Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 62
ISAIAH 62:1 – 64:6
We always have a good time all afternoon as we tape these programs. We’ve got folks visiting us from Joliet, Chicago, Illinois area, and I’ve got my son and his wife with us today. For those of you out in television we’re thrilled to have you with us, and that we can come into your living room or den or wherever it is and open the Scriptures. We trust the Holy Spirit can lead and direct you to understand what we read, because, after all, it really isn’t that difficult. It’s usually pretty self-explanatory.
Okay, Isaiah 63 verse 1 and the reason I’m jumping over those final verses of 62 is because they are just a continuation of the glories that are awaiting Israel when the Kingdom comes in and they have the King. I wanted to be able to start chapter 63 with a separate program, because now we’re going to jump from the Kingdom back to the horrors of the wrath and vexation that are going to precede it and for which all the world is being primed today.
You know, I can’t help but think when I see these movies advertised, I don’t attend them but we can see them advertised, of all the disasters and the calamities of one sort or another and you know what I think? I think that’s just God’s way of preparing the world’s population for what’s coming. Because it’s not going to be just physical suffering, there’s going to be so much mental. It’s going to be beyond our human comprehension. So, anyway, we’re dropping now, into that period of time just before the return of Christ, or what we call the Tribulation.
“Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. 2. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him who treadeth in the winefat?” Now, this is symbolic language of course, but what’s the picture? One commentary I read, believe it or not, said that this is just a picture of Christ in His first advent. Unbelievable, how they can miss it so far! This is Christ at His coming in wrath and vexation and judgment in the closing days of the Tribulation. Now, of course, most of you are acquainted with Armageddon, that last great battle. I’m sure that that’s involved here, but what we’ve really got is a symbolic picture of Christ as He’s ready to return and finalize the wrath and vexation.
Now, the reason I use those two terms and I use them quite extensively. Come back with me, again, to a place that we’ve looked at over and over, so you’ll see where I get my language. Come back to Psalms chapter 2 verse 5. I want you to get just as acquainted with these verses and the terminology as I am. Be able to show people, hey, this is what’s coming! Today we’re not in the wrath and vexation. We’re in the Grace of God. God is permitting these things, but his Grace is still abundant. But Grace will be withdrawn when the Body of Christ is raptured, and then it’s only going to be the wrath and vexation for the next 7 years.
“Then (in other words at that point in time) shall he (God) speak unto them (Who? The population of the world) in his wrath, (Not mercy, not love, not Grace, that has ended. Now He’s speaking in…) and (Will do what?) vex them in his sore displeasure.” That’s where I get the term vexation. In His wrath and vexation He’s going to pour out torment and death and destruction and misery like the world has never known.
Again, like I said in the last program, “is God being unfair?” NO! He’s given the human race 2000 years of Grace. All of these people that will be involved in these final years of judgment will have lived during all this time of preaching and proclaiming the Gospel of the Grace of God and have walked it underfoot. Why are they there for judgment? Because they rejected it! It’s that simple. So, don’t blame God.
He’s been warning since the dawn of human history that this period of time is coming. But, you take the rank and file person, even right here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the buckle on the Bible belt, you show them and tell them these things and they look at you as though you’re out of your cage. They think this is never going to happen, because God won’t ever permit this. Oh, when the day comes of His wrath and vexation, He won’t just permit it; He’s going to direct it. Today He permits. He’s not directing anything that awful, but He’s permitting it. But in “this” day and time, it’s going to be the outpouring of His wrath and His vexation. All right, back to Isaiah 63, I just wanted you to see where I pick up the language. Verse 2:
“Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat.” Now, as you take verse 1 and verse 2 in its symbolic context, what you have is an indication of Christ like some great Roman-clad soldier with all of this armor and his apparel and the sword, which is the Word of God, and He’s coming, seemingly, from the southern part, which was Edom, down there south of the Dead Sea. He’s just like – you know I probably shouldn’t do this, but I’m going to, because I think my audience understands where I’m coming from.
As I was studying over the last several days, I couldn’t help but constantly, and it came again now, so evidently I was supposed to use it. Those of you who are acquainted with northern Minnesota all know the legend of whom? Paul Bunyan. What’s the legend of Paul Bunyan? This humongous woodsman who stepped from place to place across Minnesota and every place he stepped was left a what? A lake. That’s the legend of Paul Bunyan. You go up through Bemidji and you’ll see a likeness of him.
Well, you know, as I look at this I couldn’t help but think, this is a supernatural Paul Bunyan. As He makes each step in His stride, it is not peace and tranquility, it is what? It is death and destruction, His wrath! He’s not coming like the lowly lamb. He’s coming in the power of His wrath and vexation like a great humongous Roman-clad soldier spreading death and destruction. Consequently, in verse 2, what has happened to His apparel? It’s splashed with blood.
Now, we don’t like to think in terms of that with God, but this isn’t the God that we’re dealing with today. I’ve got to repeat that. God today is the God of love, mercy, and Grace, absolutely! But when this day comes, it’s going to be the God of wrath and judgment. All the Old Testament has been foretelling it. Jesus, in His earthly ministry, warned Israel of it. Paul speaks of it in just one place. I’ve always emphasized that Paul doesn’t write much prophecy, but he does for just a few verses in II Thessalonians 2. This terrible time is coming, Beloved! Now, as believers, we’re not going to be here!
But the scorning, unbelieving world is going to finally come under that wrath and vexation of God at His Second Coming. He comes looking like someone who has been stomping the grapes in the wine vat. Now, you can imagine what that person would look like – all splattered with grape juice and whatever the color of his clothes, they would be matted with that residue of the grapes. But this isn’t grape juice, Beloved; it’s the blood of mankind.
“I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: (In other words, He’s not going to have multitudes of people helping him. This wrath is going to be poured out from God and God alone.) for I will tread them in mine (Love and mercy and Grace? No, but rather in His…) anger, and trample them in my fury;” Now, this isn’t pretty language. I know it isn’t. On the other hand, it tells us what the world is getting ready for. Their whole mentality is of absolute absence of morality. We see it on every hand. There is no integrity. There is nothing with reference to God’s Word. They are in total rebellion.
Now, I will say it again. I thanked the Lord myself the other morning. When you look at the world in general, spiritually and morally speaking, we Americans are still head and shoulders above the rest of the world. As bad as we are, we are still head and shoulders above the Orient or above the Middle East or above Europe. Now, that will give you a little indication of what it’s like.
You see, you take Thailand, right in the middle of all this disaster. You know what Thailand is really most known for, especially across Europe? It’s the prostitution capital of the world. We think it’s bad here, no; it’s not even close. So, when we speak of these things, don’t think that God is being unfair. He’s been warning the world for centuries of this wrath that’s coming, and it’s going to be like someone who is treading in the wine vat. Then reading on, let’s finish verse 3.
“…and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.” Now, this is the coming Christ alone who is pouring out wrath and judgment.
Now, just to show you how all of Scripture fits, come back with me to Revelation chapter 14. John is writing after Christ’s first advent, and it’s in perfect accord with what Isaiah wrote 700 years before. We haven’t taught this on the program since our Revelation series, have we? Way, way, way back. You know, I wish we had never put our copyright year on our program, because then people wouldn’t have been so aware of when we made these. But see, when that copyright is on there, 1996, they’ll call and say, “Les are you still making programs? The program this morning you made way back in 1996.” Well, I wouldn’t teach it one bit different today than I did then. Now, again, it’s symbolism. It’s coming back to the same literal fact that we’ve got in Isaiah 63.
“And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto (who?) the Son of man,” (The word Son is capitalized. It’s Christ.) having on his head a goldencrown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.” Now, in whatever culture you may live or have lived in the past, what did they use the sickle for? To harvest.
Believe it or not, we were in Amman, Jordan, not too many years ago and looked out the bus window, and there they were, like a bunch of ants, out in a wheat field. They were all harvesting that wheat with that little hand held scythe. That’s just a few years ago, but it was always indicative of harvesting. Now, here they’re not going to use the scythe to cut wheat, they’re going to use it to cut the grapes off the vine. Okay, this is the symbolism. So, the Son of Man, Christ Himself, is pictured like someone harvesting grapes.
“And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: (or harvest) for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” What does he mean by that? It is ripe for judgment.
God has now put up with their rejection for 6000 years, culminating in the ungodliness of our present day. Now again, I always have to explain some of these things. Why does God pour out such horrible judgment on one generation of people? How can He ignore all those that go clear back to Adam? Well, I’ve always stressed it with one word. Numbers. See, there are more people living on the planet today, almost, I don’t think I’ll miss it very far, there are almost as many people living on the planet today as have lived all the way back through human history. Now, we can’t picture that.
In fact, I was just reading something again the other night. Do you realize that most of the present day world was totally unknown and uninhabited until about 1000 to 1200 AD? Think about that. The whole Western Hemisphere was pretty well uninhabited and unknown until after 1000 AD, the same way with much of the South Sea Islands and so forth. So, you see, the world’s population was relatively small. I think I read one time that at the time of Christ the total population was only like 500,000,000.
That’s one half of one billion. That’s a lot of people, but nothing compared to the seven plus billion that we are today. So, when God’s wrath and judgment are poured out on this final generation, He is literally dealing with almost as many people as have lived down through the centuries. Now, that should answer the question then, why should this generation suffer so? Because they are symbolically representative of all who’ve gone before.
“And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 18. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather (or bring together) the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.” Now, naturally, in all of antiquity and in fact, many places of the world today, what was the staple drink? Well, the grape juice or the wine. So, here was the indication, then, that when they gathered the ripe grapes where did they go? They went into the wine vat. They didn’t go to the supermarket! They went into the wine vat.
“And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress, of the wrath of God.” Now, again, this is symbolic language. What was a wine vat? It was an enclosure. It was not all that big, and at the bottom was the drain where they could crush the grapes. So, if we’re dealing symbolically with the human race, what will be God’s wine vat into which He will put the masses? The valleys, especially of Israel. The Valley of Megiddo. The Valley of Sharon. The Jericho Valley. Little Israel is divided into all these separate valleys. They’re going to be packed full of the armies of the world that are still left, two hundred million coming from the Orient.
When I taught the Revelation series, you remember, I made the illustration that this is under a supernatural set of circumstances. Those generals are going to do things that would ordinarily be considered absolutely stupid. Why pack all your troops into those valleys? They’re going to do it. They’re going to pack them in like sardines in a can. You have no idea how many million men you can put in just a square mile. It’s unbelievable when you read figures on it. So, millions are going to be packed into these valleys of Israel and waiting for the “Treader of the Grapes.” Who will that be? Christ at His Second Coming.
Now, I think he’s going to use the physical elements. He isn’t actually going to walk in them. That is a symbolic term. But, you see, it’s amazing that the last great plague that is listed in the book of Revelation is which one? You remember? The hundred pound hail stones! That’s the final plague. Now, I do take the liberty here, the Bible doesn’t explicitly say this, but I feel that once these armies of the world are packed into the valleys of Israel, the hundred pound hail stones will be God’s treader of the grapes. All right, read on. You’ll get the picture. Verse 20:
“And the winepress was trodden without the city,…” In other words, we know that all these valleys of Israel are beyond Jerusalem. You’ve got the Hula Valley up north of Galilee. Then you’ve got the Valley of Megiddo just running off the north end of Galilee. I’ve already mentioned the Valley of Sharon along the Mediterranean Sea. You’ve got the Jordan Valley coming down from Galilee to the Dead Sea – all those valleys, packed full of the world’s troops.
“And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, (Not grape juice, blood. So, who are the grapes? Mankind) even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.” That’s about 180 miles. Well, if you know your geography, that’s about the distance from the Hula Valley down to the Red Sea. It’s going to be a literal river of blood, mixed with water from those hail stones.
Now, let’s see if I can find the verse that I want – the final plague. I think that’s in chapter 16. Yeah, chapter 16 verse 21. This is the final plague. I don’t think it takes a lot of imagination. The only thing that I’m showing that is really supernatural is how the armies of the world will pack into the valleys of Israel. For that, of course, I’m using my own – whatever. The Bible doesn’t just say that, but it certainly is indicative. If God is putting His wrath upon a grape vat, then that means it has to be within an enclosure. What better way to picture an enclosure than a valley? So, that’s where I get my thinking. All right, now look at the final plague.
“And there fell upon men (not grapes) a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent:…” Now, if you’ve got a marginal help in your Bible most of them say the same thing. How much was a talent? Hundred pounds. Hundred pound hail stones. Now, it’s amazing that not too long ago I read, I think it was in our Daily Oklahoman, that there have been miraculous phenomena the last couple of years in various places around the earth; where on a clear day great chunks of ice will just simply fall out of the air. Up to a hundred pounds in weight. So, we’re not stretching anything here. This is already happening in isolated places. All right, one hundred pound hailstones will fall upon these multitudes of men gathered, now, in the valley of Israel, but does it change their thinking? No.
“…and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” Well, now earlier in the Tribulation you have the same thing. Back up with me to chapter 9, and this is, again, after listing some of the trumpet judgments, which will be shortly after, I think, the middle of the Tribulation. But see, men don’t change their attitudes toward God. Even after all the severe physical judgments that have come upon the planet, this is the result. Is it a great revival? No.
“Neither repented they of their murders, nor their sorceries, (Pharmacia – Which means drugs. So, it will be a drug culture.) nor of their fornication, (the gross immorality) nor of their thefts.” So, all of this judgment from God doesn’t change their thinking or their lifestyle one iota.
All right, I think I’ve got time to show this. Out of that will come a remnant who will become believers. Now, come back with me to chapter 7 and verse 9. This is where I call the fulfillment of the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19 for the nation of Israel. In the midst of all of this wrath and outpouring, God’s 144,000 Jews are going to be proclaiming salvation. Now watch where it goes.
“After this (after the sealing of the 144,000) I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, (Now watch where they come from, and that’s why I call this the fulfilling of the Great Commission. They’re going to come from…) of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, (But, see, they’ve already been martyred. They’re already pictured before the throne. They’re no longer on the planet.) stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10. And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” So, what’s the picture? That as these 144,000 Jews circumvent the globe preaching the Gospel – not of the Grace of God, but the Gospel of the Kingdom, there are going to multitudes saved, but they’ll be martyred immediately.
The powers that be will know who they are, and they will be able to isolate them. But, they’ll only be a small percentage, as always. Now, that may be a great number. You know, Tim LaHaye, in one of his books, claims that he feels the 144,000 will have more converts in those 3 and ½ years than the church has had in 1900. Well, I’m not going to argue the point, but I think it’s a stretch. But there are still going to be a lot of them. But compared to the whole, it is just a small percentage. That’s the way it’s always been. So, they will be martyred just as fast as they profess their faith. But, you see, they can’t kill the 144,000, because they’re sealed with the mark of God.
Nevertheless, this is all indicative of what the world is getting ready for. The more you watch the news, the more you can see that it’s coming, because God’s grace isn’t going to last forever. His patience is going to run out. If I haven’t made any other point today, I hope I make this – don’t blame God. It’s not His fault. It’s because of their constant rejection of His glorious Gospel of the Grace of God, which in a nutshell is, “Believe in your heart for salvation that Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again” as we see so plainly in I Corinthians 15:1-4, plus nothing else.