Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 79
PART 5 of the MESSIANIC PROPHECIES – PART 2
Psalms 68, 69, and 72
Okay, good to see everybody back from your break. For those of you joining us on television, if this is your first experience, we’re just a simple verse-by-verse Bible study. I’m not a pastor. Please don’t write and say Reverend so and so. I’m just a layman. I always say I’m just a glorified Sunday school teacher, if anything. We’re just lay people, and we’re cattle ranchers; and you’ll see we refer to that from time-to-time. But the Lord has given us this ministry, and we just praise Him for it.
All right, for those of you in the studio, you’re already where we left off in our last program. For those of you out in television, we’re going to continue on in Psalms 68 and finish our book number 79—which is all in Psalms, if I remember right. Then we’ll move on probably to the Book of Daniel in our next taping.
But for today, Psalms 68 and we’re going to continue on from where we left off. But I’m going to back up a verse or two, because we kind of ran out of time in the last lesson. Remember we’re talking about the Kingdom that’s coming over which Jesus the Messiah will one day rule and reign. Hills and so forth and mountains in the Old Testament usually refer to earthly kingdoms.
“The hill of God (In other words, this kingdom that’s coming.) is as the hill of Bashan;…” Now I have to stop and explain that a little bit. Bashan is the mountainous area just east of Galilee and the Jordan River through which the River Jabbok flowed.
If you remember the story of Jacob, it is quite mountainous. Not like the Tetons in Wyoming, of course, nor like our Rocky Mountains—but nevertheless, for the Middle East they’re pretty good sized mountains. All right, so the analogy here is that this kingdom that’s coming will be as much higher than the normal kingdoms of the world as the mountains of Bashan are above the other hills and mountains of the Middle East. In other words, it’s going to be so glorious and so complete in its control of the planet. Now verse 16:
“Why leap ye, ye high hills? this is the hill that God desireth to dwell in; yea, the LORD will dwell in it for ever.” In other words, this Kingdom is going to go right on into eternity. Now let’s drop down to verse 18. This is where we get the connection that this is a Messianic Psalm, in that it is tied also to a New Testament reference—in this case from the Apostle Paul. And that is in verse 18.
“Thou (speaking of the King) hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.”
Now let’s just go chase that down in Ephesians chapter 4. This is exactly what Paul is quoting from. Now for the skeptics and the scornful, they probably say, well, he just went back and found that. No. That’s not the way the Scriptures came together. The Scriptures came together as the Holy Spirit inspired these writers to write. They did not go back and try to find another Scripture that would fit where they’re writing. This is just one of the supernatural aspects of our Bible. That even the Apostle Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit refers to this verse in the Book of Psalms.
“Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, (In other words, from His post-resurrection and His 40 days with the Eleven from the Book of Acts, we got the account of how He ascended back up into Glory.) he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?” You see, now this wasn’t in the Book of Psalms. Here we have an extension of what the Psalmist does not tell us. He not only ascended, but He first descended. And I think we’d better take the time to explain what Paul is talking about.
“(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10. He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all the heavens, that he might fill(or fulfill) all things.)” Now, the only way I can explain that is by the use of the Scripture itself. Come back with me, if you will, to Matthew chapter 12 verse 38.
Now what we’re talking about is where did He descend to, and what did He take from where He descended? We’re going to chase this down from Scripture.
“Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.” Now you remember the Scripture tells us the Jews always required a sign. (I Corinthians 1:22) So this is typical Jewishness of these people. Show us a sign. Verse 39:
“But he (Jesus) answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah: 40. For (Now remember, this is Jesus Himself speaking. So what does this tell us? Jonah is not just a legend. Jonah is not a myth. Jesus puts His stamp of approval on it as the Creator of everything, and He says-) as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
Now that’s not a play on words. He’s speaking of the place to which He will descend and take those who are there in captivity out and ascend up into Glory with them.
Now the only way we can explain this lower region of the earth is, again, to let the Scriptures do it. And that would be in Luke chapter 16 where we have the account of the rich man and Lazarus. And most of you here know it. But remember, we’ve got a lot of people listening out there who have never heard these things before. That’s the kind of mail we get, “I’m hearing things I’ve never heard before.” Had a letter yesterday, “Been in church all my life. Caught your program three months ago. I’ve learned more in three months than I did in the previous 60 years.” Well, they don’t hear it. So that’s why I have to use the Scriptures.
Luke 16 and we can’t take it all verse-by-verse, or it’d take all afternoon. But we’ll just hit the highlights. Here we have Jesus again speaking. And if He isn’t an authority, I don’t know who is. And He says:
“There was a certain rich man, (Now this is not a parable. It doesn’t call it a parable. It’s, I think, a reference to a real scenario.) who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: (on the other side of the coin) 20. There was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, full of sores,” He was poor. Destitute!
“And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. (In other words, he was a sad, sad piece of humanity.) 22. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom:…” In other words, into the Paradise side of this place of the departed.
“…the rich man also died, and was buried; (Verse 23, now this is unfortunate in our King James anyway.) 23. And in hell he lifted up his eyes,…” Now, the first thing people think of when they hear “hell” is fire and brimstone. But you’ve got to understand that in the three words—let me put them on the board. That’s the best way to get them cleared up.
We have three words that all mean the same thing—Hell in the English, Sheol in the Hebrew, and Hades is the word in the Greek. Now this is unfortunate, because Hell is also described later as the Lake of Fire. But in this instance, we’re not talking about the Lake of Fire. We’re talking about the place of the dead, the departed—saved believers as well as the lost—before Jesus died on the cross.
So when it says, “in hell he lifted up his eyes,” we’re talking about the Hebrew Sheol or the Greek Hades. All right, so in Hades, in this place of the departed dead, which included both Paradise and torment—got that? It’s divided, and we’re going to see that in just a minute.
“And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.” In other words, Abraham and Lazarus are over there in Paradise. The rich man’s in torment. Verse 24:
“And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime received thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.” The two totally different scenarios, and now here comes the clue.
“And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would come pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldst send him to my father’s house: 28. For I have five brothers;…” And so on and so forth. All right, so what we have here is this place of the departed in the lower regions of the earth as Jesus said in Matthew chapter 12. On the one hand is Paradise—Abraham. On the other side is torment.
Now in order to understand this concept of why did the Old Testament believers have to go down into this place of the departed instead of up to Heaven is a theological one. Hebrews tells us that the blood of animals and goats and bulls could not atone for men’s sin. All they could do was cover them. So, since these Old Testament saints did not have their sins totally atoned for, they could not go into Glory. They had to go down to Paradise and wait for the True Atoning Blood, which was Jesus Christ.
So when Christ shed His blood on the cross, then that was now sufficient for the whole human race provided they appropriated it by faith. So after His death and during the time of His three days in the tomb, His Spirit went down into this place of the dead. Not to the torment side, but to the believers’ side. And what could He tell them? The Atoning Blood has now been shed, and I can now take you with me up into Glory. Whereas the lost are still going to the same place. That hasn’t changed.
Now then, with that in mind, we have to come back again to how Paul puts it. Because like I said, he carries it a little more in detail than the Psalmist does. But it’s still the same concept. That the Old Testament believers went down into Paradise waiting for the shedding of the True Blood of Atonement. Whereupon, then, Christ could take them out and up to Glory with Him after he had spent His three days and nights down there.
All right, come back to Ephesians once again. Hopefully now it’ll make more sense, especially if you’ve never heard these things before. So after His death on the cross, while His body is up in the tomb, His Spirit goes down into Hades or Sheol. And He announces to those believers from the Old Testament that He had now accomplished that which they were waiting for. Now back to Ephesians again.
“Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive,…” In other words, those souls and spirits of believers confined down there in Paradise in the center of the earth, because they couldn’t go into the Glory of Heaven until their sins had been atoned for. Verse 8 again:
“…When he ascended upon high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Which, of course, was poured out at Pentecost.) 9. (Now that he ascended, (up to Glory) what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?” Exactly as Jesus spoke of it concerning Jonah—that as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish, so must the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Same identical language.
Now I imagine everybody has the same problem I do. And for me it’s not a problem, because I certainly believe the Scriptures. But if we understand the makeup of planet Earth, what have we been taught is at the center? The core of molten, molten material. That’s our concept of the center of the earth. But you see, we have to overcome that and realize that God is still able to—in spite of all that, there had to be a place that He was able to describe as we’ve seen here—where the departed believers were on one side and the departed unbelievers were on the other. And, of course, they’re still there. The unbelievers will be there until the Resurrection of John chapter 5. Now verse 10:
“He that descended (the same Jesus Christ) is the same also (Jesus Christ) who ascended up far above all heavens,…” Well now, the Psalmist used it as “above all the highest hills.” He is above and beyond everything that man can think of. And then, of course, Paul goes on how that He gave gifts to men which were apostles, prophets, evangelists, and so on and so forth. All right, let’s go back and pick up our account in Psalms 68 verse 19.
“Blessed be the Lord,…” See all these references to Deity as we come through this chapter? It’s just over and over and over. It’s either God or Lord or Jehovah or whatever. All right, verse 19 again:
“Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.” Now you remember, I’m always stressing what is the main theme of Scripture? Salvation! The whole Book is constantly trying to bring lost people to a knowledge of salvation. You remember the very verse we started with this afternoon in Peter? “Of which salvation the prophets searched…” Well, it’s the theme of Scripture. It is to bring lost people to a place of God’s salvation.
“…even the God of our salvation. 20. He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.” But now we step in again to the wrath of God that’s going to precede this glorious Kingdom. Now He comes back to the Tribulation experience.
“But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses. (speaking of lost humanity.) 22. The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea.”
In other words, He’s still going to bring His people Israel from wherever they are in the planet to be ready to come into this glorious Kingdom that is being promised. All right, now verse 23, yet another picture of His wrath and the horrors of the Tribulation.
“That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in (will lick) the same.” Now let’s go back and compare this to Revelation 19. We have the same scenario, the horrors of these final days of the wrath and vexation that’s coming on the planet.
Now I know that I have people listening to me, not in here, but out in TV land that just ridicule this. They just can’t imagine that the so-called God of the Bible is going to bring on such mass death and destruction. Yes, He is. And I’ve been giving the reason in all the programs lately. Why? Because during these last 6,000 years of human history, God has been merciful and gracious and offered salvation at every turn. And when the mass of humanity rejects it, then, yes, His wrath is going to finally fall. Hasn’t happened yet, but it will. All right, Revelation 19 and let’s see how that compares with Psalms 68:23. Now look how Revelation puts it, chapter 19 verse 17.
“And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven,…” Now, I’ve got to stop again. Can’t help it. People get all hung up on simple terms of Scripture. And they say, “Well, Les, you speak of three heavens. What are they?”
Well, here’s one example. What is the heaven in which the birds fly, for heavens sake? Oh, our atmosphere, the air around us. Get a bird in here and he can fly. What’s the second heaven? Well, outer space. The Space Program is penetrating deeper and deeper into space. And then Paul speaks of the third heaven, and what was that? The very Heaven of the heavens, the Presence of God. Those are your three heavens of Scripture. All right, that’s why I had to think of it. The birds of the heaven—that just simply means the birds of our atmosphere.
“…saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;” What is it? To clean up the death of the human race that’s laying on the surface of the earth.
“That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, small and great.” That’s going to be the end result of this final seven years.
Now, I’ve got time. A verse comes to mind, I don’t think you’ll find it in the margins of your Bible. But, Jeremiah, I think it’s 25. Now see, some of these verses I don’t even think of while I’m preparing. It’s a good thing the Lord brings them to mind while I’m at it. But here it is—Jeremiah chapter 25. We’ve used them before, and the Bible is full of these kinds of descriptions for those final seven years, especially the closing months and days. And I think it’s going to be nuclear war. You’ve heard of the “nuclear winter,” where everything is just barren. Well, I think it’s coming.
In fact, they’ve been advertising—you know, the only TV I watch is pro-football. Forgive me, those people that think it’s violent, but I love my Cowboys. But what have they been advertising lately? A movie is coming some time in the month of December, “The Last Days” of some sort.
And as I looked at that preview, I just said, Lord, you’re getting them ready. They’re going to see all that stuff that Hollywood dreams up. It’s going to become a reality, and it’s going to be beyond human description. Now look at it. This is what the Scripture says. It’s not what Les Feldick thinks. It’s what the Book says. Jeremiah 25. I’ve got time. Go all the way back to verse 30. Jeremiah 25 and I know some of you see me use these more than once. But again, there are people out there that have never heard this before.
“Therefore prophesy (or speak forth) thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD (Now that’s God the Son in the Old Testament, or Jesus Christ of the New.) 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, against all the inhabitants of the earth.” Not just Israel. This is going to be for the whole world’s population, all seven billion of them.
“A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations;…” Why? Because of their rejection of everything that He’s ever said or done. Their hatefulness and their rebellion toward Him. Their corruption, as we’re seeing every time we turn around lately. The corruption. And don’t think it’s confined to America. My, you get into these Banana Republics, and corruption is what everybody thrives on. Well, God is putting all that on their account.
“…for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations; he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, (that is to death) saith the LORD.” Now, here’s where it’s going to come. Compare this with the Psalms and compare it with Revelation and it all fits. Verse 32:
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the (borders) coasts of the earth.” That to me is nuclear power being exercised. Now here it is.
“And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth:…” My, we thought the tsunami a few years ago was horrible, but that was just a little, just a little speck of planet earth. This is from pole to pole and from east to west.
“…from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried;…” How did Revelation picture it? As food for the birds of prey. Well, birds of prey don’t go six feet deep to go find a corpse do they? It’s lying on the ground. This is what’s coming. It’s going to be total death and destruction.
Well, we only have one more minute? Two. Let’s go back to Psalms 68, and then maybe we can move on from there in our next program.
Now we come back again to the joy of the Kingdom—the Glory that’s going to follow the horrors of the Tribulation. Verse 24 back in Psalms 68:
“They have seen thy goings, O God: even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary. (The King in the sanctuary—that’s the Nation of Israel.) 25. The singers (in other words, all the celebration of this coming King and His Kingdom) went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels playing with timbrels.” Can’t you picture it?
“Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel. 27. There is little Benjamin (down on the south part of Israel’s geography) with their ruler, the princes of Judah and their council, the princes of Zebulun, (who is a little further north) and the princes of Naphtali.” He’s on the north.
So what have we got? We’ve got a picture of Israel from south to north. The whole Twelve Tribes are all going to enjoy this glorious heaven-on-earth Kingdom ruled by their Messiah. Now I’ll take one more verse, and I guess it’ll be time to wind her down.
“Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us. 29. Because of thy temple at Jerusalem (See that?) shall kings bring presents unto thee.”