The Wheat and the Tares
darnel / tares / zizanion
The kingdom of heaven is a kingdom on earth and it is a kingdom to be cleansed.
The wheat represents the Christian population of God's kingdom. The tares looks very much like wheat but it is a different and harmful plant. It is not wheat but it looks like wheat. In this parable, the tares were something that was sown, not by God but by his enemy. So the kingdom is populated with wheat and tares. You might say, the wheat are God's people and the tares look like God's people.
There are a few who can tell the difference between wheat and tares.
The servants of the householder can tell the difference between wheat and tares. Do you know of any Churches that identifies any particular group as 'evil'. Not just 'sinners' but a different and evil people? If so, then might it just be that this church is actually made up of 'servants of the householder'.
At the end of the age there is to be two different gatherings.
Why wait until the harvest to separate the wheat from the tares?
1. Pulling up the tares would damage the roots of the wheat.
2. To go through a field of wheat pulling up tares would mean trampling down a lot of wheat.
A Christian knows he is a Christian. Likewise might a 'tare' know he is a 'tare'? And if the tare knows the Bible then 'tares' knows that, at the end of the age, they are to be gathered together and burned. Is there a people living in Christian (wheat) nations that fears being gathered together and burned?
This is what Easton's revised Bible dictionary says about tares / darnel:
While the tares look wheat, look like God's chosen people, it is a totally different plant.
When talking about 'the wicked' Jesus said, by their fruit you will know them.
Notice three things from Matthew 7.
The tare's fruit, the seeds, contains a poisonous soporific drug. A drug that induces deep sleep, or causes one to become drowsy and lethargic.
From the Dictionary
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
We usually think of false prophets to be in churches. But many people do not go to church. Yet we read "they all slumbered and slept". What do we have in our society that affects all of us and is controlled by a small minority in society. Controlled by a people who look like 'wheat'?
Does the television cause people to not only slumber but also to do all kinds of things which one would not normally do, but which a drugged person might do in his drugged madness?
What effect do you see in our society as a result of television, in dress, personal appearance, music, conduct, moral standards? And do the leaders of these tares dwell upon a fear of being gathered together and burnt?
Tares is not wheat but a totally different plant which is sown by the enemy. It is not a part of God's harvest at all, nor was it sown by God. It will be burned, and there is no chance for it to transform itself to wheat. In short: darnel is not "erring saints", or unconverted humans, but a totally different species (kind).
The darnel does not think it is wheat. It is and knows that it is darnel. It mixes with wheat and it is soporific, and is only fit to be bound and then burned (Matthew 13:30).
The wheat will be gathered to God, but the darnel was not sown by God and has never been his wheat and has never been any part of his potential spiritual harvest. It is from the beginning a different plant, a one doomed to be bound together in bundles at the harvest time, and to be burned, without any way of escape. It is something that came from the enemy.
Jesus explained this parable:
But all do not have the ear to hear this. All are not able to understand or bear this.
Now, when the darnel comes to fruit it is more easily recognized for even the non-expert. But those who know more about darnel's characteristics, can recognize it even earlier.
Its fruit, the black seeds, contain a narcotic drug causing slumber. Someone said that if darnel grows among oil-bearing plants and if its seeds are pressed together with the oil-giving seeds, the oil can become lethal because the oil carries the darnel's poison in it.
Jesus said there would be darnel. Where do you think it will grow? Among whom? Why, among the wheat of God: among the saints. But while the darnel mixes with the wheat and may appear to be wheat, it is not a part of the spiritual assembly of God in any way at all. Still, it will be there, among the wheat, all the way to the time of the harvest. Please also note that darnel becomes really poisonous immediately before harvest time, when it comes to fruit. In other words: darnel is most dangerous just before harvest time, and here we are talking about God's harvest which is reaped by the angels.
Please do not allow yourself to become intoxicated by darnel. Please do not allow it to cause you to go to sleep or to slumber. Please do let it drug you to doing insane things.
Look at the fruit of persons to see what they really are. "Fruit" is not figures or statistics but a biblical criteria, such as is found in Galatians 5:22-23 and in several other places of the Bible.
Please read even Isaiah 8:20: "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." The enemy who sowed darnel did his sowing in the darkness of the night.
Much said about sleeping. The darnel causes drowsiness, sleep, even lethal drowsiness, and: here we are talking about things on the spiritual level. (There is more on Paul's letter to the Ephesians in the essay.)
We must be aware of the fact that there are many deceivers, who are not a part of the wheat of God but of a totally different kind, directly from the enemy, but still look-a-likes which mix with God's people.
The wheat of God, the true saints, must be a light. They must kindle up the fire of God in them (1. Thessalonians 5:19, 1. Timothy 4:14, 2. Timothy 1:6) and not let their opportunity as the called ones of God go by. God has allowed the very enemy, the enemy of God, to infiltrate mankind, even his spiritual assembly.
Just as physical darnel plants are many in a field, so are spiritual darnel plants many among what God sowed. God allows this to happen, perhaps in order to test his saints, or for some other purpose. But he has also many times and in different ways, and repeatedly, warned us about deceivers, about darnel. God tells his saints what to do: be close to God, study the Bible, blow up the fire of God (the Holy Spirit) so that it will be effective in one's life, and, "buy up the opportunity", as was quoted above. That is: one must use the opportunity which one has been given by God.
Romans 13:12, Ephesians 5:11, 1. Thessalonians 5:1-10, 1. Thessalonians 5:19, 1. Timothy 4:14, 2. Timothy 1:6.
A note: in this document it is taken "for granted" that the commentaries which are referred are correct in their identification of the tares/darnel/zizania as Lolium temulentum which is a wheat-resembling plant with black seeds which contain a soporific drug. (Some say that the seeds in themselves are not soporific but the fungus which comes with them, but that nevertheless means that those seeds are poisonous.) But even if the identification of the exact plant would be incorrect here, that does not change Jesus' warning message to us in the parable concerning darnel in Matthew 13.
Understanding the matter with the darnel plants, that they are a special kind, a separate kindred among us humans, helps one to understand some other things in the Bible also. Like this passage in Matthew which might seem to be logically incorrect:
We of course know that the people who lived during Jesus' days died, without seeing the things Jesus foretold. Some have tried to explain that obvious problem by saying that Jesus referred to some (single) "future" generation which would not pass away until, et cetera. But that is not a plausible explanation, for Jesus spoke about a genea which existed (lived) when Jesus lived as a mortal man here on earth.
The explanation is simple. The word for "generation" in that passage is genea. That word could actually mean many kinds of things, among those are "a special kindred", "a certain kind of persons" and "a group of persons".
In Matthew 24, Jesus did refer to a special kindred (genea) which lived among the Jews. In that chapter, Jesus describes how deceivers and workers of evil would be in the end times. Even while we cannot be sure, those deceivers might be a part of the darnel.
The kindred, genea, which Jesus warned about will live among men until the things mentioned in Matthew 24 have all happened. But after that the Reign of Heaven will come to effect even here on earth. At that time, Satan and other unrepentant evil spirits will be bound (bundled up) and will receive their judgment (destruction by fire). They will not be allowed to do their work of evil among humans any more. At that time, the kindred (genea) which Jesus spoke about will perish from among men.
The Bible has similar passages where the kindred which Jesus warned about is referred to. Here is one example:
Obviously the blood of men of earlier generations cannot be required at the hand of the generation of men who lived much later, when Jesus was here on earth. That would be a great injustice. But, the blood of Abel and others will be required of a special kindred (genea) which is guilty of all that blood throughout the centuries.
It was not that they were just children of vipers (snakes). No: They were a kindred of snakes. The offspring of vipers is of course nothing else but vipers. And theirs, in turn. Those snakes will co-exist with mankind until Jesus' return, but no longer than that.
Jesus used that strong word snake, for he knew what and who the ones he was talking to were. Jesus used similar descriptions of them quite often. You probably know where the serpent was first mentioned in the Bible and who that serpents was/is; you can read more about that snake in the essays and .
To return to the prior page close this page.
The wheat and the tares.