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Archive for the ‘THE PARABLE OF THE WHEAT AND THE TARES – A New Approach to the Book of Revelations’ Category

The events of this day of wrath are described in great detail in the book of Revelation. All the prophets also mention something of the events of this great day. Most of the time this period is referred to as a day, but in Revelation 20 it is called a thousand years.  

Peter uses the two terms interchangeably while speaking of this special time of judgment. In the Scripture the thousand years is never likened to a thousand hills, or to a thousand generations. In the Psalms, It is likened to a yesterday when it is past, and to a watch in the night in God’s sight.

Psalm 90: 4 For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night.

2 Peter 3:7 But the  heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire, until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should with come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved,  what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,

12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

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Revelation 6:12 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.

13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.

14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.

15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man,

hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains,

16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!

17 “For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

At the opening of the sixth seal a worldwide change takes place. Everything that has seemed so constant and stable suddenly is shaken and changed. The earth quakes, the sky rolls back, the sun and moon change completely. The mountains and islands move out of their places. Suddenly all the world will be aware of great a catastrophe  Yet, because of the angel’s warning to all the earth even those who have refused to listen will know what is happening.

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The purpose of this study is to show that several of great events described in the book of Revelation all occur at the same time. These events are described somewhat differently but the time element is the same. Together they give a complete picture of what God has appointed for the time of the end. The events described interlock perfectly, and precisely fulfill hundreds of Scriptures spoken by Jesus, the apostles, and prophets.

In the book of Revelation it was revealed to the apostle John how the pieces of prophecy fit together. Let us give very careful heed to the signs of this great time. May the Lord give us ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

These great events will be listed here in a general way and then studied in more detail later. We will show that all these events occur during the great day of God’s wrath. (Revelation 6:16,17) The great day of the wrath of Him who sits on the throne and of the Lamb is spoken of throughout all the Scriptures.

The last great gospel call. Revelation 14:6-12.

The last great shaking. Haggai 2:6,7; Hebrews 12:25-29.

The blowing of the seven trumpets.  Revelation 7 through 11.

Reaping of the earth’s harvest and of her grapes.  Revelation 14:14.

The pouring out of the seven bowls of wrath. Revelation 15 &16.

The judgment of Babylon.  Revelation 17 & 18.

The binding of Satan, the 1000 years, and the loosing of Satan for the deceiving and gathering of the nations against the camp of the saints and the beloved city.

Their final destruction,   Revelation 20: 1-10.

The resurrection of all the dead and the final judgment at the great white throne. Revelation 20: 11

That all these Scriptures, and many more, describe events that will all take place during the same time will be staggering to those who have been taught otherwise. Most of the things described show different aspects of the same events. They each show part of the removal of the tares. The list includes Babylon, the beast, the false prophet, Satan, all who work lawlessness, and all their evil works, and then finally death and hell.

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The Message of the First Angel is:

Revelation 14:6 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people—

7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

This message will astonish many and anger those who hate and deny God in their words and deeds.

Nevertheless the preaching of the everlasting gospel will allow many that have never heard it to make a clear choice. Those with honest, hungry hearts will be glad. It will bring great multitudes to the valley of decision spoken of by the prophet Joel. (Joel 3:14-16)  Multitudes will turn to the Lord. Not only from Israel but also from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. (Revelation 5:9,10; 7:9)  Others, as in the days of Noah, will keep busy doing their own thing and miss the messages of warning and hope.

Psalm 72:10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles will bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba will offer gifts.

11 Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him. (Also Isaiah 60)

Do not be surprised to think of such a coming worldwide revival before the end, for God has said,

Habakkuk 2:14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

­ The message of the second angel is: “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, (Revelation 14:6) Her distruction and removal is vividly described as she receives her judgments and plagues.

The message of the third angel warns against the worship of the beast, his image, and receiving his mark. Eternal punishment comes to those who continue in his worship. (Revelation 14:9,10)

Two of these angels speak with a loud voice. (Revelation 14:7, 9) The angel that describes the harlot’s total destruction not only cries mightily with a loud voice but illuminates the earth with his glory. (Revelation 18:1,2)  the entire world, saints and sinners, will see and know it!

The preaching of the everlasting gospel in all the world as a witness will mean that the end of this age is near and that the great day of His wrath will soon begin.

The rest of our study will be about the great day of His wrath.

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This situation will be totally changed during the removal of the wicked in the great day of God’s wrath. The righteous are promised special protection from all harm during these judgments. Just before the time of great wrath begins, God in His mercy will give three warnings to every person on the earth. God always sends the Rider on the white horse to give warning of judgment. It will be loud and worldwide because the judgments will be worldwide.

Three angels will each proclaim their special messages. The first will be the everlasting gospel: a call to fear God and worship the Creator of all things for the hour of His judgment has come. May we hear the call to repentance and worship of the Creator. May we have ears to hear the warnings of judgment on Babylon and those that worship the beast or his image or receive his mark.

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Jeremiah said that God’s prophets had given similar warnings to many ancient countries and great kingdoms.

Jeremiah 28: 8 “The prophets who have been before me and before you of old prophesied against many countries and great kingdoms–of war and disaster and pestilence.

The proof that all these kingdoms refused and ignored such warnings of His prophets is the multitude of ruins found buried in the sands, jungles and mountains of the earth. God’s offer of reconciliation and mercy to the willing and obedient, but judgment to the disobedient was open to them then and is still open today.

We are living in the midst of the same four horsemen riding throughout the earth today, with many wars, disasters, famines, pestilence, and death on every hand. Every nation, even the great­­est of them, who do not heed God will fall and disappear.

The same is true with each of us alive now, today. If we do not pay attention to God’s voice and turn from sin, we will find conflict, trouble, spiritual famine and desolation. Yet God will hear the faintest call of the weakest one who will call on His name.

One of the mysteries of the ages is the terrible suffering and death helpless and innocent people have had to endure at the hands of the wicked long before judgment was brought on them. An additional mystery is the suffering of so many of the innocent while judgment is falling on the evil. Yet we know that they will be rewarded for their faith and patience at the resurrection.

Matthew 16:27 “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

Colossians 3:24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality

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The white horse and his Rider represent Jesus, the Word of God, and His servants who go forth with the gospel of salvation and reconciliation to God, along with the warning of wrath to come on those who neglect or reject the invitation and the warning.

This Rider has a bow. God’s arrows include the disasters of the next three seals: war, famine, pestilence and death. Sooner or later, judgment always follows sin and disobedience, whether on nations, cities, or one person. But God always sends warning first. The Rider on the white horse always comes first with His warning!

Moses spoke of these arrows of judgment.

Deuteronomy 32:23  `I will heap disasters on them; I will spend My arrows on them.

24 They shall be wasted with hunger, devoured by pestilence and bitter destruction; I will also send against them the teeth of beasts, with the poison of serpents of the dust.

25 The sword shall destroy outside; there shall be terror within,

The prophet Ezekiel warned Jerusalem of the coming arrows of famine, pestilence and the sword in judgment against rebellion.

Ezekiel 5:16  “When I send against them the terrible arrows of famine which shall be for destruction, which I will send to destroy you, I will increase the famine upon you and cut off your supply of bread.”

17 `So I will send against you famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you. Pestilence and blood shall pass through you, and I will bring the sword against you. I, the LORD, have spoken.

(more…)

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Before we begin the study of what happens to the tares we need to find something of what occurs earlier in Revelation at the opening of the first four seals.

There is a great difference of opinion about the meaning and especially the time frame of the first four seals. However, I find that the four seals taken together show the same pattern of judgments God has brought against disobedience and lawlessness since Adam and Eve were put out of Eden.

The judgments that will bring about the removal of the tares from the earth will fall only on evil and evildoers. It will mark the end of this age, the appearing of Jesus, the resurrection and judgment of all the dead.

It is very evident that the entire world is now living under the judgments shown by the four seals. The rider on the white horse is the Word of God. The rider on the red horse brings war and conflict. The rider on the black horse brings famine. The fourth rider brings pestilence and death. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can open the seals of judgment because He is the Son of God to whom all judgment has been committed by the Father.

John 5:22,23 “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”

The Four Horsemen of Judgment

Revevelation 6: 1 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.”

2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

3 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.”

4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword

5 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.

6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”

7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.”

8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.

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This is another parable of Jesus with the same message as the parable of the wheat and the tares. They both show a mixture of the righteous and the wicked living together until the end of the age. In both parables the wicked are removed from the presence of the righteous at the end of the age. The sequence is the same.

Matthew 13:47,48  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind,  “which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away.

49 “So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just,

50 “and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

51 Jesus said to them, “Have you understood all these things?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.”

52 Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”

The instructions to the angels are very precise. In the one it is: “First gather together the tares.”  In this parable of the dragnet the command is, “separate the wicked from among the just”. In both parables the destination of the wicked is the same: the furnace of fire with wailing and gnashing of teeth.

The words we find in these parables are not some cunningly devised fables or idle words. They were spoken by Jesus, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, the springs of water and every­thing in them. They are part of the Scripture that cannot be broken. We dare not try to change the meaning of His words in order to promote some private interpretation.  (2 Peter 1:20)  …..

There are many prophecies in both the Old and New Testaments concerning the removal of the wicked at the end of this age. They all harmonize completely with both of these parables. The book of Revelation brings all these prophecies together.

The time of the removal of the tares is called “the great day of His wrath”. The beginning of it is announced at the opening of the sixth seal. (Revelation 6:12-17) Most of chapters eight through twenty of the book of Revelation describe the details of their removal. The account of the removal of the tares begins with chapter eight, verse one, as the seventh seal is opened.

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Matthew 13:36 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.”

37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.

38 “The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.

39 “The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, the reapers are the angels.

40 “Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.

41 “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,

42 “and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

43 “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

In this parable Jesus spoke plainly about what will happen at the end of the age.  He said that the wheat and tares would be left to grow together until the harvest.   The harvest is the end of the age. This is a very important sign of the true end of this age. The end of the age has not yet come as long as the sons of the kingdom and the sons of the wicked one are on earth together.

The tares will be gathered and removed first. This truth must be emphasized again and again because so many have been taught for so long that the church will the raptured out first while the wicked are left behind.

Jesus’ explanation of this parable gives a very clear picture of the true sequence of the end-time events. The tares all being gathered out first means there will be a total removal of all things evil at the time of the end.  The last enemy, death, will be destroyed at the resurrection of all of the dead.  The words of the prophets, the apostles and the Lord Jesus all show the same thing.  The book of Revelation brings it all together…

There are also many Scriptures that promise complete protection from all harm for the saints while the tares are being removed.  In fact, they will not only be protected but will have part in the judgments written.  (Psalm 149: 5-9; Revelation 2:26-28)

This will not fit some of the popular prophetic teaching of today about the last days.  Therefore, those who believe the Christians will be taken out of the world first, before the wicked, must either ignore this parable, or try to say it does not apply to this age.

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