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Matthew 13 Wheat and weeds, and, when and where is the Kingdom ?


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On 7/11/2021 at 9:41 AM, JW Insider said:

(Matthew 13:39) . . .The harvest is a conclusion of a system of things, . .

Matthew 9 : 37 & 38

 Then he said to his disciples: “Yes, the harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38  Therefore, beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”

is and are, are present tense, so is this the same harvest mentioned in both scriptures ?

It would seem that the harvesting work started whilst Jesus was still here on Earth with his disciples. Does that mean that 'the conclusion of the system' also started at that same time ?

Also, John 10 : 16

16  “And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold, those too I must bring in, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd.

Does this mean that Jesus had also started gathering people that were not going to be anointed ones ? Was Jesus also harvesting the 'non-anointed' whilst he was on Earth ? 

 

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I think you asked an excellent question here. Last year, I think, you were part of the conversation where the point was made that this verse seems like an exception to the more general idea in the Bible that the end, last day, his parousia, the synteleia, end of all things, his manifestation, his  appearance, his revelation, the day of the Lord, Jehovah's day, the harvest, trumpet call, judgment day, resurrection, etc. all refer (generally) to a single, great future apocalyptic event of unknown

I agree with you 100% that it's possible to mix them up. In fact, "@Patiently. . ." was on the right track when he asked:  Specifically, when Jesus said "the harvest is great" he seems to refer to the importance and urgency of the preaching work during any time in history. There was an urgency during the first century and there is an urgency now. However, when Jesus said, "the harvest is the synteleia of the age" (NWT: "the harvest is a conclusion of the system of the things" this wa

Just as I stated. It has become ‘all roads lead to heaven’ with him. That didn’t take long. I’ll bet already with him Jesus has died upon a cross.

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4 hours ago, Patiently waiting for Truth said:

Matthew 9 : 37 & 38   Then he said to his disciples: “Yes, the harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38  Therefore, beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”

I think you asked an excellent question here. Last year, I think, you were part of the conversation where the point was made that this verse seems like an exception to the more general idea in the Bible that the end, last day, his parousia, the synteleia, end of all things, his manifestation, his  appearance, his revelation, the day of the Lord, Jehovah's day, the harvest, trumpet call, judgment day, resurrection, etc. all refer (generally) to a single, great future apocalyptic event of unknown duration. While that entire apocalyptic event is still future, Christians are told to keep it in mind, and expect that it can occur suddenly, at any time, as if without warning. 

Yet, this verse in Matthew definitely refers to the harvest as if it can cover a long period of time. The disciples themselves were part of this "harvesting" work. The analogy here was not wheat (sheaves), but sheep, who would be gathered into the fold.

(Matthew 10:5-7) These 12 Jesus sent out, giving them these instructions: “Do not go off into the road of the nations, and do not enter any Sa·marʹi·tan city; 6 but instead, go continually to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 As you go, preach, saying: ‘The Kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.’

(Matthew 10:23) . . .for truly I say to you, you will by no means complete the circuit of the cities of Israel until the Son of man arrives.

It would not be time to begin gathering (or bringing in) other sheep until after Jesus died. (John 10)

This is just an idea, but I think the solution is related to what I said before on the issue of the kingdom, the last day, the conclusion/end (synteleia), etc. I doubt that I made the made the point very well in the post on the previous page (from 3 days ago). I'll try to make it again. Keep in mind that it will be a similar point that the Watchtower articles have grappled with when speaking about why, if Jesus came into his Kingdom in 1914, we should still pray for that Kingdom to come:

*** w07 9/1 p. 31 Questions From Readers ***
When Jesus came into his Kingdom authority in 1914,

*** ws14 1/15 p. 26 par. 2 “Let Your Kingdom Come”—But When? ***
As Bible students, we know that God’s Kingdom came in 1914 when Jesus was made King in heaven.

*** w14 1/15 pp. 27-28 par. 2 “Let Your Kingdom Come”—But When? ***
As Bible students, we know that in one sense God’s Kingdom came in 1914 when Jesus was installed as King in heaven. But we know that more is involved in response to the prayer “Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth.” (Matt. 6:10) Clearly, that includes the end of the present wicked system. Only when that occurs can God’s will be done on earth as it is being done in heaven.

In fact, with all the renewed "anniversary" emphasis on 1914 in the year 2014, the WTS decided to add a new song to the songbook, manually, that most Witnesses printed out on paper from jw.org and carried with them to the KH. The song was clearly meant to face the potential contradiction head on.

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As stated before, the problem is not just the "kingdom" or the "harvest." Note:

The kingdom is coming, but Jesus also said it was already in their midst:

(Luke 17:21) . . .For look! the Kingdom of God is in your midst.”

The early Christians were awaiting the time to become kings and priests but were already made a kingdom of priests:

(Revelation 1:6) 6 and he made us to be a kingdom, priests to his God and Father. . .

(Ephesians 2:6) . . .Moreover, he raised us up together and seated us together in the heavenly places in union with Christ Jesus,

We are awating Jesus' manifestation, yet Peter and Hebrews said he was already made manifest:

(1 Peter 1:20) .20 True, he was foreknown before the founding of the world, but he was made manifest at the end of the times for the sake of YOU

(Hebrews 9:26-27) . . .But now he has manifested himself once for all time at the conclusion of the systems of things to put sin away through the sacrifice of himself. 27 And as it is reserved for men to die once for all time, but after this a judgment,

We expect that Satan is not completely cast down until the final battle in heaven is complete, yet:

(John 12:31) . . .Now there is a judging of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.

(Luke 10:18) At that he said to them: “I see Satan already fallen like lightning from heaven. . .

The day of the Lord, the day of salvation was future, yet:

(2 Corinthians 6:2) . . .Look! Now is the day of salvation.

We are awaiting the last day, the last hour:

(John 6:54) . . .and I will resurrect him on the last day;

(John 12:48) . . .The word that I have spoken is what will judge him on the last day.

Yet, the "last hour" was already here in the first century:

(1 John 2:18) . . .Young children, it is the last hour, and just as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared, from which fact we know that it is the last hour.

Last days:

(Acts 2:16, 17) . . .this is what was said through the prophet Joel: 17 ‘“And in the last days,” God says, “I will pour out some of my spirit . . .

Paul explained that it was because they were in the last days that Timothy was seeing critical times hard to deal with:

(2 Timothy 3:1-14) . . .But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, . . .  8 Now in the way that Janʹnes and Jamʹbres opposed Moses, so these also go on opposing the truth. . . . as it was with those two men. 10 But you have closely followed my teaching,. . . 13 But wicked men and impostors will advance from bad to worse, misleading and being misled. 14 You, however, continue in the things that you learned and were persuaded to believe, knowing from whom you learned them

Hebrews 1:2, from the literal Greek, also says the same:

(Hebrews 1:2) 2 Now [in the last days] he has spoken to us by means of a Son,. . .

And it's similar with this harvest or gathering of the chosen ones, at the last trumpet:

(Matthew 24:31) . . .And he will send out his angels with a great trumpet sound, and they will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from one extremity of the heavens to their other extremity.

(1 Corinthians 15:51, 52) . . .we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the blink of an eye, during the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised up incorruptible, and we will be changed.

(1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) we the living who survive to the presence of the Lord will in no way precede those who have fallen asleep in death; 16 because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first. 17 Afterward we the living who are surviving will, together with them, be caught away in clouds. . .

Yet, this "harvest" (or perhaps, "a harvest") or gathering can also be spoken of as going on all along since the first century:

(Matthew 9:37-10:1) . . .“Yes, the harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore, beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.” 10:1 So he summoned his 12 disciples and gave them authority . . .

(2 Corinthians 9:10) . . .Now the One who abundantly supplies seed to the sower and bread for eating will supply and multiply the seed for you to sow and will increase the harvest of your righteousness.)

The explanation, I think, although it might sound a bit strained, is simply that the word about the coming parousia, synteleia, kingdom, harvest, etc., is so sure that we see should see it as if being fulfilled now. It helps us to see --through faith-- and therefore we are better prepared for the potential troubles of this system, even those which may threaten and take our lives. We may die, yet still "happily" await the harvest, because the things we do (in faith) go right with us.

(Revelation 14:13-16) And I heard a voice out of heaven say, “Write: Happy are the dead who die in union with the Lord from this time onward. Yes, says the spirit, let them rest from their labors, for the things they did go right with them.” 14 Then I saw, and look! a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was someone like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 Another angel emerged from the temple sanctuary, calling with a loud voice to the one seated on the cloud: “Put your sickle in and reap, because the hour has come to reap, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” 16 And the one seated on the cloud thrust his sickle into the earth, and the earth was reaped.

It's about the sureness of the promise, and therefore keeping that day "close in mind."

(2 Peter 1:10-21) 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and choosing sure for yourselves, for if you keep on doing these things, you will by no means ever fail. 11 In fact, in this way you will be richly granted entrance into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.. . .16 No, it was not by following artfully contrived false stories that we made known to you the power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. . .19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, and you are doing well in paying attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place (until day dawns and a daystar rises) in your hearts.

(2 Peter 3:12)  as you await and keep close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah,. . .

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On 7/14/2021 at 4:53 PM, JW Insider said:

he harvest is great, but the workers are few.

How can you clump two different illustrations together?  The one about the wheat is not about the great harvest in Matthew 9 On seeing the crowds, he felt pity for them,

    Hello guest!
 because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.
    Hello guest!
 37  Then he said to his disciples: “Yes, the harvest is great, but the workers are few.
    Hello guest!
 "

This is like mixing up the story of Red riding hood and cinderella together to bring it to a similar point.  

The biblical illustrations are there to illustrate different points and not to clump together in ONE idea.  It is sad to see that there is so little depth in understanding.  Go and read them both again  - please!

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12 hours ago, Patiently waiting for Truth said:

We will have to agree to differ on this. 

I am not surprised!  if people cannot even understand that different illustrations lead to different conclusions - then their world is pretty one-dimensional. So yes, I leave it at that!  

 

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13 hours ago, Arauna said:

I am not surprised!  if people cannot even understand that different illustrations lead to different conclusions - then their world is pretty one-dimensional. So yes, I leave it at that!  

 

Well i am quite surprised, that you and many others believe what 8 men tell you to believe just because they CALL THEMSELVES the Faithful and Discreet Slave, and they tell you to believe 'that God and Christ trusts them'. 

Your GB back tracked by saying that they are not inspired by God. But still you hang on their every word.

The world of JWs must be even more one-dimensional because they have to believe and serve their GB through the Elders, and by doing so JWs have to cling to 1914 because they are TOLD  to believe it.  

so yes, leave it at that. 

 

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On 7/15/2021 at 3:32 PM, Arauna said:

This is like mixing up the story of Red riding hood and cinderella together to bring it to a similar point.  

The biblical illustrations are there to illustrate different points and not to clump together in ONE idea.  It is sad to see that there is so little depth in understanding.  Go and read them both again  - please!

I agree with you 100% that it's possible to mix them up. In fact, "@Patiently. . ." was on the right track when he asked: 

On 7/14/2021 at 7:08 AM, Patiently waiting for Truth said:

is this the same harvest mentioned in both scriptures ?

Specifically, when Jesus said "the harvest is great" he seems to refer to the importance and urgency of the preaching work during any time in history. There was an urgency during the first century and there is an urgency now.

However, when Jesus said, "the harvest is the synteleia of the age" (NWT: "the harvest is a conclusion of the system of the things" this was specifically using the term "harvest" in the sense of a final gathering up of those "chosen" (the wheat) from among the "weeds."

As  you said, separate illustrations don't have to be referring to the exact same aspect of an idea, just because the subject appears to be the same.

I should have acknowledged @Patiently's original question more clearly rather than by just saying ". . . this 'harvest' (or perhaps,  'a harvest') . . . " 

On 7/14/2021 at 10:53 AM, JW Insider said:

Yet, this "harvest" (or perhaps, "a harvest") or gathering can also be spoken of as going on all along since the first century

To me, and you, there is no reason to mix the meanings of the general "preaching" harvest and the "end-times" gathering of the wheat and weeds (or the gathering/harvest of the chosen ones). But this doesn't mean there is no connection. In fact, even though we've had this conversation before where this separation between two harvests has already been made, I was still acknowledging that there is a logical connection, as the Watchtower publications have also claimed.

In the God's Kingdom Rules book for example, chapter 9 contains the following discussion, which also ties together these same verses (which you might claim was like mixing up Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood).

*** kr chap. 9 pp. 88-95 pars. 5-21 Results of Preaching—“The Fields . . . Are White for Harvesting” ***
In a vision given to the apostle John, Jehovah reveals that he assigned Jesus to take the lead in a global harvest of people. (Read Revelation 14:14-16.) In this vision, Jesus is described as having a crown and a sickle. The “golden crown on [Jesus’] head” confirms his position as ruling King. The “sharp sickle in his hand” confirms his role as Harvester. By stating through an angel that “the harvest of the earth is fully ripe,” Jehovah emphasizes that the work is urgent. Indeed, “the hour has come to reap”—there is no time for delay! In response to God’s command “put your sickle in,” Jesus thrusts in his sickle, and the earth is reaped—that is, people of the earth are reaped. This exciting vision reminds us that again “the fields . . . are white for harvesting.” Does this vision help us to determine when this global harvest began? Yes!
6 Since John’s vision in Revelation chapter 14 shows Jesus, the Harvester, wearing a crown (verse 14), his appointment as King in 1914 had already taken place. (Dan. 7:13, 14) Sometime after that, Jesus is commanded to start the harvest (verse 15). The same order of events is seen in Jesus’ parable about the harvest of the wheat, where he states: “The harvest is a conclusion of a system of things.” Thus, the harvest season and the conclusion of this system of things began at the same time—in 1914. Later “in the harvest season,” the actual harvesting began. (Matt. 13:30, 39) [Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest season, I will tell the reapers: First collect the weeds and bind them in bundles to burn them up; then gather the wheat into my storehouse.’” . . . and the enemy who sowed them is the Devil. The harvest is a conclusion of a system of things, and the reapers are angels.] Looking back from our vantage point in time, we can see that the harvest began some years after Jesus started ruling as King. First, from 1914 until the early part of 1919, Jesus carried out a cleansing work among his anointed followers. . . . Then, in 1919, “the harvest of the earth” began. Without delay, Jesus used the newly appointed faithful slave to help our brothers see the urgency of the preaching work. . . . Since 1919, zealous harvest workers have been gathered into the restored Christian congregation. . . .
20 In the first century, Jesus helped his apostles to see that the harvest work was urgent. From 1919 onward, Jesus has helped his modern-day disciples to grasp the same truth. In response, God’s people have intensified  their activities. In fact, the harvest work has proved to be unstoppable. As foretold by the prophet Malachi, the preaching work is being carried out today “from the rising of the sun to its setting.” (Mal. 1:11) Yes, from sunrise to sunset—from east to west, no matter where they are on earth—sowers and reapers work and rejoice together. And from sunrise to sunset—from morning till evening, or all day long—we work with a sense of urgency.
21 As we look back today over some 100 years and see how a small group of God’s servants has grown into “a mighty nation,” our heart does indeed “throb and overflow” with joy. (Isa. 60:5, 22) May that joy and our love for Jehovah, “the Master of the harvest,” impel each one of us to keep on doing our share in completing the greatest harvest of all time!—Luke 10:2. [Then he said to them: “Yes, the harvest is great, but the workers are few. Therefore, beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.]

The chapter in "kr" also tried to deal with the problem of timing in order to date the harvest of the conclusion of the system of things beginning after Jesus becomes king, and showing that the harvest would begin some time later. The article times these two events at 1914 and 1919, of course.

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On 7/17/2021 at 11:48 AM, JW Insider said:

The article times these two events at 1914 and 1919, of course.

I laughed, but in reality it's very sad. 

Then he said to his disciples: “Yes, the harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38  Therefore, beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”

This was in the time Jesus was here on Earth. Why can't the GB / Leaders see this ?

Because they are not guided or inspired of God's Holy Spirit  

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On 7/18/2021 at 3:11 PM, Patiently waiting for Truth said:

I laughed, but in reality it's very sad. 

Then he said to his disciples: “Yes, the harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38  Therefore, beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”

This was in the time Jesus was here on Earth. Why can't the GB / Leaders see this ?

Because they are not guided or inspired of God's Holy Spirit  

I looked at Matthew chapters 9 and 10. The context shows that at that time, in fact, only Jesus was preaching the Kingdom and performing miracles.  35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 

And then we have verses: 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Next chapter starting with verse: Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.  .....and  also As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’  .... with again: 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,[a] drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

"The harvest" was already over. And the separation of the wheat from the chaff happened in its final act in 70 AD after the fall of the Temple and Jerusalem. It could very easily be that the "harvest and separation" takes place constantly and continuously. Because people over and over again making a choice/selection and ending their lives in one of their choices, in one of their various states; spiritual or emotional or psychic, which are the basis for “God’s (final) judgment”. 

But then we also have the idea of the final "global resurrection" (vs or despite final "global destruction"), of all the just and the unjust people who are given a new opportunity to make new choice.

 

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7 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

The harvest" was already over.

No - because the wheat is the anointed and not all the anointed were collected in Jesus's time.  Matthew 13 shows that the wheat and the weeds must grow together until the ' time of the end'.  Then Jesus will gather the wheat out of the world and during Armageddon - he will destroy the weeds.

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