Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 60
ISAIAH 2:3 – 42:6
I mentioned in the last program that we’ve had several letters in the last few days that just make this program all worth while. One of the letters we had last week said, “You know, all of a sudden the Lord opened my eyes.” Well, isn’t that so typical. I believe if you really want to see how the Book is divided, and will use it after seeing it, then God will let you see how to rightly divide the Word! We just praise the Lord that He’s been touching the hearts and lives of so many.
Okay, for those of us in the studio and those of you in television, we will jump all the way up to Isaiah 24 on this half-hour. A lot of these intervening chapters have just been God’s prophetic judgment on the nations around Israel; on Babylon, Syria, and so on and so forth. So, I think you can pick that up on your own reading time. Now, I want to jump up to Isaiah 24 verse 1 where the prophet now leaps definitely to the time of the Tribulation. This is not the Babylonian invasion of 606 BC and not 70 AD, but this is the final wrath of God, the Tribulation that will bring the planet to the end of time as we know it and usher in the Second Coming and that glorious Kingdom. But before the Kingdom can come in, we have to have the judgment and chastisement.
“Behold, the LORD (Now, remember the word LORD, in the Old Testament, is God the Son, Jehovah.) maketh the earth empty, (Now, we’re talking about the whole earth. We’re not talking about the land of Israel.) and he maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. 2. And it shall be, as with the people, (the ordinary run of the mill) so with the priest; as with the servant, so his master; as with the maid, and her mistress; as with the buyer, the seller: the lender, so with the borrower:…” In other words, no one is going to be exempt from this outpouring of God’s wrath.
“The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word.” Now, here I think the word “land” is referring to the nation of Israel. It’s going to be the vortex of all of this coming wrath and judgment. Now, in verse 4 we come to the whole planet.
“The earth (all of it) mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.” In other words, the super, super rich are not going to be able to escape it with their money. They can build enclaves, and they can build places where they think they are totally safe, but it will never work. They’re all going to come under God’s judgment.
“The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof;…” Now, we’ve got to remember that in 700 BC the world’s population was just a smattering compared to what it is today. Even at the time of Christ there were probably not more than 500 million, or a half a billion people on the planet. Here we’re now rushing towards seven billion. So, we’ve got a mass of population tonight that even the prophet knew nothing of, but it’s all going to come under God’s wrath and under the defilement of the inhabitants.
“…because they have transgressed the laws…” Now, I think I am fair in my assessment. What, today, is ravaging the world like no other plague above everything else? Aids. Aids is ravaging the world, and it’s something that they can’t find a vaccine for, they can’t find a real cure for, and everything they’re trying to do to stop the increase is seemingly falling apart. So, I think that this is just one of the many aspects of this final world scenario of how the inhabitants have defiled the planet.
“…changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” In other words, they have totally rebelled against God and everything that God has said. Now, I just noticed, in one of the news magazines I was reading last night that a new group was formed, I think in New York City, and they said everybody else has a political action committee, we need one for ourselves. Did any of you see it? They called them the Committee for Anti-God Americans or something like that. They are composed of those who are totally anti-God. They hate God and make no apology for it. Well, this is all just feeding the frenzy of ungodliness in the world tonight.
“Therefore (because of this total rebellion of mankind in general and others in particular against God and His righteousness) has the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate:…” Now, this isn’t pretty language. I know it isn’t. But the world is asking for it. They should know better. You know, every time I see all of this ungodliness coming out and how they’re promoting it and how they hate the Christian view of life, I always have to think of this statement of Scripture, “Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”
Never forget that. That’s easy enough to memorize. “Righteousness exalteth a nation; sin is a reproach for any people.” And, oh, the world is just blatantly scoffing at that. They don’t want righteousness. They don’t want anything that’s decent. All they want is that which satisfies the flesh. So, it’s coming.
“…therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned,…” Now, what does that smack of? I think nuclear holocaust. I have never worried about nuclear bombs being exploded over these last forty or fifty years. It just never bothered me. I’ve tried to teach in my classes; don’t worry about a nuclear holocaust. I don’t think God is going to let it happen. Now, with the terrorist activity, it may happen in an isolated place. But I don’t think any one nation is going to start a nuclear war. It would be folly, because it’s just going to trigger everything else.
So, I feel that God will never permit it until the Tribulation. When we come to these final months of these horrible seven years – yes – I think a nuclear holocaust is going to erupt and every nation on the planet is going to start releasing them. Consequently, we have the phrase that “the inhabitants of the earth are burned” because we know nuclear is intense heat. But, in spite of the horrors that’s going to take place around the planet, the encouraging words are here:
“…and there will be a few men left.” Now, what does that mean? Well, there’ll be some survivors. There always are. I’ve taught this over the years, whenever you have a humongous earthquake or you have a volcano erupt, or you have any of these global disasters, there are always survivors. It’s hard to believe that they survived, but they did. Well, it’s going to be the same way here, and I think it’s going to be all around the planet from every nation around the world. After this holocaust has come to an end there are going to be some survivors.
Remember, that the 144,000 Jewish men have been circling the globe, now, for nearly seven years preaching salvation, not based on our Gospel of Grace, but based on the Gospel of the Kingdom as Jesus and the Twelve preached it. It will bring salvation to those that believe. Now, in order to confirm that you can come with me to Matthew 24; which is a Tribulation chapter. It’s in response to the question of the Twelve “what shall be the signs of the end and your coming?” Now, remember, this is in Christ’s earthly ministry, toward the end of it, of course, but the Twelve are still intact.
“And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples (the Twelve) came unto him privately, saying, (That is without the press of any crowds.) Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and the end of the ages? 4. And Jesus answered and said unto them…” So, Jesus begins to unfold the events opening up those final seven years, and they’re in perfect parallel with the seal judgments of Revelation chapter 6. Now, I’m not going to take time to compare those right now, but you can do that on your own. The six seal judgments in Revelation chapter 6 come right down the pike like Jesus unfolds it here in Matthew 24. But here’s the verse I wanted you to see, verse 14, lock this into your computer.
“And this (that is the one that he and the Twelve have been preaching now) gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world (not just Israel) for a witness unto (what?) all nations (and when it’s reached all the nations, then what?) and then shall the end come.” Now, I’ve had missionary friends, bless their hearts, they mean well but they use this verse to promote present day missions. Listen, Jesus never expected the Church to reach all the nations of the world. He was talking about the 144,000 during the Tribulation. They will accomplish it.
But, now you’ve got to remember, they don’t have to stop and go to language school. They don’t have to go and be trained how to reach a particular tribe or tongue or nation because these 144,000 men are going to be supernaturally imbued with those abilities. And so they will. They will penetrate every tongue and tribe and dialect.
Now, I read here a while back, I think I mentioned it in a previous taping; in one area and I don’t remember what part of the world it was, doesn’t matter, but in this one area which is not all that large, there were 400 dialects. They were so different that from one end of that area to the other they could not understand each other. But see, these 144,000 Jews are going to be able to go into every tongue and dialect and preach, not the Gospel of the Grace of God. The Age of Grace will be over by then, and the Body of Christ will have been removed from the earth.
But these 144,000 are going to be preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, which means the King is coming. The King is coming! That’s what Jesus and the Twelve preached. The King is in our midst, He’s offering the Kingdom. What a difference. We don’t preach that today or at least we’re not supposed to for salvation. We preach, or proclaim, that “Christ died for the sins of the world. He was buried and he rose from the dead” That’s the Gospel of Grace. But the Gospel of the Kingdom will be picked up again when the Tribulation begins. Now, I’ve got to show you where we get all this. Come back with me to Revelation.
Now, this is a far cry from Isaiah, and yet it isn’t. It’s all tied together, especially prophecy. Revelation chapter 7, because I have to show you from Scripture how when we come to the end of the Tribulation and there are a scattered group of survivors, that some will be saved and some will still be in unbelief, and God’s going to deal with that. But we have to establish that from every corner of the planet you will have some believers that have survived. All right, Revelation 7 verse 9, after 12,000 out of each tribe have been sealed, and commissioned:
“After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, (and look where they come from) of all nations, all kindreds, and people, and tongue,…” That’s dialects, see? Every dialect imaginable will be reached by these 144,000 Jews, but most of them are going to be martyred by the forces that are the moment their faith is revealed, so here, in prophecy, they’re already in the throne room. They’re already in glory.
“…stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;” Then, drop on down to verses 13 and 14.
“And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? 14. And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of the great tribulation…” But Isaiah doesn’t speak of the multitudes that are going to be saved. He speaks of what? “Few men were left;” just a few survivors. But of all the survivors, you’re going to have a mix. Some that have never responded to the Gospel of the Kingdom, but some that will have. So, we have to realize that these are flesh and blood people who miraculously have survived, and now they’re going to be brought to be examined – can they go into the Kingdom? Or will they have to be taken off the earth and go to their doom? Now, come back with me again to Matthew and we’ll jump in at chapter 25.
Now, don’t forget the time element here. We’re at the end of the Tribulation followed by Christ’s Second Coming. The earth is going to be renovated, remodeled, regenerated, reconstituted, whatever you want to call it, and it’s going to be made ready now for this glorious heaven-on-earth Kingdom. But, you’ve got to have people. You’ve got to have people, and you can’t have just the nation of Israel. You’ve got to have all the nations. Now, again, I should have done this while we were in Revelation. Keep your hand in Matthew, I’m sorry.
Come back with me again to Revelation. Let’s pick up why I’m making the point that we have to have flesh and blood people in Revelation chapter 20 and verse 7. Now, I’m showing you this to prove that we have to have flesh and blood people coming in the front end of the thousand years, other than Israel. All right, you got it?
“And when the thousand years are expired, (or it has run its course during this Kingdom rule) Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8. And will go out and deceive the (what?) nations. (Plural. Not just Israel) which are in the four quarters of the earth, (that just means they’re around the planet; all of it) Gog and Magog,…” Who evidently were heading up the rebellion early on and will again. All right, now these nations of people who have come on the scene during the thousand year reign of Christ, born of human parents, they will follow Satan, as we see in verse 9:
“And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, the beloved city: (the throne city) and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.” All right, so you’ve got to realize that the thousand year Kingdom rule is going to bring about multitudes of people, probably at least as many as we’ve got on the planet right now tonight.
Okay, so that’s what I established, that we have to have flesh and blood parents of the Kingdom economy to bring about these multitudes of people who are still flesh and blood, born with an old Adamic nature and for a thousand years weren’t tempted. As long as there’s no choice, you see, they just have the King. His glorious benevolent Kingdom, they aren’t tempted to sin, they aren’t tempted to rebel, and this is why Satan has to be brought back. He has to give this new generation of people a chance to make a choice. Just like you and I had to make that choice once upon a time.
Are they going to stay loyal to the King and His righteousness, or are they going to fall for materialism and wickedness and follow Satan. Well, the answer of course, is obvious.
All right, so now, then, back to Matthew 25, we’re picking up with the survivors of Isaiah 24 who have come through the Tribulation, where it said, “and few men are left.”
They have heard the Gospel of the Kingdom from the 144,000, and they have lived to tell it. Miracle of miracles they’ve survived it. But, there are also some lost people who have survived. All right, here we are, Matthew 25 verse 31, and remember this is the Lord Himself rehearsing it. He says:
“When the Son of man (speaking of Himself) shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: (which will be in Jerusalem, Mount Zion) 32. And before him shall be gathered all nations:…” Now, be careful. America won’t be there with three hundred million people. America will probably be represented by a few thousand, at most. England will be represented by some. Australia will be represented. China will be represented. All the nations of the world will simply be represented by survivors. Okay? So “all the nations shall be brought before him.” Now, the first thing He does is separate. He’s going to move the lost off to the left. He’s going to move the believers off to the right.
Now, remember, this is in the eternal state, you might say; this in the realm of the supernatural. We cannot try to identify all this with things as we understand. This is in the realm of the supernatural. He will bring them from around the planet. They’re going to be brought before Him somehow or other where He can judge them. All right, so He’s going to divide them:
“…as a shepherd divides his sheep from his goats:” Now, that’s just (what’s the word?) a simile? Is that what you call it when you compare something to something else? I haven’t been in English class for a while. But it’s just an illustration. These aren’t sheep and goats but it’s “like a shepherd.”
Now, certainly, you can all picture that. If he’s got a flock of goats and sheep all mixed up and he brings them into the fold and he wants to, maybe, shear the wool off the sheep, what does he do? Well, he separates them. My, Greg and I are always separating cattle. They either get mixed up or we bring them in for one reason or another. We separate the females from the others. It’s not all that hard.
All right, so he’s using the illustration that like a shepherd sorts his goats away from the sheep and puts the sheep over here, he’s going to separate the unbelievers from believers.Got the picture? All right, verse 34:
“Then shall the king (See, He’s now ruling from Jerusalem. He’s ready to bring in the thousand year rule and reign.) say unto them on his right hand, (the sheep, the believers) Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:” That’s why I’m always saying from Genesis all the way up through Scripture what’s it talking about? The Kingdom. The Kingdom. The Kingdom. This glorious rule of Christ on the earth!
All right, so the believing survivors of the Gentile world are told to enter into the Kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world. All right, now, I’m speculating. I can’t prove this. But I have to look at these things logically. If we’re going to have nations of people at the end of the thousand years from all quarters of the earth, what does that tell you about these people? They’re going to have to go back, I feel, to their homeland.
Now, that’s my idea. Don’t come back and say where do you find it. I can’t show you from Scripture, I’m just using logic, that if believers have now been brought from England and they have been set apart as believers and promised to go into the Kingdom, I think God will send them back to England to become the seed stock of that nation.
As well as all the other nations around the world, there will be survivors from every one. They all go back to their homeland. So, that over that next thousand years they will bring about nations upon nations of people who will still have their separate nationalities. They’ll have their separate languages, and I think that’s why the 144,000 are gifted as well to be able to speak all the various languages.
All right, now then, in the minute we have left, these following verses I have to touch on otherwise somebody’s going to call or write and say, well, now wait a minute, what’s all this about? Well, this did not bring about their salvation; it was the proof of it. Their salvation was prompted by their believing the message of the 144,000 “that Jesus Christ, the King, is coming.” They believed it even though their life was in danger. All right, so consequently, Jesus is speaking on behalf of those 144,000 Jews and He says:
“For I was hungry and you gave me food: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, you took me in:” He’s referring to the missionaries, the evangelists, of the 144,000.
“When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39. Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?” Now, He gives the reason.
“…In as much as you did it to the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.” So, these believers during those final hours of the Tribulation actually laid their own life on the line on behalf of these Jewish evangelists.
Then He comes to the other group, the unbelievers, who probably had the same opportunity, they had heard the 144,000 preaching but they rejected it. They probably scoffed it and now look at verse 41:
“Then shall he also say to them on the left hand, (the unbelieving element) Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” How could the Lord say something like that? Because they proved their rebellion. They proved their hatred for things righteous by paying no attention to these 144,000 who, no doubt, had to suffer privation for the sake of taking this Gospel of the Kingdom to the ends of the earth.
Now, this is a good illustration of what the Apostle Paul went through when he rehearses his suffering in II Corinthians 11. What did he do? “He was in prison oft, he was hungry, he was cold, he was naked.” Well, that’s just part and parcel of taking the Gospel of salvation for us in this Age of Grace, “that Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again” to the ends of the earth. But, remember, from Isaiah 24 you go right into the Kingdom.