Tares Among the Wheat
Needful Answers for Seeming Contradictions to Church Purity found in the Parables of Jesus Christ
Section #1: THE MYSTERY – A Look at the Historical Context of the 1st Century
Section #2: Jesus Christ’s Parables Are Snapshots of Unutterable Mysteries
Section #3: Notable Perplexities: parabolic words that, by definition, defy Doctrinal Rules.
Section #4: The Doctrinal Rule of Church Purity, Seemingly Defied?
The Doctrinal Rule of Church Purity, Seemingly Defied?
In the Epistles (as we have heretofore studied) the doctrinal rule for Church purity is clear, overwhelmingly exhaustive, and without variation. Most of God’s people in this age, being oblivious to this rule, are unknowingly led into unbiblical conclusions when reading the parables of Jesus Christ.
The Doctrinal Rule: The Church is to be entirely clean and perfected in holiness (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1). The Doctrinal Rule is, congregational separation. The Doctrinal Rule is, an unleavened Lump (1 Cor. 5:6-8), a Lamp whose persons are all in the Light (1 Jn. 1:3-7, 2 Cor. 6:14, Eph. 5:7-17, Rev. 1:20), a Sacrifice whose entire body is of unblemished members (Rom. 12:1-2, 15:16-19, Eph. 5:26-27, Jas. 1:26-27), a Royal Priesthood which employs every priest to abide by the codes of separation which cannot and must not be defied, a Temple whose stones are elect and precious people who are, therefore, purged from the desecrating mixture of wood, hay, stubble, and earth (2 Tim. 2:19-22, 1 Cor. 3:10-20), a collection of spiritually healthy people who make up one Body that is free from all offenders, heathen men, and publicans (Matt. 18:8-9; see also curse #3, “Bodily Sickness”, which is a part of the NT curses of God), and, finally, but not exhaustively, the Church is a collection of holy people who make up one glorious and beautiful Bride, which means that they / She is without blemish, spot, wrinkle, or any such thing (Eph. 5:26-27, Rev. 19:7, 2 Cor. 11:2). In summary, those who are gathered in the Church assembly must be separated from all other peoples (unconverted or backslidden).
The Seeming Defiance: The parabolic sayings of Christ seem to argue the impossibility of separation amongst those who are in the Church. Most of all, “The Tares Among the Wheat” (Matt. 13:24-30) and “The Fishing Drag-Net in the Sea” (Matt. 13:47-52), appear to teach that the Church is a gathering of persons who are both true and falsely converted, righteous men and wicked men. People conclude that (Firstly) to separate this mixed multitude would be harmful to the righteous and true converts of Christ (“the wheat”), and (Secondarily) the separation of the mixture will be done by God (using holy angels)…for God alone, and none other, is capable and sufficient to “sever the wicked from among the just” with inerrancy (Matt. 13:49). Therefore as for now, it is an earthly impossibility for Church officers to accomplish this severing between the righteous and the wicked (for we, Church officers, have the capacity to err in discernment while judging persons who stand in question).
The Tares Among the Wheat
By the parable of “The Tares Among the Wheat” (Matt. 13:24-30) men do wrongly conclude: (1) the tares and wheat represent the population of professing Christianity (commonly known today as The Church), (2) “the field” represents God’s ground, or God’s field, and into it, therefore, He planted the gospel seed (“the good seed”), meaning that this “field” is the community of saved individuals, (3) “the field”, also called “His Kingdom” in Matt. 13:41, means that it is God’s Kingdom, and therefore it is assumed that the field must be The Church, (4) the end time gathering which is permitted to be done by the “angels” of God, they, not Church officers, separate the tares from the wheat, the righteous from the wicked (they “gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity” –Matt. 13:41), therefore it is concluded that Church officers are forbidden to attempt a gathering before the end time Judgment (and by gathering, the scripture means, Church officers make a separation between the righteous and the wicked in the Church). They conclude that since “the field” is the Church, it is to remain a mixed multitude of righteous and wicked persons, for, alas! At the suggestion of “the servants” (Matt. 13:28) to “go and gather them up” into separate companies, they were denied the right! Is this the correct interpretation?
My reader, FIVE WORDS: “The field is the world” (Matt. 13:38)
The field is the world, not the Church. “The servants” were denied the right to separate the false converts from the true converts because, CHRISTIANS ARE TO REMAIN IN THE WORLD UNTIL THE FINAL RESURRECTION. The world, according to doctrinal rule, is to remain a mingled population of saints and sinners, a company of righteous and wicked men, of twice-born and once-born men. This end time separation, which was a harvest gathering, also called “reaping”, this was done by the resurrection of the dead at Final Judgment, and this is not to be confused with the separation which Christian officers are commanded to uphold amongst the Church (for it is written, “come out from among them and BE YE SEPARATE” – 2 Cor. 6:17). If the Church is supposed to be a gathered company of persons who are wicked and righteous, this puts us into a staggering dilemma! For, then, how shall we obey the commandment, “Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person” (1 Cor. 5:13)? How shall we obey the commandment, “be ye separate”, if we believe that we cannot “come out from among them”! Oh, let me plead with you again, my reader! Shall “tares” remain “among the wheat”, when God said, “come out from among them” (2 Cor. 6:17) and “put away from among yourselves that wicked person” (1 Cor. 5:13)? Shockingly, these false interpretations are so widely accepted, and yet, so glaringly problematic! These men – swallowing a camel – uphold convictions of absurd and damnable contradiction to scripture! Woe to us! The New Testament Israel of God which was “called out”, regenerated, and commandment-bound to remain pure, “he hath mixed himself among the people…strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not” (Hos. 7:8-9)! These pastors! They believe that the righteous and the wicked, the twice-born and the once-born, are supposed to be “together” and “grow together” (Matt. 13:30) in the Church, when the scriptures warn that this mixture in the Church makes impossible spiritual growth (1 Cor. 5:6-7)! The parable stated, “Let them both grow together” (Matt. 13:30), yes it did…but can the tares and wheat, when knit together, unseparated, and mixed within the Church, successfully “grow together”, when such a mixture within the Church is decried as growth-stunting and growth-reversing!? The effect of this mixture is beyond a mere growth stunt - it is sincerity and truth impaling; it is an uncontainable pandemic of malice and wickedness overtaking the whole congregation (“Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?”). In other words, God promises that this mixture is congregation-leavening, congregation-killing, and congregation-damning… except the wicked are un-mixed from the Church and cast out (1 Cor. 5:13)! My reader, the field is the world.
Have you never read how, by doctrinal rule, the inspired writers made a differentiation between the populations of the world and the Church? This differentiation commanded by God is in exact contradiction to the popular interpretation of the parable, “The Tares Among the Wheat”. It is written,
“I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” – 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
This scriptural instruction in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 is the doctrinal rule, and as you can see there are careful distinctions made. (1) There is a company of persons which must be judged now (1 Cor. 5:11-12, 1 Pet. 4:17): this is the Church. (2) By “judge” the scriptures mean, the Church company of persons must be separated from wicked persons, or in terms used in the former parable, they are to be gathered together into God’s Church (His “garner” -Matt. 3:12), and there they are to remain unmixed and distinguishable from all other earthly gatherings and persons – this is the Church. (3) There is a company of persons which are not judged now – this is the world. (4) By not “judging” the scriptures mean, they are left as a mixed multitude of wicked and righteous persons, and they, dwelling together without separation, remain undistinguishable and indivisible in their societies, vocations, and gatherings anywhere and everywhere they may be, and finally, this indivisible population of persons will be judged, distinguished, and separated from one another at the Final Judgment – this is the world. Separation among the populations of the world is impossible, “for then must ye needs go out of the world”, Paul argues. The populations of the world are to remain mingled and growing together until Final Judgment… then begins their final and irrevocable separation.
In other words, according to 1 Peter 4:17-18 & 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, God’s judgment of the Church, first, and then the World, second, is a 2-Stage, Populous Distinct, Chronology of Judgment.
v The Church is judged now: Within time, the Church is judged by Church officers (implementing the command of the reigning King who said, “therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person” -1 Cor. 5:13). These Church officers (or Elders) stand as representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 5:3-5, 2 Cor. 2:7-10, Matt. 16:19, 18:18-20, Jn. 20:23), and in addition to this form of judgment, furthermore, Christ does judgment using ministerial angels (“the angels of the seven Churches” –Rev. 1:20, see also “angels” in Rev. 2:1, 8, 12, 18, 3:1, 7, 14). Firstly, judgment is sought through Church officers, and if this judgment fails to amend the problem, judgment is executed through extra-terrestrial beings wielding Divine-powers (such Divine retributions are formerly addressed and titled, “The New Testament Curses of God”).
v The World is reserved for The Judgment to come: Within time, the world remains unjudged… one cannot separate wickedness from the world because “the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 Jn. 5:19), “for then must ye needs go out of the world” (1 Cor. 5:10). If one would separate wicked persons from the world, or in other words, if Judgment comes upon the whole world before the appointed time, some of the saints, currently backslidden into sin, would perish in the Judgment (or in other words, “while ye gather up the tares ye root up also the wheat with them” –Matt. 13:29, for at the present time all of God’s wheat is not ready for Final Judgment). Therefore God, by His own admission, holds back worldwide judgment to prevent the saints from perishing in its sudden arrival. The Lord holds back the judgment of the world for the sake of the Church, “for us”, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). This Day of Judgment for the world is meant to be, “the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Pet. 3:7), and God would have it that none of His children would perish with unconverted worldlings. At Final Judgment, the whole multitude of the world will be gathered together and judged (saints and sinners), and through this judgment there will be an everlasting separation between the two. The righteous will be separated and distinguished from the wicked, and being sent forth, each to their respective eternal abode… there they will remain unmixed for eternity. The House of God on earth, because it was judged within time, was a picture of the unmixed multitude which would eventually exist in heaven. Do you see this, my reader? Do you see how that, in NT scripture, when a man is cast out of the Church he is accounted as a companion of the damned (“an heathen man and a publican” –Matt. 18:17)? Such a one is henceforth reckoned with those who stand in danger of the torments of Final Judgment, and they, being outside of the NT “Passover Feast”… will not be passed over. They will not be passed over by the angel of God’s wrath, no! They will not be passed over but punished (for a closer look at those who are thrust out of the Passover Feast, see 1 Cor. 5:6-8 & Exodus 12:15)! Leaven in the Passover results in a ceremonial disqualification from its benefits. When the death angel of God’s wrath beholds its transgressors, he will not pass them by. It is written, “that soul shall be cut off from Israel” (Ex. 12:15). So it is in NT reality, my reader - HERE ALSO – those who are touched by leaven, they are “purged out” of the Church (because the Church is, in the NT also, a Safe-House for those who will be passed over by the death angel of God’s wrath (see 1 John 2:19, 4:5-6, Heb. 10:24-31). For exhaustive proof of this doctrine, see 2-Stage, Populous Distinct, Chronology of Judgment.
Doctrinal Variation from the Rule – as seen in Matthew 8:12 & 21:43
Unconverted Israel Parabolically Called – “the children of the Kingdom”
“But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” – Matthew 8:12
“Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” – Matthew 21:43
Unconverted Gentiles Parabolically Called – a part of “His Kingdom”
“The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;…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;” – Matthew 13:38, 41
The doctrinal variation within the parable, “The Tares Among the Wheat”, is, “the world” is called “His Kingdom” – meaning God’s Kingdom. This is an unexpected variation from the definition of “the Kingdom of God” which is the doctrinal rule. By doctrinal rule, “the Kingdom of God” is the true Church, the regenerated community of humanity (Lk. 17:21, Col. 1:13). Misinterpretations prevail when reading this parable because: people are overwhelmingly ignorant of the doctrinal rules which pertain to the persons who attend, assemble within, and make up the company of “the Church”. At first glance, the people have no trouble believing the Church is a company of people who are not separated and out from among the world, who are rather, inseparable from the world, and at best, by the command of the Almighty, this mixed multitude of wicked and righteous persons are to grow together in the Church until Final Judgment. Alas, woe to us!
Are you perplexed? You may wonder, how then can Christ call “the world” “His Kingdom” in Matthew 13:41? The answer to this mystery is discoverable, but you must become acquainted with Messianic prophecy. You see, my reader, Jesus Christ is prophesied to be the King of the world – the whole world! All earth and land, every nation and every man under the whole heaven, it is the Kingdom of Christ by prophecy, by right, by gift, and His enthronement after His ascension began His Messianic sovereignty.
Just as unconverted Israel was parabolically called, “the children of the Kingdom” in Matthew 8:12, even so again, in another place, in a snap shot of Christ’s Kingdom when its bounds cover the entire world, the Lord is able to parabolically call unconverted Gentiles a part of “His Kingdom” (as seen in Matthew 13:41). The doctrinal variation exactly parallels what God spoke when addressing unconverted Israel, only in this other parable, Christ intends to express how the boundaries of His Kingdom will cover the expanse of the whole world! His Kingdom will begin, progressively rise to power in that, He will send preachers and heralds of His Kingship into every city, nation, and language, and there – EVERYWHERE – the message will be the same. They will proclaim to them their King, His Name, Person, and Work, that His Kingdom is imminent and at hand, that they and their lands are a part of His possession, and they will either join with Him or die by Him – for He will soon return, piercing the skyline, riding into their earthly realm to slay those who refused to bow the knee. That which was first proclaimed by heralds in every Israelite city, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matt. 10:7), it must also be proclaimed in all the earth!
The King of the World – Jesus Christ
“Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me; And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified. Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God. And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength. And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee. Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.” – Isaiah 49:1-10
“Behold My Servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law. Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.” – Isaiah 42:1-7
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.” – Jeremiah 23:5
“Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.” – Isaiah 52:13-15
“Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” – Psalms 2:8
“But unto you that fear My Name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” – Malachi 4:2
Jesus Christ was “the King of the Jews”, but not of them only! To the amazement of the Jews – when they crowned Christ with thorns, they crowned Him King of the whole world! He bought them by His blood! Through this sin-absolving act – the atonement – Christ became the King of sinners! Yea, not of this world only but every world! He became King over the visible and invisible universe! “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted HIM, and given Him a Name which is above every name: That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Php. 2:9-11)! According to the prophecies Christ would, through the atonement, become “the King”, not of Israel only but the whole world…therefore just as the unconverted Jewish nation and people were called “the children of the Kingdom”, God calls all of unconverted humanity children of His Kingdom. Just as the Kingdom was taken from the Jews and given to all other nations (“given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof”), the essence of its existence, as it was - changed - it was confined to the borders of Israelite lands and then extended worldwide. The King of Israel became the King of the world! The gospel was preached “throughout the whole world” (Rom. 1:8) because – HEAR THIS – every city, nation, and people became the blood bought property of the King (“So shall He sprinkle many nations”-Isa. 52:13-15)! This Jesus is the Christ, the anointed of God, and He risen and ascended on high that He might be worshiped as King. Whether the world’s humanity remains unconverted or not, the parable gives a snap shot depicting – the world is the Messiah’s Kingdom! It is a doctrinal variation from the rule, yes, but it unveils a powerful mystery of this Great and Exalted Messiah! Look, my reader, see how Christ was ascended and enthroned high above all visible and invisible kings – “far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” – which means He is far above Satan, who is the invisible king and “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4), far above Satan’s minions, the children of Adam, which are the visible and earthly rulers of this world (“all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them” –Mat. 4:8). This Jesus, scared with the wounds of his humble service to humanity, is exalted to an eagle’s soar with “healing in His wings” (Mal. 4:2)! Worship HIM my reader, the darling of Heaven, the victor of Hell, the root of Jesse and the seed of David, “by Whose stripes ye are healed” (1 Pet. 2:24)! The second Adam, the Redeemer of the Gentile world of adamic-rebels, the Restorer of Paradise, the Seeking Savior of lost humanity, the Lover of all men – “And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a Name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev. 19:16)! Take note of this, my reader, even though His Kingdom is still crawling with His enemies, enemies who, at present, remain unsubdued under His feet, He has taken His ascent on high, He sat down upon the everlasting Throne, and He began the everlasting Kingdom…and at the consummation of His rule He will be the Last Man crowned. Yes, my reader, He will have all men in derision with crown-casting-power (1 Cor. 15:24-28).
Just as the realm, nation, and people of unconverted Israel were called “the Children of His Kingdom”, even so in this parable, the future of the Messianic Kingdom is viewed as it will be after Christ’s crucifixion, therefore in this view it can be rightly said, the realms, nations, and peoples of the unconverted world are “His Kingdom”. My reader, “the uttermost parts of the earth” are, right now, the Lord Jesus’ possession (Ps. 2:8)! He purchased the world with His blood. Praise be to God. Amen.
The Fishing Drag-Net in the Sea
(1) As the soils represented all of worldwide humanity who will hear the gospel, even so, this is the net-gathered multitude.
(2) The act of reaping or harvesting, like as the act of planting, exactly represents the act of fish-catching – all three of these depict Final Judgment at the resurrection. Contrary to their doctrinal rules, these acts do not represent conversions to Christianity performed by the preaching of Church officers.
The net-gathered multitude of persons is not what it may seem. It seems to be the Church, seeing that Christ called the apostles “fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19, Mk. 1:17). This is, indeed, the doctrinal rule, but the parable uses a doctrinal variation contrary to this rule. We can see here, like elsewhere, another isolated definition…and should we be surprised? At first glance the net-gathered multitude may appear to be the Church, but a closer look at the characteristics of such persons, in comparison with all doctrinal rules held in their place, one must conclude that the net-gathered multitude is “the world”, and in fulfillment of God’s decree, the whole world is in view because they are destined to hear the gospel (Matt. 24:14, Rev. 14:6-7). The mixed multitude of saints and sinners which were planted in the grounds which were called, “His Kingdom”, in the former parable, are here, in “The Fishing Drag-Net in the Sea” parable, the multitude which is caught in the net. The mixed multitude of “the field” were those in the world, as the former parable interpreted, so also here, the drag-net was drug throughout all the sea until they caught “every kind” of fish (Matt. 13:47) – meaning, the preaching of the gospel has reached “every kind” of person (every nation, tribe, and tongue) – and when the net is “full”, just as when the “harvest” was ripe and ready for reaping, the angels will, through the means of Judgment by the final resurrection, place the righteous into “vessels” (“mansions” –Jn. 14) prepared for them in heaven, and they will “cast the bad away” into the Lake of Fire, “there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 13:48-50).
Three Acts: (1) seed planting (2) harvesting (3) fishing
The planting of the seed (who is Christ) within a person would normally mean salvation (1 Jn. 3:9), but in “The Parable of the Sower”, the unsaved men received the seed by implantation, and take note – it remained planted within them – but the entire time the seed remained within them they remained once-born and wicked! By doctrinal rule, if God’s seed remains in a man he is born of God and kept righteous (1 Jn. 3:9)! But here, in the parable, gospel preaching in humanities hearing is the act of seed implantation. Though contrary to the doctrinal rule, it is defined in this isolated way, and when the rule would say they have been converted, the parable is teaching they have only heard the gospel. The seeds which grew to different degrees of rooting, shooting, and fruiting, this represents the differing degrees of affect the preaching has upon lost humanity, and though only one kind of hearer is savingly affected, all are affected in some measure. In proportion to how the hearer is affected by the gospel preaching… the seed grows. If the word of God is fully established in the hearer, the plant is fully rooting, shooting, and fruiting… the man is regenerated. Likewise to the former characteristics, so also is the action of drag-net fishing. By doctrinal rule, to be caught in God’s net or implanted with God’s seed is salvation, but here it is not so. Contrary to the doctrinal rule, when these fish are caught in the net by the fishermen – behold – they remain unsaved (within the net is an indivisible multitude of wicked and righteous persons). By doctrinal rule, I say again, if fish are caught they are converted to Christianity… but here it is not so.
Verily, my reader, Christ came to make the apostles fishers of men, but this parabolic fish-catching follows the parabolic theme of the parable of parables (“The Parable of the Sower”). Finally, for further reinforcement, the doctrinal rule for harvesting is also Christian conversion (Matt. 9:37-38, Lk. 10:2). Parabolic language is contrary to doctrinal rule because it defines the action of harvesting as Final Judgment in both of the former parables of Matthew 13 (see Matt. 13:39). When the harvest is “ready”, so also will the net become “full”. By interpretation according to the parable, this means, the gospel preaching has reached the hearing of all the people unto whom God sent it – then comes Final Judgment. In these three instances we see three actions which normally mean Christian conversion (seed planting, harvesting, and fish-catching), but these actions, because they are parabolic, consistently and unanimously defy their doctrinal rule. This is no wonder, for Christ is preaching these parables in the same paradigm as how the first and primary parable was spoken (the parable called, the parable of parables, the lens by which we understand all other parables, “The Parable of the Sower”). People interpret these parables with too much haste. They read the parables and quickly recall the doctrinal rules which appertain to these three actions – how these acts normally mean Christian conversion – but they have failed to be guided by the parable of parables, and so, they have failed to understand all parables.
Contrary to popular opinion, the Church is not made up of regenerate and unregenerate persons who remain indistinguishable from one another. My reader, woe to us! If this were the case, we would be defying the Doctrinal Rules of God! God judges the Church now… He judges the world later. God judging the Church now means that, in the Church (its assemblies, fellowship, and ministries), He separates saints from sin (whether wicked deeds or wicked persons). God judges the world later (at Final Judgment), and this means that, in the world (its assemblies and societies), He forbears to separate the saints from being exposed to and interrelating with the world’s wicked persons. If we interpret the doctrinal variations as Doctrinal Rules, this is to believe that the Church is to be treated like the world.
If we treat the Church like the world, the Church (its assemblies, fellowship, and ministries) would be made up of a mixed and indivisible multitude that is only separable by Final Judgment! But, on the contrary, God commands Church Officers to judge, purge, put away, and separate! He threatens the saints with damning judgments if they don’t remain separate according to their calling! Thus, if we continue in this mixed condition – like as society in the world operates without separation between saints and sinners – God’s Fatherly love will be interrupted (2 Cor. 6:18), our inheritance as sons will be threatened (2 Cor. 6:18), New Testament curses will be enacted, until finally, the Church that Jesus Christ bled and died for, the Church that He commanded to be holy… it will be worldly! If the assembly of the Church remains without separation from worldlings, the Church will turn form holy to worldly (sincere to insincere -1 Cor. 5:8, righteous to wicked -1 Cor. 5:6, 13). Soberly consider it, my reader! We have scorned the emphasis of God’s warning, “a little leaven”! We have been puffed up! We have not mourned when we were touched by uncleanness (1 Cor. 5:2, 6, 2 Cor. 6:17)! God’s threatening… it is mocked! And the final effect of leaven will leave the whole lump staggered and shocked (1 Cor. 5:6)! At last, on Judgment Day, when we expect to be passed over (1 Cor. 5:7-8), God will visit our punishment upon us!