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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Hundred-Thirty-Fourth (Tares)

I hope your week went well! Mine was a bit slow, but not uneventful by any means! Some interesting developments at work and an unexpected family event kept us on our toes. That's just life, though, isn't it? We live day to day as the Lord wills (James 4:15).

If we're not careful, if we're not diligent, as we go through life things can creep in unknowingly and become a part of our lives. They can be incorporated into our beliefs or how we live and may slowly lead us away from YHWH. Hopefully, we have eyes open enough to keep the things of the world out, but we still have to be diligent with those we trust, with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

It's not even always that these individuals intend to do anything nefarious. Sometimes, they were also deceived and they're just propagating the things that were snuck into their lives or beliefs. Satan operates in darkness and sometimes without individuals even being aware of his influence. Doctrines are developed and spread that promote his goals and intentions, unknowingly at times.

Whatever the circumstances are, we are warned of this situation. In the parable of the wheat and the tares (Matthew 13:24-29), Yeshua prophesies of a field where a man sows wheat. During the night, the enemy planted weeds and when the servants saw and asked the man, he said to leave the weeds until harvest since he didn't want the wheat to get ripped up in the process of removing the weeds. Then, at harvest time, the workers will gather the weeds for burning and the wheat for the granary.

He goes on further to explain this parable (Matthew 13:36-43), stating that it's a representation of YHWH's children (wheat) and Satan's children (weeds). The harvest is the end times when the messengers will gather the wicked into the winepress of YHWH (Revelation 14:18-20) and harvest the righteous (Revelation 14:15-16).

The picture this week includes tares, on the left, and wheat, on the right. The Greek word used for tares is zizanion, which is very close in characteristics to wheat but without wheat's uses, like making breads. At first glance, they seem almost identical, but zizanion is useless in comparison.

It's the same for the tares that are growing right next to us. They seem almost identical in beliefs or how they live, but their end is not the same as ours. And the subtlety of their influence and leading down the path of destruction is quite remarkable. Similar to how the serpent used some truth (Genesis 3:5) and some falsehood (Genesis 3:4) in tempting Eve to eat of the fruit, the tares use some truth and some falsehood to lead down the wrong path.

For example, how often have you heard the condoning or even promotion of things like homosexuality and abortion from churches justified by saying something like, "Jesus said we should love everyone?" They're absolutely right. Yeshua did say that (Matthew 22:34-40). However, what they're missing is that He was saying this as a means of showing that all the Law was based on this concept. And furthermore, the two commandments He mentioned were already commandments to begin with! (Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:18)

But, because the majority of Christians are taught that the Law is no longer required to be followed because Yeshua abolished it at His crucifixion, the commandment against homosexuality, for example, is either unknown or ignored (Leviticus 18:22). This leads them to be open to their church marrying homosexuals and flying the pride flag at their church.

They also are then open to, and led down the path of, believing that in order for you to love someone in the way Yeshua commanded you must accept their sin rather than help guide them away from it. They're told they need to "love the person for who they are," which confuses who a person is with what they choose to do. This is not biblical in the least. Just read all the letters to believers in the New Testament that rebuke them for straying into worldly beliefs and away from the gospel (Galatians 1:6-7, for example).

You see, man has no capability of determining how to express true love anymore. We have to have the framework of the commandments from YHWH and Yeshua because our world has descended into so much corruption at this point. In fact, it's impossible for us to know how to express true love in every situation we encounter because we don't have even a miniscule understanding of how the natural, let alone spiritual, world works.

For example, can you explain exactly how blessings and cursings work? Clearly, they work somehow because YHWH had all of Israel speak them from the mountaintops (Deuteronomy 11:29). There's scripture talking about blessings and cursings, so if they didn't work somehow, those would be lies in scripture.

As another example, do you know the basis behind every commandment given by YHWH? No, but He said generally of them that the Israelites would have long life if they were followed (Deuteronomy 11:8-9). Even Adam and Eve were not told exactly what would happen physically and spiritually if they ate of that fruit. They were simply told that they would die (Genesis 2:16-17), but clearly something did happen to them when they ate it (Genesis 3:7).

You know, one of the other arguments made about the commandments no longer being required to be followed is that they're just there to give us the knowledge of sin now. This coming from one of Paul's writings where he did mention that (Romans 3:20), but again is something taken out of context and used to push a certain doctrine.

Yes, the Law gives us knowledge of sin, but what are we to do with that knowledge? Did YHWH give Adam and Eve the commandment just so they would know that it would be a sin to eat? Fully expecting them to just go on eating? Of course not! And do you think we're any different? Yes, our Savior was crucified between then and now, but He Himself said He didn't come to abolish the Law (Matthew 5:17).

In that same letter to the Romans, Paul clearly states that we shall not continue in sin (Romans 6:1-2), meaning we shall follow the Law since by it we know what sin is. He emphasizes that it is still possible for us to sin (meaning Christ's death did not get rid of sin for us) by saying, "...do not let sin..." and "...do not present...your body to sin," (Romans 6:12-13). This is an action required on our part, so sin is still something we should not do by following the Law. We just no longer will receive the wages of sin (death) if we happen to stumble in this task (Romans 6:23).

To close, I don't want you to get me wrong. It's not that we shouldn't love or have compassion for those who commit sins, or that we shouldn't welcome them and share the gospel with them. Quite the opposite, in fact. The gospel is meant for those who are lost (Luke 19:10). It's that we shouldn't condone or promote sin, and doing things like waving a pride flag or being pro-choice is exactly that, condoning and promoting sin. Tares are among us everywhere, and my fear is that there are more of them than we realize. The ones that are completely different are the easily identifiable and easily avoidable ones, but the ones with the subtle differences are what we need to be vigilant against. We must stay grounded in the Word and connected to Him through prayer in order to have the right level of discernment and be able to stay on the narrow path.

Shabbat shalom and God bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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