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb,
2 in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3 There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him;
4 they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.
5 And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.
What’s different from this Garden than the Garden in Genesis?
  • There is only one type of tree
  • The tree of life is there, but not the tree of knowledge of good and evil

The two trees

This is what true paradise is supposed to look like.
When God created Adam he did not know anything.  
  • God had to teach him.
  • Think of everything you need to teach a newborn baby before it is mature.
  • The first thing that God taught Adam was about the two trees?
  • Why was this the most important thing to teach him?
Genesis 2:9
9 Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
  • The verse points out that God is responsible for every tree that is pleasing to the site and good for food
  • It seems to be alluding to the fact that there are other trees
  • These trees were not planted by God
  • It then says that the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil are there
  • Who planted those
The parable of the wheat and weeds tells us that Jesus planted the good seed and satan planted the evil seeds.
  • Could the parable be telling us that Jesus planted the tree of life and the evil one planted the tree of good and evil?
Why is there no tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the future Heaven?
  • Because it was not supposed to be there in the first place.
  • God did not plant that tree.
That tree was the tare that Satan sowed into the field - the world.
The enemy was able to gain entrance into the garden because Adam was sleep.
  • That may have been literally or metaphorically.
  • The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is the tare that the enemy planted.
  • Jesus said every plant that my father has not planted He is going to pluck it away.
This would make sense when we look at the revelation account when the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is missing.
When things are being used for the purpose for which they were intended, God calls it good. When things get used for purposes other than what they were intended, it is evil.
When you eat of the tree you die.
  • This is not a tree that is good for food.
  • God brings life.
  • The serpent comes to kill steal and destroy.
  • The enemy had the keys to Sin and death.
  • It would make sense that he is the one who introduced death into the world.
The tree of life is the word of God which is also Jesus. That was what he planted in the garden.
Jesus planted the tree of life.  Satan planted the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Conclusion

The parable doesn’t clarify who is wheat and who is weed.  It tells us the source of each.
Jesus tells us that the lawless, and the wicked will be destroyed at the end time and will not experience the future Kingdom of Heaven.  Those who are not in right standing with God will be removed from the earth, so that only the children of God remain.  This is how the reign of God will be accomplished on earth.  This is how the Kingdom of God will be established.
It is not our works that put us in right standing with God.  It is not whether we sin, how often we sin, or the types of sin we commit.  We are justified by the faith in Jesus.
That doesn’t mean that we should continue sinning.
Matthew 6:33
33“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
  • We should be pursuing The Kingdom of God
  • We should be pursuing His  righteousness as our goal
  • True righteousness is not something that we get automatically because we become a Christian (although we are considered righteous)
The parable tells us that it is not our job to determine who is pursuing God wholeheartedly and who is not.  When we come to faith in Christ, He gives us the Holy Spirit who empowers us to pursue righteousness.
The bible commands us to “walk in the Spirit”.   Walking in the Spirit means that we have grown to the point where we can hear from God and we obey Him. We are living a life surrendered to everything the Holy Spirit tells us to do. Walking in the Spirit is  living a lifestyle of total surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.   This is the goal.
We aren’t automatically controlled by the Holy Spirit just because we are Christians.  Walking in the Spirit is based on our choices.
When God created the earth it had everything it needed to become what it was intended to become even though it had the appearance of being void and without form.  In the book of Genesis it doesn't say God created grass; it says God called fourth the grass and caused it to grow. This means that the seed was already there.
Similarly once you are born again you have an incorruptible seed inside of you.  You begin the process of becoming what you need to be. Once the seed is planted in us God just needs to give us the right environment, the right situation to speak and to call forth our fruit.  God will establish circumstances and an environment for you to grow.  
Our job is to listen for the calling of God and to respond in obedience when He calls us.  Our only job is to make the right choices when they are presented to us.  Let’s go bear some fruit!

Instructor: Michael Leadon

References

What does it mean to pursue righteousness?
The Wheat and the Tares -- Bill Cloud
What is Bearing Fruit
https://youtu.be/OaxtIWOipsE

Extra

Lawlessness

Matthew 24:3-13
3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. 5 “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. 6 “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7 “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. 9 “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 10 “At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. 11 “Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. 12 “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.
  • Jesus warns about false prophets increasing in the end time
  • Tribulation will increase

Good Mixed With Evil

God will leave the holy place if you have The profane mixed with the holy.
  • Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon destroyed the first temple
  • The Romans destroyed the second temple
The tree of good and evil as a mixed tree. It has both good and evil in it. God does not like to mix good with evil yet Satan does.  
Most of the problems that we have to deal with are based on a choice between good and evil. They are based on a choice of whether or not we are going to do the right thing.

Righteousness

Romans 14:17-18
17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.
  • We see that it’s pleasing to both God and man.

Bearing fruit

Galatians 5:22-25
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
 25If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
  • The fruits are exhibited in a changed life
  • Good works would also be considered fruit
John 15:1-5
1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes a so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

The Garden of Eden

The servants in the story were responsible to guard the field. The reason the tares grew strong was because the men were sleeping they were not living up to their responsibility.
The garden was the first earthly sanctuary. Adam was the first priest did not fulfill his duties in guarding the sanctuary. He allowed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to be planted.

Spiritual vs Physical

John 1:10-13
He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,
13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
  • “Who are the wheat”
  • It says as many as received him not as many as he chose
  • It is Christians were born not of the physical lineage but spiritually through Christ
The mystery is that Jesus was trying to get them away from thinking about the physical and into thinking about the spiritual
When you are born again you lose your inheritance in Adam which is death and gain the inheritance of Jesus Christ.
  •  so the planting happens when you are born
  • But you can't be replanted it when you are born again
John 3:3-5
3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?"
5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
  • Born of water and the spirit means you had a physical birth and the spiritual birth
  • You can't see the kingdom of God and less you are a Christian
You are a child of the devil if you reject the word of Christ
It's a spiritual child of Jesus or Satan