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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Vineyard, the Nobleman, the Potter, & the Desolation of Jerusalem


Some, or perhaps many, people view the parables of Jesus as a paradigm of a general spiritual lesson.  It is my opinion they should be construed as modern real-world issues and as historical prophecies given in an anecdotal story.  It could be considered as the figurative treatment of one subject under the guise or story line of another.  Why did Jesus portray many spiritual and historically prophetic truths as parables?  So that the subjects of the Kingdom would understand but the unbelieving outsiders would not understand or possibly misunderstand.

The Parable of The Vineyard
Matthew 21 records a parable of Jesus in which He describes:  God’s establishment of the nation of Israel; the return of Judah, i.e. after the Babylonian captivity, to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and to rebuild the temple; the sending of God’s Son, the Messiah Jesus; a prophecy of the death of Messiah Jesus at the hands of the priests and leaders; and the end result of the above things.

Matthew 21:33 NET  "Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a fence around it, dug a pit for its winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and went on a journey.

Although this is recorded as a parable, it is an allegorical story portraying real events of the past and the prophesied future.

Verse 33 speaks of a landowner, who is God the Father.  The vineyard, fence, pit, winepress, and watchtower is Jerusalem and the surrounding area.  This area was originally given to the Hebrew Israelites as a home.  The parable states the vineyard was leased to tenant farmers.  All they were required to do was to worship only the God of Heaven and follow the laws given to Moses.  If a law was broken, which of course would always happen, they were to offer a sacrifice and ask for forgiveness.

The harvest time and God’s portion can be described as several things and events the tenants failed to perform.  Prophets were sent to the inhabitants with messages concerning correction and repentance for their evil and unlawful thoughts and procedures.

When God, the landowner, sent His servants (i.e. prophets) for the fruits of the Kingdom, they were killed in various manners such as beaten and stoned.  Almost each time a prophet-messenger was sent they were killed or imprisoned.  Finally, God, the landowner, sent His Son, which they were anticipated to respect.  This son is Jesus Christ, the Messiah, who came to proclaim the Kingdom of God, and to activate people to bear fruit for the Kingdom.

Matthew 21:37-39 NET  Finally he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.'  (38)  But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him and get his inheritance!'  (39)  So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.

However, as can be seen in the Gospel books, the priests, religious leaders, and many of the citizens had no respect for the Son nor for His message of the coming of the Kingdom of God (or Heaven, depending on the Gospel).  They handed the Son to the Romans on false and trumped up charges and demanded that He be crucified.

The reason for the crucifixion of Jesus is not an unknown secret because it is given in the parable:  “This is the heir. Come, let's kill him and get his inheritance!”  The religious leaders behind the crucifixion did not want to lose their positions and the esteem they believed they were receiving from the common people.  They did not want to lose their fine clothes, houses, wealth, and their abundance of food and privileges.  They also desired a warrior Messiah who would deal with the Romans and make them the rulers of the world at that time, similar to the Khazarian Jews of today.

Notice in verse 39, the tenants threw the son out of the vineyard where they killed him.  Jesus was verbally considered a heretic and was therefore crucified outside the city of Jerusalem.

In verse 40, Jesus asked the surrounding crowd this question:  Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?"

Without realizing the story described the history of Israel-Judea and their current thoughts and future actions they unwittingly replied:  "He will utterly destroy those evil men! Then he will lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him his portion at the harvest."

Although the crowd’s reply was unwitting, they uttered a prophetic truth.  God will destroy the Judean tenants and will give the Kingdom of God vineyard to another group which will be called the Church.  This prophecy was partially fulfilled with the Roman destruction of Jerusalem, the temple, and the expulsion of the Jews from the area.

After their unwitting reply, Jesus answered them with a quote from Psalms 118:22-23:

Matthew 21:42 NET  Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the scriptures: 'The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?

Psalms 118:22-23 NET  The stone which the builders discarded has become the cornerstone.  (23)  This is the LORD's work. We consider it amazing!

In a scathing rebuke, Jesus says the Kingdom will be taken away from them.  Not for a few days or a few years but forever.  As noted above the Kingdom will be given to a group of people who will “produce its fruit.”

In the next few verses, Jesus appears to reference a prophecy in Daniel 2:44-45 which indicates the initiation of the Kingdom of God (the Millennium) will destroy or invalidate all false Biblical concepts and ideas.

Daniel 2:44-45 NET  In the days of those kings the God of heaven will raise up an everlasting kingdom that will not be destroyed and a kingdom that will not be left to another people. It will break in pieces and bring about the demise of all these kingdoms. But it will stand forever.  (45)  You saw that a stone was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands; it smashed the iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold into pieces. The great God has made known to the king what will occur in the future. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is reliable."

At the end of Jesus’ parable, the religious leaders finally realized He was speaking about them.  Their fear factor reached a high point and although they wanted to arrest Him, they were afraid of a reaction from the crowd because the surrounding people considered Jesus to be a prophet.

Parable of the Nobleman and the Kingdom
Beginning at Luke 19:12 Jesus tells another parable concerning the Kingdom of God, and it is also a prophecy concerning the ascension of Jesus and His return as the King of the Kingdom. 

The story begins with a nobleman who went to a distant country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return as king and ruler.  Of course this is about Jesus, the King of the Kingdom, who was resurrected from death by crucifixion and ascended into the presence of God in heaven where He received His kingdom which is all of creation.  He will later return from His distant country (heaven) as King of the world (or Kingdom) and pronounce His judgments onto the subjects of the kingdom. 

Luke 19:12-15 NET  Therefore he said, "A nobleman went to a distant country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return.  (13)  And he summoned ten of his slaves, gave them ten minas, and said to them, 'Do business with these until I come back.'  (14)  But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We do not want this man to be king over us!'  (15)  When he returned after receiving the kingdom, he summoned these slaves to whom he had given the money. He wanted to know how much they had earned by trading.

Some of the parabolic citizens did well with their given gifts and others did not do so well.  All of the gifted citizens would be Church people or Christians.  There was also a group of citizens who hated the nobleman and sent a proclamation stating they “did not want this man (aka Jesus) to be king over them” which would be anyone referring to themselves as a Jew, an agnostic, atheist, and many others. 

Luke 19:14 NET  But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to be king over us!’

The group of citizens who did not want this (or that) man (Jesus) to be their king were slated to be destroyed in the presence of the king.

Luke 19:27 NET  But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be their king, bring them here and slaughter them in front of me!’

If Jesus will actually allow the Jews, or the Edomite Jews, or the Khazarian Jews to be literally slaughtered is open to debate.  However, one point should be clear and apparent:  The so-called Jews and the modern nation of Israel are not “the apple of God’s eye”; they are not the wonderful fulfillment of prophecy as considered by the Christian Zionists; they will not all be saved at the second appearance of Jesus Christ:  and they will not rule the world as subordinates of Jesus Christ during the Millennium.  The ones ruling with Jesus will be the overcomers (i.e. an elect group of Christians).

Most modern teachers tell us that Jesus will come to save Jerusalem and its Jewish inhabitants, but in fact He comes to Jerusalem to “slay them in My presence” according to Luke 19:27.  His enemies are not Arabs or Russians or Chinese troops, but those Jewish leaders and their supporters “who did not want this man (Jesus) to reign over them.”

Jesus was speaking of the Jewish rulers in Jerusalem when He spoke of them being slaughtered in His presence.  It can be said the command to “bring them here” suggests they were not in Jerusalem at that time which makes this a prophecy of a future time.

Therefore, this parable suggests that the underlying purpose of modern Zionism is for God to bring a representative group back to the old land for sentencing (and possible destruction) at the scene of the crime.  This event has happened.

Additional material and information may be found at the following link:  Jerusalem is a Desolate House

The Clay Pots
Prior to a brief commentary of “the clay pots” prophecy of Jeremiah, a few definitions need to be inserted so the reader can better understand the storyline.

Gehenna:  An actual valley between Old Jerusalem and Mount Zion.  A place of sacrifice of children burned alive for Moloch.  During the days of Jesus it was a dumping area for refuse, the remains of temple animals, dead criminals, and filth.  A constant fire burned and was known as the place where the “worm never dies”.

Israel:  The northern nation created by separation at the beginning of the reign of Rohoboam after the death of Solomon.  The majority of these northern Israelites were deported by Assyria starting in 640 BC.  Although the modern nation of Israel stole the name, they are not descendants of the ten tribes of ancient Israel and probably very few are Judeans, if any.

Judah:  The southern nation created at the beginning of the reign of Rohoboam which consisted of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and enough Levites to initially operate the temple.

In Jeremiah 18 and 19, God tells the prophet, on two different occasions, to go to the potter’s shop.  In the first instance, Jeremiah is to watch the potter at work preparing a vessel with fresh wet clay.  If the shape does not suit the potter then he can remold it with his hands in just a few minutes.

Jeremiah 18:3-6 NET  So I went down to the potter's house and found him working at his wheel.  (4)  Now and then there would be something wrong with the pot he was molding from the clay with his hands. So he would rework the clay into another kind of pot as he saw fit.  (5)  Then the LORD said to me,  (6)  "I, the LORD, say: 'O nation of Israel, can I not deal with you as this potter deals with the clay? In my hands, you, O nation of Israel, are just like the clay in this potter's hand.'

God states to the prophet that Israel, i.e. the deported ten northern tribes, can be reshaped and reformed as the wet clay in the hands of the potter.

In the second instance, Jeremiah is instructed to get a finished dry clay pot, i.e. an earthen bottle or a finished work of hard dried clay.  Then he is to take the older citizens and the older priests of the city of Jerusalem and go to the valley of the son of Hinnom or Gehenna.  Upon arriving he is to give a discourse on the nation’s collective sins of idolatry, murders, and heathenism to the listeners.  Jeremiah is to smash the pot into many pieces and shards.  The end of the discourse states that the valley of Hinnom will one day be called the valley of slaughter. 

Jeremiah 19:10-11 NET  The LORD continued, "Now break the jar in front of those who have come here with you.  (11)  Tell them the LORD who rules over all says, 'I will do just as Jeremiah has done. I will smash this nation and this city as though it were a potter's vessel which is broken beyond repair. The dead will be buried here in Topheth until there is no more room to bury them.'

The entirety of chapter 19 focuses on the unlawfulness of the Judean people and the destruction that will be brought upon them.  The prophecy was partially fulfilled by the Babylonian army and several hundred years later by the Roman army.  The city of Jerusalem and the area of Judea/Samaria has been re-inhabited by so-called Jews since the 1930’s and the prophecy awaits its final fulfillment.  Jerusalem and its inhabitants are to be destroyed in such a way that it will never again be repaired (rebuilt).  The world must wait for the new Jerusalem.

Additional material and information may be found at the following link:  Gehenna and Jerusalem

The manner of judgment will be according to each person’s level of knowledge and covenant (vow) that he claims before the judge to whom he appeals. The verdict from the divine court will also depend upon each person’s identity when each identifies himself in court.

Those who claim fleshly identity as a son of the old Adam or of fleshly Israel will be judged accordingly by the Old Covenant standard. Those who claim spiritual identity as one that has been begotten by the Spirit is a New Creation that is sinless (1 John 3:9, literal translation) and will not be judged.

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