Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 60
ISAIAH 1:1 – 2:2 – PART 2
Again, we always like to remind our listening audience that we are just an informal Bible study. Our whole scope of teaching is to help people study on their own and be able to compare Scripture with Scripture, because a lot of times you can’t answer these things with just one verse. You have to take a composite of the whole, and our whole purpose for teaching is not to make ourselves something that we are not, but just to be able to help the average believer become a good Bible student by learning how to rightly divide the Word.My, when people learn how to do that, then this Book just comes alive.
Okay, let’s go right back where we left off in our last program which was still in Isaiah chapter 1, and let us look at verse 24.
“Therefore saith the Lord,…” Remember what he was just dealing with? All the bribery and all the conniving in order to make more for the individual with no concern about the widows, the fatherless, and the orphans.
“Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, (see how all this is strictly Jewish. We’re not dealing with Gentiles here one bit. This is God dealing with His covenant people) Ah, (pay attention) I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies: 25. And I will turn my hand upon thee, (that is the Nation of Israel) and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: (Now, these are material things.) 26. And I will restore thy judges as at the first, (way back before they had a king) and thy counselors as at the beginning:…” In other words, it’s going to go full circle. We are getting ready now for the earthly Kingdom that is going to be introduced in the book of Isaiah in chapter 2. Now, I don’t know whether we’ll get there in this half-hour, but if we do, all it will be is just an introduction to it.
But now, he’s showing, and I guess the point I want to make before I go any further, all the way through Israel’s history, first would come the judgment and then would come the blessings. Always remember that. Israel would always have to go through the judgment, because of their rebellion and their wickedness, but God never gave up on them. As we showed in the last half-hour, His mercy would not depart from them. After the judgment, after dealing with their rebelliousness, would come the blessings of God.
All right, now the same thing here, but it’s looking forward to the long term. Now remember, when we started the first program this afternoon, I told you everything in this book (Isaiah) is going to have a near term, a mid term, and a long term application. All right, now when we start talking about the Kingdom, of course, that’s a long term. That’s not going to happen after the return from Babylon. It’s not going to happen even after Christ’s first advent and the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD. It will not happen until the judgment of the Tribulation, which now today we can see the world is being prepared for.
“And I will restore thy judges, as at the first, (in other words, when they were in the place of blessing) thy counselors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, the city of righteousness, the faithful city.” See what a difference? Now, instead of being a city of harlots, it’s going to be the city of righteousness, the faithful city.
“Zion (Now, remember, that’s another term for Jerusalem. Mount Zion is in the city of Jerusalem) shall be redeemed with judgment, (that is again with good government, good law and order.) and her converts with righteousness. 28. And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, (God’s going to cleanse them of it) and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed.” He’s going to remove them off the scene. Now, I can take you up to the Gospel account where the Lord said that at that day there would be two grinding at the mill, one would be taken, the other left. Now, for years, I think a lot of people thought that was a reference to the rapture. No, it was not. It was a reference to Israel being cleansed of the unbelievers. So it is the unbelieving Jew that would be removed, and the believer remains to go into the Kingdom. All right, so here we have the same thing.
“For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which you have desired,…” Now remember, we’re talking about two different classes of people now. Now we are talking about the believing element, the remnant. Use your imagination, if you can, a little bit. Where do you suppose the Jews preferred to put their idols when they would worship? Under the oak tree. The oak tree was almost an idol in itself because of its beauty and stamina. All right, so that’s the reference that under every oak tree there had been an idol. But now, for these believing, the remnant that will be coming into the Kingdom, they are going to be ashamed of what their forefathers had done.
“For they will be ashamed of the oaks which you have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen. (Because they chose them for idolatry.) 30. For ye(Now, remember, he’s addressing the unbeliever. He’s addressing the rebellious.) shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water.”
What does that mean? What’s happening to the tree? It’s dying. A dead oak tree is worthless. Have you ever seen a garden in Oklahoma that hasn’t been watered, about the last week of August? It’s pitiful! Well, that’s the analogy. You will be just like an un-watered garden that hasn’t had rain.
“And the strong (those who were the imminent members of the nation of Israel) shall be as tow,…” Now, years and years ago, I looked that word up, and it has reference to the flax that is used to weave linen. Now, you know linen comes from flax straw. “Tow” was, if I remember correctly, the flax straw out of which they made their beautiful linen.
“…and the maker of it (that is the weaver) will be like a spark, (Well, what in the world will a spark do to flax straw? Poof! It goes up in a flame of fire.) and they shall both (what?) burn together, and none shall quench them.” Now, if it’s a stretch, I think maybe, we can include the dead oak tree of the previous verse, I’m not sure, but I think it is all analogous; that all of these things that are coming to nothing in the life of Israel will go up in a puff of smoke in the judgment of God.
All right, now we’re going to break into the sunrise of a precious promise, and that is a coming, glorious, earthly kingdom for the nation of Israel.
“The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.” (Now, remember, like I said in the beginning, he is a prophet ministering in the Southern Kingdom of Judah and Jerusalem, but it also applies to the Northern Ten Tribes up in what we refer to as Israel) 2. And it shall come to pass in the last days,…” Now, I’ve said it over and over, what is that? That’s a promise, and what’s going to follow? The prophecy – the promise and the prophecy. Here’s the promise, and it’s going to happen!
“… in the last days, the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it.”Now, in order to establish that he’s talking about this coming earthly 1000 year Kingdom, jump ahead with me to Daniel chapter 2, because everything is now going to be prophetically looking forward to this glorious, earthly Kingdom – on the earth. It’s going to be Heaven on earth. Of course, Christ’s first coming was a partial fulfillment of all of that.
All right, in Daniel chapter 2, when he has seen the vision of Nebuchadnezzar and how all the Gentile empires are pictured in that image; the head of gold, the chest of silver, the belly of brass, the legs of iron, and the feet and toes of iron mixed with clay which were representative of ten nations coming together in a loose democratic form of government as we see Europe doing today. All right, then he comes to the end of all that, verse 43:
“And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.” I think that’s a perfect picture of the European community today.
“And in the days of these kings (or these ten governments in Western Europe, and that’s why I feel we’re getting so close to the end-time) shall the God of heaven set up (what?) a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed:…” It’s going to be Israel’s kingdom under Israel’s king.
Now, I think I mentioned in one of my classes, either on the road, or the other night in Oklahoma. You remember when the wise men came to King Herod? Who were they asking for?“Where is He that is to be born King of the Jews?” They knew what they were looking for, but did Israel? No. Then you get all the way to the crucifixion, what did old Pilate have put on the top of the cross? “This is Jesus of Nazareth, the (what?) King of the Jews.” Even old pagan Pilate had a better understanding than the rank and file of Israel. Even Pilate had a better understanding than most in Christendom today. I trust you know that most of Christendom does not recognize a coming earthly Kingdom. They don’t know what you are talking about, but here it is. It will be a glorious Kingdom which shall never be destroyed.
“…and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, (No invader is going to come in and overrun it) but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. All right, now then, in verse 45 he interprets the dream in light of that Kingdom:
“Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone (that crushed the image, you remember) that was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold: (In other words, that whole image is bowled over, ground up by this coming stone which is a reference again to Christ, who is always the stone of Scripture) the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof is sure.” All right, while we are in Daniel we might as well go over to chapter 7 where instead of interpreting someone else’s dream, Daniel has a vision of his own. He, too, is going to depict these same great Gentile empires. I won’t read them verse-by-verse, but they are the same ones.
The first Gentile Empire would be Babylon, just like the head of gold. Then comes another, and it is the Persian Empire and is likened unto a bear. Then comes the next one, which is Greece, in verse 6, and it is likened unto a leopard, because of its swiftness and its speed. Then comes the fourth great empire, which was the Roman in verse 7, and then, of course, he goes beyond the Roman and picks up the Revived Roman Empire. All right, now then, come on over to verse 9 of Daniel as Daniel continues explaining his vision. It is identical with Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
“I beheld till the thrones were cast down, (all the Gentile empires have been obliterated) and the Ancient of Days did sit, (the God of Heaven) whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head was like the pure wool: his throne like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.” Then he goes on and gives a graphic description of the very throne-room of heaven. Come on down to verse 13. He continues on in his visions:
“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man…” Now, that’s a particular name of Deity concerning Jesus.
“… came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, (God the Father) and they brought him (that is the Son of man) near before him. 14. And there was given him(God the Son) dominion and glory, and a (what?) kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, and they will serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion,…” It is going to be for a thousand years on the planet as we know it. It will be interrupted for a little bit, and it slips right on into an eternal new heaven and new earth, but it is the same Kingdom over which Christ will rule and reign on the new earth.
All right, “And it’ll be an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away. And his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” Now, let’s go back and go a little further in Isaiah chapter 2, and we’re going to digress, if we have time and pick up some of the other prophecies that depict judgment followed by this glorious coming Kingdom. Back to Isaiah 2 verse 2, again. This is a key verse in prophecy.
“And it shall come to pass in the last days,…” (leading up to Christ’s return) Now, you’ve got to remember – did Israel have any concept of a 2000-year interval between the cross and the Kingdom? No. There was no concept of that whatsoever. They thought there would have to be a suffering Messiah, but they did not understand how or what for. They did not understand a crucifixion. They did not understand the Messiah would be crucified, buried, and raised from the dead. All they understood was that there would be a suffering Messiah. Isaiah 53 was full of it; how He would be like a lamb that before his shearers is dumb, and how He would be suffering for the transgressions of the people. But they did not know how, why, or when.
But, oh, they knew there was a coming glorious King. That is what Peter speaks of that the prophets search diligently, because they knew there had to be two concepts of Messiah – a suffering Messiah and a ruling Messiah. But they could not put it together. God did not expect them to, because Israel had no idea that because of their unbelief, the Kingdom would be postponed. Instead of coming in shortly after the resurrection, ascension, Tribulation, and Christ’s return, as all the Old Testament depicts, there would be another 1900 and some year interval with Israel out of the land in dispersion. But, they would be brought back to the land before the King and the Kingdom could come. We have seen them come back to the land in our lifetime. This was all hidden from them, so that they could not understand it.
“…that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, (The mountains depict kingdoms. It will be above all other kingdoms that have ever existed.) and it shall be exalted above the hills; (even smaller kingdoms and empires) and (Then, here’s the promise.) all nations shall flow into it.” Now, remember, there is no concept here of the intervening Church Age. There is no concept except that Israel would be the evangelists bringing the Gentiles to the knowledge of their God.
Let’s jump all the way up to Zechariah chapter 8, and I’m thinking of this verse because of what it said, that all the nations will flow into this Kingdom which will be capitalized in Jerusalem where the throne of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords will rule the planet earth. All right, in Zechariah, chapter 8, begin in verse 20. This is plain language, this is not gobbledy-gook. This isn’t imagery. This is not something you have to try to figure out what it is talking about. This isn’t figurative speech. This is literal.
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; (the same God that is speaking back in Isaiah) It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities; (now don’t forget why I came here) 21. And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, (that is before Jehovah, before the Son of man, before Jesus of Nazareth, the exalted One) and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also.” 22. Yea, many people and strong nations (plural) shall come to seek the LORD of hosts(where?) in Jerusalem. (Not in heaven, in Jerusalem, the same Jerusalem that is over there today.) and to pray before the LORD.” Now, here comes a promise from God Himself.
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days (when Israel has the King and the Kingdom) it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold out of all the languages of all the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: (Why?) for we have heard that God is with you.” Now, is that plain enough? It is coming. Now, of course, since Israel dropped the ball at His first advent and rejected this opportunity, they won’t have the privilege of winning Gentiles to their Messiah during the Kingdom. It will now have to be done before the Kingdom begins because there will be no plan of salvation in the Kingdom. There will be no lost people per se. Satan is locked up, so there is no rebellion, that’s evident. So, this is something that has now been abrogated by the fall of the nation. But, I feel the 144,000 will pick up the ball in the Tribulation period and still make restitution for what the nation, as a whole, has dropped.
All right, in the couple of minutes we have left, let’s come all the way back to Psalms chapter 2. We use these verses, especially for those of you here in my Oklahoma classes; we use these verses over and over to depict the outline of this Old Testament program. It is so clearly stated, yet, I’m afraid most of Christendom ignores it. It doesn’t need interpretation. I don’t have to go and construct out of the Greek to understand what it is saying. It’s plain English! All right, verse 1.
“Why do the heathen (the non-Jewish world) rage, and the people (Israel, in consort with them,) imagine a vain thing? 2. The kings of the earth (now as it shook out, it was Rome, Pilate) set themselves, and the rulers (the high priests) took counsel together, (not just Jews but together with the Gentiles) against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 3. Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords.” In other words, they don’t want God ruling in the affairs of Gentiles or Israel. Just leave us to our own thing. Now, verse 4, this is God’s response.
“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. (Now, after they reject the King, they’ve crucified Him. Rome carried it out; Israel demanded it. It was accomplished, but He arose from the dead and went back to glory.) 5. Then (after His rejection) shall he speak unto them (that is the whole world) in his wrath, (Not love. Not mercy, this is judgment. This is the Tribulation) and will vex them in his sore displeasure.” Now, remember the pronouns, who are we talking about? The whole world, not just Israel. Not Israel exempted. Jew and Gentile are going to come under the horrors of this final seven years of Tribulation, which here is called the ‘wrath and vexation’.
All right, now then what followed the wrath and vexation? The blessing. What’s the blessing?
“Yet have I set my king upon the holy hill of Zion.” Now, isn’t that as plain as you can get?
There’s the process. Humankind rejects the Messiah of Israel. They put Him to death. We know from Psalms 110 verse 1, God calls Him back to glory to sit at the Father’s right hand until He makes His enemies His footstool; which will happen during the Tribulation. Then, comes the wrath and the vexation; the seven years that Daniel 9 depicts. But, when the seven years have run their course, Christ returns, ushers in this glorious Kingdom on earth, and He will rule and reign from Mount Zion in Jerusalem. That is the Kingdom and it is now promised from Psalms all the way up through until John the Baptist comes, and what does he announce? “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Why? Because the King was in their midst!