Every Real Christian has a vineyard granted by the Lord Jesus. The vineyard is a Christian’s ministry. It is the specific spiritual work belonging only to each Real Christian.
No one else is responsible for it. The only way to possess it is by first giving oneself to the Lord 100%. It is His gift. The only way to keep it and make it function is to possess it fully, be responsible for it, guard and protect it, and work it always. This is how it becomes and remains fruitful.
It is the Lord Jesus who chooses the particular vineyard for each of His children. He puts a longing and desire for it in one’s heart. Once receiving it, the believer wants to do nothing else but answer the call, throw oneself into the work, make the work productive, do his or her part, and thus please the Lord. It is a Real Christian’s entire reason for being and only ultimate purpose for living.
THE GARDEN BEFORE THE FALL
The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. [Genesis 2:8]
Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. [Genesis 2:15]
One will note the following:
(1) It is the Lord’s garden. He planted it.
(2) In the Hebrew, the garden is defined as “an enclosure.”
(3) The Garden of Eden was specifically an enclosed fruit tree orchard.
(4) The Lord created Adam, chose Adam, and put Adam into His garden.
(5) Adam had two jobs to do with reference to the garden:
1. He had to cultivate it. This meant he had to work it and make it productive and fruitful.
2. He had to keep it. This meant he had to be responsible for it, guard it, and protect it against all enemies.
We know from the initial text of Genesis 2 that Adam did a great job and that the Lord was pleased with him. The garden was very fruitful. He worked very hard to make it productive. He began expanding it into territory previously occupied by wild nature. He was taking dominion of the earth as the Lord instructed him to do.
Also, Adam fought off the serpent who wanted to rip him off. There was always a battle, especially on the periphery. Yet Adam slowly expanded the garden and took fruitfulness into the land of wildness where everything grew of its own accord without a gardener, and where “there was no man to cultivate the ground” (Genesis 2:5). In time, he would expand the garden over the entire planet. The devil never deceived Adam. Adam never gave in to the serpent’s temptations.
In these two things, cultivating the garden and keeping it, Adam excelled. He honored the Lord. To separate faithful Adam from the Lord’s garden of which Adam was in charge, the enemy had to resort to another plan of attack. He eventually found a way around Adam’s dominion. The devil ripped him off.
Naboth was an honorable man who possessed a vineyard. The vineyard had been passed down to him as a family heritage. Naboth’s Vineyard was located next to the palace of King Ahab, a notorious jerk and wicked Hebrew king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The inference in Scripture is that Naboth’s Vineyard predated Ahab’s palace.
Keep in mind that Hebrew kings were never supposed to exist in the first place and only did exist because the ancient Hebrew people rejected the Lord God as their King and demanded mere sinful men to reign in His place. The sad tale of Naboth’s Vineyard is one more lurid example of what happens when men leave their proper place in God and give themselves over to selfishness and evil. Explosive sin and corruption, as evil fruit, always results.
Naboth was an Old Testament type of Real Christian with a spiritual ministry granted by the Lord. To separate faithful Naboth from the Lord’s vineyard of which Naboth was in charge, the enemy had to resort to another plan of attack. He eventually found a way around Naboth’s dominion. The devil ripped him off:
Now it came about after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden because it is close beside my house, and I will give you a better vineyard than it in its place; if you like, I will give you the price of it in money.” But Naboth said to Ahab, “The LORD forbid me that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.”
So Ahab came into his house sullen and vexed because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and ate no food. But Jezebel his wife came to him and said to him, “How is it that your spirit is so sullen that you are not eating food?” So he said to her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and said to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it pleases you, I will give you a vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’” Jezebel his wife said to him, “Do you now reign over Israel? Arise, eat bread, and let your heart be joyful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”
So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and sent letters to the elders and to the nobles who were living with Naboth in his city. Now she wrote in the letters, saying, “Proclaim a fast and seat Naboth at the head of the people; and seat two worthless men before him, and let them testify against him, saying, ‘You cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him to death.” So the men of his city, the elders and the nobles who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them, just as it was written in the letters which she had sent them. They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth at the head of the people. Then the two worthless men came in and sat before him; and the worthless men testified against him, even against Naboth, before the people, saying, “Naboth cursed God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death with stones.
HATE, MURDER, RIP OFF
Then they sent word to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned and is dead.” When Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth, the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.” When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.
Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth where he has gone down to take possession of it. You shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Have you murdered and also taken possession?”’ And you shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth the dogs will lick up your blood, even yours.”’” [1Kings 21:1-19] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Some people are able to lie with a straight face continually with no reservations whatsoever without feeling even the slightest hint of guilt.
Though liars may be quite successful and never face justice in the here and now, in the eternal sense, they do not pass Go. They do not collect $200. In the next world there will be no Get Out of Jail Free card. Barring repentance (a very unlikely scenario for the vast majority of those who habitually bear false witness as a way of life and for getting ahead), they will go straight to hell:
“But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” [Revelation 21:8]
But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted. [1Timothy 1:8-11]
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron… [1Timothy 4:1-2]
AHAB AND JEZEBEL
Ahab was a proud Israelite of royal blood. He came from a line of kings who were each generally more treacherous than the one before. “How can I top my forebears on the wickedness scale?” thought Ahab. “I know! I’ll marry an immoral, lying, demon-possessed Baal-worshipping daughter of a foreign king!
Her name was Jezebel. It is pronounced in the original Hebrew as Ee-zeh’-bel. She hated anyone determined to serve the Lord but had an especially powerful and passionate hatred for God’s prophets. She hated Elijah most of all.
Why so much hate? –Because she was so closely aligned with the devil. One could figure out the devil’s demeanor by her actions. She was a great barometer for the way demons think and operate. Thus, modern Jezebels hate real Christians more than anybody else. They hate real Christians with a prophetic anointing the most. And they absolutely despise the most mature real Christians with a prophetic anointing.
The original Jezebel set her heart on murdering Elijah but failed. The man who later came in the spirit and power of Elijah, the great forerunner John the Immerser, did not fare as well. The Jezebel of his time, the evil Herodias, succeeded in killing him. John’s murderer, like Jezebel, was also an adulterous queen married to a king (Herod Antipas) in defiance of the law and used her own daughter’s dirty dancing to complete the dirty deed.
Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?”
And he answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the LORD. Behold, I will bring evil upon you, and will utterly sweep you away, and will cut off from Ahab every male, both bond and free in Israel; and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, because of the provocation with which you have provoked Me to anger, and because you have made Israel sin.
“Of Jezebel also has the LORD spoken, saying, ‘The dogs will eat Jezebel in the district of Jezreel.’ The one belonging to Ahab, who dies in the city, the dogs will eat, and the one who dies in the field the birds of heaven will eat.”
Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife incited him. He acted very abominably in following idols, according to all that the Amorites had done, whom the LORD cast out before the sons of Israel. [1Kings 21:20-26]
THROW HER DOWN
Now in the eleventh year of Joram, the son of Ahab, Ahaziah became king over Judah.
When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, and she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out the window. As Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it well, Zimri, your master’s murderer?”
Then he lifted up his face to the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” And two or three officials looked down at him. He said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down, and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall and on the horses, and he trampled her under foot.
When he came in, he ate and drank; and he said, “See now to this cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter.” They went to bury her, but they found nothing more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. Therefore they returned and told him.
And he said, “This is the word of the LORD, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘In the property of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; and the corpse of Jezebel will be as dung on the face of the field in the property of Jezreel, so they cannot say, “This is Jezebel.”’” [2Kings 9:29-37] 
It seems the longer justice awaits, the bolder Jezebels become, and the more bullet-proof they think they are. But one thing is certain. There is always Jezebel justice in the end.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
John the Baptist was killed by an adulterous woman.
Her name was Herodias. She was the granddaughter of Herod the Great. She was the daughter of Herod’s niece Berenice. Her first husband was Herod II by Herod’s third wife (Herod II is known in Scripture as Herod Philip). Her second husband was Herod II’s brother Herod Antipas. Herod Antipas divorced his first wife Phasaelis to marry Herodias. Herodias divorced Herod II to marry Herod Antipas. This made her twice the daughter-in-law of Herod the Great.
John the Baptist preached against her sin, in part because she was also related by marriage to the Jewish High Priest Simon Boethus, who was the father of Herod’s third wife Mariamne II, the mother of Herod II. It was against Jewish law to marry another man while one’s husband was still alive, as explained later by the apostle Paul:
Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. [Romans 7:1-3]
The only exception to this law as taught by the Lord Jesus is in the case of adultery, when the marriage covenant is violated. [See Matthew 5:32 and 19:9] The innocent spousal victim is consequently released from the broken marriage.
Despite John’s preaching against their adulterous marriage, Herod Antipas was afraid to execute him because John was beheld by a great many people as a prophet. But it was a much different story with Herodias. She loathed the Baptist. She loathed God’s law. She had determined to be a law unto herself. It was selfishness to the highest degree. In fact, she had become so self-centered in her sin she allowed herself to be overcome and possessed by a powerful demonic spirit. Herodias had decided to get John, and formulated a very well thought-out plan. Jezebel spirits always take the necessary time to set traps by enlisting the help of toadies. In this case, the principle toadies were her unsuspecting husband and complicitous daughter:
For when Herod had John arrested, he bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. For John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Although Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded John as a prophet.
But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod, so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Having been prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” Although he was grieved, the king commanded it to be given because of his oaths, and because of his dinner guests. He sent and had John beheaded in the prison. And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. [Matthew 14:3-11]
It was diabolical. It was a powerful affront to God. The demonic spirit working through a heavily scorned and angry woman brought the severed head of God’s prophet right out into the public and laughed. The party continued. Herodias was ecstatic.
This foul spirit gets its name from the demonic Baal-worshipping wife of the Hebrew King Ahab. She hated the Hebrew prophets with a passion, and killed them right and left. She especially hated Elijah, who had returned the favor and executed 450 prophets of Baal after calling fire down from heaven.
Now Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. [1 Kings 19:1-3]
What happened to Elijah? This was a powerful man of God who previously had no fear of any man. Surely he did not suddenly develop a yellow streak, did he? The answer is easily explained when one understands that he was not afraid of Jezebel, but of the dominant demonic spirit within her. Though he had killed all the demon-possessed prophets of Baal, the most powerful demon remained and was determined to get him.
Isn’t it interesting that the Lord Jesus aligned John the Baptist with Elijah?
“And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” [Matthew 11:14-15]
The angel Gabriel told the father of John,
“It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” [Luke 1:17]
Jezebel and Herodias were possessed by the same foul spirit. It is a spirit that normally possesses adulterous women insistent upon having their way. Their desire is to be first and to exercise full control however they might. They will stoop to any level and partake of any sin to achieve their ends—which predominately lie in the elimination of God’s prophets. Jezebel incited Ahab to do his evil, and Herodias did the same with Herod Antipas.
The spirit succeeded in killing John the Baptist, possibly because John became vulnerable when he took offense at the Lord [See Matthew 11:6 and Luke 7:23]. Elijah, however, escaped. In time, Jezebel paid for her harlotries and witchcraft:
Now in the eleventh year of Joram, the son of Ahab, Ahaziah became king over Judah. When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, and she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out the window. As Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it well, Zimri, your master’s murderer?” Then he lifted up his face to the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” And two or three officials looked down at him. He said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down, and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall and on the horses, and he trampled her under foot.
When he came in, he ate and drank; and he said, “See now to this cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter.” They went to bury her, but they found nothing more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. Therefore they returned and told him. And he said, “This is the word of the LORD, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘In the property of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; and the corpse of Jezebel will be as dung on the face of the field in the property of Jezreel, so they cannot say, “This is Jezebel.”’” [2 Kings 9:29-37]
Her death had been prophesied. The agent of vengeance acted quickly with no compromise. And the Lord Jesus commands real believers to act upon the Jezebel spirit just as Jehu acted upon its host:
“But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.” [Revelation 2:20-23] 
© 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.