Matthew 13 describes the parable of the net, which is the last of the kingdom parables.
47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net,that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: 48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. 49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, 50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 51 Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him , Yea, Lord. 52 Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
The kingdom parables cover two time periods. Notice the closing verse refers to "things new and old." The "things new" refers to events occurring in the dispensation of the Church Age. The "things old" refers to events occurring in the dispensation of the Jews. With this in mind,let's briefly review the previous six parables.
The parable of the sower and seed refers to the Church Age, or "things new." This represents evangelism during this time. The parable of the wheat and tares describes an event that will occur during the Tribulation, which is the close of the Jewish Age. It is a discussion of "things old." Then there is a switch back to "things new" in the parable of the mustard seed, which represents the Church. The leaven, then, is also a description "things new" since it refers to Satan's internal attacks upon the Church. In the parable of the treausre and the pearl, the treasure refers to Israel ("things old") and the pearl represents the Church ("things new"). The seventh parable, describing the Tribulation, is again referring to "things old."
In this parable we have a description of fishermen fishing with nets.
It is important to understand that in this parable, the fishermen were not fishing with poles and a worms; they were throwing nets into the water to catch fish. After their nets were full, the nets were slowly and carefully drawn to shore. The fishermen would then sort their catch, keeping only the good fish and throwing back everything else that couldn't be sold for profit.
When does the sorting of the believer from the unbeliever occur? Verse 49 says it will occur at the end of the world. A better translation for "world" is the word "age." There will never be a time when it is the "end of the world." The world will always exist. Some day there will be a new heaven and a new earth, but there will never be a time when the world literally ceases to exist.
Dispensations, however, have come to a close. We currently live in the sixth dispensation, the Church Age. It began on the day of Pentecost and will end at the rapture of the Church. The rapture of the Church will usher in the Tribulation, which is the close of the fifth dispensation, the Jewish Age. The Jewish Age has never come to completion. It was simply temporarily suspended when Jesus was offered as the final sacrifice for sin. This particular dispensation will resume when the Church is removed from the earth. Seven years later, at the end of the Tribulation, the final dispensation, the Millennium, will begin. The fifth dispensation, the Jewish Age, was interrupted by the insertion of the sixth dispensation, the Church Age. It is almost as if the Church Age was inserted in parentheses. Then the Jewish Age will resume for seven years (the Tribulation) and come to a close at the end of the Tribulation.
The parable of the net illustrates the transition from the Tribulation to the Millennium (the seventh dispensation).
In this parable, there is an illustration of fishermen sorting their catch. What does this parable illustrate about the transition? Jesus will be returning with ten thousands of saints to establish righteousness on the earth. These saints are those who were raptured at the end of the Church Age in addition to all believers who died prior to that time. Every eye will see Jesus at His return, both believer and unbeliever, and this will be the point in time when it is too late for the unbeliever to make a decision for eternal life.
When Jesus returns, He will also be accompanied by millions of angels. They will literally take the unjust off the earth like bad fish out of the net and "cast them into the furnace of fire." (Matthew 13:50)
The very opposite will happen at the Rapture of the Church. The Rapture occurs seven years prior to the Tribulation. The just go to heaven and the unjust are left on the earth for the seven years of the Tribulation. During this time evangelism explodes and millions are swept into the kingdom of God. Those who are saved remain on the earth and move right into the Millennium together with all the saints who returned with Jesus from heaven.
Psalm 2 discusses the final seven years of the Jewish Age. The Tribulation is God's final attempt with mankind to show him the folly of rejecting God. It is Satan's last effort to try to win the world over and to usher in his own kingdom. It is man's final effort to save himself through uniting together in one world government, promising peace forever.
Although many terrible things occur, there will be many miracles and many souls saved. The world will go from zero saved to total evangelization in seven years. Everyone will hear the gospel and make the decision for or against Jesus. We will be watching from heaven, like the witnesses in Hebrews 12:1.
Psalm 2 can be described as the "Voices of the Tribulation." It can be divided as follows: Verses 1-3 describe the voice of the unbeliever; verses 4-6 is the voice of God the Father; verses 7-9 is the voice of Jesus, and verses 10-12 is the voice of the Holy Spirit.
1 Why do the heathen rage,and the people imagine a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, 3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. 4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. 5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. 6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. 7 I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. 10 Be wise now therefore, 0 ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
The Voice of the Unbeliever
In verse one tells us the heathen nations will be in a rage, an actual outrage against the Lord.
Many sinners believe there is a God. Most of them believe He is just and right and will win out in the end. But strangely enough, many of them will fight Him to the very end. They have a rebellious attitude. God is absolute and righteous. One day the final line will be drawn. Then it will be too late to soften those hardened attitudes. God will ultimately win and those who fought all the way, fighting as if their efforts would stop God, will suddenly discover it's too late to admit their wrong attitude and change their heart.
Verse one says, "the people imagine a vain thing." That word "imagine" means to meditate. The same word is used in Psalm 1:2. Meditation is using your imagination to picture yourself in a particular situation, either good or bad. When believers discover God's promises, by meditating they can imagine themselves in that promise. Those who don't meditate in God's Word often paint a picture for themselves of poverty, lack, sickness, and despair.
What are the heathen meditating on in this first verse? They are trying to devise a way to rule the world without God; they want to establish a one world government to attempt solving man's problems with man's efforts. God calls this vain. They are meditating on a "vain thing."
In verse two, this attempt is made by individuals ("kings of the earth") and groups ("rulers take counsel together"). Can you picture a group of intelligent humans coming together to draw up a plan to overthrow God? Talk about meditating on an em pty thing!
Verse three also describes the voice of unbelievers, the voice of the heathen leaders. They are claiming salvation by faith is unnecessary; they have their own religion. Everything the Bible teaches will be "cast away." They will have total disregard for all Christianity represents.
Voice of God the Father
What does God think about all this? His voice is heard in verses four through six. Verse four says God laughs about this foolishness. As the leaders of the world gather to overthrow God and nullify salvation by faith, God just begins to laugh, "Derision" in this verse literally means to mock or make fun of someone.
Verse five describes God's response when He stops laughing. His wrath rises up against the heathen nations. During the Tribulation, Satan not only displays his wrath, God pours out His wrath. It will be one of the most intense times the earth has ever encountered. During the Church Age, God is withholding His wrath. He is operating in grace. God never pours out His wrath on His children. He disciplines them in love, not in wrath. But when we're all taken to heaven and only the heathen remain on earth, God's wrath will be fully displayed. My friend, is God laughing at you today? If you haven't accepted Jesus Christ you need to seriously think about that. Do you believe you can control your own life? That makes God laugh. Will you face His wrath? Not if you have accepted Jesus. There was a day when God poured out His wrath on His Son Jesus. When we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we can enter into God's favor and be assured we'll never face His wrath.
Even during the Tribulation, a time of God's wrath, we can still see His patience and love demonstrated. Verse six tells us this. In this verse, God the Father refers to His Son as the means of salvation. Jesus is the king set on the holy mountain, elevated for all men to see.
The Voice of Jesus Christ
In verse seven Jesus begins to speak. He first quotes His Father. Why is Jesus qualified to be the King on that holy mountain? Because He came through the virgin birth; He was born without the blemish all mankind has. He was born without the nature of the flesh, therefore He was qualified to be the Redeemer of the world--Jesus as a man is superior to all men. God the Father begot Jesus so He could redeem us.
Verse eight describes another qualification of Jesus: He was obedient to the death on the cross to purchase our redemption. Jesus reconciled man to God on the cross and all the heathen became His inheritance.
In verse seven, Jesus tells us what God the Father told Him in the cradle, and in verse eight what God the Father told Him at the cross. God instructed Jesus to ask Him for the heathen as an inheritance and Jesus received that inheritance as the Son of God.
The voice of Jesus is also found in verse nine. It refers to a future event when Jesus will prove Himself to be the only one qualified to stand on the hill of Zion because He will come and judge the unrighteous. Those kings and rulers back in the first three verses will look like fragile pottery next to Jesus, whose truth is as strong as iron in comparison. They will crumble; all their boasting and mighty efforts will be as dust.
The Voice of the Holy Spirit
In the final three verses of Psalm 2 we hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. These words are not only directed toward the heathen leaders during the time of the Tribulation, but they are also directed toward us today. Today is the day of salvation. Don't wait until the Tribulation to heed the words of the Holy Spirit. Why wait until then?
How can we be wise? Job 28:28 says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." When you respect God, you are wise. The first step of respect is to submit to His saving grace. Open yourself up to Him.
The second step is to be instructed. Instruction follows the new birth. Being born again and walking in the instruction of the Lord equips you to be a good ruler. You can rule wisely over the daily matters that concern you.
Notice what comes next. In verse 11 the voice of the Holy Spirit admonishes us to "serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. "You can't serve (verse 11) until you're instructed (verse 10). Find out what God wants you to do, then serve him respectfully and dligently.
A better translation of "trembling" is anticipation. The second half of verse eleven instructs us to rejoice with anticipation. Why? Because redemption is drawing near. What are we anticipating? The Rapture of the Church; the fact that Jesus is returning for His own. During the Tribulation, those who are saved will be anticipating the Millennium when Jesus returns to rule the earth with peace for a thousand years. This is when all the unrighteous will be shattered like pottery; they will be sorted out and thrown away like bad fish from the net.
How can you serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with anticipation? The final verse of Psalm 2, verse 12, explains: "Kiss the Son." Salvation has been the same, whether in the Old Testament or the New Testament. It's by making peace with Jesus--"kissing the Son." Jesus is the object of salvation. What happens if we don't "kiss" the Son? God's wrath will be kindled. A better translation of the end of that sentence is, "when his wrath is kindled in but a little while." My friend, it is not long until the wrath of God is will be kindled. You are those who are trusting in Him described as "blessed."
A kiss represents four things. First, this kiss has already been initiated by Jesus. Imagine, if you will, that He is already "puckered up," just waiting for you to do your part. Jesus' lips were "puckered," so to speak, on the cross. He's ready for all m ankind to come kiss Him; to receive what He's offering them.
Next, a kiss represents trust. Kissing someone is a sign of trust. Put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. He will never let you down.
Thirdly, a kiss represents surrender. Why should you surrender? Because you've been fighting Him too long. Even if you keep fighting, He will still have the final victory and you don't want to be on the losing side of this "battle." Join the winning side. Join Jesus.
Finally, a kiss means desire. Jesus wants you to desire Him today. He desires you greatly. Respond to His "pucker." Put your trust in Him, surrender to Him, and discover His desire for you.
The closing verse of the parable of the net Jesus addressed His hearers and likened them to a householder. A householder is a responsible party. That's where the buck stops. In a family, it is the father. In a local church, it is the pastor. In the universal Church, it is Jesus Christ. Every person who understands and comprehends the Word of God is like a householder, and becomes responsible for what he has learned. Be a doer of the Word, not just a hearer. Put the Word into action. Get born again. Receive instruction. Do it, and you'll be blessed!
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Copyright 2009 by Bob Yandian Ministries.
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