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Through the Bible with Les Feldick, Book 60

LESSON ONE * PART I

MAKING CHOICES

ISAIAH 1:1-2:2

As you know, we like to remind everyone that weíre just an informal Bible study. I emphasize informal, and we donít want to pretend to be something weíre not. And all we hope to do is show people how to study the Word on their own, we show you how it is rightly divided, and we compare Scripture with Scripture, line upon line, precept upon precept. Weíre finding, from the response across the nation, that itís beginning to work; that people are getting excited about studying the Bible on their own. We trust you donít depend on the quarterly or on books in the bookstores. Just get into the Book. The most exciting thing you can do is to get involved in some really deep Bible study.

Okay, weíre going to start a whole new series of programs. We finished Revelation in our last taping, and for those of you who are not aware, we taught the book of Revelation several years ago. Thatís in what we call our books 11, 12, 13, and 14. At that time I was rather uncomfortable with the first three chapters of Revelation according to the traditional view, so I jumped in back there at book 11 with chapter 4. Now, in the last few months weíve picked up the first three chapters in Revelation and finished it in book 59. And that pretty much takes care of the whole book of Revelation and thereís no need to redo it because even though those programs were made seven or eight years ago, from what we can gather from our audience, they are just as appropriate today as they were then.

As I mentioned in the last taping, we intend to do a study in the book of Isaiah because itís a tremendous book of prophecy. And we wonít be staying in the Old Testament, so donít worry, weíll be jumping up into the New just as much as we do the Old. Weíll be starting in Isaiah chapter 1. But, as always, we need to do some background, because Iíve learned in my own study that the historical setting is almost as important as anything else you can put in it. Where are we in history? What was the setting concerning the children of Israel? Why does all of this talk about coming disasters and coming blessings? Because thatís just exactly the way God has been dealing with Israel, His favored Nation.

Now, the first thing I want to emphasize as we go through the book of Isaiah is youíre always looking at three different areas of time. Remember, Isaiah is writing about 700 BC. The other prophets will be writing from there on until Malachi winds up the Old Testament in 400 BC. Now, letís back up our timeline again, at least mentally. You want to remember that Abraham came out of Ur of the Chaldees in 2000 BC; half-way between Adam and the cross.

All right, from Abraham until Israel has the Law and Moses was about 500 years. So you can say that from 2000 to 1500 BC was that period of time when Israel became a nation. They came out of Egypt, gathered around Mount Sinai, received the Law, and then years later finally came into the Promised Land under the leadership of gifted men whom we call "the Judges."

So, Israel was under the rule of Judges such as Samuel, Deborah, and Sampson. Well then, as you know the account, Israel wanted a king like everybody else. So, now, about half-way between Abraham and Christís first advent, Israel has their first king; King Saul. You all know the story of him. Then after 40 years with King Saul, Israel got the promised king, David. David ruled followed by his son Solomon. That takes us up to nearly 900 BC. Then, from 900 BC. until we get to Isaiah thereís that 200 year interval.

Now, in terms of Old Testament thinking, thatís not long, sort of a blink of an eye. But it is 200 years, and 200 years back then was just as long back then, if not longer, than it is today. So, here was a 200-year period of time - from the demise of Solomonís kingdom until we get to the warnings now coming from prophets such as Isaiah and Jeremiah and so forth. Israel, after all the glory of Solomonís kingdom, and by virtue of being divided now into the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom consists of ten tribes in the North and two tribes in the South. This is all happening after Solomonís reign, so we have a 200 year period in there where the nation is divided into the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom.

They are separate entities. They have their own line of kings, but theyíre still all part of the nation of Israel and the Covenant promises. So, God sends prophets into Judah and He sends prophets up into Israel and by-and-large everything they write fits. Although, the prophets writing up in the Northern Kingdom are addressing their demise and they are soon overtaken by the Assyrians, whereas Isaiah and Jeremiah are directing their prophecies to Judah and Benjamin who will finally be overrun by the Babylonians about 100 years later.

All right, hereís the setting now of Isaiah. He is prophesying about 200 years after David and Solomon, but he is 700 years before Christís first advent. Israel has now come to the place where she is going downhill so fast, morally and spiritually. Oh, the Temple is still going; theyíre still sacrificing. The Temple is still the center of all the religious activity, but the nation, as a whole, is now succumbing to idolatry and pagan worship and theyíre forgetting all about the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

So, the warnings that come from these prophets are of an immediate nature; its impending invasion by an enemy who will literally annihilate many of them. Itís also looking forward to another great demise of Israel, which would be after theyíve crucified the Christ and the Romans came in and destroyed the Temple and Israel was disbursed. Then, we can even go further, clear to the end of everything - that point of time thatís just ahead of us now, we feel, when God will once again deal with His covenant people in what we call the Tribulation.

So, in all of these prophecies you look at and the text will usually show Ė is it the immediate invasion that heís talking about? Is it the intermediate, when Jerusalem was overrun by the Romans and the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD. Or, is it the long term, clear at the end of the Tribulation, which of course, from Isaiahís time would be 2700 years into the future. But see, thatís what makes this Book so beautiful. This is why I maintain, without apology, it is the ONLY Word of God on earth. None of your other books of religion - the Book of Mormon, the Koran, the Book of Buddha, Shinto, none of them can prophecy things years and centuries in advance like this one does. Thatís always my first comment if people have any doubt about this being the Word of God; there is no other book on earth that can do what this Book does concerning prophecy.

All right, weíre going to start in Isaiah chapter 1 and donít forget the time element. It is 700 years before Christ. Isaiah is prophesying in the Southern Kingdom, heís got all the advantages of the Temple worship and everything else. Heís also going to be addressing a lot of his judgments to the Northern Kingdom, as well, who will be going under the captivity a hundred years before Judah will.

Isaiah 1:1a

"The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah,Ö" See how you can see right from the text, he is a prophet of the Southern Kingdom. See, now hereís how chronologists can date so much of Scripture from just little tidbits of information like this, "In the days of King Uzziah." Again, history can pretty much nail down the time at which King Uzziah ruled and reigned in Jerusalem. All right, so these are visions that he saw concerning:

Isaiah 1:1b

"ÖJerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, (all) kings of Judah." Now, here begins Isaiahís controversy with the nation of Israel.

Isaiah 1:2a

"Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORDÖ" Now remember, that term LORD in the Old Testament, with all four letters in capitalization, is Jehovah; the primary name of God concerning Israel in the Old Testament economy.

Isaiah 1:2b

"Ö for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, (thatís why we refer to them so often as the children of Israel. They were the result of His promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but what happened?) and they have rebelled against me." Now, verse 3 is a classic verse. You all know it. Youíve heard it at one time or another.

Isaiah 1:3a

"The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass (or the donkey) his masterís crib:Ö" In other words, the donkey knew where his food was coming from. Thatís why I love cattle ranching. I can drive out in the pasture and just give one yell, and here they come! Why? Well, they know where that little tidbit of tasty cubes is coming from. You know we feed cattle cubes. They know! But thatís more than a lot of people can do. A lot of people havenít got enough wherewithal to come in out of the rain. But the animal kingdom does. So, itís an example of Scripture, "The donkey knows his masterís crib," he knows where his next meal is coming from, butÖ

Isaiah 1:3b

"Ömy people (Israel) doeth not consider." (or know) Now, remember, the "My people" here is Israel. Weíre not talking about the Church. Thatís another point I have to make. There is not one iota of reference anywhere in the Old Testament concerning the New Testament Church. Not one hint. The closest you can come is when Amos prophecies that God will call out a people for His name, which of course was a reference to the, I think, "the calling out of the Body of Christ."

But, other than that, there is not one iota of any reference to the Church, and weíll look at that in just a minute. It was a secret held in the mind of God. All right, now Iím going to make a comparison Scripture. Jump up to Jeremiah chapter 8, and remember what we just read. Jeremiah is also a prophet writing and concerning himself with Judah, but heís a few years later than Isaiah. Even though Isaiah dies before the Babylonian captivity, Jeremiah is still alive. Jeremiah was actually found by the Babylonians in a dungeon deep down under Jerusalem. Thatís where the Jews had thrown him because they didnít like his message. So, Jeremiah is writing some 75-80 years later than Isaiah, but he says almost the same thing.

Jeremiah 8:7

"Yea the stork (the bird) in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people (Israel) know not the judgment of the LORD." Isnít it sad? You know, I have said as long as Iíve been teaching, Israel could have known who Jesus was. Israel should have known who Jesus was, but now letís see what the Scripture says.

Turn all the way up to the New Testament now, to I Corinthians chapter 2. Has anything changed? Nothing! See, this is why I love to compare Scripture with Scripture. Isaiah says, "the ox knows his masterís crib." Jeremiah says, "the birds of the heavens know when to migrate,", but Israel didnít know. Weíre not blaming the Jew only. My, weíre no different today.

You can go up and down the streets of any town and city in America today and ask the younger generation a Biblical question. Can they answer it? More than likely not. They donít know what youíre talking about. In fact, I was just reading an article the other day on some of the clichés that we speak of, for example, "A Damascus Road experience." Do you know that most of our kids havenít got a clue what theyíre talking about? Thatís just one example. All right, so it isnít just Israel. Weíre just as far down the tube, having begun, I think, on as high a plane spiritually when our nation was formed, as Israel was from their beginning. I think itís almost a perfect parallel between Israel in the Old Testament and America since her inception. Now, compare this with what we just read in Isaiah and Jeremiah

I Corinthians 2:7

"But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, (or a secret. Thatís the other word for mystery) even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world to our glory." Now again, Paul could have just as well said, "my glory" because it was to him that all this was revealed. Now, look at verse 8.

I Corinthians 2:8

"Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory." So why did they crucify Him? They were totally ignorant of who He was.

All right, letís move on over to Ephesians chapter 3, and now we have another account from the pen of the Apostle Paul of why there is absolutely no mention of the Church, this Age of Grace, in the Old Testament, and we might as well cover it right up front. I may come back to it again before we get out of Isaiah, but here it is. Ephesians chapter 3, weíll read several verses starting at verse 1, probably down through verse 9. And this is the exact reason that the Church is not in Old Testament writings.

Ephesians 3:1a

"For this causeÖ" Where Paul has just come out of chapter 2, where he had said in verse 8 and 9 "for by grace are you saved through faith not of works lest any man should boast," Therefore he establishes that weíre now under Grace.

Ephesians 3:1

"For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles." Not Israel. Heís the Apostle of the Gentiles, (Romans 11:13) like Isaiah was a prophet of Israel. Like Peter and the Eleven were Apostles of Israel, this man is the Apostle of the Gentiles.

Ephesians 3:2a

"If ye have heardÖ" And weíre going to be using that word "If" when we get back to Isaiah after a while. Everything is conditioned on choice. You ever think of that? Everything you do, whatever your lot in life. Whatever kind of a marriage youíve ended up in, whatever kind of a family you have raised, whatís it all based on? Choices! Nations make them. Families make them. Individuals make them.

Ephesians 3:2

"If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:" Maybe, by choice, you havenít heard. You donít want to hear. Thatís a lot of people. They donít want to hear it. In fact, someone just shared with me last night where they mentioned something to a customer that came into their store about eternity and you know what his answer was? (It didnít surprise me one bit.) "Iíve never thought about it."

Isnít that typical? They donít ever think about eternity. In fact, I think I mentioned in one of my classes the other night, one of the pastors who we just ministered with up in Minnesota was telling me that when he was a young man going to the University of Minnesota, and many of you are acquainted with the ĎTwin Cities,í thereís a hodgepodge of traffic coming in to what they call the "seven corners." I donít know if itís still there or not, used to be. Yeah, Bill says itís still there! And he said that right there on the seven corners of Minneapolis was a huge billboard and all that was on it was the question, "Where will you spend eternity?" He said that thing just bugged him and bugged him and he said, "I know that thatís what drove me into the ministry, knowing that most people have never considered the question, Ďwhere will you spend eternity?í "

All right, so again it behooves us to understand that itís a matter of choice. That was another conversation we had, I think when we were out in South Dakota. We were talking about God sending lost people to the eternal lake of fire. You know, a lot of people will say, "Well, how can a God of love and mercy send the vast majority of the human race to such a place?" He doesnít send them there, they choose to go there. Never forget that. They choose to go there, and when they come before the Great White Throne Judgment someday, theyíre never going to argue and say, "Well, you didnít give me a chance." Theyíre going to know that they have chosen to go where theyíre going.

All right, back to Ephesians chapter 3, that this dispensation of the Grace of God, which is given to Paul to us, now verse 3.

Ephesians 3:3

"How that by revelation (a revealing from His place in Glory) he made known unto me (the Apostle Paul) the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4. Whereby, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)" These secrets revealed to Paul that the world in general knew nothing of. Now, verse 5. Here it comes, just as plain as language can make it.

Ephesians 3:5

"Which in other ages (or generations) was not made known to the sons of men, as it is now revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit." Now remember, Paul is speaking of those prophets and apostles who associated with his ministry, not the Twelve or any of the prophets of Israel. Heís talking about those associated with his ministry.

Ephesians 3:6-9

"That the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: 7. Whereof I was made a minister, (Paulís apostleship is singular) according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 8. Unto me, who am less than the lest of all saints is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9. And to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, (this secret. Now, here it is again) which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, (the same God) who created all things by Jesus Christ:"

All right, now turn over a few pages forward to Colossians, and we see the same thing repeated, inspired of the Holy Spirit remember; Colossians chapter 1 beginning at verse 24. Now, this was all revealed to this Apostle and consequently the Old Testament writers couldnít even mention it, they knew nothing of it. And weíll be looking at what they were thinking when we get back there. All right, Colossians chapter 1 beginning at verse 24.

Colossians 1:24a

"Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my fleshÖ" In other words, how the man suffered for 25 years to get the Gospel out into the Roman Empire. And remember what that Gospel of Salvation is? "How that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again." (I Corinthians 15:1-4) Now, continuing on in verse 24.

Colossians 1:24b-26a

"Öthe afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his bodyís sake which is the church: (or the Church, which is His Body) 25.Whereof (for the sake of the Body) I am made a minister according to the dispensation of God (or as he called it the dispensation of grace in Ephesians) which is given to me for you, to fulfill (or to complete or to bring the New Testament to an end) the word of God; 26. Even the mystery (the secret) which hath been hid from ages and generations,Ö" You see how plain all this is? All these things coming from the pen of the Apostle Paul were kept totally secret.

Thatís why Peter wrote in his little epistle, "that in Paulís epistles are some things hard to be understood." It was a whole new ballgame that Peter couldnít quite catch, and this is the reason. It was kept secret. But now it was revealed to this Apostle. Iris and I decided last night that Iím going to have to do a program someday on the number of times that Paul uses that expression, "But now." I think it will easily make a thirty minute program. How many times Paul refers to the past with all of its misery and its sin and its rebellion, "but now" is on this side of salvation as a believer. All right,

Colossians 1:26b

"Öbut now (this which was kept secret) is made manifest to the saints;"

And you know how Iíve always explained the word manifest Ė put into the spotlight, where nothing is shaded and you canít quite read it. It is all brought in just as plain as language can make it, but you know what? People donít want to read it. They donít want to hear it. Itís contrary to their normal comfort zone and Iíll never forget, years ago, a couple came into one of my classes and they had their eyes opened. The Lord saved them and they went back to their denominational people, and that was the first time I ever heard it, she said, "Les, they donít want to be rocked out of their comfort zone." The comfort zone and isnít that exactly it?

LESSON ONE*PART II

MAKING CHOICES

ISAIAH 1:1-2:2

My, when we go on our seminars, people share with us constantly, "We pray for you and Iris and the ministry." They tell us they not only watch us every day, but they pray for us every day. I think thatís why the Lord has blessed our ministry the way He has. He has blessed us so abundantly, and as Iíve rehearsed with people, especially as we travel, that it just seems as though the Lord has reached out to so many men, older men, and not exactly good men.

In fact, I was just talking with a gentleman the other day up in Kansas, and Iím not going to identify him, but I imagine a lot of people up there will know who Iím talking about. He had lost his wife some time ago, and he called me on the phone and shared with me that he had just lost her, and he was so totally broken up I could hardly understand him. But anyway, he happened to be in one of our seminars last week and introduced himself. He shared how the Lord had opened his heart because of the loss of his wife. She had left two crucial verses for him in their bathroom, which he found two or three days after the funeral, and through tears he shared with me how the next day he caught our program and within one or two programs came to know the Lord!

He was a nice-looking fellow and you would never dream what he said, and I just said, "Well, why are you emphasizing how awful youíve been?" He said, "Les, Iíve probably been in prison more than Iíve been out." He certainly didnít look like that type of a person. But, you know, the Lord can save to the uttermost those that are willing to believe the Gospel of salvation that we find in I Corinthians 15:1-4. So it encourages us as we see this across the ministry.

Okay, weíre going to pick up where we left off in our study in Isaiah. As I said at the beginning of the first program, weíre not going to belabor the book, weíre not going to stay in it from now on, but we will spend a little while because it is such an appropriate book for today, because itís a book of prophecy. And Iíll keep repeating, because remember, bear with me, weíve got new listeners coming in every day. Our database is just exploding lately, and so for the benefit of new listeners, Iím going to keep repeating.

Isaiah is going to be prophesying to the nation of Israel in near-term events because of their falling headlong into idolatry. Even though theyíve got the Temple operating, it means nothing, and the rank and file of Israel has just become total rebels. So near-term judgments, such as an invasion by the Assyrians from the north Ė now while we were having coffee at the last break, I wrote a little bit of my makeshift map up here. Now, nothing is to scale; itís almost a caricature so far as maps are concerned. But here we have the Euphrates River running all the way down through present day Baghdad down to the Persian Gulf. And here we have the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River, and the Dead Sea. Jerusalem, right off the northern end of the Dead Sea, and slightly north of Jerusalem is where the nation was divided. The ten tribes comprising the Northern Kingdom, the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin comprising the Southern Kingdom are staying down here at the south where they have the Temple.

Now, as Isaiah is writing, the near invasion of the Ten Tribes by the Syrians is right at hand. Itís going to happen within a matter of a few years. Then, almost a hundred years later the Babylonians will come in from the east and they will besiege Jerusalem, destroy the Temple, and take the Jews back out to Babylon, which is present day Iraq. They will be there for 70 years of captivity. Now, I always like to emphasize that contrary to the teaching of Armstrongism in years back which said that the Ten Tribes were lost and became Europeans and Americans, that is as false as a three dollar bill. Because, if you go back into the account of the Kings and the Chronicles and study the civil wars, and they did have civil wars, the tribes of Judah would have a civil war with Israel and back and forth. If you will compare the wars from when they first started, Judah only had a few hundred thousand men of war, whereas the Ten Tribes had one million three hundred thousand. Five years later the numbers have come a little closer to equal but the majority is still leaning to the Ten Tribes. But then thirty years later, after the first civil war, Judah now has a million some hundred thousand soldiers, and the Ten Tribes of the Northern Kingdom have an army no bigger than a little flock of kid goats.

Thatís the way the Scripture puts it. So, what has been happening over the years? Theyíve been migrating back into Judah because, after all, thatís where the Temple is. Thatís where the major activity is taking place. So, when the Syrians come in and take Israel captive, (the ten tribes) there werenít that many left, because most of them have moved back down to the Southern Kingdom.

Now, when they are taken captive out to Babylon it figures how many Tribes went into the Babylonian captivity, two or twelve? Well, twelve of them. And when they came back, the language in Ezra and Nehemiah is "all" Israel. By the time you get to Christís first advent and Peter addresses in Acts chapter 2 what is his application? "Therefore let the whole house of Israel." So, donít ever buy into that fact that there are ten lost tribes. They were never lost. They were always part and parcel of the nation of Israel.

Okay, letís pick up where we left off in Isaiah chapter 1 verse 4. Just get the picture of how far down the tube the nation of Israel has gone just in the last two hundred years since Solomonís death.

Isaiah 1:4

"Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters; they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel into anger, they are gone away backward." Now, you remember in our last taping, I made the statement that nations, as well as individuals, are constantly given choices. For the nation of Israel it was choice after choice.

Now, letís go back so that youíll see what Iím talking about. Go back with me to the time of Moses as he writes the book of Deuteronomy and turn to chapter 28. This is just exactly what Iím trying to bring across in this study here in Isaiah. They had the choice. We Americans are in the same place. Weíre going to be making a tremendous choice. Are we just going to pull off all restraint? Are we just going to open the floodgates to wickedness or are we going to try and hold it back?

Now, Iíve said everywhere I go, "We canít turn it around." You will not turn it around, because weíre too close to the end. The best we can hope for is to slow it down. But you know, like one fellow in Minnesota put it, and I think heís probably right. He said, "If it doesnít slow down, then weíre just that much closer to the Rapture." Well, Iíll have to agree, because we as a nation are at the same crossroads that Israel was, and hereís the choice. Deuteronomy 28 and we can just start at verse 1. Now, this is even before they have gotten into the Promised Land and Moses is putting the choice before them.

Deuteronomy 28:1

"And it shall come to pass, (itís going to happen however Israel chooses, and whatís the next word?) if (Thatís the condition.) thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, and to observe to do all his commandments which I command thee this day that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all the nations of the earth:" That was Israelís prospect. You remember way back when they came out of Egypt, Iím always teaching in Exodus 19, what could they have become? A nation of priests. Every Jew would have the opportunity to bring Gentiles to the knowledge of their God. But, it was all based on whatever choice they would take.

Deuteronomy 28:2

"All these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if (you make the right choice. And whatís the choice?) thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God." Then he begins to show the blessings that God is going to shower on the nation if theyíre obedient.

Deuteronomy 28:3

"Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field." Now, this is all in the normal events of everyday life. Theyíll be blessed family-wise. Theyíll be blessed in food production. Theyíll be blessed in every way.

Deuteronomy 28:4

"Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, (children) and the fruit of thy ground, (crops) and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kind, and the flocks of thy sheep." In other words, like Abraham and Isaac of old, it would just come rolling in. That was one prospect. All right, but now letís come down to verse 15. Whatís the first word? "But." Flipside! Hereís the other choice and itís a choice.

Deuteronomy 28:15a

"But it shall come to pass, if you wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutesÖ" Now remember, this is Israel under the Law; this isnít you and I under grace, but the whole concept of choices is the same regardless.

Deuteronomy 28:15b-20a

"Öwhich I command thee this day; that all these curses (all these bad things) shall come upon thee, and overtake thee. (Then here he lists them) 16. Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. 17. Cursed will be thy basket and thy store. 18. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, (you see what an awesome choice weíve got here?) and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kind, and the flocks of thy sheep. 19. Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. 20. The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation and rebukeÖ" So, if they choose wrong, is that Godís fault? No. Itís not Godís fault. The same way today. When people choose wrong and they end up in a life of drug addition and sleeping under the bridge, is that Godís fault? No, they made choices.

All right, now jump back to Isaiah then, and I hope you got the picture. Israel now, for 200 years, has been choosing to rebel against the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and against the Law of Moses, theyíre going their own way. They are falling under the influence of the pagan gods and goddesses of the Gentiles around them.

Isaiah 1:5a

"Why should ye be stricken anymore? Ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sickÖ" Whatís he talking about? Their thinking is all fouled up. Is it any different today? You know, we got an interesting letter from a grade school principal out east in yesterdayís mail. She attached a paper and said, "This is typical of the kids down in the upper elementaries." Iím thinking sixth or seventh grade. She said, "This is typical of what we see everyday." It was just a blank sheet on which this kid had been doodling. And you know what the doodling was? Everything satanic. It was all satanic; death and hell. Thatís some of our kids, their heads are sick. And thatís Israel, theyíre sick in the head, so far as spiritual things are concerned.

Isaiah 1:5b

"Öand the whole heart faint." Now, this isnít nice reading, I know it isnít. Itís a warning. And the whole thing is, that if they respond to the warning, will the bad things happen? No. God will turn them into a blessing. But, if they do not respond, judgmentís going to fall.

Isaiah 1:6-7a

"From the sole of the foot even unto the head (that is just a figurative word of speech so far as the nation is concerned) there is no soundness in it. (You donít do anything sensible.) But wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. (The nation is sick and getting sicker by the day.) 7. Your country is desolateÖ" Now, remember, what was the Promised Land really called? "The land of milk and honey." It was a tremendously productive area of the world; it was beautiful. But what have they done with it? Theyíve made God bring the curse upon it and itís no longer beautiful and productive.

Isaiah 1:7a

"Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your landÖ" Now, this hasnít happened yet, but itís going to, so itís spoken as if itís already done. I hope you catch that now. This is whatís coming to the land of Israel, because the Syrians are ready to march up into the Northern Kingdom. Old Nebuchadnezzar is sitting out there in Babylon getting ready to increase his empire, and God knows that within a hundred years Jerusalem will be laying in ashes because of Nebuchadnezzar.

Isaiah 1:7b-8

"Öyour land strangers (that is the boots of invading armies.) devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. 8. And the daughter of Zion is left (in other words the people that are still in the land) as a cottage in a vineyard, (in other words, we would say, Ďan abandoned shack.í) as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city." Now, we donít know what itís like to come under siege, but in antiquity it was awful. You know that when Samaria was under siege, Jerusalem was under siege; no food comes in. They sooner or later run out of water. They become destitute and you know what happened.

Isaiah 1:9a

"Except (or unless) the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnantÖ" Whatís that? It is that small percentage of faithful believers that God has always kept. And Heís never had much more. In fact, thatís a doctrine you can follow from almost the time of Cain and Abel all the way to the end of the book of Revelation. Itís what I call the "doctrine of the remnant." There are always those few.

I had an interesting letter yesterday. If the Rapture takes place today, will the world suddenly realize a catastrophe has happened? With millions and millions and millions of people gone? I wish that were true. I wrote back the answer this morning before I left, "Donít you kid yourself. There are going to be so few believers raptured out of this world that they wonít even miss us. They wonít even cause a headline in the New York Times." Sad to say, but itís true, because thatís the way itís always been. Itís always been that small, small remnant.

Isaiah 1:9

"Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, (now weíre talking about Israel remember, Judah in particular but Israel as a whole) we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah." Weíd have been a Sodom, if it hadnít have been for the remnant of believers to hold things together, God would have just had to wipe the whole thing off the map. "And we would have been like unto Gomorrah."

Isaiah 1:10a

"Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom;Ö" Who is he referring to? Jerusalem. Jerusalem has become just about as bad as Sodom and Gomorrah and donít you think for a minute that homosexuality didnít ravage Israel just like it does other nations. It did. And this was one of their problems. Thatís why itís referred to as such.

Isaiah 1:10

"Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah." Itís still talking about Jerusalem. Now, verse 11. Here it really gets down where the rubber hits the road.

Isaiah 1:11a

"To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD:..." What did I tell you a little while ago? The Temple is going full blast. Theyíre killing animals by the hundreds in the name of "religion." Oh, theyíre religious, but how much affect has it on their life? None! Is it any different today? Our churches are full, new ones going up every day. Is it changing the moral fiber of our country? I canít see it. And so what is it? It is just emptiness; like Israel.

Isaiah 1:11b

"Ö saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, (in other words, how do we put it? Iíve had it up to here!) and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.:" When itís not offered by faith.

Isaiah 1:12

"When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?" Now, what do you suppose He meant by treading the courts? Whatís the other word? Trample! Trample! They had, just like a mass of animals, trampled the approaches to the Temple.

Now, letís give you a good vivid picture of what he was really talking about. Come back with me to Matthew 21 verses 12 and 13. Now, youíll see exactly why Iím using the word trample back here in Isaiah. My, they were flooding to the Temple. They were bringing their sacrifices, but what else was going on? Well, here we have it here, and itís the time of Christ at the Lordís earthly ministry.

Matthew 21:12a

"And Jesus went into the temple of God, (there on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem) and cast out all them that sold and bought (where?) in the temple,Ö" Not a block or two down the street! They were doing all this within the confines of the Temple compound. Now, they werenít in the Holy of Holies. They werenít in the sanctuary. That was just a little tiny building. But the whole complex made up what they called the Temple, you see.

Matthew 21:12b

"Öand overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves." What were they doing? Well, they were selling the stuff that they needed for their sacrifices.

Matthew 21:13

"And he said unto them, íIt is written, my house (the Temple) shall be called the house of prayer; but ye (Israel) have made it a den of thieves.í" All right, now why does he call these moneychangers thieves? Well, they were selling animals that were probably lame or not quite healthy, which werenít even acceptable for a sacrifice.

But, they were selling them for more bucks than they were worth. They were thieving from the poor people who couldnít afford to go someplace else and buy something for a sacrifice. They were trapped. And they took advantage of them. Thatís nothing new. My, weíre full of it today. Theyíre charlatans. Theyíre pulling the money right out of peopleís pockets and they donít even blink an eye. No shame. No guilt. And they think theyíre doing it for Godís purposes. Well, Iíve got news for them. Itís not biblical; itís not Scriptural. But this is what theyíre doing. Theyíre thieving from the poor people that canít help themselves. Okay, back to Isaiah verse 13.

Isaiah 1:13

"Bring no more vain oblations; (that is things that were brought for sacrifice and worship,) incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and the Sabbaths, (which meant everything to a religious Jew) the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting." Whatís He saying is so many words? I canít handle it! I canít stand what youíre doing. "It is iniquity, even your solemn meeting." What does that mean? Oh, they prayed. They bowed. They did everything that they thought their religion demanded, but where was their heart? As soon as they could get out of there they could go back out into the things of the world.

Isaiah 1:14

"Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth; they are a trouble unto me. I am weary to bear them." Well, now you know that the new moons and everything were a part and parcel of the Mosaic Law. That isnít what God hated. What God hated was what they were doing with it. They were just making it a trumped up, false religion, and thought they were doing God a service. All right, now then, verse 15 and this really gets close to home.

Isaiah 1:15

"And when ye spread forth your hands, (donít you see it?) I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood." Now look, they werenít there with a bunch of actual blood all over them, itís a figure of speech. But if they had bloody hands, what did it show them? Their guilt. Maybe not of actually murdering somebody, but they were so deep into sin and rebellion, itís as if they were no better than the murderer who has just walked away from killing someone.

Now, thatís how serious it gets when unbelievers try to placate a Holy God with their false approach, with their false worship and their rituals and their lifting up of their hands, and their heart is as far from God as it can possibly be. You think Godís going to stand for it? No more today than He did back here. Because weíre going to see, probably not anymore this afternoon, but a little later in Isaiah, what happened. The enemies come in, and the Jews suffer immeasurably. But was it Godís fault? No. Heís warning them and warning them and warning them, but they will not listen.

LESSON ONE * PART III

MAKING CHOICES

ISAIAH 1:1-2:2

Okay, now weíre in Isaiah chapter 1, and weíll just pick right up where we left off in our last program. We just finished verse 15, where we had the figure of speech "full of blood" which merely showed the nation of Israelís wickedness, and their guilt. The remedy was in verse 16:

Isaiah 1:16-17

"Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil; (and hereís the other side of the coin) 17. Learn to do well; seek judgment, (that is authority and good government) relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow." Those are certainly good attributes for a believer of any time. Now verse 18, a verse that has been known throughout church history, and yet I think, a lot of times, it has been totally misinterpreted, where the verse says:

Isaiah 1:18a

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD;Ö" Now, what does that imply? That God is willing to what? Compromise. Heís willing to discuss the matter. No, the Hebrew doesnít imply that at all. It was an absolute Ė "Come now" Ė itís a settled fact that if you want to deal with your sin, God is more than ready in mercy and grace, even back here under the Law, to forgive their sin, to cleanse them from all unrighteousness. Itís not a matter of compromising. Itís not a matter of saying, well maybe, you know, like approaching the judge in a courtroom. No! No! No, itís an absolute. And the Lord says:

Isaiah 1:18b

"Öthough your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Now you see, the Apostle Paul puts it a little differently for us in the Age of Grace. Come all the way up to Romans, if you will, because like I mentioned when we first started in Isaiah, donít weary that weíre going to be in the Old Testament; weíre going to jump back and forth as much as we possibly can. So, back to Romans chapter 5, where we have the same attitude from the same God. Now remember, God hasnít changed. Thatís why one of the terms we use for God is Heís immutable. He changes not. "Heís the same yesterday, today and forever." Whether Heís dealing with Israel back here under the Law or whether Heís dealing with us today under Grace, the attributes of God are the same.

Romans 5:20a

"Moreover the law (the Ten Commandments) entered, that the offense (or that sin) might abound..." In other words, the Ten Commandments didnít create sin; they delineated it. The Ten Commandments just simply shows the human race whatís right and whatís wrong. Thatís the purpose of the Law.

Romans 5:20b

"ÖBut where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:" Now, thatís not license. Then he comes on down to verse 1 of chapter 6. If Godís grace is always greater than sin, does that mean that we continue in sin or do we practice how far down into sin we can go and still expect God to cleanse us and forgive us? Well, if thatís your attitude, youíre all wrong.

Romans 6:1-2

"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2. God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" How can a believer even want to go down into the depths of lawbreaking? Itís contrary to us now. But you see, for Israel back here in Isaiah chapter 1 it was the same premise that GodÖ In fact, Iím going to take you back under that same concept. Letís go back to Exodus and itís the account of Israel at Mount Sinai and the golden calf. I think you all know about it. It should be in Exodus about 32, if I remember right. Here theyíre gathered around Mount Sinai; Moses has gone up into the mountain.

Exodus 32:1

"And the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, (now thatís explanatory enough, so whereís Moses? Heís up in the mountain) the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron and said unto him, íUp, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him.í" Now, you know the rest of the story, how they collected all their gold and Aaron created a golden calf. And they worshipped it. They danced around it. And they went into gross immorality in the example of the heathen. Now, what could God have done? He could have just wiped them away. But does He? No. Because, you see, in chapter 33 verse 1, now after all the fact,

Exodus 33:1-2a

"And the LORD said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it. 2. And I will send an angel before thee;Ö" Now, how in the world could a Holy and a Righteous God witness the demise of His chosen people who have brought about the creation of a golden idol and practiced the immorality of the pagans associated with it, and then He comes right back and Heís willing to still take them on up into the Promised Land. Why, He could have just as well ended it. But look why He does not. Drop on down in this same chapter 33, oh, I guess we can start at verse 18, where Moses now is confronting the God of Glory, and Moses says to God:

Exodus 33:18

"And he said, I beseech thee, show me thy glory. 19. And he (God) said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; (now here it comes) and will be gracious, (whatís the other word for gracious? Grace) to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy." All right, now letís just jump up to II Samuel, chapter 7, and, oh, the patience and the mercy and the forgiveness of God, first and foremost to His people Israel, but itís no different for us in this Age of Grace. Heís the same God, with the same attributes.

Now, look what He says concerning the nation of Israel as Heís speaking with David, and of course Solomon will be following in Davidís footsteps. Here we have the promise, now, of the Davidic family bloodline, and down through Israelís history everything is going to be leading to the coming of the Messiah, the son of David. A direct descendent of David through Solomon. All right, and thatís what heís really talking about in these verses.

II Samuel 7:12

"And when thy days be fulfilled, and shalt sleep with thy fathers, (in other words, he will die physically) I will set up thy seed (or coming generations) after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels (your innermost being) and I will establish his kingdom." In other words, itís going to come down through the genetics of King David and God says, "I will establish his kingdom." Now, I donít know whether weíll get anymore this afternoon or not, but weíre going to start looking at these promises of this coming earthly kingdom promised to Israel. All right, now then verse 13:

II Samuel 7:13a

"He (this king that shall follow David) shall build a house for my nameÖ." Well, not a house of wood and concrete but a royal house, a royal family, a bloodline. And through that bloodline, now coming from Solomon, the son of David:

II Samuel 7:13b-14a

"Öand I will establish the throne of his forever. 14. I will be his father, (that is this whole line of kings and the nation coming through the promises made to David and Solomon) and he shall be my sonÖ." But now, look at the next word, "If". If somewhere down the line they make bad choices:

II Samuel 7:14b

"ÖIf he commit iniquity, (now Heís not just speaking about Solomon, Heís speaking about the nation of Israel who is going to be under the kingship of David and Solomon and all these kings that will follow) I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:" Now, thatís exactly what Isaiah is telling them, that if they do not straighten up and forsake their wickedness, the Syrians and the Babylonians will be coming in. Thatís exactly what God promised way back here, that "if they would sin, God would chasten them with the rod of men, their invading armies and with the stripes of the children of men." But in spite of their punishment, in spite of the invading armies which would wreak havoc, bring in misery, starvation many times, but whatís the promise?

II Samuel 7:15-16

"But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took from Saul, whom I put away before thee. (Then verse 16, hereís the promise that the kingdom will never fail to make its appearance.) 16. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee: thy throne shall be established forever" Thatís Godís promise, that the Kingdom will be established forever. It wonít be just the 1000 years of Revelation, but itís going to slip right on into the eternal estate so that this Kingdom will be established forever. Well, now, keep that in mind as we see the punishment and the chastisement thatís going to come on the nation of Israel; as we see it coming from the pen of the prophet Isaiah.

All right, back to Isaiah chapter 1, if you will, and verse 19; if Israel would just recognize that God is willing to forgive and cleanse their iniquity. These are further conditions, just like we saw in Deuteronomy.

Isaiah 1:19-20

"If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: (God would bless them) 20. But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it." Now, hereís their choice again. Iím going to stay on that probably all afternoon Ė choices. And I can tell America the same thing today. If we do not change our direction, if our nation does not stop going in that way of rebellion, Godís judgment is going to fall. Americaís doomed. We have the choice of going the other way, but itís not going to happen. Itís not going to happen any more than it did in Israel. But itís not Godís fault. If America someday goes down the tube, it wonít be Godís fault. All right, verse 20 again:

Isaiah 1:20a

"But if you refuse and rebel you shall be devoured with the sword:Ö" That is, by invading armies. Now, he comes back to Jerusalem, the so-called city of peace.

Isaiah 1:21a

"How is the faithful city become a harlot!..." Now, you remember a harlot all through Scripture is a picture of something good thatís been adulterated, so even Jerusalem has been adulterated with all the sin and the wickedness that Israel could dream up. Weíve already touched on a lot of it in the last program.

Isaiah 1:21b

"Öit was full of judgment: (in other words, good government, good rule) righteousness lodged in it; but now (what?) murderers." What does murder and that type of behavior imply? A breakdown in law and order. Whereas once they had a beautiful city in which to live, now they almost had to be afraid to walk down the street. Sound familiar? Verse 22.

Isaiah 1:22

"Thy silver is become dross, (Now, not everybody will agree with me. You know what I think heís saying? Their monetary system has become defunct. Itís worthless. Whether it was inflation or whatever, their silver, their medium of exchange, had become as nothing) thy wine mixed with water:" What does that speak of? Adulterating again.

Go back with me to Galatians chapter 1, because I use this constantly. I remember I did a word study on this several years ago when we were teaching, I think, in I Corinthians, where Paul said, I didnít come to you as a huckster with an adulterated product. I didnít come selling a bunch of junk that was worthless and charging a big price. That was the implication. All right, and when you chase that word study down you will find that the number one example of that is what we just saw in Isaiah; when they would take good wine and dilute it half and half with water and sell it as pure wine. Boy, that makes a good profit doesnít it?

All right, now look what Paul says in Galatians 1 as he writes to these Gentile believers up there in Asia Minor, Central Turkey, what we call Galatia; who had been succumbing to false teachers who were trying to add to Paulís Gospel. They were telling them that you couldnít be saved by faith alone in Christís death, burial, and resurrection. They had to also practice circumcision and keep the Law of Moses.

Galatians 1:6

"I marvel (Iím amazed) that ye are so soon removed from him (that is from the Christ of the cross) that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7. Which is not another; (Itís not something totally foreign. Itís not something totally different) but there be some that trouble you, and would (what?) pervert, (adulterate) the gospel of Christ."

Now, remember what the analogy was? You took pure wine, diluted half and half with water and still call it a pure product. Well, thatís what they were doing with Paulís Gospel that we must believe for salvation. They were adding works, just like adding water to wine. They were adding works to Paulís pure Gospel of Grace. See the analogy? It is a beautiful illustration. And theyíre doing it today. Hasnít changed a bit. My, how they want to add and add and add.

You know, I think it might have been already in the last taping, I had just gotten a letter and the question was, "Where does the Bible say Faith plus Nothing?" Well, that would be another program, just like the one Iím planning to do someday on "But now." I think I can put together a whole half hour program on that. Faith plus and thereís nothing there! So what is it? Itís nothing. Iíll just give you one example, you all know Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ for it (the Gospel) is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth." Plus anything? No! Thatís all it says.

Well, you can go over and over through Paulís epistles and itís the same thing. By faith; nothing is added. But here they were. They were adding works to Paulís Gospel and the word then is Ė "youíve perverted it." And then hereís the judgment on such people:

Galatians 1:8

"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, (which is youíre saved by believing that Christ died for our sins, He was buried, He arose from the grave alive evermore, and when you add to that itís a perversion. And he says) let him (such a person) be (what?) accursed." Thatís their end. Oh, they may sound pretty good. They may have a pretty good sermon, but if theyíre going to add works to Paulís Gospel, the Scripture has already condemned them. Now, thatís a hard pill to swallow. But Iíd hate to be in their shoes. I really would. And then he repeats it for emphasis. God is serious!!

Galatians 1:9

"As we said before, so say I now again, (this is the warning) if any (now the word man is italicized, thatís been added by the translator, so itís any. It may be women. It may be younger men; it may be older men. Doesnít matter. If anyone) preach any other gospel than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Let him be anathema is the Greek word and itís condemned. My, what a judgment is going to fall on these people who are adulterating this glorious Gospel of Grace. All right, only got a couple of minutes left. Letís come back to Isaiah once again, verse 23.

Isaiah 1:23a

"Thy princes (in other words, the upper echelon of their society, the men that should have known better. The men that should have been examples to the rank and file) are rebellious, and companions of thieves: (Boy, now thatís a moral rottenness, isnít it?) every one loveth gifts,Ö" Whatís the other word for it? Bribes. Everybody was bribing somebody to get something for nothing.

You know, I read a good little thing the other day, and when I was looking at this last night I couldnít help but think of it. Every lobbyist in congress should be able to walk around with a sandwich board on front and back that says, "I am bribing our congressmen." That might put a slowing on it, because thatís what theyíre doing. Oh weíve put a good name on it now, to be a lobbyist seems like somebody. Not in my book. A lobbyist is up there bribing our congressmen to get something for someone or something else! And thatís what they were doing here, and it brought about the demise of Israel. Itíll bring about the demise of our nation as well. So, this is the whole idea that they were trying to finagle, they were trying to bribe everything in the name of a buck.

Isaiah 1:23b

"Öeveryone loveth gifts (or bribes) and followeth after reward: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them. (Thatís the least of their concern. All theyíre concerned about is the big bucks) 24. Therefore saith the Lord,Ö" Now remember, Iím making the analogy on all of this; as Israel was, America is. And you canít get away from it.

Isaiah 1:24a

"Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah,Ö" Now ,that has a special meaning in the Hebrew. Itís an exclamatory word. Pay attention! God says:

Isaiah 24b

"ÖAh, I will ease me of my adversaries, and avenge me of my enemies." Now, Heís not talking about the Babylonians and the Syrians. Who are Godís true enemies here? Israel! Israel, who should know better, Israel whom God is pleading with to turn from their wicked ways and come back and be obedient so that God can bless them. But they donít want any part of that, just like the majority of humanity today.

Now, I think Iíve got a minute left. Letís go all the way up to Jeremiah 44 and do it quickly, because this shows so perfectly how far down Israel had dropped. Now remember, like I told you, Jeremiah writes almost a hundred years later. So things havenít improved. The prophets arenít getting through to them.

Jeremiah 44:15-17

"Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying, 16. As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee (weíre not going to listen.) 17. But we will certainly do whatever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out our drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings, our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: and were well, and saw no evil." Isnít that awful? Thatís Israel. Right there in the shadow of the Temple. And thatís what theyíre doing, theyíre pouring our drink offerings, theyíre worshiping the gods and goddesses of idolatry.

LESSON ONE * PART IV

MAKING CHOICES

ISAIAH 1:1 - 2:2

Again, we always like to remind our listening audience that we are just an informal Bible study. Our whole scope of teaching is to help people study on their own and be able to compare Scripture with Scripture, because a lot of times you canít answer these things with just one verse. You have to take a composite of the whole, and our whole purpose for teaching is not to make ourselves something that we are not, but just to be able to help the average believer become a good Bible student by learning how to rightly divide the Word. My, when people learn how to do that, then this Book just comes alive.

Okay, letís go right back where we left off in our last program which was still in Isaiah chapter 1, and let us look at verse 24.

Isaiah 1:24a

"Therefore saith the Lord,Ö" Remember what he was just dealing with? All the bribery and all the conniving in order to make more for the individual with no concern about the widows, the fatherless, and the orphans.

Isaiah 1:24-26a

"Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, (see how all this is strictly Jewish. Weíre not dealing with Gentiles here one bit. This is God dealing with His covenant people) Ah, (pay attention) I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies: 25. And I will turn my hand upon thee, (that is the Nation of Israel) and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: (Now, these are material things.) 26. And I will restore thy judges as at the first, (way back before they had a king) and thy counselors as at the beginning:Ö" In other words, itís going to go full circle. We are getting ready now for the earthly Kingdom that is going to be introduced in the book of Isaiah in chapter 2. Now, I donít know whether weíll get there in this half-hour, but if we do, all it will be is just an introduction to it.

But now, heís showing, and I guess the point I want to make before I go any further, all the way through Israelís history, first would come the judgment and then would come the blessings. Always remember that. Israel would always have to go through the judgment, because of their rebellion and their wickedness, but God never gave up on them. As we showed in the last half-hour, His mercy would not depart from them. After the judgment, after dealing with their rebelliousness, would come the blessings of God.

All right, now the same thing here, but itís looking forward to the long term. Now remember, when we started the first program this afternoon, I told you everything in this book (Isaiah) is going to have a near term, a mid term, and a long term application. All right, now when we start talking about the Kingdom, of course, thatís a long term. Thatís not going to happen after the return from Babylon. Itís not going to happen even after Christís first advent and the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD. It will not happen until the judgment of the Tribulation, which now today we can see the world is being prepared for.

Isaiah 1:26

"And I will restore thy judges, as at the first, (in other words, when they were in the place of blessing) thy counselors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, the city of righteousness, the faithful city." See what a difference? Now, instead of being a city of harlots, itís going to be the city of righteousness, the faithful city.

Isaiah 1:27-28

"Zion (Now, remember, thatís another term for Jerusalem. Mount Zion is in the city of Jerusalem) shall be redeemed with judgment, (that is again with good government, good law and order.) and her converts with righteousness. 28. And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, (Godís going to cleanse them of it) and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed." Heís going to remove them off the scene. Now, I can take you up to the Gospel account where the Lord said that at that day there would be two grinding at the mill, one would be taken, the other left. Now, for years, I think a lot of people thought that was a reference to the rapture. No, it was not. It was a reference to Israel being cleansed of the unbelievers. So it is the unbelieving Jew that would be removed, and the believer remains to go into the Kingdom. All right, so here we have the same thing.

Isaiah 1:29a

"For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which you have desired,Ö" Now remember, weíre talking about two different classes of people now. Now we are talking about the believing element, the remnant. Use your imagination, if you can, a little bit. Where do you suppose the Jews preferred to put their idols when they would worship? Under the oak tree. The oak tree was almost an idol in itself because of its beauty and stamina. All right, so thatís the reference that under every oak tree there had been an idol. But now, for these believing, the remnant that will be coming into the Kingdom, they are going to be ashamed of what their forefathers had done.

Isaiah 1:29-30

"For they will be ashamed of the oaks which you have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen. (Because they chose them for idolatry.) 30. For ye (Now, remember, heís addressing the unbeliever. Heís addressing the rebellious.) shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water."

What does that mean? Whatís happening to the tree? Itís dying. A dead oak tree is worthless. Have you ever seen a garden in Oklahoma that hasnít been watered, about the last week of August? Itís pitiful! Well, thatís the analogy. You will be just like an un-watered garden that hasnít had rain.

Isaiah 1:31a

"And the strong (those who were the imminent members of the nation of Israel) shall be as tow,Ö" Now, years and years ago, I looked that word up, and it has reference to the flax that is used to weave linen. Now, you know linen comes from flax straw. "Tow" was, if I remember correctly, the flax straw out of which they made their beautiful linen.

Isaiah 1:31b

"Öand the maker of it (that is the weaver) will be like a spark, (Well, what in the world will a spark do to flax straw? Poof! It goes up in a flame of fire.) and they shall both (what?) burn together, and none shall quench them." Now, if itís a stretch, I think maybe, we can include the dead oak tree of the previous verse, Iím not sure, but I think it is all analogous; that all of these things that are coming to nothing in the life of Israel will go up in a puff of smoke in the judgment of God.

All right, now weíre going to break into the sunrise of a precious promise, and that is a coming, glorious, earthly kingdom for the nation of Israel.

Isaiah 2:1-2a

"The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem." (Now, remember, like I said in the beginning, he is a prophet ministering in the Southern Kingdom of Judah and Jerusalem, but it also applies to the Northern Ten Tribes up in what we refer to as Israel) 2. And it shall come to pass in the last days,Ö" Now, Iíve said it over and over, what is that? Thatís a promise, and whatís going to follow? The prophecy - the promise and the prophecy. Hereís the promise, and itís going to happen!

Isaiah 2:2b

"Ö in the last days, the mountain of the LORDís house shall be established in the top of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it." Now, in order to establish that heís talking about this coming earthly 1000 year Kingdom, jump ahead with me to Daniel chapter 2, because everything is now going to be prophetically looking forward to this glorious, earthly Kingdom Ė on the earth. Itís going to be Heaven on earth. Of course, Christís first coming was a partial fulfillment of all of that.

All right, in Daniel chapter 2, when he has seen the vision of Nebuchadnezzar and how all the Gentile empires are pictured in that image; the head of gold, the chest of silver, the belly of brass, the legs of iron, and the feet and toes of iron mixed with clay which were representative of ten nations coming together in a loose democratic form of government as we see Europe doing today. All right, then he comes to the end of all that, verse 43:

Daniel 2:43

"And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay." I think thatís a perfect picture of the European community today.

Daniel 2:44

"And in the days of these kings (or these ten governments in Western Europe, and thatís why I feel weíre getting so close to the end-time) shall the God of heaven set up (what?) a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed:Ö" Itís going to be Israelís kingdom under Israelís king.

Now, I think I mentioned in one of my classes, either on the road, or the other night in Oklahoma. You remember when the wise men came to King Herod? Who were they asking for? "Where is He that is to be born King of the Jews?" They knew what they were looking for, but did Israel? No. Then you get all the way to the crucifixion, what did old Pilate have put on the top of the cross? "This is Jesus of Nazareth, the (what?) King of the Jews." Even old pagan Pilate had a better understanding than the rank and file of Israel. Even Pilate had a better understanding than most in Christendom today. I trust you know that most of Christendom does not recognize a coming earthly Kingdom. They donít know what you are talking about, but here it is. It will be a glorious Kingdom which shall never be destroyed.

Daniel 2:44b

and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, (No invader is going to come in and overrun it) but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. All right, now then, in verse 45 he interprets the dream in light of that Kingdom:

Daniel 2:45

"Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone (that crushed the image, you remember) that was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold: (In other words, that whole image is bowled over, ground up by this coming stone which is a reference again to Christ, who is always the stone of Scripture) the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof is sure." All right, while we are in Daniel we might as well go over to chapter 7 where instead of interpreting someone elseís dream, Daniel has a vision of his own. He, too, is going to depict these same great Gentile empires. I wonít read them verse-by-verse, but they are the same ones.

The first Gentile Empire would be Babylon, just like the head of gold. Then comes another, and it is the Persian Empire and is likened unto a bear. Then comes the next one, which is Greece, in verse 6, and it is likened unto a leopard, because of its swiftness and its speed. Then comes the fourth great empire, which was the Roman in verse 7, and then, of course, he goes beyond the Roman and picks up the Revived Roman Empire. All right, now then, come on over to verse 9 of Daniel as Daniel continues explaining his vision. It is identical with Nebuchadnezzarís dream.

Daniel 7:9

"I beheld till the thrones were cast down, (all the Gentile empires have been obliterated) and the Ancient of Days did sit, (the God of Heaven) whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head was like the pure wool: his throne like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire." Then he goes on and gives a graphic description of the very throne-room of heaven. Come on down to verse 13. He continues on in his visions:

Daniel 7:13a

"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of manÖ" Now, thatís a particular name of Deity concerning Jesus.

Daniel 7:13b-14

"Ö came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, (God the Father) and they brought him (that is the Son of man) near before him. 14. And there was given him (God the Son) dominion and glory, and a (what?) kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, and they will serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion,Ö" It is going to be for a thousand years on the planet as we know it. It will be interrupted for a little bit, and it slips right on into an eternal new heaven and new earth, but it is the same Kingdom over which Christ will rule and reign on the new earth.

All right, "And itíll be an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away. And his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." Now, letís go back and go a little further in Isaiah chapter 2, and weíre going to digress, if we have time and pick up some of the other prophecies that depict judgment followed by this glorious coming Kingdom. Back to Isaiah 2 verse 2, again. This is a key verse in prophecy.

Isaiah 2:2a

"And it shall come to pass in the last days,Ö" (leading up to Christís return) Now, youíve got to remember Ė did Israel have any concept of a 2000-year interval between the cross and the Kingdom? No. There was no concept of that whatsoever. They thought there would have to be a suffering Messiah, but they did not understand how or what for. They did not understand a crucifixion. They did not understand the Messiah would be crucified, buried, and raised from the dead. All they understood was that there would be a suffering Messiah. Isaiah 53 was full of it; how He would be like a lamb that before his shearers is dumb, and how He would be suffering for the transgressions of the people. But they did not know how, why, or when.

But, oh, they knew there was a coming glorious King. That is what Peter speaks of that the prophets search diligently, because they knew there had to be two concepts of Messiah Ė a suffering Messiah and a ruling Messiah. But they could not put it together. God did not expect them to, because Israel had no idea that because of their unbelief, the Kingdom would be postponed. Instead of coming in shortly after the resurrection, ascension, Tribulation, and Christís return, as all the Old Testament depicts, there would be another 1900 and some year interval with Israel out of the land in dispersion. But, they would be brought back to the land before the King and the Kingdom could come. We have seen them come back to the land in our lifetime. This was all hidden from them, so that they could not understand it.

Isaiah 2:2b

"Öthat the mountain of the LORDís house shall be established in the top of the mountains, (The mountains depict kingdoms. It will be above all other kingdoms that have ever existed.) and it shall be exalted above the hills; (even smaller kingdoms and empires) and (Then, hereís the promise.) all nations shall flow into it." Now, remember, there is no concept here of the intervening Church Age. There is no concept except that Israel would be the evangelists bringing the Gentiles to the knowledge of their God.

Letís jump all the way up to Zechariah chapter 8, and Iím thinking of this verse because of what it said, that all the nations will flow into this Kingdom which will be capitalized in Jerusalem where the throne of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords will rule the planet earth. All right, in Zechariah, chapter 8, begin in verse 20. This is plain language, this is not gobbledy-gook. This isnít imagery. This is not something you have to try to figure out what it is talking about. This isnít figurative speech. This is literal.

Zechariah 8:20-22

"Thus saith the LORD of hosts; (the same God that is speaking back in Isaiah) It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities; (now donít forget why I came here) 21. And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, (that is before Jehovah, before the Son of man, before Jesus of Nazareth, the exalted One) and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also." 22. Yea, many people and strong nations (plural) shall come to seek the LORD of hosts (where?) in Jerusalem. (Not in heaven, in Jerusalem, the same Jerusalem that is over there today.) and to pray before the LORD." Now, here comes a promise from God Himself.

Zechariah 8:23

"Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days (when Israel has the King and the Kingdom) it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold out of all the languages of all the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: (Why?) for we have heard that God is with you." Now, is that plain enough? It is coming. Now, of course, since Israel dropped the ball at His first advent and rejected this opportunity, they wonít have the privilege of winning Gentiles to their Messiah during the Kingdom. It will now have to be done before the Kingdom begins because there will be no plan of salvation in the Kingdom. There will be no lost people per se. Satan is locked up, so there is no rebellion, thatís evident. So, this is something that has now been abrogated by the fall of the nation. But, I feel the 144,000 will pick up the ball in the Tribulation period and still make restitution for what the nation, as a whole, has dropped.

All right, in the couple of minutes we have left, letís come all the way back to Psalms chapter 2. We use these verses, especially for those of you here in my Oklahoma classes; we use these verses over and over to depict the outline of this Old Testament program. It is so clearly stated, yet, Iím afraid most of Christendom ignores it. It doesnít need interpretation. I donít have to go and construct out of the Greek to understand what it is saying. Itís plain English! All right, verse 1.

Psalms 2:1-3

"Why do the heathen (the non-Jewish world) rage, and the people (Israel, in consort with them,) imagine a vain thing? 2. The kings of the earth (now as it shook out, it was Rome, Pilate) set themselves, and the rulers (the high priests) took counsel together, (not just Jews but together with the Gentiles) against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 3. Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords." In other words, they donít want God ruling in the affairs of Gentiles or Israel. Just leave us to our own thing. Now, verse 4, this is Godís response.

Psalms 2:4-5

"He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. (Now, after they reject the King, theyíve crucified Him. Rome carried it out; Israel demanded it. It was accomplished, but He arose from the dead and went back to glory.) 5. Then (after His rejection) shall he speak unto them (that is the whole world) in his wrath, (Not love. Not mercy, this is judgment. This is the Tribulation) and will vex them in his sore displeasure." Now, remember the pronouns, who are we talking about? The whole world, not just Israel. Not Israel exempted. Jew and Gentile are going to come under the horrors of this final seven years of Tribulation, which here is called the Ďwrath and vexationí.

All right, now then what followed the wrath and vexation? The blessing. Whatís the blessing?

Psalms 2:6

"Yet have I set my king upon the holy hill of Zion." Now, isnít that as plain as you can get?

Thereís the process. Humankind rejects the Messiah of Israel. They put Him to death. We know from Psalms 110 verse 1, God calls Him back to glory to sit at the Fatherís right hand until He makes His enemies His footstool; which will happen during the Tribulation. Then, comes the wrath and the vexation; the seven years that Daniel 9 depicts. But, when the seven years have run their course, Christ returns, ushers in this glorious Kingdom on earth, and He will rule and reign from Mount Zion in Jerusalem. That is the Kingdom and it is now promised from Psalms all the way up through until John the Baptist comes, and what does he announce? "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." Why? Because the King was in their midst!

LESSON TWO * PART I

THE EARTHLY KINGDOM WILL APPEAR!

ISAIAH 2:2

It is so good to be back. Weíve covered a lot of miles the last couple of weeks, but nevertheless itís always good to be back in Oklahoma and carry forth and again have an opportunity to reach so many. Our audience is growing week by week; thanks to your prayers, your letters, and your financial help. We just trust the Lord will continue to bless every part of it.

Okay, weíre going to come right back where we left off in our study in Isaiah. Weíre going to look at chapter 2 verse 2, but we might as well read verse 1, as well.

Isaiah 2:1

"The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem." Now, the key word there is Ďconcerningí. So, who is Isaiah really addressing? Well, the southern half of the kingdom which is split at this time, but nevertheless as weíve made note in our previous four programs, Isaiah is predominately prophesying to the southern kingdom of Judah, but he also reaches across up to the northern kingdom, so it really implies the whole house of Israel.

Now, I just had a thought. I havenít done this before, but Iím going to read something, and Iím going to read it because I donít think I can do it justice by just quoting it. This is a quote by Miles Coverdale, way back in the 1500ís, probably shortly after Martin Luther came out of Roman Catholicism. Now, Iím going to read it in the Old English as itís printed here.

"It shall greatly help ye to understand Scripture if thou mark not only what is spoken or written, but of whom, with what words, where, at what time, to what intent, with what circumstances, considering what goeth before and what followeth after."

Now, thatís pretty much in a lengthy term what Iíve always been expressing, that whenever you read the Scripture you have to determine Ė whoís writing it? What are the circumstances? Whoís it written to? Now, most of Christendom has failed to do 90% of this, and they have just assumed that once Israel faded off the scene after 70 AD all of Scripture became written to the "Church." (Quote unquote).

Now, I hadnít intended to do this; I was going to jump right into verse 2, but after weíve read verse 2 Iím going to have to give some background.

Isaiah 2:2a

"And it shall come to passÖ" Now, those of you who have been in my Tahlequah class, this is old hat to you, but I have constantly reminded that class that we have two concepts here. A promise Ė Ďit shall come to pass.í What will? A prophecy! So, all your Old Testament prophecies are given with the promise that itís going to happen. If it doesnít, we might as well throw this Book away and go home and forget anything that was ever said in it. But it IS going to happen. All right, so what is?

Isaiah 2:2b

"Öin the last days, that the mountain of the LORDís houseÖ." Now, the word mountain here is typically referring to a kingdom. Itís used that way throughout the Old Testament, a mountain in Scripture, if not otherwise stated, is a kingdom.

Isaiah 2:2

And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORDís house shall be established in the top of the mountains, (all other kingdoms) and it shall be exalted above the hills; (even smaller kingdoms) and (itís going to be so great, itís going to be so world encompassing that) all nations shall flow unto it." Not just Israel, but every nation on the planet is going to literally find Jerusalem as the capital of everything.

All right now, what this amounts to is the promise of what weíve always referred to as a King and a Kingdom. The two go hand in hand throughout all of Scripture, but like I said, I just suddenly got the thought that so many of our letters and our phone calls are from people who have never heard of anything like this. They have never heard of an earthly Kingdom - a King and a Kingdom, a political system, a government? Yes. But itís not going to be like any other kingdom that has every transpired. Itís going to be a heavenly Kingdom. Itís literally going to be Heaven on the earth.

This means, that the curse is going to have to be lifted. You canít have Heaven in the midst of the curse. Satan is going to have to be removed from the scene. The earth is going to have to be regenerated. Itíll have to be made like it was at the beginning, and it will be. All of Scripture declares that.

But, now Iíve got to give you the reason that most of Christendom has never heard it. In fact, I had a phone call just this morning, and I guess that all feeds into my thinking then to digress from what I was going to do. A lady called this morning and she had been to her pastor to ask about the 144,000 in the book of Revelation. What do you suppose his answer was? We donít pay any attention to the book of Revelation, thatís all past. That was all finished in the first century.

Well, yes, thatís typical of most of Christendom. Iím going to give you the background. We did it I think, way back in one of our earliest programs, but only a few people, percentage-wise, have ever seen that. Iím going to give you, in this first half hour, just a brief background of how did this concept ever come about; that there is no Kingdom, there is no King, there is nothing associated with the book of Revelation.

Well, itís simply because in 315 AD, now you know Iím a stickler for history. You canít really comprehend this Book unless you know history, and in 315 AD we had a Roman emperor by the name of Constantine, after which Constantinople was named. Now, Constantineís mother, Queen Helene, became a believer. So she prevailed upon her son, the Emperor, to take the onus off of Christianity, the persecution and the pressuring of it, and declare it by an emperorís decree to be the official religion of the Roman Empire.

Now, that sounds great, doesnít it? Well, what did it do? It opened the church then to the masses, who literally became church members without benefit of any spiritual rebirth. It was just simply Ďthe thing to doí to become a Christian. Well, there was such a mass movement of the population of the Roman Empire that a church father back in Jerusalem, by the name of Origen (ĎO-r-i-g-e-ní. Some pronounce it ĎO-re-gen.í I pronounce it ĎOr-i-gen.í), came to the conclusion that since the Jews had rejected their Messiah and crucified Him that God, in His wrath against them, not only destroyed their Temple and destroyed their city, but He, for all practical purposes, destroyed the Nation of Israel.

Well, He didnít destroy them, He merely disbursed them. He sent them into every nation in the then known world. But, you see, by the end of 300 years, the world had just about treated the Jew as Ďnothingí, just dirt under their feet. They were persecuted; they were hated. So, Origen came to this conclusion that since God had now destroyed the Nation of Israel, all of the Old Testament promises were now given to Ďthe church.í There are some now, in our present times, who refer to it as Ďreplacement theology,í which is a very descriptive term. But Iíve always called it ĎAmillennialismí. Another term is ĎPreterism.í They all three mean the same thing. They maintain that with the demise of Israel, the destruction of the city and the temple, that God had now turned all of the prophecy promises over to the church.

Well, you see, following that line of teaching then, Augustine, who was a bishop in North Africa, the Bishop of Hippo, a member of the Roman Catholic Church, picked up on Origenís teaching that indeed God was all through with Israel, and that He would just let the Jews slip into a disappearance act. So, he began to promote this concept that since there was no prophecy left to be fulfilled, (how can there be without Israel?) consequently there can be no end-time events. So, their thinking was that the church will keep going. Some kind of intimated that the church would actually take control of the world and Ďreconstructionismí is the term for that, and that by force Christianity could literally overtake the planet. Well, none of that is according to the Book!

So, a lot of these other false ideas came in, but primarily that since the Jew is completely out of the picture there can be no end-time events. Well, that follows. If you havenít got Israel in the land where God can judge her and deal with her in what we call the Tribulation, then that knocks that out. Well, if thereís no Tribulation, thereís no Second Coming. If thereís no Second Coming, thereís no Thousand-Year Reign of Christ, so they wiped all that off the slate.

See, thatís what this ladyís pastor told her just this morning; we donít have anything to do with the book of Revelation because that was all fulfilled in the first century. Well, now what happened in the first century? Seventy AD the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and sent the Jews into dispersion. Well, thatís what theyíre all hanging on to, and most Roman Catholics have never heard anything different than that. Of course, when Martin Luther had the awakening that Ďthe just shall live by Faithí and withdrew from Catholicism, he took this concept with him. He never for a moment changed the amillennial view. So, youíll find that all the reformers followed Luther in that concept.

Consequently, as you look at most of your major Protestant denominations today, they, like the Roman Catholics, have never heard one word about this earthly kingdom. Itís a whole new concept to them. Then this old Ďrancherí comes along and opens up all this. Some of them, of course, probably think thatís just, you know some crazy guyís idea. But, all I maintain is that God never gave any hint that Israel would disappear; quite the opposite.

Jeremiah 31:35-36

"Thus saith the LORD which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name; 36. If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever." He makes the statement that the "sun will fall out of its position, the stars and the moon will fall out of their orbit before Israel stops being a nation." So, you see, these people have been, however you want to put it, theyíve been beating a dead horse so to speak, in trumpeting that there are no end-time events when this Book says,

Isaiah 2:2a

"And it shall come to passÖ" Now, whenever they take away all these prophetic things, then theyíre telling me, theyíll never admit it, but theyíre telling me that God lied. Because when God says, "it will come to pass" and they say it wonít, somebodyís lying, and I donít think itís God!

So, where are we? Yes, these prophecies are still valid. Yes, there is going to be an earthy kingdom over which Christ is going to rule and reign for a thousand years. Now, most of the Old Testament, only one exception that I can find, never mentions the time element. Thatís left for the book of Revelation, but there is a hint in the book of Hosea, and weíll come to it at a later time. Anyway, this is the first thing I want to establish. If you happen to be in a denomination where youíve never heard this earthly kingdom taught, donít think that Iím way out in left field concocting this, because you seeÖnow, Iím going to have you turn with me to Daniel.

I think the Lord purposely waited until the last hundred years to open up this whole concept again of Biblical prophecy, because all the rest of the time it was moot. They werenít about to be in the end-time scenario; it didnít make any difference if they understood end-time prophecy, because God knew it wasnít going to happen until now. But now, you see, in the last hundred years, as I have taught in seminars and so forth, everything thatís been happening in the world has now begun to set the stage for these final daysí events.

The increase in technology Ė well, it didnít come just all at once. In the latter part of the 1800ís you had the simple inventions of the telephone and the telegraph, which compared to today was about as simple as you can get. You had the invention of the steam engine, which led to the invention of the internal combustion engine, which led to the automobile. But see, all those things just started in the last part of the 1800ís. Well, the same way with the scenario in the Middle East. God purposely kept the land of Israel desolate, for about 1900 years, saving it for the nation of Israel to return to it at the appropriate time. It was devoid of any real population; devoid of any production of any kind. How did He do it? He stopped the rain. He increased the earthquakes.

So, for 1900 years the Middle East was pretty much kept in turmoil with earthquakes. Malaria ran rampant in Israel because the Hula Valley swamps were loaded with mosquitoes. Well, all of those things kept the Middle East desolate for 1900 years. Then all of a sudden things began to happen. They drained the Hula Valley swamps and they licked malaria. The earthquakes stopped - miraculously. There hasnít been a major earthquake since 1900, until the one a few weeks ago. It was the first major one theyíve had. Then the rains began to return. They learned how to irrigate and production began to increase.

Well, all of those things have happened since 1900, which gave rise to the return of the Jew to their homeland. Now, that wasnít an accident, and that too started about 1900. It wasnít the Jewsí idea; it was the Arab world that was forcing them out, persecuting them, and killing them. So finally, the Jews had no place to go but back to their ancient homeland.

When they got to their ancient homeland what did they do? Start getting it back into production. As soon as they get it into production, who comes in to get their jobs? Well, the Arab world. So, the two things come together. Well, all of these things have given rise, now, in our relatively memorable time that God is getting everything set for the last days. Well, there wasnít any need to know that 200 years ago; they werenít in the last days.

All right, now turn with me to Daniel chapter 12 where God tells Daniel an amazing thing. Daniel, in the first three verses of that chapter, deals with the resurrection of the Old Testament saints. Weíll look at that another time, but now in verse 4.

Daniel 12:4a

"But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the endÖ": So you see, all of Danielís prophecies were moot for almost 1900 years because they werenít about to happen for a long time, and God knew that, and by the time of the end, here we have our first indication of a change in modus operandi of the world.

Daniel 12:4b

"Ömany shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." Now, thatís just a little indication of the change of the worldís population.

Now, I think I made the statement on the program a long time ago, that you could have taken a family from almost anyplace on the planet, transferred them to another place on the planet, and they would not have suffered culture shock, until after the middle 1800ís. Now, just think about it. Until the middle 1800ís most of the worldís population still carried their water from creeks or wells or so forth. They cooked with fire, and they did everything the hard way. Their clothes were homespun, and their food was homemade.

Then all of a sudden what happened? Well, the western world began to enjoy the advance in technology. Then your city people were enjoying all the good things of life, and you transport them out into a certain area of Africa or India Ė culture shock! But until that time, everybody pretty much operated the same way. So, here is an indication that thereís going to be a change in the knowledge and in the travel practices as we approach the end-time.

All right, now as you come a little further in chapter 12, you come all the way down to verse 8, and this is another amazing statement, where Daniel now responds to the Lord by saying,

Daniel 12:8

"And I heard but I (what?) understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? That is, all these prophecies that he had been writing throughout the book of Daniel. Now, look at the Lordís answer Ė go out and preach it Daniel? Publish it? No; quite the opposite.

Daniel 12:9

"And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words (that is what he has just written in these twelve chapters) are closed up and sealed (but whatís the next word?) till the time of the end."

So, there would come a time when these prophecies would be understood. When was it? It was after about 1900. So, we can look back now and see that Amillennialism, Preterism, or Replacement Theology, whatever you call it, really didnít matter that much, because there was no understanding of end-time prophecy anyway. But once we got past 1900 the pieces started to fall into place and Bible scholars could put together the fact that weíre going to have the rise of a revived Roman Empire.

They began to foretell that the Jews would be going back to their homeland. That had been unheard of! They began to have prophecy conferences teaching these whole concepts; that, along with the return of the Jew to Israel, it would bring about the final seven years of Tribulation that Daniel prophesied. That would bring about the Second Coming of Christ, which all the Old Testament referred to one way or another. All of these things start falling into place.

So now, absolutely, itís important that we study prophecy. I donít agree it should be the only thing we study. Prophecy alone will not bring salvation to the lost billions, but if it will sort of whet their appetite to get into the Word, and perhaps by getting into the Word find salvation, then itís worth it. But, you see, prophecy for the sake of prophecy is not going to bring salvation to the multitudes of people that need to hear it. But, for those of us now who believe, itís so encouraging to know that all these Old Testament promises and prophecies Ė theyíre going to happen. They are going to happen because this Word says they will! I donít care what the theologians say, I donít care how many hundreds of years theyíve said it, I can stand here without apology and Iíll say, "We are seeing things come together so fast today, how can anybody refuse it?í

Now, I was reading one of these guys. I read them, donít think I donít know what theyíre spitting out. One of them I read here awhile back made this kind of a statement:

"The Jews in the world today arenít Jews at all. The real Jew disappeared shortly after 70 AD. These people that claim to be Jews came out of the steps of southern Russian, north of the Black Sea, the Czars and so forth and they simply saw all of this Jewish material laying around and they saw those empty synagogues and so they just sort of usurped them and formed their own religion around it and called themselves Jews."

Well, you know, I got to bed that night and I got to thinking, who in the world would be crazy enough to claim to be a Jew and come under all the suffering that the Jews suffer if thereís no real need for it? Ridiculous! The Jews suffer because theyíre Jews. They can understand that thatís their reason for suffering.

I can show you plainly, from the very promises made to Abraham, that through this one nation of people would come forth, not only the Word of God, but the Messiah, the Redeemer, the Savior of the whole world would come through this one little nation of people.

So, what does Old Satan think? "Well, Iím going to show God a thing or two. Iím going to destroy that nation before He can use them." But, you see, heís never quite succeeded. So, even today, Iím constantly reminding people wherever I go, donít wonder why the whole world is against Israel over there today. Donít wonder why the Palestinian and the Arab world hate them so, thatís Satanís work. Satan is still convinced that if he can destroy the nation of Israel, he can destroy this Book. Thatís his hope. But, Iíve got news for him; itís not going to happen. God is going to spare the Jew, the nation of Israel, so that they will be there for these end-time results that are coming. So, Iíve made almost a complete study on this. What is the proof that this is the Word of God alone, of all religious writings? BECAUSE OF THE JEW!

The Jew is the promised fulfillment that this Book is true. Now, Iíve got time enough. Iím going to go back and show you. Go back to Deuteronomy chapter 30. Weíve done this before, but some things bear repeating, and this just says it all. This, remember, is written 3500 years ago. Moses is writing Deuteronomy chapter 30 at about 1500 BC. This isnít gobbledy gook. This doesnít take a rocket science education. This is plain simple language.

Deuteronomy 30:1

"It shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, (which are listed in 28 and 29) which (God says) I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee." Now, do you see what that says? Moses is prophesying; the day is coming when the Jews will be scattered into every nation under heaven. Did it happen? Yes! Itís proven, in every nation, none excepted. But, now look at the promise in verse 2, that after theyíve been scattered into every nation under heaven:

Deuteronomy 30:2-3

"And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul: 3. That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee."

Now, they canít return unto the Lord their God until they return to where? The homeland. Thatís where they have to go. Weíve seen it in our lifetime; since 1900. Some of you almost go back that far. But anyway, weíve seen the return of the Jew to the homeland; exactly as it was promised 1500 years before Christ. How can anybody deny that that is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, that the nation of Israel would be scattered first into every nation but at the point leading up to the end-time they would return, and they are exactly where God intends them to be, and God is never a day late.

LESSON TWO * PART II

THE EARTHLY KINGDOM WILL APPEAR!

ISAIAH 2:2

We want to, again, welcome you out in television. I think I can safely say, now, weíre getting listeners in every state in the union from Alaska all the way down into the Caribbean, so our mail is interesting as well as the phone calls. As you know by now we donít have any denominational connection, weíre just going to see what the Book says, and we have to let the chips fall where they may. Again, we want to thank you for your letters and your encouragement, your financial help, everything, because we certainly couldnít do it without it.

Okay, during the last-half hour we introduced how and why much of Christendom doesnít know anything about what weíre going to be teaching for the rest of the afternoon.

The Kingdom - this glorious earthly kingdom that is still coming. God has not given up on it and one day, as the book of Revelation puts it, "THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS" will be indeed just that, and He will rule from his throne room in Jerusalem. Thatís what the Book declares!

All right, but letís go right back to where we started last week in Isaiah, chapter 2 verse 2. Hereís the promise of the coming Kingdom.

Isaiah 2:2

"And it shall come to pass in the last days, (in other words thatís when time as we know it will finally come to its end) that the mountain (or the kingdom) of the LORDís house shall be established in the top of the mountains, (all other kingdoms) and shall be exalted above the hills; (smaller kingdoms) and all nations flow unto it." In other words, as I think Iíve put it in one of my teachings, Washington D.C. today is more or less the capital of the world. The entire world looks to Washington if they need money for a dam, if they need money for roads. Why? Washington is the logical place to go. Well, that day will end and Jerusalem will be the place where the entire world will have to flow and recognize the King.

All right, now before we go any further, I want to jump you all the way up to Romans chapter 15. I think I told this at one of my seminars on the road the other day, I donít remember where it was, Chicago or Washington D.C., whatever. I made the comment, and some of you in my Oklahoma class have heard me say the same thing, that I can use Romans 15:8 as an introduction to almost any subject in Scripture because this is so foundational. Here the Apostle Paul is writing to a Gentile group of believers, but look what he reminds them.

Romans 15:8

"Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision (thatís Israel! And no one but. So, Jesus Christ was a minister of the nation of Israel) for the truth of God, (in other words in His eternal purposes) to (what?) confirm (or fulfill) the promises made to the fathers:" Now, who in the world were the fathers? Well, the beginnings of the nation of Israel Ė Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and then on up to David and Moses and the Prophets, they all had this same concept that one day God the Son, Israelís Messiah, would be the King on this planet of a glorious regenerated earth.

Now, letís chase down just a few of many references to this kingdom. Come back to Exodus 19. I think thatís about as far back as I can find a first real reference to a "kingdom." Again, weíre going to use the instructions that we used at the beginning of our last program. Whenever you read a portion of Scripture, determine a lot of things first. Who is writing it? To whom are they writing it? What are the circumstances? What is the purpose?

Well, here again, Exodus 19, what are the circumstances? Israel has just been brought out of Egypt. Theyíve come through the Red Sea experience, and theyíre gathered around Mount Sinai. God calls Moses up into the mountain. All right, here it is in verse 3:

Exodus 19:3-5

"And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4. Ye have seen (just a few days past when they went through the Red Sea) what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eaglesí wings, (in other words, it was supernatural exodus. They didnít sprout wings and fly) and brought you unto myself. 5. Now therefore, (because of all that Iíve done for you) if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, (the covenant of law that is about to come on the nation of Israel. If you will do that) then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me (something of intrinsic value to God. And whereís heís going to place them?) above all people: for all the earth is mine:" God placed them above all the rest of the nations of the world. This is one of the first clear-cut promises that Israel is the favored nation and theyíve always exemplified that, even in their unbelief. God never gave up on the Nation of Israel!

He blessed those people with talent like no other race of people on earth. Nobody can hold a candle to the talent and the intelligence and the abilities of the Jewish people as a whole. I just read an email somebody sent me the other day, maybe some of you have seen it, a whole page of names of Jews who had won the Noble Prizes for various things. All Jews. Why? They are a brilliant people, because God made them that way. Never forget that.

They arenít like one Israeli told Iris and I, Iíve shared this with some of our smaller classes. The first time we were in Israel, and we came out of the dining room in one of the big hotels in Jerusalem and this fellow met us and he said, "Youíre Americans arenít you? Well, what do you think of our little country?" I said, "Itís fabulous what God has done." He said, "God didnít have a thing to do with it. We did it." Well, I beg to differ with him. God is doing it.

So, here, again, the promise is that they will be above all the other nations of the world. Why? Godís Sovereign! God can do whatever He wants to do. Heís the Creator! Heís the Sustainer! Heís the owner of the cattle on a thousand hills; theyíre His! So, He can do whatever He wants. He has declared Israel to be head and shoulders above all the rest of the nations. All right, but now here comes the real promise. This is the one weíre looking at.

Exodus 19:6a

"And ye (this little separated nation of people) shall be unto me a (what?) kingdomÖ" Now, what do you have to have to have a kingdom? A king. Or government. But usually we think in terms, at least in antiquity, of Ė a king was the government. All right, so this is going to be a Kingdom of Jews with a King, who will be the Son of God, weíll see that a little later. Then finishing verse 6:

Exodus 19:6b

"ÖThese are the words which thou shalt speak to the children of Israel." They were to understand that the day would come when Israel would be a separate entity under a separate government and that every Jew would become a priest of Jehovah, or a go-between. Weíre going to see that the Old Testament exemplifies over and over that Israel was to be a Kingdom of Priests. Oh, not walking in long robes. Not holding forth at the Temple, but in their everyday life they would have the wherewithal to lead a seeking Gentile to their Messiah King.

All right, now letís just move on up through the Old Testament and look at some more references to this coming, glorious Kingdom economy, if I can call it that, under which the nation of Israel is to function, and theyíre to have the Son of God as their King.

I think Iíll bring you all the way up now to II Samuel chapter 7, and now weíre up to David. Weíve gone 500 years already from Moses in the preceding Scripture at about 1500 BC to David and Solomon who are about 1000 BC. Now, this is how the Lord speaks to David through the prophet Nathan and He says, down in verse 12:

II Samuel 7:12

"And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep (or you will die a physical death) with thy fathers, (God is going to continue. David is going to die but Godís going to keep continuing) I will set up thy seed after thee, who shall proceed out of thy bowels (or innermost being, and of course Heís referring to Solomon and his other son, Nathan and through this coming son of David would come a what?) and I will establish his kingdom."

Well, again, weíre not just talking about Solomonís 40 years of reign back there in antiquity. Weíre talking about a line of kings that is going to be coming up through, or down through, history, however you want to put it. This will lead to Joseph and Mary who, through the miracle work of the Holy Spirit, will bring forth Jesus of Nazareth, who will be the final King in that long genealogy coming from David, Solomon, and Nathan and all the way down through two lines of kings. Wicked? Many of them were, but Godís mercy overruled and they continued to stay in the line leading up to the coming of the King.

Now, you know I like to jab the theologians and the intelligentsia once in a while. Isnít it amazing that those old Romans had a better understanding of all of this than even the leaders of Israel and most of our theologians today, because what did they put at the top of the Cross? "This is Jesus of Nazareth the (what?) King of the Jews." Well, Pilate understood who He was. Why couldnít the rank and file of Israel? Itís amazing.

The Wise Men, when they came to Herod, knew what to ask for. They didnít ask for this person thatís prophesied. They specifically asked, "Where is he that is born of Israel, the King of the Jews?"

Well, that wasnít just happenstance. That was God working. You know, I kind of like the expression, I hope Iím not wrong. "The God thing." Have you heard it a lot lately? You know, things that are just Providential Ė God is doing it. Well, the same way in these areas. These people put King of the Jews above Jesusí head on the cross, because thatís what God wanted up there.

All right, so now then you come back to Samuel again with me, He goes on with this prophecy concerning a royal family. Not just the temple or not just Solomonís physical house, but a Royal Family. Now, Iíve made this point over and over through the years. Whenever you have a Royal family in a particular nation, like Great Britain today, what do they call them? The House of Windsor. Itís a Royal family, itís not a house; itís a family line. Over in Austria for years, in fact if youíve ever watched the movie, what was it? The House of Hapsburg. The Netherlands. I donít know if theyíre still functioning, but I know the Royal family was, not too many years ago and they were called The House of Orange.

Well, what did it mean? They were the Royal family though whom the king or the queen would come. All right, so now when we speak of the house of David, what are we talking about? Not the Temple. Not a house that he lived in. A Royal bloodline! That culminated with Joseph and Mary who were both in the end of the genealogy. And Mary of whom, it says, by the miracle working of the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ was born. All right, reading on, verse 13:

II Samuel 7:13

"He (this son that would follow David and Solomon) shall build a house (not a physical house. A Royal family) for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for (how long?) forever." Now, how long did Solomon reign? Forty years. Thatís not forever. So, that was just a little inkling of the time that would follow when all these sons and grandsons and so forth would bring us all the way up to the time of Christ. Not a single break in that bloodline.

Now, you know there were times, twice I think, where the genealogy just about snapped. I call it a "wasp neck." You probably donít know what Iím talking about. You can flip the head of a wasp, just with a fingernail, and it just pops right off the neck, because itís so narrow. Well, thatís with the genealogy, it was so close to breaking. Old Satan was probably already exalting that he had God whipped. But he didnít and so something happened that this fellow went on to live and had a son and the genealogy continued. All right, so the House of David then is nothing more than a Royal Family. All right, then verse 16, well Iíve got to look at verse 14, and it speaks of the whole nation leading up to even the present.

 

II Samuel 7:14

"I will be his father, (that is the nation of Israelís) and he shall be my son. (Thatís the relationship between God and Israel) If he commit iniquity, (now weíre going to see that abundantly so in the book of Isaiah. Thatís why Isaiah is writing all of these coming judgments; it is because of Israelís sin, Israelís iniquity, and their wickedness. But in spite of it, God says) I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:" Now, it wonít be long and Iíll be showing you from Isaiah, they were being warned of a coming invasion. They would have foreigners in their land. Theyíd be speaking languages that they couldnít understand. Why? Because of their wickedness, and their unbelief. Then verse 15. Whatís the first word?

II Samuel 7:15a

"But (even though God would chasten, even though theyíd be overrun by the Syrians and the Babylonians; later on the Romans. Would God give up? Never) my mercy shall not depart away from him, (that is the nation as a whole) as I took it from SaulÖ", Who was merely a little small example of Godís wrath and punishment. Now, verse 16, and here comes the promise again.

II Samuel 7:16a

"And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established (how long?) foreverÖ" Now, granted, we have a thousand year time stipend in Revelation, and I told you Iím going to give you another one in the Old Testament here after a while, but listen, thatís not the end. Those thousand years just slip right on into eternity. And so itíll be forever and ever that this Kingdom economy will continue, and thatís why I maintain that even in eternity God is going to keep the nation of Israel separated from the rest of humanity.

Now, I donít know whether everybodyís going to agree with me, and thatís all right. They donít have to, but hereís my reason. Jump all the way up to Revelation, chapter 21. After the thousand-year kingdom has run its course and this old universe and this earth, I think, are going to be totally dissolved. Totally, totally removed. Godís going to start over brand new! The reason for that is old Satan has defiled everything that God ever mad, so Godís going to destroy that and bring in something brand new. But look how He organizes it again. Youíve got to read it with your own eyes.

Revelation 21:1

"And I saw (John says) a new heaven and a new (what?) earth:"

How did Genesis 1:1 begin? "In the beginning God created heaven and earthÖ" And what was that separation all the way up through human history? Everything earthly was Israel. All the earthly promises are Israelís. Then along comes the Age of Grace and what we call the Body of Christ and now all of the promises are what? Heavenly! What does Ephesians say? "That weíve been settled in the heavenlies." Not on a new earth. So, I think if Godís going to keep the two entities separated, Heís going to have to have the two entities brand new, and I think it will continue, then, for all eternity that we will be the heavenlyís; Israel will be the earthlyís. Now, thatís just a projection. Iím not setting that in concrete. But it just seems a valid way to look at it.

All right, so then coming back to II Samuel. Have you still got it? Just to sharpen up your memory, verse 16 again:

II Samuel 7:16a

"And thine house and thy kingdomÖ" Which means itís going to be a King over a Kingdom who has come there because heís been in the family line. I guess weíd call it an inheritance, wouldnít we? He inherits this Kingdom, which began with the covenant made to Abraham and then the line of a Royal family to David, which was culminated with Christís birth in Bethlehem, and then will come to fruition when the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS will establish His Kingdom.

II Samuel 7:16b

"Öshall be established for ever before thee: thy throne (now remember who Heís talking to Ė David) shall be established forever." According to all these words and according to all this vision. So this was Nathan the prophet, not his son but the prophet, who spoke these things unto David.

Well, then you come on up through Scripture, and Iím going to bring you all the way into another portion of Scripture in Psalms chapter 2. A portion that youíve heard me use over and over because itís such a simple outline of all the Old Testament prophecies and time line. Itís so simple a child can understand it. All got it? Psalms chapter 2 and we might as well start at verse 1 so we pick up the flow. I just donít like to jump on one verse if we donít have to.

Psalms 2:1

"Why do the heathen (or the non-Jewish world) rage, and the people (Jews and Gentiles) image a vain thing?" What are they imagining? That they can get along without God. Does that ring a bell?

Do you know that the new European Constitution does not have one reference to God or anything spiritual? Not one reference in the whole thing. Why? Theyíve become so secularized, almost agnostic, or atheistic, they donít want to even mention the name of God. Why? We donít need Him. Well, you se, America is getting there pretty fast. All right, so they imagine a vain thing that they can get along without God. Now verse 2.

Psalms 2:2a

"The kings of the earth (the non-Jew) set themselves, (in adamant rejection against God. But who joins them?) and the rulers, (the religious leaders) take counsel together,Ö" Now, you remember when the big movie splashed and all the controversy. Did the Jews kill Him? No. They did it together, thatís what the Book says; in prophecy they would rebel against Him together, in consort. It wasnít just the Jew. It wasnít just the Romans; they were both guilty.

Psalms 2:2b-3

"Öand the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 3. Let us break their bands asunder, (or their confining reins) and cast away their cords from us." Theyíre not going to let God control their government. Theyíre not going to let God interfere with their ungodly lifestyle.

All right, then, verse 4; look at Godís reaction. My, weíre human, but I guess we can use a little bit of human imagination to see Godís response to such foolishness. But, I always have to remind myself as well as you, my listeners, whenever we come into the things pertaining to God we only just understand a little tip of the iceberg. Thereís no way we can comprehend the mind of God. Thereís no way we can comprehend even the work of the cross. What little bit we understand we take by faith and itís sufficient for salvation, but to get a full understanding of all that God did at the cross, no human can comprehend it. Again, thatís a "God thing." That is so far above and beyond us.

Psalms 2:4

"He that sitteth in the heavens (God, when He looks at the foolishness of men and He) shall laugh: (not of amusement, a laugh of scorn for) the LORD shall have them (that is the nations of the world, including Israel) in derision." Whatís another word for derision? Confusion. Are we seeing it today? Oh! How are you going to deal with terrorists? All over the world in little secret groups, and with all the technology thatís available even off the Internet they can just about build a nuclear bomb from the Internet.

Those groups are everywhere; you canít root them out. Itís only by the Grace of God that they havenít struck again. But nevertheless, thereís confusion tonight. How are you going to deal with these things? Were there weapons of mass destruction or werenít there? The argument goes on and on and on. They donít know what theyíre talking about. All right, verse 5.

Psalms 2:5

"Then (What is that? A time word; then, when theyíve reached the pinnacle of their confusion.) God shall speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure." God will speak unto them in his wrath, not Grace Ė wrath and vex them. Thatís the Tribulation. Itís coming. All the Old Testamentís foretelling it. But look what follows, and weíre going to see that throughout the book of Isaiah. Every time thereís a horrendous judgment on Israel, itís followed by an outpouring of Godís Grace. Well the same way here. After the wrath and vexation we have verse 6:

Psalms 2:6

"Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion." Heís going to place his Son the King (where?) on the holy hill of Zion. And goodness sakes, whereís Zion? Not in Heaven like the hymn writer puts it. Zion is in Jerusalem. Thatís where Davidís throne was Ė in Jerusalem.

LESSON TWO * PART III

THE EARTHLY KINGDOM WILL APPEAR!

ISAIAH 2:2

Okay, weíre going to go right back where we finished in the last program, and we stopped in Psalms chapter 2 where we have the prophecy concerning the crucifixion, the rejection, followed by the Tribulation, and that in turn would be followed by the return of Christ and the establishing of the Kingdom on Mount Zion.

Now, weíre just going to keep coming on up the Old Testament and follow these references concerning this glorious Kingdom thatís coming, because I want my listeners to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this 1000 year reign of Christ is as sure as tomorrow morningís sunrise. If the sun falls out of its orbit, then we wonít have tomorrow. But neither will we have the Kingdom, neither will we have Israel. If the sun comes up tomorrow morning, then Israel will still be there. The prophecies are still valid.

All right, now letís just jump on up past Isaiah 2:2, weíre going to leave that for a minute and go right on past it and come on up to Isaiah chapter 9. Again, this is such vivid language. Itís not hard to understand. You donít have to decipher or try to figure out what heís talking about in Isaiah chapter 9, verse 6. Whatís unusual is how this kind of statement is right here in this kind of a chapter. I canít really understand why it is where it is, but here it is.

Isaiah 9:6a

"For unto us (the nation of Israel) a child is born, (Now this is prophecy speaking as if itís already happened, you know.) unto us a son is given: and the governmentÖ" See that? Government. Well, not a democracy, but in this case itís going to be a monarchy. But itís going to be a government; itís going to be a rule and a reign, controlling masses of people; ordinary people. Now, weíre not in the heavens. Weíre not in eternity here; weíre still on an extension of this planet and human beings are as we know human beings.

Isaiah 9:6b

"Öand the government shall be upon his shoulders:" (Whose? This One that is coming. Who will it be? Well, Jesus of Nazareth, but with these titles.) and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Now, these are all titles of Jesus of Nazareth when He becomes the KING OF KINGS.

Now, I think if this verse substantiates anything, it is John 14 when Jesus was telling the Twelve, "Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God; believe also in Me. In my Fatherís house are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you. I go and prepare a place for you; so that where I am there ye may be also." Then Philip interrupts Him, and what does he say? "Well, Lord show us the Father and weíll be satisfied." What was Jesusí answer? "Philip, have I been such a long time with you (three whole years) and yet you donít understand that when youíve seen me you have seen (Whom?) the Father, for I and the Father are one."

Now again, like I said in the last moments of the last program, thatís a "God thing." Itís beyond our human understanding. But we take it by faith, we believe it because the Book says so, but I canít comprehend three persons being One, but they are. They operate in three separate entities, and yet theyíre One. Thatís beyond human understanding so we take it by faith.

Isaiah 9:7a

"Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David,Ö" Itís going to be heaven on earth; no sickness, no pain, no death. Itís going to be heaven on earth and yet amongst ordinary flesh and blood people. This Prince of Peace is going to rule from the throne of David. Now, you see the connection? He was prophesied as being the culmination of the Royal family promised to David, and this Son of David, hundreds of years later, will finally assume Davidís throne in Jerusalem on Mount Zion. All right, and He will bring this world of peace upon the throne of David.

Isaiah 9:7b

"Öand upon his kingdom, (thereís that word again) to order it, and to establish it with judgment and justiceÖ" Now, I usually associate governments with that word "judgment, control, and with justice." There will never be any corruption in His government. There will never be a bribe taken or paid. There will never be false information fed to the King; itís going to be a glorious King and Kingdom.

Isaiah 9:7c

from henceforth even for everÖ." Because itís going to slip into eternity. A thousand years in time as we know it will be interrupted when this whole universe as I see it, I know Iím not always in agreement with everybody else, but I see this whole universe just taken right back into the Creator Himself and out of it comes what? A new heaven and a new earth. Brand new! Nothing nicer than something brand new is there? This old universe may be billions of years old if thatís what they want to call it, but Satan has defiled every bit of it. Heís put his filthy fingers on everything and so I think thatís the purpose; that God will totally destroy that which is old and will bring out something totally new.

All right, letís go over a couple of chapters in Isaiah, weíll probably hit some of these things later, if we stay in Isaiah. I havenít decided how to do this yet. But now you come into chapter 11. Here we have another description of this same Kingdom in a little different language.

Isaiah 11:1a

"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse,Ö" Now, the best way I can explain this is either like a tulip or a rose. Iím going to use the tulip, because they come out with such a straight stem and then the leaves come out and so forth. But, whatís the end result? Well, the bloom. Then, all of a sudden, from the stem, here comes the bloom. Well, I like to use that analogy here. Out of stem of Jesse, which would be the bulb, I guess, that the tulip comes from, but up comes the rod or the stem and who are we talking about? Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah!

Here Heís called a Branch. Now, Heís called Branch four times in the Old Testament and under a different scenario in each one, and they all agree. The Gospel of Matthew is one Branch, the Gospel in Mark is another Branch, Luke is another Branch and John is the fourth Branch. They all have a particular description, which ties all of this to the New Testament. All right, read on in verse 2.

Isaiah 11:2a

"And the spirit of the LORD (the Spirit of God, that third person of the Triune God, the Holy Spirit) shall rest upon HimÖ," It will be God the Son and God the Spirit. This Spirit of the Lord is the seven spirits, I think, that are spoken of throughout Scripture; The Spirit of the Lord, number 1; The Spirit of Wisdom, number 2; The Spirit of understanding, number 3; and the last 4 are Counsel and Might and Knowledge and Fear. Now, thereís seven distinct Spirits. All right, verse 3:

Isaiah 11:3

"And shall make him of quick understanding in fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:" This is the power and make-up of the Spirit, which will be upon God the Son. The word "quick" really means, if Iím not mistaken, "alive." Itís going to be a spiritual, living kingship. All right, and it will be "in the fear of the LORD; he will not judge (or rule) after the sight of his eyes." Now, you know what I have to put with that? Any world ruler, I donít care who it is, but we might as well stay close to home and stay in the White House. Now, we know that advisors like to use charts. At saleís presentations, what do they like to use? They like to use charts. Well, I can just imagine that when they have their meetings in the White House, these various department heads come in, the Cabinet men, well what have they got? Well, theyíve got their charts with all of their information for our President to discern.

Now, how in the worldÖ? Iím going to be careful and not use the word. I have one favorite word that Iris doesnít want me to use. But how can these imbeciles, (that doesnít sound quite as bad)Ö How can these imbeciles expect any President, I donít care who it was in times past or up to the present, no President can know every detail of every section of the country. We are a diversified nation. He canít know all about agriculture. He canít know all about automobile manufacturing. He canít know all about medicine. He canít know all about military and military activity. So, what does he have to depend on? Advisors. How are these advisors going to advise him? Like I said, probably using charts and graphs and from all of that information, yes, the buck stops at his desk, but heís got to make a decision based on all this information that other people bring in.

With this King, that wonít be necessary. He will have full knowledge. He is the Creator. He is the One that knows the hairs on the head of every individual. I canít comprehend that, but the Book says so. Do I believe it? Youíd better believe I do! When I pray for our television audience, I pray with that understanding, "Lord, you know every listener in my audience. You know every prayer request that comes in my mail or telephone. When I bring them into the throne room, You know the number of hairs on each one of their heads." I believe that, and I hope you do. So God is going to have full knowledge! Now, verse 5Ö

Isaiah 11:5

"And righteousness shall be the girdle of his lions, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins." Total, total righteousness; thereíll be no sin. Thereíll be no wickedness; no corruption; no bribery in this Kingdom.

Then we jumped into it, and I think we covered this not too far back, here we come into the animal kingdom, the nature where the curse will be lifted. Thereíll be no more death for an animalís next day food because:

Isaiah 11:6

"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, (in perfect harmony) and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; (young goat) and the calf and young lion and the fatling together: (and in their midst) and a little child shall lead them." Thereíll be Children; playing in the midst of these formerly carnivorous, wild animals.

Now verse 7, and this isnít gobbledy gook. This isnít some wishful thinking. Now, thatís what the scoffer says, you know, the Jews sat around their campfire and dreamed all this up. No, it isnít. This is the inspired Word of God, and God doesnít lie. He doesnít speak in gobbledy gook. Now, I think Luther and I were talking at break time. Tell me again what you said, Luther.

"If the literal makes sense, then any other sense is nonsense!"

This Book does make sense! If itís speaking in symbolic language, then all you have to do is go back through Scripture and it will explain the symbolism. Itís in there. All you have to do is search, so when they say "ah," thatís just a figure of speech. Well, maybe in that particular point, but go back and youíll find that figure of speech is a literal thing, because itís all here.

Isaiah 11:7

"And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox." There will be no fear of one another. Their digestive system will be totally changed. Instead of a meat eating animal, theyíll be a grass eating creature. Thatís the way it was in the beginning. I think we did this in one of the previous programs. You go back to Genesis 1, and youíll find everything; everything - the carnivorous birds, the carnivorous animals, the carnivorous fish, ate things that grew naturally. They didnít kill something else for their food. So, itíll revert back to that, because the curse will be lifted.

Isaiah 11:9

"They will not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: (Which we said was what? A Kingdom. Nothing is going to hurt in this glorious coming Kingdom) for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the water covers the sea." The outpouring of supernatural knowledge like the human race has never comprehended. Itís coming.

Isaiah 11:10

"And in that day (when the Kingdom is set up) there shall be a root of Jesse, (and Jesse was the father of David) which shall stand for an ensign of the people; (for Israel to understand that this Messiah was the Son of David, but it wonít stop at Israelís borders. Why?) to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious." No more labor by the sweat of the face. No more thorns and thistles and insects and disease. Itís going to be glorious! Boy, some of you are looking at me like it is Ďpie in the skyí. No, itís something better than that! Itís REAL!

Isaiah 11:12

"He will set up an ensign for the nations, (the whole world is going to come under this glorious rule) and heíll assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." See, itís all set to happen and the world is getting ready for it. Well, weíll look at some more of these at a later time as we come on through Isaiah, but, now, letís just look at a couple of the others. I just want you to see this Kingdom concept. If theyíre going to throw it out, theyíve got to throw out most of the Old Testament. Theyíve got to throw out much of what Jesus preached, because He was constantly referring to this coming glorious Kingdom.

Letís come up to Daniel, chapter 7, and Iím skipping a lot of good ones for sake of time. But before I go any further in our study in Isaiah, and weíre going to be talking about so much of the prophecy concerning this earthly, glorious kingdom, I just decided last night, Iíve got to stop and get these things straight, because youíve got all these denominational leaders that are ridiculing all this and saying, "Naw, thereís no such thing as a future kingdom because thereís no such thing as Israel being a nation for the end time." But, Iím begging to differ. All right, in Daniel chapter 7, this is all speaking of the same Kingdom.

Daniel 7:13

"I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man (well thatís exactly what Luke refers to Him Ė the Son of Man) came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days; (which is no doubt a type here of God the Father) and they brought him near before him. 14. And there was given him (the Son) dominion and glory, and (what?) a kingdom, (and whatís in this Kingdom?) that all people, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." Itíll never end. All right, now for comparison, letís jump all the way up to Revelation. All the way up to Revelation chapter 5. Itís been a long time since weíve looked at that, at least in a new taping. I guess the reruns are touching on them, but here we have much the same scenario. Itís in heaven and I might as well start at verse 1. Here we have almost the same scenario that Daniel spoke of in chapter 7.

Revelation 5:1a

"And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throneÖ" Well, whoís on the throne? God the Fatherís on the throne. God the Son symbolically speaking is at His right hand.

Revelation 5:1b-5

"... a book (or a scroll) written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. 2. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book (scroll) and to loose the seals thereof. 3. And no man in heaven, nor in earth, nor under the earth, was able to open the book (scroll) neither to look upon. 4. And I (John) wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to ready the book, (scroll) neither to look thereon. 5. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, (see how it all fits with the Old Testament) the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, (scroll) and to loose the seven seals thereof.

Revelation 5:6-7

"And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, (arenít you glad I mentioned them in Isaiah 11? Here they are again) sent forth into all the earth. 7. And he came and took the book (scroll) out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne."

All right, now then, you come on down in these verses and youíll find that here it is delegated to Him to carry out the role of KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS; which now becomes more evident as we go through the Tribulation period. Come on up, while youíre in Revelation, to chapter 19. Now, this is the culmination of what you just saw back in the Old Testament prophecies and in Revelation chapter 5. He has defeated His adversaries, He has paid off the mortgage that was in that scroll, and now Heís going to come victorious.

Revelation 19:11

"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge (or rule) and make war." In other words, Heís going to destroy His enemies before He sets up this glorious Kingdom. He has to.

Revelation 19:12

"His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: (not His Blood this time, his victimís) and his name is called the Word of God. 14. And the armies which were in heaven followed him on white horses clothed in white linen, white and clean." Drop on down, for sake of time, to verse 16.

Revelation 19:16

"And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written (and here it is) KING OF KINGS AND (what?) LORD OF LORDS." There will be no opposition. There will be no room for argument. Heís going to rule and reign with an iron hand, although it will be a benevolent iron hand ruling only for the good of His Kingdom.

All right, letís come back again to the Old Testament and look at a couple more references to these glorious prophecies concerning a King and a Kingdom. Letís come all the way up to Ezekiel. Now, Ezekiel is a book that has more condemnation than it does promise, but it still has all the promises concerning the nation of Israel. Iím going to bring you all the way to chapter 39, and letís start with verse 25.

Ezekiel 39:25-29

"Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now I will bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, (every tribe) and will be jealous for my holy name; 26. After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid. 27. When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemiesí lands and I am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; 28. Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them into their own land, and have left none of them anymore there. 29. Neither will I hide my face anymore from them: for I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD." Whatís the reference to? This glorious coming Kingdom when Israel will be back in the land of promise as a nation and God will deal with them through those seven years of horror but followed by the promise of this glorious heaven on earth Kingdom!

LESSON TWO * PART IV

THE EARTHLY KINGDOM WILL APPEAR!

ISAIAH 2:2

Okay, weíre just an informal Bible study, and we just simply look at what the Book says, and if itís not scriptural and I have an idea, hopefully, I always put it that way; that this is the way I think, but that doesnít mean itís necessarily 100%. So, I always try to show everything from what the Scripture says.

I hope I never fail to thank our television audience for the response that keeps us on the air. You know, a lot of people would look at this humble background, without a lot of flowers and a lot of fluff and pomp and circumstance, and wonder how in the world do you stay on television? In fact, they do ask. Well, maybe this is what people want so we do it, we keep it plain and simple, and I think Iíve gained my trademark Ė short-sleeved shirt and this old chalkboard

All right, enough of that, letís go right back. I was going to continue on in Isaiah, but while taking our break between lessons, I changed my mind. I just canít do it yet. Come back with me to Revelation, again. Weíre still going to be looking at this Kingdom concept, because when there is so much opposition to it, then I guess itís worth four programs to try to refute the opposition.

Okay, Revelation, chapter 20 starting at verse 1. Now, this is at the ending hours of the Tribulation and the battle of Armageddon has just been fought, Christ against the anti-Christ and his armies.

Revelation 20:1

"And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand" Now, itís not necessarily an iron chain, but itís a chain of something that will confine an angelic being, such as Satan.

Revelation 20:2

"And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him (how long?) a thousand years." All right, now, letís just see how often Scripture repeats this number Ė 1000 years. All right, come on down to verse 3.

Revelation 20:3

"And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, until (thatís a time word) the thousand years are fulfilled: (Now, thereís twice in two verses that itís a thousand years.) and after that he must be loosed a little season." Now, a lot of people wonder, and a lot of people write, after we got that rascal tied up and heís off the scene, heís not hurting anybody, why does God bring him back?

Well, you see, itís a dispensational thing. Every dispensation God gave mankind; letís just start with Adam and Eve in the Garden, the simplest of the dispensations. A dispensation is a time during which God lays a responsibility upon the human race, and then they fail it. Judgment falls and then something else brings about a new dispensation.

All right, letís start with Adam and Eve. It was a dispensation. They were in the Garden of Eden, and they only had one responsibility Ė not to eat of that one tree. That was the only thing. Everything else was theirs to enjoy. But, along comes old Satan, the deceiver and what does he say? "Hath God really said?" Well, whatís he doing? Heís planting doubt. All right, then he comes along and says, "Well itís all well and good that youíve got this glorious environment. Youíre in a special place, but instead of being under God, wouldnít you rather be like Him or above Him?" Now, do you get that? That is the lie of Scripture, when Satan convinces the human race that they can become something better and above God.

All right, Eve fell for it because it sounded so good. Well, yeah, weíve got it good, but to have it even better, why not? All right, now itís going to be the same thing at the end of these thousand years. Theyíve had it just as good for a thousand years as Adam and Eve had it in the Garden for however long they were there. So, what does God have to prove? That after 7000 years the human makeup has not changed. You want to remember that youíre starting the thousand years with just a small percentage of true believers, flesh and blood from Gentile parents and Jewish parents.

All right, now all these new generations have come over a period of a thousand years. Now, thatís a lot of people. From Israel and from the world in general, and theyíre still flesh and blood just like we are today. Theyíre still born with the Adamic nature, just like we are today. Theyíve enjoyed all these good things for a thousand years, but itís a dispensation. They have to be tested. Well, how do you test someone? Give them an alternative. So, who alone can give an alternative to what God has blessed them with? Satan, so God lets him come back to test these new generations of people. Will they hold true to the King after all His goodness toward them, or are they going to fall for the lie that they can be like God or above Him? Well, now letís just see what happens. All right, so he must be loosed a little season to give these new generations of human beings a choice between Satanís lie or Godís goodness.

Revelation 20:4-6a

"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment (or rule) was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them who were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, (that is, back during the Tribulation) neither his image, neither received his mark upon their foreheads or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5. But the rest of the dead (Now, thatís the unbelieving element of humanity) they lived not until the thousand years are finished (and this bringing out the lost of the ages before the Great White Throne and then consigning them to their doom. That is the second death for the lost. But this, which the believers have enjoyedÖ) This is the first resurrection. 6. Blessed and holy is he who hath part in the first resurrection:Ö" Those are all believers. The first great group of believers will be the Church Age, and I think youíve got those who came out of the tombs in Matthew 27, which I call the first fruits, but the major resurrection day is what we call the Rapture of the Church. Thatís when all the believers in the Church Age are resurrected. Thatís us!

Then, Daniel chapter 12 brings in the resurrection of the Old Testament believers, which will be 75 days after the Kingdom starts. So now, youíve got all the believers, Old Testament, New Testament, Tribulation; theyíve all been resurrected into heavenly bodies fit for eternity.

But the lost, you see, are still where? Theyíre waiting down in Hell as we call it. Now, Iíve got to take you back, and I didnít intend to do this, this is free for nothing. Johnís Gospel chapter 5, and drop down to verse 28. This is during Christís earthly ministry. So, if you have a red-letter edition, itís in red. Jesus is speaking. Now, weíve come here to establish who is in that second resurrection, or the second death.

John 5:28-29

"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves (every human being who has ever lived and died) will hear His voice. 29. And they shall come forth; (Now, hereís where we separate them.) they who have done good, (or the people of faith) unto the resurrection of life; (eternal life) and they who have done evil, (theyíve remained in their unbelief) to the resurrection of damnation."(Or condemnation to their doom.)

All right, now letís come back to Revelation chapter 20, again, because youíve got unbelievers who have died ever since the beginning. I usually go back to Cain, who I think, was the first lost person through everybody thatís rejected Godís salvation all the way up through human history until we get to this Great White Throne Judgment after the Kingdom Age of 1000 years has run its course. All right, so jump back in with me again at Revelation 20, where the believing element, who have been resurrected, will live and reign with Christ a thousand years.

Revelation 20:5-6

"But the rest of the dead (the lost, who are not yet resurrected) they live not again until the thousand years are finished. (Now, this next statement jumps back up into verse 4.) This is the first resurrection. (Consequently, verse 6 can say.) 6. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection. On such (these are the true believers) the second death (which is the consignment to the eternal doom) hath no power (because theyíre believers) and they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with him (here it is again) a thousand years."

Revelation 20:7a

"When the thousand years are expired,Ö" Theyíve run their course in time, as we know it. This same planet is rejuvenated, remodeled, regenerated, reconstituted, but itís still going to have the sun rising in the morning and setting at night. Itís still going to be an earth of production of food and fruit and so forth.

Revelation 20:7b-8

"ÖSatan shall be loosed out of his prison. 8. And shall go to out to deceive (see thereís the word) the nations, which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog to gather them together to battle, the number of whom is as the sand of the sea." Now, why? Well, heís going to convince them that if they follow him they can be like God. Satan convinces them theyíre going to defeat Christ Jesus. Basically he says, "Weíll just declare war on Him, and weíll throw him out." You know, I always have to wonder about Satan. Donít you? How ignorant he must be and yet so powerful?

But to always think, from day one, that he could defeat God. He never seems to get over it, so, again, he will convince these multitudes to follow him and they actually do - now evidently this will be a fairly long period of time. Theyíre going to be able to put together military equipment.

Revelation 20:9-10

"And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city; (which is Jerusalem. But God doesnít fight them with tanks and guns, He comes supernaturally, and just simply consumes them) and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." Thatís what the Book says. Itís not my idea. I know itís a horrible thing to think of, but the Scripture teaches it.

Now, in verse 11, here comes the Great White Throne, and here come the lost of all the ages who will be resurrected out of their waiting place in Hell where they go now. God will resurrect them out. He will give them a body fit for the Lake of Fire, and He brings them up before the Great White Throne where Christ is now sitting as the judge, not the Savior.

Revelation 20:11-12

"And I (John) saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12. And I saw the dead, small and great, (of the lost) stand before God; and the books, (the record books) were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead (the lost) were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." Thatís why Hell will have degrees of punishment. Every detail of a lost personís life will be brought up before him, and God is keeping a record.

Revelation 20:13a

"And the sea gives up the dead which were in it,Ö" In other words, all the lost of all the ages will be brought up to the Great White Throne, and they are judged every man according to their works. Now, verse 14.

Revelation 20:14a

"And death and hell (from which these people have been resurrected) were cast into the lake of fire...." Now, people donít like that, and I donít either, but itís true. I donít know how else to put it. We have all become so blasé Ė well, theyíre lost. Theyíre going to Hell.

You know, I read an analogy years ago, and it has always stuck. If you were driving down the street of your hometown or your own neighborhood and you saw a personís house on fire that you knew intimately and you knew they had three or four kids sleeping in the upstairs bedroom. If you were to drive by about midnight and you saw the flames coming out of the upstairs window, what would you do? Would you just drive on home and go to bed? Why, no human being could. We would do whatever we could to get the fire department or to go and knock the door down and wake them up and get them out. Every one of us would. But, when it comes to the eternal, theyíre going to an eternal Lake of Fire, and we donít even blink an eye. Well, I donít know what to do about it. But thatís the sad story of the human race, and itís not going to be an instant annihilation like a lot of people like to think. The Scripture is adamant itís going to be forever and ever and ever. And the worst part of it will not be the flame.

Now, you know some of the liberals referred to Reagan, after his funeral, about four or five days, that he was already a Ďtoasty brown.í What a horrible way to refer Ė you read it. Unbelievable. But see thatís just the way they are. But the Lake of Fire is real. Itís coming for lost humanity and then it says in verse 15, well 14 and 15.

Revelation 20:14

"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." Because the first death was when they died physically. This is a spiritual separation from God.

Revelation 20:15

"And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast in the lake of fire." Well, it means what it says and it says what it means. But we donít like to think of that. I canít blame you. I donít. But, nevertheless, itís the teaching of Scripture that the lost will be consigned to the Lake of Fire for all of eternity, as we will be consigned to eternal life for all eternity.

All right, now then, since I have established the thousand-year reign of Christís earthly kingdom, letís come back to the book of Hosea. I kind of tantalized you with it back in the first program, but now weíll look at it. Come back with me to Hosea, right after the book of Daniel. Jump in with me at chapter 5. Here we have a couple of interesting verses. Not many people are aware of them; a few are, but not many.

Hosea 5:15a

"I will go and return to my place,Ö" Now, whom does that sound like? The Lord Jesus Christ and when He says, I will go -- whereís He speaking from? Heaven. Whereís He going? To the earth. Then whatís he going to do? Heís going to return at the ascension.

Hosea 5:15a

"I will go and return to my place (How long is He going to stay there seated at the Fatherís right hand?) until they (Who are the they? Israel) acknowledge their offence, (What was their offence? The crucifixion, the rejection, and they will finally recognize it.) and they will seek my face: in their afflictionÖ" Now, whatís the affliction Heís talking about? The Tribulation. The whole purpose of it is Godís wrath upon Christ-rejecting Israel and the world in general. Weíre not going to put the Jews in the solitary place of that. But itís primarily God dealing with His covenant people.

Hosea 5:15b

"Öin their affliction they (the nation of Israel) will seek me early."

Hosea 6:1a

"Come let us return unto the LORD:Ö" Now, what does that sound like - whoís speaking? Israel. Israel is now speaking, come let us return to the Lord. My, theyíve got something to return from.

Hosea 6:1b

"Öfor he hath torn, and he will heal us;Ö" Now, in our present day, "He hath torn." You know what I immediately think of? The bus bombings in Israel. My, after one of those horrendous suicide bombings, special people volunteer to go down and scrape up the body parts. It is beyond human comprehension. It happens all the time. Scraping up the body parts that have been blown asunder. Well, thatís what I have to feel here. Oh, theyíre being torn asunder.

Hosea 6:1c-2a

"Öhe will heal us; (who will? Israelís Messiah) he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. (Now, here comes the interesting part.) 2. After two days, he will revive us:Ö"

Now, Iím not going to take you back but what does I Peter say, "a thousand years is as a day and a day as a thousand years." I hope Iím not being loose with Scripture, and Iím not saying this in concrete, as I say so often, but this is just to tantalize your thinking. This is something to just mull over. "After two thousand years he will revive us." Has He? Yes, the nation of Israel is coming back. Theyíre back in Jerusalem. Oh, theyíre not spiritual yet, by any stretch, but theyíre physically back in the land. All right, so thatís after about 2000 years, but now look at the next one.

Hosea 6:2b

"Öin the third day (or the third thousand years) he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight." Whatís that referring to? The Kingdom! Now, thatís the way I look at these verses. You may not agree with me or you out in television may not agree with me, but I think this is the one inkling in Scripture that gives us a timeframe. And itís another reason I think we are so close. We are so close to these 2000 years, since Christís first advent, being over, and weíre ready to be ushered into the next 1000 years, which will be the Kingdom.

All right, weíve only got a few minutes left. Letís just stay with it as weíve been on it. Youíre in Hosea, just go on to your next little book in the Old Testament. Joel chapter 3, here, again, weíre going to have the horrors of the Tribulation and then the glories of the Kingdom. Thatís the process all through prophecy. First, comes Israelís demise. Then, comes their punishment; invading armies. Then, come the blessings. Itís just a roller coaster. All right, Joel chapter 3 is looking all the way to the end time, to the end of these 2000 years. Look at verse 2. Where God says:

Joel 3:2

"I will also gather all nations, (and it is going to be a coalition like George W. canít even dream about. Itís going to be every nation involved) and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they (these Gentile nations) have scattered and parted my land." Sound familiar? Whatís the big problem in the Middle East? The West Bank. Gaza. Jericho. Theyíve parted the land. Thatís why Iíd sometimes just like to scream Ė donít give up one acre! Itís Israelís. Itís theirs. The whole Book cries that it is. But, you see, thatís what theyíve done. Theyíve divided Godís land.

Joel 3:3

"And they have cast lots for my people: and have given a boy for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink." Thatís how Israel has been treated these last 2000 years. Well, letís go all the way down to the glories of the Kingdom. Verse 17. So after all of their heartache and their sorrow and their murdering, now comes the Kingdom.

Joel 3:17-18a

"So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more. 18. And it shall come to pass in that day, the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD,Ö" Now, just drop over, I hope weíve got time, weíve got a couple of minutes. The next book is Amos. Amos chapter 9, and then they try to tell us that all of this has been thrown out? How can they? Godís Word is sure. Itís going to happen.

Amos 9:13-15

"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes will overtake him that soweth seed; and the mountain shall drop sweet wine, the hills shall melt. 14. I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and 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 upon their land, and they (Israel) shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God."

All right, now Iíve got to get one more verse before we quit today, and I think we can do it in one minute. Keep turning to Zechariah chapter 14, and again the first three verses are a picture of the final days of the Tribulation, the horrors of it. Then, in verse 4, we have Christ returning to the Mount of Olives as He left in Acts chapter 1. But now, you come all the way down to verse 8:

Zechariah 14:8

"And it shall be in that day (when Christ sets up His Kingdom) that living water shall go out from Jerusalem; and half to the former sea, and half to the hinder sea (that is the Mediterranean out to the Dead Sea) in summer and in winter it shall be." Now, look at verse 9. Why, this is as plain as any third-grader can understand.

Zechariah 14:9a

"And the LORD (Jesus of Nazareth) shall be King over all the earth;Ö"

LESSON THREE * PART I

CHASTISEMENT BEFORE BLESSINGS

ISAIAH 2:3 Ė 42:6

Itís 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 youíll 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. Donít take my word for anything any more than you would take someone elseís 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 canít agree with you on some of these things." I said, "Thatís fine, but have you ever really made a study of it?" He said, "Well, no not really." I said, "Well, just study. Donít take my word for it. Just take to heart the things that Iím 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, youíve got me just about convinced." Well, thatís 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 weíve 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 hasnít made a nickelís worth of difference in our lifestyle. And we want people to know that weíre 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 Ė they never had.

Okay, now weíre taking a study of Isaiah. For those of you who are new listeners, weíve 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 doesnít get it. This book of Isaiah is a book of prophecy written 700 years before Christ. Now, thatís a long time, and I think maybe by our next half-hour Iíll 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 Solomonís 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, itís 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 itís about a hundred years earlier. Again, thatís a reminder that Godís wheels turn ever so slowly. Hereís Isaiah prophesying whatís going to be coming upon the nation of Israel, but it doesnít really reach fruition for a hundred years.

So, thatís again why I always temper our excitement for the Rapture. Yes, I think itís close, but on the other hand, Godís wheels turn so much slower than we think they should that we canít just rest and say, "Oh well, the Lordís coming next week Ė so what." Iíll 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 Lordís coming!" I said, "You go ahead and plant it because we donít know that Heís 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 heís 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, Iím not going to take all 66 chapters verse by verse, weíre just going to hit some of the highlights and move on to other things, probably even after today. But always keep in mind that weíre dealing with Godís 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 letís 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 weíll pick up our study in verse 3.

Isaiah 2:1-2a

"The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. (Now, you see, thatís the Southern Kingdom) 2. And it shall come to pass in the last days,Ö" Now, heís leaping all the way to the end of time as we know it, to the Second Coming, and the establishing of the glorious Kingdom.

Isaiah 2:2b

"Öthat the mountain (or the Kingdom) of the LORDís 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, itís not just going to be Israel; itíll be the whole world that will come under Christís 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 donít remember where, but it was so apropos. So many people hate America. So many people think weíre 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 thereís no other place on earth like our beloved America. Well, weíre just a little foretaste of what this glorious Kingdom under Christís 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. Weíre going to move on.

Isaiah 2:3a

"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 ZionÖí" Now, remember, Zion is a little hill in Jerusalem. Not like the hymn-writer puts it, "Weíre Marching to Zion" - you know to heaven. Zion is in Jerusalem, and thatís the hill from which Davidís throne went forth.

Isaiah 2:3b-4

"Öout 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." Itís 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 youíll 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, thatís the beauty of Scripture.

Amos 9:13

"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.

Amos 9:14-15

"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." Thatís their prospect. See, it hasnít 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 itís still future, as God cannot lie!

All right, now then, if youíll back up a few pages to Jeremiah; Jeremiah 31:31 where we have the spiritual setting for this same Kingdom. Itís going to be physical. There are going to be people, regular flesh and blood people who are reproducing. Theyíre having children. Theyíre having families, and this will be the spiritual setting. Again, this hasnít ever happened yet, but itís 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 Ė no Ė this has never happened.

Jeremiah 31:31

"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. Itís not made to the Church, itís made to Israel. Oh, if people could only get that straight.

Jeremiah 31:32a

"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,Ö" Now, thatís speaking of the Ten Commandments, the Mosaic covenant. Israel never was able to keep it. All right, but this is whatís going to happen when Christ finally returns and sets up this glorious Kingdom, verse 33.

Jeremiah 31:33-34a

"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, (itís 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,Ö" Thereíll be no opposition. Thereíll be no unbelief. .

All right, if you will come back, again, to Isaiah chapter 2. Now, weíre 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 theyíre in their worldliness, their wickedness, their unbelief. All right, verse 6.

Isaiah 2:6-7

"Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they replenish from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, (Theyíre 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, whatís along side of it? Idols.

Isaiah 2:8

"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:

Isaiah 2:10-11

"Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust, for the fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty. (Thatís what theyíd 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 letís just make a comparison with the New Testament. Letís 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 weíre living in a modern era. Well, Iím going to show you, if we have time in this program Ė nothing has changed. I mean nothing has changed. Not even the apparel of the female of the race. Itís 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.

Revelation 6:15-16

"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 isnít 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.

Revelation 6:17

"For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" Well, thatís 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.

Isaiah 2:12-14

"For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon everyone that is proud and lofty, and upon everyone thatís 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.

Isaiah 2:19-21

"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 youíll find that itís 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, theyíre going to be in three periods of time. The immediate, or at least a hundred years, is in Isaiahís 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 Christís Second Coming.

All right, now letís 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, itís 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. Thereís always that small percentage remnant. But the vast majority is going to take the nation down the tube.

You know, thatís why Iíve mentioned, since weíve 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 nationís 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.

Isaiah 3:9

"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, weíre right there here in our beloved America.

Isaiah 3:10-14

"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.

Isaiah 3:16

"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! Isnít it amazing? It canít help but make you smile. All right, verse 18. Weíll just take a couple here. Our time is running out.

Isaiah 3:18

"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 havenít been able to figure out what the round tires are. It must be a jewel of some kind; a bracelet or whatever.

Isaiah 3:19-21

"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, whatís the next one?) the nose jewels." Isnít it amazing? These kids today think that they are just discovering all this. Huh-uh. Itís as old as time itself.

Isaiah 3:22-23

"The changeable suits of apparel, (Why, this comes right out of a fashion magazine, doesnít it?) and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, 23. The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the veils." Itís all right there. Weíre 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 Iíve made my point. Itís as old as time itself. All right, now then, to finish up our minutes we have left, verse 24.

Isaiah 3:24a

"It shall come to pass,Ö" Because see, Israel has gotten to the place thatís all theyíre living for. Thatís all that matters to them; their material wealth; their everyday living to satisfy the desires of the flesh. God didnít mean anything to them. He was so far removed from their thinking.

Isaiah 3:24-26

"And it shall come to pass, that instead of the sweet smell there shall be stink. (Itíll be an odor.) and instead of a girdle, a rent; and instead of a well set hair (a beautiful well coffered hairdo. Itíll 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, weíre 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 hasnít happened yet. You know, thatís the beauty of prophecy, it writes as if itís already past, but itís 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 Israelís thinking. Oh, theyíre "religious" to the hilt. Theyíre proud of their Temple, but thereís no spiritual life. They are wicked. They are idolatrous. They are worshipping the gods of the pagans around them, and thatís 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.

LESSON THREE * PART II

CHASTISEMENT BEFORE BLESSINGS

ISAIAH 2:3 Ė 42:6

Now, again, for those of you joining us on television, if this is the first time youíve seen our program, weíre just an informal Ė and I stress that Ė weíre an informal Bible study. Weíre not associated with anyone; we are totally dependent on the Lord, and the Lord

alone, for everything that we teach and for everything that supplies our every need. We have never had to make an appeal for anything and I refuse to ever do so.

So, weíre glad to have you with us. Weíre turning, now, to Isaiah chapter 6 and continue on where we were in our last program. Iím going to skip chapters 4 and 5. Itís just more of the same, you might say. But now we drop in at chapter 6, and weíve got some things here that we can sink our teeth into. Verse 1 and here is where chronologists get their little basis for setting up time going back through history. Here this one is:

Isaiah 6:1

"In the year that King Uzziah died (and of course history records that.) I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple." Now, I think I can take the time, a lot of times I donít like to do this, but letís go back and get a picture of this King Uzziah in II Kings 15:7 and in this particular portion heís called Azariah, but itís the same man, Uzziah. Here we come to his death as Isaiah is referring to it, verse 6.

II Kings 15:6-7

"The rest of the acts of Azariah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 7. So Azariah (or Uzziah) slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead." Now, I wanted to go back and see if I can find the verses. I may not be able to do this, yeah, I think we can go to I Kings chapter 22. I want you to see what was unique about King Uzziah. He was a leper. Iím not sure that Iím going to be able to find it. I should have had it, I Kings 22 verse 19. No, thatís not the one I want. Well, anyway, letís come back to Isaiah, Iím sorry about that.

Isaiah chapter 6, but King Uzziah became a leper early in his reign and he reigned, if Iím not mistaken, forty-two years. He started when he was 16, and he died when he was about 68. But, early in his reign he was being so successful, the Lord was blessing him, because he was a godly king. He should have known better, but see, this is always the danger; even Godís best servants will sometimes lose their perspective and get the "big-head," I guess you could say, and they kind of take things into their own hand.

Well, King Uzziah thought that as God had blessed him so abundantly he could go into the Temple and offer incense on the Altar of Incense. The priests did everything to stop him, but after all, he was the king, so he went ahead and tried it anyway and the moment he did, he was stricken with leprosy that showed up in his forehead and, of course, the priests saw it immediately. Then they took control and got him out of the Temple. He never again was able to go into the throne room of his palace, but he had to have a little separated, I guess we would say a widowís house or something, where he lived the rest of his life. He was isolated from all of society because of his leprosy.

So, itís kind of unique that even good people fail. But this is the Uzziah that Isaiahís referring to, "In the year that King Uzziah died, I sawÖ" Now, you want to remember that there have been various times that human beings have seen God. Now, I know the Scripture says, "No man has seen God any time and lived." But, on the other hand we have instances in Scripture where men did see a person of the Godhead, and hereís one of them. Isaiah saw God.

Isaiah 6:1b

"ÖI saw also the Lord (Now, that would be God the Son, of course, and he saw him.) upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple." Now, this is back in the Old Testament economy, and here we have just a glimpse of the throne room.

Now, letís go back and look at a couple of others who also saw God. Letís go back to Joshua chapter 5. Now, the nation of Israel is about to attack the city of Jericho. Those of you who are acquainted with your Old Testament know that account. I just want you to see a few of the instances where men saw God in human form.

Joshua 5:13-15

"And it came to pass when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man (that is, the likeness of a man) over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went to him and said unto him, Art thou for us or for our adversaries? 14. And he (the man) said, Nay, but as captain of the host of the LORD I am now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? 15. And the captain of the Lordís host said unto Joshua. (Now, this is God the Son speaking.) Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standeth is holy. And Joshua did so." He knew, of course, whom he was confronting. All right, letís take another and go to Job chapter 42. Now, Job is just ahead of the Psalms. Thatís one I always have a hard time finding myself.

Job 42:1-6

"Job answered the LORD, and said, 2. I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withheld from thee. 3. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? Therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. 4. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak; I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. 5. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye seeth thee. (Job saw Him. Consequently,) 6. Wherefore (Job says) I abhor my self and repent in dust and ashes." Much the same as weíre going to see Isaiah does after having seen the Lord.

All right, letís look at one more in Ezekiel chapter 1. Thatís the chapter with the "wheels" and I get a lot of questions on that one and those are a lot of questions that I canít always answer. But, nevertheless, he gets a glimpse, too, of the very throne room and all the beauty and the glory of it. But come down to and letís stop at verse 27 because the Scripture is trying to give us the awesomeness (thatís a favorite word lately) of the throne room, the presence of God. All right, verse 27.

Ezekiel 1:27-2:1

"And I saw as the color of amber, as the appearance of fire round about and within it, from the appearance of his (so weíre looking at the person now) loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. 28. As the appearance of the bow (that is the rainbow) that is in the cloud in the day of rain, (in other words, all the colors of the rainbow, now, are showing their magnificence) so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD and when I saw it, I fell upon my face (just like Joshua did) and I heard a voice of one that spake. 2:1 And he said unto me, ĎSon of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee." Now, that was Ezekielís experience.

All right, now letís jump all the way up to Revelation, and weíll see what John experiences; John the Revelator. Revelation chapter 1; drop in at verse 12. This is all just to give us a little glimpse, just a tip of the iceberg of an understanding, of the presence and the person of God.

Revelation 1:12-16a

"I turned to see the voice that spoke with me, And being turned I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13. And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like to the Son of man clothed with a garment down to the foot, gird about the paps with a golden girdle. 14. His head and his hairs were white like wool, white as snow; His eyes were as a flame of fire; 15. And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice was like the sound of many waters. 16. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword:Ö" Now, not a metal sword like a Roman soldier, but itís a reference to His Word. His Word was as sharp as a two-edged sword, Scripture tells us.

Revelation 1:16b-17

"his countenance was as the sun shineth in its strength. 17. And when I saw him, (John also like Joshua before him, like Isaiah and like Ezekiel, and John also says) I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not. I am the first and the last:" Now, those were all experiences of mortal men when they saw the Almighty Eternal Creator God.

All right, now, if youíll come back with me to Isaiah chapter 6, weíll move on. So, he sees the Lord, and itís a transforming vision as weíll see in just a little bit. Now, he has a description of His presence, a little different from the others, he saw these angelic beings:

Isaiah 6:2

"Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, with twain he covered his feet, with twain he did fly." I think what that implies here is that four of the wings were to cover their person and two were to make them function.

Isaiah 6:3-4

"One cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4. And the posts of the door (in other words, the magnificence of His presence) moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. (because of that presence of the Almighty Creator God. Now, this is Isaiahís response) 5. Then I said, Woe is me! For I am undone; for I am a man of unclean lips: and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the (what?) the King, the LORD of hosts." Now, you want to remember that in Israelís thinking, this is what theyíre looking for. Theyíre looking for the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, and His glorious Kingdom. But I always have to come back and show the comparison that we, in this Age of Grace, as members of the Body of Christ, weíre not looking for Christ the King, weíre looking for Christ the "Head of the Body."

All right, come back with me, now, so that I can make my point, all the way up to Ephesians. Iíve made this statement on the program many times. Paul never refers to Christ as our "King." He only uses the term one time and that is a reference to His total Sovereignty as God. Paul never refers to Jesus as our King. But, rather, Heís the Head of the Body, which puts us in an intricate, intimate relationship with Christ like Israel never understood. Thatís the vast difference. All right, Ephesians chapter 1 and drop in at verse 19, so we pick up the flow of these verses of what Paul is talking about concerning the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 1:19-20a

"And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe (you and me as believers) according to the working of his mighty power.20. Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead,Ö" Now, Iím constantly emphasizing, everywhere I go, wherever I teach, that for you and I, as believers today, Christ and our relationship with Him begins at the cross.

That earthly ministry becomes moot. That was God dealing with Israel, under the Law. The Temple is still operating. He was trying to convince them that He was who He said He was. But for us itís the cross! When He went to the cross and suffered and died and shed His blood, was buried, and rose from the dead, thatís where everything becomes a reality for us, and what we must believe for salvation. Thatís all Paul knows.

Paul says, "We preach Christ (what?) crucified!" Not walking on water. Not performing miracles, but rather crucified. "To those that perish, foolishness, but to us who are saved itís the (what?) the power of God." All right, now, this is what Paul is referring to again, how that through His resurrection power we are empowered for all eternity. All right, verse 20 again:

Ephesians 1:20

"Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from dead, (Thatís where the power of God was exemplified.) and he set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places." Heís not on the throne tonight. Heís not ruling and reigning as a King. God the Father is. But, now, Heís at the Fatherís right hand in the heavenlies.

Ephesians 1:21

"Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world but also in that which is to come:" There are those who try to usurp that power and put Him secondary to someone else. Itís ridiculous. He is the All Powerful One.

Ephesians 1:22

"And he hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the (What? Not the King over the Church. The) head (my, what a difference) over all things to the church, 23. Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all." The head without the body is not functional. The body without the head is non-functional. But you put the two together and youíve got a living vibrant organism, and thatís what weíre a part of in this Body of Christ!

All right, turn over to Colossians, and we have much the same thing. I think we used these verses in our last taping. Again, bringing up the point "who was Jesus of Nazareth?" Well, He was God the Son! Colossians chapter 1 verse 14:

Colossians 1:14

"In whom (in the Son in verse 13) we have redemption through his blood, (thatís the price of redemption Ė His shed blood) even the forgiveness of sins:" When weíre redeemed, weíre forgiven. Weíre justified. Weíre everything! All right, now, hereís a description of who He is; the Son:

Colossians 1:15-16

"Who is the image of the invisible God, Heís the firstborn of every creature: (Heís before anything ever was of every creature) 16. For by him (by God the Son) were all things created, that are in heaven, that are in earth, visible, invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, all things (everything) was created by him and for him." Now, verse 17:

Colossians 1:17-19

"He is before all things and by him all things consist (or are held together. Now, here it comes.) 18. And he is the (what?) head of the body, which is the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence 19. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell." All right, I want to have you come back with me to I Corinthians and play this a little further. I Corinthians chapter 12 emphasizes that Christ is the Head and weíre the Body and consequently we are in union with Him. We function because He is the Head. All right, I Corinthians chapter 12 drop in at verse 12, and this is what we have to understand. Israel had the promises of a King and a Kingdom. You and I have the promise that we can be joint-heirs with Christ because we are one with Christ. We are a part of Him. Although He is the Head and we are the functioning in the Body.

I Corinthians 12:12a

"For as the body is one, and has many members,Ö" Now, heís using our physical body as an illustration. Weíve got ten fingers, ten toes, two eyes, and two ears. These are all parts of the body. Theyíre separate parts and yet they function as one. So, is every believer a member of the Body of Christ.

I Corinthians 12:12b

"Öand all the members of that one body, being many are one body: so also is Christ," (or the Body of Christ)

Now, Iíll never forget what a gentleman in Indiana told me some time ago, he said, "Les, a lot of people like to talk about the Body of Christ, but they donít tell us how to get there." Well, maybe thatís a point well taken. How do we get into the Body of Christ? By believing with all your heart the Gospel of salvation as presented by the Apostle Paul (I Corinthians 15:1-4) Ė That "Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again." All we do is believe with all our heart, and then the Spirit places us into the Body. All right, here it is verse 13:

I Corinthians 12:13a

"For by one Spirit, (thatís the Holy Spirit) we are all (every believer of whatever station in life) baptized (or placed) into one body, whether we be Jew or Gentile, whether we be bond or free:Ö" And I always make the point without violating Scripture, "whether weíre black or white, red or yellow" makes no difference. A believer is immediately placed into this Body of Christ, which is composed of believers and Christ is the Head. Then he goes on to say:

I Corinthians 12:13b-14

"Öand have been all made to drink (or partake) into one Spirit. 14. For the body is not one member but many." All right, now, thereís the comparison; where-as Isaiah sees God the Son, the King and He is indeed the coming King of Israelís prophecy; but for us, we look for the Head of the Body, the Savior.

All right, back to verse 5, he gets a glimpse of God the Son and it just devastates Isaiah.

Isaiah 6:5

"Then I said, Woe is me! for I am undone; I am a man of unclean lips. I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." The God of glory. What an experience! It transformed the man, Isaiah.

Isaiah 6:6-7

"Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, (one of these angelic creatures) having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7. And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, Ďthis hath touched thy lips; and thy iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged." Now, that word should trigger your thinking right up again to Hebrews chapter 1. I think weíve got time to start at verse 1 so we get the whole impact of this statement.

Hebrews 1:1-2a

"God, (the Triune God) who at sundry times and in diverse manners spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets. (Thatís what weíre reading Isaiah for.) 2. Hath in these last days spokenÖ." Thatís past tense and that means itís done. When anybody sends me a book and says they have gotten special revelations that God has spoken unto them that are beyond Scripture, it goes in the fireplace. Thatís where it belongs. Nobody has gotten any more revelations once this Book is finished. God has spoken. Itís done.

Hebrews 1:2-3a

"(God) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, and by whom also he made (or created) the worlds; (Now, hereís the verse that triggered my thinking.) 3. Who (God the Son and remember Paul only knows one Christ; Crucified, Buried, and risen. All right, this God the Son that Paul talks about) is the brightness of his glory, the express image of his person, upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself (what?) purged us from our sin,Ö"

LESSON THREE * PART III

CHASTISEMENT BEFORE BLESSING

ISAIAH 2:3 Ė 42:6

I mentioned in the last program that weíve 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, isnít 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 Heís 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 Godís 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.

Isaiah 24:1-2a

"Behold, the LORD (Now, remember the word LORD, in the Old Testament, is God the Son, Jehovah.) maketh the earth empty, (Now, weíre talking about the whole earth. Weíre 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:Ö" In other words, no one is going to be exempt from this outpouring of Godís wrath.

Isaiah 24:3

"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. Itís going to be the vortex of all of this coming wrath and judgment. Now, in verse 4 we come to the whole planet.

Isaiah 24:4

"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. Theyíre all going to come under Godís judgment.

Isaiah 24:5a

"The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof;Ö" Now, weíve got to remember that in 700 BC the worldís 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 weíre now rushing towards seven billion. So, weíve got a mass of population tonight that even the prophet knew nothing of, but itís all going to come under Godís wrath and under the defilement of the inhabitants.

Isaiah 24:5b

"Öbecause they have transgressed the lawsÖ" 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 itís something that they canít find a vaccine for, they canít find a real cure for, and everything theyíre 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.

Isaiah 24:5c

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.

Isaiah 24:6a

"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:Ö" Now, this isnít pretty language. I know it isnít. 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 theyíre 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. Thatís 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 donít want righteousness. They donít want anything thatís decent. All they want is that which satisfies the flesh. So, itís coming.

Isaiah 24:6b

"Ötherefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned,Ö" 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. Iíve tried to teach in my classes; donít worry about a nuclear holocaust. I donít think God is going to let it happen. Now, with the terrorist activity, it may happen in an isolated place. But I donít think any one nation is going to start a nuclear war. It would be folly, because itís 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 Ė yes Ė 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 thatís going to take place around the planet, the encouraging words are here:

Isaiah 24:6c

"Öand there will be a few men left." Now, what does that mean? Well, thereíll be some survivors. There always are. Iíve 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. Itís hard to believe that they survived, but they did. Well, itís going to be the same way here, and I think itís 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. Itís in response to the question of the Twelve "what shall be the signs of the end and your coming?" Now, remember, this is in Christís earthly ministry, toward the end of it, of course, but the Twelve are still intact.

Matthew 24:3-4a

"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 themÖ" So, Jesus begins to unfold the events opening up those final seven years, and theyíre in perfect parallel with the seal judgments of Revelation chapter 6. Now, Iím 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 hereís the verse I wanted you to see, verse 14, lock this into your computer.

Matthew 24:14

"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 itís reached all the nations, then what?) and then shall the end come." Now, Iíve 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 youíve got to remember, they donít have to stop and go to language school. They donít 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 donít remember what part of the world it was, doesnít 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! Thatís what Jesus and the Twelve preached. The King is in our midst, Heís offering the Kingdom. What a difference. We donít preach that today or at least weíre 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" Thatís the Gospel of Grace. But the Gospel of the Kingdom will be picked up again when the Tribulation begins. Now, Iíve 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 isnít. Itís 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 Godís 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:

Revelation 7:9a

"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,Ö" Thatís 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, theyíre already in the throne room. Theyíre already in glory.

Revelation 7:9b

"Östood 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.

Revelation 7:13-14a

"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 tribulationÖ" But Isaiah doesnít 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, youíre 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 theyíre going to be brought to be examined Ė 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 weíll jump in at chapter 25.

Now, donít forget the time element here. Weíre at the end of the Tribulation followed by Christís Second Coming. The earth is going to be renovated, remodeled, regenerated, reconstituted, whatever you want to call it, and itís going to be made ready now for this glorious heaven-on-earth Kingdom. But, youíve got to have people. Youíve got to have people, and you canít have just the nation of Israel. Youíve got to have all the nations. Now, again, I should have done this while we were in Revelation. Keep your hand in Matthew, Iím sorry.

Come back with me again to Revelation. Letís pick up why Iím making the point that we have to have flesh and blood people in Revelation chapter 20 and verse 7. Now, Iím 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?

Revelation 20:7-8a

"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 theyíre around the planet; all of it) Gog and Magog,Ö" 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:

Revelation 20:9

"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 youíve got to realize that the thousand year Kingdom rule is going to bring about multitudes of people, probably at least as many as weíve got on the planet right now tonight.

Okay, so thatís 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 werenít tempted. As long as thereís no choice, you see, they just have the King. His glorious benevolent Kingdom, they arenít tempted to sin, they arenít 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, weíre 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 theyíve 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:

Matthew 25:31-32a

"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:Ö" Now, be careful. America wonít 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. Heís going to move the lost off to the left. Heís 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. Theyíre going to be brought before Him somehow or other where He can judge them. All right, so Heís going to divide them:

Matthew 25:32b

"Öas a shepherd divides his sheep from his goats:" Now, thatís just (whatís the word?) a simile? Is that what you call it when you compare something to something else? I havenít been in English class for a while. But itís just an illustration. These arenít sheep and goats but itís "like a shepherd."

Now, certainly, you can all picture that. If heís 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. Itís not all that hard.

All right, so heís using the illustration that like a shepherd sorts his goats away from the sheep and puts the sheep over here, heís going to separate the unbelievers from believers. Got the picture? All right, verse 34:

Matthew 25:34

"Then shall the king (See, Heís now ruling from Jerusalem. Heís 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:" Thatís why Iím always saying from Genesis all the way up through Scripture whatís 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, Iím speculating. I canít prove this. But I have to look at these things logically. If weíre 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? Theyíre going to have to go back, I feel, to their homeland.

Now, thatís my idea. Donít come back and say where do you find it. I canít show you from Scripture, Iím 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. Theyíll have their separate languages, and I think thatís 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 somebodyís going to call or write and say, well, now wait a minute, whatís 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:

Matthew 25:35

"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:" Heís referring to the missionaries, the evangelists, of the 144,000.

Matthew 25:38-39

"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.

Matthew 25:40b

"ÖIn 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:

Matthew 25:41

"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, thatís 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.

LESSON THREE * PART IV

CHASTISEMENT BEFORE BLESSINGS

ISAIAH 2:3 Ė 42:6

Weíd like to welcome you to an informal Bible study. We donít claim to have all the answers. And I donít apologize when people call sometimes and I just have to say, "I donít know." There are a lot of things the Scripture does not tell us. There are a lot of things, of course, that I cannot comprehend, but weíre just depending on the Holy Spirit to give us enlightenment and to be able to compare Scripture with Scripture. Thatís all I ask people to do. Donít go by what I say, but compare Scripture with Scripture and if you disagree with me, I always think of an old pastor friend of mine who used to say this, "Well, itís a free country, you can be wrong if you want to be."

But no, if you disagree that doesnít mean youíre wrong, but on the other hand if you disagree, all I ask is that you search the Scriptures and, hopefully, youíll see where Iím coming from. Also remember, you must rightly divide the Word as Paul was inspired to write. If weíre talking about things in this Grace Age, then you need to be looking for those answers in Paulís writings, since the risen Lord gave him to the Gentile Body of Christ for our instructions. (Romans 11:13, Acts 9:15, Ephesians 3:2 and many others)

All right, for this last half hour this afternoon, weíre going to jump all the way up to Isaiah chapter 40 and from here weíre even going to jump on up into the New Testament, because I donít like to stay in the Old Testament too long because after all this is all background. This is for what Paul calls "our learning," but the very doctrines by which we are to be saved and walk the Christian life have to come from Paulís epistles as I mentioned before. All right, Isaiah chapter 40 verse 1 and if youíve ever listened to Handelís Messiah this will just jump off the page wonít it?

Isaiah 40:1

"Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God." Well, who are Godís people? Israel. See, this is what we have to constantly remind folks of - that God is dealing only with the nation of Israel so far as the promises are concerned. He deals with the Gentile world only in judgment because of their treatment of His people.

Now, never forget that. Certainly He deals with Babylon. Surely He deals with Moab. He deals with Syria. He deals with Egypt, but never with the promises of these things like He does with Israel.

Isaiah 40:1-2a

"Comfort ye, comfort ye my people (Israel) saith your God. 2. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished,Ö" Now, you know itís amazing, Jerusalem by name is supposed to be the city of what? Peace. Has it been? Never. Itís been in turmoil for as many thousand years as its existence, but the peace of Jerusalem is in the future. Youíve heard me say it; youíve heard others say it, "Pray daily for the peace of Jerusalem," because the peace of Jerusalem will come about when? When Christ returns at His Second Coming! And my, if ever thereís a time when believers should be praying that the Lord will come quickly, itís today.

Oh, I dread to think what the worldís going to see in the next 20 years. Now, Iím going to share these things with people because I read them with my own eyes. A Muslim imam right here in America made this statement not too long ago that by 2020, now thatís not very long, thatís only 16 more years, that by 2020 they expect a Muslim president in the White House and a Muslim majority in Congress. Imagine! We can see it coming unless something puts the brakes on it. All right, so pray for the peace of Jerusalem, the soon return of our Lord and Savior.

Isaiah 40:2b

"Öthat her warfare is accomplished, and that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORDís hand double for all her (what?) sin." You know, I think Iíve shared it with this audience a long time ago Ė a couple of years ago one of the major call in talk shows in Tel Aviv, in Israel, had one of their major Rabbiís as their guest on the talk show. He made the statement that Israelís problems are usually the result of their sin. And what happened? The phone lines got jammed with angry Israelites who maintain that had nothing to do with it. It isnít sin! They cannot see it, but the Scripture is full of it. Itís manís sin that brings on all of his problems and Israel in particular. All right, so "Jerusalem has actually received double her problems because of Israelís sin."

Isaiah 40:3

"The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." Who is it referring to? John the Baptist. Heís a prophesied Old Testament prophet, and thatís why I have made the statement and it shakes people up Ė that the four Gospelís are just an extension of all this. It begins with the appearance of this promised Old Testament prophet, John the Baptist, quoting what heís going to be crying. And so Christís earthly ministry is just an extension of all this.

Nothing has changed. Theyíre still under the Temple worship. Never does Jesus tell anybody to stop keeping the Law. He never tells the Jew to stop sacrificial worship. Itís just the same, the only difference is that the promised King is in their midst promising the Kingdom if they would just believe it.

Now, Iím going to come to this in a few moments. The Kingdom was available. He was there to offer it. Now, I know the first question that comes up, "Well, then He couldnít have been crucified." Well, leave that with Godís Sovereignty. He makes a valid offer that they could have the King and the Kingdom and in His Omnipotence, in His Sovereignty, He could have brought about the crucifixion any way He wanted. But the valid offer to Israel was Ė itís right out in front of you. Itís yours if you can believe it. But that was their problem. They couldnít.

Isaiah 40:4

"Every valley shall be exalted. (John the Baptist continuing on) and every mountain and hill shall be made low: the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain." Now, thatís all symbolic language of what the King and this glorious Kingdom would accomplish for the nation of Israel.

Isaiah 40:5a

"And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together:Ö" Now, itís just like the Mosaic Law, now let me show you. Keep your hand in Isaiah. Jump all the way up to Romans. Now, I didnít intend to do this, so I have to feel this is the leading of the Spirit for one reason or another. But jump up to Romans chapter 3, youíve got the same analogy, that yes, God is dealing with Israel, but itís not stopping at Israelís borders. Itís going to the whole world.

Romans 3:19

"Now we know (Paul writes) that what things soever the law saith, (Now, thatís referring to the Ten Commandments.) it saith to them who are under the law; (and who was that? Israel, the Jew! But it doesnít stop there) that every mouth may be stopped, (not just in Israel) and all the world may become guilty before God." You see the language? Yes, the Law was given to Israel. Only Israel was put under the system of the Law, but the moral Law condemned the whole human race. Nobody is exempt from Israelís moral Law. And to this very day, what makes man a sinner? Well, heís born in sin, thatís not the answer I want. But what determines his sin? He breaks the Law. Itís Israelís Law, but nevertheless it is universal in its condemnation.

Romans 3:20

"Therefore by the deeds of the law (or the keeping of the Ten Commandments, whether itís Israel or itís the rest of the world) shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law (the Ten Commandments, Godís moral law for the whole human race) is the knowledge of sin." Now, Iíve given this simple illustration over the last forty years of teaching. If you had an intersection back before the population grew and itís out there in the boondocks and people who are in the area go through that intersection, they donít need a stop sign. Thereís not that much traffic. But, all of a sudden, because of increased traffic, the powers that be put up stop signs. Now, what does that stop sign require? That people stop. If someone drives through it, the law has every reason to stop the individual and give him a ticket. And the individual may say, "Hey, Iíve been driving through this intersection for years. Iíve never stopped." But, now you do because thereís a stop sign. Whatís the stop sign? Law! Have I made my point? When the Law says stop, then youíd better stop. But until the stop sign was there, there was no breaking of the Law.

All right, now, itís the same way with the Ten Commandments. Once the Ten Commandments were made known to the human race, there was no debating with God as to what sin was. He covered all aspects. All right, now then, back to Isaiah chapter 40. Itís the same thing; that all of this was given primarily to Israel, but it has an effect upon the whole human race with none excepted.

Isaiah 40:6

"The voice said, ĎCry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is as grass, and the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:" Here is the temporariness of all this. Life is short. Itís temporary.

Isaiah 40:7

"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it; surely the people is grass." (or were like grass.) Another portion of Scripture puts that analogy that as the grass springs up in the morning and itís clipped in the afternoon, thatís life. Itís so temporal; temporary.

Isaiah 40:8-9

"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. 9. O Zion, (Now, we come back to God dealing with His people) that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift it up, thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; to say unto the cities of Judah, (what?) Behold your God!" Why? Heís going to be coming in the flesh, and every eye will see Him.

Isaiah 40:10-11a

"Behold, the Lord God will come with a strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his work is before him. 11. He shall feed his flock (Israel) like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arms,Ö" All right now, for sake of time, Iím going to bring you all the way over to chapter 42. Now, 41 is a good chapter to read in your spare time. It, again, shows the omnipotence, the greatness, and the glory of Israelís God. But now in chapter 42 verse 1:

Isaiah 42:1a

"Behold my servant,Ö" Now, remember, Markís Gospel is a total revelation of the servant-hood of Christ. You remember the four Gospels are delineated by four different views of Christ. Matthew depicts Him as the King. Mark depicts Him as the Servant. Luke depicts Him as the Son of Man. John depicts Him as the Son of God. Here we have the servant-hood of Christ.

Isaiah 42:1

"Behold, my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: (Now, itís a reference to the Messiah, to Jesus of Nazareth.) he shall bring forth judgment (or rule, or government, not just to Israel but who else?) to the Gentiles." Now, when we go in a little bit to the book of Matthew, we see that Jesus makes it so plain that He was not sent but to the lost sheep of Israel.

They were not to have anything to do with Gentiles. It didnít mean that God had cast the Gentiles out of His mind, but it had to be in His own order of things. Israel had to first have the King and the Kingdom and under that scenario every Jew could become a priest of Jehovah as Exodus 19 puts it. Or, every Jew could become a missionary or an evangelist to bring the Gentiles to a knowledge of Godís salvation. God hasnít cast the Gentiles out of His thinking, but it had to be according to His design. And that was going to be left up to Israel whether to accept it or reject it.

Itís always based on that opportunity of choice. Israel is constantly left with choices. Just like you and I are as we looked at several tapings back. Weíre constantly faced with choices. And because of those choices, we can end up either blessed or in a bad straight. All right, so here we see that God is going to bring forth judgment or rule to the Gentiles. Now, Iím going to bring you in again, for sake of time, down to verse 6.

Isaiah 42:6

"I the LORD (Jehovah) have called you in righteousness, (Now, weíre dealing with the nation, Israel.) and will hold thy hand, will keep thee and give thee for a covenant of the people, (a relationship between Israel and the God of Abraham and the covenant promises) for (what purpose?) a light of the Gentiles." Now, thatís plain English! That was Israelís purpose Ė to be a light to the Gentile world!

Now, you jump up into Christís earthly ministry, what did Jesus tell the Twelve? "You are the light of the world." Well, who were the Twelve representatives of? Israel! "You are the salt of the earth." Who was? Israel, because of all these covenant promises. Okay, now I think I can move all the way up to Matthew. Now, letís just jump and finish our few minutes in the New Testament because I donít want someone to call and say, "Les, youíre spending too much time in the Old Testament," because they will.

Now, letís jump up to Matthew. This is a review of things Iíve said before. I may be getting older but I still remember what Iíve said before. And Iíve said this a ton of times. Matthew chapter 9 verse 35. Itís in Christís earthly ministry now. Heís just beginning the three years.

Matthew 9:35a

"And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, (that is of Israel) teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom,Ö" Good news! What was good news? The King is coming! This glorious Kingdom is finally available. Theyíve been waiting 2000 years and here it is. The Gospel of the Kingdom, and He associated with that since He was God and He had the power of God.

Matthew 9:35b

"Öand healing every sickness and every disease among the people." Now, chapter 10, in the first five verses, He has the twelve disciples named. That is He called them. The Twelve are now brought together and Heís ready to begin His ministry with them. Now, verse 5, and itís a verse that a lot of people donít like. Theyíve called to tell me that their pastor says, "That doesnít mean what it says. Doesnít say what it means. They donít believe it." Well, I beg to differ. It says exactly what it means because Heís now on covenant ground, that God made between Himself and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the prophets; that Israel would first have to have the Kingdom before they could evangelize the Gentile world.

Matthew 10:5-6

"These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans, enter you not:" (That was a command.

Why? Next verse:) 6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Why? Israel has to be brought the Kingdom first and then the King could come and then Israel could evangelize. Do you get the picture? That was the way it was supposed to be.

Matthew 10:7

And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is (what?) at hand." Why? The King is in their midst! Heís there! Now, I know. Donít think I donít know Ė He had to go the way of the Cross. But thatís beside the point. Israel is put on trial Ė can they believe who He is? Can they believe the promises? As a result, what happened? They lost that opportunity to evangelize the Gentile world. They dropped the ball is the expression I usually use. They lost that opportunity of being the evangelists.

Consequently, you come all the way through three years of His earthly ministry, you come through the early chapters of Acts and it culminates with Acts chapter 7, and thatís seven years after Pentecost. Thatís a good way to remember it. Acts chapter 7, you can almost figure about a year per chapter here, and so seven years after Pentecost, Peter and the Eleven have been preaching their hearts out and still only a small remnant of Jews will accept Jesus of Nazareth as the King. And, remember, the requirement was they all had to. So, the Nation is falling through the cracks in unbelief. But God sends one more time, Stephen, not one of the Twelve, but now He sends Stephen to address the Nation. He does it through the religious leaders, so heís confronted by the High Priest, and he says in verse 1:

Acts 7:1

"Then said the high priest, Are these things so?" In other words, all the things that they claimed Stephen and the Twelve had been saying. All right, now then, Stephen begins his whole long dissertation of how God had brought about the nation of Israel and how He had prepared them for these days, the coming of their Messiah. But, in their unbelief, now bring it down to verse 51, this is Stephen speaking, a man full of the Holy Spirit, remember, and he accuses the religious leaders of Israel:

Acts 7:51

"Ye stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your father did, so do ye." Oh, they were circumcised in the flesh, but spiritually not at all. Well, thatís what weíve been seeing in Isaiah. Rather than giving into the leading of the Holy Spirit, what had they been doing? Worshipping idols.

Now, weíll make the point in our next taping that when they went into those 70 years of captivity, God broke their idolatry. The Jew never again practiced idolatry after that 70 years, but up until then they were steeped in it, steeped in idolatry. All right, so now this is what Stephen is reminding them of, that they constantly resisted the wooing of the Holy Spirit. All right verse 52:

Acts 7:52

"Which of the prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, all of them) have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain (or killed) them who showed before (or prophesied) the coming of the Just One; of whom you have now been betrayers and murderers" So, really, the Jews in the practice of their religion were no different than the Mohammedans are today. If you donít like what we preach, if you donít want to agree with us weíll kill you. Well, the Jews were the same way Ė they killed the prophets, they killed those who tried to bring Israel back out of their idolatry. Itís nothing new.

All right, so Stephen, of course, is put to death, and he was the last real trumpet sound of God dealing with the nation of Israel. All right, but now look; what does God have to do? Something totally different. Israel, as a nation, has dropped the ball. They want nothing to do with this Jesus of Nazareth. All right, now look what God does. He saves old Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus. Jump up with me to Acts chapter 9 verse 15, and when you deal with people who donít understand this let them read this verse. I just talked to a fellow early this morning and I told him the same thing, he said, "Les, I go back to my people and they ridicule me. They want nothing to do with Paul."

And I said, "Well, try this approach. Take them into Acts chapter 9 verse 15 and let them read it." But they have to understand that, all the way up until this time, God has been dealing with Israel. He hasnít even tried to deal with the Gentiles. Heís been dealing with Israel so that they would be the vehicle, but Israel will not. Now, look what he says:

Acts 9:15a

"But the LORD, said unto him, (that is Ananias, that believing Jew up there in Damascus) go thy way: for he (this Saul of Tarsus) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before (what people?) the Gentiles,Ö" You want to remember that up until this time that was a dirty word in the hearing of a Jew, but God has now designated this man who is going to be kept providentially from any contact with the Twelve in Jerusalem until he has received all of these new revelations of things that had been kept secret in the mind of God.

Oh, God knew it was going to turn out this way. He wasnít taken by surprise, and if I had the timeÖmaybe we do. Can we go back quickly to Acts chapter 15? Weíll have to do this quickly. Acts chapter 15 where we have that Jerusalem Counsel and Peter and the Eleven have been confronting Paul about his going to the Gentiles, and they thought they had to be proselytes of Israel, but they finally agreed that Paul has a commission all his own. So, then, James the moderator Ė Iíve got to do this quickly now.

Acts 15:13-16a

"And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, listen unto me: 14. Simon (Peter) hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them (the Gentiles) a people for his name. 15. And to this agree the words of the prophets; for it is written, (now watch this verse 16) 16. After this (After Heís called out a people for His name. Thatís us in this Church Age) I will return, and will build, again, the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down:Ö"

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