Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 62
ISAIAH 57:3 – 60:22 – PART 2
As we begin our 4th lesson for today, we always like to remind you how much we appreciate your letters and phone calls and your gifts and prayers, everything that makes this ministry possible. How we thrill at how many are coming to a real knowledge of salvation. We get letter after letter where they’ll say, “I’ve been in church all my life, but for the first time I’m not afraid to die. I’m ready for the Lord to come.” Well, nothing could thrill us more. So, you just keep praying that the Lord will continue to use us, and that the Holy Spirit can work through us.
Okay, we’re going to jump right in where we left off in Isaiah chapter 60. Now all of a sudden, instead of all the horrors of Israel’s iniquity and unbelief, we’re looking at the glorious prospect of when their Messiah will come and Israel will enjoy the blessings of the Kingdom. So, it’s a whole different scenario with entirely different language. All right, let’s just jump in at verse 4 – well, I’d like to read verse 3 where we left off in the last lesson.
“And the Gentiles (the non-Jewish world) shall come to thy light,…” Whose light? Israel’s. Now, too much of Christendom does not understand that Isaiah is not writing to the Gentile world. He’s only writing to Israel, and Christ was Israel’s light at first. Now, Christ will be the Light of the world. He is today, but in Israel’s antiquity it was to that nation that the prophets are addressing.
“And the Gentiles shall come to thy (Israel’s) light (their Messiah, their Redeemer.) and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” Now verse 4, here is the instruction for the nation of Israel.
“Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. 5. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” All right, let’s go back and pick this up in Deuteronomy. I think we may have looked at this several programs back. But here in Deuteronomy 28 come the promises of these glorious blessings that are still awaiting the nation of Israel. They’re still going to come! Don’t you think for a minute they won’t. It’ll be in God’s own time, but it’s going to happen.
All right, Deuteronomy 28, we’ll just take a look at verse 1 and 2 just to open the chapter and then we’ll look at a couple of verses that are the fulfillment of all this. This is Moses writing 3500 years ago in 1500 BC.
“And it shall come to pass, if (See, it’s all conditional, depending on Israel’s ability to be obedient and believe.) thou shalt hearken diligently to the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee (Israel, the nation) on high above all nations of the earth: (See that? That’s God’s promise even through the prophet Moses.) 2. And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.”All right, now all the various blessings are listed, but now, just for sake of time, let us come down to verse 12. This will never happen until they have the King and His Kingdom.
“The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. (They’re never going to be short of operating cash.) 13. And the LORD shall make thee the head, (that is of all the nations of the world) and notthe tail; (Which they are now, you remember. They are the smallest nation, practically, on earth) and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; (In other words, they’re not going to be at the bottom of the totem pole. They’re going to be the head nation once this glorious Kingdom comes in.) if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:” Now, of course, Israel lost the first opportunity at His first advent. By the time He returns at His second advent we’re going to find that they will recognize Him, as we saw in the last half-hour, by the wounds in His hands. They will know that He is that promised Messiah, Redeemer, and King.
All right, back to Isaiah chapter 60. I want you to keep this upper most in your thinking – that the day is coming when Israel will be a blessing to the Gentile nations, and they (Israel) will be the greatest nation on the earth.
You know, it goes back to common sense numbers. You see, by the end of the Tribulation, when the whole planet will be totally destroyed as we understand it, and the vast majority of the population is going to be destroyed, yet there is that one-third of Israel that is going to be kept safe out in the desert. Israel’s population is about 15 million today. A third of that is five million. So, there are going to be five million Israelites that are going to come through the Tribulation. But all the other nations are only going to have a small percentage of survivors.
It’s like after a humongous earthquake today, four or five days after the earthquake they’ll find a few survivors in the rubble. Well, that’s an indication of the surviving Gentiles. So what does that tell you? There’ll only be a few in every Gentile nation, compared to five million Jews. So, if you start with five million, over maybe a few hundred thousand or a million, it follows that who’s going to be the greatest nation on earth? Israel. And they will be! Israel will be the greatest nation on earth.
Come all the way back to Isaiah chapter 2. In light of this it all makes sense, but you have to put the big picture together. Isaiah chapter 2 verse 2. This is where we really started in our whole study in Isaiah several months ago.
“And it shall come to pass in the last days,…” In other words, in that last thousand years of this old planet’s history, when the King will return and set up His glorious Kingdom, with the capital in Jerusalem. Now, look at the language.
“…that the mountain (or the Kingdom) of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains,…” Now mountains and hills in Old Testament symbolism are kingdoms and nations, or empires, however you want to put it.
“…and shall be exalted above the hills; (but now here’s the key) and all nations shall flow unto it.” What does that mean? It’s going to be the headquarters, the capital of the world, because it’ll be the crowning nation to which all the Gentile nations will subscribe.
All right, now back to Isaiah chapter 60 again. Here is the fulfillment of all these things. When the Redeemer will come to Zion, and he will be King of Kings and Lord of Lords. All right, now verse 6 – this is simply Old Testament language of tremendous activity or commerce and what have you.
“The multitude of camels (which of course were the primary source of transportation in Biblical times) shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.” See what that’s doing? The nations of the world are going to bring praise to the King of Kings, holding forth there in Jerusalem.
“All the flock of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory.” See what a difference that is from the previous chapters when we had to deal with Israel’s sin?
“Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? 9. Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, (Now, most Englishmen will think that Tarshish is a reference to England, but whatever.) to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them,…” Now, what does all this amount to? Well, whenever a conquering emperor would come in and take over a nation and the population, what would they do with their wealth? They would take it back to their own capital. When the Babylonians invaded and destroyed Jerusalem, they took all the wealth of Jerusalem back to Babylon. Well, this is going to be on a benevolent scale. Instead of robbing and pillaging, this is going to be a voluntary offering of all these things because of their adherence to the King of Glory.
“…their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, (why?) because he (God) hath glorified thee (the nation of Israel) 10. And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls; and their kings shall minister unto thee: (See the obedience of all of the nations of the world to Israel’s king?) for in my wrath I smote thee, (back in their time of unbelief) but in my favor have I had mercy on thee.” Remember how I opened the first program today? That we’ve got two sides of the question – Israel’s unbelief and God’s chastisement, Israel’s obedience and the blessings of God upon them. It’s just common sense.
“Therefore thy gates shall be open continually;…” Now, remember, this is probably spoken in symbolic language. If a city is sitting there ruling the world with open gates, what does that indicate? That no one is being withheld. It’s full access for everyone in that Kingdom world to the city of Jerusalem.
“…they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, (See how the Gentiles are now being brought into the picture?) and that their kings may be brought. 12. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee will perish; (Well, what does it tell you? They’re either going to be part and parcel of it or they won’t even last.) yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. 13. The glory of Lebanon (which was always the picture of the cedars of Lebanon) shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious. 14. The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” See how plain all this is? This is Israel’s future.
Now even though today, for the most part, they’re a nation of iniquity and unbelief and their government is just as corrupt as anybody else’s government, the day will come when these believing Jews will have the King of Glory. They’re going to revel in all the blessings they have missed for these last 3000 years. All right, I’m going to bring you all the way down to verse 16:
“Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: (Instead of having to borrow it, it will just naturally flow into this Kingdom.) and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Savior and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.” See, we don’t lose the spiritual aspect.
Let’s come back to Luke chapter 1. Let’s look at it again, it never hurts to repeat. Luke chapter 1 – because this complements what Isaiah is talking about. Luke chapter 1 and we’ll jump in at verse 64. Now, here’s the backdrop. I think we rehearsed it in one of our previous tapings. The Lord announced the coming birth of John of the Baptist to his parents Zacharias and Elizabeth. The father, Zacharias, was stricken dumb, unable to speak. He was one of the priests operating in the Temple. Until John the Baptist was born, he was never able to speak a single word. But as soon as the baby was born:
“And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.” Now here is one of those little remnants of Israel again, a true believing priest of God operating in the Temple.
“And fear came on all that dwelt around about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judea. 66. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! (Now remember we’re not talking about Jesus, we’re talking about John the Baptist.) And the hand of the Lord was with him. 67. And his father (John the Baptist’s father) Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit,…” Remember, the Holy Spirit was operating long before Pentecost. All right, so the Holy Spirit came upon Zacharias and he spoke forth saying, now watch this very carefully because this is telling us what Israel was legitimately expecting. Legitimately. This is the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking through Zacharias.
“Blessed be the Lord God of (the world?) Israel; (this is all Jewish) for he hath visited and redeemed his people, (Israel.) 69. and hath raised up an horn of salvation (see there’s the spiritual connotation) for us in the house of his servant David; 70. As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71. That we (the nation of Israel) should be saved from our (sins? No.) enemies,…” We’re not dealing in the spiritual here, we’re dealing in the physical. That Israel will be spared from all her enemies. I’ve pointed this out many, many times. Who were their enemies at the time of Christ’s first advent? The same ones that you’ve got tonight. The Arab world. The Gentile world. They all hated the Jew then, as they hate them today.
All right, so this will turn the tables and, all of a sudden, instead of being the hated little nation of no consequence, they’re going to be the greatest nation on earth and all the world will respect them.
“…and from the hand of all that hate us; 72. To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, (see all the way back to Abraham) and to remember his holy covenant; (what covenant?)73. The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,” Now, you want to remember, what does the Abrahamic covenant contain? That the nation of Israel would be blessed supremely by the Creator God, but that also out of that nation would come the Redeemer for the whole human race. That was all promised to Abraham.
“That he (God) would grant unto us, (Israel) that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him (God) without fear, 75. In holiness and righteousness…” Not in idolatry and covetousness and wickedness and immorality, but they would be a nation of holiness and righteousness.
“…before him, all the days of our life.” That’s what Israel was looking for. Yet the main stream of Israel rejected it and consequently they were scattered into the nations of the world. Now they are back in the land and waiting for the Second Coming of Christ at which time they will certainly recognize Him and believe who He is. All right, back to Isaiah chapter 60, and verse 17.
“For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stone’s iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness. (Now here comes another promise.) 18. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land,…” Quite the opposite from what we had earlier isn’t it? Because what did they have before? They had violence and murder and dishonesty. It’s going to be a total opposite.
“…wasting nor destruction within thy borders; (none of that) but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. 19. The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.” Now, that brings up a question. Are we going to have the sun, moon, and stars during the Kingdom. Yes. Because this planet is not going to change its position in the solar system. It’s going to be renovated, it’s going to be made like the Garden of Eden, but it’s not going to lose the sun and the moon and the stars. But now, here’s the glorious part. When Christ is ruling from Jerusalem, His eminence will be so bright that it will cause the sun to disappear like stars do in the daylight.
Think about that for a minute. They’re still going to be out there, but His brightness will be so beyond the sun and the moon and the stars that they won’t even be visible. Let me give you a good illustration, I think I’ve got time. Come back with me to Matthew, chapter 17, maybe this will help us understand the glory, the glory that’s yet coming to this old planet. Matthew 17, and remember this is the same person that’s coming back. Here of course He’s in His earthly ministry, He’s in His body of humiliation, but when He returns He’s going to be in His glorified, resurrected body. This is just a little glimpse of it, remember, just a little window.
“And after six day Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2. And was transfigured before them: (He was suddenly changed.) and his face did shine as the (what?) sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” Now, do you get a little picture of that? I think those three men must have almost fallen down as dead men when they experienced that glorious light of the transfigured Jesus of Nazareth. And this is just a little preview. So, when He returns and sets up His Kingdom in Jerusalem, His brightness will be so exceedingly bright that the sun and the stars and the moon won’t even be discernible. All right, back to Isaiah chapter 60 and then it’s almost time to wind it up. Verse 20:
“Thy sun (not the sun out there in solar space, but Israel’s son, the Son of Righteousness, the God of Glory who is now ruling in Jerusalem) shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD (Jesus the Christ) shall be thy everlasting light,…” Have you ever seen this before? I’ll bet most people haven’t, but this is going to be the glory of His presence as He rules and reigns from Jerusalem. He will be so bright that Israel won’t even need the light from the solar system.
“…and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.” Now listen, you all know, for the most part, what has been the existence of Israel down through history? Misery. Unbelief. My, they have been tortured and tormented. We all are aware of the Holocaust. We’re even aware today of the hatred that’s extended toward the Jewish people, just because they’re Jews. The Arabs spew their hate, just because they’re Jews. They haven’t done anything to the Arabs. That will all end.
“Thy people also shall be all righteous: (There won’t be an unbeliever in their midst.) they shall inherit the land forever, (No Arab is going to stand in their way.) the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I (God says) may be glorified. 22. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation:” Now, this is all just to indicate how the nation of Israel is going to prosper in everything they touch. Their population is going to explode. Their wealth is going to explode. They are going to be everything that any nation on earth could ever hope to be. And the Lord says:
“…I the LORD will hasten it in his time.” We’re getting there fast, and we think we’re close.