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Foundation Truth, Number 27 (Winter/Spring 2011) | Timeless Truths Publications

The Word of Truth

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”* (2 Timothy 2:15)

The Judgments of God

To what time of judgment does Jesus refer in His parables?

“But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.”* (Matthew 25:9-11)

I have been asked to explain whether this refers to the end of the world, but verse 11 does not imply the very end when the elements melt away and we all meet the Lord for judgment. But the phrase “and the door was shut” makes this complicated. What does the phrase refer to… the shutting of the door?

“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 13:30)

When is this time of the harvest referred to here? Please, explain what the “bundles” and the “barn” referred to here are. Would “my barn” mean the church of God and the “bundles” whatever else is not?


This phrase of the door being shut is used in Luke 13:25 in answer to the question, “Lord, are there few that be saved?” Our Lord replied, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.”* (Luke 13:24-28)

It is plain that God shuts the door that has been open before (note the open door in Revelation 3:8), and that when He shuts the door, all appeals are in vain. There are visits from the Lord that are followed by more visits, and in each of these, there is the opportunity that is represented by the open door. But there comes a time when “the Master of the house is risen up and hath shut to the door.” This is certainly a true picture of the final judgment, but it is also true of preliminary judgments, too. There is a time that the visitation ends; there is a time when we must leave the valley of decision and take one of the paths of choice before us; there is a time when the Bridegroom returns, and we are either ready or not. If we are not ready when He is ready, then that is our choice. God and His truth go marching on, and we are left behind. O souls, be up and doing! Jezebel was given a space to repent (Revelation 2:20-21), but the space came to an end. If the Master desires figs of us, even out of season, we had better respond (Mark 11:12-14,21), else we will dry up from the roots. If we fall not upon the Stone in repentance and contrition, then the Stone will fall upon us (Luke 20:18). The lesson is plain. If we neglect our opportunities and do not prepare properly for them, the time of preparation will end; the door will shut, and we will suffer the judgment that could have been spared us. Better get to “them who sell,” and buy while we still can!

“And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”* (Luke 19:41-44) Although these people were God’s own (most of whom received Him not) and had a rich heritage of His dealings, most of them slumbered and slept spiritually. Great judgment was soon to come upon them; the consequences of their spiritual blindness was coming to fruition. But there were some of them who had oil, whereas others did not. There were some who would have their wood, hay, and stubble burned up, yet they themselves would be saved, as by fire (1 Corinthians 3:15). But with others—the foolish—they would find no place of repentance (Hebrews 12:17), and indeed, cannot find it even until this very day in their descendants.

The principle is widespread in its application. God promises the gift of His Holy Spirit “to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call,”* (Acts 2:39) but many are sluggish and “slow of heart.”* (Luke 24:25) They buy inadequate oil for their pilgrimage. Then they finally awaken to a need of a deeper life, a deeper life long neglected, but a spiritual hurricane is upon them. The time of preparation for that blast is expired; the door of preparation is shut. They will have to go through the trial without the grace; the door is shut. If this is the final judgment, then all cries are in vain. If this is a preliminary judgment, they will suffer loss, but it is possible that they may learn to never be without oil again.

Before us lies the choice of foolish virgin or wise virgin. Which will it be? Are we crisis-driven? Are we taking our pilgrimage as seriously as is appropriate? “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” Yea, “By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.”* (Poverbs 22:3-4) “Go… to them that sell, and buy.” Yea, “Buy the truth, and sell it not.”* (Proverbs 23:23) “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”* (Ephesians 5:17)

“If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.”* (Proverbs 24:10) The trial after the door is shut will show just where you are. The final judgment will show permanently just where you are. “Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”* (Matthew 25:11-13)

This same thought is in the parable in Matthew 13“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 13:30) The harvest is when the door is shut.

In Matthew 13:37-43, Jesus explained this parable in terms of the final judgment. It also is true in terms of every preliminary judgment prior to the final one.

When the truth about the one true church of God that Jesus established and built was re-revealed in the 1880 reformation, the brethren applied the principle of this parable to the choice before the children of God in that day and time. We quote from Bible Readings for Bible Students, compiled by S. L. Speck and H. M. Riggle:

The parable was intended to teach a prophetic history of the church. The interpretation of the parable is as follows: (a) “The field is the world.”* (Matthew 13:38) (b) Christ sowed “good seed” in this field, and the good seed are “the children of the kingdom”—His church. Matthew 13:37,38; 16:18. (c) While “men slept”—departed from the apostolic faith and drifted from spiritual life and holiness—an enemy (the devil) sowed tares—planted in the earth an apostate church—sectism. Matthew 13:25,39. (d) During the reign of sectism, God’s people have been unequally yoked together with unbelievers, and in a sense, have “grow[n] together.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. (e) The harvest or separating of the wheat from the tares was to take place “at the end of the world,” just before Christ’s coming. The angels (from angellos) are God’s holy ministers. Matthew 13:39-41; 24:30-34; Joel 3:13-14. (f) The harvest-time is here. God is sending forth His messengers, and with the sickle of truth (Heb. 4:12), the harvest is being reaped. The tares—sectarian institutions and false professors—who are the “children of the wicked one,” are being bound for the eternal burnings; while the pure wheat, God’s people, are being gathered out of sectism into His “barn”—Zion.

1. Tares separated. Jeremiah 15:19; Malachi 3:17-18; Revelation 18:1-4.

2. Tares bound. Matthew 18:18; Psalm 149:3-9.

3. The wheat gathered. Matthew 13:30; Psalm 147:12-14.

[Editor’s Note: while the sin of sectism and judgment upon it is certainly true, and supported elsewhere in scripture, interpreting this parable as applying to the subject should not be considered the original or primary reason the parable was given. Also, Psalm 147 was misapplied: it uses wheat as a metaphor and type of spirital food for God’s children, rather than typifying God’s children themselves, as in the parable.]

This parable also teaches that the field is the world. In this field, the good and bad will grow together until Christ comes, when an eternal separation will take place. Matthew 25:31-46.

Conclusion. John 4:35-38.

[Samuel L. Speck and Herbert M. Riggle; Bible Readings for Bible Students]

And to this, we would add a quote from A Great Sacrifice, a message preached by Brother Fred Pruitt in the 1950’s:

The Holy Spirit is burning; He is cutting this way and that way. He is separating the clean from the vile. He is doing something today. I tell you that the true ministers of God who are sending forth the Word in its purity are filling sectism with converts—souls that won’t measure to the truth. They hear and in their hearts say, “This is a hard saying.” They turn away from the Truth and get into the pens of sectism to be burned in the end. There are some not doing it, but I say there are many doing it. I say we are filling sectism. Someone says, “Why, you are not doing anything, not getting anyone much converted.” We are doing more than some folks think. We are doing a lot of work folks do not know about—filling sectism. God wants His work to go on. Souls are being slaughtered because they won’t measure to the Truth and are filling sectism today, and God is expecting His ministers to be true. Send forth the Word; face the enemy; let the sword cut where it will; let the clean come out of her; let the vile go their way.

[Fred Pruitt; A Great Sacrifice]