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