Wheat and the chaff

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Senior Member
Mar 13, 2013
LUKE 3 [16] John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:[17] Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but THE CHAFF HE WILL BURN WITH FIRE UNQUENCHABLE.

MATTHEW 3 [11] I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: HE SHALL BAPTIZE YOU WITH THE HOLY GHOST, and with fire:[12] Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; BUT HE WILL BURN UP THE CHAFF WITH UNQUENCHABLE FIRE.

So who are the chaff? The people that Jesus will burn up

LUKE 4 [34] Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; THE HOLY ONE of God.

ACTS 2 [25] For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:[26] Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:[27] Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer THINE HOLY ONE to see corruption.

Jesus surely is the Holy One

ISAIAH 5 [24] Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and THE FLAME CONSUMETH THE CHAFF, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: BECAUSE THEY HAVE CAST AWAY THE LAW OF THE LORD OF HOSTS, and despised the word of THE HOLY ONE of Israel.

You see who the chaff are. Paul tells us we are not under the law. So what is Paul talking about?
Apr 1, 2018
The ones that claim to be christians but are not.


Senior Member
Feb 10, 2017
The wheat and the chaff "comment" was directly aimed at the hearers of Jesus - it has nothing to do with church people.

Mat 3:12 His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

He's previously warned his hearers:

Mat 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

There is an "audience" related connection between the harvest and the "wrath to come".

John 4:35 “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.

John's gospel helps us flesh out the timing and who is being harvested - "fields; for they are white already to harvest".

Mat 9:37 Then He *said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;

Mat 9:38 “Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

I think we are well within reason to say the "labourers" were his apostles and disciples of the 1st century.

A slightly different view point of the tares and wheat:

Mat 22:3 “And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come.
Mat 22:7 “But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire.

This is an obvious allusion to 1st century Jerusalem.

The wedding and the harvest are all part and parcel of the same motif.


Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
So who are the chaff? The people that Jesus will burn up
The chaff and the tares represent the same group. They are the unsaved and unregenerate people claiming to be Christians.


Senior Member
Feb 10, 2017
Wheat and chaff were strictly a 1st century phenomena - it is directly tied to the land of Israel were the "vineyard" was planted - there is no such thing as "Christian" chaff.

Mat 21:33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:

Mat 21:34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.

Mat 21:35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.

Mat 21:36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.

Mat 21:37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.

Mat 21:38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.

Mat 21:39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

Mat 21:40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?

Mat 21:41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

The above is all related to the "Jews/Israel" of the 1st century who all claimed to sons of Abraham and entitled to the kingdom.