The Lord saw Israel as His vineyard. He planted her, tended her, nourished and protected her. When the time came for Him to enjoy the fruit of His vineyard, He found only wild grapes. It was the task of Israel to make the Messiah known to the world when He arrived. Instead they rejected Him and put Him to death. Therefore, God gave this task to the Gentiles—through the church, who was birthed as a result of the Messiah’s death and resurrection.
We know from Isaiah 5:1-7, God is speaking of the Messiah, as a result of Jesus teaching concerning the 11th Parable, called: The Parable of the workers in the vineyard. Jesus uses almost identical language in describing Israel as God’s vineyard in Matthew 21:33-43.
Isaiah 5:1-7 Now let me sing to my Well-beloved A song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard: My Well-beloved has a vineyard On a very fruitful hill. He dug it up and cleared out its stones, And planted it with the choicest vine. He built a tower in its midst, And also made a winepress in it; So He expected it to bring forth good grapes, But it brought forth wild grapes. “And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, Judge, please, between Me and My vineyard. What more could have been done to My vineyard That I have not done in it? Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, Did it bring forth wild grapes? And now, please let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned; And break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will lay it waste; It shall not be pruned or dug, But there shall come up briers and thorns. I will also command the clouds That they rain no rain on it.” For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, And the men of Judah are His pleasant plant. He looked for justice, but behold, oppression; For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help.
The mystery of the church was hidden in the Old Testament
Romans Chapter 9 describes the fact that there are some who are of Israel, who are not all Israel.
Romans 9:6-8 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.
A Jew is not a son or daughter of God by their genealogy. They are a member of God’s family by faith. Specifically, faith is the name and completed work of God’s Messiah Jesus Christ.
A Gentile, though not a part of Israel, can be a son or daughter of God; not by becoming a Jew but throughout the same faith required of the Jew. To trust in the name of Jesus and the work of salvation that He accomplished—this is the faith that God requires.
John 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
In this way, God hid the church in the Old Testament: The Just shall live by faith. —Habakkuk 2:4
It was to this point that Peter spoke—before the Pharisees at Jerusalem and informed these men that it had always been the plan of God to given the Gentiles the same Holy Spirit that He had promised the Jews. God would save all people in precisely the same way, whether looking back to the cross today, or looking forward to it before the Messiah arrived as Jesus Christ.
Acts 15:7-11 At the meeting, after a long discussion, Peter stood and addressed them as follows: Brothers, you all know that God chose me from among you some time ago to preach to the Gentiles so that they could hear the Good News and believe. 8 God knows peoples hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith. 10 So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? 11 We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus. (NLT)
The Old Testament establishes salvation by faith, the New Testament Reveals this salvation—through Jesus Christ.
Romans Chapter 9 is a wonderful description of how this process of salvation by faith operates in relation to the original calling of God towards Abraham. God’s promise to Abraham was through one son—Isaac. This was the son who came by a supernatural work of God. Abraham and Sarah were well beyond the age when the conception of a baby was possible. God waited until it was humanly impossible for Abraham and Sarah, before He gave them the son that He promised. In this way, all those who would read their amazing story, would understand that the entire work of salvation must be by God. There is absolutely nothing that any person can do to make their redemption occur except to believe entirely in what God has done by Jesus Christ.
Romans 9:9-16 For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.” And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.” What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.
God has said that He will save anyone who believes that His Son, Jesus Christ, has paid for all of their sins on the cross. When we choose to believe this, He saves us. In this way, salvation is by faith, not by works.
When this kind of faith occurs genuinely and completely, by believing it in the heart and expressing this belief through a confession of the mouth, a person is saved. It doesn’t matter what a person has done before this moment, or who they are, God can save anyone who will believe what he has said. Jesus died for every person and there is no sin that He cannot forgive—except the sin of rejecting Him and the salvation He died to make possible.
When anyone places all of their faith in Jesus for their salvation, He makes that person a part of His Church—His vineyard, as predicted in this 160th prophecy.
Romans 10:9 …that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
John 15:5 (Jesus speaking) I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (ESV)
Jew and Gentile are saved in the same way
For the Jews, the issues of the Messiah, salvation, and the word of God, are not just a way of life; they are life itself. God chose the Jews to be the bearers and stewards of the greatest message and gift the world has ever known. There was a majority who did not receive the Messiah when He came, but there was also a remnant who did believe and became the fulfillment of God’s vineyard.
In the plan of God, both the Jew and the Gentile are offered the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Both are saved in the same way.
Romans 9:24-27 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As He says also in Hosea: “I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.” “And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.” Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, The remnant will be saved.”
This is truly a wonderful story. The Gentiles who did not pursue the righteousness of God can obtain it simply by faith. The Jews who fervently pursued righteousness could not attain it by their own works of righteousness. They can, however, obtain it—also by faith.
Romans 9:30-31 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.
The Messiah was described as the Chief Cornerstone. He is the place of beginning and the foundation of all things. Because Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, He became the Stone of Stumbling that Isaiah described. Though there are at least seven Old Testament Prophecies which confirm that the Messiah would be the Son of God (See The Messiah will be the Son of God), the Jews around the world have stumbled over this claim of Jesus, and most have rejected Him to the present day.
Romans 9:32-33 …For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
For an in-depth study on why Jesus was a stumbling stone to the Jew and how God predicted this error, see Prophecy 148, For details on: The Messiah shall be the Chief Cornerstone. See also: Prophecy 160, Israel, as God’s Vineyard.
Paul, a Jew—zealous for the law of God, had an encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. The Lord spoke to Paul out of heaven and asked him, Why are you persecuting me?
The following is Paul’s own account of what happened to him:
Acts 22:3-10 “I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today. I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women, as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished. Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. So I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’ ”
When Paul returned to Jerusalem, his heart was set upon his brothers—the Jews. Regarding the Jews, Jesus told Paul that they will not receive his testimony concerning Him. It was then that Jesus informed Paul, that he was being sent to the Gentiles to declare the good news that God’s appointed day of salvation had come.
Acts 22:17- 21 “Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance and saw Him saying to me, ‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.’ So I said, ‘Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believe on You. And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’ Then He said to me, Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.’ ”
This message, Paul carried to the entire Gentile world, but he never lost his desire that his fellow Jews would also find Jesus as their Messiah. In the Book of Romans, Paul declares that the Jews have a great zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.
Romans 10:1-3 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
Israel will be blind to the Messiah until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in.
This knowledge of God that Paul spoke of was revealed long before God sent our Savior, He told us that the Messiah was both the Son of God and the son of David. He told Israel that they would stumble over these facts and not receive the Messiah when He came to them. Because Israel rejected their Savior, God has blinded their eyes to the present day. This lack of perception regarding the Messiah will exist until God has concluded His offer of salvation to all the Gentiles, at which time all Israel will be saved.
Romans 11:25-26 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob…”
Despite the massive amount of evidence from their own scriptures—the majority of Jews, today, continue to stumble over Jesus.
The Prophet Isaiah, who wrote nearly 700 years before Jesus was born, asking the question, Who will believe our report; that Jesus is the Messiah whom God promised?
Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?”
Faith is rewarded by God with salvation. When a person hears the good news about Jesus Christ and they believe—God saves them. Salvation is not a reward for things that we have done; it is a reward given to those who believe what God has already done.
Romans 10:17-18 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.”
The message of salvation that God brought to Israel in the fullness of time was met with unbelief. Isaiah predicted that this message would not be accepted. The past 2,000 years have confirmed this prophecy: for most of the Jews—to this very day—do not believe that Jesus is their Messiah.
Faith, Paul wrote, comes by hearing the message with understanding and then accepting it both in the mind (intellectually) and the heart (emotionally).
This message can either be heard directly by someone who speaks of Jesus, or in written form when God’s word is read. The purpose of this book is to declare to you the words of God’s prophecies that confirm that Jesus is the Messiah whom God promised. Faith comes when a person hears about what Jesus has done and who He is, and then acts on that information—to believe.
Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
It is the plan of God for the Jews—that as they observe the wonderful blessings which have come to the Gentiles who have believed in Jesus Christ—they would be provoked to jealousy. Those who were not a part of the nation of Israel and were not otherwise included in the promises of God, have now become a nation and people of God—the Gentiles.
Romans 10:19-21 But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says: “I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will move you to anger by a foolish nation.” But Isaiah is very bold and says: “I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me.”
Even now, God holds out His hands to His people—the Jews—and fervently desires that they would come to Him and believe that Jesus is their Messiah.
Romans 10:21 But to Israel he says: “All day long I have stretched out My hands To a disobedient and contrary people.”
Though Israel has cast God aside, He has not cast His people away. There is a remnant who do believe today, and they are working hard to convince their brothers that the Messiah has already come.
Romans 11:1-5 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! (Paul Declares) For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, “LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
There are many millions of Jews today who have embraced Jesus as The Mashiach ben David. There will be an even greater number who will receive Him in the future. God has not forgotten His people, the Jews. He loves them all and fervently desires that they would be saved.
I am of course a Gentile; but as I have composed this book, my love for my dear Jewish friends has grown many times over. While I have contemplated the fact that these many prophetic predictions of God were first directed at His “chosen people,” I began to pray that the Lord would use this humble work to convince my Jewish friends, by these stunning proofs, that their Messiah has already arrived, and He is ready to receive them.
The message is simple: Salvation is by grace, through faith. If you will simply believe that Jesus is the promised One, repent of your sins and receive Him as your Savior, you will be saved.
Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
God has determined that His people—the Jews, should not be lost forever. He has willed that they believe in their Messiah today and be saved. For the Gentiles, God will save us also in the exact same way: We repent of our sins, believe that Jesus has died for us and place all our trust in Him to save us. God promised that if we will take these simple steps, He will accept us all.
Romans 11:11-16 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
We must all abide in Jesus
As a humble reminder to the Gentile, we should not think too highly of the fact that God has also made salvation available to us. As God broke off some of the branches of Israel from the tree who were the original root and offspring of God, He will also break us off, who were not a part of the original tree, if we do not continue to abide in and stay attached to Jesus as our “vine.”
Romans 11:17-21 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.
The Christian doctrine of “once saved, always saved” is only true if the one saved continues to abide in Jesus—for their entire life. No one forced you to be saved in the first place, and no one will force you to remain saved. You are once and forever saved, only if you continue to believe and abide in Jesus Christ—until the day you die, or when the Lord takes us all at the Rapture.
John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
Matthew 10:22 … he who endures to the end will be saved.
The goodness of God is observed by the fact that He wants all people to be saved, that is why He gave His only Son to die for our sins. He also will not tolerate those who stubbornly refuse to accept the great sacrifice that His Son has made and count it as “nothing.” If any person will not believe, he will be cut off from all of the promises of God. Those who take the name of Jesus and profess that He is their Lord and Savior but later fall away, were not truly saved in the first place.
The entire process of salvation is accomplished by those who continue to follow and serve Jesus all the days of their life.
This loss of salvation would not include those who periodically fall away from Jesus—during temporary moments of discouragement or trials, or fall into periods of sin, or even suffer doubts or lapses in their faith. If these people repent and return to the Lord, they are counted among the saved. All believers go through periods of time when their faith is tested by trials, or suffer doubts and discouragement. Jesus will not let go of you during these moment. He will sustain you and wait for you to return to Him—and He will always welcome you when you decide to come back and continue walking with Him.
We remember the words of Jesus to Peter when He denied Him three times and failed miserably:
Luke 22:32 (Jesus speaking to Peter) “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
There are, however, a nauseating group of individuals today who have claimed to once believe in, and follow Jesus, but instead have joined the perditious ranks of Judas in betraying Jesus. They write books that declare that they had many unanswered questions that caused their faith to fade and die. They attack the Bible, Jesus Christ, and those who remain faithful to their Lord. These are in a class of fallen who really never did believe—for if they had, they would have remained. This is the ultimate test of salvation: Those who remain and do not fall away.
1 John 2:19 These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us. (NLT)
For the spiritually blind who have been unable to see what God is offering, He is able to heal their eyes and allow them to see—if they are willing. For the spiritually dead, who know the truth as it has been declared to them but will not believe—there remains no other way for them to be saved.
Romans 11:22-24 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
The Jews of today still have the opportunity to believe in Jesus as the Messiah and discover the mystery of God’s plan. If anyone will examine the prophetic evidence and consider that Jesus has met all of the qualifications of the Messiah, they can be saved.
Jesus has died to become the ultimate sacrifice for all sins.
By placing our complete trust in Him, we can all be saved. God further predicts that this current blindness of the Jews will end soon when all those who will come into Jesus’ church and be saved, is complete. As soon as this is accomplished, the Times of the Gentiles will be concluded. Then the Rapture will take place as Jesus removes His bride. Finally, God will turn once again to the Jews, and He shall save all those who will believe. It is my sincere hope that some, who are sincerely seeking the Messiah, will find encouragement in this book, and believe in Jesus.
Romans 11:25-36 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! “For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor?” “Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?” For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
This prophecy of Isaiah 5:1-7, describes Israel as the Lord’s vineyard. He planted them in the land that He had promised to Abraham. He nourished and fed the nation. Everything that God could do, He has already done. He asked them this question:
What more could have been done to My vineyard that I have not done in it?
When God came to His vineyard, Israel, all that He found was wild grapes.
Jesus taught the Parable of the Vineyard and said in this illustration that He had done everything that could be done for Israel. He had planted them in the land, hedged them all around in protection, yet when He came to partake of their fruit, there was none.
He sent His servants and the prophets, to lead Israel in the right way, but they would not listen. Finally God sent His own dear Son, and they crucified Him.
Therefore, the Lord destroyed those wicked men and gave the privilege of declaring the Messiah to another nation—to the Gentiles of whom I am part. I am amongst many others who have been given the great privilege of declaring to you, at this moment, these 365 prophecies which all prove, beyond any doubt, that Jesus Christ is the One—whom these words were written of.
Matthew 21:33-44 “Hear another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country. Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit. And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them. Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?” They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’S doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes’? Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”
What else could the Lord do that He has not already done?
What greater proofs are there than 365 specific prophecies—all fulfilled by the birth, life, death, and resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus Christ?
God desires that He could live in a loving and personal relationship with the people of Israel, as He is already doing with many millions of Gentiles who have come to Him through His Son Jesus. Has not the Lord done as much as He could do for you? Is there anything more that He could do? He has given you His only Son so that you can be saved. Today is the day of Salvation; now is the time. Will you receive Jesus and make Him Lord and Savior of your life?