3. The Relationship Between the Wheat and the Tares

By John Thiel, Relationships in the Last Days Conference, Study 3, Audio: mp3

Scripture reading: Matthew 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one]; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

We are before the God of the universe.

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 

We are dealing with the subject of the wheat and the tares in the last days – in the harvest time. We are looking at what has been sown and what is going to be reaped. Our God is the only one who is worthy of worship because of His great mind and comprehensive view of the universe, and because of His great character. Can you think of any character that is better than God’s character? His character is beautifully pictured for us in the book of Nahum, in reference to what man sows and reaps.

Nahum 1:3 The LORD [is] slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit [the wicked]: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds [are] the dust of his feet. 4 He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. 5 The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. 6 Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him. 7 The LORD [is] good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. 8 But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies. 9 What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.

These words don’t need any explanation, do they? The relationship between the wheat and the tares during the time of the harvest is introduced in this scripture. In the time of the harvest God’s wrath will finally be poured out, just as it is written here. But in that time, as the wicked, the tares, are dealt with,

Nahum 1:7 The LORD [is] good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

Do you trust Him? He knows how honest you are. He knows whether you are pretending or whether you are genuine. God is not mocked, what a man soweth, he shall also reap. In reference to the relationships both of His creatures with Him and of His creatures among one another, He is the Master of those relationships.

We will now contemplate His revelations pertaining to those that serve Him and those that pretend to serve Him. Is it a serious time to think? Who am I? Do I know myself? God knows me better than me. Am I pretending? Am I in relationships of pretence? or am I in a true relationship of entire submission to my God? God is speaking to His church in the last days. Do you believe we are in the last days? Then we read here what He knows about His professed church in the last days:

Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works,

I know all about you. I know whether you are pretending or not.

Revelation 3:15 … that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

If you were cold I would know how to heat you up. If you were hot, I would be very gratified. But when you are lukewarm, I feel like spewing you out. He says: I know that in the last days the people who profess to be My people are lukewarm.

Revelation 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;

“Oh the Lord is so gracious to me, He has given me so many blessings, I am so rich.” Like the Pharisee praying, Lord, “I thank you that you have not made me not like this poor publican here. I thank you for being the wonderful person that you have made me. I’m so rich and increased with goods.” But He says, You don’t know that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.

Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold …

Although you are like that, I am not going to give you up just yet:

Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

This is especially addressing those are the messengers, because angel (angelos) means messenger. He is here addressing the messengers, the ministry of the church. If the ministry is like that, then what are the people like? Do the people get any higher than their leaders? It is very unusual. So He says, If the leaders aren’t listening to Me, I am going to spue them out.

Revelation 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

We cannot fool God. He says, I know you. While you think you are so spiritually enriched and you claim you have so many goods that I have given you, good on you; but you don’t know that although I have given these things to you, it doesn’t make any difference to what you are like. Don’t pride yourself like Lucifer did. He was the greatest angel, but with all these goods, what did he become? The devil. Just because I am showering all these blessings upon you, that doesn’t make you any better, I am telling you, you don’t realise that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. You can’t mock me; I know your inward self.

Each one of us is in the presence of God, and He is speaking to us. We are in the audience chamber of the Most High. People keep on trying to say to God, But no, no, we’re not like that. The moment that someone says to you, “I know you, there is something wrong with you,” you immediately go into self-defence, don’t you? You immediately say, “But, no, no, I’m not like that, you are misreading me. I love God; I have made a covenant so that I will not die.”

Isaiah 28:14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which [is] in Jerusalem. 15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us:

“We are already getting ourselves ready for that time. It’s not going to strike us; the overflowing scourge is not going to kill us.”

Isaiah 28:15 …for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

There is a scripture that says, Don’t add to the Bible or take away from it, lest thou be found a liar (Pr. 30:6). We make the scriptures to read in a way that suits us, and we become liars.

Be Careful

Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Who is this beautiful corner stone? Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, so that we don’t deceive ourselves.

Isaiah 28:17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet:

There is going to be a plummet, it is going to be a measuring; Jesus is our measuring.

Isaiah 28:17 …and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.

Remember the parable of Jesus about the man who built his house on the rock and the other who built it on the sand? He is here making direct reference to this.

Isaiah 28:18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.

God says, As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten, because I don’t want you to be destroyed by the overflowing scourge. As we read in Nahum, He is going to do His work; the mountains are going to melt before Him.

Professors

There are a people who profess to be Christians. They are called in the Bible women, churches. What do they say in their relationship with Jesus Christ their Lord? In the Bible, a woman is a church. If she is an impure woman, she is an impure church. If she is a pure woman, she is God’s pure church. We just read in Revelation 3 about the seventh church period, and this church was identified by the heavenly Father and Jesus as wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked, and thinking they were right. Here are now seven of them:

Isaiah 4:1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

What did Jesus say? Come and eat the bread of life. Come and dress yourself in My righteousness. What do these churches, these women, say? We want to eat our own food, we want to eat our own bread, our own fabrication of the Bible. We want to dress ourselves in our own apparel. We don’t want your clothing, but we want to be called Christians. This is what God is addressing. He says, I am not mocked, you can claim to be Christians as much as you like, but if you are not submissive to Me, you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. He is the tried corner stone. In other words, all the winds and all the storms have struck Him, and He has been submissive and obedient to His heavenly Father, and He has stood the test. If you want to be part of Him, then you need to do what He says. “If you will do these things that I have said to you, then you will be like the man who built his house upon a rock.” To illustrate this situation as we have been introduced to here, He, the tried and corner stone, the Rock of our salvation, gave a parable of what happens in the relationship between the different church people with each other:

Matthew 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27 So 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? 28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

The disciples heard this parable and they said, What do you mean with that? Let us ask the same question, What do you mean, Thou tried corner stone, with this?

Matthew 13:37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;

Jesus came and imparted to us the truth, the seed.

Matthew 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one]; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 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; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.

Now comes that beautiful phrase:

Matthew 13:43 …Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Doesn’t that send chills down your spine? He is telling us something. There is a bit of danger here if you don’t hear right. Pay close attention. Can you see in this parable a relationship suggestion? Wheat and tares, rooted together. When the seeds go in they develop their roots, and what did Jesus say when they asked, Shall we pluck up the tares? Jesus said, No, don’t do that, because as you pull up the tares, the roots are entwined with the wheat and you will pull the wheat up as well. Don’t. Let it ripen, let it grow and bring forth fruit. When the fruit is fully there, then you will see how it is going to be done. The angels are going to separate the wheat from the tares. But the relationship of the wheat and the tares needs to be understood because it is a parable of the children of the kingdom versus the children of the evil one.

In the last days Jesus is talking to people who are claiming to be His people; they are wanting to dress themselves in their own clothes and eat their own food and yet be called Christians at the same time. Are they wicked? Yes. So we are not just talking about the unbelievers, are we? We are talking about the professed people of God who are pretending to be Christians. Jesus is illustrating relationships in the kingdom of God in the last days – the relationship between the wheat and the tares in the harvest time, when the harvest has come about. When the summer time has produced the fruit you now have people dwelling together – tares and wheat, manifest.

“We Are Children of God, We Are the Church of God”

Malachi 3:13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken [so much] against thee?

“Why are you judging us like this?”

Malachi 3:14 Ye have said, It [is] vain to serve God: and what profit [is it] that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts? 

Are you hearing that nowadays? “Come on we’re supposed to be happy!” Isn’t that what they are saying? “We’ve been walking mournfully before the Lord of hosts, we’ve been trying to keep your ordinances and it hasn’t’ made us happy. It’s not very nice to have to do exactly what You say, it’s not actually profiting us; it is not making us happy, and it’s giving us a hard time in our flesh.” “My flesh is loathing all this kind of thing that God is wanting me to do. What’s the purpose of it?”

Malachi 3:15 And now we call the proud happy;

“Look at all the people who are proud in the world, they are having a great time. Here I am, trying to do what God is saying, and I’m going through a drudgery.”

Malachi 3:15 …yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, [they that] tempt God are even delivered.

How many times do we see people being cared for who are evil?

Malachi 3:16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard [it], and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. 17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

My jewels – My wheat, in contrast to the tares. There is a day that I am going to gather things together, the jewels and the trash, the wheat and the tares.

His jewels are the people who are not speaking stoutly against God, saying, We have been doing all these things and it’s not working any good for us. No, they are coming together frequently. They are speaking to one another of the Lord, and encouraging each other through the drudgeries of doing what is right when the flesh doesn’t want to do it. “These ones shall be Mine when I make up My jewels.”

Malachi 3:18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

Discernment

When will you discern? When the tares have grown up and they have ripened and you can now see what’s what. Before, you couldn’t quite see, because the tares and the wheat are very similar in their original growth. Have you been through a field? When they grow together you can’t see which one is which. “But in the day when I gather My jewels, then shall you return and discern between the righteous and the wicked.” This is all a nice story, but it’s not a very nice and pleasant experience, let me warn you. When the wheat is gathered to the barn and the angels are separating the wheat from the tares and the tares are bundled together to burn; what does it say?

Malachi 4:1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

These are people; they are people that we know. They are people that we have relationships with – the wheat and the tares. In the time of the harvest we will discern between those that serve Him and those that serve Him not.

The tares closely resembled the wheat while the blades were green; but when the field was white for the harvest, the worthless weeds bore no likeness to the wheat that bowed under the weight of its full, ripe heads. Sinners who make a pretension of piety mingle for a time with the true followers of Christ,

This is the meaning of the parable. Sinners? But we are all sinners, aren’t we? Yes, but those who make a pretension of piety mingle for a time with the true followers of Christ,

…and the semblance of Christianity is calculated to deceive many; but in the harvest of the world there will be no likeness between good and evil. Then those who have joined the church, but who have not joined Christ, will be manifest. {COL 74.3}

“But when we joined the church I thought we joined Christ.” Not always. You might have your names on the church books, but you might not have them in the books of heaven. You can’t pretend with God.

The tares are permitted to grow among the wheat, {COL 74.4}

Why?

…to have all the advantage of sun and shower; {COL 74.4}

To have the advantage of the beautiful love and the provisions of God. They are there because of that. God says, I want you to receive all My blessings; I want to save you.

…but in the time of harvest ye shall “return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not.” Mal. 3:18. Christ Himself will decide who are worthy to dwell with the family of heaven. He will judge every man according to his words and his works. {COL 74.4}

Remember: “I know your works.”

Profession is as nothing in the scale. It is character that decides destiny. {COL 74.4}

Profession, if it is not followed by character, is of no value. For us who live in the time of the end now, what inter-relationship is to be expected in the church with this scenario? What do we expect in the church that professes to be God’s church?

Galatians 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for [it is] time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. 13 Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.

Do you notice that there is a little message of hope here? “If you have done some wrong sowing, remember, I am not mocked. What you sow you shall also reap.” Now He says, “Seeing that you have done that, come on, re-cultivate your ground again. The tares are there, dig them out of your heart, and sow in your heart righteousness. I am not mocked, what you sow, you shall also reap. I can see what you are doing. Behold, I love you; I am rebuking you and I want you to make a new start.” That is what He is saying. “I don’t want you to be among the tares. I am going to judge in the last day.” What is He going to judge? He is going to judge profession versus character. Many of us think that when He judges He is going to be standing there directing each one to which side he must go. This is not what God is like. It is going to be discerned by everybody. That is how it works. What you sow, you will reap.

In other words, “if you are not going to sow righteousness, you are going to make a profession, and then, in the harvest time, when I make a judgment, you are going to demonstrate what you are like.” That is the way God works. He is not an arbitrator. Many people have thought that God is an arbitrator. No. What we sow will produce its fruit; and the fruit will be the arbitration. This is what God is like. I love Him. I love the way His mind works. It is so different to the way our mind works. He is a God to be awed with such a mind.

What is He going to judge? The character. And He is going to reveal it by the way He judges.

God is long-suffering and patient. He reproves and warns the erring, but He does not destroy those who are long in learning the lesson He would teach them; He does not uproot the tares from the wheat. Tares and wheat are to grow together till the harvest; when the wheat comes to its full growth and development, and because of its character when ripened, it will be fully distinguished from the tares. {TM 45.2}

Because of its character – When God judges in the time of the harvest, the angels are going to separate because the fruit, the character, will be discerned. God’s people in the church are going to go through very strange experiences as this happens. That is what we want to get very clear in our mind. At the beginning the blades look so much the same. But later on, things change.

In the Church

We will now go into some details of application of this object lesson in the living reality, as it actually is in the church.

As the tares have their roots closely intertwined with those of the good grain, so false brethren in the church may be closely linked with true disciples. {COL 72.1}

Here is the relationship. Can you see the detail? False brother? I love him? I am entwined with him? Yes, that is a relationship. And you may not discern that he is a false brother. As I study this with you, does it look like I am starting to become suspicious of my brethren? That is almost what it seems like, doesn’t it? But no, don’t be suspicious. You don’t need to be suspicious. God knows whether he is a false brother, you don’t. He is going to show you as time goes on. So leave it with Him, don’t you be suspicious. That is very important.

The real character of these pretended believers is not fully manifested. Were they to be separated from the church, others might be caused to stumble, who but for this would have remained steadfast. {COL 72.1}

If we start to become suspicious of each other and we start to say, “Hey you, I think you’re a Judas,” and we start to create rifts, and others say, “But I don’t believe he is a Judas, I believe he is a lovely follower of Jesus Christ,” and the other person says, “No, out,” then the other person may say, “Well, if he is going to go out, then I go out too.” This is the relationship problem. Jesus says, Don’t do that. The false and the true will grow together until the real character is manifested. Both worship and both engage with Jesus Christ. Did Judas engage with Jesus Christ? Who was he? He was a minister. Jesus Christ ordained him.

I received a phone call some days ago from someone who asked me, “Why did Jesus ordain Judas when He knew what he was like?” Is it wrong to ordain someone, to bring someone into the church when you may know that there is something a bit iffy about them? Relationships, you see, right to the depth of ordination. Jesus knew, but did the disciples know? We are now going into the actual relationship interactivities which we must be aware of, so that when we dwell together with tares and wheat, we bear in mind that the Lord knows each one of us but we don’t know each other; so don’t start becoming suspicious, because if you do you will create a problem. Let the Lord deal with that.

John and Judas are representatives of those who profess to be Christ’s followers. {AA 558.1}

Do you love Apostle John? and Judas?

Both these disciples had the same opportunities to study and follow the divine Pattern. Both were closely associated with Jesus and were privileged to listen to His teaching. Each possessed serious defects of character; and each had access to the divine grace that transforms character. But while one in humility was learning of Jesus, the other revealed that he was not a doer of the word, but a hearer only. One, daily dying to self and overcoming sin, was sanctified through the truth; the other, {AA 558.1}

What was he doing?

…resisting the transforming power of grace and indulging selfish desires, was brought into bondage to Satan. {AA 558.1}

This is what Jesus was doing with His church. John of course, like the disciples, thought, Jesus ordained me; I am the son of thunder, oh, Jesus has really showed me up. Jesus said, One of you is a devil. Both of them could have said, Oh Lord, show me, where am I wrong? But Judas knew that He was talking about him, and he grumbled. Do you ever do that? Do you ever do that when a word of rebuke is spoken to you? Jesus loved Judas; and He spoke in a such way that Judas could feel the rebuke and at the same time realise that Jesus loved him. As you hear God speaking to you in the messages of rebuke and counsel, what do you do inside of yourself? Do you say, “Now that is going a bit too far”? But who said it? Was it Jesus that said it? Is Jesus real? “Do I really have to do that? I don’t like it.” This is the way that Jesus is working. The disciples were all in the same arena, and so is God’s church in the last days. We see it perfectly illustrated in the following statement, how the disciples really loved Judas. He was better than the fisherman. Who was he? A scribe; he was a learned man, brought up amongst the Pharisees. Of course! He was one of the men who had been trained in the seminaries. “Of course he is much better than we are, come on Jesus, let us use him!”

While Jesus was preparing the disciples for their ordination, one who had not been summoned urged his presence among them. It was Judas Iscariot, a man who professed to be a follower of Christ. He now came forward, soliciting a place in this inner circle of disciples. With great earnestness and apparent sincerity he declared, “Master, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest.” Jesus neither repulsed nor welcomed him, but uttered only the mournful words: “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.” Matt. 8:19, 20. {DA 293.2}

He was trying to turn Judas off.

Judas believed Jesus to be the Messiah; {DA 293.2}

What was his desire?

…and by joining the apostles, he hoped to secure a high position in the new kingdom. This hope Jesus designed to cut off by the statement of His poverty. {DA 293.2}

The disciples were anxious that Judas should become one of their numbers. He was of commanding appearance, a man of keen discernment and executive ability, {DA 294.1}

Don’t you like people like that in the church?

…and they commended him to Jesus as one who would greatly assist Him in His work. They were surprised that Jesus received him so coolly. {DA 294.1}

The disciples had been much disappointed that Jesus had not tried to secure the co-operation of the leaders in Israel. They felt that it was a mistake not to strengthen His cause by securing the support of these influential men. {DA 294.2}

That is exactly how Jesus deals with the angel of the church of Laodicea. He says to the leaders of the church, You are lukewarm. “Why are you talking to the leaders of the church like that? Why don’t you involve them?”

If He had repulsed Judas, they would, in their own minds, have questioned the wisdom of their Master. The after history of Judas would show them the danger of allowing any worldly consideration to have weight in deciding the fitness of men for the work of God. The co-operation of such men as the disciples were anxious to secure would have betrayed the work into the hands of its worst enemies. {DA 294.2}

Yet when Judas joined the disciples, he was not insensible to the beauty of the character of Christ. He felt the influence of that divine power which was drawing souls to the Saviour. {DA 294.3}

He was amazed at Jesus, and he was attracted to Him.

The Saviour read the heart of Judas; He knew the depths of iniquity to which, unless delivered by the grace of God, Judas would sink. {DA 294.3}

God takes men as they are, with the human elements in their character, and trains them for His service, if they will be disciplined and learn of Him. They are not chosen because they are perfect, but notwithstanding their imperfections, that through the knowledge and practice of the truth, through the grace of Christ, they may become transformed into His image. {DA 294.4}

Whoever you are, He takes you, and He wants to change you. He says, Break over your fallow ground, sow righteousness. Judas, I want you to turn your heart over.

Judas had the same opportunities as had the other disciples. He listened to the same precious lessons. But the practice of the truth, which Christ required, was at variance with the desires and purposes of Judas, {DA 294.5}

Are the things that Jesus is saying to you at variance with your desires and purposes? That is what Judas went through.

…and he would not yield his ideas in order to receive wisdom from Heaven. {DA 294.5}

Judas was doing what the seven women of Isaiah 4 are doing, “No, I don’t like to dress the way you want me to dress, I don’t want to eat what you want me to eat; I am going to do what I would like to do, but I’ll still be a follower of you, like Judas.”

How tenderly the Saviour dealt with him who was to be His betrayer! {DA 295.1} 

How carefully He worked with him.

A Living Example

Observe the internal relationships. We are now looking at a living example of the relationships inside of the church that will be the relationships of the wheat and the tares at the end.

The apostles differed widely in habits and disposition. There were the publican, Levi-Matthew, and the fiery zealot Simon, the uncompromising hater of the authority of Rome; the generous, impulsive Peter, and the mean-spirited Judas; Thomas, truehearted, yet timid and fearful, Philip, slow of heart, and inclined to doubt, and the ambitious, outspoken sons of Zebedee, with their brethren. {DA 296.2}

They were all different. Aren’t we all different?

These were brought together, with their different faults, all with inherited and cultivated tendencies to evil; {DA 296.2}

Do you stumble over each other’s faults? Do you get annoyed about another person’s faults? They did too. They even complained about Jesus.

…but in and through Christ they were to dwell in the family of God, learning to become one in faith, in doctrine, in spirit. They would have their tests, their grievances, their differences of opinion; {DA 296.2}

Do you like that? As soon as somebody has got a different opinion to you, what do you do? “Grrr… “

…but while Christ was abiding in the heart, there could be no dissension. His love would lead to love for one another; the lessons of the Master would lead to the harmonizing of all differences, bringing the disciples into unity, till they would be of one mind and one judgment. {DA 296.2}

It doesn’t happen like that, in a moment.

Christ is the great center, and they would approach one another just in proportion as they approached the center. {DA 296.2}

Isn’t that beautiful? There was a time when Jesus was preaching, and He said, I am the bread of life, if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever. The seventy left Jesus after this event, but what did Judas do?

Christ’s discourse in the synagogue concerning the bread of life was the turning point in the history of Judas. {DA 719.1}

The disciples didn’t know that this was happening in his heart.

He heard the words, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.” John 6:53. He saw that Christ was offering spiritual rather than worldly good. He regarded himself as farsighted, {DA 719.1}

He was a very keen thinker,

…and thought he could see that Jesus would have no honor, and that He could bestow no high position upon His followers. He determined not to unite himself so closely to Christ but that he could draw away. He would watch. And he did watch. {DA 719.1}

He became suspicious. What did he start doing from that time? Now something is beginning to show amongst the disciples, and they weren’t quite discerning it yet. But notice how it happens; here is the relationship between the wheat and the tares:

From that time he expressed doubts that confused the disciples. He introduced controversies and misleading sentiments, {DA 719.2}

We are dealing with the relationship between the wheat and tares. When you are all happy studying God’s word together, yes, it is cutting across your own opinion, but it’s Jesus speaking, it’s fine; but then all of a sudden someone comes and says, Do you really believe that? That is what Judas did. Careful, now you can begin to see, the tare is working.

…repeating the arguments urged by the scribes and Pharisees against the claims of Christ. All the little and large troubles and crosses, the difficulties and the apparent hindrances to the advancement of the gospel, Judas interpreted as evidences against its truthfulness. He would introduce texts of Scripture that had no connection with the truths Christ was presenting. {DA 719.2}

This is how it happens.

These texts, separated from their connection, perplexed the disciples, and increased the discouragement that was constantly pressing upon them. Yet all this was done by Judas in such a way as to make it appear that he was conscientious. And while the disciples were searching for evidence to confirm the words of the Great Teacher, Judas would lead them almost imperceptibly on another track. {DA 719.2}

They were trying to see and make sure for themselves that this was the Messiah, and Judas was saying, “Look at this. See that? That can’t be right.”

Thus in a very religious, and apparently wise, way he was presenting matters in a different light from that in which Jesus had given them, and attaching to His words a meaning that He had not conveyed. His suggestions were constantly exciting an ambitious desire for temporal preferment, and thus turning the disciples from the important things they should have considered. The dissension as to which of them should be greatest was generally excited by Judas. {DA 719.2}

He was the one who was behind it all. In the whole sad scenario the consequence of this evil procedure began to bear fruit. These are the realities of the relationship between the wheat and the tares as it arrives at the harvest time. Judas was coming to his harvest time. The disciples were coming to their harvest time. We are here learning the powerful lesson for us in our harvest time of the end of the world.

I tell you, my brethren, the Lord has an organized body through whom He will work. There may be more than a score of Judases among them, {3SM 17.3}

How many? More than a score. What is a score? Twenty. There might be in the church more Judases than faithful people.

…there may be a rash Peter who will under circumstances of trial deny his Lord. There may be persons represented by John whom Jesus loved, but he may have a zeal that would destroy men’s lives by calling down fire from heaven upon them to revenge an insult to Christ and the truth. But the great Teacher seeks to give lessons of instruction to correct these existing evils. He is doing the same today with His church. He is pointing out their dangers. He is presenting before them the Laodicean message. {3SM 17.3}

“I know you, wake up, your works are not right.” But if you listen to Judas, he will say, Don’t pay any attention to that. Then came the harvest. What was the harvest like in the time of Judas and the disciples? What was the relationship when Judas had finally revealed his true character? What did he do to Jesus? Did he not deliver Jesus to His enemies? How will more than a score of Judases reveal themselves in the last days? Our own brethren?

The Angels

The messages of Revelation 14:6-13 and Revelation 18:1-4 are the three angels’ messages and the fourth angel. What did Jesus say about the harvest? who is going to do the separating? The angels. These messages of Revelation 14 and 18 are testing messages that come from Jesus, and whether the people are going to listen to them is the issue. He identifies the beast, and his image; and he identifies those that keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus. That is the testing message that is bundling the wheat and the tares.

I then saw the third angel. Said my accompanying angel, “Fearful is his work. Awful is his mission. He is the angel that is to select the wheat from the tares, and seal, or bind, the wheat for the heavenly garner. These things should engross the whole mind, the whole attention.”{EW 118.1}

This should occupy the whole mind and the whole attention because we are living in the time of the harvest. When the fellowship in the church goes through the experiences similar to what happened with Judas and the disciples, what are we going to expect in this time when these messages are really doing their work?

Some in the church will prove to be false brethren; their faith, their love, their patience, their constancy will be tested and tried; and if they are not rooted and grounded in the truth, if they are not filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ unto the glory and the praise of God, they will become offended at reproofs and warnings, will not humble their souls before God, and will go back and walk no more with those who love the truth. {RH, December 11, 1888 par. 15}

That is what the harvest time will do. How will they manifest themselves? They will say, “I can’t stay with you anymore, I am set up to my throat with your behavior of following all these things that I can’t see are right; I’ve tried to tell you all this time that it’s wrong, it’s wrong. I can’t stay here.”

Do not be surprised if great changes are made. Do not wonder if the men who felt themselves capable of handling the consciences of their fellowman, and of controlling the minds and talents God has given them should go back, and walk no more with these who believe the truth. {ChL 64.3}

How do they reveal themselves? They are people who are so capable and astute that they want to rule your mind. They want to control your Christian behaviour. They will walk no longer with those who love the truth.

The truth makes too great a demand upon them. When they see that they must die to self, and practice the principles of self-denial, they are displeased because they cannot gratify their ambitious desire to rule other men. Their true characters will appear. {ChL 64.3}

What is their true character? Jesus said, You are not to be like the Gentiles, where the princes rule over them. That is the Gentiles; and if you are going to behave yourself like the Gentiles, to rule over the flock of God, then this is not the character of heaven.

Some will make total shipwreck of the faith. “They went out from us, but they were not of us,” said John, and so it will be again. {ChL 64.3}

Hold fast to the truth, the precious, sanctifying truth. You are then in the best of company, {ChL 64.4}

You want to be in the best company? Be with those who cling to Jesus and the truth of the three angels’ messages.

…and the very highest intelligences are beholding your course of action. You are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. Under provocation, your work is to hold the faith and a good conscience, “Which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.”–Letter 17, 1897 (April 7, 1897). {ChL 64.4}

Here comes the separation in the time of the harvest. The separation takes place because these people can’t stand it anymore. The three angels’ messages and all their purity are too much. They can’t rule you, and they can’t keep up with the pace. But if there are more than a score of Judases in the church, what about the remnant? What will the Judases do?

Kings, governors, and great men will hear of you through the reports of those who are at enmity with you, and your faith and character will be misrepresented before them. {Mar 253.2}

They will do exactly what Judas did; they will deliver us to the authorities. That is what they will do.

As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren. When Sabbathkeepers are brought before the courts to answer for their faith, these apostates are the most efficient agents of Satan to misrepresent and accuse them, and by false reports and insinuations to stir up the rulers against them. {GC 608.2}

We will be in the courts, because we will be brought to the attention of men who don’t know us by our own former brethren who don’t want to be part of us anymore. They will do what Judas did to Jesus. That is what happens in the time of the harvest. These are the relationship tangles that God’s church is going to go through, and is going through. The text of Isaiah 66:5 qualifies this experience perfectly. These are people who are still professing Christianity. They are still part of the church. What will they do?

Isaiah 66:5 Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word;

The ones who are really honest with God, what do they do? They tremble at His word.

Isaiah 66:5 …Your brethren that hated you [the more than a score of Judases], that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified:

“Praise the Lord! These people are out.” They will disown us; they will claim that we are disturbers of the peace. They will say, “You are causing dissension, you are causing trouble. Get out of here.” This is what will happen because you are following what is written and the others don’t want to follow what is written.

Those who are faithful sentinels will be charged by the world as being the disturbers of its peace, they will be charged with stirring up strife and with creating divisions. But they will only be bearing the reproach that fell on Christ. {RH, July 24, 1894 par. 5}

That’s all. If this happens to us, we are following in the footsteps of Jesus.

The opposition which Christ received came from his own nation [His own church], who would have been greatly blessed had they accepted him. In like manner the remnant church receive opposition from those who profess to be their brethren. {RH, August 28, 1883 par. 13}

The remnant church receives opposition from their own brethren. Are you now getting the picture of what the remnant church is? Their own church organisation will push out the faithful people, and they, the faithful ones, are the remnant church, not those who have pushed them out. They will cast you out and say, Let the Lord be glorified!

Isaiah 66:5 …but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

In the time of the harvest, the final burning hasn’t taken place yet, it is just a separation. But when the final burning comes, what will they say? The relationship between the wheat and the tares appears like it stops there, but it doesn’t yet. After the separation has taken place, the relationship between the wheat and the tares continues. What will the tares say when the separation takes place and the shame is being revealed?

Jeremiah 8:20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.

They knew the truth, but now the circumstances have come around, like with Judas. Judas recognised, Oh no. And what did he do? He hung himself. They won’t have time to hang themselves because there will be plenty of trouble falling down around their ears. What will they do with the wheat that are still visible before them? They are still in relationship with some of the wheat. In this terrible time, after the close of probation, when it is ready to burn, this is what will happen:

Revelation 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews [those who claim they are Christians], and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. 

“They threw you out, and now I am going to show them.” Here is the relationship of the wheat and the tares when it is too late:

The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus’ new name. At our happy, holy state the wicked were enraged, and would rush violently up to lay hands on us to thrust us into prison [just like Judas caused the Pharisees to do to Jesus], when we would stretch forth the hand in the name of the Lord, and they would fall helpless to the ground. {EW 15.1}

Do you remember that this is what happened with Jesus? Peter cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant, and Jesus said, Don’t do that; put your sword back in the sheath. Then the mob came there and His glory shone through and they all fell to the ground. It is going to happen again to God’s people.

Then it was that the synagogue of Satan knew that God had loved us who could wash one another’s feet and salute the brethren with a holy kiss, and they worshiped at our feet. {EW 15.1}

The love of the brethren – Remember, By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. The faithful remnant church, the people who are the loyal ones of Jesus, in their relationship with their false brethren in the time of the harvest and the time of separation, they will relate together in such a way that Jesus will now come to their glory and joy. He will come to those faithful few, while the other ones say, “It’s all over. Oh dear, you are right, and I’ve been wrong. It’s too late.”

We worship a God who is a master of relationships. He can orchestrate human beings until they will show their true characters. Let us enter into a deep, lasting relationship with Him. Be honest with Him, don’t mock Him, He knows us. If we will submit to Him, He will take us through to glory through these terrible times. He will satisfy our relationship longings when friends, relatives and false Christians forsake us.

Amen.

 

Posted on October 17, 2009, in Relationships in the Last Days, The Shaking and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Lydia,
    I agree with your findings that Sis. White although the reprover of the brethren never suggested anyone leave the church because of the apostasy in it. She said much of the opposite, speaking on behalf of God’s methods to guide the church from the helm and no need for anyone else to do this work be just be faithful.

    Those who leave are those who are shaken out. We are Seventh-day Adventists, denominated by God. If we who are faithful leave then Satan will have what He wants for there will not be a people to be the church or Israel of God.

    In regards to the wheat and tares it is the messages job to separate them, during the increase of knowledge (testing) in Dan 12.

    Sis White would not have left because of the war, because there was need of faithful people to show that all did not agree with what some of the leaders were doing. The quote that you referred to Ariadne, about the railroad depot, though heresy is really talking about the Sunday Law. Cross reference theses thoughts with her writings and you will find this to be true. “They prayed earnestly for the aid of the Holy Spirit which was poured out upon them making them fully ready for service. They then went forth, fair as the moon, clear as the sun and terrible as an army with banners, to give the message to all the world.” She describes these situations when describing the Loud Cry.

    At the Sunday Law the corporation will be over, This is the time of harvest. Even if every leader is faithful there will be an ability to shut down the corporation. At the Sunday Law those who have been sealed will receive the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit. Those who are in Jerusalem will go out and do the service of calling the sheep not of this fold into the Purified Seventh-day Adventist church.

    That is the only way that the Bible and SOP explain it happening. Those who leave and are not faithfully in Jerusalem giving the message as Jeremiah did in chapter 7, if they choose to leave are rejecting the SOP and the Bible.

    Jesus told the disciples to remain in Jerusalem until they receive power. It is not our job to start any “new organizations”.

    For more information please read the quotes from SOP on the church being Babylon. Because all the speculating that Sis White would leave even though she never did is another way to say that the church is now Babylon and it is time to come out of her… this she says will never be, it is the sinners who are shaken out of Zion who leave.

    We have the promise that not the least wheat will fall to the ground.

  2. I was addressing the quotes that were taken out of context from Manuscript Release Vol 17 article. Ellen White did not leave God’s professed people because she had a message to them from the Lord.

    Ellen White had her share of grief concerning the SDA Church. She wrote that the experiences of ancient Israel paralleled the experiences of modern-day Israel especially as they are on the borders of heavenly Canaan. These experiences are brought about by rebellion against God.

    I’m not going to list the apostasies that are rampant in the SDA Church today, but one thing that will happen in the end is that Sunday-keeping will be urged upon Adventists by Adventists:

    “The Lord has a controversy with his professed people in the last days. In this controversy men in responsible position will take a course directly opposite to that pursued by Nehemiah. They will not only ignore and despise the Sabbath themselves, but they will try to keep it from others by burying it beneath the rubbish of custom and tradition. In churches and in large gatherings in the open air, ministers will urge upon the people the necessity of keeping the first day of the week.” Review & Herald, March 18, 1884.

    But, like I always said: God is never without a Church. His Church is a little flock, faithful and true, versus the large class in Adventism who is like a ship going out to sea without chart or compass.

  3. Upon reading the whole section of Manuscript Release, Vol 17, I found the quotations that were used to support the idea that Ellen White left God’s professed people is not true. These quotes were excerpts from a letter Ellen White wrote to her two sons. Edson and Willie were heading the work in the Southern field, and they were not getting the help they needed from the Conference. For years, the SDA leaders had neglected this part of the Lord’s vineyard. Ellen White was perplexed about this neglect.

    If the letter is read in context, you’d find that Ellen White was instructed by the Lord to have nothing to do with controversy, dissension and strife because these bring darkness and discouragement to her. She was to avoid all council meetings where there was dissension and where the men would not obey God or give credence to His Word or pay heed to her counsel. Notice that she was NOT TOLD to abandon ship but to “Speak the truth in faith and love, leaving the result with God. The work is not yours, but the Lord’s. In all your communications, speak as one to whom the Lord has spoken. He is your authority, and He will give you His sustaining grace.”

    Further on in her letter she wrote: “The light I have for our ministers is: Seek God; stop your whisperings and your evil surmisings instigated by Satan, and see if the love of God will not fill heart and soul. And I will go on with my writing. This is the light given me, and I shall not depart from it.” {17MR 65.3}

    The letter didn’t sound like she left God’s professed people. The date of the letter to Edson and Willie was December 2, 1902. Ellen White had dealings with the SDA Church all the way till her death in 1915.

  4. Ellen White left the gatherings of the professed people… I have a work to do, and I am now making decisions. I must remain away from conference meetings. I must not attend camp meetings. The spirit of drawing apart, as the result of judging one another, has become so common, and the churches are becoming so leavened with this spirit, that I have no desire to attend these meetings. After returning from them, it is often weeks before I am able to take up my neglected work. {17MR 64.2}

    I am thrown into perplexity over their course; and I desire now to attend to my special work, to have no part in any of their councils, and to attend no camp-meetings, nigh nor afar off. My mind shall not be dragged into confusion by the tendency they manifest to work directly contrary to the light that God has given me. I am done. I will preserve my God given intelligence. {17MR 64.3} Jesus left [DA 232 & 626.9] Heb 13:12-13. Thx Lg

    • And I think THEY were wheat. I recall too, that there are many steps to the OLD way of harvesting the grain before it is gathered intot he barn! We are in the bundling stages now. And those who are gathered into sheaves, [wheat] are being threshed. Chaff remeoved, getting it ready for the barn.
      thx 4 lettin me share.

  1. Pingback: 3. La relation entre le blé et l’ivraie | Sermons du Sabbat

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