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Tuesday, June 23 2015

Isaiah 5: The Messiah's Vineyard Lessons

"What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?"

The Messiah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Messiah) provided a number of teachings about "vineyards." All are timeless in their meaning and purpose.

The "parable of the labourers" describes how, while salvation to eternal life is the same for everyone ("3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:26-28 KJV), not all are equal in what they will endure during their physical existence.

Some will know only peace during their lifetimes, while others will be subjected to persecution and even martyrdom. Some will be called to repentance early and spend many years overcoming, while others will be called late in their physical lives and have to overcome only a short time. Nevertheless, the length and circumstances of the physical life on the way there will be insignificant (as everyone will appreciate when all has been done; see The Harvests Of Salvation) to the glorious, eternal life for all who choose to make it.

Grape Harvest

"20:1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 20:2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

20:3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 20:4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.

20:5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. 20:6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?

20:7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us.

He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. 20:8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.

20:9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 20:10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 20:11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 20:12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

20:13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 20:14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 20:15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?

20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen." (Matthew 20:1-16 KJV)

So too the meaning of the parable of the two sons who were sent to work in their father's vineyard. One lived a self-righteous "Christian-professing" life the entire time, while the other at first refused, but later repented and lived a true Christian life from then on. The truly-repentant one will find salvation, while the hypocrite will not.

A Vineyard

"21:28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.

21:29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.

21:30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.

21:31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father?

They say unto him, The first.

Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him." (Matthew 21:28 KJV)

The parable of those who presume the ownership of their employer's vineyard for themselves is also a stark portrayal of how both man-made Judaism (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism) and the man-made "Christian" churches (see Why Call Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not The Things Which I Say?) have used the LORD's Name for the religions that they have created for themselves. When the LORD (see The LORD God Our Saviour) returns, both will know the LORD's wrath and correction.

"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: 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.

21:35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 21:36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. 21:37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.

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

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

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.

21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 21:44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder." (Matthew 21:33-44 KJV)

The prophet Isaiah knew and recorded an amazing amount of information about the Messiah's Sacrifice and His return. Isaiah's writing about the "vineyard" was actually a quote of the LORD - that He repeated when He was born as a man. All three of the parables quoted above can be read in the first few verses of this chapter of Isaiah.

A Vineyard

"5:1 Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: 5:2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.

5:3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. 5:4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? 5:5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: 5:6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.

5:7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

5:8 Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!

5:9 In mine ears said the LORD of hosts, Of a truth many houses shall be desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitant. 5:10 Yea, ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, and the seed of an homer shall yield an ephah. 5:11 Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them! 5:12 And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of his hands. 5:13 Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. 5:14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. 5:15 And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled: 5:16 But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness. 5:17 Then shall the lambs feed after their manner, and the waste places of the fat ones shall strangers eat.

5:18 Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope: 5:19 That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it!

5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

5:21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

5:22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: 5:23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! 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. 5:25 Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets.

For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. 5:26 And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly: 5:27 None shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken: 5:28 Whose arrows are sharp, and all their bows bent, their horses' hoofs shall be counted like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind: 5:29 Their roaring shall be like a lion, they shall roar like young lions: yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry it away safe, and none shall deliver it. 5:30 And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea: and if one look unto the land, behold darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof." (Isaiah 5:1-30 KJV)

Fact Finder: What are some of the many other things that Isaiah knew about the coming Messiah?
See Isaiah: Visions Of The Messiah and What Did The Messiah Read From Isaiah That Day?


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This Day In History, June 23

79: Titus succeeded his father Vespasian as Roman Emperor. It was Titus who was in command of the Roman military forces that destroyed Jerusalem in 70, exactly as prophesied by the Messiah forty years before (see What Did Jesus Christ Say About Those Stones? and Israel In History and Prophecy: The Zealots).

Titus 1180: The Genpei War in Japan began with the First Battle of Uji.

1298: Albert I, a Hapsburg, son of Rudolf I, became the new king of the "Holy Roman Empire" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation) after deposing German king Adolf of Nassau.

1305: The Treaty of Athis-sur-Orge between King Philip IV of France and Robert de Bethune, count of Flanders, was signed. Strongly opposed by the Flemings (Flanders today composes the northern area of Belgium), the treaty involved the French for 20 years in military attempts to enforce it. Signed after Philip's victory over the Flemings at Mons-en-Pevele in 1304.

1314: The 2-day battle of Bannockburn began. A decisive battle in Scottish history; under the leadership of Robert I the Bruce, the Scots defeated the English under Edward II (1282-1327), regained their independence, and established Bruce on his throne. The battle was fought for possession of Stirling Castle, then the last stronghold of the English in Scotland. The Scots regard the battle as the culmination of their Wars of Independence, while the English regard it as a lamentable defeat. In 1964, on the 650th anniversary of the battle, an equestrian statue of Robert I the Bruce was unveiled on the site by Queen Elizabeth II.

1501: Pedro Cabral returned to Portugal after a voyage during which he claimed Brazil for Portugal.

1532: Henry VIII and Francois I signed a treaty of alliance against Emperor Charles V.

1565: Turgut Reis, commander of the Ottoman navy, was killed during the Siege of Malta (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1611: During his fourth voyage, English explorer Henry Hudson was set adrift in Hudson Bay (as it was later named after him) by mutineers on his ship Discovery. He was never seen again.

1683: English pioneer William Penn signed a friendship treaty with the native people in Pennsylvania (named after William Penn).

1700: Russia gave up its Black Sea fleet as part of a truce with the Ottoman Empire.

1713: Amidst an impending war with France, the French residents of Acadia (present-day Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Maine) were given an ultimatum to declare allegiance to Britain or leave. Some left, to various locations, including the French territory of Louisiana (named after King Louis of France) where they became known as "Cajuns" (a southern pronunciation of Acadian; the term "Dixie" originated from dix, the French word for ten).

1757: The Battle of Plassey. 3,000 British troops under the command of Robert Clive defeated a 50,000 man India army under Siraj Ud Daulah.

1758: During the Seven Years War, British and Hanoverian armies defeated the French at Krefeld in Germany.

1794: Empress Catherine II of Russia granted Jews permission to settle in Kiev.

1848: Workers in Paris rose in an insurrection known as the "June Days."

1868: Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent for the "typewriter."

1887: The Canadian Rocky Mountains Park Act created the nation's first national park, Banff National Park.

1914: During the Mexican Revolution, Pancho Villa captured Zacatecas from Victoriano Huerta.

1940: Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) made a victory visit to Paris after his invasion armies conquered France to bring about "regime change" for the French people.

1967: Pope Paul VI issued the encyclical Sacerdotalis Caelibatus, reaffirming the Church of Rome's law on celibacy (listen also to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy).

1972: During the Watergate criminal investigation, U.S. President Richard Nixon and White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman were recorded (by Nixon's own Oval Office recording system) discussing how to use the CIA to obstruct the FBI investigation of the White House.

1985: 329 people died when Air India flight 182, a Boeing 747, was brought down by an on-board bomb off the Irish coast.


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