Parable of the Dragnet – 09

Mysteries of

The Kingdom of the Heavens


Part 09

Parable of the Dragnet



This is the seventh and final parable of Matthew Chapter 13 and it is the third parable given by our Lord after He re-entered the house. This parable begins by events occurring throughout the present dispensation (v.47) and the following three verses (v.48-50) give an account of events taking place at the end of this age after this present dispensation has run its course and after the redemption of the inheritance and also after the bride becomes Christ’s wife as seen in the 5th and 6th parables.

The final dealings of God before ushering in the Messianic Kingdom

In v.47, the “sea” refers to the Gentiles and the “net, cast into the sea” refers to God removing from among the Gentiles “a people for His name” (Acts 15:14). After ISRAEL had rejected the offer of the kingdom of the heavens, another nation, the CHURCH which is neither Jew nor Gentile – though mainly drawn from the Gentiles – is being called out to be recipients of that which Israel had rejected (Matt.21:33-43; 1Pet.2:9-11). After God completes His dealings with the church, He will once again turn to the nation of Israel. The events presented in the last three parables, which Christ gave after re-entering the house, occur at the very end of this age, when Christ completes His dealings with the church and with Israel. All these events occur during the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy (Dan.9:24-27) and the 75 days after that (Dan.12:11-13), at the beginning of the Messianic Era, which is the age of the glory of Christ.

The persons dealt with are the SAVED alone

Firstly, during the present dispensation, there are only two categories; 1) those that are removed from the sea, via the net and 2) those that are left behind in the sea. Apart from these two categories, there is none other, there is no middle ground. They are either SAVED or UNSAVED with respect to their eternal destiny. By the removal from the sea, their eternal destiny has been settled once for all. Any attempt to look among the SAVED, for “truly born-again” or “professors” as opposed to “possessors” emanates from man and not from the Scriptures. But “when it was full, they drew to the shore” and they sat down and separated the good from the bad (Matt.13:48). That is, when this present dispensation has run its course, the whole church (all the SAVED) will undergo rapture, that is, they will be brought before the Judgment Seat of Christ (2Cor.5:10). And then, and there alone, a separation will be taking place among the SAVED.

The subject matter – the kingdom of the heavens

We should bear in mind that all the Seven Parables of Matthew Chapter Thirteen have to do with the kingdom of the heavens as stated in Matt.13:19 and this subject is also stated at the beginning of each parable. Salvation by grace through faith is simply not the subject of these Parables. The central subject of all these parables has nothing to do with salvation by grace through faith. Those who are being dealt with are the SAVED alone, in relation tom their “entry into” or “exclusion from” the coming kingdom.

The separation by angels

Please note that after re-entering the house, Christ started His discourse with the separation of the “wheat” and the “tares” (Matt.13:39-41) and He concluded the whole discourse with the separation of the “just” from the “wicked” (Matt.13:48, 49). He has revealed the end of all that is dealt with in the seven parables. He said, “So it will be at the end of this age.” This separation will take place when “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2Cor.5:10). The Lord said that He will accomplish all this through His angels (Matt.13:39-41). And it will occur in relation to the entry or exclusion from the coming Messianic kingdom, in which the glory and majesty of Christ will be fully manifested.

Examples of this future separation among the saved

This separation of “good” from the “bad” or a separation of “just” from the “wicked” (Matt.13:48, 49) among those who are (removed from the sea) SAVED is clearly seen in many sections of the Scriptures. Please see below, a few of the clear pictures of this separation which will take place among the SAVED:

(1) The separation of good and faithful servants” from “wicked and lazy servants” among those who are “His own servants” – Matt.25:14-30; Luke 19:12-27

(2) The separation of “wise” from “foolish” virgins among all those virgins who were awaiting the return of the bridegroom – Matt.25:1-13

(3) The separation of those possessing a wedding garment from those not possessing a wedding garment among all those who responded to the invitation and came for the wedding feast – Matt.22:1-14

(4) The separation of those whose works are “wood, hay and stubble” from those whose works are “gold, silver and precious stones” among all those who built upon that one Foundation – 1Cor.3:11-15

(5) The separation of “overcomers” from non-overcomers among all those who were in the church, which is His body – Rev.2 & 3

After being separated into these two factions, what awaits each of these factions – we shall continue this study in the next part of this series.

For more detailed study on this subject, kindly refer to >>books>>The Mysteries of the Kingdom by Arlen L. Chitwood