THE PARABLE OF THE WHEAT AND TARES
The day of the Lord is a period of time during which several things will
There is one second arrival of Jesus; one return; one coming.
That coming is a presence (parousia) in the vicinity of the earth for a
period of time designated as "the day of the Lord."
It will begin with the arrival of Jesus in the clouds of the sky with power
and great glory. Mat. 24:29-30
This event will begin the time period designated as "the end of the age."
The DOL summary
At this time, He will send forth His angels and gather HIS elect out from
the earth and they will take them "unto the farthest end of heaven" (Mat.
24:31; Mark 13:27).
This will leave behind on the earth ONLY unbelievers as is seen at Mat.
Afterwards, many people will believe in Christ such as the 144k Jewish bond
servants of Rev. 7:1-8.
His second coming is taught by Jesus DIRECTLY in two specific sessions.
(1) The Olivet Discourse: Mat. 24:30-42 with Mat. 25 (Luke 17:34-36; Mark
On April 11th or 12th.
(2) The upper room: John 14:1-3; 2 or 3 days after Olivet, on the night of
(April 14, but after 6PM it is the 15th).
And He taught about His second coming indirectly in four parables.
1. Mat. 24:43-44 (Luke 12:39-40)
2. Mat. 24:45-51 (Luke 12:42-46)
3. Mat. 25:1-13
4. Luke 12:35-38 (Mark 13:33-36)
During the same period of time that is His second coming or PRESENCE, after
God's wrathful judgments are completed, all unbelievers will be removed from
the earth, which will leave only believers to go alive into the earthly
This is known specifically based on the Old Testament prophecies. It was not
taught by Jesus.
There will be the removal of unbelieving Jews from the believers so that
only believers will remain. Ezek. 20:33-38; 34:17-23
And there will be the removal of unbelieving Gentiles from the believers so
that only believers will go alive into the earthly Davidic kingdom.
Zech. 14:16; Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:10; 60:14
The parabolic teaching at Mat. 25:31-46 does not teach this directly.
It views the removal of unbelievers out from believers PRIOR to the earthly
But it views their respective destinies as ETERNAL and does not see the
believers going into an earthly kingdom.
The "kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" is the
However, the believers in view do in fact go into the earthly kingdom first.
This simply is not the destiny that Jesus is talking about.
Also, the destiny of the unbeliever is eternal in focus and not the
temporary place of judgment in Hades.
See commentary: Mat. 25:31-46
THE FINAL SEPARATION AND JUDGMENT
After the battle of Armageddon, before the start of the 1000-year earthly
Davidic kingdom, Satan will be bound and not have any contact with or
influence on the people. Rev. 20:2-3.
During that earthly kingdom, people will be born to the believing
population. As these new members of the earthly kingdom are born and grow
up, many will not trust in Jesus as the Savior through the influence from
their self-centered sin nature. These will become spiritual and moral rebels
against God. Thus, at the end of the 1000 years, there will be a vast
majority of the people who will be easily swayed by Satan when he is
released from his prison and tries one last time to defeat the plan of God.
When "the 1000 years are completed," Satan will attack the throne of God in
Jerusalem. He and all the rebellious nations that follow him will be
destroyed in one swell swoop by fire coming down from the sky. Rev 20:7-9.
This end of the millennial kingdom is also the end of mortal humanity's
existence in the universe.
At this time any surviving unbelievers will be removed from the earth and
ALL unbelievers from all of history will appear before the great white
throne to establish their eternal destiny of separation from God in the lake
of fire. Rev. 20:11-15.
Jesus viewed this final separation of unbelievers from believers as an event
that basically covers all of human history, and will occur DURING the period
of time designated as "the end of the age," and specifically right after the
earthly kingdom comes to an end.
Throughout all of history believers and unbelievers have lived side by side,
intermingling within the various nations and societies. This will also be
the condition during the earthly kingdom after it exists for many years.
Evil has been progressing and God's plan has been progressing according to
His perfect wisdom and timing, so that ultimately all evil will be exposed
and judged (Psalm 92:5-9); and the righteous standards of God will dominate
the universe. Jesus illustrated this with the parables of the leaven and the
mustard seed. Mat. 13:31-33.
Jesus used two parables to teach that ultimately all unbelievers will be
removed from the midst of living believers, and be assigned to the furnace
(lake) of fire.
(1) the parable of the wheat and tares.
(2) the parable of the dragnet.
THE PARABLE OF THE WHEAT AND TARES
Mat. 13:24-30, 36-43
"The kingdom of the heavens is compared to (like)."
The Greek is homoioō as an aorist passive indicative.
The meaning is that the kingdom of heaven can be understood by comparing it
with this illustration (parable).
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN/GOD
The terms kingdom of heaven (of the heavens) and of God are interchangeable
and refer to the same thing.
Mat. 19:23-24; Mat. 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:15.
The integral (intrinsic and fundamental) kingdom of God has existed from
eternity past as God's absolute authority, power and viewpoint.
Psalm 145:13 declares this absolutely. Although the term "kingdom of God"
does not occur here or anywhere in the OT, it is certainly referring to
God's kingdom. Psalm 10:16; 29:10; Dan. 4:3.
The kingdom of God in the Gospels refers to God's authority, power and
viewpoint as evidenced in the person of Christ and His teachings, and as the
sphere of existence that one becomes a part of through faith in Christ.
It does not refer to the earthly kingdom promised to the nation of Israel.
Jesus did not offer the earthly kingdom to Israel, nor did He teach about
the earthly kingdom.
He always had in mind the integral or spiritual kingdom of God.
"Unless one is born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
See topic: kingdom of God
Although we know that there will be such a removal of the unbelievers from
the believers just before the earthly Davidic kingdom is established, the
parable of the wheat and tares does not have that time period in view.
This is NOT a second coming parable. It has NOTHING to do with the second
There is no mention of the second coming in the parable.
There is no mention of the 1000 year earthly kingdom in the parable.
It is an "end of the age" parable.
This parable looks at human history IN GENERAL.
It has no reference to any dispensation or race.
IN GENERAL humanity exists on the earth in the realm of God's authority -
the kingdom of God.
Psalm 145:13, "Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And Your dominion endures throughout all generations."
Daniel 4:34-35, "For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
35 All the inhabitants of the earth are of no account,
But He does according to His will among the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can fend off His hand
Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’
1Chron. 29:11-12, Yours, Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the
victory, and the majesty,
indeed everything that is in the heavens and on the earth; Yours is the
and You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from
You, and You rule over all,
and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great
and to strengthen everyone.
THE END OF THE AGE
This parable sees the end of human history as "the end of the age."
Jesus often referred to "this age," "THE age," "the age to come," and "the
end of the age."
In the context of His teachings, the term "end of the age," refers to the
TRANSITIONAL PERIOD of time between this "earthly" age and the "eternal" age
The PERIOD of time that is "the end of the age" is the SAME period of time
as THE DAY OF THE LORD.
It BEGINS at the second coming of Jesus, when He arrives in the clouds of
the sky with power and great glory (Mat. 24:30), and it will END with the
creation of the new heavens and earth after the conclusion of the 1000 year
earthly kingdom (2Peter 3:10-13) and after the last judgment (Rev. 21:1).
See Topic: The day of the Lord
DURING the time period of "the end of the age" and "the day of the Lord"
there will be several phases.
(1) The arrival of the end of the age when Jesus will return.
(2) The first phase of God's resurrection program through the rapture.
(3) The re-institution of the stewardship of national Israel - the national
priesthood administered by the 144k Jewish bond servants.
(4) The day of the Lord judgments.
(5) The establishment of the earthly Davidic kingdom - the kingdom
(6) The last judgment.
(7) The creation of the new heavens and earth.
See Topic: AGES
All throughout human history believers and unbelievers have lived together
on the earth.
As seen above, Jesus used the term, "this age" to refer to the whole of
IN GENERAL human history began with believers only (Adam and Ishah).
This is the good seed in the parable.
The Sower is the Son of Man who is the "Savior of the world." He is the
Messiah, Who from the beginning through the Messianic promise that was first
stated at Gen. 3:15, saves those who believe.
IN GENERAL as people were born and grew up, some became believers and some
The evil one is the devil who is the primary adversary of God. All
throughout history it is primarily his influence that "has blinded the minds
of the unbelieving," even before the arrival of Christ at His first advent.
THE SONS OF THE EVIL ONE
Those who did not trust in the Messianic promise are the bad seed that lived
and thrived among the believers
throughout human history. 1John 3:10; John 8:44
THE END OF THE AGE
As shown above, the end of the age is a PERIOD of time that begins with the
second coming of Jesus and will end after the last judgment and the creation
of a new heavens and earth.
But in this parable, it refers to an event that immediately follows the end
of the 1000 year earthly Davidic kingdom.
OUT OF HIS KINGDOM
They will gather out of His kingdom.
This does not refer to the earthly kingdom. Jesus never mentioned the
earthly Davidic kingdom. He never taught anything about it. The context
indicates that this is a separation that results in FINAL destinies for both
the believer and the unbeliever. It refers to the whole world as that which
is part of God's whole realm of authority. "The earth is the Lord's and all
it contains; the world and those who dwell in it." Psalm 24:1
Two categories of sinfulness are mentioned.
(1) stumbling blocks: This is from the word, skandalon. It refers to
something that takes offense over something or stumbles over something. The
primary use of this word group in the NT, refers to those who are offended
by anything associated with Jesus and thus it refers to spiritual rejection
of his promise of salvation. Thus, spiritual rebels.
Skandalon: Rom. 9:33; 1Cor. 1:23; Gal. 5:11; 1Peter 2:8.
Skandalidzō: Mat. 11:6; 13:57; 15:12; 24:10; 26:31, 33; Mark 14:27, 29; Luke
7:23; John 6:61.
(2) those who commit the lawlessness: THE onomia refers to rejection of all
the moral and spiritual laws designed by God for the orderly function of the
human race. Thus, moral rebels.
THE FURNACE OF FIRE
At the end of the age, the angels will FIRST remove all the unbelievers out
from the world and they will be thrown into the furnace of fire. Since this
is a parable, it only gives a summary of the events involved.
The furnace of fire corresponds with the lake of fire at Rev. 20:14-15 and
"the everlasting fire" at Mat. 25:41.
Just before they are cast into the furnace, the souls of all unbelievers
will be resurrected in a new physical body. (Dan. 12:2; John 5:28-29; Acts
All these unbelievers will then appear before the great white throne of Rev.
20:11-15 where it will be shown that
(1) their works are inadequate to commend them to God, and
(2) their name is not in the book of life.
After their guilt has been established, they will all be cast into the lake
of fire to experience the pain of separation from God in their resurrected
physical bodies for all eternity. Rev. 14:10-11.
"In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
The expression "gnashing of teeth" only occurs 7 times in the Bible and
always in connection with the final disposition of the wicked ones when they
will be cast into the gehenna of fire (Matthew 8:12; 13:42; 13:50; 22:13;
24:51; 25:30; Luke 13:28). Since this action is a "physical" expression, it
seems to indicate a connection between the soul and the body as the
unbeliever experiences the "physical" torment that is described at Rev.
See topic: lake of fire
THE ETERNAL KINGDOM
Only believers will be left and they will shine forth in the kingdom of God
At this parabolic point at the end of the age, all believers, who had not as
yet received a resurrection body, will receive one and then ALL believers
will begin life in the eternal kingdom of God, residing in the New
Jerusalem. Rev. 21:1-7.
Verse 43, "then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of
This refers to the STATUS of the resurrected believers in the eternal
kingdom of God.
It has been suggested that this phrase is a reference to Daniel 12:3.
"And those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the
expanse of heaven,
and those who lead the many to righteousness like the stars forever and
This seems to refer to two aspects of glory for those who have wisdom.
(1) the wise ones will shine brightly as they proclaim truth during the
"time of distress" of verse 1.
Indeed, the functional Christians are called "the light of the world." Prov.
4:18; Mat. 5:14; Phil. 2:15-16
(2) those who lead to righteousness (will shine brightly) forever and ever.
This then refers to their
glorified status in the resurrection.
It is possible that "forever and ever" applies to both groups.
However, it seems intentional to refer to "the wise ones" that were
mentioned at Dan. 11:35 as the ones who teach truth to the Jews during the
time of distress.
But at the least, the second group is seen in a resurrection context and
that could be what Jesus referred to at Mat. 13:43.
THE PARABLE OF THE DRAGNET
Mat. 13:47-50. This parable teaches the very same thing and is clear in the
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea
and gathered fish of every kind; and when it was filled, they pulled it up
on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers,
but the bad they threw away. So it will be at the end of the age: the angels
will come forth and remove the wicked from among the righteous, and they
will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be
weeping and gnashing of teeth."
These two parables look at all of human history IN GENERAL without focusing
on any particular age or dispensation, but instead, look at the FINAL
disposition of people, which will occur after the mil kingdom as come to an
end, but without having the mil kingdom in view.
A. There is no COMING or RETURN mentioned.
B. The field/sea is the world of humanity in general and its final condition
at the end of the earthly kingdom.
C. The sons of the kingdom/good fish are those who have trusted in the
Messianic promise through faith in Jesus Christ.
D. The evil one is the devil who is the primary adversary of God, and is the
sower of the bad seed.
E. The sons of the evil one/bad fish are those who do not put faith in the
Messianic promise, which is fulfilled in the person and work of Jesus
Christ. 1John 3:10; John 8:44
F. The reapers/gatherers are angels who will remove the unbelievers out from
the believers so that only believers remain.
G. The unbelievers will appear at the great white throne judgment and then
go into the lake of fire. Rev. 20:11-15; 21:8.
H. The believers will go into the everlasting kingdom. Rev. 21:1-7
The parables teach a summary of what will happen to the wicked of the earth.
It is not the intent to see the FORMAL "great white throne" judgment.
The focus is on the two "eternal" destinies. That is, the eternal judgment
of the unbelievers and the eternal blessing of the believers.
The focus is also on "this age" in contrast with "the age to come."
That is, the end of this TEMPORAL earthly sphere of existence in contrast to
the ETERNAL sphere of existence that will come after.
This is what will occur at the last judgment of Rev. 20:11-15.
And at this time, "then comes the end when He delivers up the kingdom (the
kingdom of God) to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and
all authority and power." 1Cor. 15:24.
Some think that this refers to the earthly kingdom that Christ will rule
over for 1000 years. But there is nothing that requires this to be a
reference to the earthly kingdom, especially since it is not mentioned
anywhere else in Paul's writings.
Christ is the fulfillment of the seed promise who will restore the integral
kingdom of God to its complete authority and viewpoint. He accomplishes this
after the last judgment, and the "kingdom" that He hands "back" to the
Father is not an earthly kingdom but a universal and PURIFIED one.
This simply means that the "rift" in God's kingdom has now been resolved as
per God's plan from the very beginning as per Psalm 92:11. "when the wicked
sprouted up like grass, and all who did iniquity flourished, it was so that
they might be destroyed forevermore."
It fulfills the desire and prayer of believers who understand the plan of
God. Mat. 6:10. "May Your kingdom come, may Your will be done on earth as it
is in heaven." This will happen completely, only after the last judgment of
Rev. 20:11-15. But it is to be the desire of all believers that the
viewpoint (standards and policy) of God's kingdom be progressively spread
and promoted through the earth. This is as per the focus encouraged by Jesus
at Mat. 6:33.
"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness."
It is then, after Jesus presents the kingdom to the Father, that the result
will be, "God will be all things in all in all things." 1Cor. 15:28.
THEORY OF MILLENNIAL PREPARATION
Some suggest that these parables; this separation/removal of the unbeliever
out from the world/kingdom, refers to preparation before the establishment
of the Davidic earthly kingdom.
In that case, the removal of the unbelievers from the earth, and their
placement in the furnace of fire, would correspond with their placement in
torments in Hades, which happens to every unbeliever at the point of death
However, it is the FINAL destiny that is in view. "Cast into the furnace of
fire," seems to occur immediately upon their removal (which would include
appearance before the great white throne). In that case, it would have in
view the FINAL lake of fire, which will be their inheritance after the
millennial kingdom ends (Rev. 20:11-15; 21:8).
It is not torments in Hades, but it is the "eternal fire which has been
prepared for the devil and his angels." Mat. 25:41.
Likewise, it is the ETERNAL destiny of the believer that is in view and not
life in an earthly kingdom.
The two parables view all of human history as a single unit, and time when
this will be fulfilled is at the end of the 1000-year earthly kingdom. Jesus
consistently looked BEYOND the earthly Davidic kingdom and taught only
concerning THIS AGE and THE AGE TO COME.
The focus in these two parables is on this earthly life contrasted with the
The focus in these "end of the age" parables is the removal of all
unbelievers from the earth and their transfer to the furnace of fire (lake
of fire). There will then remain in the kingdom of God, ONLY the righteous;
those who have trusted in Christ as the Messiah.
The kingdom of God is not the earthly Davidic kingdom. It is the eternal
kingdom of 1Cor. 15:24-28.
The parables will be fulfilled AFTER the earthly kingdom and the last
From the time of "this age" UNTIL "the age to come" (the eternal age),
unbelievers will exist along side of believers.
It is AFTER the time PERIOD known as "the end of the age," that all
unbelievers will be removed from God's presence so that only believers will
remain to exist in the new heavens and earth. This is the eternal phase of