Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 70
ISRAEL’S GLORY IS STILL AHEAD OF HER – 4
Hosea 5:1 – 9:7
Okay, glad to have everybody back, once again. This is program number four this afternoon, and then we can be heading home. For those of you joining us on television, we trust that you’re learning, and that you’re learning to study on your own. Don’t go by what I say, but search the Scriptures and see that these things are really so, because it’s an interesting Book.
I had a fellow call me the other day. He’d never had any interest. Never went to church. Caught my program and now he says, “I can’t get enough of it.” And I said, “Interesting Book, isn’t it?” He said, “There’s nothing like it!” Well, that’s the way it is, if you’ll once get into it. It is so interesting that – well, that’s why I like to bring out the little tidbits, you know. I like to bring out the little things that the casual reader just goes right over. But, they’re there for a purpose.
Okay, I want to mention once again that we’ve got a good supply of the one and only book we’ve ever published. It’s eighty some questions with the answers taken from our television material. We send them out postage paid for $11.00, if you are interested in them. They make good Christmas presents. Young people like them. We find that college age people really go for these question and answer books. If you’re wondering what to give that grandson or that granddaughter, it might not be such a bad idea.
Okay, I think that’s all we’ve got for announcements. We’ll go right back and keep going in Hosea. I don’t know whether I’ll finish it this afternoon or not, but I always have high hopes. I’d like to get Hosea all in Book 70.
Hosea chapter 9 and we’ll start right there at verse 1. Hosea 9 verse 1. Remember, the whole setting is still the same–God’s controversy with Israel because of their idolatry. He just can’t break them of it. I guess I should do this again. I haven’t done it in a long time. Just to show you how ridiculously they hooked up with idolatry, come back to Jeremiah. Keep your hand in Hosea, we’ll right back. But Jeremiah 44 says it all! Yet, it’s the Word of God. It’s inspired by the Spirit, so it’s the way it was. This was the religious or the spiritual climate in Israel at the time of these prophets. Jeremiah 44, you’ll recognize it. We’ve looked at it time and again. I always like to start at verse 15. This is exactly the way it was.
“Then all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying, 16. As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto you.” See that rebelliousness? Jeremiah, we don’t care what you’ve got to say. We don’t believe it!
“But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven,…” Who was the queen of heaven? The female goddess Astarte, or Isis in Egypt, I think it was, Venus in Greece. They all had different names, but it was the same corrupt, immoral female goddess around whom all the sexual impurity that you could think of would revolve. Everything you could think of in the realm of immoral sex was wrapped up in this queen of heaven.
“…and (we’re going) to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, (Remember what we just saw in Hosea? From the top to the bottom.) in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then we had plenty of victuals, (or food) and were well, and saw no evil.” Was that the truth? Well, it was a lie! They were already feeling God’s chastising. They were already having crop failures. They were already being threatened by invading armies. It wasn’t all that good. All right, verse 18.
“But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things,…” You see that? That wasn’t their problem. Their problem was they were rejecting Jehovah. How could God bless the Nation when they turned their back on him and went to a female goddess?
Now listen, they were just as human as we are. There was no difference. The human race hasn’t changed. My goodness, our materialism today isn’t much different. My, they go to these mega churches and they get entertained. You know, I don’t like to criticize, and I’ve told people I’m not going to name names, but I had one of our listeners go as a guest to one of these humongous places and she said, “Les, for a solid hour I never once heard the name of Jesus Christ.” Never heard the name. But, oh, it was church.
Well, that’s what I have to think of in the back of my mind when I look at Israel. They were no different. Not one whit. All right, verse 18 again.
“But since we left off burning incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.” But they weren’t putting it where it belonged. They were suffering because they’d turned their back on Jehovah. Not because they’d quite offering sacrifices to the queen of heaven, for goodness sakes! Verse 20
“Then Jeremiah said unto all the people, to the men, and to the women, and to all the people which had given him that answer, saying, 21. The incense that ye burned in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, ye, and your fathers, your kings, and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the LORD remember them, and came it not into his mind?” You think God didn’t know what you were doing? Now, have you got the picture? Okay, come back to Hosea chapter 9.
“Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, (Now remember, I’ve been stressing for the last eight programs that we’re not talking about physical immorality. We’re talking about spiritual. They are adulterating their relationship with God by going whole-hog over to idolatry.) thou hast loved a reward upon every corn floor. 2. The floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail in her. 3. They shall not dwell in the LORD’S land; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean things in Assyria.”
Now, that’s another reference to what we saw in the last program. Instead of going to God for their help, instead of going back in repentance and asking God to restore them to a place of blessing, what did they do? They go to Gentile nations. They went up north to Assyria. They went down south to Egypt. Hey, we need help! But they didn’t take God into their thinking.
Now look, is America any different today? We’ve kicked God out of everything. You know, I think there’s a sign in Muskogee, if I’m not mistaken. I think it’s still there that says, “How can we expect God to bless when we’ve kicked Him out of everything?” That’s so true. God isn’t in our national life anymore. We’re no different than these Israelites. Materialism has become our idolatry.
“They shall not offer wine offerings to the LORD, neither shall they be pleasing unto him: their sacrifices shall be unto them as the bread of mourners; all that eat thereof shall be polluted: for their bread for their soul shall not come into the house of the LORD.” I’m looking for a place when we can come down to one of these references now to the grapevine. I had it all picked out last night, when I was ready for this, but come down to verse 16. We have Ephraim, again that nation of the Ten Tribes.
“Ephraim is smitten, (with idolatry) their root is dried up, (so far as their worship of Jehovah) they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.(even their children) 17. My God will cast them away,…”
Well, as I was looking at this last night, I have to bring you up to the New Testament, because I want to use it as much as possible. That’s what I try to do when I prepare all of this. I don’t want to just stay back here. Now we’ve got to come up and get the New Testament approach, as well. Come up with me to John’s Gospel chapter 15, which is a portion that you all know. Yet I think it fits so appropriately with what we’re seeing back in Hosea and all the prophets, as far as that goes.
The vine and the branches, you all know it. I haven’t taught it, I don’t think, ever on television. I teach it other places, but I don’t think I’ve ever done it on television. So, this is probably a good time to do it. During the Lord’s earthly ministry and He’s speaking. Remember, whatever Jesus spoke, it was to what people? It was to Israel–under their Judaistic system and with reference to all these Old Testament things.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit he purgeth it, (Or prunes it, we call it today.) that it may bring forth more fruit.” In other words, we’re speaking in terms of a great vineyard.
“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. (Now of course, He’s talking to the Twelve in particular, but the Nation of Israel in general. Now verse 4, here comes the promise.) 4. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch (on which the fruit will appear) cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye except ye abide in me.” Now of course, it’s no different for us as a believer in Paul’s teachings. We are members of the Body of Christ and as such we feed on the Head. And as soon as we lose that relationship, we’re worthless. All right, verse 5 and He repeats it.
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:…” Now, here we come from one level of bearing to another. We go from bearing fruit to much fruit. Then I think we’re going to come to more fruit.
“…for without me ye can do nothing. 6. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; (And a withered branch doesn’t produce grapes.) and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”
All right, now this is not speaking of someone saved and lost and needs to be resaved. This is totally a reference to the Twelve as members of the Nation of Israel, and they’re placing their trust in Him as their Redeemer, their Messiah, the Son of God, and all the rest of it. And without a relationship with Him, they were as nothing. Of course, that was again the vast majority of the Jews in Christ’s day. It was only a small percentage that truly believed who He was. A small percentage. The vast majority of Israel just continued on in their religion, but in unbelief. But for those few, this was their relationship. Like the vine and the branch and the fruit.
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” Now, of course, that’s a promise that was intrinsic to Israel, and I always maintain in view of the coming Kingdom. When they would come into the Kingdom, there would be no such thing as unanswered prayer. I’ll repeat what I said earlier. Don’t tell me it works today.
Because you do not pray and get everything you pray for. If you do, I’ve never heard of it. But these people had that, because they were in view of the earthly Kingdom over which Christ would rule and reign. Satan would be off the scene. That’s a whole different scenario than what we’re in today. But nevertheless, we can, just like the Old Testament, glean from this. Now verse 8:
“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; (not just more, not just the average, but much fruit) so shall ye be my disciples. 9. As the Father hath loved me, as have I loved you: continue ye in my love.” Then here comes the legalist part.
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” But the point I wanted to show was Israel was like a grapevine whose branches had what? Withered. There was no fruit bearing. They were steeped in idolatry and unbelief and consequently the Nation was facing nothing but judgment.
But always remember, as we’re going to see, even, I think, before we get to the end of the Book of Hosea, no matter how much punishment and judgment God was promising Israel, what lay beyond it? Blessings! Blessings! And all of it is pointing to that earthly Kingdom which will come after the horrors of the Tribulation, as we saw a couple of programs back.
So, never think for a minute that God’s going to give up on the Nation of Israel. Never! He’s still going to fulfill the promises that were made to the Fathers. Now, back to Hosea, and let’s come on down to, oh, we’re still in chapter 9. Let’s come back a minute for some of the area that I skipped over. Verse 6
“For, lo, they are gone because of destruction: Egypt shall gather them up, (They’re going to run to Egypt for help, but Egypt will become their adversary rather than a blessing.) Memphis shall bury them:(That’s a city in Egypt) the pleasant places for their silver, nettles shall possess them: thorns shall be in their tabernacles. (In other words again, it’s not blessing. It’s what Deuteronomy calls curses.) 7. The days of visitation are come, the days of recompence are come; Israel shall know it: the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad,…”
Now don’t forget, remember when we studied Isaiah? My goodness, how long ago has that been already? I was constantly showing that in the Book of Isaiah there were three distinct times of judgment and blessing in Israel’s future. When Isaiah was writing, the first one was the coming. It was the Babylonian invasion and they would be taken out into seventy years of captivity. When the seventy years are over, then they would come back and rebuild the Temple, and the Nation would get ready for the coming of Christ in His first advent. That was the first one.
All right, the second great judgment was A.D. 70 when Rome came in and destroyed the city and the Temple and the Jews were scattered into every nation of the world. All right, now we’ve seen them coming back the last hundred years. They’re back in the land and everything is getting ready for the next great judgment – the seven years of Tribulation, which we looked at a little while ago. But following the Tribulation – what? The Glory of the Kingdom, it’s finally going to come to fruition, where Israel is going to enjoy all the blessings of the Kingdom.
Now, I’m going to cover that before we quit this afternoon. Maybe we should start taking a look at them before we run out of time. The glories of the Kingdom – well, we really have to go back to Isaiah. I’m going to start with Isaiah chapter 2. That’s really the first instance that the prophecy is starting to look up, that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Isaiah chapter 2 and here comes the beginning of the promise. Of course, Israel is going to still go through a lot of chastisement, but this will be end result.
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, (in other words, just before the onset of eternity) that the mountain (or the Kingdom) of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and (Now here’s the key statement.) all nations shall flow unto it.” Israel is going to be the apple of God’s eye. It’s going to be the greatest nation on earth.
Deuteronomy says — They’re not going to be the tail. They’re going to be the head. They’re not going to be beneath. They’re going to be above. They’re not going to borrow. They’re going to loan. They’re going to be the top, top nation of the nations. That’s their prospect.
All right, let’s jump ahead a little ways to chapter 9. These are all promises that are going to follow the final chastisement, which is the Tribulation. Then their Messiah will return in power and glory and set up a kingdom like this world has never seen before. That, of course, will usher on into eternity.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government (the righteous rule) shall be upon His shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Those are all terms associated with God the Son.
“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, (It’s just going to be getting better and better on into eternity.) upon the throne of David, (Which was in Jerusalem, remember.) and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” It’s going to happen, Beloved, in spite of all of Israel’s failures. God hasn’t forgotten these promises.
All right, let’s move on to chapter 11. Oh, I have ball. I can do this in my own sleep! My, all this is coming! Isaiah chapter 11 verse 1
“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, (who was the father of David) and a Branch (Capital B, it’s one of the terms of God the Son in the Old Testament.) shall grow out of his roots:” So, out of King David’s reign will come this glorious monarch of the King of Kings. All right, verses 2 and 3.
“And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD: 3. And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge (or rule) after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4. But with righteousness…” With all the knowledge of the Godhead, He’ll know every person in His Kingdom. He will know every detail. Nobody’s going to have to report to Him what needs to be done. He’s going to have all the omniscience of the Godhead.
“But with righteousness shall he judge (rule) the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth:…” In other words, nobody will be downtrodden and left without.
“And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins,…” And then verse 6 — you’ve seen me do this over and over. Here we come into the physical attributes of this glorious earthly kingdom, where –
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. (My, can you picture this? Use a little imagination. Here we have these little kids out playing amongst the lions and the leopards and what have you. They’re no longer carnivorous. They’re no longer mean and wild.) 7. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like an ox.”
“And the nursing child shall play on the hole of the asp, (what used to be the poisonous snake) and the weaned child (a little older kid) shall put his hand on the cockatrice’s den. 9. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain:…” In all my kingdom there will never be as much as a bruised finger. No child will come running to Momma because they’re hurt. Nothing is going to go amiss. It’s going to be heaven on earth.
“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth (The earth! This planet!) shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. 10. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, (Jesus the Christ) who shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.” Oh, we can’t even begin to describe it.
All right, let’s come all the way up through the prophets, now. I’m going to bring you, with the time we have left, to the little Book of Amos. That’s right after Hosea, Joel then Amos. The last chapter, chapter 9 verse 13, this is going to be beyond comprehension. No weeds. No insects. No drought. No flood. Everything is going to be perfect! Verse 13
“Behold, the days come, (It’s going to. God said it!) saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, (In other words, the guy getting the soil ready will be waiting for them to harvest the previous crop. And it’ll be without the sweat of the face. It’s going to be pleasant.) and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed (He will be catching up with one who is sowing the seed); and the mountain shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. 14. And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruitof them.” Boy, isn’t that a contrast from Hosea?
After all the chastisement, after all the judgment, is going to come the glory of the blessings. But you know, what we can’t understand is that it’s going to take 2,000 years. It is actually 2,700 from the time that Hosea wrote this. But nevertheless, God’s wheel grinds slowly. It’s coming! Verse 15
“And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up…” That’s why I’m convinced that we are close to the end time. Israel is back in the land and nothing is going to chase them out! Nothing! Now, we have to take everything into consideration. Do you think God will let a hydrogen bomb explode over Jerusalem? I don’t think so. It’s not going to happen, because Jerusalem is going to be there when Christ returns. Israel’s remnant is going to be ready to come up to the city and start enjoying the kingdom. So, I cannot see a nuclear explosion happening over Israel. Now, the rest of the world? Very likely, but I don’t think it’s going to happen to God’s city.
Now, it’s going to come under all the heavy boots of the invading armies. But to be flattened and turned to ashes by a nuclear explosion? I just can’t see it happening. Israel’s glory, in spite of all of her wickedness, is still ahead of her.