The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares (Matt 13:24-30; 36-43)

(The following extracts were taken from various Bible Student materials)

VERSE 24Another parable put Him forth unto them (This parable stands related to the one before,
“The Parable of the Sower” The first prepares the way for the other. The first deals with the individual; the
second with the church collectively.)
Saying, The kingdom of heaven (Practically every parable which our
Lord uttered was given to teach something respecting the character of the Kingdom. The Kingdom of
Heaven [the spiritual phase] here spoken of is the embryo Kingdom, which is the kingdom as it is during
the entire Gospel age)
is likened unto (The Lord here was using a metaphor) a man (the Lord Jesus
which sowed good seed (The Gospel of the Kingdom, "Which at the first began to be spoken
by the Lord" (
Heb 2:3)  "Bringing life and immortality to light through the Gospel" (2 Tim 1:10), in his
field (the entire world).”

VERSE 25But while men slept (After the apostles fell asleep, that is, after they had died and had left
the scene. In the night, of the dark ages, a general spirit of slumber regarding the truth prevailed among
the Lord's people.  Even till now the same thing is true. "Therefore, let us not sleep as do others."
1 Thess 5:6) The Church was kept free from tares before the apostles fell asleep by God arranging that
truth be put forth for acceptance or rejection by the Jews in its most unfavorable light, so that only
Israelites indeed would be inclined to become followers of Jesus. During the Apostles' days such special
gifts as "discernment of spirits" enabled them to prevent tares from getting in among the wheat,
hypocrites from getting into the Church. Paul warned the Church of what would take place after he died
"After my departing grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock." (
Acts 20:29, 30)
his enemy came (The great adversary, Satan, using human instrumentalities) and sowed tares (Sham
wheat, imitation wheat, professors who draw nigh with their lips while their hearts are far from the Lord.
Hypocrites, Nominal Christians (i.e. in name only), resembling or counterfeiting the true, Deceived
individuals, misnaming themselves Christians, because mis-taught by churchianity. These have since run
the church organizations, and the Lord has permitted it to be so and is allowing the truly consecrated
ones to be developed under these different conditions.
The tares are begotten of error--false doctrine,
nevertheless there are however many fine, noble people among them who have neither part nor lot with
the wheat because they are not of the same nature, not begotten of the truth) among the wheat
and went his way
(Among the true saints, the children of the Kingdom, for the very purpose of choking
it, "We wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with wicked spirits in high positions." (
Eph 6:12).”

VERSE 26But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares
(Nominal Christians, much more numerous than the wheat, the children of the devil, imitation
Christians, some of them very respectable, moral,
and actually very good people, however not begotten
of the Spirit or of the truth, most begotten by excitement, of fear of hell, or of hopes of worldly
advantage, of pride, or of social and financial ambition).”

VERSES 27-29So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou
sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, an enemy hath
done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he
said, nay
(We cannot follow the usual custom in this case, because of the greatly excessive proportion of
lest while ye gather up the tares ye root up also the wheat with them (The true and false are
too intimately associated, their roots intertwining in society, home, etc. So closely intertwined are the
roots of the two classes that to disturb such close relationship in life would cause great commotion.
"Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden
things of darkness, and will manifest the counsels of the hearts." (
1 Cor 4:5) So intimately are the true
and false associated, that only the Lord, who could read the hearts, could distinguish between them with
unerring precision).”

VERSE 30Let both grow (Christ did not seek to prevent or hinder tare development, but allowed both
to grow together. The [the tares, being in the majority] set up false, unscriptural standards and
doctrines, which have aided in the development of more tares and at the same time choking and
separating the true wheat)
together (That is throughout the age. Christians and imitation Christians have
lived side by side in the same city, house, and family, and in the general nominal church system, elsewhere
called Babylon or confusion, because of its mixture of truth and error, wheat and tares. Only the expert
[our Lord] can discern the wheat from the tares while growing)
until (The command "Come out of her"
was given, this was given after the announcement that "Babylon is fallen."
Rev 18:4, 2) the harvest (The
end or close, of the Gospel age)
and in the time (The close of the summer time of favor, signifying that it
will not be instantaneous, but require time)
of harvest (In which we are now living. It has three
separation, gathering and burning. The harvest is not a time for peace; but, on the
contrary, it will surely produce separation and alienation between true wheat and all else. The time of
executing the command, "Gather my saints together unto me, those who have made a covenant with me
by [self-] sacrifice." (
Psa 50:5) This is the time when the truth makes manifest the true character of
Babylon, the great false system, calling itself the Lord’s church)
I will say (It is not we, but Christ, who
calls his people out of Babylon. We merely call their attention to his words and show that they are
reasonable. "He that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth and the earth was reaped."
Rev 14:16) to the reapers (Angels, messengers, [i.e. men, the vessels of the Lord] such as he has
used in plowing, sowing and watering throughout the age; those begotten of his holy spirit)
, Gather ye
together first the tares
(Which largely predominate, as did the chaff in the harvest of the Jewish age.
vainly imagine themselves to be the true Church), and bind them (Restrain all individual thought
and study on religious subjects; they are bound by human traditions and by a worldly spirit, bound tightly
by their own prejudices. Pride will hold them together; none will wish to appear disloyal or cowardly.
Societies act en masse. They seek to bind all by the impression that it is essential to salvation to be joined
to some one of their
various sects--it matters little to which one--thus combining the idea of individual
responsibility with sectarian bondage)
in bundles (Necessary, because of their great preponderance. Into
great denominational bundles, labeled with various sectarian names. The spirit of the tares is toward
sectarian greatness and show, rather than toward individual obedience and allegiance to God. Each
denomination retaining its own bondage or organization, and becoming more firmly bound by being
wedged in with others. Ready for the burning, destruction)
to burn them (To destroy them, not as
individuals, but as tares, imitation wheat
, in the great time of trouble [Not with literal fire, we cannot
burn symbolic tares in literal fire]. The Christian's duty is to lift up the standard and get the true wheat
out of all the tare-bundles into liberty, in union with Christ, the only Head.  All professed Christians will be
shown in their true light. The true and false will be completely manifested.)
: but (without binding it into
) gather the wheat (with the sickle of truth, present truth. "They shall gather together his
elect." (
Matt 24:31) "Come out of her, my people" (Rev 18:4) Separated from the tares--in spirit, but
not necessarily in person)
into my barn (The barn condition of security, separateness from the worldly.
Not back into another denomination, but gathered to Christ, into oneness with him, in fellowship of spirit
through the knowledge of his Word, “For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered
Matt 24:28).”

VERSE 36Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came
unto him, saying, Declare unto us
(A special request for interpretation) the parable (In every parable
explained by our Lord, the thing said is never the thing meant.)
of the tares of the field.”

VERSE 37He answered and said unto them, He that soweth (Jesus and the Apostles, and all his
true followers)
the good seed (The Gospel of the Kingdom) is the Son of man (His disciples and
followers having
assisted under his direction).”

VERSE 38The field is the world (The world of mankind; and the seed is sown in their hearts.); the
good seed are the children of the kingdom
(The spiritual children); but the tares (The imitation
wheat, posing as Christians, the result of false doctrines, false teachings, and therefore not begotten of
the Holy Spirit)
are the children of the wicked one (The whole world of mankind, excepting the true
Christians, born in sin and shapen in iniquity, aliens and strangers from God, may be spoken of as
"children of the wicked one).”

VERSE 39The enemy that sowed them (with seeds of false doctrines, error, deceptions, using human
lips and pens in Satan's service through pride and ambition. Thus bringing the worldly masses into the
is the devil; the harvest (There is a large crop of tares and the time of trouble coming upon the
church should be recognized as the harvest, the threshing time, the time for separating the real grain, the
true Christians from the chaff and tares the false Christians)
is the end (Is that which constitutes the
end. The Greek word “
suntelia”, translated "end," does not mean a "point," but a "period of time." The
harvest of this age and the end of the evil world or dispensation terminate together. Just before the
inauguration of the new age of Christ's Millennial Kingdom. The regathering of Israel is a sign of the end of
this age, and therefore a sign that we are living in the harvest time) of the world (Of the age: Greek
The Gospel age)
; and the reapers (Those who have learned that it is harvest time and that their work is
in the gathering of the wheat.)
are the angels. (The messengers, begotten of his spirit, the saints of
God, His servants. Every faithful disciple who now follows in the Master's footsteps has the privilege now
of being a co-worker with him in reaping this harvest).”

VERSE 40As therefore the tares are gathered (into bundles, sects, denominations and etc.) and
burned in the fire
(Destroyed as tares in a time of trouble; not however literally burned as some
, their delusions [faith in their organizations, churches] will be dissolved, thus signifying the
destruction of the false pretensions of this class, in the sense that none of them thereafter will claim to be
what they are not, none of them will claim to be Christians anymore. And thus they shall be returned to
the ground, the world, from whence they came. That the entire field might be cleansed and made ready for
a new sowing of the pure seed of truth)
; so shall it be in the end of this world (age).”

VERSE 41The Son of man (A title of high honor, a reminder of his obedience, even to the death of the
cross, by which he secured the title to the honor, dignity and power of the divine nature)
shall send
(Christ is superintending the harvest; he sends forth the reapers)
forth his angels (Servants or
messengers, begotten of his spirit.)
, and they shall gather out of (or from, in one sense, the wheat is
gathered out from among the tares, because of the greater abundance of the tares; in another sense, the
tares are gathered from the wheat. The wheat has the place by right; it is a wheat field, not a tare field.
The Lord has chosen to make this separation publicly known, in order to demonstrate his own justice in
the matter)
his kingdom (The true Church, in the sense that the Church at the present time is God's
Kingdom in embryo
state. It is one thing to gather his people out of Babylon, and quite another to gather
the offenders out of his Kingdom. Really the "tares" leave the "wheat" by utterly abandoning the faith once
delivered to the saints, something taking place even now)
all things that offend (Those that cause
others to stumble, including many teachers and preachers, and many doers of wonderful works. They are
blameworthy; because they are in the nominal church and posing as Christians. And not only "those that
do iniquity," the "tares," but also "those that offend," those who fail to come up to the requirements of
their covenant in fullness of consecration.
There is a particular separation or sifting taking place even now
which goes beyond the separation merely of the wheat and the tares, this separation work consist of
separating the ripe wheat from the un-ripe, the Wise Virgins from the Foolish, the Little Flock from the
Great Company
), and them which do iniquity (Which practice sin, or which are not fully in sympathy
with the principles of righteousness. The only things that shall remain are the things that cannot be
shaken, the true and faithful).”

VERSE 42And shall cast them into a furnace of fire (A time of trouble destructive to the nominal
systems and false professions; occasioned in great measure by the growth of infidelity and Spiritism of
various kinds. It would be thoroughly illogical to burn symbolic tares in a literal furnace with literal fire. The
fire is as much a symbol as are the tares, the wheat and the garner. So-called Christendom will be the
great furnace.)
: there shall be wailing (There is such a commotion in connection with the separation of
the wheat and the tares because Christendom as a whole, though nominally a wheat field, is practically a
tare field)
and gnashing of teeth. (Great disappointment, sorrow, pain, trouble and anguish throughout
Christendom, "Men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking after those things which are coming on
the earth." (
Luke 21:26) The great time of trouble will make general havoc of present arrangements--
social, financial, political, ecclesiastical.)

VERSE 43Then (After this age and after its harvest, after "the wheat" of this age is gathered into the
garner by the power of the first resurrection)
shall the righteous (The Church, as a whole, in glory.
When the division is accomplished, the wheat alone will represent the Kingdom of the Church of Christ,
while the church nominal will fall and be broken)
shine forth (To abolish darkness, to heal earth's sorrows
and scatter earth's night. To bless, restore, purify and disinfect from sin and error the whole world of
mankind, to bring order out of present confusion, to scatter present darkness, ignorance and
superstition, to cause the knowledge of the glory of the Lord to fill the whole earth. "The earnest
expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the Sons of God." (
Rom 8:19) God gives light
that it may shine that others may see and be blessed. To shine can mean no less than to give light. And if
the Church gives, the nations receive and "walk in the light of it." (
Rev 21:24) as the sun ("The Sun of
Righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings" (
Mal 4:2) Whom shall scatter the darkness of earth,
binding the prince of darkness, Satan, and freeing mankind from the bonds of ignorance, superstition and
credulity. The great Sun of Righteousness, the great Messiah, the great Prophet, Priest, King and Mediator
between God and man)
in the kingdom of their Father (Primarily, the Kingdom is God's but he has
voluntarily, for a thousand years, placed it under charge of a viceroy, the Christ, the Lord and his Church
which is his body).
Who hath ears to hear (The attitude of heart to appreciate it, the ability to
understand spiritual things, not everyone
at present has this hearing ear), let him hear. (We should not
despise those who cannot hear, but rather sympathize with them and be thankful for the hearing ear,
which permits us to appreciate the various features of God’s plan.
None can give eye to see nor ear to
hear save the Lord alone

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