Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 62
ISAIAH 61:1 – 10
Okay, once again it’s good to have everybody back. You’ve all had your coffee and goodies. For you folks out in television that’s what you miss. You ought to be in here having a time of fellowship along with being fed from the Word. But again, we just appreciate so many of you writing words of encouragement. Every once in a while, I’ll have to tell somebody that calls, “You just made my day!” Because, well, we just never receive any bad phone calls. We don’t get any bad letters. I just praise the Lord for that because everybody is receiving all this with open hearts. It just thrills us that so many of you have had your lives changed.
Okay, for those of you in the studio as well as you in television, we’re in our trek through Isaiah. We are up to Isaiah 61, which, of course, has triggered these last couple of programs. We’re going to do the same thing with this one. But, for sake of anybody who may have just tuned in today for the first time, we are examining – why did Jesus stop in the middle of the verse when He read from Luke chapter 4 in the synagogue in Nazareth?
So, in Isaiah 61, for a quick reminder, this is what Jesus read. We also have it recorded in Luke 4.
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2. To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,…” That’s where he stopped in Luke chapter 4 – right in the middle of the verse. And, of course, that’s why the Jews were aghast and stared Him down. Consequently, He stood up then and said, “This has been fulfilled in your ears.” He knew that the rest of those statements would not happen for another 2000 years or more. That’s why, with His knowledge of the Deity, He could do that.
Now, in a little bit we’re going to come to Peter doing the same thing, but he doesn’t have the wherewithal, the knowledge that Christ had, to stop where he should have stopped. Peter takes it all the way to the end of the prophecy, thinking, of course, that the timeline of the Old Testament prophecies was going to keep right on going. All right, so here’s the whole concept of these last couple of programs, how we can take prophetic Scriptures and show, graphically, how the first part was fulfilled at His first coming. The rest has been pushed out into the future. But, these people didn’t know that. They were expecting all this to happen in their lifetime.
Of course, we pointed that out specifically when we taught the little Jewish epistles of James and Peter and John. There’s not a word in those epistles of a long 2000-year period of time until Christ would return. They thought it was going to happen in their lifetime. So, this is where the Lord was unique in all the other revelations of Scripture. He knew these things could not be fulfilled until a 2000-year period went by, which we think is fast approaching the end.
All right, now in our last half-hour program, we were in Joel chapter 2. Let’s go back there a minute because this is the portion that Peter quotes in Acts chapter 2. I think it is. We’ll have to go look. But anyway, let’s start where we stopped in Joel chapter 2. Between verses 29 and 30 you can put your dash, or a break of some kind, because 28 and 29 were fulfilled at His first advent, especially on the day of Pentecost. Then verses 30, 31, and 32 are still future. They haven’t been fulfilled yet. All right, look at the graphic difference in verse 30.
“And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 30. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.” It hasn’t happened yet, but it will, when the Tribulation comes in.
All right, now let’s jump all the way up to Zechariah, again, where we were a little bit ago, but now in chapter 9. Zechariah is a tremendous book of prophecy. It’s just loaded. Now this, again, is so easily dissected. My, you don’t have to be a rocket-scientist to see what it’s talking about. This was written and spoken years before it happened. But we know it happened.
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; (Who’s he talking to? Jews. Not Gentiles. This is all prophecy concerning Israel.) shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy (What?) King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly,…” Or humble. See, that’s why it was said in the four gospel accounts – “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Why, because it was such a humble place. There weren’t any of the elite of Israel living in Nazareth. They had quartered in Jerusalem. So, He came from humble beginnings.
“…lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” Or the foal of a donkey. This is as lowly as you can get. Did it happen? Of course it did! That was the day of His triumphal entry. It was more or less the end of His first advent. All right, read on into verse 10. Now we jump into the next event, which would be the Tribulation.
“And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: (That speaks of war and killing. That’s the Tribulation. Then the rest of the verse, what’s next?) and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.” You see what I’m talking about? Clearly Zechariah prophesies concerning His first advent, but he ties it right to the Tribulation and the Kingdom that would follow. There was no idea that there would be a long time frame in between.
All right, let’s jump into the New Testament, and let’s jump all the way up to Luke chapter 1. I use these verses quite often. Some of you may almost begin to say, “Why, goodness, can’t he remember that he’s already used these?” No, I don’t forget very easily, but these are so apropos for this very reason again of showing that Israel was looking for a King and a Kingdom.
All right, Luke chapter 1 and we’ll drop in at verse 64. You remember the backdrop. Zacharias, the priest, had been stricken and was unable to speak as soon as Elizabeth became pregnant with John the Baptist. So, for nine months he has been unable to speak. As soon as he announced, by writing it on a tablet, that the baby’s name was John, they were all amazed. Look in verse 63. Now, in verse 64 this priest, Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist:
“And his mouth was opened immediately, (supernaturally) and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. 65. And fear came upon all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judea.” In other words, just like any other society, rumors started going, “Have you heard what happened to that priest up there at the temple? Man, he’s been unable to speak for nine months and as soon as the baby is born, he’s got his voice!” Boy, it was just topic for gossip, and it went all through the hill country of Judea.
“And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him. 67. And his father (this priest) Zacharias was (what?) filled with the Holy Spirit,…” This isn’t something waiting for Pentecost. He already had been filled with the Spirit and in that Spirit power this is what he reveals, and it’s not just wishful thinking Jews.
“…and prophesied, saying, (Now watch this.) 68. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 69. And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70. As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, (All the Old Testament had been foretelling this.) which have been since the world began: 71. That we (the nation) should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;” Now, that isn’t sin, but enemies. Well, who are Israel’s enemies? It is the same Arab world that is their enemies today. No different. That’s what the hope was – that when their King would come they would be able to withstand all the pressure from the Arab world.
“To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; (What covenant?) 73. The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, (Here’s what it was.) 74. That he would grant unto us, (the Jewish people) that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him (that is their Messiah) without fear, 75. In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.” Well, you see, he had no idea that the Kingdom was going to be interrupted for 2000 years or more.
All right, I think I’m ready to go all the way over to the Book of Acts. I’ll show you how Peter was so ignorant of these things that he didn’t have the wherewithal to stop in the middle of the prophecy like he should have. He didn’t know any better. He was under the impression that this top line was going to keep unfolding. Christ had now been crucified. He’d gone back to glory. Now in would come the Tribulation. Christ would return, and they could have the Kingdom.
So, in Acts chapter 2 starting in verse 16, here is where Peter reveals the Old Testament program again. But he didn’t have the wherewithal that Jesus had to stop in the right place.
“But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; (Now, see how plain that is? What’s Peter saying? You have seen Joel’s prophecy fulfilled on this day of Pentecost.) 17. And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:” See, Peter didn’t know, as Jesus did in Luke chapter 4 when He sat down, that verse 19 and following would not take place in the near future.
Now, remember what I told you in the last program? According to Scripture, the “last days” began with Christ’s first advent and carry all the way through to the Kingdom. Not as we look at them as the “latter days,” but the “last days” were according to the prophetic program. There was only going to be three years of His earthly ministry, probably a short time in between, then seven years of the Tribulation. That’s a total of ten to the Second Coming and then would come the Kingdom. That’s all they understood. You can tell that or Peter would have stopped after verse 18 that we just read.
Now, lest you think I’m belaboring that point. Keep your hand in Acts, but I always, at a time like this, go to I Peter. I Peter is the little epistle written probably about the same time that Paul is writing his church epistles. Probably around 60-61 AD. He’s writing to Jews, remember. He’s writing according to verse 1.
I Peter 1:1
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.” So, those were Jews who had been scattered because of Saul of Tarsus’ persecution. All right, now verse 10, and this just says it all.
I Peter 1:10a
“Of which salvation the prophets (See, there again is a reference to the Old Testament writers.) have inquired (What does that mean? They asked questions that they couldn’t answer, so they…) and searched diligently,…” What were they searching? All those Old Testament prophets, trying to put this thing together. There were certain little tidbits that they could get a little bit, but nothing ever jelled.
I Peter 1:10b-11
“…who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11. Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them (that is in the prophets as they wrote) did signify, when it (or He, the Holy Spirit) testified beforehand (Now, here it is. The Holy Spirit was revealing in a veiled way all through the Old Testament.) the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” Now, do you see that? All the Old Testament had been talking about the suffering Messiah.
But on the other hand, it was also talking about His ruling and reigning over a glorious Kingdom. They couldn’t put the fact together that it’d be one and the same Messiah. Some of the rabbis actually concocted the idea that there would have to be two Messiahs. They went back to the naming of little Benjamin when Rachael was dying. You remember that as she was breathing her last breath she said, “His name shall be Benoni,” which meant “the Son of my Suffering.” But Jacob overruled and said that no, his name will be Benjamin, which in the Hebrew meant the Son of Strength and Power.
So, the rabbis say there are two different names, there must evidently going to be two Messiahs, a suffering Messiah and a ruling Messiah. They couldn’t put the whole act together that He would be one and the same, that He would suffer and die, be resurrected, go back to glory, and come again. They couldn’t figure it out. All right, when we point these things out, don’t think they were especially short of brain power or anything like that. No, they weren’t supposed to understand. God veiled it for His own purposes.
All right, now I think we can pretty much go back now to Isaiah 61 and continue on. The prophecy of what will follow after the Tribulation has run its course and Christ will return and bring in this glorious earthly Kingdom, promised all the way up through the prophets. The suffering is past and now the next thing is the ruling and reigning Messiah. All right, back to Isaiah 61 and jump in again at verse 3.
“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes,…” Now, we use that term even in our English vernacular. What does it mean? To have something that is as unattractive as a pile of ashes suddenly become something as beautiful as a rose in full bloom. What’s the picture? When the world comes out of the horrors of the Tribulation, it’s going to be ashes, but it’s not going to stay that way.
Now, this is a good time to jump up with me to Jeremiah, chapter 25. We’ve used these verses at least in some of our Oklahoma classes. Now, if you’ve got a little imagination whatsoever, you can see that this is the ashes that’s going to be the result of those seven years of wrath and vexation coming on the planet.
Now, I read a lot. I think you all know that. I’m amazed at how many intellectual people, if they know anything of this at all, scorn it. They just ridicule it. There’s nothing bad ever going to happen. They talk in terms of what’s going to be going on in four, five, six hundred years from now. Well, I’ve got news for them. They may be intellectuals. They may have degrees. They may think they’re the elite. But this little old farmer knows a lot more than they do, because I can go according to the Book. This is what’s coming, because this is what your Bible says.
Turn to Jeremiah chapter 25 verse 30. Now, don’t scoff at this. Don’t just shrug this off and say this is just some disgruntled prophet. No, this is inspired by the Spirit of God and even though we’re not going to be here, and we don’t have to worry about it happening to us, yet it’s for us to know to warn people that it’s coming. All I have to say if they have any doubt is aren’t they listening to the news? Aren’t they reading the news? What is the uppermost thought in the nations of the world today? Weapons of mass destruction. That’s all they’re thinking about. That’s all they’re talking about.
Russia has now announced that they’re coming out with a greater nuclear weapon than anything else that’s in the world. Well, what do they hope to do with it? Iran. They want to produce nuclear weapons. What are they going to do with them? Just as soon as somebody drops one anywhere, somebody else is going to retaliate, and it’ll be a domino effect. God isn’t going to allow it to happen. He’s going to do it. But it’s coming. All the weapons of mass destruction are going to be used, but in God’s time. All of these diseases that the world is worried about, they’re coming. All of the extraterrestrial things, it’s all coming, because God is going to make this planet ashes out of which He can bring in the beauty of His Kingdom. All right, here are the ashes.
“Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD (Jehovah, Israel’s God) shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; (Second Coming. When He’s going to return.) He shall mightily roar upon his habitation; (That is this planet.) He shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, (Now, I’ll come back to this when we get into the later chapters of Isaiah, probably next month’s taping.) against all the inhabitants of the earth.” Not just Israel, but every human being that’s still living will fall under this wrath of a righteous God.
“A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth;…” Now, I don’t know how you interpret that, but I think it’s real simple. Nuclear bombs exploding completely around the planet. Now, you talk about a domino effect. That’s what’s going to happen. As soon as somebody drops a nuclear bomb on one place, somebody else is going to retaliate. It’s going to be, well, like the Book of Revelation puts it, it’s just going to be like a domino effect. The cities of the world are going to disappear. That’s in Revelation 17 and 18. All right, but this is the Old Testament’s view.
“…for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, (Plural) he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD. (In other words, their life is going to be taken.) 32. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from coasts (borders) of the earth.” Now, what’s one of the other effects of nuclear explosion? Tremendous wind.
Remember when they dropped the little atomic bombs in Japan? They were little compared to what we’ve got today. They were just firecrackers, and yet what did they experience? Tremendous winds that even blew existing buildings down. That’s all part of it, the heat and the fire and the wind. All right, so I think this is a perfect description of how it will finally come to its end.
“And the slain of the LORD…” Why? Because He is pouring out His wrath on Christ rejecting mankind. It isn’t that He’s unfair. He has given, now, over 2000 years of grace and mercy, and they still scorn it. My, even in this Age of Grace that we feel is coming to a close, He has made salvation so available. Just by believing in your heart that Jesus died for your sins and rose from the grave as we see in I Corinthians 15:1-4. But most walk that free gift under foot.
“And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.” There’ll be no funeral services. They won’t even be gathered. The undertakers won’t have to grin one iota. There won’t be any to embalm. That’s going to be the final outpouring of God’s wrath on this planet.
All right, come back with me to Isaiah 61. So, the beauty will come out of the ashes. After God’s wrath and judgment and total destruction will come His beautiful, glorious, earthly Kingdom. All right, verse 3 again:
“…to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, (Now, you know Scripture refers to trees as something beautiful in God’s creation.) the planting of the LORD, that he (the Lord) might be glorified. 4. And they shall build up the old wastes, (From the destruction coming out of the Tribulation will come this glorious, new, restored planet earth.) they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. 5. And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.” Now, what does that tell you? Israel has always been the downtrodden people of human history. They’ve always been the hated and the persecuted. Well, what’s going to happen here? It’s going to be totally reversed. Israel will be the apple of God’s eye. Israel is going to be the most blessed of any of the nations on earth.
Israel is finally going to inherit all those glorious promises coming up even since Moses. We’ll look at that in our next program. What did Moses prophesy? That Israel would never again be on the bottom of the totem pole. They’ll be where? They’ll be at the top. They will never again have to beg or borrow from other nations. They’re going to be the ones that will help other nations. And so all the glorious promises of Israel are still future and they’re coming.