America in the Kingdom Parables

C.O. Stadslkev - 1959

The Husbandman

Matthew 21:33-44

   The Parable of the Husbandmen is perhaps the most severe and most revealing parable spoken by our Lord. This parable is found in Matthew 21:33-44.

   Before we read the parable itself we shall read the two verses immediately following the parable, verses 45 and 46: "And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet."

    Verse 33 of Matthew 21 opens this parable, and Jesus said, "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."

   In order to clearly understand what the Lord meant by the vineyard we must be familiar with verses 1 through 7 of Isaiah 5.

   We shall read verses 3, 5 and 7 of this chapter: "And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard... 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; 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."

   Let us note, and remember, that the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is tile house of Israel and the men of Judah His pleasant plant. Certain men of Judah were given special favor, care and opportunity, but both Israel and Judah were considered the Lord's vineyard.

   This is a fact emphatically taught throughout the Old Scripture where the twelve tribes of Israel are set forth as God's chosen servant race. In fact, they were and are the only race that has known God's religious ordinances and God's civil and moral laws.

   In Psalm 147:19,20 we read, "He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the Lord."

   Therefore in verse 33 of Matthew 21 Jesus was merely stating what was known as Bible history at that time.

   In verse 34 we read, "And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it."

   The husbandmen are not the same as the vineyard. The vineyard, as we learned, consisted of both Israel and Judah. Both Israel and Judah, as Bible history shows, failed to produce kingdom fruit; both had their hedges torn down, and both went into captivity: Israel into the Assyrian captivity and Judah into the Babylonian captivity.

   With these historical facts in mind we shall consider the rest of the Parable of the Husbandmen: "And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.

   "Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence ray son. 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. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

   "When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? 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.

   "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? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof."

   This parable is easily understood until we get to the statement "The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof."

   This statement has been made difficult and confusing by those who would make the Lord's kingdom parables Church parables, teaching that the Church is now the Kingdom of God.

   If that were the case then the chief priests and Pharisees must have been in possession of the Church prior to the Lord's crucifixion for whatever the Kingdom of God is, it was something they were in possession of.

   To teach that the Pharisees, who did not believe in Christ were even in the Church or the body of Christ is to deny every basic doctrine of the Church.

   Jesus states in Matthew 23:2-4, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers."

   The thing that the scribes and Pharisees had which was taken from them was the opportunity and responsibility to administer the civil, moral and social laws of God given by Moses, and this is what is meant by the Kingdom of God.

   This "kingdom of God," according to the words of Jesus in Matthew 21:43, was to be given to a nation."

   The Church is the body of Christ and it is open to all people of every and any race; it was not given to a nation.

   Some people teach that the kingdom was given to ten-tribed Israel - and in a sense that is true - but ten-tribed Israel has been many nations as God promised Abraham they would be, and the Kingdom of God was to be given to 'a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof."

   Ten-tribed Israel, the Anglo-Saxons of today, have been, as Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 48:10, "God's witnesses" during the Church Age of witnessing. They have done about 90% of all Christian preaching, teaching and missionary work, but the Church is not the Kingdom of God for the kingdom was to be given to 'a nation" bringing forth the fruits thereof.

   When we realize that the restoration of tile Kingdom of God was to become manifest on earth at the close of the Church Age, and that it was to be given to "a nation" which would bring forth kingdom fruits, we should not have great difficulty in finding such a nation for one nation stands out very conspicuously among the nations of the earth and of all history in bringing forth much and many fruits of the administration of God's principles in civil, moral and social affairs.

   That nation, as everyone knows, is the United States of America.

   There are those that imagine that the Kingdom of God will be perfect from its very first manifestation, but such is not the case for as we have seen there are several parables and much Old Scripture prophecy devoted to the cleansing of the Kingdom of God at the end of the present age.

   In the Parable of the Husbandmen we must distinguish between the vineyard and the husbandmen, Remember, the husbandmen and not the vineyard were to be miserably destroyed when "the Lord of the vineyard cometh."

 

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