Time has shown that the more man tries to deify himself, the more demonic he becomes. In this rebellion against God’s land stipulations we see an example of how men can usurp the lordship of God by trying to control their own lives through their own self-governed will. If men only do what is right in their own eyes, then anarchy will be the rule. The truth is, man’s goal is not anarchy, but rather a dictatorship of which they are king. William Penn said, “Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.” To add to Penn’s statement, a man who crowns himself, king, is the worst dictator of all!
Through inspiration of the Holy Ghost, David said, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance” (Psalms 33:12). But as time passed, we see rebellion worsening against God’s lordship of the Promised Land until obedience to His rules was forgotten. This caused curses to come against these individuals and their land.
The prophet Isaiah said of this rebellion: “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isa 59:2). This separation was their will against God’s will. In Leviticus 18 Moses had warned sinfulness and blatant rebellion against the things of God would cause Heaven’s blessings to turn away from the Children of Israel. While they wandered through the wilderness, God prepared their entrance into the Promised Land with this admonition:
(24) Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:
(25) And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.
(26) Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:
(27) (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;)
(28) That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.
Moses warned his people that just as God had evicted the sinning nations that lived in the land before they did, He would do the same to them if they also sinned against the Lord. Jesus gave notice of this coming eviction in His Parable of the Vineyard. As you read His words, look how similarly His warning is to that of Moses’.
(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:
(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.
(35) And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.
(36) Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.
(37) But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.
(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.
(39) And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.
(40) When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?
(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.
(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 marvelous in our eyes?
(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.
(44) And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
(45) And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.
How did the Chief Priests and Pharisees so quickly discern what the lord of this parable should do? I believe it was because of the already established biblical precedent for God removing rebellious tenets from off His land. Jesus made it clear He was speaking of severe judgment in this parable. These passages also state that the religious leaders standing there that day knew that Jesus was speaking this parable to them! With all this said, they must have known Jesus was forewarning of the same type land eviction coming to them and their generation if they did not repent of their sins.
Jesus stated that the generation of His day was guilty of filling up the measure of iniquity that had begun with their fathers. This is the same type filling that God had told Abraham would happen to the Amorites before removing them from this same land.
(31) Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
(32) Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
(33) Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
(34) 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:
(35) That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zechariah son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
(36) Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
(37) O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
(38) Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
This filling of their iniquities was what Jesus said would be the final measure before the lord of the vineyard destroyed the tenants in His Vineyard parable. Jesus specified that this was to happen, not in some future generation, but to the very one to whom He was speaking at that time. Those who heard Jesus speak this parable understood it was for them and their generation. Jesus also said that generation’s sins would leave their “House desolate.” Only one house fits this statement, and that was the “House of God,” i.e. the Jewish Temple.
In the next scriptures, Paul identifies what grave sins would fill this measure to the top thus bringing “wrath” upon the perpetrators to “the uttermost.”
1 Thessalonians 2:14-16
(14) For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
(15) Who both KILLED THE LORD JESUS, and THEIR OWN PROPHETS, and have PERSECUTED US; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:
(16) Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, TO FILL UP THEIR SINS ALWAYS: FOR THE WRATH IS COME UPON THEM TO THE UTTERMOST.
Those to whom Paul is referring are the Jews living during his generation. Their grave sins included not only persecution of the LORD’s servants, but also the killing of the Lord Jesus Christ. No other generation can be labeled with this horrifying record. These sins are exactly what Jesus said happened in the Vineyard parable. The vineyard’s Lord sent servants and finally His Son; these, the rebellious tenets beat and killed. For these offences against God, Jesus said that the lord of the vineyard would come and remove those unrighteous-souls from off his land. This fulfillment literally took place in 70 AD when Jesus returned to bring judgment against Jerusalem for her rebellion against Him, His people, and His New Covenant. Jeremiah forewarned that the consequence of such rebellion was a discontinuing of the inheritance for those guilty of such sin.
(4) And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn for ever.
In 70 AD we see all of this take place; the Temple was made desolate, the Promised Land was taken from the Jews, and roughly two-thirds of the population was killed, with the remaining one-third who survived Titus’ siege going into enslavement. These horrific events perfectly fulfilled prophecies of God’s judgment, and also occurred within the 30-70 AD generation in which Jesus said they would.
Copyright © 2004 TK Burk. All Rights Reserved.