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An Enemy Hath Done This

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An Enemy Hath Done This

Matthew 13:24-30 (NKJV)
24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who 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 grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.
27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?'
28 He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, 'Do you want us then to go and gather them up?'
29 But he said, 'No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn." ' "

Matthew 13:36-43 (NKJV)
36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field."
37 He answered and said to them: "He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.
39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.
40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.
41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,
42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!#

The parable of the tares throws clear light on a number of issues. Interpreted by our Lord Himself, it plainly declares that the world will not be converted in this age: good and evil shall exist together until the end. Thus it destroys that dream of men who imagine a world brotherhood to be created by the preaching of the gospel which shall set up in this age the reign of universal righteousness.

This parable declares the distinct personality of the devil. Sin is not imperfect goodness, biological growing pains; "An enemy hath done this." Moreover, there is to be a fixed and final separation of good from evil, the wicked being gathered for burning, the righteous to shine as the sun in the Father's kingdom—as Daniel long before had seen

Daniel 12:3 (NKJV)
3 Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.

The seed here is not the Word, as in the parable of the sower, but rather what the Word produces, the children of the kingdom; and the tares are the children of evil. They may get into the churches and look like Christians, but they have another nature.

The sowing of tares was done "while men slept." The devil gets his works done today while ministers are asleep; he sows evil in the churches while they are taken up with their own ease. He sows in homes while parents sleep, careless of their children's welfare. He sows abroad in the land while rulers, who should have an eye to the public welfare, look to their own comfort. Then, we read, the evil sower "went his way." So goes the devil stealthily about, gliding in and out and on his way.

Mind you, this is not a description of the world in general but of Satan's work in the professing church. The field indeed is the world, but the sphere of action here is the professing kingdom. We cannot separate the false and true for we cannot read men's hearts. Some who appear righteous are but hypocrites, and some who appear wicked are truly saved but not walking in the Spirit. God will attend to the final dividing; vengeance is His.

It is possible in church discipline to overstep our boundaries and attempt a separation beyond our right. However, there is little danger of that today, for few churches exert as much authority as is their right. But we must be careful lest, in ridding ourselves of offenders, we root up the good also.

The old emphasis upon a final gathering has disappeared from much of our preaching. But our Lord will gather His wheat

Matthew 3:12 (NKJV)
12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

when He takes up His Church (Rapture)

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NKJV)
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

His reapers, the angels, shall also gather out all that offend and the wicked. Mind you, it is our Lord Himself who declares the judgment of the wicked to be a furnace of fire

Matthew 13:42 (NKJV)
42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

with wailing and gnashing of teeth. He said more about hell than anyone else in the Bible.

Reflections on the Gospels by Vance Havner

Prayer: Heavenly Father we give you thanks for Your Word, Your Word is Truth. Father we thank you for Jesus who is The Word and teaches us your will through The Word. Lord we pray you will help us see the Truth in Your Word, to clearly see the good news and also clearly see the warning you have gone to the trouble of making known to us, all warnings are given for a reason, they are for our benefit so that we do not fall into the traps and snares of the deceiver of souls.

Lord help us to accept Your Word, especially the parts that as humans we may find hard to swallow. You are a Loving God, but we know through Your Word a loving father has a responsibility to warn his children of the dangers in this world, to know not just what is good, but also what is bad and evil in your eyes.
In Jesus Name we Thank you and Praise you. Amen