Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 78
PART 2 of the MESSIANIC PROPHECIES – PART 4
Psalms 22, 23, and 24
Okay, good to see everybody back for program number four this afternoon. And we’re going to continue on to the next Psalm, which is Psalm 24. But before we look at that, we’re going to look at some verses in the New Testament again, and then we’ll come back.
For those of you joining us on television, again, you know how I like to keep thanking you and praising the Lord for all your prayers, your contributions, and all that goes with it. How we thank you for your encouraging letters that we are getting something done. People are getting interested in what the Book really says.
Now to introduce us to the 24th Psalm, let’s go back to I Peter a moment. Remember, that Peter is writing to Jews just as well as the Psalm is dealing with Jews. A lot of people don’t see that. But there’s nothing in Peter’s epistles that say otherwise, so I’ll maintain that.
I Peter 5:4a
“And when the chief Shepherd (We’ve had the Good Shepherd. We’ve had the Great Shepherd. Now we’ve got the Chief Shepherd.) shall appear,…” That is at His Second Coming. Now you want to remember, that when Peter wrote this little epistle, this is after the work of the cross. This is just shortly before they thought the Tribulation would be coming in. Of course, it’s not too long before Peter and Paul are both taken off the scene.
But here he writes as an Apostle of the Nation of Israel—as he was when he was in Christ’s earthly ministry. But he writes concerning His Second Coming. Peter knows nothing of the Rapture, only His Second Coming. We’ve got the timeline up here, so I’m going to use it.
Here we’ve been coming through all these Old Testament prophets and prophecies. Everything is 99% God dealing with Israel, even as we’re seeing in these Psalms. Then He fulfills those graphic prophecies concerning His first advent—His suffering, His death, His resurrection. He ascended. And then, according to all the Old Testament prophecies and timing and all that, they were expecting, like Peter is writing here, the seven years of Daniel’s seventieth week—or what we call the Tribulation—to come right in. And if these Jewish believers could survive these seven years, they’d go into the Kingdom, because that’s what they were looking for.
Now in reality, looking back, we know that it didn’t happen. God postponed it. He brought in, instead, our Age of Grace. We now feel that we’re right down here toward the end. And again, we’re looking at those seven years as just out in front of the world. But here again, Peter is rehearsing the matter with his fellow-believing Jews—as if all of this is going to be happening within their lifetime. So read it once again.
I Peter 5:4-5a
“And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, (At His Second Coming and He will bring in that 1,000 year reign, or what we call the millennial reign, or the Kingdom.) ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. (Because now it goes into the eternal state.) 5. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder, Yea, all of you be subject one to another, be clothed with humility:…” And so on and so forth—preparing these Jewish believers for the Tribulation that they felt was right out in front of them.
All right, back up a page, at least in my Bible, to chapter 2. Still in I Peter and verse 25. I just want you to see this constant analogy that the Jew was the sheep and God was the Shepherd. All the way through from the appearance of, especially, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and so forth—it’s that analogy of the sheep and the Shepherd.
And as I pointed out in previous programs, I cannot find that you and I as Gentiles are ever in that category. I cannot find where God looks on us as sheep of His pasture and He is the shepherd. Instead, He’s the Head and we are in the Body—a whole completely different concept. But here in I Peter now, we’re still dealing with the sheep aspect.
I Peter 2:25
“For ye (speaking to his fellow Jews) were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.”
In other words, the Spiritual element is ready for the coming of their King. But you know, I just thought of a verse. On your way back, before we go to Psalms, stop a minute at Luke 15. This is one of my favorite examples of how the majority of Israel saw absolutely no need for a spiritual salvation. And that’s in Luke 15, the Parable of the Lost Sheep. That’s what made me just think of it. You were as sheep going astray. And that’s exactly the parable that Jesus gives in Luke 15 verse 3. And again, I’ll remind you of what I said in the last program. Israel was a pastoral people. Most of them had their own little flocks of sheep and goats. So He could talk in language that they were so well aware of, and they could understand it. Now verse 3:
“And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4. What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness,…” Now you’ve got to remember, the wilderness is not like our Rocky Mountains and forests and so forth. The wilderness in the Middle East was what? Desert. Just flat desert. And in no time those sheep could be scattered and without a shepherd. They had no way of holding themselves together.
All right, so here’s the picture then. He leaves those ninety and nine with nothing to guide them or protect them, and he goes after the one that he hears crying out there. Maybe in a little cavern of some kind, but he’s lost. So he leaves the ninety and nine out there on the wilderness, on the desert.
“…and go after that which is lost, until he finds it? 5. And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.”
Now this is all hard to comprehend in the picture here. Why didn’t he just take it back and join the flock? Well, it wouldn’t fit any more, because this is the picture of a believer. And the rest are still unbelievers. Next verse:
“I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, who need no repentance.”
Now, I just got a letter the other day with the question. Evidently I’d made point of it in a previous program, that these ninety and nine were lost. And the writer of the letter says, “Les, how can you say that when it says that they didn’t need repentance?” Well, why didn’t they need repentance? They were self-righteous. Now don’t lose that. They were self-righteous. They didn’t need anything that God had to offer. The ninety and nine were the same way. Did they miss the shepherd? No. They were out there on the wilderness grabbing at little clumps of grass. They had no concern. But what were they? Lost. You get the picture.
Now read this verse again. Because whoever wrote the letter, I know was thoroughly confused, and I am taking this opportunity to straighten them out. That likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth—why did he repent? He knew he was a sinner. Why did the little sheep cry his head off? He knew he was lost. The ninety and nine didn’t have a clue that there was anything wrong. They were self-satisfied. All right, now that’s the same way then in verse 7.
“I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over the ninety and nine just persons, which needs no repentance.”
That sinner that repenteth was far more in God’s favor than the ninety and nine just persons who needed no repentance. Now, do you get the point? Why did they not feel that they needed repentance? Self-righteous. I’m okay. I don’t need anything. But what are they? Lost. And that’s most of mankind. They go through life thinking, well, I’m as good as my neighbor.
I’ll never forget, I had an elderly fellow right down the lane from me, and I would go down and try to witness to him. And every time, he’d say, “Les, I’m as good as so and so,” who was a known adulterer. But listen, that’s not going to cut it. You can’t hide behind an adulterer and hope to get to Heaven. But see, that’s the way they look at it. Well, I’m better than him, and he’s going to make it. I said, “What makes you think he’s going to make it?” “Well, he’s a big wheel in the church.” That’s not going to cut it. But, you see, these are the same way. They were out there on the wilderness, eating their little clumps of grass unconcerned. They were okay. But what did the Lord call them? Lost. Don’t ever forget that.
All right, now on your way back to Psalms, let’s stop at Isaiah chapter 40. Then we’ll go and look and see what the Psalms says. Here I just want you to see how all through Scripture, when God is dealing with Israel or the Jewish people, you have that shepherd and sheep concept. Here it is again.
“He shall feed his flock like a (What?) shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” Well, when will Israel enjoy that kind of a closeness with their shepherd? In the Kingdom, when all the promises will finally be fulfilled.
Okay, now that’s exactly what Psalm 24 is talking about—that when the King shall come and set up this glorious Kingdom, then Israel will enjoy all the promises throughout the Old Testament. All right, back to Psalm 24, starting at verse 1. Now remember what our three Psalms applied to. The first one was the Good Shepherd. Psalm 23 was the Great Shepherd. And now we come to Psalm 24, the Chief Shepherd—because it’s bringing us to the end of time as we know it. Verse 1:
“The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Certainly no argument there, is there? He’s the Creator. He’s the Sovereign Ruler of the universe, and it’s His to do whatever He feels needs to be done.
“For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. (In other words, the floodwaters—if you want to go back to Noah, I see nothing wrong with that.) 3. Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?” What is the Psalmist establishing? Who God is. Now I think if there’s a book in our Bible that establishes it, it’s Job. Now let me make my point.
Come back to Job 38. Maybe this will make my point—that even a lot of people living today do not have the concept of who God is. They’re evolutionists. They’re atheists. They’re agnostics. And they just will not recognize that the God of Creation is who this Book says He is. All right, now it wasn’t that Job was an agnostic, not by any stretch. But on the other hand, he had a long ways to go, didn’t he?
You know, a lot of people think that maybe God dealt unfairly with Job. Why? Why did God come down on that man so hard? Well, He had to make an impression on the man’s thinking. I think it was because Job thought he was a pretty good ol’ boy. I think he had a level of pride that God had to bring down. And that’s what I get here in chapter 38. After all these previous 37 chapters, now the Lord answers in verse 1.
“Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, 2. Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? 3. Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.” Now watch these questions.
“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? (My, wouldn’t I like to ask some of these atheists a question like that? Where were you when God called the universe into being? That’s what He’s asking Job. And then look what the Lord says next.) declare, (tell me) if thou hast understanding.” So, what’s implied? Job was a pretty smart ol’ boy. But he wasn’t quite smart enough.
“Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6. Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7. When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” Where were you Job?
Well, what’s He establishing? His Deity. His Sovereignty. He is the One that has all the answers. Well, that’s enough. It just sort of wets your appetite. Come back again to Psalm 24. Otherwise, I’m going to run out of time.
“Who shall ascend unto the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4. He who hath clean hands, and a pure heart; (In other words, a true believer—even back there in Israel.) who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. 5. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” See those promises for the believer?
“This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. (See how he’s addressing this to Israel, to the Jew.) 7. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting (or the ancient or the eternal) doors; (Now here it comes. This is the thrust of this Psalm—the Chief Shepherd, the Bishop of Israel’s soul.) and the King of glory shall come in.”
Now, those of you who know a little bit about your Bible, come back with me to Ezekiel 44 verse 2. Now remember why I’m going back there. “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.”
“Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut. 2. Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, and it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut.”
Now, if you know a little bit about the Eastern Gate in the wall of Jerusalem, what’s unique about it? Well, number 1, if you see pictures of the Eastern Wall with the Dome of the Rock in there, there is a Golden Gate. Those of you who have been may have seen it. But that’s not the real gate. That’s not the gate through which Christ went on that triumphal entry on Palm Sunday. It’s about ten feet below ground. And the Muslims have put a cemetery there so that nobody can fool with it.
But you see, that Eastern Gate—even though the Golden Gate is up there in view—that’s not the one that Scripture’s talking about. That’s not the one through which Christ entered. It’s below ground. It’s been shut for centuries. The Muslims, for one reason or another, will not let anybody even attempt. One guy tried to dig down to it, and they caught him red-handed.
But the real Eastern Gate is down there below the one you see in the pictures. It’s been shut ever since when. But something is going to happen that that gate is going to be opened when the King of Glory will come in. And that’s what the Psalmist is talking about. That the Eastern Gate that has been now shut for 2,000 years will be opened, and the King of Glory will come in. Now verse 8:
“Who is this King of glory? The LORD (And that’s the Old Testament term for God the Son, remember?) The LORD (Jehovah—God the Son) strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. 9. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; (that is of Jerusalem) even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall (What?) come in.”
And where’s He going to rule from? Mount Zion in Jerusalem. All of Scripture is looking forward to this glorious Kingdom that is still going to come. Now, I want to just finish the Psalm, and then we’ll look at a few other verses in Scripture that are promising this glorious King and His Kingdom. Verse 10, it’s repeated again for emphasis.
“Who is this King of glory? (Well, it’s–) The LORD of hosts, (The Creator—it’s God the Son.) he is the King of glory. Selah.”
All right, let me take you back to the New Testament. Let’s look at Matthew for a moment. Let’s jump in at Matthew chapter 25. This is just another little inkling of Scripture describing this King. This coming Lord of Lords, as Revelation put it. We saw that earlier. He will return to the Nation of Israel, to the city of Jerusalem, and He will set up His Kingdom. It’s coming! All right, verse 31 of Matthew 25:
“When the Son of man (the King of Glory) shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:”
Now let’s back up a few pages to chapter 19, where we get another picture of that same great throne room—that event that’s still future. Here is where it was promised to Peter and the Eleven disciples. Now of course, Judas fell out, but Mathias came in. So we’ve still got the Twelve apostles waiting to fulfill this glorious prophecy. Now verse 27 and this is toward the end of Christ’s earthly ministry. The Twelve, of course, are still—like I’ve already shown on our timeline—are looking for the King and the Kingdom in their lifetime. They have no idea it’s going to be another 2,000 years.
“Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, (Their fishing business up on Galilee, their families, and they’ve spent these three years serving the Lord day and night. So he says–)and followed thee; what shall be have therefore?”
That is for reward. And look at Jesus’ answer. Peter, are you crazy? Is that what He says? No. He doesn’t put him down. And He knows that Peter isn’t talking about his salvation. He’s got that. But what are we going to have for having forsaken everything? We’ve followed you. What’s our future? What’s our reward? Now look how the Lord answered him.
“And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye who have followed me, (you eleven men) in the regeneration (In other words, when the world is made ready for the Kingdom. It’s been totally renovated and regenerated. That’s what the word means.) when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, (like we just saw in Matthew 25) ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging (ruling)the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Now isn’t that beautiful? Everything fits. Who is this King of Glory? It’s the Coming, Second Coming, of the Son of God, Jesus the Christ!