Preface: “The kingdom of God” is a major theme in the teachings of Jesus. The phrase occurs nearly 50 times in Matthew, 16 times in Mark, about 40 times in Luke, and three times in John. Wherever it appears, “the kingdom of God” is an expression of what He has done in history for the human race as He deals with the problem of sin and brings the great controversy to decisive end. “The kingdom of God” is unlike any kingdom the world has ever known, because it’s not a worldly kingdom. “The kingdom of God comes not with outward show. It comes through the gentleness of the inspiration of His word, through the inward working of His Spirit, the fellowship of the soul with Him who is its life. The greatest manifestation of its power is seen in human nature brought to the perfection of the character of Christ.”—Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing,p. 36.
The teachings and parables of Christ speak of the great controversy from different viewpoints. Some address the issues of the cosmic conflict more directly than others. Jesus sought to address the effects of the great controversy and critical issues for the redemption of humanity.
“Christ came to sow the world with truth. Ever since the fall of man, Satan has been sowing the seeds of error. It was by a lie that he first gained control over men, and thus he still works to overthrow God’s kingdom in the earth and to bring men under his power. A sower from a higher world, Christ came to sow the seeds of truth. He who had stood in the councils of God, who had dwelt in the innermost sanctuary of the Eternal, could bring to men the pure principles of truth. Ever since the fall of man, Christ had been the Revealer of truth to the world. By Him the incorruptible seed, ‘the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever,’ is communicated to men. 1 Peter 1:23.”1
The parable of the tares continues to shed light on the character of God in the midst of the devil’s accusations. “The teaching of this parable is illustrated in God’s own dealing with men and angels. Satan is a deceiver. When he sinned in heaven, even the loyal angels did not fully discern his character. This was why God did not at once destroy Satan. Had He done so, the holy angels would not have perceived the justice and love of God. A doubt of God’s goodness would have been as evil seed that would yield the bitter fruit of sin and woe. Therefore the author of evil was spared, fully to develop his character. Through long ages God has borne the anguish of beholding the work of evil, He has given the infinite Gift of Calvary, rather than leave any to be deceived by the misrepresentations of the wicked one; for the tares could not be plucked up without danger of uprooting the precious grain.”2
As the great controversy draws to an end and we await the Bridegroom’s return, the need for spreading the truth about our loving God still remains. “It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge of His character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving in its power. His character is to be made known.
Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy, and truth.”3
1. Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 37, 38.
2. Ibid., p. 72.
3. Ibid., p. 415.