THE HARVEST CLEANSING!
By Pastor Jory Steven Brooks
There are those today who wonder why the Lord allows
wickedness to prevail upon the earth. Some, indeed, wanting
perhaps to help the Lord's program along, seek to take matters
into their own hands and bring about the defeat the wicked before
the Divine appointed time of judgment has arrived. We are instead
expressly told to wait upon the Lord's timing in everything. We
get impatient to see the wicked overthrown and righteousness
prevail, and may wonder as the apostles did if we are to be the
Lord's instruments in such judgment. In Matthew 13:24-30, Christ
answered this question for us:
"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. 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? 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."
An alternate translation of verses 28-29 states, "The
servants asked him, 'Then do you want us to go and pull them up?'
But he said, 'No, because if you pull up the weeds, you might
uproot some of the wheat at the same time.'"
Concerning this, the Bible Knowledge Commentary states,
"...for removing the weeds early would result in destroying the
wheat (Matt. 13:28-29). Therefore they must grow together until
the harvest when the weeds would first be gathered out and
destroyed. Then ... the wheat would be gathered into the barn."
The word "barn" is a translation of the Greek, "apotheke,"
meaning a storehouse, repository, or granary - a place for
storing wheat. The wheat symbolizes Christians, and our future
"storehouse" is the millennial kingdom of God on earth. (Rev.
5:10) The respected 18th century Baptist theologian, John Gill,
explained it as, "meaning the kingdom of heaven, which is as a
garner or repository, in which none but wheat is put, and where
it is safe, and lies together: so none but righteous, pure, and
undefiled persons, are admitted... and being there, they are
safe, and out of the reach of all enemies."
There is a dispute among Christian denominations as to the
order of events during the cleansing time. The dispensationalists
follow Cyrus Scofield, who stated, "The gathering of the tares
into bundles for burning does not imply immediate judgment. At
the end of this age (Matt.13:40) the tares are set apart for
burning, but first the wheat is gathered into the barn." Since
the "barn" symbolizes the millennial kingdom itself, Scofield
claimed that the righteous will be "raptured" into Christ's
presence and kingdom prior to God's judgment upon the earth and
its sinners. This gives basis to the dispensationalist idea of a
pretribulation rapture of the church.
Scofield gives two Scripture texts to support his contention
that the tares, or wicked, are not gathered until after the
wheat. The first, John 14:3, tells us only that God has prepared
a place for us; it says nothing about whether the wicked have any
precedence. The second proof text Scofield gives is 1 Thess-
alonians 4:14-17, which deals with whether those alive at
Christ's coming have precedence over those who are predeceased.
Again, this verse gives no proof to Scofield's pretribulation
In contrast to this, the Preacher's Commentary observes,
"The gathering out of the tares first, then the wheat, does not
sound like a 'rapture' of the righteous." Indeed, quite the
opposite is true: there is first a "rapture" or removing of the
The Jamieson, Faucett, and Brown Commentary agrees in
saying, "It will be observed that the tares are burned before the
wheat is housed; in the exposition of the parable (Matt.13:41,
Matt.13:43) the same order is observed: and the same in Matthew
The verses referenced in Matthew 13:40-43 do indeed support
a prior removal of the wicked: "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."
Why do some teach instead a prior rapture or removal of
Christians from the earth? Perhaps it is because the normal
function of a "reaper" is to gather the grain or corn. We do not
picture farmers as harvesting tares! Yet it is certainly true
that when the tares are full-grown they are easier to identify,
for they often tower over the wheat at harvest time. This
facilitates their removal.
The Biblical term, "time of harvest" (Matt.13:30) indicates
that end-time events would occur over a space of time. How long
is that period? We are not told the length, but we are informed
that there will be momentous events occurring during this
cleansing period leading to the final establishment of the
As we look to the return of our Savior to establish His
kingdom of righteousness, we may even have entered already the
time of tribulation and judgment upon the earth for its iniquity.
May we remain faithful to Christ and strong in the courage of our
convictions through the momentous days ahead. Even so, come Lord
I do not believe we have yet come close to entering the final
stage of the end of this age. Pastor Brooks says he does not know
the end-time space of time the harvest will cover. I think we can
know. It is given in the book of Revelation as 42 months, or 1260
days, or a time, times, and a dividing of a time. Certainly the
main part of the book of Revelation covers the "day of the Lord"
or "the Lord's day" - a period of time mentioned over and over in
the OT prophets. The book of Revelation would suggest this day is
ONE YEAR in length. As most scholars know in prophecy a day often
stands for a year in actual fulfilment.
At any rate, we know the book of Revelation gives 42 months for
the completing of the main part of its prophecy. So the harvest
reaping will be over that period of time. And from the events of
Revelation the horrific events will most certainly be a
harvesting where the chaff from the wheat will be blown away in
no uncertain terms. It will continue to be blown away right up to
the very coming of Christ and the final blowing of the chaff at
the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16 and 19). With the blowing
away of the hardened chaff (the other chaff will be innocent
people around the world that have not been called and chosen to
salvation, who will live on into the 1,000 year age as physical
humans to be taught salvation by Christ and the saints) we shall
have the WHEAT harvested in the resurrection to immortality. So
the truth of the coming of Christ is that it is ONE GLORIOUS
EVENT, and not as two events (one invisible and the other
visible) as the "secret rapture" teachers want you to believe.
The resurrection of the saints to immortality and the FINAL
blowing of the chaff is then AT the COMING of Christ. The
FALSEHOOD of the "secret rapture" teaching I have blown away in
MANY other studies on this Website.