Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 60
CHASTISEMENT BEFORE BLESSINGS
ISAIAH 2:3 – 42:6
It’s so good to see everybody from our Oklahoma area out this afternoon and, again, for those of you joining us on television, wherever you are, we welcome you. We just trust that you’ll open the Book and take notes and study with us. All we hope to be is an instrument that will cause people to study their own Bible, search these things out. Don’t take my word for anything any more than you would take someone else’s word for it. More and more people are telling us everyday that until they caught our program, they had never really studied their Bible on their own, but now what a joy it is for them to study along with us.
Last week, a gentleman came up the first night as I was teaching and said, “Les, I just can’t agree with you on some of these things.” I said, “That’s fine, but have you ever really made a study of it?” He said, “Well, no not really.” I said, “Well, just study. Don’t take my word for it. Just take to heart the things that I’m pointing out.” You know, by the last class night we had on the ship, he came up with a big smile, and he says, “Well, you’ve got me just about convinced.” Well, that’s all we ask, that you search the Scriptures and see if these things are really so.
Again, we want to thank our television audience for your prayer support, your financial help – how we appreciate your letters. I just feel compelled to let our television audience know, because I think some have got the wrong idea. Iris and I still live in the same house we’ve lived in for the last 29 years. A lot of our furniture is the same furniture we started with 50 years ago. So, the television ministry hasn’t made a nickel’s worth of difference in our lifestyle. And we want people to know that we’re not in this for any financial return. We are just, hopefully, getting people to search the Scriptures and many of them are finding the salvation they thought they had and suddenly realized – they never had.
Okay, now we’re taking a study of Isaiah. For those of you who are new listeners, we’ve come up through the Old Testament, through the New Testament and have pretty much made a study of the whole Bible over these last 14 years. After our latest study in Revelation, I decided to come back and spend a little more time in areas that we skipped over, such as the book of Isaiah. Again, I have to repeat and repeat and repeat because otherwise somebody doesn’t get it. This book of Isaiah is a book of prophecy written 700 years before Christ. Now, that’s a long time, and I think maybe by our next half-hour I’ll try and put a timeline on the board and show how Moses and the Children of Israel picked up the Ten Commandments and the Law at about 1500 BC. About 500 years later you have King David and Solomon. Then, after Solomon’s demise, the nation of Israel was split into two areas, the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom, and the Ten Tribes to the North are going into idolatry and wickedness and unbelief faster than the two tribes of Judah, but, pretty much, it’s the whole nation that Isaiah is going to be addressing.
Now, the whole book of Isaiah is a roller coaster, of sorts, of judgment and chastisement and blessing. Judgment and blessing; over and over. But, the whole thing is looking forward to three major periods of time when the nation of Israel would come under intense judgment or chastisement. The first time period is the one that was just only a hundred years beyond Isaiah, and that would be in 606 BC. Isaiah writes at 700 BC, so it’s about a hundred years earlier. Again, that’s a reminder that God’s wheels turn ever so slowly. Here’s Isaiah prophesying what’s going to be coming upon the nation of Israel, but it doesn’t really reach fruition for a hundred years.
So, that’s again why I always temper our excitement for the Rapture. Yes, I think it’s close, but on the other hand, God’s wheels turn so much slower than we think they should that we can’t just rest and say, “Oh well, the Lord’s coming next week – so what.” I’ll never forget a fellow wrote from Pennsylvania a couple of springs ago and he said, “Les, I was just getting ready to plant an apple tree and then it struck me. Why should I, the Lord’s coming!” I said, “You go ahead and plant it because we don’t know that He’s going to come that soon.” We hope He does, but He may not.
So, anyway, Isaiah is prophesying primarily now of the Babylonian invasion, which is going to come under Nebuchadnezzar in 606 BC. But he’s also giving an indication of the next great chastisement of Israel and that would be in 70 AD, after they had rejected the Messiah and crucified Him and so forth. Then, you know, the Roman General Titus came in and, again, just like Nebuchadnezzar, destroyed the Temple, ruined the city, and the people were sent out into a dispersion. But then, the final one that is underlying all of these is the worst one of all, and that is the judgment of the Tribulation. That final seven years that will lead up to the greatest blessing that Israel and the world have ever seen; which will be the appearance then of the King and the Kingdom.
So, as we study these things in Isaiah, I’m not going to take all 66 chapters verse by verse, we’re just going to hit some of the highlights and move on to other things, probably even after today. But always keep in mind that we’re dealing with God’s chastisement to be followed by a blessing. Then the last one, the Tribulation, will be followed by the return of Christ and the setting up of that glorious earthly 1000 year Kingdom.
Okay, so now let’s come back to where we left off in our last lesson and that would be back in Isaiah chapter 2. We might as well start at verse 1, and we’ll pick up our study in verse 3.
“The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. (Now, you see, that’s the Southern Kingdom) 2. And it shall come to pass in the last days,…” Now, he’s leaping all the way to the end of time as we know it, to the Second Coming, and the establishing of the glorious Kingdom.
“…that the mountain (or the Kingdom) of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, (it will be above all other empires and governments) and shall be exalted above the hills; (that is the smaller states and nations) and all nations shall flow unto it.” Now, this is what we want to emphasize, that when this Kingdom becomes a reality, it’s not just going to be Israel; it’ll be the whole world that will come under Christ’s benevolent rule, as all nations will flow to Jerusalem.
You remember when we studied this verse in the last taping; I compared it with our present day world where most of the world looks to America. You know, I read an interesting statement just last night, I don’t remember where, but it was so apropos. So many people hate America. So many people think we’re so awful, but this guy says, “Wait a minute. Open all the borders of the world and where will they all go? Straight to America.”
Oh, they may think they hate us, but they also know there’s no other place on earth like our beloved America. Well, we’re just a little foretaste of what this glorious Kingdom under Christ’s kingship will be like, naturally minus the sins, and all the world will literally flow toward and through Jerusalem. All right, now then, verse 3. We’re going to move on.
“And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths for out of Zion…’” Now, remember, Zion is a little hill in Jerusalem. Not like the hymn-writer puts it, “We’re Marching to Zion” – you know to heaven. Zion is in Jerusalem, and that’s the hill from which David’s throne went forth.
“…out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD, from Jerusalem. (It will be the capitol of the world.) 4. And he shall judge (or he will rule) among the nations, (plural) and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nations shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” It’s this glorious coming 1000 year Kingdom where Christ will be the King! Now, all the Old Testament is looking forward to it, but the one that I like to compare the most is Amos. Now, if you’ll move ahead with me, some of these are not easy to find, but find Daniel, Hosea, Joel and then you should come to Amos; chapter 9 verse 13. Now, Amos is even writing quite a few years before Isaiah does. Amos is writing at almost 800 BC. He says basically the same thing and, of course, that’s the beauty of Scripture.
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth the seed; and the mountain shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.” Now, those are merely adjectives to describe tremendous production, tremendous food production.
“And I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and they shall inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; They shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. 15. And I will plant them (God says) upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD.” That’s their prospect. See, it hasn’t happened yet; and then there are those who say this never will happen. Well, then we might as well throw the Book away and go home, because God says it will happen! And it’s still future, as God cannot lie!
All right, now then, if you’ll back up a few pages to Jeremiah; Jeremiah 31:31 where we have the spiritual setting for this same Kingdom. It’s going to be physical. There are going to be people, regular flesh and blood people who are reproducing. They’re having children. They’re having families, and this will be the spiritual setting. Again, this hasn’t ever happened yet, but it’s going to. Now, for the born-again believer we have a taste of it. We certainly have a segment of this that is as a result of our salvation, but for the nations as a whole – no – this has never happened.
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:” This is what we call the New Covenant. It’s not made to the Church, it’s made to Israel. Oh, if people could only get that straight.
“Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt; which covenant they brake,…”Now, that’s speaking of the Ten Commandments, the Mosaic covenant. Israel never was able to keep it. All right, but this is what’s going to happen when Christ finally returns and sets up this glorious Kingdom, verse 33.
“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, (it’s just going to be part and parcel of them) and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34. They will teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me,…” There’ll be no opposition. There’ll be no unbelief. .
All right, if you will come back, again, to Isaiah chapter 2. Now, we’re going to run into some verses that depict the opposite side again. What we just read about is the glory in their prospect. But this is Israel at the contemporary time that Isaiah is writing when they’re in their worldliness, their wickedness, their unbelief. All right, verse 6.
“Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they replenish from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, (They’re no different than the pagan Gentiles around them.) and they please themselves in the children of strangers. 7. Their land is full of silver and gold, (in other words, they were prosperous materially) neither is there any end to their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots.” But, in verse 8, what’s along side of it? Idols.
“Their land is also full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made.” Then, down to verse 10:
“Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust, for the fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty. (That’s what they’d better do.) 11. 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.” All right, now let’s just make a comparison with the New Testament. Let’s come all the way to Revelation, chapter 6. You see, God never changes. Basically, the human race never changes.
You know, we like to think we’re living in a modern era. Well, I’m going to show you, if we have time in this program – nothing has changed. I mean nothing has changed. Not even the apparel of the female of the race. It’s all the same. All right, but look at this one, how it compares almost word for word with what Isaiah wrote. Revelation chapter 6 verse 15. Now, this is in the heart of the Tribulation, really, about the mid-point.
“And the kings of the earth and the great men, and the rich men and the chief captains and the mighty men, and every bondman, every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16. And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him who sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.” God isn’t always a God of mercy and grace. He has shown His wrath in times pas, especially with Israel, but the greatest showing of His wrath is yet future.
“For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” Well, that’s the New Testament account of the final judgment, which will be those last seven years. All right, back to Isaiah chapter 2 again, and verse 12.
“For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon everyone that is proud and lofty, and upon everyone that’s lifted up; and he shall be brought low. 13. And upon the cedars of Lebanon, (which is always a biblical description of beauty and, I think, pride and arrogance) that are high and lifted up, and upon the oaks of Bashan. 14. And upon the high mountains, and upon the hills that are lifted up.” Then come all the way down to verse 19.
“They shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. 20. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats. 21. To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.” Well, you continue on in chapter 3 now and you’ll find that it’s the same thing, how God is going to be dealing with His idolatrous, wicked, worldly-minded nation of Israel. The judgments are sure. Remember now, they’re going to be in three periods of time. The immediate, or at least a hundred years, is in Isaiah’s time when Nebuchadnezzar will come and destroy the city and take the nation of Israel captive. The second one, remember, is when Titus comes in 70 AD and destroys the Temple and city, and the third one just prior to Christ’s Second Coming.
All right, now let’s see, I wanted to find some of these. Okay, coming on into chapter 3. Yeah, I want to get this in this first half-hour. Coming on into chapter 3, it’s the prophecy concerning the devastation of the city of Jerusalem in particular but the nation of Israel in general. Because even in the midst of all of this idolatry and all of this wickedness remember, there is a remnant of Jews who still remain true to Jehovah. There’s always that small percentage remnant. But the vast majority is going to take the nation down the tube.
You know, that’s why I’ve mentioned, since we’ve been studying Isaiah, this is my fear of even our own beloved America. We are such a picture of ancient Israel who had all of the opportunities and the privileges of understanding God and understanding His righteousness but the vast majority walked it under foot. Well, our nation’s the same way. My, I was reading again a quote from one of the previous presidents of Harvard University, and you would never believe that it was a president of Harvard, but it was Biblical. Of course, that was the purpose of all the Ivy League colleges and universities, it was to teach the Word of God, and now look at it. They scorn it. They ridicule it. Well, Israel was no different, but God is only going to take it just so long and then judgment falls.
“The show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.” Sound familiar? My, we’re right there here in our beloved America.
“Say to the righteous, (that little remnant of believers) that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. 11. Woe to the wicked! it shall be ill with him; for the reward of his hands shall be given him. 12. As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they who lead thee cause you to err, and destroy the way of they paths. 13. The LORD standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people. 14. The LORD will enter into judgments with the ancient of his people and the princes thereof, for you have eaten of the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.” Now, you want to remember that God uses the picture of a beautiful productive vineyard to symbolize the nation of Israel.
You remember one of the parables that Jesus gave back in Matthew, “He prepared a vineyard, dug it up, fertilized it, irrigated it, got everything ready so it would be in peak production and then left.” You remember. So, Israel is always depicted as a productive, beautiful vineyard. All right, then come on down to verse 16.
“Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion (Now, who are we talking about? The women. Especially the young women) are haughty, walk with stretched forth necks (What does that show? Pride. Arrogance) and wanton eyes, (Today we would call them what? Seductive) walking and mincing as they go and making a tinkling with their feet:”Now, as you come down to these verses, I want you to see that everything we see today was already in vogue 800 years before Christ! Isn’t it amazing? It can’t help but make you smile. All right, verse 18. We’ll just take a couple here. Our time is running out.
“In that day the LORD will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon.” I haven’t been able to figure out what the round tires are. It must be a jewel of some kind; a bracelet or whatever.
“The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers. 20. The bonnets, the ornaments of the legs, the headbands, the tablets, the earrings. 21. The rings and (So help me, what’s the next one?) the nose jewels.” Isn’t it amazing? These kids today think that they are just discovering all this. Huh-uh. It’s as old as time itself.
“The changeable suits of apparel, (Why, this comes right out of a fashion magazine, doesn’t it?) and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, 23. The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the veils.” It’s all right there. We’re no different today. God hated it then. He hates it now. But, oh they think that this is a sign of being modern. Well, I think I’ve made my point. It’s as old as time itself. All right, now then, to finish up our minutes we have left, verse 24.
“It shall come to pass,…” Because see, Israel has gotten to the place that’s all they’re living for. That’s all that matters to them; their material wealth; their everyday living to satisfy the desires of the flesh. God didn’t mean anything to them. He was so far removed from their thinking.
“And it shall come to pass, that instead of the sweet smell there shall be stink. (It’ll be an odor.) and instead of a girdle, a rent; and instead of a well set hair (a beautiful well coffered hairdo. It’ll be what?) baldness; and instead of a stomacher, a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty. 25. Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war. 26. And her gates (Now, we’re speaking of Jerusalem in particular.) shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground.” What does that depict? Not even an easy comfortable chair to relax in. Everything that they thought was so important would be taken away.
Now, it hasn’t happened yet. You know, that’s the beauty of prophecy, it writes as if it’s already past, but it’s still future and this is looking forward to the time that first the Syrians will come in from the north and take the ten tribes and then about a hundred years after that here comes Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian hoard and they besiege Jerusalem and thousands upon thousands of Jews lost their lives in that siege, and then, finally, they break through and destroy that beautiful Temple.
Now, remember, all during this time that glorious Temple of Solomon is at the heart of all of Israel’s thinking. Oh, they’re “religious” to the hilt. They’re proud of their Temple, but there’s no spiritual life. They are wicked. They are idolatrous. They are worshipping the gods of the pagans around them, and that’s going to be the primary purpose of the Babylonian captivity, which will last 70 years, after which that remnant comes back from Babylon and will never again worship idols.