One day Yahshua's disciples came to Him and asked, "Master, why do you speak to the people in parables?" He had just told them the parable of the sower, and they were not sure whether they understood what it meant. When they were alone with Him, he was usually very straightforward in what He said to them, but when there were religious people around, especially leaders, He tended to tell little stories.
He understood that it is hard for religious people to grasp spiritual concepts outside their deeply ingrained patterns of thinking, especially if those concepts are expressed using the same basic vocabulary and make reference to the same sacred scriptures. So He told them simple stories drawing from the neutral ground of nature, agriculture, animal husbandry, and fishing, hoping to get past their religious filters and reach their hearts. Those parables reach right down to the present day, having the power to penetrate even the fiercely defended walls of Christian doctrine and tradition with the simple but often uncomfortable truths of the gospel.
Take this very revealing parable, for example:
24 The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the tares appeared also. 27 And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, "Master, 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." So the servants said to him, "Then do you want us to go and gather them?" 29 But he said, "No, lest in gathering the tares you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, 'Gather the tares first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.' " (Matthew 13:24-30)
Obviously the man who sowed the good seed is Yahshua, and "his men" are the apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers of Ephesians 4:11, who are supposed to be tending the field, as 1 Corinthians 3:9 says. But while they are "sleeping" (not paying attention) Satan is at work in the field, sowing tares among the wheat.
The tares appear to be wheat to the undiscerning eye, but in time it becomes clear that they don't bear the same fruit. They are Satan's crop, and he fosters their growth, while Yahshua is concerned for the wheat, not even allowing His servants to weed out the tares, so as not to inadvertently uproot the wheat.
However, the tares do not realize that they are tares, nor do they realize that the evil one is the source of their life. For Satan is a master of disguise, making himself appear to be an angel of light, and his servants appear to be ministers of righteousness!1 It is Satan's servants -- men who appear or claim to be Yahshua's servants -- who plant the tares in the field. They may not even realize that they are serving Satan, for some, Paul says, have unwittingly fallen into Satan's snare, having been taken captive by him to do his will.2
So how can you know whether you are a tare? One way is to consider the fruit of your life, whether it matches the fruit that the Scriptures say should come forth from a true disciple. It is hard to be objective in judging the fruit of your own life, but if there is cause for you to wonder whether you are truly saved, there is another way to tell, which you can be more objective about, with a little help from the Scriptures. You can take a close look at the seed from which your faith grew. Was it the same gospel that Yahshua and His apostles spoke, or was it a different gospel?3 Could it have been genetically modified by Satan's servants?
Contrary to the thinking of many, the heart of the gospel is to be found in the Gospels, not in the Epistles. The Epistles were written to address problems in the churches, mostly caused by them drifting away from the foundation that was laid in the first disciples by Yahshua, as recorded in the Gospels. If the gospel you heard was lacking any of these foundational teachings of Yahshua, the Messiah, then it could not possibly have transferred you out of the domain of darkness and into the kingdom of God's beloved Son.4 Here are the parts that are usually left out by Satan's servants. Please read all the verses carefully!
Probably you have realized by now that the gospel you received had few if any of the ingredients listed above. That is because toward the end of the first century the church began to fill up with tares through the "ministry" of:
By the end of the first century, only a few overcomers were left among the many tares. Instead of tares among the wheat, it became wheat among the tares, until all the wheat were either uprooted or died out. Satan's servants soon established themselves as a professional clergy droning over a silent laity (except for rote liturgical responses) who had been persuaded that "the faith" was a matter of embracing certain doctrines rather than the utter surrender and devotion of one's entire life.
So now, 1,900 years later, the tare field has grown to 2.3 billion tares in 43,000 varieties (denominations),7 none of which preaches the original gospel that bore the first fruits of pure, golden wheat described in Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-37.
As Isaiah predicted, "If the Lord of hosts had not left us a seed, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah." (Romans 9:29)
There was, however, a seed preserved -- kept over for planting, as it were. The Son of God Himself prophesied that there would have to be a restoration of all things before He could return.8 That restoration began about 40 years ago when the seed of that original "wheat" was planted in the fertile soil of a totally surrendered heart and began to produce a crop just like the first fruits: All who believed were TOGETHER AGAIN and shared all things in common.9
Like golden sheaves of wheat or juicy clusters of grapes, the fruit has slowly but surely multiplied, so that there are now over 40 communities in 9 different countries, all sharing the same faith and culture. In every place wholehearted disciples live together in unity, laying down their lives for one another in love, serving night and day with one goal in mind: to bring our Master Yahshua back to this earth. But He cannot return until His bride has made herself ready:
Let us rejoice and exult and give Him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure -- for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. (Revelation 19:7-8)
Since His bride is the church, which is His body on earth, that is just another way of saying:
But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until His enemies should be made a footstool for His feet. (Hebrew 10:12-13)
Our Master Yahshua's enemies are the very spirits that overcame the first church and turned it into a tare field, and they have to be put under the feet of the restored Body of Messiah, His bride. She must grow to full stature by doing the righteous deeds prepared for her to do,10 through which she will be purified of all iniquity11 as the daily circumstances expose the way the evil one tries to divide, defile, and lead her astray, just as he did the first-century church.
At the same time as Messiah's bride is being purified of every unclean thing, whether in thought, word, or deed, there is another "woman" who is being "purified" of everything clean and pure:
And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: "Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of earth's abominations." And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints... (Revelation 17:3-6)
Do you know who this woman is? She also was once a pure virgin, betrothed to the Prince of Peace, but she was led astray.12 When she was about 300 years old, she married a prince of war, who ironically promised her peace. She outlived him and many suitors after him, gaining power and wealth with every romance, and ruthlessly crushing anyone critical of her ways. When she was about 1400 years old, she gave birth to several daughters, who, though critical of her, turned out to be just like her in more ways than not. They were just as bloodthirsty as their mother, slaughtering those who aspired to truly follow their mother's first betrothed Husband.
Now, one by one, these daughters and their countless offspring are coming back into a superficial family alliance with their aged matriarch and with each other, for their mutual benefit and common political goals. When the opportunity presents itself, they will help the old Harlot climb up on the back of another prince so powerful and ruthless that he will be called the Beast. She will do her best to enrich herself at his expense and use him to do her dirty work, as she has done with every lover since her first marriage. Especially, she will be thirsty for the blood of the saints -- the bride of Yahshua -- and turn the Beast against them.
But eventually the great harlot will come to the end of her ride...
And the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the harlot. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire. (Revelation 17:16)
This brings us back to the parable we started with...
Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, "Gather the tares first and bind them in bundles to be burned..." (Matthew 13:30)
This is a very grim tale, but it is true. It is going to happen. And it is not only the mother harlot who will be burned, but all who are allied with her, all who were taken in by another gospel that lacked the so-called "hard words" of Yahshua -- the entire tare field: the fallen religion of Christianity:
Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast. (Revelation 18:2)
But there is a way out for those whose eyes are opened to her true nature and their own grave danger:
Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, My people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities." (Revelation 18:4-5)
The One we serve sees and understands the plight of all the sincere ones who are willing to do His will, but are trapped in Christianity. They have been "sold a bill of goods" -- led to believe that by embracing the right doctrines and saying the "sinner's prayer" (or whatever their Christian tradition called for), they were saved and going to Heaven. Our Master Yahshua sees those sincere ones who are willing to do His will as "His people," and He calls them to "Come out of her!"
Are you one of them? If so, you can be washed of the false gospel that could only make you a tare, and receive the true word of life that will make you a new creation -- a golden head of wheat. Please come!