Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The wheat, the tares, and harvest time

22 And after that day, I, the Lord, will not hold any guilty that shall go with an open heart up to the land of Zion; for I, the Lord, require the hearts of the children of men.
23 Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming.
24 For after today cometh the burning—this is speaking after the manner of the Lord—for verily I say, tomorrow all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up, for I am the Lord of Hosts; and I will not spare any that remain in Babylon." (D&C 64:22-24)

``1 It is the duty of the Lord’s clerk, whom he has appointed, to keep a history, and a general church record of all things that transpire in Zion, and of all those who consecrate properties, and receive inheritances legally from the bishop;
2 And also their manner of life, their faith, and works; and also of the apostates who apostatize after receiving their inheritances.
3 It is contrary to the will and commandment of God that those who receive not their inheritance by consecration, agreeable to his law, which he has given, that he may tithe his people, to prepare them against the day of vengeance and burning, should have their names enrolled with the people of God."
(D&C 85:1-3)

 5 Behold, verily I say unto you, the angels are crying unto the Lord day and night, who are ready and waiting to be sent forth to reap down the fields;
 6 But the Lord saith unto them, pluck not up the tares while the blade is yet tender (for verily your faith is weak), lest you destroy the wheat also.
 7 Therefore, let the wheat and the tares grow together until the harvest is fully ripe; then ye shall first gather out the wheat from among the tares, and after the gathering of the wheat, behold and lo, the tares are bound in bundles, and the field remaineth to be burned.
(D&C 86:1-7)

 63 Again, verily I say unto you, I will show unto you wisdom in me concerning all the churches, inasmuch as they are willing to be guided in a right and proper way for their salvation—
64 That the work of the gathering together of my saints may continue, that I may build them up unto my name upon holy places; for the time of harvest is come, and my word must needs be fulfilled.
65 Therefore, I must gather together my people, according to the parable of the wheat and the tares, that the wheat may be secured in the garners to possess eternal life, and be crowned with celestial glory, when I shall come in the kingdom of my Father to reward every man according as his work shall be;
66 While the tares shall be bound in bundles, and their bands made strong, that they may be burned with unquenchable fire.
67 Therefore, a commandment I give unto all the churches, that they shall continue to gather together unto the places which I have appointed. (D&C 101:63-67)

7 But behold, verily, verily, I say unto you that mine eyes are upon you. I am in your midst and ye cannot see me;
 8 But the day soon cometh that ye shall see me, and know that I am; for the veil of darkness shall soon be rent, and he that is not purified shall not abide the day.
 9 Wherefore, gird up your loins and be prepared. Behold, the kingdom is yours, and the enemy shall not overcome.
 10 Verily I say unto you, ye are clean, but not all; and there is none else with whom I am well pleased;
 11 For all flesh is corrupted before me; and the powers of darkness prevail upon the earth, among the children of men, in the presence of all the hosts of heaven—
 12 Which causeth silence to reign, and all eternity is pained, and the angels are waiting the great command to reap down the earth, to gather the tares that they may be burned; and, behold, the enemy is combined. (D&C 38:7-12)

From the preceding, we see that the harvest is the time when the righteous have demonstrated fruit worthy of having the angels gather them to safety. This will include (see Elijah post) being called up and elected to eternal life by being sealed in the forehead by the angels. Meanwhile, the wicked are hardened in their wickedness and at harvest, are bundled up or made sure in their wickedness, and burned.

Wheat and tares are indistinguishable when they are young. However, when they start to bear fruit, the difference becomes incontrovertible. The devastation to come is the ripening process. As Jesus said, a blind and seeing person are no different in the darkness. The difference becomes manifest as light increases.

The harvest occurs at harvest time, as we read in the following passages by Isaiah. While the righteous are gleaned out by angels, the wicked are reaped down by the King of Assyria figure.

Therefore I will mourn as Jazer mourns
for the vines of Sibmah;
I will water you with my tears,
O Heshbon and Elealeh,
when your shouts of cheer
over the summer fruit and harvest are stilled.
The joyful festivity will be gone from the orchards;
no shouts of delight shall sound in the vineyards.
The wine treaders will tread no wine in the presses;
the vintage shout I will bring to an end. (Isaiah 16:9-10)

4 In that day Jacob’s glory shall wane,
and his fatness of body become leanness.
5 After being like a harvest of ripe grain,
whose ears are reaped by the armful,
he will become like ears plucked
in the Valley of Rephaim
6 when only the gleanings are left,
or when an olive tree is beaten,
having two or three berries in the topmost bough,
or four or five in its most fruitful branch,
says Jehovah, the God of Israel.
7 In that day men will have regard to their Maker,
and their eyes look to the Holy One of Israel,
8 and regard not the altars,
the works of their hands,
nor look to things their fingers have made—
the idols of prosperity and the shining images.
9 In that day their mighty cities shall be like the deserted towns of the Hivites and Amorites,
which they abandoned before the Israelites during the desolation.
10 For you have forgotten your God, your salvation,
and not remembered the Rock, your fortress.
Therefore, though you plant choice crops
and sow hybrid seed,
11 and though you make them thrive
the day you plant them,
causing them to sprout
the very morning you sow them,
yet shall the harvest vanish
in a day of diseases and incurable pain.
12 Woe to the many peoples in an uproar,
who rage like the raging of the seas—
13 Nations may roar like the roaring of great waters,
but when he rebukes them they will flee far away;
they will be driven before the wind
like chaff on the mountains,
or as whirling dust in a storm.
14 At evening time shall be the catastrophe,
and before morning they shall be no more.
This is the lot of those who plunder us,
the fate of those who despoil us. (Isaiah 17:4-14)

Woe to the land of buzzing wings
beyond the rivers of Cush,
2 which sends emissaries by sea,
in swift craft across the water!
They say, Go speedily, you messengers!
Go to a people perpetually on the move,
a nation dreaded far and wide,
a people continually infringing,
whose rivers have annexed their lands.
3 All you who live in the world,
you inhabitants of the earth,
look to the ensign
when it is lifted up in the mountains;
heed the trumpet when sounded!
4 For thus said Jehovah to me:
I will watch in silence over my dwelling place
when the searing heat overtakes the reapers, a
and when the rainclouds appear
amid the fever of reaping.
5 For before the harvest,
when the time of flowering is past
and the set blossoms are developing into young fruit,
they will cut down the fruit-bearing twigs with knives
and remove the new branches by slashing.
6 All shall be left to the birds of prey
of the mountains
and to the beasts of the land:
the birds of prey will feed on them all summer
4 Hebrew ’or, light, emended to ’oreh.and the beasts of the land all winter.
7 At that time shall tribute be brought
to Jehovah of Hosts
from a nation perpetually on the move,
from a nation dreaded far and wide,
a people continually infringing,
whose rivers have annexed their lands,
to the place of the name of Jehovah of Hosts:
Mount Zion. (Isaiah 18:1-7)

12 In that day Jehovah will thresh out his harvest from the torrent of the River to the streams of
Egypt. But you shall be gleaned one by one, O children of Israel. (Isaiah 27:12)

Woe to the garlands of glory
of the drunkards of Ephraim!
Their crowning splendor has become as fading wreaths
on the heads of a the opulent a overcome with wine.
2 My Lord has in store one mighty and strong:
as a ravaging hailstorm sweeping down,
or like an inundating deluge of mighty waters,
he will hurl them to the ground by his hand.
3 The proud garlands of the drunkards of Ephraim
shall be trodden underfoot.
4 And the fading wreaths, the crowns of glory
on the heads of a the opulent, a
shall be like the first-ripe fruit
before summer harvest:
he who sees it devours it
the moment he has hold of it.
5 In that day shall Jehovah of Hosts
be as a crown of beauty and wreath of glory
to the remnant of his people:
6 a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment,
a source of strength
to those who repulse the attack at the gates.
7 These too have indulged in wine
and are giddy with strong drink:
priests and prophets have gone astray through liquor.
They are intoxicated with wine
and stagger because of strong drink;
they err as seers, they blunder in their decisions.
8 For all tables are filled with vomit;
no spot is without excrement.
9 Whom shall he give instruction?
Whom shall he enlighten with revelation?
Weanlings weaned from milk,
10 For it is but precept upon precept,
precept upon precept,
measure by measure, measure by measure;
a trifle here, a trifle there.
11 Therefore, by incomprehensible speech
and a strange tongue
must he speak to these people,
12 to whom he said, This is rest; let the weary rest!
This is a respite! But they would not listen.
13 So to them the word of Jehovah remained:
Precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
measure by measure, measure by measure;
a trifle here, a trifle there, that,
persisting, they might lapse into stumbling
and break themselves,
become ensnared and be taken captive.
14 Therefore hear the word of Jehovah, you scoffers
who preside over these people in Jerusalem.
15 You have supposed, by taking refuge in deception
and hiding behind falsehoods,
to have covenanted with Death,
or reached an understanding with Sheol, that,
should a flooding scourge sweep through the earth,
it shall not reach you.
16 Therefore, thus says my Lord Jehovah:
I lay in Zion a stone, a keystone,
a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation.
They who believe it will not do rashly.
17 I will make justice the measure,
righteousness the weight;
a hail shall sweep away your false refuge
and waters flood the hiding place.
18 Your covenant with Death shall prove void,
your understanding with Sheol have no effect:
when the flooding scourge sweeps through,
you shall be overrun by it.
19 As often as it sweeps through,
you shall be seized by it:
18 Hebrew kuppar, expiated, emended to hupar.morning after morning it shall sweep through,
by day and by night it shall seize you;
it shall cause terror merely to hear word of it.
20 Then shall come to pass the proverb:
The couch is too short to stretch out on,
the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in.
21 For Jehovah will rise up
as he did on Mount Perazim,
and be stirred to anger, as in the Valley of Gibeon—
to perform his act, his unwonted act,
and do his work, his bizarre work.
22 Now therefore scoff not,
lest your bonds grow severe,
for I have heard utter destruction
decreed by my Lord, Jehovah of Hosts,
upon the whole earth.
23 Give heed, and hear my voice!
Be attentive, and listen to what I say!
24 Will the plowman be forever plowing to sow seed,
disking and harrowing the same ground?
25 When he has smoothed its surface,
does he not sprinkle fennel and scatter cumin?
Does he not demarcate wheat from barley
and plant buckwheat in its own plot?
26 His God instructs him,
directing him in the proper procedure.
27 Fennel is not threshed with a sharp-toothed sledge,
nor is a cartwheel rolled over cumin:
fennel is beaten out with a stick
and cumin with a rod.
28 Domestic grain is ground;
one does not go on endlessly threshing it.
It cannot be ground
by driving horse and threshing cart over it.
29 These things originate with Jehovah of Hosts,
whose counsel is wonderful,
whose inspiration is surpassing. (Isaiah 28)

A king shall reign in righteousness
and rulers rule with justice.
2 And a man shall become as a shelter
from the wind or refuge from the storm,
like brooks of water in a desert place,
or the shade of a large rock in arid country.
3 The eyes of those who see shall not be shut,
and the ears of those who hear shall listen.
4 The minds of the rash shall learn understanding,
and the tongues of the stammerers master eloquence.
5 The godless shall no longer be regarded as noblenor rogues considered respectable.
6 For the godless utter blasphemy;
their heart ponders impiety:
how to practice hypocrisy and preach
perverse things concerning Jehovah,
leaving the hungry soul empty,
depriving the thirsty soul of drink.
7 And rogues scheme by malevolent means
and insidious devices to ruin the poor,
and with false slogans and accusations
to denounce the needy.
8 But the noble are of noble intent,
and stand up for what is virtuous.
9 Up, and listen to my voice, O complacent women;
you careless daughters, hear my words!
10 In little more than a year
you shall be in anguish, O carefree ones,
for when the harvest is over,
the produce shall fail to arrive.
11 Be alarmed, you complacent women;
be perturbed, O careless daughters!
Strip yourselves bare;
put sackcloth around your waists.
12 Beat your breasts for the choice fields
and flourishing vines,
13 for my people’s land
shall be overgrown with briars and thorns.
Mourn for all the amusement houses
in the city of entertainment,
14 for the palaces shall lie abandoned,
the clamorous towns deserted.
High rises and panoramic resorts
shall become haunts for ever after,
the playground of wild animals,
a browsing place for flocks.
19 For by a hail shall forests be felled,
cities utterly leveled.
15 Then shall a Spirit from on high
19 Verse appears out of sequence in the text.
15 Hebrew ‘ad, until, emended to ’az.be poured out on us;
the desert shall become productive land
and lands now productive
be reckoned as brushwood.
16 So shall justice inhabit the desert,
and righteousness abide in the farmland.
17 And the effect of justice shall be peace,
and the result of righteousness
an assured calm forever.
18 My people shall dwell in peaceful settlements,
in safe neighborhoods, in comfortable dwellings.
20 Blessed are you, who shall then sow by all waters,
letting oxen and asses range free. (Isaiah 32:1-20)