Are You Being Prepared for the Harvest?
Are You Being Prepared for the Harvest?
YHVH's Winnowing Fork
The questions are: “When does this season end? What does this season hold? What’s in the next season?" In the times the Bible was written and in all nations around the world, it was an agricultural society. That's how life was understood; through the lens of sowing and reaping, dividing and gathering, planting and waiting, wilting and blossoming again. During the era of Ruth, the grain crop was the central focus and the life of every Israelite was determined by the stages of the harvest, just as life is determined by the harvest cycle today for the believer. Though we have forgotten how we were intended to look at the world.
After losing count of the calendar that the Creator gave us in the moon, the stars and the land, we began to lose our understanding of our life and the seasons it contains. We didn't know the destination anymore. Life became a series of endless accidents and experiences with no rhyme or reason, beginning or end. But if we are reminded that we were created for fellowship (to be a Family), for leadership (to be a Kingdom of Priests upon the Earth), for stewardship (to tend the Earth), for multiplication (to be Fruit-Full and Multiply both Physically and Spiritually after our Kind), then these seasons make sense.
What if life was never meant to be about waiting for your name to be called by Peter so you can be issued a harp and a pair of wings to float on a cloud? What if the Kingdom of YHVH is a Govt. and this Earth is the field where He plants seeds, raises leaders, pulls out the weeds, and prunes the seeds He planted so that they can bear fruit to feed the Spirit? What if the mind of Yeshua was placed inside of you as a seed to share with the world when it blossoms in order to beautify the ugly world around it? What if He gave you a new heart to bear fruit that will heal the nations? What if you were not simply BORN? What if you were PLANTED, at this place, at this time, in this nation, to bear fruit? To be bread? What if you are meant to provide bread for your brothers? And this Earth is the field and you are the grain? What if we are not being shuffled through life by accident, but are being made ready for something, something grand that took determination and patience and planning, like a harvest!
Let’s assume that we have been planted. We are headed towards not a death of our body, but a harvest of that seed of Messiah that has been planted inside us; that seed we call a renewed heart and mind. If we are the harvest, if we are those meant to bring the bread of life to the hungry souls of the world, then we can’t feed anyone in the shape we stared out in. We couldn’t bring any healing, return any strength, ease any hunger pangs, or revive the faint, unless someone intervenes, like a Master of the garden. The first Adam nearly allowed the garden of humanity to perish with blight, but the 2nd Adam is a Master Gardener, come to bring water to the desert and roses out of thorn briar patches. Before these trials, we were intertwined with tares, covered in chaff, and the very seed we were intended to share with the world -the wonderful gift we were instructed to multiply, the essential ingredient for daily bread- was encased in a hard shell that no human being could penetrate it.
So how does that lonely seed planted in the Earth become life giving bread in the Body of Messiah? Let us walk through the Ancient Methods of Harvesting Grain from Amongst the Tares………………….
The harvest begins with the planting (the Birth). The Earth is tilled (the world is made ready) for you to be born into it. There is a need that you are custom designed to fill. There is a hunger for something that you (or the unborn child in your belly perhaps) is meant to fill in the souls of those around you. If the world is starving for salvation, perhaps an evangelist seed has been planted inside you, or if the world suffers from a dangerous ignorance of the ways of its Creator perhaps a teacher seed has been planted in your heart, or if there is a lack of leadership, the kernel of a pastor or apostle is between your ribs?
When the seed is planted, the sprouting begins as you are knit together in the fertile soil of your mother’s womb. Then the rains begin, as the word is poured over both the wheat and the tares (Tares are a toxic plant or weed that can easily be mistaken for wheat that has yet to mature). Both are often planted in the same garden (the same Family, same church, same nation). The wheat by the Creator and the tares by the enemy who brought the blight on the human heart to begin with in the 1st garden. They grow closely, sometimes so close that their roots intertwine, and both are the recipient of the same washing of the word, the same soil. And for the first part of the season they may even be indistinguishable because outside they are the same. But when the next season approaches, when the Light of the world shines upon them after the winter rains, the difference between what was inside the wheat and what was inside the tares becomes apparent.
The wheat reacts to the Light by a growing and swelling of the seed inside of it until it becomes a heavy burden and the wheat bows its head in the Light. The tares however don’t grow. They don’t change. They just remain standing tall, refusing to bow. After time has been granted by the Reaper for the seed in each to reveal itself, to come to fruition, for the Light to expose what was inside of each different stalk from the same soil, the painful part begins. The sickle is taken to the field and the wheat is harvested by a cutting (in Hebrew Covenants are not made, they are “Cut” and they ALWAYS cost something precious). The tares are not cut. However, after the wheat has been separated and the wheat is not in danger of being harmed. Tares are uprooted and then gathered to be burned in the fire so that they cannot spread seed after their kind.
There are instances however, in which the wheat and tares are gathered together before the time. Out of greed some farmers will attempt to sell as much “Grain” as possible by harvesting both wheat and tares together before seeing how they truly respond to the Light, and declaring tares to be wheat. Then both are turned into bread for the body, and because of the tares part of the body becomes sick (we call this a gluten allergy) and that part of the body blames the sickness on the wheat and the body refuses bread from that day forward, preferring cheap substitutes instead (often sugary ones or even ones made of dead flesh) for fear of the bread. When it is not really wheat they fear. It is the tares.
His winnowing fork is in His hand and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering His wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (Matt. 3:12 NIV)
If the wheat and the tares are properly separated, which is usually in a sudden and violent manner on a day that neither of them expected it to occur, there is a step for the wheat that comes AFTER the tares have witnessed the wheat being cut from the earth it was raised in. During the next few uncomfortable steps the wheat experience, the tares may remain behind untouched (if only for a brief moment) in the same comfortable ground they were always in, not knowing that while the wheat is being turned into bread that gives life, the tares are simply waiting to be uprooted and tossed into the fire. You must understand this, that the wheat is being worked with. It has an urgent purpose to fulfill. It cannot long remain as it was because the body is starving for it. The tares are not a priority, they are at a standstill, only serving the purpose of holding the soil in place until they are uprooted. After the wheat has been cut from the tares that it always knew -that perhaps it always thought to be wheat like itself (or perhaps the wheat thought itself to be a tare),-then it is taken bundled together with other wheat for a time (brought into fellowship), awaiting the remainder of the wheat to be harvested. The process of taking this grain from the Earth and making bread for the body now begins.
The stalks that attached the seed to the Earth (the world) will be removed from the head. The first step is stripping away all but the seed, the seed that was designed from the beginnings of the world to give life to mankind. It is taken to the threshing floor gathered and where the chaff or husk are separated from the seed. The oxen are first brought in to walk upon, literally crushing the chaff from the wheat. Then the heads of grain with chaff (a remainder of the stalk) will be brought high above its field of origin during the middle of the night (in the darkness and the quiet). This is when the wind (Ruach or Pneuma, also translated Spirit) picks up and moves the most during harvest season. The heads with chaff are then taken to a flat stone floor or upper room on top of a hill that is designed to let the wind blow through it for this very purpose. A winnowing fork is then used to cause upheaval under the bundle of wheat heads and chaff. As the wind/spirit blows through it separates the chaff (remainder of what attached the seed to the world) away and off into the night, leaving the seed, more naked and vulnerable than it has ever been before, to fall to the floor (as its heart has too much weight when mature to be carried away by wind that blows cold in the night). This part of harvest time is very dangerous for the wheat. Even more so than sowing time when tares be can planted alongside wheat to steal water, soil and light or even to spread blight or choke out the wheat. During the winnowing time is when the enemy would most often attack in order to steal the wheat being harvested (partially because the work had mostly been done, partially because it was in the dark hours which makes wheat easier to steal, and partially because at this stage the wheat can be made into any kind of bread the enemy desires). For this purpose the Owner of the field, His Son, or men that they sent, were often on guard with swords over the wheat throughout the watches of the night (where Ruth fatefully found Boaz).
This remnant of the field is a treasure greatly valued by its planter, though the wheat may not feel that is the truth during the cutting and the winnowing. The wheat that remains, now without stalk to connect it to the earth/world. Without the remaining chaff that had always lingered and covered its true nature before, all that remains of the wheat weed is a hard outer shell around the kernel/the heart that must be removed before making bread that can be useable to the body. For this purpose, the wheat is placed in a farming implement called a Tribulum in Latin, that served the purpose for getting the (Spiritual) meat from wheat that an olive press does for getting oil (Annointing Oil) from olives or a wine-press does for getting grape juice (the blood of the vine, covenant blood) from the grape. This Tribulum is like hyssop in that it is very abrasive (hyssop is a botanical brillo pad used for scrubbing in ancient times). As the grain is crushed between the two planks or tight places of the Tribulum (from which we get the word “Tribulation”) the last barrier, the hard outer shell that hides the heart is removed from the wheat, so that its life giving aspect is seen.
This wheat kernel is then gathered with other wheat kernels that have been separated from the field of their birth, from the tares they grew alongside, from the stalk that connected them to the earth/world, from the chaff that remained on them, and finally, from their hard outer shell hiding their heart, and this collection of life giving seeds is then crushed, and then afterwards soaked and washed in water to unite the seeds together. It is formed and shaped by loving hands that are intent on providing nourishment to hungry families, and the lump of dough (collection of wheat seeds) is placed in a fiery furnace and sprinkled with salt until they resemble what the world is truly hungry for, a pleasing aroma, an answer to the longing deep inside, a renewal of strength that was lost, an opportunity to gather for rest. And after all the trials - by bowing before the reaper, then the cutting away from the world, then the separation from remaining chaff by the wind, then tribulation for a time, then the joining by water and strengthening by fire, then the sprinkling with salt- then the wheat is finally ready to give life as it was intended. And afterwards, the tares that have mocked the wheat for all of its trials and tribulation, while the tares rested in their same old place, are bundled and burned.
Are you experiencing the cutting away from the Tares in your life? Are you being bundled with those like yourself whom you have never encountered before? Are the remnants of the world on your fife being blown away in the dark and quiet places of the night? Have those you never knew guarding over you during this difficult place, as if they were on an assignment? Do you feel the hardness of your heart being shattered between your trials on one side and your circumstances on the other? Is the water of the Word cementing you together with other believers? Are you being firmed up together under intense heat? Are you becoming more salty to your friends, family and co-workers? Are you being made ready for the harvest? The remnant of the field? Will you be uniting the children of the King in fellowship when all is said and done? Will you be satisfying their hunger for daily bread?