Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 79
PART 5 of the MESSIANIC PROPHECIES – PART 1
Psalms 68, 69, and 72
Okay, good to have everybody in again this afternoon. For those of you who have traveled a ways, and you’ve come from out of state, we just want to give you a special welcome. And for all the rest of you, you’ve been old hands. They know you all over the country. We always have to show our appreciation for you, as well.
Now, for those of you out in television, again, we want to thank you for your prayers and your letters. And my, the letters keep getting better all the time. We just can’t believe how hearts are being affected by this simple ministry. And that’s what they like—the simplicity of it. And again, we just want to thank our TV audience for everything—your prayers and your financial help. After all, we do have to pay our bills, and we appreciate every dollar that comes in.
All right, we’re going to finish Book 79 today—which will wind up, at least for now, my study in the Book of Psalms. I’d already been debating as to where to go from here. I asked the Lord, you know. I’m not one of those who think God’s going to tell me with an audible voice, “Well now, Les, I want you to go to….” No, I don’t go by that, but I go by the circumstances.
So just about the time that I was praying the hardest, we got a note from one of our oldest supporters, one of our first listeners of channel 40 in Indianapolis. She said, “Les, you used Daniel for a cross-reference, but have you ever done it verse-by-verse?” No. So that’s it. I think, unless the Lord steps in, we’re going to do our next taping beginning with a verse-by-verse in Daniel. I’ve done it in Isaiah and Ezekiel, and I don’t know why I skipped Daniel all this time. But anyway, that’s the way the Lord works. So if the Lord tarries, that’ll be next.
But for today, we’re going to finish up these four programs, hopefully, from the Messianic Psalms. Now you’ve got to remember, not all the Psalms are Messianic. And we determine their Messianicness by references to the New Testament that corroborate His Messiahship.
All right, so I’m going to start, as we have quite often through this Psalms series, with I Peter chapter 1. I like to use these verses as a kick-off, because the theme remains the same. All right, back in I Peter chapter 1 we can jump in at verse 10.
I Peter 1:10-11
“Of which salvation the prophets (that is the Old Testament writers) have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: (Now, again, referring back to the prophets, they were–) 11. Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ who was in them did signify, when it (the Holy Spirit) testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory which should follow.”
Now, the reason I use these verses all the time, is because that is the very theme. Now come back with me for just a moment; we’re not going to stay there long. But the next Psalms that we’re going to look at is 68. The whole theme of everything, almost from the time of Abraham on up until the end of Christ’s earthly ministry and His rejection and on into the Book of Acts, was that constant theme of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that would follow.
Now that was the two-fold concept of prophecy that the Old Testament prophets themselves, nor the average rabbi or priest or whatever—they could not put the whole thing together. And you know, I put it on the board, but I guess it’s been washed off since then. But I have put it up here more than once over the years. That all through the Old Testament there were two concepts as parallel as a pair of railroad tracks. The top one was the Suffering Messiah. The Suffering Messiah as Peter puts it there in his epistle. And then the glory which would follow—and I always put that as the King and His Kingdom.
I’ve always asked the question over the years. Which one of those two concepts interested the Jews the most? The glory that should follow—the King and the Kingdom. Hey, they were all for that. Throw off the heavy boots of the Babylonians and the Greeks and the Medes and the Romans. Hey, what could be better? But a suffering Messiah? They couldn’t put it together, even though Isaiah 53 was plain. And here we have a verse that’s plain. They just couldn’t get it.
All right, so remember as we look at these Psalms again all afternoon, that that is what’s behind all of this—the Suffering Messiah and the Glory that should follow. All right, but now I’m going to use Psalms 68 verse 1 in a way that I’ve never seen anybody else use it. So I use it with trepidation. Somebody may just blow me out of the water. But read verse 1 of Psalms 68 with me, and then I’ll show you why.
“Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.” Now probably one of the most often asked questions—turn with me now up to the Book of Acts chapter 7. And the most often asked question through the mail and on the phone and seminars, wherever I go it comes up constantly. “Les, what was the reason that Stephen saw Jesus standing?” So, let’s look at it a minute.
This is a departure from our Psalms study. But verse 1 is what I have used to answer these questions, because I can’t find anything that’s more appropriate. Let’s go back to Acts 7 and get the reason for the questions. Stephen, of course, is appearing before the religious leaders of Israel—the High Priest and so forth. And at the end of his dissertation (the whole chapter) they, of course, turn on him and begin to put him to death and so forth. All right, but in verse 55 as they have now begun to throw the stones and he’s probably already prostrate on the ground, he cries out:
“But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, (As we’ve seen all through chapter 7, that’s what sets Stephen apart.) looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and he saw (I’m putting that in for emphasis. What?) Jesus standing on the right hand of God,”
Now, let’s do this as a Bible study. Keep your hand in Acts and drop back, if you will, to Psalms 110 verse 1. I’ll give you time to find it. Psalms 110 verse 1 and this is what you read.
“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Now, what have we got here? We’ve got God the Father commanding the Son to sit at His right hand until the day would come when He would arise and return at what we call the Second Coming.
But you know, as I was mulling this over the last couple days, we always have to realize that for the most part the Jewish people from day one up until the very present do not believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Old Testament Messiah. And I may have shared it with you before on a program. I had a Rabbi call one time a while back rather testily upset because of something that his Jewish listeners of my program thought they’d heard. They had totally misunderstood me. But they thought they had heard me say things that had riled them up, and they called the Rabbi, and the Rabbi called me.
Well, anyway, after I got him down off his pedestal of anger, we finally had a decent conversation. And he said, “Well now, Les, surely you know that we Jews do not believe one word of that New Testament.” I said, “Yes, I know that for the most part. But, Rabbi, isn’t it great that we’re living in a free country. You are entitled to what you believe, but so am I. I happen to believe that the New Testament is just as much the Word of God as the Old Testament. It’s all inspired.” But you’ve got to remember this: the Jews for the most part have absolutely no concept that Jesus was the promised Messiah.
You know you’ve all heard the anecdote. I’m sure you have—where the Evangelical and the Rabbi were arguing about Christ having been here before and so forth. And the Rabbi says, “No, He’s never been here before.” And the Evangelical says, “Yes, He has. That’s what His whole…” and back and forth they went. Finally the Rabbi—I’m sure you’ve heard it. Finally what did the Rabbi say? “Well, let’s just wait until He gets here, and we’ll ask Him if He’s been here before.” Well you see, that’s the typical mentality of the Jewish people. They cannot accept the fact that Jesus was the promised Messiah. Consequently, they have nothing to do with the New Testament—not all, but for the most part.
All right, now when you look at this verse in the Old Testament, how in the world could an Old Testament believer have a clue of what it was talking about? Well, they couldn’t. And they didn’t. But yet they knew it was there. They knew the Psalms. They used them constantly in their worship. All right, so look at it again, “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”
Now there are a couple of other references where it’s used, but the one that comes to mind the easiest to find and everything would be up in Hebrews. So now turn up to Hebrews chapter 1 with me. Here we find the writer of this epistle saying the same thing. Hebrews chapter 1 and we might as well start at verse 1 so that we get the flow. That’s the best word that I can find for it, so that we don’t just pull a verse out of its slot.
“God, (The Triune God and we’re going to see that same term all the way through Psalms 68 when we get back there.) who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2. (That same God) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made (or created) the worlds;” Now here it comes in verse 3.
“Who (God the Son) being the brightness of his glory, (He was a member of the Godhead.) and the express image of his person,…” Now remember we studied Colossians 1 not too long ago. And how did Colossians put it, or the letter to Colossians? That Jesus the Son was the visible manifestation of the invisible God. You remember that in Colossians chapter 1? All right, here it is again.
“Who (the Son) being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, (since He was the Creator of everything) when he had by himself purged our sins, (Finished the work of the cross, what did He do?) sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high;”
Oh, now another thought just comes to mind. I’ve shared it with many of you, especially in my Oklahoma classes. I don’t remember putting it on a program. Maybe I did. But I use it quite often, even in personal witnessing to get people’s attention. There were two times in Scripture—now most of you have heard me do this. Two times in Scripture when God did something so perfect, so flawless, so totally without any need for correction, that He could sit down and rest. Well, the first one was when He finished creation in Genesis chapter 1. He looked at it. It was perfect. So what does He do in chapter 2 verses 1 and 2? He sat down. He rested.
All right, here’s the second time in Hebrews, now. In Hebrews chapter 1 after He had purged us of our sin, and He’d finished the work of the cross. It was so perfect. It was so complete. It was so completely without any need of addition or correction, what could He do? Sit down. There’s nothing else He could do. But He had no more than revealed this glorious, perfect work of the cross through Paul the Apostle of the Gentiles in what we now call the Gospel of Grace, and what did mankind start doing with it?
They have thrown everything at it but the kitchen sink, totally perverting it (Galatians 1:7. And God won’t have it. And that’s what most of Christendom has been doing for 2,000 years. They’ve added baptism. They’ve added repentance. And they’ve added this and that, and they’ve added tongues. They’ve added tithing, and they’ve added church membership. They’ve added good works as means of salvation, but God won’t have it. They are going to be accursed (Galatians 1:8-9)!!! Because when He finished the work of salvation, it was perfect and flawless. Paul tells us all we have to do for salvation is believe that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again; as we see in I Corinthians 15:1-4.
All right, but that’s not the point I wanted to make. After He purged my sins, “He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” All right, now come back to Acts chapter 7 again, and maybe you can get a little inkling of why the Jews, the religious leaders who, of course, knew the Old Testament—they certainly didn’t know Hebrews yet. It hadn’t even been written, if I’m not mistaken. But they knew the Old Testament concept that this Favored One would be seated at the right hand of the Father. All right, come back to the one in Acts chapter 7 again, so we pick up before I go back to Psalms. And verse 56 now. Stephen repeats it.
“And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.”
Well, that seems harmless enough, doesn’t it? But what happened to those Jewish religious men? Hey, they lost it (as we’d say today)! They just went into orbit. Look at the next verse.
“Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, 58. And cast him (they threw) out of the city, (outside the city walls) and stoned him: (until he was dead) and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.”
All right, if you’ll come back to Psalms 68, this is the only place in Scripture that I can find something that would fit. Verse 1 again, these religious leaders knew these Psalms forwards and backwards. And no doubt, I have to feel, these two verses just hit them right between the eyes. And as was typical in all of Israel’s history, if they didn’t like the message, what did they do? They killed the messenger. Well, this is another time they didn’t like the message. So they killed the messenger. Well, why didn’t they like it? I think it’s appropriate. All right, verse 1 again of Psalms 68:
“Let God arise, (Well, who’s the God in this instance? God the Son who was seated at the right hand of the Father.) let his enemies (That is these religious leaders out there now stoning Stephen.) be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. 2. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.”
You think those priests of Israel enjoyed that thought? Well, of course not. That’s why I think after Stephen made the statement, they were so willing to stone him to death and get rid of him—because they did not like the end result.
All right, now I’m sure the most routine expression here, or interpretation from most of what I’ve been able to read, is that it is simply getting ready for the Kingdom. Here we have Christ rising from His seated position to return and establish the Kingdom that has been promised to the Nation of Israel.
Now again, I’ve got to renew everybody’s thinking as we do these programs from month to month. Everything from Abraham until we get almost to the Apostle Paul is speaking of this promise of a glorious earthly Kingdom over which Israel will be the predominant nation. It’ll be worldwide. It’s going to be absent of anything pertaining to the curse. The curse is removed. Satan is removed. It’s going to be heaven on earth. But it will still be an earthly environment.
Amos speaks of the reaper and the sower, and other portions speak of the animal kingdom and so forth. But the whole concept was it was going to be such a glorious existence because God the Son is going to be the King. He’s the member of the Godhead that will rule from Jerusalem over this Kingdom
Now, most of Christendom knows nothing of that. They never hear it taught. They never hear it preached from the pulpit that this is the whole concept of the Old Testament Scriptures. And the Psalms, as we’ve been showing you, have been showing it—not only His suffering, but the glory which should follow.
All right, now pick this up then in this Psalm. We have the threatening judgment and wrath of God on His enemies, then from verse 3 all the way down to about verse 17 or 18 is the description of this glorious coming Kingdom. We’ll look at it in that light, verse 3:
“But let the righteous be glad;…” Well, my goodness, why not? They’re going to be in this Kingdom. They’re going to be citizens of it. They’re going to be enjoying all the righteousness of it.
“But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice. (Because of the tremendous atmosphere of this heavenly Kingdom. All right, now verse 4:) Sing unto God,(Well, except for the “rock” people, why do people normally sing? Because of their happiness. But here we have it again.) sing praises to his name: extol him (lift him high) that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH,…” This was the contraction of Jehovah which was first used back in Exodus chapter 6. As I mentioned earlier, this chapter is full of the references to Deity in one way or another. All right, here’s one of them.
“…by his name JAH (Jehovah), and rejoice before him.” Now then, when the Kingdom comes in, this is how the King is going to be toward those who were, in this part of Creation, pretty much trampled under foot. He will be:
“A father of the fatherless, (Not because there’s going to be so many orphans in the Kingdom, but just that His rule is so benevolent.) and a judge (or a benefactor) of the widows,…” Who are normally at the bottom of the totem pole.
And I always have to think of Haiti, don’t we, Honey? Oh, those poor widows. Just awful how those poor widows would just exist. You want to remember, in a lot of portions of the world there’s no government help for people like that. They didn’t have a Social Security system. And the Haitian people had no money to help the widows. So they lived in abject poverty—just a life of staying alive from moment-to-moment. But you see, all that’s going to be removed when we come into this glorious Kingdom.
“God setteth the solitary (or seeth the solitary) in families: he bringeth out those who are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.” In other words, all the bad things of planet earth under the curse will be removed under this glorious Kingship of God the Son.
“O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people,…” Now remember, who are God’s people? Israel. That’s the congregation that we speak of here. This is who all the promises are made to first and foremost.
“O God, when thou wentest before thy people; when thou didst march through the wilderness; (back in their post-Egypt experience) 8. The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God:…” Now here we go back to Exodus. When God came down on Mount Sinai, what happened? Thunder and lightening and earthquake and the mountain shook, remember?
“…even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.” The God of Israel. And that’s the point we have to make. The world is full of gods, but there’s only One God; and that is the God of Israel.
“Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary. 10. Thy congregation (again the Nation of Israel) hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.” Now remember, there are no poor as such in the Kingdom because of His goodness. It was the people that in this economy would have been poor.
I think I’ve got time. Now, I say this with no put-down of poor people. Not one bit. My heart goes out to them. In fact, for years—I don’t so much anymore, because Iris does all the shopping. But for years, if I was in a check-out and there was a young lady up ahead of me with little kids, it would just pull my heartstrings to see her pour out her little bit of cash to buy her groceries, because I could just feel that they were economically strapped. So don’t think I don’t have a heart for the poor. But, what did Jesus say concerning the poor? You’ll always have them with you. The biggest socialist in the world cannot remove poor people.
As I was mulling this over the last day or two, I was reminded back shortly after World War II. I was still up in Iowa, of course, and we were in a German community. We had some emigrants from Germany come over after World War II, and one was a young fellow who did some work for us. He was a veteran of the German Army. He survived the Russian Front, believe it or not. But as we were talking one day about economics and those things, he says, “You know, I learned a big lesson when Germany went through the horrible inflation of the ‘20s”.
Now, I’m sure you’ve all heard the expression that they had to carry their money to the market in a wheelbarrow. Because it was so worthless, they had to take an armful to buy a loaf of bread. That’s really what it was. That’s what inflation does. But he said, “You know, during that inflation everybody lost everything. The rich lost everything. The poor lost what little they had. Everybody was a common denominator. But ten years later after everything started going again, who were the wealthy? The same ones. Who were the poor? The same ones! The same people that were poor before they were broke were poor when everything started going.”
All right, so you have that class of humanity all the way up from time immemorial. But in the Kingdom, the people who would be normally of the poor won’t be! Am I making my point? That’s what’s going to make the Kingdom so glorious. There won’t be any poor. There won’t be any suffering widows. There won’t be any poor, neglected, fatherless children. It’s going to be Heaven-on-earth.
All right, so when the Scripture speaks of these things, it’s just to show that that which has been normal under the curse is absolutely absent in the Kingdom.
You mean this half hour’s gone? Oh, oh. Okay let me go one more verse. Down to verse 15 and then we’re going to have to close.
“The hill of God (That is the mountain, the Kingdom of God.) is as the hill of Bashan; an high hill as the hill of Bashan.” I just looked that up the other night. I often wondered where Bashan was. It’s that area right east of the Jordan River where the River Jabbok flows. My, you would be clear up into the mountaintops. So yeah, there were mountains in that area. That’s what it’s a reference to.
“The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan; (head and shoulders above everything else) an high hill as the hill of Bashan.” Because nothing is going to compare to the Kingdom that Christ is going to set up on planet Earth.