A Voice in the
Wilderness

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" the Vineyard "
(Isaiah 5)
    "Now I will sing to my Beloved a song of my Beloved concerning His vineyard. My Beloved has a vineyard on a very fruitful hill. And He fenced it, and cleared out its stones, and planted it with choice vines, and built a tower in its midst, and hewed out a winepress in it; and He looked for it to produce grapes, but it produced rotten grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, please judge between Me and My vineyard." (vs1-3)
Notice the similarity between this and Jesus' parable...
    "A certain man planted a vineyard, leased it to vinedressers, and went into a far country for a long time. Now at the right time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that they might give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the vinedressers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent another servant; and they beat him also, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent a third; and they wounded him also and cast him out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Perhaps they will respect him when they see him. But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, so that the inheritance may become ours. So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy these vinedressers and give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it they said, Let it not be!" (Lk20:9-16)
Remember from last month...
    "Jehovah will enter into judgment with the elders of His people, and their rulers. For you have eaten up the vineyard, the plunder of the poor is in your houses" (Is3:14)
What was one of the arguments of the rulers amongst themselves when Jesus made claims to being the Son of God?
    "If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe into Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation... Then, from that day on, they took counsel to kill Him." (Jn11:48,53)
From these passages is it not clear that Israel is the "vineyard", both at the mouth of Isaiah and Jesus. The leaders and rulers were supposed to tend to the vineyard; make it grow and deliver its fruit to the Owner (God). Scripture speaks much of sheep and shepherds, the unfaithful shepherds due God's judgment. (Jer23) The same is illustrated with the vineyard. Jesus said of Himself and His followers...
    "I am the vine, you are the branches" (Jn15:5)
Again we can look at Israel and the Church together; not to mention the rulers of British Israelism. Same principles.

When the branches refuse to bear fruit, God tears it all down and smashes it. (vs5-6) He prunes away and burns the unfruitful branches. (Jn15:6, Rom11:17,19-20)

In Jesus' day the rulers did not care about God, but about "[their] place" next to Rome. Today many pastors build up THEIR OWN empires politically and financially. They do not care about God's flock/vineyard. They care only about themselves. They do not care about justice; they do not care about righteousness. (vs7) What are they into?

    "Woe to those who join house to house, laying field to field, until there is no more space for you to dwell alone in the midst of the earth! Truly many big and pleasant houses shall be laid wasted, without inhabitant" (vs8-9)
Even more than Israel in the OT, this sounds like today's UN "Agenda 21" of "sustainability". These are the ones who wish to reduce earth's population by 90%, leaving 10% survivors, to be herded into "sustainable communities" of limited space, to leave the majority of earth to the wild animals. Their agenda is to kill billions of people by means of -contrived- emergencies, catastrophes, 'natural' disasters, massive accidents, warfare. If one is familiar with prophecy, particularly in Revelation, the goals of Agenda 21 are pretty much already described in prophecy. God pronounces "woe" to them.

They are characterized by drunkenness. (vs11) They are entertained by their rock bands and ignore God's creation. (vs12) We do not need to fear their prognostications; God will bring them down. They scoff against God...

    "Let Him hurry and hasten His work, so that we may see it; and let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come, so that we may know it!" (vs19)
You say God exists? Prove it! Like the first Russian cosmonaut went up into space, looked around and, "I don't see God up here!" You say there is going to be a Rapture where Jesus will come to collect His Believers? (Jn14:3) How many years have gone by and He hasn't come. They scoff and say, "Where is the promise of His coming?" (2Pt3:4)

Woe to those... who...

--Call evil good and good evil.

Situational ethics. What's good for one person might not be good to another. There is no "black and white", as the Bible teaches, but life is full of "gray areas". It's OK to kill babies in the womb. But don't you dare say that a "gay" couple are living in sin; who are you to pass judgment?

--Wise in their own eyes and understanding in their own sight!

There is a "simplicity" that is in Christ (Ac2:46, 2Co11:3), but academia will think -deep- thoughts about psychology, mythology, philosophy, and every other "ology" and "osophy"...while refusing Godly wisdom.

--Mighty to drink wine

Is this not self-explanatory. And today it's not merely drinking, but also drugs. In this country Marijuana has become pretty much "legal" all over, as long as one has a 'prescription' for it. Why, there's even a "Medical Marijuana Dispensary" scarcely a block away from my store. But there's nothing "medical" about it. It's part of the culture of calling "evil good".

--Who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away justice from the righteous

With this one where does one even begin and end?! If you are even half-awake to the news and politics, you can likely write your own treatise on the subject.

The devastation they are seeking to implement? God is going to do it. Those big houses the rich love? They will be laid waste. (vs9) The land will not produce much, the homer (65gal) will yield an ephah (10 times the homer). Nowhere near the 30/60/100 fold Jesus spoke of in the parable. (Mt13:8) Ten acres yielding one bath (9gal)? I don't know what vineyards normally produce, but reason and logic suggest that is a -very- poor harvest. And against Israel?

    "Therefore the anger of Jehovah is kindled against His people, and He has stretched out His hand against them, and has stricken them; and the hills trembled, and their corpses were as refuse in the midst of the streets. In all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still." (vs25)
And notice the vehemence with which the devastation will come...
    "And He will lift up a banner to distant nations, and will whistle to them from the ends of the earth; and behold, they shall come with speed, swiftly. No one shall be weary nor stumble among them; no one shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the waistband of their loins be loosened, nor the thong of their sandals be broken" (vs26-27)
Notice it says He will "whistle" for them. This suggests to me the image of a person who whistles to his dog to "attack". How do such dogs attack? Quickly and with efficiency. If you read the following verses you will see what I mean. "GET'EM!!" or as in older days, "SIC'EM!!"

But notice how God's judgment closes with, "But His hand is stretched out still" (vs25b) Even though God's righteousness and holiness requires punishment of the wicked, He never "purposed for any to perish" but that "all should come to repentance" (2Pt3:9) His desire is to "snatch them out of the fire" (Ju1:23) He invites, "Come, now, and let us reason together!" (1:18) As Jesus invited...

    "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Mt11:28-30)
And once the rulers have been judged, God will restore the lambs. (vs17) When the haughty rulers have been brought low...
    "But Jehovah of Hosts is exalted in justice, and the Mighty God, the Holy One, is sanctified in righteousness" (vs16)
But judgment will come, just like recorded in places like Revelation and Joel ch2.
    "...and if one looks to the land, behold darkness and distress; and the light is darkened by clouds" (vs30)
What a song!

Jesus said the vineyard would be taken away and given to others. Jeremiah writes...

    "And I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and will bring them back to their folds. And they shall be fruitful and multiply. And I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them. And they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed; nor shall they be lacking, says Jehovah. Behold, the days are coming, says Jehovah, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King who shall reign and act prudently, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely. And this is His name by which He shall be called, JEHOVAH, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." (Jer23:3-6)
Amen!

Next Chapter: Here Am I - Send Me!
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