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Vetting for the Kingdom of Heaven Print E-mail
Written by Victoria Radin   

In this day and age during which much is being said about building walls and extreme vetting of people, a pastor noted that Heaven has high walls and gates (Revelation 21:10-15) and people are extremely vetted (Revelation 22:14). And, not everyone gets in (Revelation 22:15). To illustrate what the pastor meant, we can easily look to Yeshua’s parables about the Kingdom of Heaven that will be manifest at the time of the harvest, also known as the end of the age. Or today, we would say "the time of extreme vetting".

Yeshua told eight parables about the Kingdom of Heaven when a multitude was gathered to Him by the sea (Matthew 13), four to the multitudes and four to His disciples. In each of the parables, He depicts the kingdom as being filled with both good people and worthless people. First, He told the parable of the sower, which He later explained to His disciples. 

“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart…he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while… Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” (Matthew 13:19-23)

The next three parables also describe the kingdom as being infiltrated by the enemy, instructing that true believers would live alongside those who serve the enemy until ‘the harvest’.

“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… [He said to his servants] ‘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.’” (From Matthew 13:24-30)

This describes good people as the wheat and worthless people as the tares.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which … when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31-32)

Both clean & unclean birds make their nests in the tree. This demonstrates that good (clean) and evil (unclean) people will be in the kingdom.

“The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”(Matthew 13:33)

It was understood that women often represented evil in moral and religious spheres (Zechariah 5:7-8, Revelation 2:20, 17:1-6). The woman hides leaven in three measures of meal. There are three types of leaven exhibited in those of whom Yeshua was critical. In the Pharisees there was hypocrisy (Luke 12:1); The Pharisees and Sadducees taught evil doctrines and false teachings (Matthew 16:11-12); And, Herod practiced a political religion and lived a life of worldliness (Mark 8:15).]

Yeshua then left the multitudes and went back into the house with only His disciples and explained the parable of the tares in the field. 

“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, … 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. …Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. (Matthew 13:37-43)

At that time, Yeshua privately told them parables about those who have given up everything for the kingdom, those who are called variably the Sons of God (Romans 8:14), the Remnant (Romans 11:5), the Bride (Matthew 25:10), and the Elect (For example, Matthew 24:24, Mark 13:27, Colossians 3:12).

“So Jesus said to them, ‘Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.’” (Matthew 19:28, 29 also Luke 18:29, 30)

For them, Yeshua described the kingdom as a hidden treasure found by “a man” and a pearl of great price found by “a merchant”. Yeshua is the “man” and the “merchant”. The treasure and pearls are those who are hidden in the world and bought with a price.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matthew 13:44)

[Yeshua describes Jacob and Israel as “His special treasure” (Psalm 135:4) indicating these are Jews who find Yeshua and will inhabit the kingdom.]

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:45)

[Pearls come from an unclean shellfish, suggesting that these are Gentiles. Yeshua is always seeking for those who will follow him. When Yeshua finds a 'lost pearl', He gives His all for them. They are precious pearls who will inhabit the kingdom.] 

He then told them another parable concerning their calling to be fishers of men (Matthew 4:19 & Mark 1:17). 

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:47-50)

[The fishermen will draw many into the (kingdom) net, but not all will be useful.]

After asking if they understood everything He taught them about the kingdom of heaven, He spoke one more parable commissioning them as scribes and householders, in charge of these teachings.

“Then He said to them, ‘Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.’” (Matthew 13:52)

Yeshua was admonishing them to be sure to impart these new teachings while not neglecting the better-known ‘old’ teachings of the Bible. As kingdom-workers, it is important to plow good ground for the Sower so that when the extreme vetting takes place, many will be found worthy to enter the gates. 

Ketivah v'chatima tovah

“May you and all those to whom you witness be inscribed & sealed in the Book of Life”

1. Vetting is to investigate (someone) thoroughly, especially in order to insure they are suitable for a job requiring secrecy, loyalty, or trustworthiness.

 

 
 
 
 
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