842: Alas, the day of the Lord is at hand – 2 – Lesson 1 Part 2 Book 71

 

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 71

ALAS, THE DAY OF THE LORD IS AT HAND – 2

Joel 1:1-15

For those of you joining us on television, again, we just want to thank you from the depths of our heart for all your kind letters.  My, I wish I could share our letters with everybody.  You know the favorite theme?  I may be 30 years old, some are 40, 50, 60, 70 years old, it doesn’t matter how old they claim to be – “For the first time in my life I am understanding the Bible!  And I’m enjoying it.”  Well, that thrills us; because that’s all we want to do, just help folks to study on their own.  Don’t sit back and listen to what I say or what some preacher says, get into the Book.  This is where it’s at.

You know, I can twist things if I wanted to. Other people twist it, you know they do, but the Word is sure.  It’s steadfast.  It’s unchangeable.  That’s what we hope we are accomplishing.

Again, we want to thank you for your prayer support and your financial help. After all, we do have to pay for TV time.  I think some people think they pay us.  You know, that’s what my wife thought.  When they called and asked if we would come up here to Channel 47, she thought, well, they pay all the comedians!  Why don’t they pay you?!  But, that’s not the way it works.  We have to pay for our own TV time. So we do appreciate so much your financial help and your prayers.

Anyway, we’re going to keep right on going this afternoon.  I suppose if I want to title these four programs, Jerry, we can just title it as “The Day of the LORD.”  This time of vexation, this time of devastation, death, destruction, and the wrath of God, however you want to put it.  It’s coming.  And don’t blame God.  He gave the human race 6,000 years to give Him credit where credit is due, but they will not.  So finally His wrath is going to be poured out.   All right, we’re going to still basically use Joel as our jumping off place.

Joel 1:15a

Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is at hand,…”  But since we ended the program the last half hour finishing with the verses in Psalms chapter 2, I’m going to jump up now in this half-hour to some of the other portions that deal with this same term – “The day of the LORD.”   So for now, turn to Isaiah chapter 2.  I’m going to start reading at verse 6.  The term we’re going to head for is in verse 12.

Let’s start reading in verse 6.  Now remember, this is Isaiah.  He writes almost a hundred years later than Joel.  They are, of course, writing before the Babylonian captivity, which happened in about 606 B.C., but nevertheless, Isaiah is also going to use the same term.

Isaiah 2:6-7

“Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers. 7. Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots:”

Isaiah 2:8-10

“Their land also is full of idols; (Speaking of, in this case, the Babylonians, I think.) they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made:  9.  And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not. 10. Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty.”

Isaiah 2:11-12

“The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. (Now, here it comes.) 12. For the day of the LORD (The same day of the LORD that Joel talked about, that Psalms 2 was foretelling, now Isaiah speaks of it.)  for the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low.”  In other words, even the kings and presidents and senators and emperors and generals are all going to come under this tremendous wrath of God.  All right, it’s going to even affect the physical, verse 13.

Isaiah 2:13-15

“And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, (the eastern country beyond present day Iraq) 14. And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, 15. And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall,” In other words, this wrath of God is going to fall on everything and everybody.

Now again, always go back to the analogy that we drew from the Book of Joel.  Grasshoppers and locust destroying everything in their way – the bark off the trees, the wood off the houses, the water out of the creeks and rivers, everything goes!   Well, that’s a symbolic picture of this horrendous day of the LORD.

All right, now let’s jump up a little ways further, still in the Old Testament prophets. Come up with me to Jeremiah chapter 25. We’ve used these verses before. This is a little more graphic, a little more frightening.  In fact, if you aren’t frightened at the situation in the world today, then you don’t know what’s going on, because it is getting frightening.

We as believers are going to be hated more and more. We know that there are powers out there that think that they’re doing their god a service by getting rid of us.  And if the Lord doesn’t come, we may face that yet, earlier than we’d like.  But here it is, in the day of the LORD, Jeremiah chapter 25. Oh, I’m going to, just for sake of time, now, drop all the way down to verse 30.  Now, this is another description of the events associated with the day of the LORD.

Jeremiah 25:30a

“Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, the LORD (Now, that’s the term for Jehovah, which is the Old Testament term for God the Son, or Jesus the Christ as we know Him in the New Testament.)  the LORD shall roar…”

Now, I just caught this since I’ve been preparing for this last week.  You know, that whenever you have Scripture dealing with God’s judgment on the Gentile world, I think you’ll almost always see the word “roar.”  Just look for it.  Now, that’s just a little tidbit, again, that as you study on your own, look for that term, “the Lord will roar.”  Now, I don’t think it’s ever spoken of on Israel alone, but whenever the Gentile world comes in, this is the term.

Jeremiah 25:30b

“…and say unto them, the LORD shall roar  from on high, 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,(Now, if we’ve got time this afternoon, we may see the references that are associated with the treading of grapes in the books of  Revelation and Isaiah.) they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.”  Not just Israel, even though Jeremiah is writing to Israel, yet watch the language. This roaring is going to come upon the whole human race.    Now verse 31, watch the globalism of this language.

Jeremiah 25:31

“A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD (God the Son, again) hath a controversy with the nations, (not just Israel – all of them) he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD.”  Which, of course, is an instrument of death.

Jeremiah 25:32

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, (Not righteousness.  Not holiness.  Evil.) and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.”  Now, the other word for coast is borders.  Sometimes your marginal help will tell you that.   So, these great whirlwinds are going to be established.  They will go from nation to nation from one border to the other.

I feel that this is an indication of nuclear explosions, because I feel this is toward the end of the seven years.  Now verse 33 and I think this nuclear devastation is going to almost go from one end of the planet to the other.  There are enough nukes stored to destroy this whole planet ten times over, and they’re going to use them, but I don’t think it’ll be until we get to the last year or two of the Tribulation.  Here is the end result now in verse 33.

Jeremiah 25:33

“And the slain of the LORD (This is God’s wrath.  Not His love.  It’s His wrath.) 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; (Because there’s going to be so many of them there won’t be any opportunity for anyone to even take bulldozers, because there’d be nobody to run the bulldozer.) they shall be as dung (trash) upon the ground.”

All right, that’s a graphic description, of course, but that, too, is written by one of our Old Testament prophets.  All right, now let’s jump up to Ezekiel.  This is another big battle. I almost stood alone for the longest time, but not anymore. There are a lot of people beginning to see it as I have for a long time, that this battle will be in the first year, I feel, of the Tribulation.  It will probably be toward the end of the first year, maybe the tenth or eleventh month of the first year of the seven.  It’s the great northern invasion, when Russia and the Muslim world to the south of them, as well as North Africa, will come together under a Russian leadership, and they’re going to invade the mountains of Israel.

I guess maybe that takes a little explanation.  We know that as soon as the anti-Christ comes in, we’ll be looking at it down the road, but I think in order to understand this we have to jump ahead of it.  When the anti-Christ makes his appearance, the first thing he’s going to do is get a tremendous peace treaty established in the Middle East, which will be a supernatural thing because humans would never be able to do it.  But supernaturally, in God’s design, he will bring about a peace treaty between Israel and the Arab or the Muslim world.

We know from other Scriptures that it’s going to be a treaty that will allow Israel to rebuild their Temple.  They’re going to go back into Temple worship. Those of you who have been there, or if you’ve read about it, there is a group in Jerusalem that has everything ready for Temple worship.  They’ve got the priests’ garments hanging on the mannequins. They’ve got all the shovels for all the altars. They’ve got everything ready.  So, as soon as that Temple is built, why, it’ll be a matter of hours and they’ll re-establish Temple worship.  So, we have to realize that that peace is going to be a phenomenal thing that will actually bring the Arab world to the point of permitting Israel to build a Temple.  They will.

Okay, with that kind of a peace and prosperity making the Jewish people into a state of euphoria, they’re going to think that they’ve got nothing to worry about.  I think they’ll dismantle their military in six months.  They’re going to send those Israeli troops and the gals home. They’re going to forget war and military operations. They’re going to be, like I said, in a state of euphoria.  But, you see, what they don’t realize is that some Russian generals up there in Moscow are planning a great invasion.  And of course, it is God design.  God says, “He’s going to put hooks in their jaws.” 

God is going to pull them down, and it becomes a means of God’s judgment. But nevertheless, it’s going to happen.  The Russians are going to put together a great army, including most of the Muslim world. But, as I’ve pointed out before and in some of my seminars, the unique thing is there are two nations here that, almost hard to believe, are not listed, and that’s present day Iraq, or Babylon, and Egypt.  Egypt isn’t in here.  Neither is Babylon or Iraq.  So, I have to feel that something is going to happen over there that will yet bring Iraq to the fore as a financial center of the final seven years.

Okay, come with me now to Ezekiel 38 where, again, this is all part of the day of the LORD.  This is going to happen after the Tribulation has begun.  Ezekiel 38 and I guess I might as well start at verse 1.

Ezekiel 38:1-2

“And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2.  Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,” Now, all Bible scholars are pretty well agreed that that’s terminology that points at Moscow and Russia and, of course, they’re due north of Jerusalem.

Ezekiel 38:3-4a

“And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; (See, this is all God’s design.) Behold, I am against thee, (In other words, it’s going to be God’s act of judgment against the nation of Russia.) O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 4. And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, (Now, this is symbolism of how God is going to literally cause them to bring about this invasion.) and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses, and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armor,…”

Now you’ve got to remember, Ezekiel is writing back in antiquity. So, he couldn’t say trucks and tanks and helicopters, could he?  But that’s what it’ll be.  It’ll be military hardware.

Ezekiel 38:4b-5

“…even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. (or weapons.  Here are the nations that are listed.) 5.  Persia, (present day Iran.  Yes, Iran is going to meet its doom, I think, in that first year of the seven.)  Ethiopia, (Ethiopia down there in Africa. It is almost 100% Muslim today.) and Libya with them; (You know Libya is Muslim, under Qaddafi.) all of them with shield and helmet:”

Ezekiel 38:6a

“Gomer, (Which, of course, is Eastern Europe and Yugoslavia and Albania, Northern Greece.  That’s all part of what we would call Gomer. It, too, is mostly Muslim.) and all his bands; the house of Togarmah…”  That’s Turkey.  And goodness sakes, anybody knows that Turkey is predominately Muslim.  My, when we were over there some time ago, all you see are the onion head mosques.  And a couple of the girls that guided us on two different occasions were Muslims, but in name only.  They were secular, but they were Muslim, simply because their parents had raised them that way.  But they said they never practiced it.  But nevertheless, Turkey is Muslim.  So, all these Muslim nations will be brought together by a Russian military leadership, and he’s going to bring them “on to the mountains of Israel.”   Verse 7

Ezekiel 38:7-8a

“Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. 8.  After many days (So we know that this is at the end of God’s time for the human race.  This is in the Tribulation.) thou shalt be visited: (God’s going to move in) in the latter years thou shalt come into the land (Now watch this carefully, because you know this is exactly what Israel is today.) that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people,…”

Now stop a minute.  Go back with me to Deuteronomy. Keep your hand in Ezekiel.  Deuteronomy chapter 30 verses 1 and 2 because this is exactly the prophecies that fit.  You know, I was so tickled, Dick.  The other day after our Oklahoma City seminar, I don’t know how many people as they left said, “Les, I’ve been listening to you for years, but today is the first time that all the dots connected.”  Did you hear something like that, Dick?  Over and over.  And then someone else said, “Now it all fits.”  Well, we’ve just got to keep plugging away.  And hopefully this is what will happen.

Here’s a good example.  Moses is writing clear back here in 1500 B.C., prophetically.

Deuteronomy 30:1a

“And it shall come to pass, (It’s going to happen.) when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, (Now remember who we’re talking to, the Nation of Israel, the Jew.) and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations,…”  Now, what does that mean?  Every one of them.  Every nation on the planet.  Now of course, at the time that Moses wrote, it was still rather limited. But for our day and time when it’s going to happen, it means 140 some distinct nations.  Jews are going to come out of every one of them.

Deuteronomy 30:1b

“…thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, (And then verse 2, what’s going to happen?) 2. And thou shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice…” Now in order for Israel to return to the Lord, where do they have to go back to?  The homeland!  And have they?  Yes!

Deuteronomy 30:3b

“…and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.”

They’re there.  Contrary to anything logical, they are there.   They should have never made it, but they did.  All right, now chapter 38 of Ezekiel.  See how it all fits?  Where does this land that’s going to be invaded, where do the people of it come from?  Every nation on the planet.  The Jews have come in from every direction.  All right, Ezekiel 38 verse 8 again.

Ezekiel 38:8a

“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered (That’s the Jew) out of many people, against the mountains of Israel,…”  Now that’s a term that we like to use just about like the day of the LORD.

The mountains of Israel.  All those geographical high points that you’re acquainted with throughout the Old Testament, where are they geographically on today’s map?  They’re in the West Bank.  They’re occupied predominately by Palestinians.  So the mountains of Israel are going to be invaded for a two-fold purpose – to chastise Russia and the Muslim world, but also to open the mountains of Israel to be occupied by the people who have had it promised to them from time immemorial, the Jew.    All right, reading on.

Ezekiel 38:8b

“… (and they’re going to come) against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.”  And that’s where they are.  They’re in relative safety.  They’re in production.  My, a couple of years ago we happened to be in Israel at the very right time when all the almond trees were in bloom?  Oh!  They opened the windows of the bus and for miles the aroma of the blossoms of those almond trees was just floating through the bus.  Oh, it’s just unbelievable.  Not just a little grove or two, it was miles!  That’s Israel today in such production.  All right, read on in verse 9.  Now when it seems as though Israel has finally arrived, they’ve come back from every nation under heaven, they’re prospering, and they’re production is unbelievable – the Russian generals get an idea, and God says:

Ezekiel 38:9-11a

“Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, (up to the Nation of Israel) thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. 10.  Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: 11. And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled (or undefended) villages;…”

Now remember what I said a moment ago.  As soon as the peace treaty is signed, Israel will dismantle their military.  So, what have they got to defend themselves?  Nothing.    They’re defenseless.  This Russian invasion will take advantage of that.  They’re going to come–

Ezekiel 38:12

“To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, (the Jew) who have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.”

That’s Israel today.  Now you’ve got to remember, I’ve referred to this over and over, as late as 1944, the final years of WWII, I had a good friend who was stationed with the British Army.  He was detached from the American Army and was assimilated with the British for whatever reason, and he ended up serving in Palestine—Ancient Israel.  And you’ve heard me say it before, how did he describe it?  Absolute desolation.  He said there was nothing there.  This is, you know, after the war that we’re talking about.  Absolute desolation.  He said he wouldn’t want to be caught dead there.

Well, that’s what the Scripture says.  It’s been desolate, but now it’s in full production.  So we know that we’re getting so close, all these things are being fulfilled.  Well, anyway, for sake of time, we’ve only got two minutes left.  I’ve got to bring you on over to the end of chapter 38.  What’s going to happen to this invading horde?  Oh, God is going to supernaturally annihilate them on the mountains of Israel.

Ezekiel 38:19-20a

“For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day (when this great invasion comes on the mountains of Israel) there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; 20. So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth,  (everything) and all the men that are on the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down,…”

Now this is all the supernatural activity of the day of the LORD.  That’s why I came back here.  Now verse 21, God says:

Ezekiel 38:21

“And I will call for a sword against him (this invading force from the north) throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother.”  What are they going to do?  They’re going to be killing each other.  Now remember, it said everyone is going to have a weapon.  They’ll be using their weapons on each other.

Now, has that happened before in Israel’s history?  Sure.  The Syrians did it, and when the Jews got there all the spoil was laying there for them to take because the Syrians had killed each other, not knowing what they were doing, in their confusion.  The same thing’s going to happen here.  All right, then verse 22, here comes the wrath of God at the first year of the seven.

Ezekiel 38:22

“And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.” 

Now, a lot of people think that that’s the language of Armageddon, and it is, but this is not Armageddon.  This is a separate battle early in the time of the Tribulation.  Then verse 23 in closing.

Ezekiel 38:23

“Thus (God says) will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.”  So, this is all a part of that great seven year period known in the Old Testament and in the New (we’ll see that in our next half-hour)  as the “day of the LORD.”