Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 63
ISAIAH 63:7 – 66:24
Again, we want to thank all of you out in television for all of your prayer support, your financial support, and most of all your encouraging letters. I appreciate the fact that most of you know I like to have you keep them short. You don’t have to overdo it, but try to refrain from two, three, and four page letters because that crimps our time. We try to be honest with you. In fact, we had guests in our home last week from Chicago, and they were helping us open the mail, and they said, “Well, do you read every letter?” And I said, “Isn’t that what I tell people on television, so I can’t lie to them.” So, yes, I’ll keep reading every letter, and it helps if you keep them short. But how we love them.
In our last lesson we got through Isaiah 64 verse 1. Now remember, as we’ve been studying the last two half-hours on the main topic of “the prayer of the remnant,” it’s the believing remnant of Israel shortly before the Second Coming that is in view of the eyes of the prophet, and remember, the prophets can do that. They can leap the centuries and speak as if it’s today or tomorrow or whatever. So, this is the voice of the remnant just before Christ’s return and this continues now in chapter 64. Then we get into chapter 65; we’re going to see Jehovah, or the LORD, respond to the prayer of the remnant. Then we go on into chapter 66, hopefully in the next half-hour and wind up the book of Isaiah. It ends with all the blessings that are waiting Israel when they have the King and the Kingdom, following the soon to be, we feel, 7 years of Tribulation that is coming upon the earth. All right, but Isaiah 64 verse 1, we’re still in the words of the remnant.
“Oh, that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down (That is His Second Coming as we look at it.) that the mountains might flow down at thy presence, 2. As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine (what?) adversaries,…” Now, I don’t like to run a good thing into the ground, but you see, in our last taping, in those first three programs, we covered some of the horrors of those final seven years, and it is beyond human description. But it is coming. God will have to do that if He’s the righteous God that He claims to be. He has to deal in wrath and judgment before He can open up the doors of the Kingdom. So, the horrors will be beyond human description.
In fact, I don’t think I did it last taping although I intended to because it was at a point just shortly after the Tsunami horrors of Asia on December, 25, 2004. As people began to call, I referred them one after the other to Jeremiah 25, and now you can turn with me for a minute to Jeremiah 25. Since this is all fresh on our memory and seeing the horrors of the destruction that was all just along the coastlines. It hardly affected the inland.
If any of you happened to see the video, it was not…oh…not too long ago, but it was long after the original, and Iris and I just happened to catch it. Here was all the water rushing back out to sea. That’s what I’ve been waiting to see, because I knew that all the waves that went over land had to go back out. Well, this video happened to show it and it was beyond description. You can’t imagine if you didn’t see it, the death and destruction as that river of water was going back out to sea. Trucks and cars and trees and buildings and — unbelievable! But here is the graphic description from Scripture of how it will not just be on a few miles of shoreline in Asia, but this is going to be around the planet. Nothing is going to escape God’s wrath.
Now, I don’t do this to be facetious or to be sensational, but it does bear being reminded of the wrath of God that’s coming on the unbelieving world. Even as Israel knew it was going to come on all except the remnant. All right, you got Jeremiah 25 and I’ve been telling my callers to start with verse 30, so we might as well do it here. Now, if these tapes are still being shown several years from now, it’ll probably seem a little out of place. But, in view of where we are today, just stop and analyze this and ask yourself, how much of this did we see in those miles of coastline in Asia?
Now remember, that didn’t go very far inland. All the damage and havoc was just along the coastline. But this isn’t going to be limited to coastline. This isn’t going to be limited to Asia. This is going to be striking every nation on the planet.
“Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD shall roar from on high, (Now this is almost the same language that we saw a couple of programs back in Isaiah 63.) and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against (now watch the language) all the inhabitants of the earth. (Not just a few hundred thousand Asians. This will strike everybody around the planet.) 31. A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations,…” Why? Because of their unbelief! Because of their rejection of all of His love and grace.
“…he will plead with all flesh; (Not just Asia, not just Israel, not just Europe, not just America. It’s going to be the whole planet.) he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD.” The believer is not going to be in this scenario at all. This is for the majority who has chosen to reject Him. Now, the sword only speaks of one thing and what is it? Death.
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation,…” Now, I think this is going to include nuclear. It’s going to include natural events, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis – you name it. It’s going to be a conflagration of every description.
“…and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts (borders) of the earth.” Now verse 33, and as you look at this verse just stop and think of what you saw in Asia the last few weeks. This is exactly what we saw. But that was just one little isolated area.
“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: and they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried;…”What happened over there? They couldn’t find most of the corpses to even have a funeral. Many of them were never found. We know that. Washed out to sea. We happened to catch a little clip where they had a great big firewood pier, and they were just simply throwing the corpses on it just to get rid of them to stop the disease. They didn’t have time to embalm and have funerals and bury. Well, isn’t that exactly what it says here? They will not be lamented. There’ll be no funerals. They’ll not be gathered. There’ll be no taking them into a mortuary. They will not be buried. There won’t be any reason or opportunity to. Why? Because those dead bodies:
“…they shall be dung (or refuse or trash) upon the ground.” That’s what the world is facing. They can scorn us all they want. When I read these articles of scorn I just have to have two reactions. On the first hand I feel sorry for them, and on the other hand, I think, “You’re going to deserve it.” Because you don’t have to be that blind; the Scripture is so plain. But anyway, this is just a little itsy bitsy tip-of-the-iceberg of what the world is facing.
All right, back to Isaiah 64 and the remnant is still pleading to God when He comes and raises his wrath and vexation against the unbelieving world, all right, verse 3.
“When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence. 4. For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.” Now, we’re going to jump up to the New Testament a minute, if I may.
Let’s flip all the way up to I Corinthians 2:9. Some of you are way ahead of me, aren’t you? That’s great! That shows that you’re getting aware of the Scriptures. I Corinthians 2:9 – now this is the Apostle Paul writing to you and I as Gentiles. I almost have to go back to verse 6 to pick up the flow. We’re not going to rush. If I don’t finish Isaiah today, why we’ll do it later.
I Corinthians 2:6-8
“Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: (or spiritually mature) yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: 7. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, (or a revelation of secrets) even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our (or I think the apostle could have written, ‘my’) glory. (Because he’s the one that reveals all this, and all of this was such that-) 8. Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, (Now the princes of the world means the rulers and those with authority – Israel, as well as Gentile.) they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
Now, what’s he referring to? Had the authorities of Israel or even the authorities of Rome known that this Jesus of Nazareth was the Creator of the universe, would they have nailed Him to that cross? No way! They wouldn’t have been that stupid But why did they? They didn’t know. They were blind in their unbelief. Like Isaiah said, it’s always been that way. They cannot comprehend. But read on.
I Corinthians 2:9
“But as it is written, (This is where Paul is quoting from Isaiah 64.) Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that (what?) love him.” Not the wrath and vexation that’s coming on the unbeliever, but the things that are prepared for the believer, it’s beyond comprehension!
Now, you know, I’m always the first to admit that Scripture, as I see it, does not really tell us that much about our eternal state. It doesn’t tell us what we’re going to be doing. It doesn’t tell us how we’re going to be operating. In fact, it almost tells us nothing, except one thing. It’s going to be what? Glorious! We cannot begin to comprehend the glory that is awaiting the true child of God.
I Corinthians 2:10-12
“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” But, even that is limited to the Scriptures. The Scripture limits us to the fact that the eternal state is glorious. That’s as far as we can go.
You know, my daughter loves horses, and that’s why, of course, she experienced her horrible accident. She’s always been a horse-nut. I remember a couple of years ago, she said, “Daddy, do you suppose it’s possible the Lord will give me a horse barn a half a mile long? And I can clean stalls every day?” Because, you know, it’s funny with these gals that love horses, their favorite pastime is cleaning the stalls and putting in fresh bedding and all that. Well, I said, “Honey, we don’t know.” We have no idea of what we’re going to be doing or how when we get into the eternal state.
Now, I’m of the same impression. I hope that there will be animals in glory, because I love animals. But I don’t know. I’m not going to tell people well, we’re going to have pets, and we’re going to have animals. But I know one thing; it’s going to be glorious – beyond human comprehension!
Okay, now I could probably use a few other verses, but I think we’d better go back to Isaiah 64, or I won’t even get close to finishing the Book today. But anyway, now the believers are crying out, those that have an inkling of what God has prepared for them that wait for him. That’s the next one I wanted to use. Wait for him. Turn back again to the New Testament, all of you – I Thessalonians. I should have thought of it while I was in I Corinthians, but I didn’t. That was the next key word – to wait.
Now you know, the first time I caught that verse years ago, I thought, well, now what in the world? Why did the apostle write that these Thessalonians were being commended, not condemned, they’re being commended for their attitude of waiting. Now, all we ever hear is “get to work!” Do this, do this, and do this. Because, after all, if you’re a believer God’s got things for you to do. But we’re going to temper that a little bit. Don’t get so busy doing the Lord’s work that you haven’t got time to contemplate – What’s the next big event on God’s calendar? The return of Christ! First, to take us up and then seven years later to return to the nation of Israel.
Well, all right, I Thessalonians chapter 1 and I’m going to start at verse 8 in this series because Paul is commending these Thessalonian believers, fresh out of paganism, remember, they’ve been idol worshippers. They’ve been moon-god worshippers. They’ve been the mythological gods and goddesses worshippers. There they are – trophies of God’s Grace! Verse 8:
I Thessalonians 1:8
“For from you (the Thessalonian believers) sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia (Northern Greece) and Achaia (which was Southern Greece) but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.” In other words, Paul didn’t have to tell people about these Thessalonian believers. Their fame went all across the land of Greece.
I Thessalonians 1:9
“For they themselves (That is the rest of the population of Greece, when they’d talk about these Thessalonian believers.) shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, (That is, as Paul brought the Gospel to these pagans. Now watch it.) and how ye turned to God from (What?) idols (See, they were idolaters.) to serve the living and true God;” Now, here’s the verse. Along with their salvation, along with their serving, and telling others of this glorious Gospel and this newfound life apart from paganism, they were waiting.
I Thessalonians 1:10
“And to (What?) wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, who delivered us from the (What?) wrath to come.” That’s why I know we’re not going into the Tribulation. We’ve been spared that.
But what were the early believers doing? Waiting for this great event. What was the remnant of Israel doing? Waiting for that great event. Well, they didn’t live to see it, but that doesn’t take away from the fact and I think that’s where we should be today. My, in spite of all of our activity, in spite of all of our busyness, we should be able to just relax at times and say, “Lord, how long?” How long until we hear, as the songwriter put it, until we hear that great song and Christ Returneth. Okay, back to Isaiah 64. So, don’t get so busy that you haven’t got time to wait for the trumpet sound that we are confident is coming.
All right, verse 5, now this is a verse we took off from in one of our last programs, in our last taping, and I jumped up to the New Testament because of all the language here that prepared this remnant for their salvation. Now, of course, Old Testament salvation was different than ours under grace. I can’t explain it and I’ve never found anybody that really could. It’s kind of an enigma. What kind of a salvation did they have? I know it was by faith, but on the other hand, there are a lot of questions as to how much security they had and so forth.
But remember now, these are the remnant at the end of the Tribulation that we saw Jesus refer to in Matthew 24. They’re going to be escaping out into the wilderness, whereas the rest of the nation is going to suffer their death along with the rest of the world. All right, verse 5:
“Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways; behold, thou art wroth; (Now remember, the Tribulation is raging all around them. God is supernaturally protecting them out in that wilderness.) for we have sinned: (See, that’s the first step in salvation; it is to recognize our lostness or that we’re sinners.) in those is continuance, and we (because of recognizing their need) shall be (what?) saved.” And this remnant was. They were saved Jews within the nation of Israel, and I’m sure they were a sprinkling of all the tribes, because they’re all going to be represented. In fact, that’s the way Paul puts it.
Let’s go back and look at it a minute, again. Romans chapter 11, I’ve got to make the point because this also precipitates a lot of questions. I hope I can find it. It’s got to be in chapter 11. Boy, some of you guys are going to have to help me find it; I’m not seeing the verse I want. Anyway, where it says, “that all Israel shall be saved.” Am I looking at it and not seeing it? Thank you. Romans 11:26, this has to be answered.
“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” But all right, we can’t let one Scripture override another.
Now, come back with me to what we looked at in Zechariah a program or two back and our listening audience promises us that they watch every day, so they’ll remember this. Zechariah chapter 13 and this is going to answer the question. Now, I know this is repetition, but hopefully it will make a point.
“And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third (That is the third part.) shall be left therein. (That’s the remnant – one third.) 9. And I will bring the third part through the fire, (That is through the Tribulation.) and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try (test) them as gold is tried (tested): they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, the LORD is my God.” All right, so this is the conclusion you have to come to when Paul says, “yet all Israel shall be saved.” The Old Testament says it’ll only be a remnant. What does it mean? Only the remnant is the “all Israel” of Romans 11:26, simply to indicate that in that remnant there are members of every tribe. No tribe will be left out in that remnant.
So it will, for that time, be the “all Israel.” Now, I hope that settles it even for my TV audience. When it says all Israel shall be saved, it doesn’t mean the fifteen million Jews on the planet today. It means more like five million and in that five million are representatives of all the tribes of ancient Israel.
Back to Isaiah 64, and verse 6, this is why we know this is the believing remnant, because they recognize their need. What about the rest of Israel? No, in spite of all their immorality and in spite of their idolatry, what did they do every so often down at Jerusalem? They went to the temple and that was supposed to make everything right. But the rest of the time they were horrific in their behavior. But you see, the believing remnant recognized their need and what they were and why God could save them.
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;…” Now, let me stop and ask you, those of you who know Christ’s earthly ministry. You know the four Gospel accounts probably better than I do. Did the Pharisees think of themselves as “filthy rags?” Why, heavens no! They were self-righteous. They could do no wrong. Even Saul of Tarsus, who later became the Apostle Paul, what was he? Religious to the hilt! He couldn’t find any fault in his lifestyle; he was religious. But the believing element could recognize what they were in God’s sight, and that’s why God could save them. Well, it’s no different today, no different. All right, reading on.
But we are all as an unclean thing, all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; (We have nothing going for us.) and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. 7. And there is none that calleth on thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.” That was the very attitude that caused this little remnant of Israel to become believers.
See, it’s no different today. The pomp and the circumstance of most of Christianity today never brings a person to recognize their need. They’re okay. They’re going to make it. They’ve got all their reasons, but you see, the first step for salvation is to recognize our lostness, as we pointed out a couple of programs ago. So, always remember that this is the first step in God’s saving grace for mortal man, whether it was Israel in antiquity or for us today in 2005 or whatever year we’re in. That first step for salvation is to recognize that we are nothing in God’s sight. Our own righteousness is nothing more than filthy rags.