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Jesus’ parable about the vineyard (Matthew 21:33-40), revealed the fact that the religious leaders in Jerusalem were the caretakers of the Kingdom who killed the prophets and the Son as well in order to usurp for themselves the benefits of the Kingdom. Jesus then asked them to judge the situation, and they said, “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers, who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons” (Matthew 21:41).
Their verdict was correct, of course, but they did not realize that Jesus was asking them to judge themselves. We then read the final conclusion in Matthew 21:42-44,
42 Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this became the chief corner stone; this came about from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? 43 Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it. 44 And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.”
The two biblical references on which Jesus’ judgment are based come from Psalm 118:22, 23 and Daniel 2:35. Jesus was the rejected corner stone, and so the parable has the caretakers killing the Son in order to usurp the Kingdom for themselves. But Jesus is also the stone that will fall on the feet of the image representing the four empires, grinds them to “chaff” or “powder,” after which the stone replaces those world kingdoms with the Kingdom of God.
Why would Jesus bring up this prophecy from Daniel? We can say with confidence that this was part of the verdict upon the religious leaders of Jerusalem—not only them, but their descendants as well. The iron kingdom, after all, was still at its height of power, and the little horn had not yet manifested itself. The grindstone was yet afar off. So obviously, when Jesus said, “I say to YOU,” he was not referring only to the religious leaders of His own generation, but to their successors who were yet to be born.
But what relevance would this have to the leaders of Jerusalem? Were they part of Nebuchadnezzar’s image that was to be ground to powder at the end of the age?
Essentially, Jesus was warning their descendants that if they should take power over Babylon at the time the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, the stone would grind them to powder. In other words, if the Rothschilds or other Jewish leaders were to take control of Babylon through banking and the power of money, they would take upon themselves the liability for the entire image that was slated for destruction.
This is, of course, precisely what occurred. The final beast in Revelation 13:11-18 was indeed financed and controlled by Jewish bankers (and their allies). They worked hard to accomplish this goal in order to create wealth for themselves, to better the lives of their fellow Jews, and ultimately to establish a Jewish state in 1948. In other words, they did not heed Jesus’ warning, nor did they submit to the divine decree that they should be replaced by “a nation producing the fruit of it.” They disagreed with Jesus and continued to think of themselves as the chosen keepers of the vineyard, even though God merely agreed with their own verdict!
The reason God rejected them as the ones chosen to oversee the Kingdom is due to their murdering the prophets and finally the Son of God Himself. That, in fact, is the whole point of the parable of the vineyard. They killed the servants and finally the Son, not because they failed to recognize who they were, but because they knew precisely who they were. Hence, Matthew 21:38 says,
38 But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and seize his inheritance.”
When men commit crimes, they seldom—if ever—believe that they will be caught or that they will have to pay for their crimes. In that sense, they are blind to what they do. But insofar as their immediate actions are concerned, they usually know what they are doing and that it is wrong, but they justify their actions in some way, or they calculate that they will likely not be caught.
The Jewish leaders could not help but know that He was the promised Messiah, for His miracles alone proved this. Yet because He had no intention of using miracles to overthrow Rome, and because He disregarded many of their traditional interpretations of the law, they knew that they would lose their own leadership positions if He were to be accepted as the Messiah. Hence, their motives were based on self-interest, disguised by the idea that Jesus would be bad for the nation.
Jesus’ parable of the vineyard gives the lawful basis for God’s rejection of the Jews as caretakers of the Kingdom. After Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D., the Jewish dispersion shattered their hopes that were based upon their belief that they were chosen. In the 19th century the rise of the Rothschilds renewed their messianic hopes about ruling the world, though they had not repented of the causes of divine rejection.
Their tactic, as led by the Rothschilds, was to take over Babylon and to establish Jerusalem as the world capital. While they were successful in doing this, all they really did was to become the feet of the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, which were composed of iron and clay. The result is that when the stone hits the feet of this image, Jerusalem will be destroyed, and the Jewish people will again find themselves betrayed after putting their trust in their religious leaders.
So the destruction of Babylon in Revelation 18:21 will coincide in some way with the utter destruction of Jerusalem in Jeremiah 19:11. The two cities are legally inseparable, for both cities are liable for the same crime—shedding the blood of the prophets, saints, and “all who have been slain on the earth.”
One final note: The “nation” that is given temporary charge of the vineyard was the church that has ruled as “Saul” during the Age of Pentecost. But in the end it is the overcomers (the “David” company) that will be given the Kingdom. These are the “saints of the Most High” that are given the Kingdom in Daniel 7:22, 27. These are the “saints” mentioned in Revelation 18:20 and 24. Their genealogy does not make them saints; it is their faith in Jesus Christ, the New Covenant, and the divine plan as a whole which sets them apart from humanity and makes them fit to rule the Kingdom.