Jesus is using a parable again to explain the workers (you and me) of the vineyard (the field). Jesus has likened himself as an householder to explain this parable and (entering) the kingdom of heaven. Even though in verse 1, the word "entering" is not included in the phrase "the kingdom of heaven," this is part of the overall meaning of this parable.

REMEMBER: field is the world -- See Parable of the Kingdom and Sower Scripture Definitions.

All text taken from the King James Bible

Let us begin this Bible study with a prayer, O God, thy heavenly Father, grant me the wisdom and knowledge, so that I may be able to understand this document, in Jesus name. Amen.

Matt.20:1-7 - For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man [that is] an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. (2) And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. (The Roman penny is worth about 15 cents) (3) And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, (4) And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. (5) Again he went out about the sixth and nineth hour, and did likewise, (6) And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? (7) They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right [that] shall ye receive.

So all these people have been hired at different hours for the same return (of funds).

Matt.20:8 - So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them [their] hire, beginning from the last unto the first.

Take notice also, what Jesus said in the above verse, when it was time to pay the workers for their labour (for the day). He said to start with the last ones that began work (or were hired) and then the second last, all the way back to the first ones hired.

This is the judgment that is taking place, but let me explain this verse using scripture, so that you can have a more clear understanding of this parable, let us look at the following scripture.

Acts 17:31 - Because he (God) hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man (Jesus Christ) whom he (God) hath ordained; [whereof] he (God) hath given assurance unto all [men], (or, people), in that he (God) hath raised him (Jesus Christ) from the dead.

I Thes.4:16 - For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

"...the dead in Christ shall rise first:" - meaning that those who repented of their sinful ways and now live as righteous a life as possible for Christ - they follow the ten commandments and the fruits of the Spirit.

he (God) will judge the world in righteousness ...; - Acts 17:31

Rom.2:16 - In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men, (or, people), by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

the day when God shall judge the secrets of men, (or, people), - Rom.2:16

Rev.20:12 - And I (John) saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

according to their works - Rev.20:12

Jer.17:10 - I the LORD search the heart, [I] try the reins, even to give every man according to his (or, her) ways [and] according to the fruit of his (or, her) doings. - See - The True Vine, to have a better understanding to see what the fruit of the Spirit is and what the fruit of his doings means.

Matt.16:27 - For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he (Jesus Christ) shall reward every man according to his works.

Rom.2:6 - Who (God) will render to every man (or, person) according to his deeds: (or, works)

II Cor.5:10 - For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] (or, her) body, according to that he (or, she) hath done, whether [it be] good or bad.

Rev.2:23 - And I (Jesus Christ) will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

Also see - Job. 34:11; Ps.62:12; Prov.24:12; I Peter 1:17 and Rev.22:12

Now you can see from the scripture above, that we are to be judged according to our works, or, our deeds - by whom

by Jesus Christ - Rom.2:16

John 5:22 - For the Father judgeth no man, (or, person), but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

I (Jesus Christ) am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: - Rev.2:23

I Sam.16:7 - But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for [the LORD] seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, (or, sees with their eyes), but the LORD looketh on the heart (or, mind)

Ps.7:9 - Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.

Also see - John 2:24; Acts 1:24; Rom.8:27 and I Thes.2:4

Now let me give you some scripture to help explain "the reins" which are part of the hardware used to control a horse. I have explained the spiritual meaning of "horse" in Four Horses of Revelation

the reins - Jer.17:10; Rev.2:23 and Ps.7:9

James 1:26 - If any man (or, person) among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his (or, her) tongue, but deceiveth his (or, her) own heart, (or, mind) this man's (person's) religion [is] vain

James 3:2-3, 5-6, 8, 10-11 - For in many things we offend all. If any man (or, person) offend not in word, the same [is] a perfect man, [and] able also to bridle the whole body. (3) Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. (5) Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! (6) And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. (10) Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. (11) Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet [water] and bitter? - See - Sins of the Tongue or Speech; What Defiles a Person; Iniquity and Vanity; Fountain of Living Waters vs. Cisterns; Spiritual Gifts of God and One Christ--Many Members

Let me summarize the scriptue I have given you and tie it in with the Parable of the Vineyard.

You cannot be blessing the Lord and cursing the Lord at the same time, and we are to bless the Lord, or give thanks for everything. We are all expected of God to rule and control our thoughts, our emotions and our tongues, or the words which come our of our mouths, because we will be judged accordingly. Jesus Christ will not only judge us by our thoughts and emotions, but also our actions - our works/deeds. And what are these works/deeds that we will be judged by:

  1. How we treat others - the 2nd great commandment.
  2. What we say or think - cursing or blessing - the 3rd commandment.
  3. Whether we follow the lusts of the flesh, or the fruits of the Spirit - commandments 5 through 10. - See - Two Great Commandments; Ten Commandments; First and Seventh Commandment; Pray and Prayer; The Spirit Within and God's Discipline

This is the work that the Lord invites all of us to take part in his vineyard or, field. We are to overcome, conquer and gain the victory over the works of the flesh and do the fruit of the Spirit and we will be rewarded for that which we have accomplished - see the list below.

The following are the lists of "the fruits of the Spirit," the good characteristics, or qualities, and "the works of the flesh" the bad characteristics or qualities.

The fruits of the Spirit The works of the flesh

love - non sexual adultery joy fornication peace uncleanness longsuffering lasciviousness gentleness idolatry goodness witchcraft faith hatred meekness variance temperance emulations wrath strife seditions heresies envyings murder drunkness revellings
This is the "good fruit" 		This is the "bad fruit,"  
or, good qualities/			or, bad qualities/ characteristics
characteristics				also called, thorns or briers

It is up to each of us to cultivate the "good" qualities and characteristics - the "fruits of the Spirit," and to reject, or overcome and conquer the "bad qualities" - the "works of the flesh," the same as Jesus overcame all temptations and the works of the flesh which were put before him - Jesus conquered Satan and his ways. See - The True Vine for more information regarding the lists above.

Jesus came to show us that we can conquered Satan and his ways. At the end of time for Jesus to be on earth - that is, when he had finished the work God had sent him to do, he was rewarded, but, first Jesus was crucified, dead, buried and rose (or was resurrected) from the grave and taken back up to heaven from whence he came, to sit on the right hand of God until God tells him to return and judge the people on earth.

For us, upon our death (expiration of life,) our spirit returns to God who gave it and our bodies return to dust - Eccl.12:7 When the time comes for Jesus to return, our bodies will be resurrected from the grave (see the story of the resurrection of dry bones, or, the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel chapter 37), and we will then be judged by Jesus Christ for the work or deeds that we have accomplished. We will be rewarded here on earth - we await, for the "new city," new Jerusalem, - See - Pray and Prayer - at which time, some will be rewarded and will rule and reign with Jesus Christ during that thousand year reign - but it will be here on earth, not in heaven where God the Father lives. - See - Heir and Joint-Heir With Christ; Judgment, The First Resurrection and the Second Death; The Husband and The Bride--The Kingdom of God.

I have not found anywhere in the Bible which says that when you die, (the expiration of life,) you become an angel in heaven, and then when Jesus returns you change back into a human to be held accountable for the works and deeds you have done as a human. It is important for you to realize that you are going to be held accountable for what you do in your flesh body, and that you are going to be held accountable here on earth, not in heaven where God lives. Other than your spirit returning to God who gave it, upon waiting for God to send Jesus back to earth to judge us, those who have died, (or, the expiration of life on earth) our spirits appear to just be waiting until the appropriate time for Jesus to return to earth. - See - Where Are Heaven and Hell for more explanation on this subject, as well as the documents mentioned above in the previous paragraph.

Let me phrase it a different way. It is not your earthly body that is important to God, but what you do with the spirit that he gave you - what you say and think as well as the works or deeds that you accomplish during the period of time you are alive on earth in your fleshly body, before Jesus returns. Remember - God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth. - John 4:24

We are to bring forth fruit fit for repentance - Matt.3:8, because, ...every tree (person) which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire, (the spiritual fire) - Matt.3:10 - See - Furnace of Fire/Lake of Fire and Brimstone

Titus2:11-12 - For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, (people) (or, that bringeth salvation to all men, (people), hath appeared), (12) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Now back to the Parable of the Vineyard, but you need to understand the above information to help you understand this parable.

Matt.20:9-12 - And when they came that [were hired] about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. (10) But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. (11) And when they had received [it], they murmured against the goodman of the house, (12) Saying, These last have wrought [but] one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

So the workers who were hired first are complaining because they felt they should have received a larger reward, or larger amount of money because they worked longer. But the money issue is hiding the real issue of this story. The amount of funds is not what is significant here, it is the work that you do in the field, or the world. Those who began working first are complaining because they expected to receive a greater reward than those who started much later, but it does not matter to the Lord when you started working, if you have repented of your sinful ways - the ways of the flesh and have begun living the ways of the fruits of the Spirit and keeping the ten commandments. See explanation of "field" near the end of this document.

What Jesus is trying to tell us is: - it doesn't matter how long you have been working a doing the fruits of the Spirit and you are trying to conquer, overcome and gain the victory over the works of the flesh, so long as you just get busy and work at it. Some may have worked for years, yet others may only work for a few months, weeks or days -- we will each receive our reward come judgment day.

Matt.20:13-16 - But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? (14) Take [that] thine [is], and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. (15) Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? (16) So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

Is it not lawful for me (Jesus Christ) to do what I will with mine own? - Matt.20:15

Rom.9:21 - Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

the potter power over the clay- Rom.9:21

Is.64:8 - But now, O LORD, thou [art] our father; we [are] the clay, and thou our potter; and we all [are] the work of thy hand.

Jer.18:6 - O house (or, tribe) of Israel, cannot I (the LORD) do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay [is] in the potter's hand, so [are] ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

The above scripture is not referring to the country of Israel, but the tribe/house of Israel. Don't forget Jacob's name was changed to Israel - Gen.32:28, and Jacob/Israel has 12 sons - Gens35:23-26, thus the 12 tribes/houses of Israel.

Is thine eye evil ... - Matt.20:15

Prov.23:6 - Eat thou not the bread of [him that hath] an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:

REMEMBER: Jesus is the bread of life, and he (or, she) that cometh to me (Jesus) shall never hunger: and he (or, she) that believeth on me shall never thirst. - John 6:35

In Prov.23:6, the one with the "evil eye" is Satan/the serpent/the devil, neither are you to desire his dainty meats, to do his works or, the works of the flesh. - See the list above, or see The True Vine; Parable of the Fruit--Tree of Life

Matt.6:22-24 - The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. (23) But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in the thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! (24) No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despire the other. Ye canot serve God and mammon. See - Parable of the Dishonest Stewart - Mammon or Faith

And so, the "eye," in Matt.6:22-23 and Prov.23:6, is referring to your mind - do not partake of the works of the flesh, because if your "eye be evil," - your mind - your whole body shall be full of darkness, and if there is darkness in you, how great is that darkness.

...for many are called, but few chosen.

Many people are called to work in the vineyard or the field, but there are many ways in which these people stop or get lost along the way.

See - Parable of the Sower

Again, "...many are called, but few chosen."

The "field" is the world. - Matt.13:38, and the vineyard is a field.

Let me explain "the world" in the spiritual sense, it is your brain and everything which happens to you. "The world" is each and every person you meet, and how you deal with each person. Are you mean, hostile, aggressive, flirtatous, etc., see the list above as well as, The True Vine for a more complete list. We are to love our neighbour (each person) as we love ourselves - the 2nd of the great commandments. Now this means to love others in a brotherly love, and not a sexual love.

Many do not want to follow the commandments of God and the fruits of the Spirit, but they would rather continue following the works of the flesh - the ways of Satan. As I have stated in the Mark of the Beast--666, you cannot be in the presence of the Lord and the absence of the Lord at the same time. You can either do your own thing or follow the ways of the Lord.

Only those that heareth the word and understand it, and bring forth fruit unto the Lord and do not become afraid and turn away , or become offended, or do not get lost or snatched away -- this is what Jesus is saying ...many are called, but few are chosen. So, are you a worker? or do you fall into one of the other categories. - See -

Parable of the Kingdom and Sower Scripture Definitions
Parable of the Kingdom and Sower
Commandment to Work
Parable of Talents -- Not Every Body Shall Enter the Kingdom of Heaven
Parable of Brethren with Jesus Christ
Parable of the Rich Young Ruler
Parable of the Dishonest Stewart, Also - Mammon or Faith
The Prodigal Son

The True Vine
Sins of the Tongue or Speech
What Defiles a Person
Iniquity and Vanity
Fountain of Living Waters vs. Cisterns
Spiritual Gifts of God and One Christ--Many Members
Four Horses of Revelation
Two Great Commandments
Ten Commandments
Parable of the Fruit--Tree of Life
Pray and Prayer
Heir and Joint-Heir With Christ
Judgment, The First Resurrection and The Second Death
The Husband and The Bride--The Kingdom of God
Where Are Heaven and Hell
Furnace of Fire/Lake of Fire and Brimstone
Faith, As A Grain of Mustard Seed
Works of the Flesh Word Definitions
The First and Seventh Commandment
The Spirit Within and God's Discipline

This document is meant to help you understand your Bible more easily, however, it may not give you all the answers, you will need to study your Bible as well as read other documents, but let no one deceive you, prove all things; hold fast that which is good, because, ultimately, you, are responsible for your own salvation.

Let us end this Bible study with a prayer - O God thy heavenly Father, please help me to be a better person each day, to follow the commandments and the fruits of the Spirit, help me to strive each day to be more in thy presence, in Jesus name I ask. Amen.


The Lord's Words,
Verses and Parables Explained

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Created: Thursday, December 09, 1999
Last updated: Saturday, October 18, 2003

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