“This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."-Matthew 13:49
- end of the age
- blazing furnace
- separating wicked and righteous
- weeping and gnashing of teeth
We see this language in The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares:
The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The tares are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. “As the tares are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.-Matt 13:38-43A The Sower
- B WHEAT AND TARES
-- C Mustard Seed
--- D Leaven
--- D Treasure
-- C Pearl
- B DRAG NET
A The Scribe
So why the redundancy? Again, we note the audience and setting of the parables. The Wheat and the Tares is given to the multitudes, outside the house, by the sea. The Drag Net is given inside the house to the Lord’s inner circle. So, as we noted the similarities, we now note the differences.
In the former we have “wheat” and “tares” sewn. In the latter, we have a great harvest of fish from the sea. The former is a warning to Israel that their land may be filled with the multitudes, but who is truly a son of the kingdom may only be obvious at the end of the age. The seed picture individuals.
Gentiles nations are pictured as the raging sea in scripture. In the latter we see the “righteous” gentiles harvested. But what does this have to do with the House of Israel? Much in every way! As we will see in Matthew 25, much of their judgment will have to do with how they treat “the least of [His] brethren [Jews]” during the tribulation.
[Aside: we looked at the harvest of fish in John 21 as the resurrected Lord presented Himself to seven of the twelve disciples. We saw the "12 baskets full" of the what was left of the loaves (wheat) and the fish at the feeding of the 5000 in Matt 14, etc.]
As these judgments are “at the end of the age,” we must not apply them as universal to all men of all ages. They will be at the end of the next age (when Israel is back at the center of God’s plan and the Acts age is finally consummated). The blazing fire we have covered elsewhere, but I note again it is the “Gehenna” fire. We know of this from Isaiah 66 where Israel is back in the land and “corpses” (dead bodies) are thrown into that real, earthly conflagration.
Note the differences in rewards, hopes and judgments in scripture which we have looked at over time. (Our next thought will be a brief review.)
KJV NOTICE: The KJV reads “end of the world” in these passages. That does some violence to the context as we have noted previously. The Greek word is “aiṓn” which speaks of an “age,” not necessarily the end of the physical earth.