Monthly Archives: February 2013

God’s Patience Seen in “The Tares in the Field”

So, “patience” is “endurance.”  And this enduring of all things by the elect is part of the fruit of the presence of the Spirit of agape love in our hearts because this godlike love endures all things (I Cor. 13: 7).  It is the height of godliness, which is the road we are to travel as God’s sons and daughters.

This way to sonship is a lonely road, fraught with danger and made treacherous by its highwaymen.

But it is as the Creator planned it.  It has all come out of His wisdom-filled mind.  He knows it is an arduous path, for He first trod it.  Now I am talking about the Father in the beginning, that wonderful illusive invisible Spirit, as well as His Son, the “expressed image of the invisible God.”

The Father knows of the treachery on this earth, for He wrote the play that way.  He is the Great Playwright that created characters antagonistic to His offspring’s destiny.  They are formed to be foils of His sons and daughters.  They withstand the children of God, thus strengthening and forging within these future monarchs the finer spiritual character of their Father.

For His children are destined to rule with Him forever.  However, they will acquire the necessary regal attributes by overcoming the struggles imposed on them by their adversaries, the “vessels of wrath.  “What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory(Romans 9: 22-23).

The “Vessels of Wrath”

God is enduring with much patience evilness and wickedness right now.  He is enduring “vessels of wrath.”  And why is it important for us to know about these people?  For they will be our antagonists in the play that we have been called to audition for–the play called Sonship.  Christ, as its Author, has in its pages outlined the way to become the veritable offspring of God, His princes and princesses.  But God in His infinite wisdom knows that to be like Him, we must go through the fire kindled by our enemies.

These antagonists are explained in the “Parable of the Tares in the

Field.”  This is a secret that God is now handing down to His elect, His chosen “vessels of mercy.”  With this information we can understand much better what our parts entail, and how to live and play them.

The parable reads: “Another parable He put forth to them, saying: The kingdom of heaven is like a man who 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 grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.

“So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’

“He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’

“The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’

“But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn” (Matthew 13: 24-30).

Later Christ explains it: “He answered and said to them: He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked [one].  The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.

“Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (vs. 37-43 NKJV).

We must remember that the parables are not nice little stories to make it easier for the masses to understand.  To the contrary, they are the “dark sayings” of God, spoken to deliberately cloud the secret “mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” for those not suppose to know (Mt. 13: 10-15).

Christ says that the “tares” are “the sons of the wicked one.”  They are placed in the earth by “the enemy,” which is the devil.

The reason that this and other parables don’t make sense to most is because of the old leaven concepts they read into them.  Old error-filled doctrines are like a dirty out of focus lens that the script is being read through.  Distortion and confusion prevail.  For example, we have the false doctrine that the devil and the fall of man is a great laboratory experiment of God that went wrong.  Hogwash.  A great lie.  God is Sovereign and All Powerful or He is not.  He is, and He created darkness and evil for His own purposes (Isaiah 45: 7).

Now, seen through this truth, we can begin to understand the parable of the tares.  God has ordained “sons of the wicked one” (the tares) to not only exist, but also be an active adversarial hindrance to the future sons and daughters of God (the wheat).  And they are to “grow together till the time of the harvest.”  At God’s word, they continue to live and do what He wants them to do.  He could have had the angels rip them up and burn them.  But He is telling us that you don’t want to disturb the maturation process of the wheat.  For if you pull the tares up, you will adversely affect the growth of the wheat.  The root system of the wheat will be disturbed, and the sap will be hindered from coming up.

God is saying, To grow up into Me, you must let the wheat (children of God) grow up, side by side, with the tares (the evil children of Satan).

The truth is that we need these tares and the sufferings that they provide for us to become more like God.  This is a precursor of adding the next addition–godliness.

God is enduring all this evil in order to reproduce Himself in us.  He endures the evil against Him and His plan, for He knows that the enemy will make His offspring stronger.  Now, to be like Him, we must endure, as well.  He is enduring, and we must endure, which is adding patience.  This is God’s fellowship that we are to enter; it is “the fellowship of His sufferings” (Phil. 3: 10).     Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Adding the Patience of God–Why Christians Must Go Through Trials

Peter tells us to add patience, which is endurance, to our faith.  This is an attribute of the Holy Spirit, a part of God’s “divine nature.”  Patience/endurance is part of God’s nature, but questions arise.   So, what has He endured?  What sufferings did He endure?  What is it about His divine nature that is patient and enduring?

We all have a good idea of what the Son of God endured.  We know painfully of His physical and mental torture on the cross.  But it is the spiritual sufferings He endured that were the worst.  Nothing is worse than to be betrayed by those you love.  The betrayal and conspiracy against Him brought much grief and pain, enduring sinners against Himself.  “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not” (John 1: 10).

But God’s sufferings go back beyond the Son’s time of anguish.  If we go back to the beginning, we begin to see that the Father Himself endured with much longsuffering the forces of the very adversary that He positioned as such.  God created and, yes, commissioned the devil to be the “accuser of the brethren.”  That was Satan’s job–to create havoc, doubt, and despair–as God ordained it.

Now some will hold me to task on this point.  So I will point us to the book of Job, the first chapter.  The sons of God are assembled in a meeting, and Satan appears with them.  God asked him what he had been doing.  Satan responded that he was just doing his job, going about his business, going to and fro in the earth.  And what business was that?  God tells us in His next breath.  “Have you considered my servant Job?”  Then Satan tells God that You won’t let me touch Him because You have blessed him and have protected him.  Then God gives Satan permission to bring on much persecution and sufferings onto Job (1: 6-12).

Inexplicable as it seems to our little finite minds, God has Satan creating sufferings for His righteous children!  God says, “I change not” and that He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

So we can deduce that God has ordained a certain amount of  sufferings, tribulations, trials, and temptations for each of us [Boy, that was difficult to write down, but I told God that I would publish what He gives me from His word].

So God ordains sufferings, “for whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12: 6).  There it is by two witnesses; there are many more.  But He is enduring those very sufferings that come down on us.  Remember our parents about to use the rod of correction on us saying, This hurts me more than it hurts you.

But God ordained and ordered His own sufferings to be endured down through the ages.  If we understand this about our Creator, we get into His mind a little more deeply, moving us closer to comprehending why we must suffer and why we must endure trials and tribulations–the very sufferings which bring about the adding of patience/endurance, which is a crucial part of God’s divine nature.

Betrayal–The Suffering Most Dreaded

If a person is called and chosen by God to be His son or daughter, they will suffer a crippling betrayal at the hands of someone they love or trusted.  Betrayal is the thing we most fear in human relationships.  It is a heartbreaking, senseless infliction of utmost spiritual pain that the natural thinking human being finds absolutely no use for.  Some never fully get over it.  Some are hampered from ever giving their heart to someone’s trust again.  But some go through the fiery trial stronger and purer.  Their hearts are the right stuff as God deals with them to pardon and forgive, thus molding them into His image, the image of selfless love.

God Himself went through sufferings of unrequited love.  He took as His wife a special chosen people Israel (12 tribes, true offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel).  They betrayed Him, whoring after false gods, after He had lavished His goodness upon them.

God endured with much longsuffering these things.  To be like Him, His spiritual sons and daughters must go through these sufferings, also.  It is called “suffering for righteousness sake.”

We all must grow up into Him and leave the “little children of God” behavior behind.  Little children are mostly alive for what they can receive from the Father.  We must grow up; we must spiritually mature.  If we are chosen by Him as one of His elect, we will mature as we endure the trials He has planned for us [I know; that’s a tough one].  May He bless you all with more of His presence–patience’s big payoff.   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Adding Patience–Enduring All Things

We are admonished by the apostle Peter to “add to our faith” certain divine attributes, calling this procedure, “partaking of the divine nature.”  Yes, right now, we are to do this.  When would he expect us to add these things–after we die?  No, “now is the acceptable time.”  Now is the only time.  Whatever we humans are going to do in our fragile fleeting existence on this planet, we better do it now.

And some of us have been called to “partake of the divine nature.”  “Something (or Someone)” is pulling us, leading us, and yes, even commanding us to seek a higher path.  And so we seek that better way.  And some of us begin to see that that better way is Christ, for He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14: 6).

And some of us now are seeing that we are to become like Him.  That is right.  For we are told by the apostles to “let this mind be in you that was in Christ” (Phil. 2: 5).  And, “Let us go on unto perfection” (Heb. 6: 1).  In fact, the Savior Himself commands us to “be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5: 48).  “Perfect” here is from the Greek word meaning “full spiritual maturity.”

Our perfection, our maturity in the Spirit, is the main reason that the scriptures of truth have been preserved for us.  “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…that the man of God may be complete (perfect), thoroughly equipped for every good work” (II Tim. 3: 16-17 NKJV).

So how do we arrive at perfection (completeness)?

Our completed growth in Christ is brought about by adding to our faith the attributes of the divine nature that Peter admonishes us to do.

Compared to instant messaging and world wide telecommunications and instant mashed potatoes, the steps toward full spiritual growth and ultimately maturity in Christ take a long time.  “Instantly” is not in God’s vocabulary.  That is one of the main paradoxes in this modern age.  Everything happens in the blink of an eye, except the growth of God’s Spirit in a human being.

We are given but a short space of time here on earth.  Our time on the planet is short lived.  The older we get the faster our allotted time runs out.  And most fritter their precious moments away on ludicrous pursuits.  But those that Christ has chosen will redeem the time, “that they may be made perfect in one (John 15: 16; 17: 23).

Spurred on by the Spirit, they will study, dig, and search out the truth as to what this life is all about.  And when they find out that life is Him, His plan and purpose, and His ballgame, then they will commit themselves to Him–though it take a lifetime.  They will endure any hardships along the way.  That’s the way the elect are built; it’s in their spiritual DNA.  They will endure all things.

And their studies will lead them to that attribute of the divine nature called in the English language “patience.”  But in the Greek (G5281), the word means “endurance, steadfastness, constancy…a patient enduring; sustaining; perseverance” [1].

This word is from the verb (G5278) “to endure.”  I Corinthians 13 lists the attributes of  agape love, God’s nature that is to be matured in us.  It “endures all things” (v. 7).

What things?  We are admonished to “endure to the end” and be saved (Matt. 10: 22; 24: 13).  Trials and tribulation will be endured by the elect.  Christ describes the treachery of the world at the time of the end of this age.  “Brother shall betray brother to death and the father the son.”  Children will betray their parents unto death.  And ones He has chosen to become fully matured in His image–they  will be “hated of all men for My name’s sake–but he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved” (Mark 13: 13).  This is the patience/endurance that Peter is telling us we need to add to our faith.

Because this patience, this endurance, this perseverance that we must maintain speaks of a time of trials and tribulations, and persecutions and betrayals.  As God begins to squeeze the evildoers, they will lash out at the righteous.  We have to know that this is coming.

“Tribulation Worketh Patience”

“Tribulation worketh patience.”  Or, tribulation brings about patience.  Or, more clearly put, trials and tribulations are the very thing that fashions endurance, which is definitely a big part of God’s nature.  Without trials, patience/endurance will not be formed in us.  And without this endurance factor in our spiritual lives, we will not fulfill our calling as His sons and daughters.  For the law of harvest reads, Each seed bears its own kind.

After we are “illuminated” by the light of God’s truth, He has the adversary, the devil, present trials and persecutions to us, to which we will endure “a great fight of afflictions” (Heb. 10: 32).

In fact, Peter warns us about these afflictions.  “Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you” (I Pet. 4: 12).  It is not a strange thing at all, but part of the plan of God for our perfection.  It is in the script.  Already conceived by Him and written down.  After all, Christ is “the Author and Finisher of our faith.”  And all the additions to that faith (Heb. 12: 2).  Yes, and in that same verse, it tells how Christ “for the joy set before Him, endured the cross.”  As our example, He has endured all the sufferings before us.

These “fiery trials” that will try us will come, and we must endure it, for we are “partakers of Christ’s sufferings” (I Pet. 4: 13).  These sufferings are those trials we endure for His sake.  These are “also the afflictions Christians must undergo in behalf of the same cause for which Christ patiently endured” (Thayer’s Lexicon).

So we see that “patience” is much bigger and much more profound as we discover its meaning in the inspired scriptures of truth.  We now see that it is an attribute of God’s presence, and we should seek to understand it according to God’s thought of what it truly is.

Patience is enduring the sufferings needed to bring God’s plan to full fruition.  Enduring at all costs in the face of hardships–God did that first.  It is His “divine nature” we are to add, after all.  He did it first.  He endured the insolence of one of His created angelic beings to provide the sufferings for us all.  He endured the old nature, especially of His chosen people Israel (12 tribes), witnessed in the Old Testament.  He endured the shame of their sins and whoredoms.

And now He asks us, the little flock, who He knows will answer the call, for He has chosen us–He asks us to add this part of His wonderful divine nature–patience, endurance.

Us enduring, enduring, enduring the sufferings entailed in these finite earthly decaying mortal bodies.  As one of their own poets said, enduring “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”

We now have been called into the “fellowship of His sufferings,” taking part of the same things He endured (Phil. 3: 10).

Agape love endures all things.  Like putting up with the evil men in control of this world system–that’s part of enduring the sufferings.  Wanting to do something immediately to banish the evil and injustice from this earth, and knowing that we now must wait on Yahweh–who will do this–but in His own time, according to His timetable.  That’s part of the sufferings.

Enduring.  Continuing undaunted in our pilgrimage to the City of Immortality.  Unwavering.  Stedfast.  Unswayed by the temptations to tarry here or take respite there.

Enduring by faith, entrusting our whole earthly existence on the seemingly impossible assumption and belief that somewhere an invisible Creator has life all mapped and charted for all of us.

And that He has sent us out on this dangerous dark sea, as we trust this invisible Spirit as our Captain to guide our hands on the rudder and sails, believing that He will somehow lead us through the angry storms and deposit us in a warm protected harbor where a wave is a mere warm froth lapping at our toes.

And so we wait.  And endure all things, trusting the Captain by trusting His word, which is the blueprint, the Plan and Purpose.

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

1.  Thayer’s Lexicon (http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G5281&t=KJV).

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