4 What could have been done more to My vineyard [kerem], that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes [anavim], brought it forth wild grapes [b'ushim]?
Use of Wine in Scripture
Pleasant wine here represents obedience and the fruit of the spirit see Matt 21: 33-41, also wine represents Messiah's blood of the new covenant. And then there is wine to represent the Babylon-pagan teachings of the intoxicated and deluded priests of papism.
7 For the vineyard of Yahweh 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.
A luxuriant yield of the wild grapes of the flesh
This same Eternal Spirit came and dwelt in Israel; and looked for the wholesome and palatable grapes of justice and righteousness; but, though he found his vineyard full of pietism, abounding with proselyters and expounders of the law, a superfluity of zeal for him, and for the establishment of their own righteousness, yet amidst it all he found not that which he approved.
He therefore repudiated all their zeal, all their righteousness, all their proselytes; and denounced the whole concern as "wild grapes;" a vain worship, and a making void of the word of God. He made a last effort to recover
"the men of Judah, his pleasant plant"
by the ministry of Jesus and the apostles; but it failed to restore the plant, and the threatened consequences followed. Since the apostles passed away the vine of Judah has been neither pruned nor digged, nor watered; but choked with the briers and thorns of rabbinism and apostasy.
Behold then, in this, O reader, an inculcation of the principle, that
"that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." Luke 16:15.
The ecclesiastics of the "religious world," and their "grace" or Holy Ghost, as they term it, are the exact counterpart of the scribes, pharisees, sadducees, priests, rulers, and commonalty of Judah. That which is now popular and highly esteemed in religion is as much an abomination to the Eternal Spirit as the wild grapes of Judah. And mark, the same calamities that befel Judah, have, and are still falling upon the "religious world."
Since grievous wolves got the ascendancy, and succeeded in establishing their authority over what they call "the church," they and it have been "spued out of the spirit's mouth;" and they have been neither pruned, digged, nor rained upon by the spirit; but have been laid waste in all the dominion they call "Christendom "by the works of the flesh, by pestilence, and famine, and mutual slaughter, as in this country at the present time.
Behold in the calamities of our time the fruit of the spirit which reigns in the people and their spiritual guides. It is the spirit of the flesh and therefore its fruit is "the works of the flesh"—Gal. 5:18.
Is it supposable, that if the holy spirit that dwelt in Jesus and the apostles and saints of their day, now dwelt in American ecclesiastics and their peoples—that, if the religion professors of the North and South pretend was wrought in them by the Holy Spirit, in their revivals and other religion-gettings, really resulted from the operation of the spirit of the Eternal—is it supposable, I say, that the spirit which is love, joy and peace, righteousness and truth, can possibly dwell and work in them who are breathing out threatenings and slaughters, and filling their common country with blood, and destruction, and the most hideous crimes?
If the Lord Jesus and half of the apostles possessed the North, and the other half with Philemon the slaveholder, and Paul ruled the South, is it conceivable that they would carry fire and sword into one another's territories on any pretence?
"By their fruits ye shall know them."
This is the infallible rule. The holy spirit never produced such fruit as we behold in the pious of the world's religions; but the reverse in all particulars. We know then that "they have not the spirit; but are all possessed of the demon of the flesh, which is incapable of exalting the demonized to anything higher than that which characterizes the wisdom from beneath, which is "earthly, soulish, and demoniac."
The genuine "fruit of the spirit" is composed of the admirable qualities specified by Paul, which result from the truth intelligently and affectionately embraced." The spirit in its moral aspect, "is the truth," and the truth is spirit and life.
The fruit of the spirit is therefore the fruit of the truth, which varies in the degree of its development according to the heart in which it is sown.—Matt. 13:23.
Dec. 1, 1861. Editor.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Dec 1861
14 Therefore hell [Sheol] hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure [chok (limit)]: and their glory [nobility], and their multitude [masses], and their pomp [throngs], and he that rejoiceth [the reveler], shall descend into it.
The Roman perdition swept the land, and nigh consumed the obstinate nation off the face of the earth.
Nazareth Revisited Ch 51
... the Spirit speaks of Hades, by the name of Sheol, and as a female with a mouth that is insatiable -- Sheol is never satisfied (Prov. xxx. 15,16).
"My people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge; and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst; therefore Sheol, or Hades, hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it."
Though metaphorical, this is very intelligible. It predicted great destruction of all ranks and classes in Israel; and consequently, a great shovelling of them into the never filled receptacle of the dead. This insatiable nature of Sheol, or Hades, is the reason of her being styled "cruel."
Thus, "love is strong as Death; jealousy, cruel as Sheol" (Cant. viii. 6).