Isaiah prophesied that those who trusted in Christ Jesus would "be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord" (Isa.61:3). Employing this same metaphor, Jesus said, "Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." Then, if one is to have a place in the kingdom of God, God Himself must "plant" him there by the power of the Spirit of Christ.
The word, Jezreel, means, "the Lord will sow". Playing upon the name of that ancient Israelite city, the Lord said, "And they shall hear Jezreel. And I will sow her unto me in the earth." This is a prophecy of what happened in Acts 2:4, when "they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak in tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." When this miraculous, divinely-inspired utterance occurred, as God sowed His seed in the earth, Hosea's prophecy was fulfilled that "they shall hear Jezreel", for "Every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?" (Acts 2:6-8). Did they not hear Jezreel, "God sowing" His Seed in the earth?
Hosea's prophecy of hearing God's Seed being sown is similar to Jesus' description of the new birth in John 3:8. According to Jesus, the consistent feature involved in every new birth experience is the "sound" of it. He said, "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof...so is every one that is born of the Spirit." This is exactly what the disciples experienced on the day of Pentecost. And this is what Hosea foretold when he said, "they shall hear Jezreel".
The Holy Ghost is the seed of the kingdom of God. This is why Paul taught, "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his" (Rom.8:9b). You will remember the words of Jesus, "Ye must be born again". We are born into the family of God when the Seed of God, the Holy Spirit, enters into our hearts. When Hosea prophesied of Jezreel, the sowing of the Lord, he was speaking of the church, those who "were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (Jn.1:13).
One would think that, Jezreel being a biblical city, Hosea's prophecy would have been, "they shall see Jezreel". But the Lord was using "Jezreel" not as the name of the city, but as it actually means, "the Lord will sow". Therefore, Jezreel became something one hears, because when God sows the Holy Ghost into one's heart, that regenerated person begins to speak in tongues. That is the "sound" of the wind, to which Jesus referred. It is the "stammering lips" of Isaiah 28. It is the "pure language" of Zephaniah 3:9. It is Paul's, "Abba Father", and the "groans which man cannot utter". It is Peter's "answer of a clear conscience". It is David's "joyful sound", which blessed people recognize. It is John's "confession that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh". It is the "voice from the temple" of the Lord, the "voice of the Lord that rendereth recompense to his enemies". It is the "deep" that "calls to deep at the noise of thy waterspouts". It is the "river of living water, springing up into everlasting life". It is the speaking that comes because of believing, foretold in Psalm 116:10. It is the voice of the Son, declaring the name of the Father "in the midst of the congregation" (Ps.22:22). It is cry of the Spirit, "making intercession for the saints according to the will of God". It is the "testimony of the Lord", the "sign to unbelievers", the "manifestation of the Spirit, given to every man to profit withal". It is the Father Himself, "knowing them that are his" and setting them apart as His peculiar people. This is Jezreel, the sowing of the Lord. The city that is heard, but "comes without observation". Praise God in the highest! Praise His holy name!
I am the vine --- Ye are the branches.
One of the many prophetic Psalms from ancient Israel is Psalm 22. This is the crucifixion Psalm, in which are given to us some details about Jesus' agonizing death which are not related in the gospels. Among these details is the fact that Jesus, at the time of his death, had the appearance of a stick-man. One could count his bones. Other details in this 3,000 year-old Psalm are that his bones were all pulled out of their sockets by the terrible strain of the cross upon his weakened body, and he was so dehydrated that his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth. But this Psalm, compelling as it is because of its gruesome details of the crucifixion of Jesus, also attracts us because of its prophecy concerning Jezreel, the offspring of Christ. Let me explain.
In the Spirit, Isaiah lamented that the coming Messiah was to be "cut off from the land of the living", and asked, "Who shall declare his generation?" In other words, the Messiah would die without "generating", or fathering, any children. Psalm 22, written almost 500 years before Isaiah, answered the question which Isaiah asked. In the last two verses, David prophesied, "A seed shall serve him; it shall be counted to the Lord for a generation."
Jesus never married in the flesh, but he has a bride! He never produced any offspring in the flesh, but by the power of the Holy Ghost, he has fulfilled the prophecy which said, "Behold I and the children which God hath given me...." He has attained the title, "everlasting father".
In that verse from Psalm 22 concerning the children, or generation, of Jesus, the Spirit said, "a seed shall serve him". This could not possibly refer to human seed, for Jesus never fathered any children. It does, however, refer to those who receive the Seed of God, the Holy Ghost. In other words, only God's children have the power to worship, or serve, the Father as His holiness demands. "God is a Spirit," said Jesus, "And they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." The only people who can possibly fit the description of "the seed who shall serve the Lord", are those who are the seed of Christ. Those in whom is the Seed of God are the only ones capable of serving God acceptably, "in spirit and in truth", because "the Spirit is truth". All other forms of worship, be they never so well orchestrated, are vain displays of man's self-willed approaches to the Almighty.
The Holy Ghost is the Seed with which God sowed another Israel to Himself. Spirit-baptized people are "the children of the promise", whom Paul said "are counted for the seed." This is "the Israel of God", the Zion "called by a new name", the generation of Christ. This is Jezreel, the sowing of the Lord. God's people are His "pleasant plants", and every time another is planted in the vineyard, "the Spirit bears witness". "They shall hear Jezreel", and the sound of Jezreel is the Holy Ghost speaking in tongues through the newly-born child of God.
In the Old Covenant, one was an Israelite because he was born an Israelite. In this New Covenant, one becomes a member of "the Israel of God" by being born of the Spirit. Peter described this new Israel as "Being born again, not of corruptible [human] seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever" (1Pet.1:23). Centuries before the regenerating baptism of the Holy Ghost came, one of those "holy men of God" who "spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost", prophesied of the new Israel, the church (Hos.1:10): "The number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God."
Paul added this comment concerning God's mercy extended to the Gentiles (Rom.9:30): "What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith."
To the Gentiles, under the Old Covenant, it was said, "Ye are not my people". But the Spirit now proclaims through every one "in every nation" who receives Him, "Ye are the sons of the living God". God continues in Hosea to say that, even though we Gentiles were desolate of God's grace and knowledge, His new Israel, the church, will be a larger nation than was His first Israel. The Spirit moved Isaiah to prophesy to the barren Gentiles (Isa.54:1): "Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord".
Oh, Jezreel, Jezreel, the beautiful day of the Lord, when in His mercy He planted the Seed of His life in the bosom of my soul! When I became a citizen of the heavenly kingdom, and the fears of a lifetime of sin rolled away! Oh, Jezreel, the sowing of God! The translation "out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of God's dear Son!" Jezreel, the field of God's planting, the vineyard of God, where men become more than men, and hope springs to life, and peace is laid to the roots of the trees! The rain of God falls upon Jezreel, the flowers of His mercies line the paths to her gates. Oh, Jezreel, the hope of the earth, the gift of the Master, the fountain of joy! May God ever enlarge your borders, and may your watchmen ever mind their posts without fear. Let the gates of Jezreel be kept secure! Let her young virgins dance, and her young men sing for joy! Let the voice of Jezreel be heard in the valleys, and let the enemies of the Lord be stricken with terror by the sound! Let every heart trust in God and every hand be raised! For God has done according to His word. He has rescued the isles from the seas. He has picked us up and given us a place in His kingdom, even the city of Jezreel, where God walks in His garden in the cool of the day, and His voice can be heard in the gatherings of the saints.
What a glorious heritage is ours in Christ! How blessed are we that God has chosen us. It is only to His glory that He has done that which He purposed to do upon those who knew nothing and cared nothing for His purpose. "We love him", John wrote, "because he first loved us." And though from the lofty heights of man's pride, we who follow after the Spirit may seem very small, yet the Lord is our refuge and hope. It is he who "turns the world upside down", who abases the proud and exalts the humble. The wicked may mock our gates and our praise, but our hearts are encouraged by the love of God in Christ. Some ridicule the hungry hearts who earnestly "ask, seek and knock" for the baptism of the Holy Ghost, but every time the Holy Ghost is given and another regenerated soul cries out "Abba Father" as it is sown by the Spirit into the Kingdom of God, those who truly know God say, "GREAT IS THE DAY OF JEZREEL!"
Held in Canaan long ago,
That the house of Israel clamored
For a king to fight their foe.
God, we know had fought their battles,
They were given seats of honor
How ungrateful to the Master,
"And the Lord said unto Samuel,"
Samuel then, with God's permission,
When the kings of Israel ended
And the King that Samuel hoped for
But poor Israel refused him
Ah! sweet Israel, my people!