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THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SEED

    The Government
of God

Matthew 13:24 He (Jesus) parable put forth another parable to them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like a man which planted good seed in his field: 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and planted tares (Darnel) 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 to him, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? where did the tares come from? 28 He said to them, An enemy has done this. The servants said to him, do you want us to go and gather them up? 29 But he said, No; lest while you gather up the tares, you 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 together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn..... 36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came to him, saying, Declare to us the parable of the tares of the field. 37 He answered and said to them, He that planted 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 age; 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 age. 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. Who has ears to hear, let him hear.

 

     There are a number of different reasons and scenarios concerning the Government of God that this parable applies to.  It's probably best to start with what it is not first. A parable about the end of the world or the beginning of a new physical planet; especially in the context of pop culture end time prophecy teachings. This can be ascertained by the text itself, Bible prophecy as whole and reason and logic. Starting with the text: The word "age" in verses 39-40 is the Greek word "aion," which means age. The word "world" in verse 38 is the Greek word "kosmos"  means orderly arrangement and is always (99% of the time) translated "world" meaning human civilization.  The reason for the little Greek lesson is that about half of the Bible translations including the King James translate the Greek word for "age" into the word "world." While it may still be proper English to use the word "world" to describe an age and even more so in older English. In todays vernacular it is hardly ever done. One would obviously have to look at the context of the sentence to determine if that was the case. Because of this the Greek word for "age" translated "world" does not amount to an erroneous or false translation of the Greek but to many Bible readers who may not know any better it might as well be.  So as far as the text itself it is not talking about the end of the world but the end of an age. What age is then question and that is answered in verse 40; "this age." Meaning the age Jesus and those who are hearing him live in. Unfortunately at this point we run into an issue with the Greek texts our Bibles are translated from about the word "this" age in verse 40 which is covered in this hyperlink. That is the correct translation based on the vast majority of Greek texts and the article will proceed based on that. 

     From the time of the book of Daniel onward there are two specific ages prophesied as having an end. (Very violent ends at that.) The Old Covenant Age, a time period when God used the nation of Israel, both believer and non believer to herald the Gospel in advance. An age in which they brought the word of God and the Messiah into the earth and also established a beachhead in the world for the long planned invasion of Gods government. This came to it's final end in 70 AD with the destruction of Judea. The other age that had a prophesied end was The Age of the Gentiles. A time period when four gentile empires ruled over, oppressed, warred against and overcame Gods saints. These were named and dated in the Bible as Babylon, Medo\ Persia, Greece and Rome. This ended in 1453 AD when the last Roman emperor was killed and what had been the capitol of the Roman Empire since 324 AD (Constantinople) was conquered by the Ottoman Turks. The other two ages prophesied (of old) and from the book of Daniel on were the New Covenant age and the age after the fall of the Roman Empire in 1453 AD. The New Covenant Age obviously started when the Messiah died and rose again. The age after the Age of the Gentiles was the age that all the earthly promises of God made to all of his saints throughout the entire Bible were prophesied to begin to come to pass in the earth. Neither of these two ages have a clearly prophesied end in the Bible. This subject is gone over in more detail than any other resource available in this websites article."End Time Prophecy."

      This brings us to the age in which Jesus is specifically referring to in this parable of the good seed and the tares. The end of the First Convent Age.  Jesus was the fulfillment of this prophecy given by Moses in Deuteronomy 18: 15 The Lord your God will raise up to you a Prophet from your midst, one of your brothers, like me; (meaning Moses who is speaking) to him shall you hearken....19 And it shall come to pass, that who ever will not hearken to my (Gods) words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. Much of Jesus's ministry to the people of Israel was as a prophet. The Prophet to be precise. In his prophecy and teaching to them he spent many a New Testament chapter  declaring things such as this: Matthew 21:43 Therefore say I to you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth its fruits. Or Matthew 21: 34 Wherefore, behold, I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall you scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom you slew between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I say to you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets, and stone them which are sent to you, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not! 38 Behold, your house is left to you desolate. These two sets of verses from Matthew are symptomatic of all New Testament end time prophecy except the book of Revelation.  Meaning, outside of the book of Revelation almost all end time prophecy given in the New Testament relates to the end of the Old Covenant Age. Even if (for instance) Jesus's apostles didn't really understand in the precise manner Jesus did that what they were seeing and hearing from God about what the end times were relating to, that is, a prophecy about the end of the age they were living in. This is extremely relevant when looking at what Moses stated about the Prophet that was to come. That anyone who did not listen to that prophet, it would be required of him. Then looking at what that meant in Matthew 21:43 & 23:34-38 to those who refused to listen! It meant their destruction and the Kingdom of God taken from them and given to those, both Jew and Gentile who would listen and bring forth it's fruit in the earth. By fruit meaning: righteousness, justice, freedom, the rule of law instead of the rule of men ect. ect. Things that the western world has been enjoying for centuries since the Bible started getting into the hands of common men starting right when the Roman Empire fell in 1453 AD. All of this prophecy about the end of the Old Covenant Age came to pass within the lifetimes of the generation Jesus was speaking to. Much of that is laid out in another article on this Website called: "Matthew 24." For now maybe the most detailed article freely available on the internet on the subject of Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21.

     The next question is, if this is referring to the end of the first convent age, who is the good seed and who are the tares? Jesus answers this pretty clearly. John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33 They answered him, We are Abraham's seed, (descendants) and were never in bondage to any man: how say you, You shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the Son stays forever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham's seed; but you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you. 38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do that which you have seen with your father. 39 They answered and said to him, Abraham is our father. Jesus said to them, If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill me, a man that has told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. 41 You do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. 42 Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand my speech? even because you cannot hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and stayed not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45 And because I tell you the truth, you believe me not. 46 Which of you convinces me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 He that is of God hears God's words: you therefore hear them not, because you are not of God. This is simply in line with the whole body of prophecy and teachings about this subject in the Bible as a whole. It is the believer, those who heed Gods word that are the good seed and the tares are those who don't. However since this is being spoken to the nation of Israel specifically it is addressing those who believe and don't believe among them. Here are some Old Testament prophecies that say the same thing.

      So if this was a prophecy of the end of the First Covenant Age; was it fulfilled according to the parable? The simple answer to this is in the affirmative. Judea was destroyed. The believers escaped and those whom refused to take heed to the words of Jesus were removed from the earth. Not only this. The Government of God was given to people of faith, both Jew and Gentile. However it would be good to address the matter with a little more detail.

     Notice first that wicked are removed from Gods Kingdom in verse 41 but the righteous remain. Both were planted into the earth, verse 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..... 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.... Some things have to be concluded by the way this is specifically written. That Gods Government is in the earth and that in this particular time of judgment the wicked were removed from the part of the planet where to date, Gods kingdom had had its greatest influence in the affairs of men. This was exactly the case in the Judean revolt against the very oppressive rule of Rome over them. Millions of Israelites perished under the most extreme of circumstances yet those who heeded Jesus prophecies found a way of escape. (This is gone over in great detail in the article Matthew 24.) Yet aside from all the terrible things that happened during this time period there was this bright spot in verse 43: Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father...... By the time the war in Judea came about the Gospel had been spread throughout the entire Roman Empire. Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. The Greek word for the word "world" here is a direct reference to the inhabitable land conquered by the Roman empire.  This was truly an amazing time when Gods saints as pioneers spread his Word to peoples who had little to no knowledge of it and "turned the world upside down." Even in the face of intense persecution the influence of the Government of God grew. It was the book of Acts x10. Here are a few prophecies from the Old Testament that speak about the righteous shining forth as the sun during that time period, (and beyond.)

     The last thing that needs addressed is that this parable can also be generally applied to Gods judgment in the earth.  When evil comes to a point that God as the judge of the universe actually has to sentence a people to destruction he has in times past and will in times future save the righteous from that condemnation. This of course does not apply to all situations where peoples face calamities and wars and the consequences of violating the laws of nature and natures God. It certainly does not apply to the suffering of the saints that must be fulfilled in bringing the Government of God into the earth. However there is allot more scriptural precedence than just this parable for God saving his saints in times of divine condemnation. Jesus came and brought judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah yet he sent his angel to save Lot and anyone who would go with him out of the valley. Jesus also came and shut the door on the Ark he commanded Noah to build. In both cases the wicked were taken from the earth but the righteous remained. Ancient Israel fell into idolatry and was conquered by Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon as a judgment from heaven. Yet he saved the rightious among them. In the centuries following those Israelites that returned to the land and remained until the end of the first convent age had forsaken the idolatry of the nations around them. This, even though they were ruled by idolatrous empires. The Messiah came to a sinful people but he did not (and perhaps could not) come to an idolatrous people.

© Daniel Martinovich 2013