REPORT OF THE FEAST FOR WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 18, 2018
The Parable of the wheat and the tares by Brother Samuel C. Nwaeke
The speaker said that a parable is a story told to illustrate moral or spiritual lessons. Wheat is a valuable cereal crop that is part of the diet of human beings. Tares are weeds or grass that grows where not required. The parable is contained in Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43.
The parable says that a man sowed good seed in his field (wheat). “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.” When the servants of the householder inquired from him how come tares came to be among the wheat “He said unto them, An enemy hath done this.” When they sought permission to remove the tares from among the wheat the householder 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.” – Matthew 13:24-30.
In explaining the parable, Jesus Christ said “He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 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…” – Matthew 13:36-43.
The tares: Our Saviour explained this to mean the children of the wicked one, the devil. The devil influences them right from the womb. They could come into God’s organisation and remain for a while, but would not repent. Sooner or later they drift away or are removed by God in His time. St. Peter called these wicked ones “natural brute beasts”. – Psalm 58:3; John 8:44. 2 Peter 2:12.
The harvest: In Matthew 24:31 Christ promised to send his angels from all parts of the world to gather people into his organisation. These are the spiritual Israelites, the children of Abraham by faith. (Genesis 12:3; Galatians 3:7-9; Isaiah 49:6; Luke 4:18-20) After the gathering work, at the end of the world, Jesus Christ would send his angels to destroy the wicked and the devil himself. (Revelation 20:1-3,7-9) Thereafter, the redeemed would shine in the kingdom of God, in terms of the blessings which the just will enjoy. – 1 Corinthians 2:9.
Believers are urged to hold fast to the truth until the end because it is the way of salvation.
If the holy spirit is not God what then is the sin against the holy spirit?
By Brother Abraham A. Erha, member Executive Board.
In Matthew 12:30,31, 32: Christ said, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”
Some people think that by this statement, Christ meant that the holy spirit is a person who can forgive or refuse to forgive sins, which they call the third person of the trinity. They even say the holy spirit is co-equal with God Almighty.
He said that according to the Holy Bible the Almighty God lives from everlasting to everlasting and is uncreated. He used Jesus Christ as his creative agent to create everything visible and invisible. (John 1:1-3; Ephesians 3:9)
But nobody is equal with God. Even our Lord Jesus Christ while on earth never claimed equality with the Almighty God. (John 6:38; Proverbs 8:23-30 from the Living Bible; John 14:28; John 20:16, 17) Jesus Christ is always subordinate to the father. The holy spirit is not God but the power of the Almighty God which He gives to His faithful servants or apostles to do His work according to His will. It is not God Himself. In 2 Peter 1:20,21 “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” In Matthew 3:16,17 we have the account of the baptism of Jesus Christ. “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16, 17) In John 3:34 the Bible says the spirit was not given to Jesus Christ by measure. If the holy spirit is a person, how can it be measured to anyone?
Sin against the holy spirit
Sin against the holy spirit is deliberate sin, a sin committed in spite of knowledge. For this there is no forgiveness neither in this world nor in the world to come.
The Bible says, “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses. – Hebrews 10:26-28
Examples of those who sinned against the holy spirit
Lucifer. He rebelled against God and rallied the angels to oppose God. (Ezekiel 28:14-17) Because of his rebellion, he has been driven down to the earth and cannot go to heaven anymore. (Revelation 12:7-9) In course of time God will give the command for satan and his wicked angels to be destroyed.
Another was Adam. He was created perfect and was given a command that he could eat of all the trees in the Garden but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he should not eat of it. He broke the law not because he was deceived but deliberately. – Genesis 2:15-17; 1 Timothy 2:14.
Another is Judas Iscariot. In spite of warnings he went ahead to plot against Jesus Christ. (Matthew 26:14-25, 47-50; 27:3-10) After Christ had been arrested, Judas came back to the priests and returned the 30 pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders. Thereafter, he hanged himself, thereby adding sin to sin. – Matthew 27:1-3.
In Acts 5:3-5 we read of the case of Ananias and Saphira he lied that it was the all the money from the land he sold that he gave to the Church.