Recently, I posted a series of passages on the final worldwide exodus and regathering of God’s people in their land. I discussed how this exodus will happen in the Tribulation period, hastened by terrible conditions worldwide, including conditions particularly adverse to God’s people.
In this current passage, I will provide more detail about those who I was referring to as “God’s people”; those who will undergo this mass exodus and subsequent regathering in a “brand new” Israel for all of the world to see. I will address a little about the process through which they will go in finally returning to God, Jesus Christ their Lord, both in terms of their spiritual and physical return (to the holy land).
Who are God’s people?
God calls his people his “vineyard.” He then says in Isaiah (5:7) that his vineyard is the house of Israel. And also, in Isaiah (48:1), God says the house of Israel is the same as the house of Jacob. So, these terms can be used interchangeably. Collectively, God’s “vineyard” is comprised of his lost sheep of the original 12 tribes from whom a righteous remnant will regather in the holy land for the Millennial Kingdom period.
God’s vineyard as it exists in the current day is an extremely important part of understanding the overall prophetic picture yet to unfold, but it is not discussed nearly enough in today’s bible prophecy teachings.
In this passage, I will discuss God’s vineyard as it applies in the following topical section areas:
- God’s sovereign plan for his vineyard
- A righteous grape cluster
- Bad grapes
- God’s vineyard calls out for him
- God calls for his vineyard to return to him
- The final outcome
Each topic area is discussed in its own section below.
God accomplishes his sovereign plan through his vineyard
It is through the house of Jacob/Israel (and the “dry bones” of Ez. Ch. 37), God’s “fruitful vineyard,” that God establishes his heavenly Kingdom. The supernatural gathering of these people in his Kingdom will demonstrate God as the one true, all-powerful God who is faithful and has already foretold in his prophetic word exactly what he was going to do from the beginning.
In the meantime, God keeps his eyes fixed on his people and “watches over” the house of Jacob/his vineyard, especially “in that day”- i.e. meaning this current last days time period. He calls them, “the branch of (his) planting,” the “rod of his inheritance,” as well as his heritage. He uses them and their story to accomplish his plans for the rest of the world’s people to see. He says, “Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel” (Jer. 18:6). He reminds them that he is their creator, has “carried them along since birth,” and is their deliverer (Is. 46:3-4).
A righteous grape cluster in the vineyard
When I discussed in a prior passage a specific last days royal Judah remnant that is destined for the Millennial kingdom, I mentioned their attribute of righteousness. Like them, the remnant of the house of Jacob that is saved will be cleansed with righteousness- by definition. They will be Jesus Christ believers. In discussing his final redemption of his people, God remarks, “Surely these are my people, children that will not lie, so (I) became their savior” (Is 63:8). These are the grapes of the vineyard who will be saved. They will represent God’s glory and thereby will be a blessing for all others in the kingdom to see. The following scriptures describe this righteous remnant:
- “Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.” (Is. 60:21)
- “And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.” (Zech. 8:13)
- “The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.” (Zeph. 3:13)
God’s righteous remnant will represent what he intended from the beginning. That is, so that he can be glorified through his people and they can bless others with is truth.
Jesus Christ- “I am the vine”
The righteous nature of this house of Israel remnant naturally brings to mind a few things that Jesus discussed related to a vineyard and wine. Given that this last days remnant represents the last of God’s righteous vineyard prior to his Kingdom to come, perhaps we can understand their upcoming blessing in the kingdom a little more through a few things Jesus said about his vine and the wine it produces. I will not go into too much depth here, but I believe that it is worth at least considering and thinking in more depth about the following points within the present context:
- In the Parable of the Vineyard (workers), you will recall workers who only worked part of the day but were paid the same as the others who worked a full day. Within this parable Jesus taught and made the analogy, “the last shall be first, and the first shall be last.” Is it possible the part-day workers are the ones who worked last (i.e. in the last days)?
- Is there a chance that this fruit of the vine (i.e. last days remnant) that I am discussing represents the “best” wine that Jesus made at the wedding after he was asked, when the other wine had run out? The wedding host commented, “You have saved the best for last.”
- Is this righteous last days remnant that I am describing representative in some way of the process Jesus described as “putting new wine into new wineskins”? They are assembled into his Kingdom after being made desolate.
These questions are at least worth considering, especially in light of Jesus’ comment at the wedding when he was asked to make wine. Before he did so, he said, “My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4). Similarly, at the last supper, Jesus commented as he drank the wine, “I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matt 26:29).
Bad grapes in the vineyard
In prior passages, I have described the nature and specifics of God’s people’s sin and wickedness, as well as the root of their bad behavior; i.e. due to worshiping other gods. Many of them are in the anti-Christ Chaldean army worldwide, which means they have taken an oath to serving these other gods and engaging in their wicked, detestable practices.
God shows one particular example between good and bad grapes of his vineyard, the house of Israel, when he shows the prophet Jeremiah (Ch. 25) in a vision two baskets of figs- one basket of good ones and one basket of bad ones. The good figs are “very good”- obedient, and representing those who follow God’s instructions to submit to captivity at the hands of the Babylonians. The poor figs, which God says are, “so bad they cannot be eaten,” represent those who disobeyed God, many of whom went to Egypt. God had repeatedly warned his people, “Do not go to Egypt.”
Recall that ‘Egypt’ in our last days time period represents the “world,” and “world system,” etc. The poor figs or bad grapes in God’s vineyard today have joined the anti-Christ Chaldean army who will help usher in the New World Order and continue to persecute God’s people. They joined instead of merely being taken captive. Current day ‘Egypt,’ which represents the New World Order system will eventually be destroyed, just as the Egypt where God’s people escaped to against his wishes in Jeremiah’s day was destroyed.
Bad grapes in the U.S. and Israel
In the midst of our current last days period, I have suggested the U.S. (‘northern kingdom,’ ‘Ephraim’) and the country of Israel as two specific geographic areas of focus in the world- areas where large vineyards of God’s people exist. You may recall the following scripture that I used in my last passage that is from Hosea about God’s vineyard’s progression over time in the U.S. (Ephraim):
- “When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the desert; when I saw your ancestors, it was like seeing the early fruit on the fig tree. But when they came to Baal Peor, they consecrated themselves to that shameful idol and became as vile as the thing they loved.” (Hos 9:10)
The United States version of the house of Israel is currently very far away from God.
As for the country of Israel, in speaking with prophet Amos, God asked him, “What do you see, Amos?” Amos replied that in his vision he saw a basket of ripe fruit, which represented the country of Israel’s very corrupt and sinful people. God says, “in that day,” referring to our current last days time period, “I will spare them no longer.” Destruction will soon come upon the land of Israel.
God’s vineyard calls out for him
In the midst of their persecution and wandering in the last days, God’s people, the house of Israel remnant, will again seek for and cry out to their one, true God. They will be in a spiritual famine and come to the realization that they are a distinct people who was not intended to mingle among the nations in the first place. In scriptures below, God’s people appeal to and remind him once again to recognize them as his “vine,” “inheritance,” and “heritage.” They plead:
- “Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine; And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself. It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.” (Ps. 80:14-16)
- “O Lord, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance. We have become like those of old, over whom You never ruled, Those who were never called by Your name.” (Is. 63:17,19)
- “Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?” (Joel 2:17)
God’s righteous remnant people’s appeal to him in the last days will be like that in the days of old. Since they come to faith in Jesus Christ, they are mocked. In turn, they call to God and remind him that he is the one they are really mocking, and they ask for his destruction to come upon their enemies. They also use their ancient logic in calling to God, which questions why scornful mocking heathen should get to see the destruction of God’s people, which just in turn perpetuates their mocking. (I summarize God’s final response in a section below).
God says to his people, ‘Return to me’
During the tumultuous last days time period, and in the midst of their troubles, God is first calling for his righteous house of Jacob remnant to recognize him and to come back to him. He is asking his people to recognize how he will save them in the midst of Chaldean-caused turmoil and “idolatrous commotion” (Jer. 3:23). The following scriptures represent God asking his people to return to him:
- “Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?” (Mal. 3:6-7)
- “The Lord hath been sore displeased with your fathers. Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Zech. 1:2-3)
- “Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.” (Joel 2:12-13)
- “Return, faithless people,” declares the Lord, ‘for I am your husband. I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion.’” (Jer 3:14)
So in his people’s turmoil, God asks them to return to him. It is a mutual and simultaneous response while his people are calling out to him as described in the section above.
God’s response – the final outcome
Overall, God’s response to his people in the last days in the midst of their persecution and travails is a three-part response: He first saves (a remnant) of his people; he calls them back spiritually; and he calls them back to their land. The prophet Isaiah sums up the reasoning behind God’s response to finally save a remnant of his people and bring them home:
- “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” (Is. 63:9)
I discuss how God saves and delivers his people in the following sections.
Only a remnant is saved
Due to God’s coming punishment, the sobering fact about the house of Israel-God’s vineyard, is that only a remnant is saved. God makes this clear in scripture with comments such as, “I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,” and “I will not make a full end of you.” He is referring to his people surviving his soon-coming wrath and great destruction upon the earth in the final days. Many times, God likens his surviving remnant to just a few grapes left on the vine as follows:
- “So will it be on the earth and among the nations, as when an olive tree is beaten, or as when gleanings are left after the grape harvest.” (Is 24:13)
- “Thus saith the Lord, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all.” (Is 65:8)
- “And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean. Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof, saith the Lord God of Israel.” (Is 17:5-6)
Several times, these remaining grapes on the vine that God saves in the last days are referred to as “first ripe” fruit. This cluster represents those from among his scattered sheep worldwide. Although saved, many still need to find a way to return home, spiritually and physically.
A spiritual return to God
Once a righteous remnant of God’s vineyard/house of Jacob finally understand and call upon Jesus Christ as their Messiah, they will turn to him and call upon him. There will be a strong, supernatural, spiritual awakening on their part, which for many will first require a departure and a “detox” from the anti-Christ world system. This will allow a full spiritual return to Jesus Christ as their Lord.
God’s remnant vine’s ultimate return to the land (described below) is accompanied by their renewed holy spirit and belief in Jesus Christ. Scripture says God’s people during this time will be as, “dew from the Lord, as showers upon the grass…” (Mic. 5:7). I have described previously how God pours out his spirit on his righteous remnant people, which they will carry with them into and throughout the Millennial Kingdom.
Recall the very end of the Tribulation period will be when the Millennial Kingdom temple will be built. God’s people will possess a spirit such as the remnant did in Zerubbabel’s day. They were called by God to rebuild his temple after their return from Babylon.
God calls his people back to their land of Israel
You will recall this righteous remnant vineyard is the one that returns to the holy land at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom. From their scattered, driven-out, persecuted state, God redeems the house of Israel and brings them back. For many around the world, this will be an escape and deliverance from siege and captivity, as seen in the following scriptures:
- “Gather up your belongings to leave the land, you who live under siege.” (Jer. 10:17)
- “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.” (Is. 10:20)
- “Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name.” (Ez. 39:25)
This will be a supernatural work of God- the final return of his vineyard remnant to their land.
For his own sake
As we know, and as I have referred to this in a prior passage, God saves and brings back a house of Israel remnant for his own sake. In the last days, the name of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit will be severely blasphemed, profaned, and “polluted” by many. This is happening now, including by those who are the “bad fruit” of God’s very own vineyard. The righteous remnant of Jacob will have witnessed this firsthand and will have absorbed the brunt of much of this persecution, but it is for God’s own sake and to restore his name that he restores the name of Jesus Christ:
- “For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.” (Is. 48:11)
- “Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone.” (Ez. 36:22)
As I stated at the beginning, God fully restores his righteous “vineyard” in the land to fulfill his sovereign plan. The rest of the world will see this and there will be no doubt about the God of Israel being the one, true God. As a result of what God does through his people, many nations of the world will be blessed as highlighted in the following scripture:
- “And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Mic. 4:2)
True peace only comes in the Millennial Kingdom once there is no question who the one true God is- Jesus Christ. He will reign among us, and we will worship him only.
Grace and Peace,
Lion’s Lair (LL)
2 thoughts on “God’s “Vineyard” in Prophecy”
Love all the OT references. Miss the NT not being incorporated into your articles. When are we gonna sit down and chat over s cup of joe? Email me – firstname.lastname@example.org
Time is of the essence!
Hi Mat, Thanks for reading. I just go one passage at a time as I’m led, so I’m sure as I go I’ll address more NT. Meanwhile, I rest comfortably knowing that all of the old scripture is by and pointing to Jesus Christ anyway. Plus, as in the current passage, an understanding of old scripture (in this case- vine, vineyard, wine, etc.) help with context for understanding Jesus’ words. As another quick example, I think a few of his parables also require the understanding of old scripture for interpretation. Thanks again for your interest! Comment any time!