Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 63
ISAIAH 63:7 – 66:24 – PART 2
Okay, once again, it is good to have everybody back. This is our fourth program this afternoon and for those of you out in television, we’re just an informal Bible study. That’s why we have the coffee cups. This is not a pseudo church or anything like that. We’re just here to search the Scriptures and to see if these things are really so.
Now, we’re especially favored today, and I mentioned it in one of our other programs, but our youngest son Todd and his wife Kim are here and with our latest grandson. He’s only eight weeks old, so somebody just reminded me today that this is probably his first real Bible study! I’m sure they’ve already had him in church someplace, but this is his first Bible study, and if the Lord tarries, someday he can look at the tape and say, “There I was, I got a good start.” My goodness, I didn’t even see him on the screen. I’m not just a proud grandpa, but that’s a pretty, pretty baby!
Okay, now then, back to the things at hand – Isaiah 65 verse 1. This is the Lord’s answer, now, to the prayerful plea of the remnant just before He returns.
“I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name. 2. I have spread out my hands all the day unto a (What kind of people?) rebellious people,” Now, this is Israel! They’ve had the Word. They’ve had the prophets. They’ve had the temple. They’ve had the priesthood. But it didn’t make any difference. They were just as rebellious and unbelieving as the Gentile pagan world around them.
“I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;” Now, lest you think that this is recent in Israel’s history, go back with me to the last verse of Judges, and that would be chapter 21, and verse 25. Now, this is about shortly after they came out of Egypt. About 400 years before King David, and this is unbelievable. Samuel was the last of the judges, but this last verse just typifies ancient Israel almost from day one. Of course, Isaiah is now writing almost a thousand years later, and he’s deploring the same fact.
“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Now beloved, when you let the human race do their own thing, is it good or bad? It’s never good. Okay, back to Isaiah because I want you to see that God has mercifully put up with the human race from day one because Israel was, you know, the covenant people. They should have been a people of obedience. But they weren’t. The only ones that were obedient were just that small remnant.
“A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;” Now, what are they doing? Idol worship. They didn’t even build altars the way God instructed them to build altars, because when Israel was taught how to build an altar, they didn’t use brick, they used what? Hewn stone. See, bricks are manmade. They’re cooked in an oven. But see, here they used altars made of a counterfeit rather than the hewn stone as God had instructed Israel. All right, so it just all shows rebelliousness. They’re not even going to build an altar according to God’s design.
“Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, (Now, you know that was forbidden all the way up in Israel’s history.) and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;” In other words, even their soup that they made was made of stuff that was totally contrary to Israel’s dietary laws.
“Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou.” My goodness, that puts it as plain as English can make it. So what are they likened to? The Pharisees. That was their attitude. They were righteous. They were holy. They would wrap their clerical robes around themselves, and they could do no wrong. But these were the same way. They say, “I’m holier than you are.”
“These are a smoke in my nose, (Not the smoke of incense, as God appreciated in the temple worship. But this was acrid smoke that burned the nostrils.) a fire that burneth all the day.” Now again, I think you can go back to an analogy of the ancients. They probably lived in small dwellings. They didn’t have central heat and air, so what was the normal material for burning to keep the house warm? Well, dried cow manure. Just like they did out west. So, the acrid smoke of that cattle refuse would literally permeate the whole house. That’s what they lived in. But God likens that to His experience with Israel.
“Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom. 7. Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.” In other words, it’s been generation after generation. Now verse 8, this is an interesting little verse.
“Thus saith the LORD, as the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not;” Now, you’ve kind of got to put some thought here. What kinds of grapevines do you suppose the hired help were pulling out to burn? Well, the ones that weren’t producing – the dead ones. That stands to reason. But, as they’re about to pull out this dead grapevine, the husbandman sees what? One cluster of grapes. What does he say? Don’t destroy that good little cluster of grapes. Now read on.
“Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sake, that I may not destroy them all.” Again, what’s that one little clump of grapes on the dead vine a picture of?The remnant. Oh, all these things you’ve got to kind of dig and then here they come, and it just tantalizes your spiritual appetite. Don’t destroy the vine. There is one cluster of grapes that is still useful for the grape juice.
“And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine (What?) elect (The remnant again. The true believer) shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there. (Now, we come to the promises of this coming Kingdom.) 10. And Sharon…” That is the Valley of Sharon, which is just east of the Mediterranean coast. It’s one of the valleys of Israel, and now a lot of it is covered with the sand that has blown up from the Mediterranean Sea. I don’t know how much validity this has, but one of our guides over there told us how all that sand accumulates up on Israel. It comes from the Nile water coming into the Mediterranean, and then all the prevailing northwesterly winds blow it up onto the shore of Israel. So, you’ve got these huge sand dunes all along the Mediterranean seashore. But beyond them, of course, you have this productive Valley of Sharon.
“And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, (In other words, Sharon is going to revert back to that beautiful productive valley of grass and water for the flocks of Israel.) and the valley of Achor…” Now, those of you who know your Old Testament, what was the Valley of Achor? Well, you remember Achan? This was shortly after they came across the Jordan River, and they were to have nothing to do with the spoils of the little town of Ai. They were instructed, don’t touch any of that stuff, it should all be destroyed. What did Achan do? He took some for himself, and he thought he’d gotten away with it but God knew. You remember that Achan was dealt harshly over that. The Valley of Achor became a curse to Israel. It was just something that was avoided. But, here in the Kingdom it’s going to be a valley of blessing.
“…and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.” In other words again, for the remnant that’s going to come into the glorious earthly Kingdom that’s been promised since day one.
“But ye are they that forsake the LORD, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink-offering unto that number. 12. Therefore, will I number you (Now that’s the unbelieving element again.) to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter:…” Remember what Zechariah said? Two thirds will die; one third will come through the Tribulation and be the remnant to go into the Kingdom.
“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servant shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty, behold my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed: 14. Behold, my servants (That is the believing remnant.) shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit. 15. And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall (What?) slay thee,…” Now, you see, I’ve mentioned the two women at the well and two people sleeping in the bed, and what does the Lord say in Matthew?
“The one shall be taken, the other left?” Well, which one will be taken? The unbeliever! He’ll be removed (die) and the believer will go on into the Kingdom economy. All right, now then, let’s drop quickly down into verse 17.
“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former (That is the old earth.) shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” Now, of course, I guess there’s room for controversy here. Is He speaking of the new heaven and new earth of Revelation 21 and 22, or is He speaking of the renovated earth of the Kingdom Age?
I personally feel he’s talking about the renovated earth for the millennial reign. Now, you’ve got to remember the thousand-year reign of Christ is the Kingdom economy, in which Christ will rule and reign from Jerusalem. Then, at the end of that thousand years, according to Revelation, I guess we’d better go back to Revelation and take a look at that. Here in Revelation chapter 20 we find that those thousand years are over. Now remember, it’s going to be heaven on earth because Satan has been locked up. There has been no one to tempt them. They have had a perfect environment. They’ve not been tempted to sin or to rebel until Satan’s released, and then for a little while he’s going to again confuse the multitudes.
“And when the thousand years are expired, (That’s the Kingdom, the millennium.) Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8. And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, (All of them.) to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, (I mean, it’s just a repetition of Armageddon all over again.) and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: (Which, of course, is Jerusalem, but this time God wastes no time.) and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” In the next verse, Satan, of course, is consigned to the Lake of Fire. Then you go through the Great White Throne, preparing everything for the coming eternal bliss of both Israel and the Gentile world.
Now, you come into chapter 21 and John prophetically sees a new heaven and a new earth. I don’t think it’s the new heaven and new earth that Isaiah’s referring to. He’s referring to the thousand-year earth, which will be renovated. But this will be brand new.
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were (What?) passed away;…” Peter puts it in scientific language, and he says, “that the earth and everything in it is burned up and it’s going to be dissolved.” It’s going to be melted down, and out of that will then come the eternal new heaven and new earth, and again it just seems that God’s going to still maintain that separation between Israel and the Body of Christ, who are the “heavenly,” even for all of eternity.
But, back to Isaiah, quickly now, we’ve only got about half the program left, already. So, here we’re preparing the earth of the millennial reign, heaven on earth. It’s going to be an earth of tremendous production. There’ll be no want. There’ll be no sweat of the brow; it’s going to be an easy production, and food will be in abundance everywhere.
“And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. 20. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days:…” In other words, death will be almost unknown in this thousand-year period.
“…for the child shall die an hundred years old; (In other words, at a hundred they’re still just as vibrant as a child.) but the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed.” Which means there might be a possibility of someone having to be removed. I think it’s going to be so rare that the Scripture really doesn’t deal with it all that much. All right, verse 21, it’s going to be a Kingdom of tremendous activity.
“And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. 22. They shall not build, and another inhabit;…” Which was Israel’s history. They’d get their economy going and enemy forces would come in and take their crops and destroy their houses and they were under constant turmoil. But that will happen no more.
“…they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.” In other words, I think they’ll live the whole thousand-year period of time, even as they did back before the flood.
“They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. (Now, the next verse is a perfect parallel with John’s gospel chapter 14.) 24. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” Now, I think I’ve got time. Let’s go up to John’s Gospel because this has been such a confusing thing for so many people, and they can’t get it through their thinking that Christ was looking forward to the Kingdom time when He said so many of these things. They’re not apropos for us today.
John 14 verse 13. Now, this will all become a reality in this Kingdom economy, when Christ is ruling and Satan is locked up. Every Jew will be in a special manifestation of God’s grace and power. The Lord is speaking, and He says:
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” What does that mean? Whatever they want. All they have to do is speak it. Providing, of course, that it’s within common sense, and I think that’s going to be a given. But it’s going to be a time when all their prayers will be answered as if they had merely had the thought.
Okay, back to Isaiah, quickly now, the last verse in chapter 65, and this is a perfect parallel for Isaiah chapter 11.
“The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,…” Now, this isn’t just pie in the sky. A lot of people scoff at this, and they say, “Well, that’s just a figure of speech.” No, it is not. This is going to become a literal reality when God will literally change the digestive system of the wild animals where they will not eat of other living things. Isaiah 11 says that they will eat of everything that grows naturally, the herbs and the grasses and so forth.
“The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: (His whole digestive system will be transferred from carnivorous to eating forage.) and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. (Now, we know that the serpent will not be active in the Kingdom, so this is simply a play on words that the serpent will not enjoy all these good things of the Kingdom.) They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, (or in my Kingdom) saith the LORD.” All right, now let’s go into the final chapter of Isaiah, and remember that Isaiah is 66 chapters long and our Bible is 66 books. So, there is a parallel.
“Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: (Now, what is that a significance of ? His Sovereignty. The earth is just His footstool. It’s just a little marble out of all of God’s creation. And it’s His.) where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?” I’m going to skip now, so that we get a little closer to the end, as I want to finish Isaiah today – verse 5.
“Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you,…” Wow, what have we got there again? The little remnant has been hated by the majority. We’re seeing the same thing today. Even in the realms of Christendom, the true believer is more and more being scorned by the masses. They think we’re odd. They think we’re narrow-minded, and they don’t literally take this Book to be true.
My goodness, we just had a lady share with us during break time, where she was in a church out near the east coast where they gave their Sunday School kids the lesson that they came from apes – evolution. If they wanted to teach creation they could believe it if they want to. But listen, this is happening in churches. This is apostasy. It’s coming in like a flood. That’s one of the worst ones I’ve heard, but I’ve heard a lot of them almost as bad. But beloved, it’s always been this way, even in ancient Israel the true believer was scorned and ridiculed by the majority.
“…Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, let the LORD, be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be (What?) ashamed. (or disappointed.)“ Now, that reminds me of a verse in Peter. I think I can take the time. Go all the way up to I Peter. It makes the same analogy. This is New Testament.
I Peter 2:6
“Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, (Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah) elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” If you want to take your concordance or Strong’s Concordance and you compare that word, what’s another word for it? Disappointed.
Now, when will the mass of the so-called religious people be disappointed? When they find themselves in the wrong place! That’s the same way with church people today. My, when they slip out into eternity, many are going to be disappointed. They’re not going to be where they thought they were going. Okay, we’re down to the final two minutes, so let’s move on up into Isaiah chapter 66, verse 7.
“Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.” Who are we talking about? Israel. What’s the man-child? Christ’s birth at Bethlehem.
“Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.” Now, we’re jumping up from the miracle of Bethlehem to the super, super miracle of the Second Coming and Christ establishing His Kingdom, and the saved of Israel entering into all the promises that they’ve been looking for. How long is it going to take to happen? In an instant. The moment Christ returns they’re going to come into the glory of that promised Kingdom.
“Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth and shut the womb? saith thy God. (Oh, no way, God isn’t going to fall short of all these promises.) 10. Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her,…” Then, drop all the way down to verse 15. I’ve got to do this quickly.
“For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. 16. For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.” Now, we’ll close with verse 18.
“For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.” When will it happen? At His Second Coming, and we’re getting closer and closer every day.