The Parable of the Wheat and Tares Insights

Parable of the Wheat and Tares Insights

Many Bible prophecy teachers overlook the Parable of the Wheat and Tares. However, we should not overlook this parable. It has crucial details about the onset of the end of the age and the coming of Christ.

Everyone who studies Bible prophecy must account for the Parable of the Wheat and Tares. Your understanding of the end times will be incomplete if you cannot account for this parable.

In this article, I will provide you insight about the Parable of the Wheat and Tares.

The Parable of the Wheat and Tares Overview

Matthew 13:24-30 provides an overview of the Parable of the Wheat and Tares. Christ describes a field where wheat has been planted. However, tares (a weed that resembles wheat when it is young) was also planted overnight by an enemy. This created a problem for the householder:

“(24) Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which 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 blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. (27) So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? (28) He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?” (Matthew 13:24-38)

The servants of the field ask the householder if they should remove the tares from the field. The householder tells the servants to not remove the tares because there is a risk that the wheat could get removed:

“(29) But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye 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 ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” (Matthew 13:29-30)

Christ said that the wheat and the tares will remain together until the time of harvest. The wheat will not be taken away from the field, nor will the tares be removed from the field before the harvest.

A Common View of the Parable

Many who talk about the Parable of the Wheat and Tares focus on the Church. A common view of the Parable of Wheat and Tares is:

  • The field represents the Church.
  • There are real Christians and fake Christians in the world.
  • It is hard to tell the difference between real Christians and fake Christians.
  • Christ will one day separate the fake Christians from the real Christians.

Unfortunately, many ignore the end time significance of the Parable of the Wheat and Tares. We will look at that next.

The Parable of the Wheat and Tares Explained

Christ’s disciples asked Him to explain the parable’s meaning to them. He complied and explained the parable to them:

“(37) He answered and said unto them, He that soweth 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 world; 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 world. (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 hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:37-43)

We learn from this explanation:

  • The field does not represent the Church. It represents the entire world (verse 38).
  • The wheat represents the righteous (verse 38).
  • The tares represent the wicked (verse 38).
  • Angels will play a big part in the harvest when the wheat and tares are dealt with. (verse 39, 41-42)
  • The harvest will take place at the end of the world/end of the age (verse 39).
  • The harvest will come when Christ’s kingdom will be in place on the earth (verse 41).
  • The wicked will be taken to their destruction (verse 40-42)
  • The righteous will survive to enjoy the kingdom of God and Christ (verse 43)

The End Time Significance of the Parable of the Wheat and Tares

Recall that Christ said that the wheat (the righteous) and the tares (the wicked) will remain together UNTIL the time of harvest:

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.” (Matthew 13:30)

This key statement means that the wheat (the righteous) will not be removed from the earth before the time of harvest. The wheat must remain on the earth until the time comes to begin the harvest.

The harvest of the earth will take place at the end of the age (or end of the world). This means that the Rapture, the gathering of the righteous, cannot take place before the end of the age arrives (Matthew 13:39). At the time of harvest, Christ will send His angels to gather the wicked and the righteous (Matthew 13:30).

The Parable of the Wheat and Tares indicates this event will take place after the tribulation. Matthew 13:41 mentions that Christ will gather people out of His kingdom. The reference to “His kingdom” is significant because it means that the harvest will take place when Christ’s kingdom is set up on the earth. The kingdom of God and Christ will arise at the sounding of the seventh trumpet:

“(15) And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (16) And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, (17) Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. (18) And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” (Revelation 11:15-18)

The sounding of the seventh trumpet will coincide with the end of the tribulation as Antichrist’s 3.5 year or 42-month reign on the earth will end (Revelation 13:5-7, Daniel 7:25-27):

“(5) And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. (6) And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. (7) And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Revelation 13:5-7)

“(25) And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. (26) But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. (27) And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” (Daniel 7:25-27)

Therefore, the gathering of the righteous, the Rapture, will not take place until after the tribulation. This finding fits well with Matthew 24:29-31. The passage speaks of angels gathering of Christ’s elect after the tribulation:

“(29) Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: (30) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (31) And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:29-31)

Closing Thoughts

The Parable of the Wheat and Tares undermines the Pre-Trib Rapture theory. The parable tells us when the gathering of the righteous will take place, and it will not take place until the end of the age arrives. This event will take place after the tribulation. Not before the tribulation.

Notice that Matthew 13:30 mentions that the tares, the wicked, will be gathered first:

“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.” (Matthew 13:30)

What is the significance of this statement? The wicked will be taken first-not the righteous… To find out, I invite you to read my article on Luke 17:37. Like the Parable of the Wheat and Tares, Luke 17:37 is overlooked by many Bible prophecy teachers.