It is hard for many Christians to understand that Jesus Christ becomes a stumbling block, to those who stumble at His Word, i.e. do not hear His voice but rather follow the traditions of men.
Jesus Christ has been confronted by the chief priests and elders of the people as He was teaching to show by what authority He did the things He did and who gave Him that authority. Christ said He would tell them if they would first tell Him whether the baptism of John was from heaven above or of men. Since they refused to tell Him (actually they lied and said they could not tell) He in like manner would not tell them where He got His authority. However, Jesus then asked them to consider a few stories (which will be parables about them) and draw some conclusions and make some judgments. In this manner Christ reveals much knowledge and wisdom while at the same time causing the kenites, the sons of Cain, to pass judgment upon and sentence to perish both themselves and their forefathers for their wicked deeds.
Our heavenly Father is the "certain householder" who planted a vineyard (Israel) and fenced it (grubbed over as is digged and trenched the ground), and built a tower for the watchman in the midst of it, and made a winepress (gath) for the gathering in of the fruit. Had the chief priests and elders of the people whom Christ is addressing with this parable been more knowledgeable of the holy scriptures than of their traditions which produce no fruit, they would have perhaps been drawn to Isa. 5:1-7 which speaks of the vineyard and identifies it as the House of Israel.Matthew 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:
The householder planted the vineyard for the express purpose "that it should bring forth grapes" which means he expected it to bear good and ripened fruit. Instead it brought forth "wild grapes". Take a Strong's Concordance and look up the word "wild grapes" and you'll understand why He was so disappointed.Isaiah 5:1-2
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:  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.
Isa. 5:7 documents that the vineyard in the parable represents the House of Israel.wild grapes, be'ushiym, be-oo-sheem', Hebrew 891; plural of Hebrew 889 (be'osh); poison-berries :- wild grapes.
be'osh, be-oshe', Hebrew 889; from Hebrew 877 (bo'r); a stench :- stink.
An "husbandman" is a landworker, a farmer, i.e. the vinedresser who is to work in the vineyard as its caretaker seeing to it that good fruit is produced for the householder who has every right to expect it. On the spiritual level, which this physical "is like" (analogy) or parable is to be taken, the husbandman is a spiritual leader of the people whose responsibility it is to teach and watch over the House of Israel thereby producing and bringing forth good ripened fruit (children of righteousness) in due season for the kingdom of God. To that end, the householder has provided the husbandman with all the spiritual tools (His Word) necessary to do the job.Isaiah 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.
Time means due season (kairos in Greek #2540) which in this case means at harvest time when the fruit should be ripe.Matthew 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.
These servants sent by the householder (our Father) were the priests and prophets He sent down through the ages. What Christ is doing is establishing the vile, sordid history of the wicked "husbandmen" who shall all be included in the judgment that the scribes and elders themselves will soon declare out of their own mouths. We will cover this again in detail when we get to the 23rd chapter where Jesus once again identifies the "stones of Satan's temple" and "counts them", i.e. adds (enumerates) or totals them up from the beginning going back and commencing with the first murderer, Cain, the slayer of righteous Abel. If you recall in Genesis 4:2, Cain was an "husbandman", a tiller of the ground, while Abel was "keeper of sheep", a tender of the flock, a shepherd! Genesis 4:2, "And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground"... who rose up and killed the shepherd." And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.
The "generation" Christ is speaking of is the "generation (lineage) of vipers" we read of back in Mat. 3:7 and Mat. 12:34, who are the kenites, the descendants of Cain. They are the tares we learned about in the 13th chapter of Matthew!Matthew 23:34-36
Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:  That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.  Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
Christ "adds them up" and brings the history right up to the last prophet (John the Baptist) that the householder sent before sending His beloved Son.Matthew 21:36
Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.
The householder sent His only begotten Son into the vineyard. Got the picture? And there He is... the Son... standing right before the husbandmen, the chief priests and the elders, and do they reverence Him? They do NOT! They despise Him and reject Him and wish to "lay hands on him" (vs. 46) and even plot to raise up and kill the Shepherd. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.
Talk about wicked people! They beat and murdered the very Son of the householder in their attempt to take the vineyard and seize that which belongs to the Father for themselves. This brings us right up to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, which is actually prophesy (history declared before the fact) falling directly upon those to whom Christ is now speaking. 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.
Wow, what a wicked and perverse generation! That is the picture of Satan's family tree, the wicked tree beginning with Cain and its fruitless branches who have followed in the footsteps of their father, the first murder, down through the ages. Christ lays it out real clearly in John 8:44 when the scribes and Pharisees confront Him to try and convince Him that they are "God's chosen people": "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." Too bad the majority of our Christian brothers and sisters fall for that lie today, i.e. believe that those who claim to be "God's chosen people" are actually descendants of Abraham. Remember we learned that only two out of the seven churches in Rev. 2:9 & 3:9 know whose these liars are who claim to be of our brother Judah but do lie and are of the synagogue of Satan. They are actually kenites of the house of Cain. Read John chapter 8 with understanding and let that fig tree which bears no fruit dry up and be withered before your eyes. They did not fool Jesus Christ so don't let them pull the wool over your eyes either. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.
Now the chief priests and elders of the people who are listening to this indicting parable of Christ have not quite put two and two together to come up with enough smarts to understand that He is speaking about them and their forefathers. However, even they can see and understand on the flesh level the wickedness of these husbandmen. Therefore Christ asks them to "declare judgment" on them, which means that they shall unwittingly pass judgment upon and sentence themselves and their forefathers to be "destroyed", i.e. to perish, and the vineyard to be taken from them. Oh the wisdom of Christ!
Here is the judgment they cast upon themselves. When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?
It is important to understand the meaning of the Greek word for "destroy" which is "apollumi", for it is the root word for Satan's name Apollyon, the destroyer, in Rev. 9:11 who is the "son of perdition", the one God sentenced to "perish" in the lake of fire (Ezek. 28:18). 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 word "apollumi" does NOT mean to burn forever! It means to "perish forever" as in gone, finis, to cease to exist! That is the fate of the incorrigibly wicked and unrepentant sinners... just as it is written in the most quoted verse in all of Christianity. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish (apollumi), but have everlasting (eternal) life."destroy, apollumi, ap-ol'-loo-mee, Greek 622; from Greek 575 (apo) and the base of Greek 3639 (olethros); to destroy fully (reflexive to perish, or lose), literal or figurative :- destroy, die, lose, mar, perish.
The bottom line is that the kenites have passed the same sentence upon themselves as their father, the devil, received at his judgment in the first earth age (Ezek. 28:18).And now for the "hammer to be dropped", or better yet for the "Stone to be dropped", upon the heads of the chief priests and elders of the people who have rejected the chief cornerstone, the Rock of our salvation, Jesus Christ.Apollyon, Apolluon, ap-ol-loo'-ohn, Greek 623; active participle of Greek 622 (apollumi); a destroyer (i.e. Satan) :- Appollyon.
They refuse to build their temple using the chief cornerstone, i.e. to build their house upon the Rock. They rejected the teachings of John the Baptist and now they are standing before the Messiah, Emmanuel, the Son of God, the chief cornerstone, not only fully rejecting Him and His salvation but they pass judgment upon and sentence themselves to perish for doing so! This is marvelous indeed! 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?
The scriptures that Christ is referring to in asking them "Did you never read", which even if they had it is obvious they did so without understanding, come from the 118th Psalm. You may recall that is the same Psalm quoted back in verse 9 when Jesus entered into Jerusalem riding on a lowly ass! Psalm 118:26 "Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD. You "see", one can either praise the LORD and hear His voice and believe in Him, i.e. Jesus Christ who is the Rock of our salvation, and enter into the kingdom or he or she can reject Him and be crushed by the very Rock they reject. It is an individual choice with clearly defined consequences either way... to have eternal life or to perish in the lake of fire.
Praise Him and rejoice in Him and hear His voice for Christ is our salvation.There is no other way as Peter declares in Acts 4:11-12 "This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."Psalm 118:21-24
I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.
Psalm 118:21 speaks of the purpose of the first advent, which is to bring salvation, while the next verse declares the second advent when Christ will enter into Jerusalem again, only this time He will not be riding on a lowly ass but rather on a white horse as King of kings and Lord of lords to whom every knee shall bow in submission!
It is not our Father's will that any should perish (apollumi), including the kenites, but that all should come to repentance. Nevertheless, the Day of Lord, which is the Millennium, shall soon come when all the evil rudiments (elements) and all that is wicked shall be consumed by His fire, "for our God is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29)". The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
This is the Plan of God! "... Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints (Rev. 15:3)."2 Peter 3:9-10
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
[Ps. 118:23] This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
Did you know that you can enter into His rest (sabbath) even now and become part of those just ones who take the kingdom and possess it for ever, even for ever and ever? Daniel 7:18 "But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever." This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Are you part of that nation, that spiritual house which is built upon the Rock? Are you one of those "living stones" that make up His temple, the body of Christ? Remember 1 Peter 2:5 "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." Those spiritual sacrifices include the fruit you produce. Just remember though that their rock is not our Rock (Deut. 32:31) which means the rock they build their temple on (the king of Tyre, Tyre means "rock") is not our Rock, Jesus Christ! He is Satan, the false messiah!Matthew 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.
It is hard for many Christians to understand that Jesus Christ becomes a stumbling block, to those who stumble at His Word, i.e. do not hear His voice but rather follow the traditions of men. Isaiah speaks of this, Christ speaks of this, Paul speaks of this (Rom. 9:32), and Peter speaks of this. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
Those who stumble at His Word in their ignorance shall be broken and taken and fall before the false messiah believing his lies and deception that he is indeed the true Messiah. However, as Mat. 21:44 states, those upon whom "the stone" shall fall shall be "ground to powder"! Those are the murderous husbandmen who beat and stone and kill the servants of the householder and then murder His Son! The stones that build up their temple shall be crushed (ground to powder) and there shall not be left one stone upon another that shall not be pulverized.Isaiah 8:14-15
And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.
Christ is not talking about the actual "physical" stones of the temple, but those lifeless "stones" that the wise, those who possess wisdom and understanding from His Word, can trace and "add up" (enumerate using pebbles worn smooth) from the beginning (starting with Cain) right up unto today (Rev. 13:18).It is this house (temple) that brings forth the 1st Beast of Rev. 13:1 and ushers in the false messiah (2nd Beast of Rev. 13) before whose image the whole world bows.Matthew 24:1-2
And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and His disciples came to Him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
However, when the chief cornerstone appears, that "stone" cut out without hands, i.e. Jesus Christ, He shall fall upon that evil system (the NWO) and crush it to smithereens along with the "stones" who make up the temple of Satan, the false-christ. Daniel 2:34 "Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces." In fact, check out the words "thrown down" in Matthew 24:2 and you see that it means to "disintegrate" as in "grind to powder"!
So Jesus Christ has just given the chief priests and elders of the people a real clear Bible lesson complete with documentation, and they finally got the message that all along He has been speaking about them!thrown down, kataluo, kat-al-oo'-o, Greek 2647; from Greek 2596 (kata) and Greek 3089 (luo); to loosen down (disintegrate), i.e. (by implication) to demolish (literal or figurative); specially [compare Greek 2646 (kataluma)] to halt for the night :- destroy, dissolve, be guest, lodge, come to nought, overthrow, throw down.
Oooh! Now that the Pharisees have also gotten "wind" of the parables of Christ, they are out to lay their hands on Him and kill Him. Hey, isn't that just like the wicked husbandmen of the vineyard who "said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance (Matthew 21:38)?" Absolutely! You "see", Christ's teaching actually "turned their hearts" right back to their father (Mal. 4:6), the very first murderer! Hmmm, it all adds up!Matthew 21:45
And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard His parables, they perceived that He spake of them.
What a bunch of cowardly hypocrites. Well, they will just go "underground" and plot in the pit how to bring about the crucifixion of the only begotten Son of God by whom and through whom is their only way to salvation! Amazing isn't it? But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitude, because they took Him for a prophet.
In our next study Christ is going to "speak unto them again by parables", this time about a certain king which made a marriage for his son!
... to be continued.
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