WEEDS – Deception of the Host in
Eden & The Harvest of Evil First in the End Times
Genesis 6:1-7; Matthew 13:24-30, and 36-43
Jesus, in Matthew 13, gives us seven parables which represent a picture of time, from Jesus spreading the Word 2,000 years ago (the first parable), to the harvest of souls at the end of the age, the judgment of God (the seventh parable). Today, we will explore the second parable – parable two of seven.
First, however, we should note some things about Jesus’ ministry, before we explore these parables. Note in Matthew 13:1-2, that this is when Jesus changes His direction. Up until now, His word was for the nation of Israel. But, here in Matthew 13:1, it says that Jesus goes out of the house (Israel – Matt. 11:20), and goes to the sea (“lake” in some translations, meaning to “all the nations” – Rev. 17:15). The phrase “went out of the house” is seen by Jewish scholars to mean Jesus left the Jewish household, and went to the lake or sea (the sea is the preferred translation), and “sea” is a metaphor for nations and peoples. Jesus is seen as now taking His message to all peoples. Note also, it is just after Jesus gave this parable to the disciples that they began to question Jesus’ method of teaching, because they thought that Jesus was the Savior of the Jewish people, so why is He reaching out to the Gentiles (the rest of the world)?
Note that in Matthew 13:9-10, that the disciples asked: “Why in parables?” Jesus answers that He wants those who desire a true relationship with God to search His Word, to get close to Him. The kingdom of God is for those who want to know Him and truly understand, those who spend time with God–these will discover the truth. If you love someone, you’ll want to spend time with them.
Jesus, in these parables, used the term “kingdom of heaven” and “mysteries of the kingdom of heaven”—Matthew 13:11. The mystery is…if God has authority over everything (Matt. 28:18), then why does evil seem to prevail here on earth? Jesus explains in these seven parables what happened to Paradise (Eden), and how evil exists in this world, and also how God will finally prevail over all evil and restore His kingdom back to Paradise. Actually, the kingdom of heaven is for us to enjoy right now—today—for those who are “born again” (John 3:1-7). For those who develop a relationship with God, we can enjoy peace of mind in this life, as well as an eternal life forever in His kingdom.
Matthew uses the term “kingdom of heaven,” while others use the term “kingdom of God.” Why the difference? There are a couple of explanations for this. One explanation defines the words “heaven” and “God,” and how the heavenly kingdom does not include this fallen earth…while at the same time, God’s kingdom is everywhere for those who put their faith in God. There will come a time when this earth will be re-made into a heavenly place once again, just as Eden was heaven on earth (Rev. 21:1-5). The other explanation is that Matthew was writing to the community of Jewish believers at the time when the Roman emperor was to be worshiped as “God,” and so as to not cause the followers of Jesus (God in the flesh), more trouble, he used the term “heaven” in place of “God.” A code you might say, that enabled the Jewish followers to openly worship “God in heaven” in public, without being in obvious rebellion to Rome’s false god here on earth.
Jesus gives us this second parable in Matthew13:24-30. Later on, after Jesus had given another parable, the disciples asked Jesus to go back and explain this parable of the weeds. The disciples were confused. Jesus explanation is recorded in Matthew 13:36-43. The disciples were confused, just as many are today, in trying to understand this parable. The traditional understanding of this parable is that this 2nd parable here in Matthew 13 is a continuation of the 1st parable about the seed (the word of God), where the seed (word of God), was being spread to four types of soil (types of people), and that only the “good” soil accepts the word (seed). The traditional understanding is that Jesus now starts this 2nd parable with the image of these “good” people from the 1st parable, in order to convey a message about how things get corrupted, and how people will be judged at the end of time. The problem with this traditional understanding is that Jesus uses the seed to represent the word of God in the 1st parable…But, in this 2nd parable, Jesus uses the seed to represent people, not the word of God (Matt. 13:38). Therefore, this 2nd parable here in Matthew 13 must be a unique parable, not connected to the 1st parable about the four soils. Furthermore, our modern translations translate the Greek word “man” (which is correctly translated in verse 24), as “everyone,” or “men” in verse 25…thus changing the meaning. The correct translation in the original Greek is “man,” just as it is used correctly in verse 24. Verse 25 should also state “man,” just as the Greek Amplified does. The disciples were confused, just as we are, and questions arise:
1) When was the field (the cosmos in the Greek—the “orderly arrangement”) all wheat (all righteous)? God (Son of man in verse 37—Col. 1:16-17), sowed only good seed (Matt. 13:24), but we know from Scripture that all of us enter this world (this age), as sinners from birth, even from conception–all weeds, no wheat (John 3:18; Rom. 3:10-12, 23).
2) When was it that seed for wheat became weeds? Obviously, the evil one scattered, or spread, his false teachings, and caused some of God’s creation (some of the host of creation), to deny God, and turn away from God, to become corrupted and changed (converted from wheat to weeds–the good to evil—Matt. 13:38). Many of the wheat became corrupted, and became unfruitful darnel (weeds).
Matthew 13:24-25, pictures God/Jesus (fully God), creating in Eden all good wheat (host of heaven), and this is followed by Satan causing the fall in Eden, when the host of heaven turned away from God (Rev. 12:1-4). Adam and Eve and Satan are the examples (Gen. 3).
Then, this 2nd parable shifts to this age in Matthew 13:26-30, where we are told these weeds are hard to distinguish from the wheat. All are born into this age as sinners, and some will accept Jesus and be transformed (Rom. 12:1-2). Some will continue to deny Jesus. Tares (or darnel weeds, as we know them today), and the wheat, both look identical when they are young. Only when they are both mature can you tell them apart. When they are ready for the harvest, the darnel weeds seeds, at the top, turn black, and are not edible. Whereas, the wheat seeds, at the top, become white (fruitful).
Jesus, here, is telling us a familiar story, a story told from the beginning in Genesis 3 (in Eden), about the fall of man. We are all sinners at birth (weeds), even at conception, but, some of us are predestined (Eph. 1:4-14), to be sons of the kingdom (wheat). Only God knows who is predestined to be saved. That is why God tells the angels to wait until the final end of days to harvest the wheat, because some that may appear as weeds (bad), when mature will be discovered to actually be wheat, and some who appear as wheat (good), when mature will be discovered to actually be weeds.
Who did this? Satan. This happened “while men slept,” as it says in Matthew 13:25. But, here, the translation of “men” (plural), is misleading. In Matthew 13:25, the Greek word (translated in this case as “men”), is actually a word that means “a certain man,” and is a reference to God. In fact, this is the same word in the Greek as used in the previous verse in Matthew 13:24 — a certain man–not “men” (see Greek Amplified).
So, God planted the good seed (the host of creation in Eden), and wheat developed (good and fruitful). Matthew 13:25 needs to be translated correctly as “while He was resting,” and this is how it is translated in the Greek Amplified English version, which is the correct translation of the original Greek word. This means that while God was resting, Satan deceived some of the host of creation (1/3rd according to Rev. 12:3-4), and they are pictured here, by Jesus, as becoming unproductive (unfruitful—weeds). Some of the host of God’s creation have lost their eternal quality as good wheat, and have been “mutated,” damaged, and corrupted by false teaching. They have walked away from God, choosing the lesser good (self), rather than the greater good (God). Adam and Eve and Satan, in Eden, are the example of our fall. In the fall, Satan showed contempt for God, while Adam and Eve showed shame. Each of us used our freewill in the creation to sin against God, and God knows whether we showed contempt or shame.
We enter this age now as sinners. Some are predestined to be saved–to become sons of the kingdom. The fact that God rested does not mean that He was not in control. Rather, God trusted the heavenly host to obey, and God allowed us freewill not to follow Satan. God allowed us freewill, rather than maintain total control over our will. God wants to spend eternity with whoever truly loves Him freely. This means that we are responsible for our decisions, because each of us made a freewill decision to either trust in God, or deny God (and accept Satan, and the world’s ways). God could have stopped Satan, but then, God would have had to deny us freewill. God has given us our freewill, and we have chosen (see Studies on Predestination, and also Original Sin at Target Truth Ministries.com, or the book The Flat Earth & Genesis). We are born into this age because we all have chosen Satan’s domain–earth. We are all sinners, born into this age of grace (Rom. 3:10-12, 23, 6:23).
So, here is the scenario:
At the creation, all of God’s creation, in the beginning, is good (productive, fruitful wheat). All were originally created as good wheat, created by God to live eternally with God. Some became deceived — accepted the word of Satan over God’s Word (Gen. 3; Rev. 12:1-4). Some wheat were essentially “mutated,” or damaged by Satan, because they chose the lesser good (themselves), over the greater good (God), and these became like darnel plants (weeds)—unproductive—no fruit. Note that the heavenly host, and all the array of creation, are complete by the end of day 7 (Gen. 2:1). The word “host” (array), in heaven means “an army of people, or beings.” In other words, no new beings are being created today. This fall of the host occurred in Eden, prior to this age we live in now (Eph. 1:4-14). All the host of heaven were created—some fell—and this age we now find ourselves in is the age of grace (unmerited favor) and reconciliation (restored to a relationship we have lost), for all those who will trust in Jesus.
As part of God’s plan of salvation, these fallen unproductive wheat (the mutated host of creation—all of us), are now born into this age, and some of them will repent (change back), and become born again by the grace of God (John 3:1-7; Eph. 2:1-9). Some of the corrupted unproductive wheat are now indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and will become fruitful, and finally harvested as good wheat, and spend eternity in God’s kingdom. Some trust in Jesus, and are reconciled back to God. However, many of these fallen weeds (“mutated” host), do not change. They do not trust in Jesus, and they remain mutated (remain influenced by the great weed–Satan), and will not produce fruit, and will be weeded out in the judgment to come — to spend eternity in torment (separated from God and Paradise) in hell (Matt. 13:30; Rev. 14:14-20).
Jesus is telling us that today, weeds are everywhere in the field (in the world). The weeds are members of our community, they are in our schools, some are our co-workers, our fathers and mothers, and some are even in the churches. Jesus tells us that even though many people look good, and seem good, and do good things, that in the end, many will be found not worthy by Jesus, because they don’t worship God (Matt. 7:21-23). But, at the same time, many that appear as weeds to us, may actually develop into productive wheat, and will be welcomed into heaven. This is why Christ has the angels wait until the very last moment, until the world is fully mature, until all who are to be saved have made that decision to trust in Jesus, or continue to reject God. Then, Jesus will send the angels to harvest the earth, to end our days. We should note that the tares (the weeds) are harvested first at the end of time–not the righteous. The first to be removed will be those not worthy of the kingdom of God (Matt. 13:30, 40-42).
According to many Christians today, the current understanding some have is that the true followers of Jesus will be “raptured” before the evil times which occur at the end of this age–the end times–the tribulation. Many have this belief that true Christians will be taken to be with the Lord in heaven, and will not have to witness the judgment of God’s wrath against evil. But, according to this parable of Jesus, evil will be harvested first (Matt. 13:30).
In Matthew 24:36-44, Jesus again describes the times of the end “as in the days of Noah.” God tells us in Genesis 6:1-7, that all were going about their business–the weeds and wheat were living together. Where did the weeds come from in Genesis 6? Actually, the better question is, “Where did the righteous come from?” We are all sinners. None are righteous at birth (Rom. 3:10-12, 23). Some become righteous because God leads them, and they are “born again” (John 3:1-7). So, as in the days of Noah, most people were lost. In Noah’s day, some of Satan’s followers left heaven, and came to earth directly, and perverted God’s plan of birth and reconciliation. The giants (the Nephilim – Gen. 6:4), the mighty men, the men of renown, the evil (weeds on steroids) — they are a product of Satan (Jude 6; Matt. 13:37-39—see Study on “Giants” at Target Truth Ministries.com).
At the time of Noah, who was preserved through the flood, and who was harvested? Noah’s bloodline was perfect, not corrupted by Satan (Gen. 6:9—the King James says “perfect in his generations” and the NAS says blameless in his time—the Hebrew is “without blemish in his bloodline”). Noah and his family were preserved. And, who was harvested? The wicked were harvested and perished. Just as this parable of Jesus says in Matthew 13:30 and 41, the evil will perish, and the true Christian will be preserved. So, we find this evil seed (the product of Satan’s false teachings and corruption), in both this parable and in Genesis with the flood of Noah.
Daniel, the prophet, also refers to the last days of our world. And, just like Jesus, Daniel tells of evil mixing with the good seed of man (Daniel 2:41-45) “shall mingle themselves,” to something other than themselves, and, “with the seed of men” — God’s children, the good seed. Just as in the days of Noah (just as Jesus describes in the parable of the tares, or weeds), all will live together, for a while. And, as Daniel says, they will mingle, even marry together. No matter how you interpret Daniel, whether evil seed is mingling with good seed, or whether iron nations mingle with clay nations, the result according to Daniel in verse 43 is that they will not cleave together. Christians (the good seed), are to be in this evil world (mingle), but will stay true to God (not cleave). True Christians, those who trust in Jesus, will endure (Rom. 12:2).
So, we find in Genesis, that people without God are destroyed, but, Noah is preserved. We find in Daniel, that some people will be destroyed, but some will stay true to God, and be preserved. And, Jesus tells
us in today’s parable that even though many people look good, and seem good, and do good things, that in the end, only those who worship Jesus as Lord and Savior will be preserved (Matt. 7:21-23, 25:1-13). In fact, Jesus tells us that we, as people, can’t tell — even the angels can’t tell who is wheat (good), and who is a weed (bad). Some who look like tares, like weeds, in fact, may actually be good wheat, and Jesus will preserve them.
If we look at the end-times Scriptures, do we find evil being judged, and the good seed being saved? If we look at John’s Revelation (written about 60 years after Jesus), where John describes evil in the end times in Revelation 9, do we see evil winning? Do we see evil destroying the good seed, those Christians who worship Jesus as Lord and Savior? Or, do we see evil all around, while God preserves His followers, preserving them until evil is judged? In Revelation 9:1-3, evil is exposed and unleashed. Demonic activity exists in the end times as the Holy Spirit removes His restraint on evil, and angels and demons begin to appear again, just as when Christ came the first time. In Revelation 9:4, God preserves His followers. And, we find by the end of the book of Revelation that evil is destroyed (Rev. 19:11-21), and true Christians are preserved, those who worship Jesus Christ, and only Jesus Christ, as God (Rev. 20:4-6; John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
Why is this parable of Jesus so important for us all? According to many, perhaps even most Christians today, the current understanding they have is that the true followers of Jesus will be “raptured” before these evil times, before the judgment of God, and God’s wrath. The belief is that true Christians will be taken to be with the Lord in heaven and will not have to witness and endure the judgment of God’s wrath against evil. Is this true? I would love to think that Jesus will return and whisk all of us who trust in Him away. But, I can’t really find anywhere in God’s Word where it clearly says that Christians will be taken out of this world before the judgment of God begins. In fact, according to Scripture, the church is still around, even at the very end of the tribulation (Rev. 18:23). I think all these passages from Genesis, Daniel, and Revelation, as well as Jesus own words here in Matthew 13, are to prepare us for enduring the end days — the harvest (Matt. 13:30; Acts 14:22).
Just as we, as the church today, are supposed to be light to a dark world… in the same way, God’s Word is here to prepare us for the time when God will judge the world. We, as individual Christians, will be a light to those in the end, seeking redemption. This second parable of seven, in Matthew 13, gives us a picture of the world we live in, right here. Some repent (change), and become (by God’s grace), good wheat, and worship the one true God. Others will live along side of us, and may even appear to be good upright people, but they have been “mutated,” deceived, and corrupted by Satan, and will not worship Jesus Christ, and therefore will be judged not worthy of God’s kingdom in the end. We, as Christians, are to be light for a world in darkness. We are to endure, and share the truth. If you love someone (Jesus), you’ll want to spend time with Him!
Jesus is clear. First, gather the tares (weeds). The wheat remains until the weeds are gathered first. And, we will not know who is a weed, until the end arrives (Matt. 24:38-41). We are told as Christians to be prepared (Matt. 24:43-47). We are to watch out for our loved ones. We are to share the gospel of Jesus — that He died for us, and rose again to life, (Acts 1:1-8; 1 Corin. 15:1-8), so that anyone who worships Him may live eternally in heaven. We are to avoid the world’s ways, the things which take us away from God. I think this parable Jesus gives to us, is to prepare us for enduring, so that no one will be surprised when the destruction, and suffering comes, just as in the time of Noah. We all know there is much suffering now. So, perhaps the end is near. One thing I do know, whether I leave this world because of the return of Jesus and the harvest, or because I just die somehow, the end is very near, and the next life, the true life, awaits. Weed , or wheat…the harvest is coming!