The Parable of the Net

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:  Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. Mat. 13:47-48 KJV

The net illustrates the kingdom of Heaven or realm of profession gathering both good and bad from the sea of humanity. The good and bad remain in the net until the end of the age, when they are separated. This parable shows that not all in the kingdom of Heaven will be converted, much less the whole world, as taught by many.

So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Mat. 13:49-50 KJV

The separation of the evil ones from the good ones takes place at the end of the age, as in the parable of the tares and the wheat. Mt. 13:30, 40, 43, 49-50 The destiny of both classes in both parables is the same.

The parable of the tares and wheat teaches a mixture of good and bad, as well as the purpose and origin of the bad, while this parable teaches that this mixture will continue until the end and that the enemy who caused the bad would be defeated and that the bad will be cast away. The main truth illustrated by this parable is the universal aspect of the sphere of profession. Wherever the net is cast it gathers both classes of people regardless of who they are or what they may be in life and conduct.

The Parable of the Leaven

Another parable spoke He unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. Mat. 13:33 KJV

The kingdom of Heaven here is “like” leaven (sour dough) that is always used in a bad sense in Scripture, as meal is in a good sense. Therefore, the common interpretation of leaven converting the world is the exact opposite of the true interpretation of the leaven corrupting the meal. Note the use of leaven in Scripture:

In the Old Testament leaven is used to portray the evil nature of the sinner: Exodus 12:8, 15-20; 34:25; Levitikus 2:11; 6:17; 10:12 These last three passages refer to leaven being forbidden in certain sacrifices. Only in one sacrifice was it used in Levitikus 7:12-13 and here it signifies that though the believer has made peace with God through the work of another (Christ), there are still human traits and selfishness in him which must be continually purged by growth in grace.

In the New Testament leaven is used in four ways: first, the leaven of the Pharisees which was external religion, legalism, and hypocrisy; Mt. 23:14-28; Lk. 12:1 second, the leaven of the Sadducees, which was skepticism as to the supernatural and the teachings of the Scriptures on resurrection, angels, and spirits; Mt. 22:23-39; Acts 23:8 third, the leaven of the Harridans, which was materialism, a mixture of religion and worldliness, a political religion; Mk. 8:15 fourth, the leaven of both Pharisees and Sadducees as to their evil doctrines and practices. Mt. 16:11-12; 23:14, 16, 23-28

This illustrates how the kingdom of heaven teachings and the program of God in this age would become corrupted by false doctrines and unscriptural programs until the whole is corrupted. Lk. 18:8; 1Tim. 4:1-8; 2Tim. 3:5; 4:3-4; 2Pet. 3:3-4  A woman is a common symbol of evil in the moral or religious sphere and when used figuratively in an evil sense ‘she’ represents wickedness, fallacy, uncleanness, and unfaithfulness, Lam. 1:17 harlotry, Ezek. 16:15,22,26,28-59; 23:1-49; 36:17; Hos. 1:2; 2:2-17; 3:1; Rev. 17 wickedness, Zech. 5:5-11; Rev. 17:5 and false religion. Rev. 17 Thus, in a bad ethical sense a woman always symbolizes something wrong or out of place religiously.  Zech. 5:7-8; Rev. 2:20; 17:1-18  When used in a good sense women represent Israel, cp Gen. 37:9-10 with Rev. 12; Ezek. 16 the two covenants, Gal. 4:21-31 and righteousness and purity. 2Cor. 11:2; Rev. 19:7-8 A meal symbolizes the Word of God. Mt. 4:4; Jn. 6:47-63 and the three hidden measures of the meal illustrates all false teachings, religious programs, and professed Christian lives that seek to hide behind the Word of God (Christ as the Bread of Life and the Word of God Mt. 4:4; Jn. 6:47-63; Jn. 1:1).

The parable illustrates how the kingdom of Heaven would become like leaven, which a woman uses to corrupt Christ and His teachings. Both Christ and the Word of God are being corrupted today by the false church and its teachings. These teachers dominate the realm of profession and use it to deceive people by exalting their own words above the Word of God and their own leaders above Christ; by making the people feel that their church is infallible and that obedience to it and its dogmas is better than obedience to civil governments and by many comparable doctrines contrary to the Bible, thus corrupting the truth through the realm of profession.

Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaven the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1Cor. 5:6-8 KJV

The Parable of Weeds

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. Mat. 13:24-26 KJV

The sower illustrates the Son of Man (Jesus) Mt. 13:37 and the “good seed” illustrates the true children of the kingdom of Heaven. The field illustrates the world of men and the tares illustrate the professed children of the kingdom who are, in reality, the sons of the devil, who sowed them among the wheat. Mt. 13:25, 38-39 The wheat being in the ground first shows God’s plan concerning the kingdom, that only good shall be in it and that every one who professes to be a child of God should really be one. An enemy – the devil Mt. 13:25,28,39; Lk. 10:19; Acts 13:10 – sowed tares among the wheat, causing a mixture of good and bad in the same field. Thus, the kingdom of Heaven now takes on a new aspect and should rightly be understood as “the sphere of profession, “Christendom,” or “the kingdom of Heaven in mystery.”

It was common in the East for enemies to sow tares and other poisonous seeds in the fields of those they wished to hurt. In India various weeds are sown that take years to get rid of.  The word “tares” – the Greek, zizania, occurs only in Matthew 13:25, 36 is not the same as the darnel of the naturalists, but zewan, as known in Palestine today. While growing it looks like wheat, but when full grown the ears are long and the grain is black. Each grain of the zewan must be removed before grinding the wheat, or the bread is bitter and poisonous. Tares show their true color as they ripen. Verse 26 shows that the tares could not be detected until the fruit began to appear. Mt. 7:15-20

He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 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. Mat. 13:27-30 KJV

The tares and the wheat both grow side by side in the same field, which is the will of the householder, until the harvest. Mt. 13:37-40 Both saved and unsaved who profess to be children of the kingdom will mingle together in this world until the end of the age. The harvest illustrates the separation of the wicked among the just at the end of this age when the Messiah comes to reign. Mt. 13:39-43; 25:31-46; 1 Thess. 5:1-11; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; Jude 14; Zech. 14:1-21   The reapers illustrate angels who will separate the wicked from the good when Christ comes. Mt. 13:39-43; 24:31, 51; 25:31-46; 2 Thess. 1:7-10

As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 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;  And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. Mat. 13:40-43 KJV

The expression of “the end of the world” means “the end of the age.” At this time the kingdom of Heaven ceases to be the sphere of profession and becomes the literal kingdom of Heaven, or the reign of the Messiah over all the kingdoms of this world. Rev. 11:15; Dan. 7:13-14, 18

When the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, refers to the time when the judgment of the nations Mt. 25:31-46; Dan. 7:9 will be executed. The tares will be burned in the same sense the branches of Christ will be if they do not abide in Him. Mt. 8:12; 13:40-43,49-50; 24:31; 25:41,46; Jn. 15:6

The furnace of fire where there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth is another description of eternal hell, not the grave. Mt. 13:42,50; Rev. 9:2 Wailing, Mt. 13:50 weeping Mt. 8:12; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Lk. 13:28 and the gnashing of teeth, picture bitter remorse and pain. The righteous will take over the kingdoms of this world forever Rev. 1:5-7; 5:10; 11:15; 20:4-6; 22:4-5; Mt. 25:31-46; Zech. 14 and they will be luminous like the sun Mt. 19:28; 25:31-46; Rev. 5:10; 20:1-10 and inherit all things. Mt. 5:5; 25:35; Lk. 12:32; Rom. 8:17; Dan. 7:18,22,27; Rev. 21:7

I choose to hear what the Word of God says and will live in obedience so that I can shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of my Heavenly Father! Amen

 

The Parable of the Sower

And he spoke many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow… Mat 13:3 KJV

This parable pictures the classes of hearers in the kingdom of Heaven – the whole course of this age of grace, portraying the reception of the Word of God in different hearts and the results that follow.  The sower illustrates the Son of Man (Christ) and the seed illustrates the Word of the kingdom.

And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up … When any one hear the word of the kingdom, and understand it not, then come the wicked one, and catch away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. Mat 13:4,19 KJV

The seed sown on wayside ground, being eaten by the fowls illustrates a class of people who hear the Word of the kingdom and refuse to obey it because of indifference and lack of understanding. The devil immediately catches away the Word sown in the heart lest it should germinate and bring forth fruit. 2 Cor. 4:4

Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away …  But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that hear the word, and anon with joy receive it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but endure for a while: for when tribulation or persecution arise because of the word, by and by he is offended.  Mat 13:5-6, 20-21 KJV

The seed sown on stony ground, which immediately sprang up because it did not have much depth of earth, illustrates a class of people who receive the Word with joy, but they are shallow in their experience and the seed, because of lack of preparation in the ground, cannot go deep enough to take root to stand. In time of trouble and persecution, such persons are offended. They stumble and reject the Word as quickly as they receive it. Mt. 18:6; 2 Tim. 3:13

And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them … He also that received seed among the thorns is he that hear the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he become unfruitful. Mat 13:7, 22 KJV

The seed sown on thorny ground, which was choked by the thorns and became unfruitful, illustrates a class of people who hear the Word and permit it to be choked by a love for the world, the cares of life, and the deceitfulness of riches, so that it becomes unfruitful. Rom. 12:1-3; 2 Tim. 4:10; Jas. 4:1-7; 1 Jn. 2:15-17

But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixty-fold, some thirty-fold. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that hear the word, and understand it; which also bear fruit, and bring forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Mat 13:8, 23 KJV

The seed sown on good ground, which brought forth fruit illustrates a class of people who hear the Word and permit it to have free course and bring forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixty-fold, and some thirty-fold. This class puts forth an effort to understand the Word and to get out of the personal life all the hindrances symbolized by the hard, stony, and thorny ground. The words “hundredfold,” “sixty-fold,” and “thirty-fold” do not teach degrees of Christians, but degrees of fruit-bearing by Christians and that depends upon the quality of ground in which the seed is sown and the effectiveness of care and cultivation.

Who hath ears to hear, let him hear … Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. Mat 13:9, 18 KJV

I choose to hear the Word of God and be obedient to what I hear so that my life can bring forth fruit and I can live a Godly life!

Do Not Conform To This World

And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom. 12:2 KJV

Note the two commands of this verse: We are warned not to conform to this world and THEN to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.

Conform is the Greek word suschematizo (GSN-<G4964>) and means to conform to another’s example.  The warning here is to not follow that which is in the world, to go after their example.  As Christians or followers of Christ, we are to follow in His example and in His footsteps:

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps 1Pet. 2:21

When we conform to this world, Eph. 2:2 we are representing all that it stands for and can thus not represent Christ – we cannot serve two masters! Mt. 6:24; Lk. 16:13 Satan is the god of this world 2Cor. 4:4; Jn. 12:31 and we follow him when we conform to it as we love the things thereof. Col. 2:8 Our God is not in this world and if we love the things of the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – we are not serving Him and are not doing His will!

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that do the will of God abide forever. 1 John 2:15-17 KJV

Our second commandment is to be transformed – the Greek word metamorphoo (GSN-<G3339>) which means to be transformed or transfigured by a supernatural change – by the renewing of our minds – as we think upon the things that were given to us by God in His Word – we are continuously being renewed Tit. 3:5; 2Cor. 4:16; Col. 3:10; Heb. 6:6; Eph. 4:23 and this enable us to confirm what the good and acceptable and perfect will of God is!  There are six things that constitute to this acceptable and perfect will of God:

  1. To present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God 12:1; 1Cor. 3:16-17; 6:20
  2. To make the body holy 12:1; 2Cor. 7:1
  3. To make the self acceptable to God 12:1
  4. To render reasonable service 12:1
  5. To not be conformed to the world 12:2
  6. To be transformed from the world 12:2

I will present my body as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is my reasonable service. And I will not conform to this world, but will be transformed by the renewing of my mind, that I may confirm what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.