[ 829 ] Les Feldick [ Book 70 - Lesson 1 - Part 1 ] Lo-ammi, Not My People: Hosea 1:1–2:18 |a
[ 830 ] Les Feldick [ Book 70 - Lesson 1 - Part 2 ] Lo-ammi, Not My People: Hosea 1:1–2:18 |b
[ 831 ] Les Feldick [ Book 70 - Lesson 1 - Part 3 ] Lo-ammi, Not My People: Hosea 1:1–2:18 |c
[ 832 ] Les Feldick [ Book 70 - Lesson 1 - Part 4 ] Lo-ammi, Not My People: Hosea 1:1–2:18 |d
[ 833 ] Les Feldick [ Book 70 - Lesson 2 - Part 1 ] Adulterous Israel to be Restored: Hosea 2-4 |a
[ 834 ] Les Feldick [ Book 70 - Lesson 2 - Part 2 ] Adulterous Israel to be Restored: Hosea 2-4 |b
[ 835 ] Les Feldick [ Book 70 - Lesson 2 - Part 3 ] Adulterous Israel to be Restored: Hosea 2-4 |c
[ 836 ] Les Feldick [ Book 70 - Lesson 2 - Part 4 ] Adulterous Israel to be Restored: Hosea 2-4 |d
[ 837 ] Les Feldick [ Book 70 - Lesson 3 - Part 1 ] Israel's Glory Still Ahead of Her: Hosea 5-9 |a
[ 838 ] Les Feldick [ Book 70 - Lesson 3 - Part 2 ] Israel's Glory Still Ahead of Her: Hosea 5-9 |b
[ 839 ] Les Feldick [ Book 70 - Lesson 3 - Part 3 ] Israel's Glory Still Ahead of Her: Hosea 5-9 |c
[ 840 ] Les Feldick [ Book 70 - Lesson 3 - Part 4 ] Israel's Glory Still Ahead of Her: Hosea 5-9 |d
LO-AMMI – NOT MY PEOPLE
Okay, it’s good to see everybody in this afternoon. We’ve got folks all the way from California to Timbuktu here today. I won’t have time to point everybody out, but we’re just so thankful that you’ve all found your way in this afternoon. We always appreciate the fact that you fill up the studio for us.
For those of you out in television, we just like to invite you to sit down with your Bible and a notepad and study with us, compare Scripture with Scripture. We’re finding according to our mail that that’s what a lot of folks are doing and learning to enjoy their Bible! Don’t go by what Les Feldick says. Go by what the Book says.
Get a good study Bible if you don’t already have one that will give you some helps and footnotes or references and so forth. If you learn how to study, you can spend a whole evening, and it just goes like a snap of the finger. We’re finding that at lot of, especially older men, I’ve said this before that we’re so thrilled that so much of our audience is the older men that never had an interest before. They are just being thrilled with what they have missed for so long.
Well, we’re going to respond to some of the requests of our audience. Over and over the question was asked, “Why did you skip the Minor Prophets?” Well, at the time we were going through the Old Testament hitting the highlights, so far as dispensationalism was concerned. I was kind of in a hurry, I guess, to get into the New Testament. So, I just skipped over the twelve Minor Prophets. So, we’re going to start a look at them. Now don’t get all worried that I’ll be in the Old Testament for months on end. We’re not going to overdo it, hopefully. But they’re not “minor” because they’re unimportant. They’re minor only because of their length. They’re only a chapter or two. Hosea, I think, is something like 12. But all twelve of these little Minor Prophets are loaded with prophetic utterances.
Now, it’s kind of interesting to note as introduction how they are arranged. They are not necessarily in chronological order. Jonah was written the furthest back, and it’s about the third or fourth up in the list, I guess. But Jonah was written first of these twelve Minor Prophets, about 800 BC.
Now, I know everybody isn’t as hung up on history as I am, but I still maintain if you’re really going to enjoy this Book, you have to get a historical perspective on the whole thing. That’s why I’m going to be having the timeline on the board in a little bit. That will hopefully help you see it a little easier. But anyway, of these twelve Minor Prophets, nine of them were written before Israel was taken captive into Syria and Babylon. That means that three of them were left to be written after the Jews returned from their captivity. Fortunately, they put them in the right chronological order. Those little three books are: Haggai and Zechariah and Malachi. Now, they are all written after they’ve come back from Babylon, and they end at 400 BC.
If you know anything about the Old Testament chronology between Malachi and Matthew, or the appearance of the angel to announce the birth of Christ, how long is it? Four hundred years. We call them the four hundred years of silence, because not a prophet appeared in Israel. There was not a single miraculous sign from God.
Now, I’m always making the point that the supernatural was almost ordinary in the life of Israel. Starting with the appearance of God to the man Abram and coming on up through the birth and everything of the twelve sons, God was constantly intervening. Then, of course, the most glorious and miraculous event of all the Old Testament was the opening of the Red Sea, and then the appearance of the “cloud” and the “pillar of fire.”
Now, when you stop and think about that, how would you like to have been living at a time when you could stand on the banks of this Red Sea, which in all practical purposes is an ocean, and see it suddenly open up, and it’s dry ground?! They were human! They were just as normal as we are. Now, wouldn’t you think that that would make such an impact on those people that they would never forget it? But they did.
Now, you see, the Apostle Paul’s a little different. He never got over his early life. All the way through his ministry, it plagued him how he had persecuted those early Jewish believers. He never got over it. I think that’s one reason God chose him to be the Apostle to the Gentiles, because he had so much horrible past to live down that he never slowed down. For twenty-five years the man under abject, adverse circumstances kept plodding on.
But Israel? They could have the supernatural and the miraculous take place and seemingly in forty-eight hours they could forget all about it. That’s what is so hard to comprehend in these Old Testament events. We’ll be looking at it more in detail when I get my timeline back up here.
Now, for sake of a little further introduction, we’ve got the four Major Prophets that we’ve already pretty much covered. First there are Isaiah and Jeremiah. Now, those were two of the Major Prophets that preached in Israel. They were both pretty much in Judah before Nebuchadnezzar came in and took the Jews captive. Then we have the other two Major Prophets which are Daniel and Ezekiel. They were written during the captivity while they were out there under Babylonian and Persian rule. So, their two little books are not so much admonition and warning like the rest of prophecy, but they were more or less laying out the prophetical timeline, not only for Israel but for the rest of the world.
That’s why when I teach prophecy I go right back to the Book of Daniel. Daniel is a fundamental foundational book of prophecy concerning not only Israel but the whole Gentile world.
All right, now when we get into Hosea, who, like I said earlier, is not the chronological first of the Minor Prophets, but I guess it’s because he’s the longest. Another point I guess I should make is that in the Old Testament scrolls that the Rabbis’ used, these twelve Minor Prophets were considered one book. It was one book with twelve parts. One commentary I read said it was almost like it was a symbolism that Israel is one nation but it’s made up of what? Twelve tribes. So, maybe there is a connection here. All right, let’s get into the Book of Hosea. We’re going to drop in at verse 1 where it says:
“The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea,…” Now, you’ve got to stop right away, don’t you? I feel sorry for these poor guys out in the truck. They’ve got to go back and forth with me. I hope you realize that. And sometimes I get a little put out that they stay too long on the Scriptures or too long on me, but we’re all human, and we’ve got to expect those things. But anyway, when it says that “The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea,” what does that make this? Well, it’s the Word of God! A human instrument wrote it, but never forget that it’s God’s Word. Okay, now let’s read and stay with it.
“The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, King of Israel.” All right, now what does that tell you? That all you have to do is go back through history and find out at what time these kings reigned, and you’ll know when Hosea lived. Well, that was about 775 years before Christ. About 75 years before Isaiah appeared.
Now again, I’ve got my timeline? Yes! Just like a magician. Presto. Here it is! (The chalkboard was flipped over to the timeline while Les was reading and the Scripture was on the screen.) All right, Abraham, 2000 BC. Five hundred years later, approximately, we have Moses bringing the Children of Israel out of Egypt. They gathered around Mount Sinai, and they received the Law. All right, then in a matter of about 500 years, these are all in round numbers remember, we have the appearance of the kings of Israel. Saul. But the one we want to remember the most is David, about 1,000 years before Christ. And then Solomon–
Now, what was unique about Solomon? I mean, it’s so unique that I just can’t make up my mind about the guy. What was it? Oh, he started out as a servant of God, didn’t he? He was a servant of God. How did he end up? Steeped in the idolatry of his 900 women. Now, I cannot reconcile all that so far as his eternity is concerned. I’m not even going to try. But, I mean, it’s hard to swallow that such a godly man over a period of less than 40 years could go so far down the tube, as we say. But he did.
All right, when Solomon died, what has already happened to the whole Nation of Israel, Judah and the Ten Tribes, which we call Israel? What has already happened? They’ve already gone into idolatry. As the leadership goes, so goes the rank and file. All right, so now what we find is that when Solomon dies and the next pair of kings comes in, one in Judah and one up in Samaria, they are already doing evil. They’re being wicked because of their embracing idolatry.
All right, the prophets write from this point in time, about 900 BC, all the way up until we get to those 400 years of silence. So, they’re going to write from about 900 and then Jonah at 800 and then come some of the Minor Prophets and Isaiah and Jeremiah. They’re going to write up until the time of the captivities, which really culminated when Nebuchadnezzar came and destroyed the Temple and took the Nation of Israel, for the most part, into exile in 606 BC. Now, we’ve got 600 for round number’s sake.
Then from 600 BC until about 454 BC, we’ve got the children of Israel out there in what’s present day Iraq and Iran and what have you. They come back, and then, like I’ve already explained, we have the three prophets that write concerning the future, the coming of their Messiah. Then, we’ve got the 400 years of silence and then the ministry of Christ, the crucifixion, and His ascension. Then, as I pointed out when we were teaching the little Jewish epistles remember, all of the Old Testament, the Four Gospels, the early Acts, jump over Paul’s epistles, they’re all looking forward to what? The Second Coming. Not a word about the Church. Not a word about a Rapture. That’s why people can’t understand the Rapture. It’s not in any part of Scripture except Paul’s epistles. You cannot find even a hint of it.
You’ve got to stretch the imagination to even find anything that pertains to the Body of Christ. All right, so Sharon, when she was putting it up, she said, “Les, I’ve got to get the Rapture in here someplace!” I said, “Well, okay, put it in here then, so far as we are concerned, shortly before the final seven years kick in.” We don’t know how much time will elapse between the Rapture and the appearance of the anti-Christ. I just know that it’s got to be before. Because, as I’ve been explaining to people lately, listen, how in the world can the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the Body to whom we are connected, how can He join us in the horrors of that final seven years? Well, He can’t, and He won’t.
So, in order to finish what He’s prophesied concerning Israel, what’s He going to have to do? He’s got to get us out of the way. That’s why I adamantly stand on my pre-Tribulation Rapture, because you can’t see the Body of Christ in those final seven years, because that’s prophecy. That’s God dealing with Israel and not with us.
So, don’t ever back down when people scoff at the fact and say, “You mean you think you’re going to all of a sudden be snatched out of here?” Absolutely!! When they doubt that that’s possible, I always remind them, what did the Lord Himself say? “With God nothing is impossible!” As I shared with someone on the phone the other day, look up at the stars on a clear night. If God can control those billions upon billions upon billions upon billions of stars individually, then I have no problem that He’s going to get every one of us off the planet when the time comes. With Him nothing is impossible! So always remember that.
All right, other than that, had Paul not come on the scene, had prophecy kept going, then Israel, of course, would have been ready for the final seven years, the Second Coming, and Christ returning and setting up His Kingdom. But, we’re dealing back here now in these Minor Prophets with this period of time between the death of Solomon and the end of the Old Testament or 400 BC. All right, now remember, Hosea is writing about 775 years before Christ. He’s about 75 years ahead of Isaiah. So, the book is going to be filled with warning! Warning!
Now, if you remember when we taught Isaiah – how long ago was that already? A year or two. My, time goes so fast. As I taught Isaiah I made the point that there were three distinct times in Israel’s future that would involve a horrible chastisement from God but then the blessing. Then time would go and there would come another horrible chastisement. Then we jumped all the way up to the Tribulation – the chastisement, the wrath, and the vengeance of God – but it would be followed with the Second Coming and the glory of the Kingdom.
We’ll see that that was all the prophecy back there in Isaiah and Jeremiah, as well as these nine Minor Prophets that were written to Israel before the captivities begin. They’re all dealing with the chastisement that’s coming followed by the blessing. Another chastisement followed by the blessing. A third chastisement followed then by the eternal Kingdom.
Okay, Hosea is written in a lot of symbolism. I’m going to right off the bat set your minds straight. Even though a lot of this language almost comes from the immoral side of the coin, remember, we’re not talking about human sexuality. When he speaks of whoredom, when he speaks of this gross immorality, it’s not physical sexuality he’s talking about. It’s their going in to strange gods. That’s the adultery that we’re dealing with here in the Old Testament. How that Israel forsook the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and went “whole hog” as we farmers put it, for all the gods of paganism. It’s just incomprehensible. And this was God’s controversy.
Now, before I go any further, let’s go back and see what Israel had engrained in them long before these days came upon them. Go back with me to Exodus chapter 20 and those of you that know your Bible, what do we have in Exodus 20? The Ten Commandments. Now, you know I’m so Pauline and I’m always stressing we’re not under Law, we’re under Grace, that I suppose some people think I don’t even know what the Ten Commandments are! Well, yes I do! Oh, yes I do. And what’s the first one? Well, this is the first one that they had to trample underfoot to go into idolatry. What is it? Exodus 20 verse 2:
“I am the LORD thy God, who hath brought thee out of the land of Egypt, and out of the house of bondage. 3. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Now, is that complicated language? No. That’s so plain a five-year-old can understand it. Thou shalt have no other gods. Period. All right, then He enlarges on it in verse 4.
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven (or manmade) image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, (Now, here is where I feel that a lot of Israel’s problems came down the pike generations later.) visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto (that are going to come from) the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;” Now, we always like, naturally, to lift God up as a God of love and mercy and grace, but He’s also what? He’s a God of wrath.
He’s a God of judgment. Israel experienced it over and over, and they just seemingly couldn’t learn. All right, now then, jump up with me a minute to Deuteronomy chapter 6 verse 4. This is literally the cry of Israel. Now, I know as soon as you see it you’re going to recognize it. This was literally the benchmark of Judaism. Got it?
“Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD:” Now, I’ve got to stop a minute. Do you see why the Jewish people have a hang-up with our teaching of the Triune God? They just can’t quite equate that with this Scripture. They say, “If God is one God, how do you New Testament believers say there are three?”
Well, we’ve got to come right back and say, well, granted, but the Three are One. That’s the whole concept of the Trinity, that yes, they’re three persons, but they operate as one. So, I can still agree with this verse. Absolutely! All right, so look at it again. “Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD:” Now, look at the commandment.
“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” Now come back with me to Hosea. This is what I’m trying to get you and my listening audience to do, to think like these Jews were thinking. I’m going to consider all ten tribes…all twelve tribes of Israel as Jews. I know some people would like to say, well, no, that was just the Southern Kingdom. No. Scripture, when you really get down to it, considers everybody of the Twelve Tribes of Jacob as Jews.
Now Israel, of course, in the Old Testament prophecies is the Ten Tribes to the North and Judah is the Two Tribes to the South. You put the Twelve together and they become Israelites. They become the House of Israel. They become Jews. So, never let that throw you a curve.
All right, now come back to this concept that Israel had it drummed into them that there was only one God. It was the God who’d performed the miracle of the Red Sea. But as I was putting all this together in my own mind, I happened to think, and I want you to think with me, how long was it from the crossing of the Red Sea with that fabulous power of God exercised right in front of their eyes until they were asking Aaron for an idol? How long? A matter of days. Weeks at the most! Here they’re already forgetting everything that the God of Abraham had accomplished for them. They’re telling Aaron, build us a god. And then the most amazing thing was Aaron’s response.
My land, you would have thought that Aaron would have just hit the proverbial ceiling and said, “People, what’s the matter with you? How can you even think such a thing?” But, does he? No. He says, bring me your gold. Then it almost becomes a comedy after that stupid idol is made and Moses comes and approaches him with it. What was Aaron’s response? Well, I threw the gold into the fire and out came this calf.
Isn’t it absurd? But, you see, that’s the human race. We’re no different today. My, when I look at the world’s reaction to our Middle East phenomenon right now. How they sympathize with the murderers rather than Israel. Have you noticed that? Absurd to the extreme. I was just sharing with the studio audience before we began. I just read in one of my news magazines the other day that one of the higher government officials in one of the Scandinavian countries; it was either Norway or Sweden. I don’t remember which one it was. But this is how ridiculous people are getting. He said, “Well, we’re just trying to be nice to the Muslim people so that when they finally take over someday, they’ll be nice to us.” What a ridiculous, absurd view. But see, the human race has always been ignorant of the things of God. All right, Israel was no different. God left them with their free will, of course. All right, come back to our text in the minute or two we have left. Here in chapter 1 again verse 1.
“The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.” So, we’ve got the whole Twelve Tribes involved. The Ten under one King, the Two under another one.
“The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms…” I know most people immediately think that God told him to go to some house of prostitution and find one of the girls and marry her. No, that’s not what it’s talking about. What He’s really telling Hosea, who is living in Judah is – Go up to the Ten Tribes of Israel, because whoredom was their spiritual state already. They were steeped in idolatry! Hosea probably couldn’t have found a believing Jewish girl up in Israel. They were all steeped in idolatry. So, that’s the admonition. Not to go to a house of ill repute, but go up to Israel and find a woman or a girl that you can take to wife.
All right, so let’s set that to rest that all through the Book of Hosea the adultery that we’re talking about is spiritual adultery. Never forget that. And how God hates it! Can you blame Him? Here He is – the One God of Creation. He’s the God of miracles. He’s the God of power. He’s the God of love, the God of mercy, and the God who provides, coming back especially now to the Nation of Israel. Then they run to pagan idols of wood and gold and silver and stone that have nothing of what the true God has! It’s just unbelievable.
LESSON ONE * PART II
LO-AMMI – NOT MY PEOPLE
Okay, it’s good to have you back. I guess you all got served your coffee and everything. For those of you joining us on television, again, we thank you for being with us. We thank you for your kind letters. My, mail time just seems to be getting better every day. We just praise and thank the Lord for it.
We thank you for your financial help. In fact, as we noted in our newsletter, you’ve all been so good that we were able to take on a few more stations. We’re not going to hoard the money. When it’s available, we’re going to use it for God’s glory. You know, I always appreciate the fact that when people come by to visit us, they suddenly realize we don’t live any different than our neighbors up and down the road. Don’t expect a mansion when you come to visit Les and Iris Feldick, because we’re not into that. We’re just as common and ordinary in our lifestyle as anybody else. We appreciate everything that you do for us, so that we in turn can serve the Lord in what He has given us to do.
All right, we’re in the Minor Prophets. We’re starting with Hosea. For a little recap, in case we’ve got somebody that missed our last program, Hosea writes in the same vein as Isaiah and Jeremiah. It’s all a warning to the Nation of Israel to either come out of their idolatry and their unbelief or God’s wrath is going to fall. As we were just discussing at break time, that’s the way God has dealt with Israel over and over. Then after the chastisement comes the blessing.
I guess it was Dick that said, “Well, now I can’t quite figure that out.” I said, “Well, what do you do with a kid that’s disobedient? You whip his little rear end and hope that it’ll straighten him out.” Well, that was the way it was with Israel. She had to have a good whipping once in a while. It would have its results, and then it wouldn’t be long and down they’d go.
In fact, in the Book of Judges that’s just what it is. It’s a roller coaster. They’ll go up to a time of tremendous blessing and they’re obedient. Then down they go and in would come the hard times. The enemies would overrun them, and they’d cry out. In would come a righteous judge, and up they’d come. That’s Israel’s history. Well, Hosea is living at a time, as we pointed out, only about 200 years after King Solomon. The Northern Ten Tribes have already gone as far into idolatry as a nation of people could go. Consequently then, with Hosea living in Judah, which is still close to the Temple, so they’re not as prone to idolatry as the Northern Kingdom. Hosea is instructed to go up to idolatrous Israel and take a wife. That’s what I pointed out then in our last half hour – he did not go to a house of ill repute like a lot of people think the language implies. No, he went up to idolatrous Israel to take a wife, because God is going to show, symbolically, the future of Israel. All right, so back in Hosea chapter 1 we’ll repeat verse 2.
“The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms (the idolatrous Northern Kingdom) and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.” Now, lest you think that I am barking out of left field, let’s go up to the New Testament a minute.
I wasn’t going to do this, but I think maybe we should. Go up to Colossians; all the way up to Paul’s little letter to the Colossians chapter 3 verse 5. Remember from our last program we were stressing that the very first of the Ten Commandments was “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not bow down to them.”
So, idolatry and unbelief, I guess, are the two biggest controversies that God has with the human race. Not just with Israel but with everyone. All right, now look what Paul writes to the Gentiles at Colossi. In Colossians chapter 3 verse 5 and I’m making the point why God hates idolatry. Paul, of course, is writing to you and me as believers, and he says:
“Mortify (or put to death) therefore your members which are upon the earth; (That is, the members of this physical body – the appetites of it – put it to death. And what are they?) fornication, (That, of course, is sexual immorality.) uncleanness, inordinate (or unnatural) affection, evil concupiscence, (In other words, just constantly thinking and talking on the wrong side of the coin. And here it comes–) and covetousness, which is (What?) idolatry.” Have you ever thought of it that way?
Have you ever thought of it that coveting is idolatry? Why? When you covet, what do you show? What you want. When you covet something, you want it. Well, why do you want it? Because it’s almost a god to you! So, it just snowballs. All right, let’s back up a little ways to Ephesians chapter 5 verse 5.
“For this ye know, that no whoremonger, (or an immoral person) nor unclean person, nor (What?) covetous man, (See the categories, how they all stick together?) who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” Have you ever caught that before? So, why do suppose the Apostle said that the sin that really got him to consider his sinfulness was which one? Which one did he mention? Coveting! It’s the worst of all.
I’ve made mention of it down through the years. You stop and think. Can you break any other of the nine commandments without coveting first? You can’t do it. Coveting is the root cause. That’s why God hates it so. It’s the thing that leads to idolatry. Okay, read this verse again. “…nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” They’re not going to be there. Now, we’ve made the point before, Paul doesn’t speak of people going to the Lake of Fire. He just uses the other approach that they’re not going to be in Glory. Well, if they’re not in Glory, then the Lake of Fire is their destination.
All right, let’s come back to Hosea, if I’ve established that God hated idolatry! Now, I guess I’d never really thought of it before until I was making preparation for this the last several months, I guess, off and on. When Israel was in Egypt, when the whole Nation of Israel had finally found their way down to Egypt because of Joseph and the food that was available, what were they surrounded with already in Egypt? Idolatry!
I know when I taught Exodus and we came to the plagues, I made the point that every plague that God brought on Egypt was one of Egypt’s gods. That’s what made it such an object lesson for the Egyptians. In other words, when He turned the Nile River into blood, what was the Nile River in the religious life of Egypt? It was a god. They worshipped it! The flies? They worshipped them! The frogs? They worshipped them! Practically anything that lived and moved the Egyptians had already made into a god. Well, that’s what Israel had been surrounded with.
So you see, when they got down around Mt. Sinai, as we mentioned in the last program, and Moses was up in the mountain, they didn’t know what had happened to him. They’d forgotten all about the miracle of the Red Sea. So, they come to Aaron, who was the secondary leader, and say what? Make us a god like we had in Egypt. Oh, it…it’s insidious!
Just because we’re living in a culture that has nothing to do with gods of silver and gold and stone and so forth, doesn’t mean that there’s nothing that can be an idol. Everything around us can become an idol. That’s our whole materialistic situation today. It really boils down to an idolatry that takes all the thoughts of God away from their mind. And my, we’re seeing it all around us, aren’t we? Okay, back to Hosea. So, he goes up to Israel, verse 3.
“So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; who conceived, and bare him a son. 4. And the LORD said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the House of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.”
Now, you’ve got to know your Old Testament. Who ruled and reigned in Jezreel? Ahab and…Jezebel! Jezebel – the most wicked woman that ever lived! She had such control over the Jewish people of Israel that they had gone just as deep into it as she had gone. So, what’s the warning? You’re going to be punished just as severely as she was. Now, I’m not going to repeat on television what the end of Jezebel was. Well, it wasn’t pretty. If you don’t know what it was, go look it up when you get home tonight. You probably won’t sleep. But anyway, God is warning them: As Ahab and Jehu and Jezebel – that’s what’s coming for you if you do not turn around.
“And it shall come to pass (God says) at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.” Now today we call it the Valley of Esdraelon or even the Valley of Megiddo. It’s that beautiful valley about, oh, just a few miles north and west of Galilee. It stretches all the way over to Mount Carmel, which is just a little ways from the city of Haifa, which is in the news lately.
But it’s a beautiful valley! My, we stand on the high cliffs of Nazareth and look out over the Valley of Megiddo, and it is just unbelievable the beauty of that valley, especially now that it’s been brought back into production. Okay. So, that was the whole symbolic purpose of the birth of this first son. That he will be a picture of the horrors of Ahab and Jezebel who inhabited Jezreel. Okay, now verse 6.
“And she conceived again, (She’s going to have a second child.) and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, (That is unto Hosea.) Call her name Lo-ruhamah: (The name means – I’ll not have pity.) for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.” Now, before we get judgmental against our merciful God, turn back with me to II Kings chapter 17. Now, this Scripture makes it explicitly clear why God has to take such stringent disciplinary action against the Ten Tribes of Israel. II Kings 17 and, oh, my goodness, I’d like to read it all. But I’m always afraid if I read too much Scripture somebody might grumble and lose attention and so forth. I’m just going to hit some of the highlights. Let’s drop down to verse 7.
II Kings 17:7-9a
“For so it was that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, (the same God) who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods, 8. And walked in the statutes of the heathen, (That would be the Canaanites after they went in under Joshua.) whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. 9. And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities,…”
Now, I’ve got to stop, because I’m afraid a lot of times people don’t stop and think. Why do you suppose idolaters always built their places of worship on the highest elevation possible? Have you ever thought about that? To get closer to God – wherever He’s at! So they’d always go to a high place to worship their dead idols. Yet they were recognizing that there was someone higher. All right, come back again to the text.
II Kings 17:9b-10
“…and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city. 10. And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree:” Does that tell you something? The land was covered with idols and places of worship of those idols.
What a travesty! God’s chosen people! And the Temple is still down there in Jerusalem! Many of them probably went down and worshipped at the Temple. Now, what does that do? That makes it even worse! Now they’re mixing idolatry with the worship of the true God. That’s worse than a faithful husband, after years of a loving marriage, going and having an affair. It’s devastating. This is what broke the heart of God.
I think it wouldn’t have been nearly as bad had they lost the Temple, forgot the priesthood, and then with no alternative going into idolatry. That would have been one thing. But they mixed them. Now, I’m just having a thought. What am I thinking? What are we doing today? What are denominations and churches doing today? Same thing!
You know, I’ve always used the illustration, and I’m going to use it over and over. I used it not too long ago in the very vestibule of a home where I was going to spend the evening. I just had the right opening, and I shared this with them. I want every one of my listeners to have it on the tip of your tongue, because this makes it so plain. There is no room for argument. You’ve heard me do it, but I’m going to do it again.
In the last verse of Genesis chapter 1, God looked at creation and what did He see? A perfect creation. Not a flaw. There was not one speck in all of creation that He could look at and say, “Wait a minute, I’d better…I’d better change that a little bit.” No. It was perfect. So, what does He do in chapter 2 verses 1 and 2? Sat down! He rested. Well, why not? There wasn’t anything else to do. Everything was perfect.
All right, now we jump all the way up to Hebrews chapter 1. I’ll let you look at it. Oh, I wish people could just get through their spiritual thinking that this is where it’s at. Hebrews chapter 1 – might as well look at verse 2, because then verse 3 will be completely explained.
“(The God of verse 1) Hath in these last days…” Now, I always have to stop and remind people. Remember that Christ’s first advent was the beginning of the last days according to the Old Testament prophecies. All right, so the God of the Old Testament prophecies–
“Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he, (God, the Triune God) hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he (the Son) made the worlds; 3. Who (God the Son) being the brightness of his glory, (He was God! He was the Creator with all the power of the Godhead. All right, so He was–) and the express image of his person, (that is of the Godhead) and upholding all things by the word of his power,…”
Now, do we establish who Jesus Christ was? I hope it does! The God of Creation. The God of Glory. All right, now then, when this great God of Creation, with all the power of the Godhead–
“…when he had by himself purged our sins,…” Now, stop a minute. Where was that accomplished? At the cross! That’s why when people jump on me as being too Pauline, how can you be too Pauline when all you know is the preaching of the cross? I’ll never back down. They can scorn all they want. I will never back down. It’s the preaching of the cross that Paul is constantly emphasizing. All right, here it is again.
“…when he had by himself (the work of the cross) purged our sins (What did He do?) sat down…” Why? For the same reason he sat down in Genesis chapter 2. The work of the cross was so perfect. It was so flawless that there was nothing that could be corrected. There was nothing that could be added to it. It was complete. It was all sufficient. So, He could sit down and rest. It’s finished.
And immediately, as soon as it was revealed I feel primarily through the Apostle Paul, what’s the first thing mankind starts doing? Mixing other stuff with it! Mixing it, mixing it! Most of my people across the country now realize the word is – blenderize. They put it all in the blender, and they turn it up on high, and they parcel it out. Then they wonder why we get sick to our stomach. Now, is that a finished work? No. It’s adulterated.
It’s been adulterated by–whatever. I don’t have to name them. All I do is create enemies if I do that. So, I’ll let you do it. But, oh, Beloved, it was so complete. Now what God asks us to do with that finished work of the cross is believe it! Believe it! Believe in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again!
Then repentance will follow. Absolutely! My, we hear it every day, where ungodly men – and I’m just thrilled that we get so many letters from the men. Ungodly men say that when they believed this their whole life was changed. Well, a changed life is a what? It’s a u-turn. And what’s the u-turn? Repentance. But, can you make a u-turn in the flesh? No way. You cannot repent in the flesh. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to make that u-turn. But, oh, once you make that u-turn, everything changes. Everything is different. All right, so here we have it that twice God did something so perfect that nothing dared be added to it.
All right, now I guess I just about forgot why I came back here. But I came back to–go ahead and turn to Galatians chapter 1. Remember, I’m dealing with the fact that Israel was mixing idolatry with the worship of the true God of Abraham. They hadn’t forgotten the Temple. They hadn’t forgotten the work of the priests, but rather than traipse down to Jerusalem, they thought it was better to embrace an idol.
All right, now today we’re dealing with the same thing. That’s why I’m here in Galatians chapter 1 verse 6. I don’t see how anybody–and I know I’ve got a lot of pastors and preachers listening to me. I’m addressing them just as well as anybody else. Beloved, look at what the Book says, not what Les Feldick says. What does the Scripture say? As I said here not too many programs back, so far as I’m concerned, Paul’s epistles could just as well be written in red, because every word he writes came from where? The ascended Lord Jesus Christ. Never forget that. This isn’t Paul speaking his own mind. This is Paul speaking the very words of Christ.
“I marvel (I’m amazed) that ye are so soon removed from him who called you into the grace of Christ (Out of their paganism, they’d turned their back on all that. They had made some headway in this life of forgiveness and grace. But then what? They succumbed) unto another gospel: 7. Which is not another;…” These false teachers didn’t come in with something totally different. They just said, well, that’s okay. You rest on what you believe, but you’ve got to be circumcised. You have to keep the law. You have to eat right. You have to do this right. That’s what you have to do. And they fell for it. All right, now read on.
“Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.” What’s the other word for pervert? Adulterate! Where are you, Angelo? We were just talking about it yesterday. Adulterate means you bring in things that don’t belong. All right, and so he says:
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Why? Because they’re adulterating that perfect work of the cross! And God won’t have it.
Oh, they can have glowing experiences. They can probably even have glowing testimonies. But if they have mixed something with that finished work of the cross, I think they’re wasting their breath. I think God’s going to be a lot more particular than most people think. And it’s scary. Because if He has done a job so perfectly and has made it known and we walk it underfoot, then what?
LESSON ONE * PART III
LO-AMMI – NOT MY PEOPLE
Okay, it is good to see all ready to go again. We are on program number three this afternoon in book 70. So, we’ve been here a long time. My, we just can’t believe we’ve been doing this for sixteen years in October. Unbelievable! How we appreciate all you folks across the country out there in TV-land. Again, we want to thank you for your kind letters about how the Word is impacting.
Okay, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so we’ll dispense with any other comments and get right back into Hosea. Hosea, for those of you here in the studio audience, we’re in chapter 1. Let’s jump back in at verse 7.
“But I will have mercy…” Now you see, whenever God expresses His wrath and His vengeance and His judgment, He also shows the other side, which is His mercy. Here we have it again. That even though He’s going to have to bring chastisement upon the Nation and He will utterly take them away, yet He says:
“But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, (that’s the Southern two tribes, remember, where Hosea is ministering.) and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.” But rather by His own intrinsic Sovereign power.
Now, let’s be reminded that the Southern Kingdom lasted about a hundred years longer than the Northern Kingdom. Israel, the Ten Tribes, will be overrun by the Syrians about a hundred years before Judah goes under the hand of the Babylonians. Now I don’t think, if I’m remembering correctly, I did not really finish our verses back there in II Kings. I’m going to bring you back here again, if I may, so that you see why God’s patience ran out with the Ten Tribes that we are now calling Israel.
For some reason or another I digressed. I guess that’s when I jumped up to the New Testament, wasn’t it? All right, come back with me to II Kings. I want you to see why God’s hand of chastisement came upon these Ten Tribes of the North. All right, we were in verse 7 of II Kings 17.
II Kings 17:7-8
“For so it was that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods, 8. And walked in the statutes (or the religious rituals and systems) of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made.”
Now, I made comment in the last program that as the leadership goes, so goes the Nation. It’s the same way today. If you have a corrupt leadership, the nation is going to go right down with it. All right, now verse 9. Here we get to the crux of the problem.
II Kings 17:9a
“And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right…” We covered that in the last lesson – verse 10.
II Kings 17:10-12a
“And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree: 11. And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger: 12. For they served idols,…” I think that’s where I jumped up to the New Testament. All right, now let’s jump in to verse 13.
II Kings 17:13a
“Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets,…” Now, I had a thought as I was studying this. Where’s the priesthood? Well, they’re not much better than the rank and file. So, who does God have to use to preach to Israel, common ordinary men, the Prophets. Have you ever thought of that before – that none of the Prophets were priests? I never had. They were totally separate from the priesthood.
Now, the priests were religious. They carried out all the Temple worship, but in heart and mind they were just as idolatrous as the people. But here we have that little remnant of Prophets that God raises up to warn the people that if they do not change, if they don’t repent of their idolatry, this is what’s coming. All right, go back into verse 13.
II Kings 17:13
“Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye (Now that’s repentance.) from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants (not the priests) the prophets.” Amazing, isn’t it?
II Kings 17:14-15a
“Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God. 15. And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies…” Now verse 16, I’m doing this for sake of time now.
II Kings 17:16
“And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, (In other words, they melted down the metals.) even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.”
Do you see what they are doing? It wasn’t even the idols that they made out of whatever it was, but they worshipped the moon, they worshipped the sun, they worshipped the mountain, and they’d worship a tree. Anything to fulfill their idolatrous desires! It’s just beyond me, and I imagine it is for most of you. But this was Israel! Now, we’re not talking about the Babylonians! We’re not talking about the Syrians. We’re talking about Israel, the chosen people. Isn’t it unbelievable?
And yet, you know, as I told somebody at break time or before we started this afternoon, in my own mind’s eye, even though I have no scriptural basis to do so, who do I have to compare with Israel? The United States of America – because we have been so blessed spiritually. The whole purpose of our founding fathers to come over here was to get away from the heavy hand, not of politics, but the heavy hand of what? Religion! On that basis our forefathers established this nation on the Word of God. Whether they were all born again believers or not is to me moot. They rested on the Word of God.
I always like to rehearse what I read years ago. When they were trying to pound out our Constitution, being representative of everybody in the country, some of the big states like Pennsylvania and Virginia were kind of heavy handed over the smaller states like Rhode Island and maybe some of the New England states. So, what was the fear of the small states? Well, they wouldn’t have a voice in government. That was one of the most crucial things that our founding fathers had to hammer out.
But as this writer put it, and I have to depend on what people say, that when they got at loggerheads, the big states like Virginia and Pennsylvania would not just overrun the small states, they would dismiss. They would go to prayer rooms and those men were not ashamed to get down on their knees and pray and ask for wisdom. They’d come back to the convention hall and they would pick up where they left off. That was how our Constitution was finally hammered out.
Now, what are we seeing today? They don’t even want the name of God on our currency. They don’t want it even spoken in the Pledge of Allegiance. They’re making so much noise that government people are starting to listen to them. And it’s frightening that we’re going down the same road. We’ve been so blessed, and we’re turning our back on it. So, as we go through all these teachings in the next several programs in these Minor Prophets, do like I do. Just make the parallel, even though scripturally I can’t say that, but just on the basis of common sense and what we know of our own national history, my, aren’t we in the same kind of a situation?
All right, back to II Kings – why did God finally permit the Syrians to come in and overrun them and take them out? All right, verse 17, now this was getting pretty low. We covered this when we studied Isaiah.
II Kings 17:17a
“And they caused their sons and their daughters (their little infants) to pass through the fire,…” In other words, they offered them to the “fire god, Moloch.” You remember I pointed out when we were in Isaiah that they named the valley The Valley of Drums, because they were beating the drums to drown out the cries of their little ones. Horrible! Horrible! Now, these weren’t pagans. These were Israelites.
II Kings 17:17-18
“And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination (satanic power) and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. 18. Therefore, the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.” And of course Benjamin was with them. So, the Ten Tribes to the North, now, are who we’re dealing with. But, Judah also is heading down that same road. They’re going to go out, like I said earlier, 75 or 100 years later.
II Kings 17:19-20
“Also Judah kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, (Even Judah with the Temple in their midst) but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. 20. And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, (That is invaders.) until he had cast them out of his sight.” Isn’t that sad? No longer God’s People. No longer His chosen. He cast them out. Now, verse 21:
II Kings 17:21-22
“For he rent (or He tore) Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drove (or led) Israel from following the LORD, and made them sin a great sin. 22. For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; (There again, like I said, as the leadership goes so goes the masses.) they departed not from them;” God took it with mercy and compassion and pleading and they would not and finally the day came.
II Kings 17:22b-23
…and they departed not from them (their sins), 23. Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.” Now remember, Israel here is the Ten Northern Kingdoms – the Ten Tribes of the North. So, “Israel was carried away out of their own land to Assyria.”
So, Sennacherib was, if I’m not mistaken, the king that came in and took the Ten Tribes. Now, I always have to make a point. You know that there’s been teaching over the years as false as a $3.00 bill saying that the Ten Tribes that were supposedly lost became the people of Western Europe and Scandinavia. Well, number one, the Ten Tribes were never lost. By the time that Ezra and Nehemiah come back from the captivities, all the Tribes are represented.
So, what happened? Well, I haven’t got time on the program like I’d like to, but if you will do this on your own. You go back and research the civil wars between Judah and Israel. They had civil war just like you are seeing in Iraq today. The Southern Kingdom actually set up an array of military against the Ten. Well, numbers alone will tell you, what’s it going to be? How many troops can two tribes provide compared to ten? Well, the number of the first civil war was something like 300,000 from Judah, but the Ten Tribes of Israel had 1,300,000. Naturally, they just wiped them out.
Well, when you go about ten years later, if I remember correctly, they have another civil war and the numbers are about even. They both have about the same. Then you go thirty years later and they have another civil war. Now, Judah has one million some hundred thousand and Israel’s army was like a little flock of kid goats. Well, what in the world had happened? Well, they’d been migrating. Common sense will tell you that. The Temple was down in Judah. They’d probably had more prosperity down there. So, the people of the Ten Tribes to the North were migrating down into Judah, so that by the time Sennacherib comes in and takes Israel captive, hey, it was probably only ten percent of the whole. So, don’t ever buy into that teaching that the Ten Tribes to the North were lost. No, they were never lost. They were assimilated.
Now, I’ve got a verse of Scripture to show that, all the way up in the New Testament. Let’s jump up to Acts a minute. Keep your hand in Hosea. We’ll come right back. But just to prove my point that the Ten Tribes of the Northern Kingdom were never lost, come all the way up to Acts chapter 2. We have Peter on the day of Pentecost. Acts chapter 2 verse 36, just to make my point that the Ten Tribes were never lost. If I had time, I could show you that even in Ezra and Nehemiah it’s referenced that all Israel came back from the captivity. All the tribes were represented. But look what Peter says, verse 36.
“Therefore let ALL the house of Israel know assuredly,…” Well, who’s the whole house of Israel? Well, all the Tribes. Not just Judah and Benjamin, not just the Ten Tribes of the north, the whole house of Israel is all of them. Now, I’ve got some more verses we’re going to look at here in just a minute, but I’m running ahead of myself. Come back to Hosea verse 8. We’re still dealing with Hosea and the wife that he took out of idolatry from the North.
“Now when she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. (Now remember, she had a son and then a daughter, and now she has another son.) 9. Then said God, Call his name Lo-ammi: (which meant not my people) for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.” Now, you see all the symbolism here?
The first child was the result of Hosea, a prophet in Judah, taking a wife out of idolatrous Israel. The first child came and it was an indication of the blessings that would one day come upon the Nation of Israel. Then she has the daughter, and it was named Lo-ruhamah, which meant there was no pity. In other words, God’s wrath would come because of their unbelief and their idolatry. Now we come down to their third child, and his name indicates that they are not God’s people. They have refused to repent of their idolatry, and He turns His back upon them.
But always remember, what was the promise made way back to King David through the prophet Nathan? That even though Israel would sin…let’s go back and look at it. I’ve got to do things from Scripture. I can’t help it. II Samuel chapter 7 verse 14 – now listen, the Word of God never lies. It may seem like God has forgotten what He said, but He hasn’t. It’s still a valid promise. All right, you all got it? God says:
II Samuel 7:14
“I will be his father, and he shall be my son. (Speaking now of the Nation of Israel in a little different form of grammar.) If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him (I will discipline him) with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:” What does that refer to? Invading armies.
I will chasten them with invading armies. They’ll overrun you. They’ll take away your crops. They’ll put you into subjection. They’ll tax you to death. Now, I want people to know that’s what the Koran teaches, too, you know. That if the Muslims take over a country, anybody that doesn’t succumb to the Muslim, or doesn’t convert, if they’re not put to death, they can choose a state, which they call the dhimmi (the d-h-i-m-m-i). What’s a dhimmi in Muslim government? It is a man with no rights who can be taxed to death. They can come into his home and take everything he’s got. He’s got no defense, because he’s a dhimmi. And that’s what people want? I don’t. But that’s what the Koran teaches. It’s either convert or you become a dhimmi.
Well, now Israel was under that same thing until they started going back to their homeland. That’s why I’m aware of all this. I’m reading the book again that I recommended in my last newsletter, From Time Immemorial by Joan Peters. Now, it’s not an easy read. But I’ll tell you what. It’ll open your eyes as to what caused the Jews to return to their homeland.
All right, so here we are. God says, “I will chasten him with invading armies, and with the stripes of the children of men.” In other words, the subjection to enemy government and rule. What’s the first word of the next verse? “But.” The flipside! This is God. He’s a God of vengeance, but He’s a God of love and mercy.
II Samuel 7:15
“But my mercy shall not depart away from him, (Even though God says, you’re not my people. Even though God says, you’re out of sight. Yet, in the heart of God, His mercy is still waiting to be exercised. So, He says, I will not turn my mercy from you…) as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.”
All right, now then, if you’ll come back to Hosea. I only have a few minutes left. Now verse 10, here’s the promise coming back on the other side of the coin. Even though he will not be their God in verse 9, verse 10 says:
“Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass,…” Now, when I taught the Book of Isaiah, you remember what I emphasized? What does that mean? It’s going to happen. Israel is not going to disappear. Oh, we’ve got this guy over in Tehran who thinks they will. He thinks he’s going to drive every Jew into the sea. Obliterate them with “nukes” or whatever. No, he’s not. Israel isn’t going to cease being a nation. Oh, God’s going to chastise them again, but they’re not going to cease being a nation. We’ll look at that maybe in our next program. Okay, so reading on now in verse 10.
“…and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.” Well, what is that? That’s a complete reversal. Do you see that? God will never abandon the Children of Israel. Oh, even now most of them are over there in unbelief. And they’re going through hard times. They’re going to go through a lot more. But, God hasn’t abandoned them. He hasn’t given up on them.
“Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, (Now, you see it? The two Kingdoms, all twelve Tribes now.) and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel. (or the day of their blessings)”
Now, I think I’ve got time enough. Let’s go back to Deuteronomy chapter 30. This is an explanation of where we are in the news today. This is the answer for the world’s dilemma. What about these Israelites, or Israeli’s, as they are called today? What about them? Where did they come from? Well, not like these covenant replacement people tell us. They’re not from some tribes in the Russian Steppes. They’re not the Czars. They’re not from some place east of the Caucasians. But rather, there are Jews that are in Israel today. They are just as Jewish as these people in the Scripture. Here’s my point, Deuteronomy 30 verse 1. We’ve used it before.
“And it shall come to pass, (Again, it’s going to happen.) when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, (See the ups and downs of Israel’s history?) which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind (Where?) among all the nations, (Every last nation on earth will have Jews within its borders.) whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,” And, you know, by 1970 that was a total reality. There was not a nation on the face of this planet that did not have a Jewish community. Not a one! So, this was fulfilled. They have now been scattered into every nation under heaven. But look at the promise in verse 2:
“And shalt (What?) 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;” Now, I just told somebody on the phone, several times in the last week or two, in light of everything that’s going on in the Middle East and how people hate the Jew and how they think that they’re usurpers and they have no business being there.
Listen, this prophecy was written 3,500 years ago. And it’s being fulfilled right before our eyes. But the world can’t see that. But this is what God said thirty five hundred years ago – you’re going to be scattered unto every nation under heaven, and then you’re going to come home. And there they are. They can’t tell me they don’t belong there, because God said they would. He says they will return, and then the day would come when they would serve God with all their heart and with all their soul.
LESSON ONE * PART IV
LO-AMMI – NOT MY PEOPLE
Now again, we’re going to go right back into where we left off. We were in Hosea in chapter 1 the last verse. Jerry’s got chapter 2 verse 1 up on the board, but I want to go back to chapter 1 verse 11 for just a little bit, because I didn’t quite finish my next reference that I wanted to use at the end of the last program.
“Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.” Or the day of their joy and restoration, as, of course, the Valley of Megiddo can be a beautiful, beautiful setting.
All right, now the key word here that I want to follow up on is, they shall come up and be gathered together and they will be one head, or one nation. All right, come back with me a few pages in your Old Testament to Ezekiel 36 and 37. Let’s look at chapter 36 first, and then we’ll slip right into chapter 37. Again, remember that this is all written about 575 BC. We’re seeing the fulfilling of it right before our eyes. Ezekiel 36 and drop down to verse 24. God says:
“For I will take you from among the heathen, (That is like we mentioned in the other program, every nation on the planet has had communities of Jews.) and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land.”
Now, what I can’t comprehend is how even the most biblically illiterate can forget the fact that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. And goodness sakes, where was Bethlehem? In present day Israel. All the Old Testament events that take place, where in the world were they? In Africa? In Europe? In the Orient? No. It all took place in what’s present day Israel. How can people be so ignorant of that? I can’t comprehend it.
The last 3,000 years Israel has been associated especially with that little neck of land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. And then they have the slightest idea they have no business being there? If anybody has been there from time immemorial, it’s the Jew. All right and here it is. Even though God took them out and scattered them into every nation under heaven, the same God is going to bring them back. And He has! Miraculously!
I have to share with people over and over. Do you realize what a miracle it is that the Jews have even survived as a defined people? My, with just a one tenth of one percent of the world’s population, you’d think they would have been assimilated and simply disappeared. But they didn’t! Here they are. They still practice the old Jewish customs of Passover and Purim, as we looked at in the Book of Esther, and Hanukkah. Well land, that isn’t a phenomenon of the last ten or fifteen years. It goes back centuries.
All right, skip over another page to Ezekiel 37 and remember why I came back here. The verse in Hosea said that God will bring them up out of the land and make them under one head. No longer a split nation, they’re going to be one. All right, Ezekiel 37 and let’s drop in at verse 11.
This is after the “dry bones.” You all know that one. How the dry bones begin to shake and rattle, and they finally come together, and flesh comes upon them. Well, it’s a picture of the Jew coming out of their captivities, or out of their dispersion rather, from every nation under heaven. All right, now verse 11, and you’d be surprised how few church people understand this. They think it’s anything but what it really is.
“Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones (in this symbolism) are the whole house of Israel: (Not just ten tribes, not just two, but all twelve) behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.” Because they’ve been out of their homeland for so long. They’ve been without their capital city Jerusalem. And that’s another point. For hundreds of years what has been the cry of the Jew? Next year – what? Jerusalem! Next year, Jerusalem!
You remember back in the Six-Day War when the Israeli soldiers finally captured the Temple Mount. I’ve got a picture at home someplace where those young Israeli troops were crying like babies because they were at the Wailing Wall. Something that I imagine their parents and grandparents had told them about, and there they were at the Wailing Wall. Victorious! But, oh, look at verse 12.
“Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the LORD God; Behold, O my people, (Now remember in Hosea – God said, you are not My people. But now they’ve come full circle and again God can say–) I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.” Now, the best illustration of that is when the Soviet Union fell apart. What were the Jews able to do? Go back to their homeland. By the thousands! Yes, by the millions. I think back in 1990, 91, and 92, almost two million Jews came from Russia down into Israel. How did it happen? God opened the door! So, he says:
“…I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, (That is, your dwelling places among the Gentiles.) and bring you into the land of Israel.” It’s a God-thing, Beloved! It wasn’t their own initiative. God did it. Verse 13:
“And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves.” Now, come down to verse 16.
“Moreover, (God tells Ezekiel to write.) thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, (That is representative) and for the children of Israel, his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, (which would stand) and for all the house of Israel his companions:” That is the Ten Tribes in the Northern Kingdom.
So, now here we have one stick representing the Southern Kingdom, Judah and Benjamin. The other stick is going to represent the Ten Tribes to the North. Now look what He tells them.
“And join them one to another into one stick; (Put them end to end. That’s all He’s telling them. This is symbolism. This is an illustration. Put these two sticks end to end.) and they shall become one in thine hand.” By a miracle of God. Now verse 18:
“And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not show us what thou meanest by these? 19. Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, Which is in the hand of Ephraim, (Again a reference to the Northern Kingdom) and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.”
In other words, fulfilling Hosea’s prophecy that the two Kingdoms would one day come up and be one and under one king, which, of course, will be a reference to the Messiah. All right, now come down to verse 21, because repetition is the mother of learning. And I don’t mind repeating.
“And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen,…” Now, watch that! Who will? God will! Did He? You’d better believe it! Because nations where there used to be large communities of Jews haven’t got a one. Not a one. Why? Because, through the heavy hand of God dealing with Israel’s tormentors, the Jews found their way to Israel. God did it!
You know, Iris and I are always reminded of the first time we went to Israel. Now, this is a long time ago. Israel was just coming up out of the ashes of the Six-Day War. Burned out tanks and trucks were everywhere. We were coming out of the dining room in one of the hotels in Jerusalem. A nice, well-dressed businessman type approached us. He said, “You’re Americans, aren’t you?” “Yeah.” He said, “What do you think of our little country?” I said, “Well, it’s just fabulous what God has done!” He says, “God didn’t have a thing to do with it.” I said, “What?” He said, “God didn’t have a thing to do with it.” He said, “We did it.” Well, I wasn’t going to argue there in a hotel lobby, but I sure would have liked to. No. They didn’t do it. God did it. Of course, He uses human instruments. We know that.
But, oh, the miracle of Scripture, here way back 600 BC God prompts Ezekiel to write that God will bring them out of every nation under heaven back to their homeland. And it’s been done, Beloved. That’s the proof of Scripture. That’s why we don’t have to back down. There isn’t another book on earth, you’ve heard me say it on this program, over and over – there is not another single book on earth that can make those kinds of statements, but this one does, and it proves itself. All right, one verse further, and then we’ll go back to Hosea, verse 21 again.
“…Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: (The Arabs’ land? No. It’s not what the Book says.) and bring them into their own land: 22. And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: 23. Neither shall they defile themselves anymore with their idols,…” But God says:
“…so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.” Now, let’s flip back to Hosea a minute and make a little headway. We’ll get into chapter 2 now verse 1. Now we’re going to see a little bit of the other side of the coin, if I get far enough. I may not make it. I don’t know. But anyway, we’re still going to see God dealing with their idolatry. Remember, that’s the whole symbolic picture of his marrying this woman who is referred to as a prostitute, but it was simply that she had been partaking of the adulterous worship of idols. Hosea brings her back down to Judah.
“Say ye unto your brethren, (That is to the Nation as a whole.) Ammi; (Which in the Hebrew meant my people.) and to your sisters, Ruhamah. (You’ve had pity.) 2. Plead with your mother, (that is the Nation) plead: for she is not my wife,…” Now remember, Jehovah is speaking.
“…neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms (Her idolatry) out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts; 3. Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst.” What’s the picture of what God’s going to do with the Nation? They’re going to be made destitute. They’re going to be an embarrassment. All right, verse 4:
“And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms.” Or again idolatry. They continue to turn their back on the goodness of Jehovah and worship these stupid idols. A verse comes to mind. We’ve used it a long time ago. I haven’t used it now for quite a while. Go back a few pages to Jeremiah chapter 44. I mean, this just says it all.
This says it all. You know, like I said in the last program, I can’t help but draw a parallel between America today and Israel in these times of unbelief. We’ve been so blessed. Yet as a nation we are turning away from God more everyday. Maybe not into abject idolatry of wood and stone, but it’s a rejection of the things of God, that’s all. I don’t have to enumerate what they are. Look what our major denominations are doing with the Word of God. Unbelievable!
I had one lady write from Carolina, yesterday. She said, “Les, I’ve had it!” I’ve been telling her for years to get out of it. She said, “I’ve had it.” I’m not going to say what denomination. She said, “I’m out. I’m out. I’ve given up on them.” Well, praise the Lord a few are getting the idea. But see, here was the setting in Israel. Jeremiah 44 and drop down to verse 15. You’ll recognize it. We’ve used it before. I’ll probably use it again.
“Then all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods,…” What kind of men? A bunch of wimps! That right? A bunch of wimps. They knew better. But they just said, well, okay Honey, go ahead and worship your idol. Your idol has been pretty good to us, I guess. I can’t read it any other way. They permitted it. And by their permitting it, they encouraged it.
“…and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, (In other words, you’ve got all these foreigners already involved.) answered Jeremiah, saying, 16. As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, (or Jehovah) we will not hearken (or listen) unto thee.” Now, do you get their attitude? Can’t you just see them? These women with scorn in their eyes say – We’re going to listen to you? Are you kidding?
“But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven,…” Now, who’s the queen of heaven? Don’t tell me an angel. The queen of heaven was the female goddess of whatever culture they may have been – Astarte, Venus, and Diana of the Ephesians. Those were all female goddesses that were referred to as the queen of heaven.
“…and to pour out drink-offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: (Now, look at the next ridiculous statement. It’s no different today.) for then (While we were pouring out drink offerings to the queen of heaven, remember.) we had plenty of victuals, (or food) and were well, and saw no evil.”
“But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine. (We’re destitute. We’re in trouble.) 19. And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink-offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink-offerings unto her, without our men?”
“Then Jeremiah said unto all the people, to the men, and to the women, and to all the people that had given him that answer, saying, 21.The incense that ye burned in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, ye, and your fathers, your kings, and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the LORD remember them, and came it not into his mind (did not the LORD bring it to mind)? 22. So that the LORD could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings,…” Ah, it’s pitiful. It’s pitiful, but the human race has always been such, I guess.
Back to Hosea chapter 2, let’s make a little headway today, anyway. Let’s hit verse 4 again and then into 5. God is speaking now through the prophet.
“And I will not have mercy upon her children; (That is of idolatrous Israel.) for they be the children of whoredoms. (Now again, that’s not physical sexuality, it is idolatry.) 5. For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.” Now, in the light of Jeremiah 44 I hope you are seeing it. Who were Israel’s lovers? The idols! You see that? Catch the symbolism. It’s their idols; their queen of heaven that they think is providing all their needs. Verse 6:
“Therefore, (God comes back) behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths. 7. And she shall follow after her lovers, (She will keep on worshiping her gods of heaven, queens of heaven, and the idols and so forth.) but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; (Who was Israel’s first husband? Jehovah. Jehovah, the God of Abraham, see?) for then it was better with me than now.”
For (Jehovah says) she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for (Whom?) Baal.” The false god. My, isn’t it a wonder that God put up with them as much as He did?
“Therefore I will return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness.” In other words, all of the commodities that were necessary for communal life, God says, I’ll just take it away.) 10. And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers,…” Now again, where are they practicing these things? Before the idols. They’re bowing down before them.
When we were up in Northern Israel, they had just discovered the ancient worshipping place of Dan. You remember Dan was the first tribe of Israel that went into idolatry. When we were there several years ago, the Israeli antiquities had just discovered and uncovered the ancient worship place of the tribe of Dan. And that’s all it was, just a pagan place of worship. It’s so hard to comprehend that these Jewish people who had been brought about miraculously, and as we said earlier this afternoon, through the Red Sea, brought down to Sinai, brought into the Promised Land, with all the evidence of the God of Abraham around them constantly, yet they could go into such stark unbelief. I can’t comprehend it. I don’t think you can either.
All right, now I think I’m going to have a couple of minutes left. So, we come down to the place where God’s wrath is going to come to the full.
“I will also cause all her mirth (or her happiness) to cease, her feast days, (See, they’re still Temple worshipping.) her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts. (They were still religious. Isn’t that incomprehensible?) 12. And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers (or my idols) have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them.” Now, God says.
“And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, (In other words, the worship of Baal) wherein she burned incense to them (her idols), and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers (her idols), and forgot me, saith the LORD. 14. Therefore, behold, I will allure her, (In other words, I will woo her, God says, I will entice her.) and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.” And now, here comes the heart of God’s mercy.
“And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor (Which is a reference to the valley, of course, that first was judgment upon Akin. But on the other hand, it’s going to be a beautiful valley of production in the Kingdom.) for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. 16. And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; (That is, my husband – her spiritual.) and shalt call me no more Baali. 17. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name. 18. And in that day I will make a covenant for them…”
LESSON TWO * PART I
ADULTEROUS ISRAEL TO BE RESTORED
Hosea 2:14 – 4:14
Okay, it is good to see everybody in this afternoon. I’ll have to share with our television audience that we’ve got folks here — I hope I can remember them all — from Minnesota, Mississippi, Iowa, Oklahoma, of course, and Michigan. Now, did I hit everybody? Hopefully. Anyway, we’re glad to have folks stop in when they’re — and there’s Texas –but you haven’t been here that long.
Anyway, for all of you out in television, we’re glad that you’ve invited us into your home or wherever you are. Again, we always have to thank every one of you for your prayer support and for all that goes with it. Again, we love your letters. Sometimes they’re a little too short. Sometimes they’re a little too long, but we love them anyway.
Okay, we’re going to pick right up where we left off in our last program, which was over a month ago, I guess. We’re in Hosea. We’re going to be looking at chapter 2 verse 14. Now again, for just a little bit of recap, you want to remember that these are the minor prophets. They’re not called minor because they’re of lesser importance, but simply because they’re shorter in content.
They’re not nearly as long as Isaiah and Jeremiah and Ezekiel. A lot of it is repetition, so bear with me. A lot of the things that we brought out in the Book of Isaiah are popping up again in all these minor prophets, because you see, the whole scope of the Old Testament, from Genesis chapter 12 on, is the Lord preparing the Nation of Israel for the coming of their Messiah, Redeemer, King, and a Kingdom. In the time that elapsed, of course, Israel is going to go so deep into unbelief that they will actually become an idolatrous nation. That’s what we’re dealing with primarily in these minor prophets – their idolatry.
As we pointed out in the first chapter of Hosea, if you just read it casually, you’d think that God is actually talking in terms of the prostitution and the houses of ill repute. But when He tells Hosea to go and marry a harlot, He’s not talking about physical sexuality as we’re thinking of it. It’s all in the realm of the Spirit. So, it’s this constant reference that all of this idolatry and all of this chasing after idols are like a man chasing after the women of the street. Always keep in mind that we’re talking about Israel and idolatry. That was God’s number one controversy with the people of Israel. It is unbelievable that here you have the covenant people brought out of Egypt miraculously through the Red Sea, brought down to Sinai, given the Law and the Temple and the Priesthood, and then miraculously brought into the Promised Land, and then within a few hundred years they are just as steeped in idolatry as the other nations around them.
Of course, that’s why to the casual reader God seemed so harsh way up there in Moses’ time — when God says to Israel to have nothing to do with those people. Don’t intermarry with them. Then later on when He told them to cleanse the land, He even said to kill all the men, women, and children. Well, it wasn’t because God was so heartless. God knew that if He didn’t take idolatrous people away from contact with His people, it never goes the good way. It always goes the bad way.
This is what I tell young people when they start dating – “Don’t ever start dating someone, boy or girl, with the idea that you’re going to win them to the Lord and you’re going to make them better.” Usually it doesn’t work. It goes the other way. The same thing with Israel after all of their warnings, here we find them now, at the time of Hosea, which is only about 300 years after King David. We’re talking about 700 BC and David was 1000 BC, Moses – 1500 BC. But in that relatively short period of time, the Nation of Israel has gone totally into idolatry, with just a scattered, few true believers; and they were hated by the majority.
I mean just like today, you folks are finding out. You take the truth of these things into a liberal church Sunday school and they just about ride you out on a rail. That’s the way it’s always been. Okay, let’s jump in here now, Hosea chapter 2 verse 14.
“Therefore, behold, (This is God speaking to the Nation through the prophet. God said,) I will allure her, (In other words, just like a suitor.) I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.” Now, I think this is a reflection on their wilderness experience after they came out of Egypt, and how God providentially watched over them and cared for them and supplied their every need. He’s going to try and do it again to bring them back to Himself. All right, now verse 15 is a promise of blessing, not of discipline, but blessing.
“And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope:…” Now that’s a play on words. Because the first time you heard about Achor — who knows what it was associated with? Achan — it was the first city after Jericho, after they came into the Promised Land. They were told to go up and destroy the city of Ai, which evidently was a materially well-to-do city. God told them to destroy all the material goods. He warned them – don’t even take a nickel’s worth of anything.
But you see, Achan, a good Jew, thought he could get away with it. You remember what he did. He took some of the spoil, buried it, and thought that at some future day he could come back and capitalize on it. But, you see, God wouldn’t let it go. The whole nation was chastised for that one sinful event. So, Achor was a place of curse, not blessing. But now, when it comes to the time of God’s blessing, He uses the valley of Achor as a place of hope. All right, now reading on in verse 15:
“…and she shall sing there, (Now then, we’re talking about the Nation of Israel.) as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.” You see where the correlation is? He’s comparing their present time now, which is, let’s see, my goodness, we’re talking about 800-900 years after the fact, that God is still using the coming out of Egypt and going through the wilderness as an illustration of His protective blessing.
“And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, (I’ve got to emphasize this is God speaking through the prophet.) that thou shalt call me Ishi;…” Which translated means “my husband.” In other words, God would be a husband to Israel as His wife. There again, here’s where you come to that constant correlation in Scripture. In the marriage relationship as a husband is to wife, so God is to His people. Now, in this case, of course, it’s the ancient Nation of Israel.
But, jump with me all the way up to Ephesians. We have that same analogy between Christ and you and me as members of the Body of Christ in Ephesians chapter 5. I do this just to show that all of Scripture has that same kind of a thread from beginning to end. Israel was to be like a wife with God as her husband. All right, now look how Paul puts it for us as believers today. Ephesians chapter 5 and we’ll jump in at verse 21. You see, the analogy is the same whether it’s for us in the Body or what was for Israel in a national relationship under the Old Testament economy.
“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” I always have to repeat, Paul always talks or writes to one class of people. Who is it? The believer. Never the unbeliever. All right, so to the believers there at Ephesus, or to you and I today as believers, the instruction is to “submit yourselves one to another in the fear (or the reverence) of God.” Now, here comes the relationship.
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, (But how?) as unto the Lord.” Here comes the spiritual connection even to a physical relationship — verse 23.
“For the husband is the head of the wife, (But again what’s the connection?) even as Christ is the head of the church:…(or the Body)” That’s the comparison — that a husband should have the love and concern and protection for his wife that Christ has for the Church. And it’s such a practical lesson. All right, read it again.
“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church:…” My, what a beautiful illustration. A husband should have so much love for his wife (now just watch my wife smile!) that he’d be willing to do what for her? Die for her!
That’s where Abraham failed. Way back in the very beginning of the Nation, Abraham failed miserably. Because, you see, when he came into enemy territory, he must have had a very beautiful wife; and he was scared to death that they would kill him in order to have his wife. So, what does he do? He says to tell them that you’re my sister. Well, in reality, she was a half-sister. But see, he didn’t have that concept that he was willing to die for his wife. But see, that’s where we’re to be, simply because Christ loved the church and did what? He died for us! That’s our whole plan of redemption. Okay, read on.
“…even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. (He is the reason that we’re members with him as husband and wife) 24. Therefore as the church (or the Body of Christ) is subject unto Christ, (He’s always above us. We are always submissive to Him.) so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”
But see, here’s where we have to be careful. If you’re going to keep the analogy intact, in which way will the husband put his wife in subjection? Well, the same way Christ has us in subjection. And is it ever for our disadvantage? Never! To be in subjection to Christ is always for our own good. It’s the only place to be. Well, that’s the way a wife should feel about her husband — that she couldn’t find herself under any better circumstances because of her respect and love for the one who is over her. Not as a doormat. Not as a “go-for,” but in a relationship that is as Christ loved the church. Now, verse 25:
“Husbands, love your wives, even (again) as Christ also loved the church, and (Did what?) gave himself for it;” All right, now that is the constant analogy of Scripture. All right, let’s go back to Hosea. This is exactly the relationship that God is yearning to restore again with the covenant people, the Nation of Israel. All right, back to verse 16 of Hosea 2.
“And is shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; (or husband) and shalt call me no more Baali.” Or in other words, just another god. Now then verse 17. If Israel would respond and turn away from chasing after all the idols of the Gentiles around them, then He says:
“For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.” In other words, He would remove even the memory of all these pagan gods and goddesses.
“And in that day (when Israel responds) will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, (Now, we’re getting right down where the rubber meets the road! Even the wild beasts are going to be influenced by God’s relationship with His beloved Israel.) and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.”
All right, let’s go back real quickly to Isaiah chapter 11 and get a glimpse of what the Lord is talking about — this glorious Kingdom Age when Christ would rule and reign over His covenant people as well as the rest of the world. These are some of the reactions or results of it. You’ve all seen these verses before. Isaiah chapter 11 and we’ll start at verse 5. This is what’s coming. We can’t imagine it today. But, Beloved, it’s coming! I’m always making that statement – if prophecy says it, it’s going to happen! Now, it may be a few years, but we’re getting close. My, when you see the world tonight, today, in all of its perplexity and all of its unsolvable problems–
You know, I was reading an editorial in our Daily Oklahoman the other day, and it was so good I read it to Iris, the whole editorial. It was by a well known — I think it was a Washington Post writer — Charles Krauthammer. I think most of you have probably seen him on talk shows and so forth. Well, he was laying out the two alternatives that the world is facing.
Of course, the one that is Number One and has to face it first is our own President. Well, the one alternative was to go in and stop Iran in her tracks; and that, of course, would bring about a horrendous war of some kind. It would be a complete disruption of all the oil supply. It would probably send the whole world into a horrible economic crash. But that’s what would have to happen if you’re going to stop Iran.
The other alternative is to do nothing and let them go ahead and build their nuclear force, and then they in turn will either blackmail the world or start blowing us to smithereens. Those are the two alternatives. And he says, “Our President has got twelve months to make up his mind.” How’d you like to be in his shoes? Either one is disaster. Well, that’s the world we’re living in. That’s what Jesus meant when He said it will be filled with perplexity. Now, you know what perplexity is. Just as I’ve explained – how are you going to make a choice between two horrible alternatives? It’s perplexing.
But, you see, everything is getting the world ready for the glorious kingdom that’s coming. Everything on this planet is going to be destroyed. We know that. But out of it is going to come what the Lord is telling Israel even back in Hosea, but we get a better picture of it now in Isaiah.
“And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, (That is of the ruling king, which will be Christ Himself.) and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. 6. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,…” Remember what Hosea said? The wild animals and everything that’s wild, the fowl, the birds of prey.
“…and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; (or the baby goat) and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; (all in perfect harmony, now) and a little child shall lead them.” In other words, even children can play amongst these that are, today, carnivorous wild animals — Verse 7.
“And the cow and the bear shall feed; (In other words, they’ll graze in the same area.) their young ones shall lie down together: (Whether it’s a baby sheep, a lamb, or whether it’s a kid of the goats, or it’s the cub of the lions, they’ll all be interacting peacefully.) and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.” In other words, it won’t be a meat eater. It will be vegetarian. It’ll eat things that grow naturally. And then verse 8:
“A nursing child shall play on the hole of an asp, (a poisonous snake in the Middle East.) and the weaned child (a little toddler) shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. 9. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all of my holy mountain: (Why?) for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”
This isn’t some pie in the sky. This is coming on the planet. That’s the analogy. It’s going to be perfect harmony throughout all the planet’s existence, whether it’s humanity or the birds and the fowl and so forth. All right, the other point is that the bow will be broken. Come back to Hosea, back to chapter 2, where the bow and the sword will be totally removed. You all know those verses, where they will turn their swords into plowshares. It is going to be a total economy of peace and prosperity and tremendous production beyond what you and I can ever imagine. All right, now verse 19.
“And I will betroth (Or, like we would say, bring into a place of engagement.) thee unto me forever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness and in mercies.” Oh, now that brings up another verse. Go back to II Samuel, because this was all in prophecy all the way back. How God would deal with His covenant people Israel. Here God is now dealing with King David, but He’s speaking through the prophet Nathan.
Look what He tells Nathan concerning, not just David, but the whole Nation of Israel. II Samuel 7:14 & 15 — now, He’s talking about the Nation,
II Samuel 7:14
“I will be his father, (Now, in this case, it’s a father and son relationship. In Hosea we’re talking about husband and wife.) and he shall be my son. If (God knew it was coming.) he commit iniquity, (Which at the time of Hosea was primarily what? The idolatry. And the idolatry led to every other sin and wickedness you could think of. All right, so here it is.) If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, (Invading armies. And they’re coming.) and with the stripes of the children of men:”
In another place in Isaiah it says, “and you’ll be hearing strange languages.” Well, what did that imply? Occupying troops of the enemy. That was Israel’s constant warning. All right, now look at verse 15, what’s the first word? “But…” The flipside! Even though God will permit nations to come in and invade them and down trod them, steal their grain and enslave their children–
II Samuel 7:15-16
“But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. (Now, we’re coming back to the relationship of David and Saul, but the big picture is God and Israel!) 16. And thine house (the house of David) and thy kingdom (that’s still coming) shall be established forever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.”
All right, now when we talk about mercy up there in verse 15– I can’t help it, I always have to come back– I hope it is Deuteronomy chapter 33. I’ve got 32, hopefully it’s 33. No, it isn’t. But anyway, He says, I’m going to give mercy to whom I will give mercy. Exodus 33:19, I thought it was Deuteronomy, but it’s the wrong book.
“And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” That’s what He told Moses – I will be merciful to whom I will be merciful. Well, what does that imply? His Sovereignty! His Sovereignty and we sometimes think how can God do that? Because He’s Sovereign.
Now, I mentioned the Holocaust in one of my classes the other night. We know the Holocaust was probably one of the worst times in all of Israel’s history. Why did God let it happen? Well, He had to. It had to happen. Here’s the point. Had Israel not gone into that horror of the Holocaust, do you think the Nation of Israel would be where it is today? It would have never happened. It took the horrors and the pressures of the Holocaust to get the Jew to go back to their homeland. And they had to go back to their homeland. Because we’re going to see later this afternoon that was all part of God’s program – that He would scatter them and He would bring them back. All right, back for just a couple of minutes to Hosea chapter 2 and verse 20, again.
“I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: (They’re no longer going to run after idols and pagan gods.) and thou shalt know the LORD. 21. And it shall come to pass in that day, (When Israel is back into complete fellowship with her Jehovah God.) I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they (the heavens) shall hear the earth; 22. And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel.”
Well, what does that mean? When Israel comes into the place of blessing, everything they plant will grow and produce like you and I cannot imagine! You know, Amos, I think I’ve got time. Let’s go quickly over to Amos. Just go ahead a little ways to Amos, I think it’s the last chapter. This agrees completely with the time when Israel finally comes into this Kingdom Age and Jehovah is ruling and reigning from Jerusalem. Amos chapter 9, drop all the way down to verse 13, and tie this in with what we just read; that the earth will respond to being sowed, and it’s going to produce.
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman (The one who’s tilling and preparing the soil.) shall overtake the reaper, (The guy who’s harvesting the previous crop. It’s going to be such continuous production.) and the treader of grapes will over take him that soweth the seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. 14. And I will bring again the captivity of my people of 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. (And again, the same analogy) 15. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up…”
LESSON TWO * PART II
ADULTEROUS ISRAEL TO BE RESTORED
Hosea 2:14 – 4:14
This is our 16th anniversary of tapings. We started in October of 1990, so it’s been sixteen full years of tremendous blessings. Who would have ever dreamed? I just shared with my brother on the way up this morning; we can remember almost the place on the Muskogee Turnpike when Iris and I said, well, surely this won’t last more than six months. That’s what we really thought it would be, about six months and it would die a natural death, and then our television experience would be over. But here it is – sixteen years and the Lord just keeps on blessing.
Again, for all of you out in television, we want to welcome you to a simple Bible study. We try to keep it simple and yet hit some of the things that you normally don’t see and hear in Sunday school. Now, back to our study in Hosea; we’ll start in verse 1.
“Then said the LORD unto me,…” Now remember, when the word LORD is capitalized like this, it’s really Jehovah. I read a good article again the other day by a gentleman that I respect highly. He had all the reasons why the word LORD is Jehovah and Jehovah is Jesus Christ. He’s God the Son. All right, back to the text.
“Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend,…” Now you remember back in chapter 1, He said to go and get a woman. So, what we have here are two different attitudes. Instead of just simply claiming a girl for his wife, now he’s going to go back and win the wife that had left him to go back to her lovers. All right, so He says:
“…Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.” Now, I want you to go back to Jeremiah 44. You’ll see what I’m talking about. I might come back here again even later, before we get through Hosea. But Jeremiah 44 and let’s use verse 19, because I’m going to use some of the other verses later on. Now, this again is the response of idolatrous Israel.
“And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, (Now, that’s the female goddess, usually Astarte.) and poured out drink-offerings unto her, did we make her (What?) cakes…” Now, the better translation for flagons of wine would have been grape cakes. In other words, they actually took a grape-flavored cake and offered it on their altars to this female goddess. So, here’s where we get the comparison of Scripture, “did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink-offerings unto her,…”
All right, back to Hosea once again, chapter 3. These Israelites – now you’ve got to remember that when we speak of Israel, it’s the Ten Tribes to the North, but the prophet also includes Judah and Benjamin, so the whole Twelve Tribes come under these prophecies. All right, back to chapter 3 verse 1, again.
“…according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.” Grape cakes that were made of wine to be offered to these goddesses – verse 2.
“So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley: 3. And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; (Now remember, he’s talking to that who had once been his and had been lost, and he’s bringing her back.) thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I be also for thee.’”
Now of course, I think what’s implied here is that Israel was so steeped in idolatry all the way up until the Babylonian captivity. That cured her. I don’t think there’s any evidence that the Jews practiced idolatry after the Babylonian captivity. Now, they had a lot of other wicked acts and so forth, but not idolatry. For some reason or other, it cured them of idolatry!
All right, this is what he’s referring to. That she would come back for a time, and she’s going to completely be removed from idolatry, because that’s her return after she’s been out in that Babylonian captivity of 70 years. Now she comes back and is at least cured of the adulterous, spiritual adultery. Now God says, “And I will be also for thee.” All right, now here we come to verse 4, and this is prophecy in a veiled form.
“For the children of Israel (the Nation) shall abide many days (Now watch this carefully or you’re going to miss it.) the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim:” The casual reader is going to miss all that. What are we talking about? They’re going to be bereft of all their Temple worship. They’re going to be out of the land. They’re going to have no formal ritual to keep them in touch with the God of Abraham.
All right, when did that all come about? In 70 AD, because what happened in 70 AD? The Romans came in and again they destroyed the Temple, but so much differently than when Nebuchadnezzar did it. When Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Temple, 70 years later the Jews came back and rebuilt the second Temple. And they went on again with their Temple worship, with their Priesthood, and their sacrifices; all the way up until the time of Christ’s first advent.
But, when Titus came in and destroyed the Temple and destroyed Jerusalem, and the Jews were scattered out into every nation under heaven, it’s been that way now for 1,900 and some years. They’re without a Temple. They’re without a priesthood. They’re without a prince. They’re without a sacrifice. They are destitute of any kind of a religious practice that will keep them in touch with the God of Abraham. All right, that’s what that one verse is telling you. All right, now what’s the first word of verse 5?
“Afterward…” Okay, now I’ve got my timeline on the board, coming out of the call of Abraham at 2000 BC, from Christ back to Abraham is about 2,000 years. All right, about 500 years after Abraham, we’ve got Moses, who brings the children of Israel out of Egypt down to Mount Sinai where they receive the Law.
Then another 500 years between Moses (and the appearance of the Priesthood and the Tabernacle) until we come to King David. Now, when King David appears, the Kingdom begins to expand and prosper. They start defeating all their enemies, and Israel reaches the glory that they had never had before. And even though Solomon increased it a little bit, that was the time of Israel’s glory. They still refer back to it.
Now, this is the way I teach. I can’t help it. Come back up with me to Acts. Then I’ll go back to my timeline. Acts chapter 1, the Lord has just completed His forty days after His resurrection. He’s been with the Eleven in that resurrected body. Now they are meeting on the Mount of Olives, and in a short order He’ll be ascending back to Glory. But now, in Acts chapter 1 verse 6–this is why I happened to think of it when I spoke of Israel’s glory.
“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, (In other words, the Eleven are asking the Lord Jesus a question up there on the Mount of Olives just before He ascends.) Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the (What?) the kingdom to Israel?” See, that’s Israel’s hope even today. If they have any knowledge of Scripture at all, they know the Messiah will still come and bring in this glorious kingdom promised to Israel.
Now, of course, the Eleven did not have the view of it as we can construct from Scripture. They merely knew that it would be a kingdom likened unto David’s and Solomon’s when Israel was the most glorious kingdom on earth. Now, have you got that?
Okay, now when you come back here to Hosea chapter 3, when we talk about “afterward” in verse 5, I want to come back to my timeline for a little bit. After King David and Solomon–like I said, Hosea and Isaiah are prophesying at about 700 BC. By 600 BC Nebuchadnezzar comes in and destroys the city and the Temple. He takes the Jews into exile for 70 years.
All right, after that they come back and once again restore Temple worship at about 400 BC. The Ezra Temple is rebuilt, and they continue on. I guess I’m jumping ahead of my timeline here, but after the Minor Prophets are finished, which will be from Hosea to Malachi; there are 400 years where Israel has not a word from God. Not through a prophet. Through nothing – until the angel appears first to Elizabeth on the birth of John the Baptist and then to Mary regarding the appearance of Christ.
All right, we call that His first advent, and the whole thrust of His ministry was what? To prove to Israel that He was that promised Messiah and King! My, I’m stressing it constantly. That was the purpose of all His miracles, to prove that He was this promised Messiah. All right, now let’s back up where, again, in Hosea chapter 3 verse 4, I’m going to read it again. “For the children of Israel…” The whole nation, not just the Two Tribes to the south, we’ve got all Twelve Tribes involved.
“For the children of Israel shall abide many days (Which we now know is over 1900 years.) without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, (Now see, that was all associated, I trust you know the language here, with the priesthood.) and without a teraphim. 5. Afterward shall the children of Israel return,…”
All right, now let’s go pick up some prophecy. Go back to Deuteronomy chapter 30. In all my teachings around the country for the last month in different cities, the first thing people were asking was, well, you know what’s happening in the Middle East? Where are we with regard to the end time? So, over and over, I would just say, “Well, let’s go back and see what Jesus meant when He said you can discern the signs of the weather–when the sky is red and so forth.” But what was the last part of that statement? “But you cannot decipher the signs of the times.”
All right, so what are our signs of the times? Prophecy. All right, here is the clearest one. I think it’s the one that is referred to back there in Hosea that we just read. Deuteronomy chapter 30 verse 1:
“And it shall come to pass, (Now remember, this is Moses 1,500 years before Christ. That’s 3,500 years back from our day.) when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind (Now, here’s the key, when they are where?) among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,” This would be when the Jews would find themselves scattered into every nation under heaven, none excepted. Even the Arab world had Jews in their midst. It wasn’t until about the turn of the century that they started getting forced out and back to their homeland.
But, at the time that verse 1 is speaking of, they were in every nation under heaven, none excepted. So, this is fulfilled to the last jot and tittle. But now look at the next verse. When Jews find themselves in every nation under heaven, then it wouldn’t be long until:
“And shalt return….” You see that? That’s exactly what Hosea says. After they’ve gone that long time without a Temple, without a priesthood, and without a sacrifice; afterward they’re going to come back. That’s the beauty of prophecy. And that’s the number one reason that we can rest that this is the Word of God, because Israel is back where prophecy intended them to be! No other book on earth can do that.
I was dealing with a Muslim young lady again the other day, and that was my number one point. I said, “Don’t you realize that our Bible foretold the Jews would be scattered all around the planet and then the day would come when they would be back in their homeland?” Against all the odds. But there they are! The Koran can’t do that. The book of Mormon can’t do that. Any other book of religion that you know of on the face of the earth can’t do that. This is the only one! But here it is. This was all in God’s providential design that that’s the way it would happen. And now here they are. They’re back in the land.
All right, let’s look at a few other verses that we use quite often. Jump up to Ezekiel, chapter 36 and my goodness it’s plain English. Even in the translation. It’s as plain as it can get. Ezekiel 36 verse 24, and I’ve got to wait until you find it. Otherwise my listeners will write and say, “Les you go to fast. I can’t find the Scriptures, I can’t write my notes.” Ezekiel 36 verse 24, where God again, the LORD God up in verse 23, The LORD God says:
“For I will take you (That’s Israel. That’s why I’m always emphasizing – to whom is this written? Well, it’s written to Israel, not to the Gentile world. So He says to Israel.) from among the heathen, and (Watch, the same language that Moses used in Deuteronomy.) gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.”
My goodness, there were Jews in Persia. There were Jews in Iran. There were Jews in Iraq. Not any more because they’ve all been pushed out. But before all this happened, there they were. My, I read again the other day that they found a Jewish Synagogue clear up in Northern Siberia where they had no idea a community of Jews had ever existed. In fact, a few of them were still there. They were scattered to the ends of the earth. Now, read on in verse 24.
“…and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.” Now, isn’t that plain? Why can’t our government people see that? Why can’t the United Nations see that? Instead of trying to oppose, they should be working with God. But, you see, that would never happen. Things just wouldn’t work right, but nevertheless, here it is. God has spoken it, and we’re seeing it happen right before our very eyes.
Now, I think I’ve got time enough. I’m going to slip over into chapter 37. It’s been a long time since we’ve done this. I think way back when we first taught Genesis or someplace back there. We’ll just start at verse one. This is all prophetic; that we are seeing happen right before our eyes.
“The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,” Now remember, this is symbolism, just like we’ve been talking in Hosea. Ezekiel’s the same way. This is not a literal valley full of bones. It’s a symbolic valley. Verse 2
“And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many (bones) in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.” What does that mean? They’d been there a long time.
You know, if you drive across West Texas, and you look out over the prairie, you’ll see an old skull of a steer or something laying there. It is chalk white, and you know it’s been out in that old West Texas sun for years and years. The longer it lies there the whiter it gets. Well, that’s the bones in this valley. They’ve been there a long time. Now, in actuality, it has been over 1,900 years. The bones are representative of Israel out in the Gentile world without any of her homeland advantages.
“And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? (They’re chalk dry. They’re white as snow, because they’ve been out there for so long.) And I answered, O LORD GOD, thou knowest. 4. Again he said unto me, Prophesy (or speak) upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones;…” Now remember, they are representative of the Nation of Israel.
“…Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: 6. And I will lay sinews upon you, (That is upon these dry bones.) and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know (when they’ve been brought back to life) that I am the LORD. 7. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, (Now remember, this is all in symbolism.) and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 8. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them,…”
In other words, it’s a slow process, but the Nation is going to be reappearing, because that’s what we’re talking about now — the Nation of Israel coming back to life.
“And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. (No spiritual life.) 9. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, (In other words, from every corner of the planet.) O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.” Now, that’s all symbolism.
Bones that have been out there, symbolic of the Nation of Israel out amongst all the nations of the world, and God’s going to bring them nationally back to life by returning to the homeland. And we’ve seen it now for the last hundred years. Not that you’ve lived a hundred years, some of us almost. But nevertheless, we’ve been seeing it happen. Here they’re coming back home, and nothing can stop them.
My, I had an interesting phone call the other day. I said, “Man, I could talk to you for twenty-four hours.” He had been designated–he was fairly high Navel officer. After World War II he was given command to take his Navy cruiser and two troop ships. He was to go to a port in Greece, I think Thessalonica, and he was to load those two troop ships with escaping Jews and escort them back to Israel. And he was telling me this on the phone. My, I’ve only got a minute left. So anyway, he got it all done. Got those ships loaded with hundreds and hundreds of Jews on each one and escorted them down the Aegean and across the Mediterranean. And as he was approaching Israel from the West, the British Navy attempted to intercept him, which of course they’d been doing.
So, he fired a couple of shots across their bow and radioed them that if they wanted a fight try and stop him, because he’s going on. So, he sailed on into the Port of Haifa with his two shiploads of Jews. He said, “That was the biggest thrill I ever had in my life, to see those Jews embarking into their homeland.”
But see, it was against all odds that the Jews got back to their homeland. But they did! And you and I know every day’s news is a guarantee that God kept His Word. They’re back home. Oh, there are still two-thirds of them out in the rest of the world, mostly in America and Canada and so forth, but the prophecy has been fulfilled; that after being scattered into every nation under heaven, they’re back in their homeland. So, don’t ever buy the propaganda that they don’t belong there. They should never give up one foot of land. It’s theirs!
LESSON TWO * PART III
ADULTEROUS ISRAEL TO BE RESTORED
Hosea 2:14 – 4:14
Once again, it’s good to have everybody back from the coffee break. We’re doing program number three this afternoon. We’re going to go right back and pick up what I didn’t finish in the last program. For those of you on television, if you’re just tuning in, we’ve been talking about Israel being scattered into all the nations of the world. We started with our references in Deuteronomy, and now we’re back up into Ezekiel. That’s where we’re going to pick up – right where we left off in Ezekiel 37, how the Nation of Israel is out there scattered into every nation under heaven, but the time would come when they would start coming back to their homeland.
Now of course, it didn’t happen over night. It really started in the late 1800’s, 1890-95, somewhere in that neck of the woods when Jewish leaders started talking about a homeland. They and Great Britain, of course, who had the empire that circled the globe, were the major players. So, a politician in England by the name of Balfour (Arthur James) and the Jews made the Balfour Declaration–that was that the Jews could have a homeland in the Middle East.
First they had it drawn clear across the Jordan Valley and on into what is present-day Iraq and Jordan, but the Arab world put up such a howl that Great Britain backed off. Instead they designated it from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean. So anyway, the Jews back then were being forced by persecution and every other which way, that was long before Hitler came on the scene. So, a lot of the Jews started making their way back from North Africa, Morocco and in that area. Then the rest of the Arab world started persecuting them unmercifully, so they finally left Syria. I don’t think there’s a Jew left in Syria, certainly not in Iran. As a result of all that, they gradually made their way back to the homeland. In 1948 they declared themselves a Sovereign State. Okay, so all that has come in fulfillment of this.
Come back with me now at the opening to Hosea chapter 3 verse 4, so that we can be where we want to start every program in Hosea. Back to chapter 3 verse 4 where we’re talking about the dispersion. How that for a long time they’ll be out there in all the nations of the world, verse 4.
“For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim:” In other words, they had nothing of their religion, as much as I hate to use the word. All right, then the key word in verse 5 is—“Afterward…” All right, but we’re not going to look at the “afterward” yet, until we go back and finish some of those verses with regard to all those 1900 and some years that Israel was scattered into the nations of the world.
All right, come back where you were with the dry bones in Ezekiel 37 verse 11. Here’s where we have the interpretation of this vision.
“Then he (the LORD) said unto me, (the prophet) Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: (Now that tells you right up front that ten tribes are not lost. All Twelve Tribes are still involved even at this point in time.) behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.” In other words, that was when they were out amongst the Gentile world–verse 12.
“Therefore, prophesy and say unto them, (these scattered Jews) Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves,…” Now, the best way I can explain that in recent history was when the Soviet Union collapsed, and one of the first results of that collapse was permission for the Jews to immigrate out and down to Israel or wherever.
It was a providential thing. As soon as the Jews had the opportunity, I think in the first two years of the 90’s–1990, 91, 92, something like two million Jews left Russia to go to the Nation of Israel. In fact, Iris and I ran into a family of them down on the Dead Sea. The parents couldn’t talk English but the kids could. So we could communicate with the family through the kids. But it was typical of Russians who had left Russia because now the bars were lowered.
All right, that’s exactly what I think of when it says here “I will open your graves.” When the Gentile world would finally give permission for Jews to leave their nation and go wherever they wanted to go. Of course, a lot of them ended up there in their homeland of Israel. All right, reading on.
“…O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.” Now, do you see how providential that is? You know, I’ve shared it on the program before, and I’ll do it again. The first time Iris and I were in Israel, we came out of the hotel restaurant that evening and a well-dressed businessman approached us. He said, “You’re from America, aren’t you?” We said, “Yes.” He said, “What do you think of our little country?” I said, “It’s fabulous what God has done!” He said, “God didn’t have a thing to do with it. We did it!” “Well,” I said, “I beg to differ. But I’m not going to argue with someone in his homeland.”
But see, that was their idea, that they did it. No, they didn’t! God did it! Against all the odds. My goodness, Great Britain did everything in their power to keep any Jews from coming to the land of Israel. But they got there. And then the Arab world consorted to drive them into the sea, but it never happened. Even to this day, they talk about it. It’s not going to happen, because God has sovereignly designated that they are going to come to their homeland.
Okay, so now they’re back according to Ezekiel. Now, let’s just stop at one verse on our way to the Book of Acts, so that you’ll see what James was referring to. Turn to the Book of Amos, that’s right after Hosea–Joel then Amos. Amos the last chapter, chapter 9, this is an interesting verse. Yet, it was in such a veiled form that Israel’s prophets didn’t catch it. Jesus, of course, never alluded to it. But now as we can read and look back, we know that this is what the prophet was talking about. Amos chapter 9 and again, we’re talking about the dispersed Nation of Israel in those first nine – ten verses. But now look at verse 11.
“In that day (When God will finally have His people back in their homeland.) will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it (Now remember, we’re talking about King David’s day.) as in the days of old:”
Now, you remember what I said in one of the earlier programs this afternoon? When did Israel reach the pinnacle? During David’s and Solomon’s reign. The glorious Kingdom of David. What did the Queen of Sheba say? “The half has never yet been told.” Of what? The glory of David’s kingdom. All right, so this is the analogy. It’s going to be restored with the glory that it was in David’s day, only far, far greater.
“That they (the Nation of Israel) may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, (the Gentile world) which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.” In other words, God is going to bring Israel back to the homeland at some point in time. He’s going to return and set up this glorious kingdom promised to Israel.
All right, now I made mention of Acts chapter 15. Here we have the record of the Jerusalem Council. And I think, according to some of the ancient writers, this was in A.D. 51. Now get your numbers – Christ was crucified in A.D. 29. I feel that the Apostle Paul was converted in A.D. 37. He began his ministry in A.D. 40. Now, he is being confronted by the Judaizers from the Jerusalem Jewish church and told that his converts had to be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses. That was the whole purpose of the Jerusalem council. All right, now I’m not going to take the time to take you through all that. As you come to the end of that council, the leadership of the Jerusalem church recognized Paul’s Apostleship and that he would be going to the Gentiles, come in at verse 12.
“Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, (Who had been ministering up in Antioch, remember, as well as in Turkey and so forth.) declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among (What people?) the Gentiles by them.” Now this is unheard of. God had done all kinds of miracles in Israel, but amongst the Gentiles? Unheard of!
All right, so they took this all in as the argument is now being kind of put to rest, because they are recognizing that Paul and Barnabas do now have a ministry with the Gentiles that Israel was never permitted to do. All right, now verse 13.
“And after they had held their peace, (The tumult was quieting down.) James answered, (We know from Galatians chapter 2 that James was the moderator of this Jerusalem council.) saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: 14. Simeon (Peter) hath declared how God at the first did visit the (What?) Gentiles, to take out of them…” Now keep your pronouns right. Who are the “them” now? The Gentile world. Paul has been designated to go to the Gentiles.
“…to take out of them a people for his name.” Now, Acts can’t tell us what it is, because it really hasn’t been totally revealed. But you get to Paul’s letters and what do we call it? The Body of Christ. The Body of Christ is that called-out group of Gentile believers under Paul’s Gospel of Grace that has believed for salvation that Jesus died for their sins, was buried, and rose again the third day. The Body of Christ is totally insulated from all the promises of Israel.
Now, let’s see my timeline again. Here we come past the rejection now. All the promises concerning this glorious kingdom over which God the Son, Jesus the Christ, would rule and reign, but Israel rejected it. Then they hit the prime of their rejection when they did what? Stoned Stephen. Stephen was still appealing to the Nation to repent of having killed that promised Messiah. But they would not. So they stoned Stephen. All right who were we introduced to at the stoning of Stephen? Saul of Tarsus
All right, now we get back to our timeline. After Christ has ascended and Israel’s rejection, now God is going to do exactly what Amos is referring to. That after a period of time, which would include our Church Age and the Tribulation, the King and the Kingdom would still come in and bring back the glories of David and Solomon.
But here’s what we have to realize. God’s time clock stopped. He sent Paul out into the Gentile world to call out a people for His name, which like I said, we call the Body of Christ. All right, come back with me a minute to Acts chapter 15 again, now verse 15.
“And to this (James says) agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,” But you see, they didn’t have a clue what Amos was talking about. They didn’t have a clue that after 1,900 years of being scattered into all the nations of the world, they would come back and reappear as a Nation and yet have the promised Kingdom become a reality. They didn’t know that.
In fact, how many times have I done this before, and I’m going to do it again. Keep your hand in Acts 15. Go to I Peter, because I think this is so interesting that now, after the fact, Peter can write just exactly what I’m saying. They couldn’t put it together. Oh, it was back there, but in such veiled language they didn’t understand. And they weren’t supposed to. All right, back in I Peter chapter 1, I usually like to start at verse 9. Now remember, Peter, too, is addressing fellow Jews. He says that up in verse 1.
I Peter 1:1a
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia…” Well, Gentiles weren’t strangers in their own land, but Jews were. So, this is who Peter’s writing to. He’s writing to Jews of his own day and who were fellow believers that Jesus was the Christ. All right, now verse 9.
I Peter 1:9a
“Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 10. Of which salvation the prophets (the Old Testament prophets) have inquired…” They were just constantly questioning – what about this? How is this going to happen? What is it? You can just about cook up as many questions as I can.
I Peter 1:9b
“…have inquired and searched diligently, (What were they searching? The Scriptures! The Old Testament Scriptures. Trying to put it all together. And they couldn’t. They weren’t supposed to.) who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:” Well, when would it come for the Jew? When their Messiah would return, see?
But the Old Testament Prophets didn’t speak of it as a second coming. They just spoke of it in veiled language that He would come and suffer and die. But on the other hand, there were prophecies that He would rule and reign. I’ve covered this before on the program. My, they questioned–how is this going to happen? Are we going to have two Messiahs? Will one suffer? Are we going to have a second Messiah that will rule and reign? They certainly couldn’t put together that the same One would be both! All right, that’s what Peter is talking about. All right, reading on in verse 11.
I Peter 1:11
“Searching (the Scriptures) what, or what manner of time the Spirit (the Holy Spirit) of Christ who was in them (the writers of the Old Testament) did signify, when it (or He) testified beforehand (Now here they are, the two aspects of the Messiah.) the sufferings of Christ, (the Messiah) and the (What?) glory that should follow.”
Now, can you see their dilemma? Here we’ve got to have a Messiah who suffers. But we have to have a Messiah that’s going to rule and reign. How is He going to do that unless we have two? They could not put it together that it would be one and the same. That’s why the normal rank and file Jew of today, is he looking for the Messiah the second time? No. The what? The first! They can’t reconcile the fact that the Messiah that suffered is the Messiah that’s going to rule and reign. That has been a dilemma for the Jew down through the centuries. All right, I think that’s sufficient there.
Back to Acts then a minute. Now James and Peter and John, after the fact of the suffering, have now seen Him ascend back to Glory. Now they’re beginning to get the picture that this same Messiah who suffered would return and be the Messiah who would rule and reign. But, now here’s my question. Did they have any idea it would be 1,900 and some years? No way! So Peter and James and John and Jude and Revelation all speak in language as though it would be in their lifetime. They had no idea it would be such a long extended period. But yet, you see, Hosea is talking in the same language that the Nation would be out there for a long time. Until the “bones were white with age.” And then they’d come back. All right, verse 15:
“And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,” Now they can put it together. This is what Amos was talking about. After the calling out of a people for His name up in verse 14, after that long period of dispersion, they would be back in the land, but they would still have to wait for the out-calling of that Body of Christ, the Gentiles.
“After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:” Now, get the “after.” After what? The calling out of the Gentile Body. That’s why I maintain it has to be a pre-tribulation rapture, because God is not going to be dealing with the Gentile Body and the Nation of Israel. No, He’s going to be dealing with the earthly people, the Nation of Israel, first in the horrors of the Tribulation and then in the glory of the Kingdom. But it won’t happen until the church is complete and is taken out of the way.
All right, now I’ve got a few minutes left, yet? Well, let’s go to verse 17. Let’s not skip that. Let’s stay here a minute. After the calling out of the Body of Christ, “he would raise up again the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down;” That’s why we read it in Amos before we came to Acts. “And I (God says) will set it up.” Set what up? The Kingdom of David. Now verse 17.
Acts 15:17 -18
“That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. 18. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.”
Well, He certainly worked only with the Nation of Israel, but I had one writer say, “He must have been a racist!” No, He’s not a racist!! What a stupid comment. But see, that’s the mentality of the world. Just because He dealt with Jew only. I guess they were commenting on that verse in Matthew 10:5-6 where the Lord told the Twelve, “Go not into the way of a Gentile or house of a Samaritan, but go only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.” That is when he wrote and said, “He must be a racist.” No! I’m going to write back. The letter is still on my desk. I’m going to write back that Christ was on Covenant ground! He could not condescend to Gentiles until the covenant promises were fulfilled. But He’s going to set those covenant promises aside for 1,900 years and turn to the Gentiles without Israel.
Is He being racist by now setting Israel aside? No! It’s in His Sovereign design. All right, now let’s go to Romans chapter 11. We have the same concept in different language. It’s the same thing. That after God has called out the Body of Christ, He’s going to return and deal with His covenant people.
Romans chapter 11 verse 25 and then there are people, famous people, highly esteemed people, who say that there’s nothing to do with Israel anymore. They say that the people who call themselves Jews aren’t Jews at all. How ridiculous can people get? But here’s another verse that shows that God is not through with Israel. Romans 11 verse 25. In fact, the whole chapter 11 is dealing with God coming back and dealing with Israel.
“I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, (Or secret or something that no one previous to Paul understood. And what is it?) lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; (In other words, puffed up with your own ignorant knowledge. And here it is.) that blindness in part (Not forever, but for a period of time. And I suppose even Paul, after the Holy Spirit inspired him to write that, was thinking in terms of 10 or 15 years, instead of 1,900 and some. But nevertheless, here we are, and it still holds.) that blindness in part (for a period of time) is happened to Israel,…”
It is a spiritual blindness that the Jewish people, as a multitude, cannot understand. So they’re spiritually blind. Oh, we get a few. I’ve got a fair amount of Jews in my audience, and they’re interesting. I could sit here for another hour and tell you about some of them, but whatever. Here we have it that the rank and file of Israel are spiritually blind to this Age of Grace.
“…that blindness (Sovereignly) in part is happened to Israel, (Then what’s the next word?) until (At some point in time that blindness is going to end, and God is going to be able to deal once again with His covenant people. When will that be?) until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” All right, now you compare that with what we just read in Acts 15. When will the fullness of the Gentiles come about? When the Body of Christ is complete. When the last person, I feel, has been saved and has become a member of the Body of Christ, we are out of here! And God picks up where he left off with Israel.
Now, I can’t understand why that’s so hard for people to see. I had one lady that saw it in just 15 minutes of a phone conversation. And she said, “Les, it’s all so logical!” Yeah, that’s exactly what it is. It’s so logical. God has set Israel aside for 1,900 and some years. He has fulfilled the prophecy of bringing them back, and He is filling up the Body of Christ. And one of these days it’s going to be full. The trumpet will sound. We’re out of here, and God will start dealing with Israel.
Oh, it’s going to be horrible for seven years. But He’s still dealing primarily with Israel. As a result of all of their chastisement and the wrath and vexation of God, here comes the Kingdom. And for the Jews who have survived and are believers, they’ll go into that Kingdom. They’re going to enjoy all the promises of God that have been spoken for the last 4,000 years. It’s just going to come rolling in on the Nation like a flood. As the Old Testament puts it, “They’re going to blossom like a rose in the desert.” So, don’t ever give up on the Nation of Israel.
LESSON TWO * PART IV
ADULTEROUS ISRAEL TO BE RESTORED
Hosea 2:14 – 4:14
Okay, here we are with lesson number four for the afternoon. For those of you joining us on television again, we’re just a simple Bible study. We are not connected with any group. I don’t have a large church, so don’t write and ask me about being a pastor or anything like that. I’m just a layman. But the Lord has seen fit to use us, whatever we are. We just ask people to search the Scriptures. Don’t go by what I say. Don’t go by what your denomination says. It might get you in trouble. You search the Scriptures, because that’s where it’s at. Because men are prone to get fouled up in their thinking. I’m amazed once in a while at the things that great men of reputation can come up with. And I hope and pray it will never happen to me, because it can. I can see that.
All right, we’re going to continue right on in our study of the book of Hosea. Remember in our last closing moments, we were talking about that when the Church is completed then God will come back and pick up His program with Israel. Now, before we go into chapter 4, I want to jump back to verse 5 of chapter 3 for just a second. Because here we have that same word–after–as we saw in Amos and in Acts chapter 15.
“Afterward shall the children of Israel return, (They’re going to come back from this time out in the dispersion.) and seek the LORD their God, and David their king;…”
Now here again, don’t get confused with that, because Christ in Scripture is the Son of David. Although some teach that David may rule and Christ over David–I’m not going to make a big argument of it–but I don’t think so. I think Christ is going to rule from David’s throne on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.
“…and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.” Well, that’s where we are. We’re in the latter days, I think, of God’s program for Israel and for the world.
All right, now let’s jump into chapter 4. Again, God’s going to come right back and deal with Israel’s sin, and all their sin is associated with their idolatry. I’ll point that out as we come to it. Verse 1
“Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel:…” See, now this isn’t written to us. This is written to Israel. But it’s for our learning, as Paul puts it. So, it’s still Scripture. It’s the Word of God, but it’s not written to us. It’s written to the Jew.
“Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy (He’s got a point that He’s dissatisfied with the Nation.) with the inhabitants of the land, because (Now look at their condition.) there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. 2. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood touching blood.” In other words, they are murdering so often that the blood of one victim is almost mingling with the blood of the next one.
All right, now let’s go and see how close we are worldwide to this same situation. Go to Paul in II Timothy chapter 3, and see if we aren’t in the same scenario that Israel was in back at the time of Hosea. This is Paul’s preview of the end of the Church Age–not the Tribulation, but the Church Age. That’s what I maintain when people say, “Well, the Church isn’t going to get raptured until we’re in the Tribulation.” Then why doesn’t Paul make any reference to disaster and death and destruction? He doesn’t. Not a word of that. But on the other hand, it’s a complete moral breakdown, even as you saw in Hosea. All right, II Timothy chapter 3 and this is the state of the world as the Church is approaching its end on earth.
II Timothy 3:1
“This know also, that in the last days (That is the last days of the Church Age, now.) perilous times shall come.” Well, if you don’t think we’re there, you’re not living in the world that I’m living in. And I’m out here in the boondocks of Southeastern Oklahoma. So, if I can be aware of it, certainly anyone should be that this is exactly where we are–now verse 2.
II Timothy 3:2a
“For men shall be lovers of their own selves,…” What’s the fancy word for it? Narcissism? Is that the word? Yes, all people live for is the “I.” I! I! I! Nuts to you! It’s all about me! All right, that’s a sign of the end times.
II Timothy 3:2a
“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous,…” Now again, what does Scripture always associate with coveting? What we’re dealing with in Israel. Idolatry! Now granted, we’re not living in a society in America with wooden idols on every hilltop. We aren’t associating with a society that is falling down and worshipping the gods and goddesses. But we’ve got all this materialism that is just as bad. So, you can equate idolatry with that. All right, reading on.
II Timothy 3:2b-3a
“…boasters, proud, blasphemers, (What’s that…what did they call it back in Hosea? Swearing! It is the same thing.) disobedient to parents, (My, nobody can argue that, can they?) unthankful, (Are people thankful today? You can hardly find it on Thanksgiving Day. They don’t thank God for anything. They just take it all for granted. Well, it’s all a mark of the end of the age.) unholy, 3. Without natural affection,…”
What does that tell you? Why do we find newborn infants in the garbage bin? Why do we find this murder of these little two and three-year-old kids who are defenseless? No natural affection. They have no love even for their own flesh and blood. Now, I know–listen–whenever I talk about these I know that’s not the majority. I’m not sitting here and telling people that 90% of Americans are like this. No. It’s a minority, but unfortunately, it’s a large enough minority that it’s affecting the whole. I know that.
II Timothy 3:3b
“…truce breakers,…” Now, that’s another thing. My, when I first started farming, I could go to the bank, and I could borrow money using a promissory note that had nothing on it but my signature. Can you do it today? No way! Why? Because society has gotten so corrupt that anytime somebody loans money, they’ve got to cross every “T” and dot every “I,” or they’re going to get snookered. That’s the mentality of the day. All right, reading on.
II Timothy 3:3c
“…false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,” Now, you know what I had to think of the other day when I read this? The guy that went in and shot those little Amish girls, can you imagine the mentality?! Those were good little kids that wouldn’t hurt a mouse. Yet just go out in cold blood and shoot a bunch of them. But see, it’s happening all the time. It’s a part of the end time–reading on.
II Timothy 3:4-5
“Traitors, (My goodness, I don’t have to comment on that, do I? The New York Times especially. Oh my goodness, when I read what they put out, they’re traitors.) heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; 5. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: (I don’t have to comment on that either, do I?) from such turn away.” Paul says have nothing to do with it. Oh, they may be in church, they may be singing in the choir, or whatever they’re doing; but, listen, if it isn’t biblical, then we’re to have nothing to do with it. They are part of the devil’s crowd.
Okay, back to Hosea, again. God has a “controversy with the Nation of Israel” because of their ungodliness and their wicked lifestyle. Now verse 3:
“Therefore (because of their wickedness) shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish,…” Now, here’s the point I have to make. I’ve done it before as we’ve studied God’s controversy with the Nation of Israel. I know that scripturally I can’t say–well, this is what it’s talking about. But I think we can all draw an analogy between our beloved America and Israel. And I do that only because we have been in such a place of privilege as a nation of people, like no other nation on earth.
We were founded on biblical principles. And godly men prayed. I don’t say they were necessarily born again, but they were godly, good men. So, I think we have been put in a place of special responsibility. We’ve had the Bible in every home in America, many copies of it. That makes us responsible. And the more responsibility God lays on a nation, the more what? The more He expects in return. So, I feel that as God was dealing with ungodly Israel, He is also going to deal with our beloved America; because of our rejecting all of His overtures of goodness. All right, reading on.
“Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish,…” The believing element right along with the rest. That’s the part that’s scary. If God judges America because of their wickedness, are we as believers going to escape it? Well, of course not, unless the rapture takes us out. No. We’re going to suffer the horrendous responsibilities that have been laid upon us. And we’re not going to escape. Neither did the believers in Israel.
Now let me take you back a minute to Isaiah. Keep your hand here. Come back to Isaiah. Every last Jew wasn’t in this condemnation. They had a remnant of believers. This is what I want you to see with your own eyes. Isaiah chapter 1 and verse 9–this was typical of Israel all through their history. They had that little remnant of believers.
“Except (or unless) the LORD (again Jehovah) had left unto us (the Nation) a very small remnant,…” Now, what do you call a very small remnant percentage-wise? Ten percent? Five percent? Four percent? Three percent? I don’t know.
But there was only a small percentage of Jews in the Twelve Tribes of Israel that were still adhering to the God of Abraham. The rest had fallen completely into idolatry. And the gods and goddesses of antiquity that we’re going to see here (I don’t know if it’s in this chapter or next taping), here they were falling prostrate to these pagan gods and goddesses. Unbelievable! Yet don’t ever forget there was that small remnant of believers. All right, back to Hosea chapter 4 verse 3, again.
“Therefore shall the land mourn, every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be (What?) taken away.” The land will have nothing left. Now the first thing I have to think of is the economy, because even back in antiquity the nation had to operate on an economy of trade and selling and buying. Well, how can you buy and sell if you’ve got nothing to buy or nothing to sell? Well, the same way in America. What if our economy should crash? What if? I hope it never does, but what if? What’s going to happen? Hey, even the people that think they’re pretty well set will have nothing.
You know, I always remember Germany. If you know anything about history, Germany after World War I and the horrendous inflation. Even the wealthiest of the German people had to almost beg to buy a loaf of bread. So, don’t think it can’t happen. The same way in Israel, their whole economy of bartering or selling or whatever you want to call it, would collapse. They’d have nothing to keep them going as a Nation–verse 4.
“Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people (the Nation of Israel) are as they that strive with the priest (the religious leaders). 5. Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother.” Now, what are we seeing here? The religious leadership, the prophets and the priests of Israel, were just as wicked and sinful as the ordinary guy on the street. In fact, they were leading the people into all this wickedness, as we’re going to see later in Hosea. It was the leadership that took them down.
I was thinking yet this morning, sometime before we came up here, the old Southern Baptist preacher–I think he was president of the Southern Baptist Convention way back in the 40’s or 50’s. I’ve referred to him on the program before, Vance Havenor. He made the comment that as he was a little boy walking through those huge pine forests in the Carolinas, one day he noticed that when a tree died, where did it start dying? At the top. That was the point of his sermon. That if a denomination or a nation is going to die spiritually, it starts with the leadership! Every nation that has ever fallen or every empire that has ever fallen started its fall at the top.
Look at our vast denominations today. My, the people out in the pew write to me one after another, “Les, what can we do?” Well, it’s not the guy in the pew that’s going down the tube, it’s the leadership. And it’s the same with Israel. It was the priests who were going into wickedness and ungodliness–verse 6.
“My people (Israel) are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee,…” Well, what’s He talking about? They had no understanding of God and His principles. They had no understanding of who God really was! That’s why they could go and fall prostrate before some female goddess.
All right, but now I’ve got another verse that comes to mind. Come back with me to I Corinthians chapter 2. These biblical principles go from cover to cover. From Adam to the end of the Age and they never change. And what’s the warning? That’s why we teach. Oh, I want people to come out of their ignorance of the Scriptures. When I use that word ignorance, I’m always quick to follow up with what? Ignorance isn’t lack of brain cells. When I say someone’s ignorant, I’m not putting them down for being unable to learn. Someone who is ignorant is untaught. And they’re untaught because someone else has failed in their duty to teach. Here Paul is writing to Gentiles.
I Corinthians 2:7
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, (That which was wrapped up in secrets held in the mind of God and now revealed through this apostle.) even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world (In other words, before eternity past ever ended, God already knew about this apostle–) which God ordained before the world to our glory.” Now, look at verse 8. This is the verse I came for.
I Corinthians 2:8a
“Which none of the princes (or the leaders) of this world knew:…” Now, you’ve got to remember who were the leaders of the world at the time of Paul? Rome and the Temple leadership in Jerusalem, the Priests. All right, now what did the leaders of Rome and the Priests of Israel do? They killed the Messiah. All right, here it is.
I Corinthians 2:8
“Which none of the princes of this world knew: (In other words, who Jesus was.) for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” Now, isn’t that plain English? Had they known who He was, they would have never attempted to put Him to death! They’d have known better than that. But they didn’t know who He was. And whose fault was that? Leadership! Somebody failed in teaching the principles.
It’s the same way today. Why is the very mass of Christendom so ignorant of the Scriptures? Teachers aren’t teaching. That’s the only reason I carry on. Yes, I’d like to quit. I sometimes get tired, and I’d like to just say, hey, let’s forget it. No, I don’t dare! We have to keep teaching. We have to let people know what this Book is all about. That yes, Jesus of Nazareth was the Creator God of the universe! And had they known it, they would have never crucified Him. But they didn’t know. All right, I’ve only got a few minutes left. Let’s go back to Hosea chapter 4, once again, reading on in verse 6.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” Now remember, they’re steeped in idolatry. What was the first commandment? Come on, you people, you know your Ten Commandments. What was the first one? “Thou shalt have no other gods before me, neither shalt thou bow down unto them.” The first commandment! And what’s Israel doing? Breaking it. Nationally.
“As they were increased, so they sinned against me: (In other words, the more they grew in number, the deeper they went into sin and wickedness.) therefore, will I change their glory into shame. 8. They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity. (That’s all they lived for was their sinful lifestyle.) 9. And there shall be, like people, like priest:…” What does that do? There was no difference. The priesthood was just as guilty of sin and wickedness as the ordinary Jew out there, as we say, on the street. I guess I should say out there on the trail, or whatever. There was no difference.
“…and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them for their doings. 10. For they shall eat, and not have enough: (What does that speak of? Food shortage. Famine. They’re not going to have a full day’s food supply.) they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: (In other words, in spite of all their sexual activity, it’s not going to result in more citizens for Israel.) because they have left off to take heed to the LORD.” Now verse 11, this could almost come out of Proverbs, couldn’t it?
“Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart. (In other words, a wicked lifestyle takes away all recognition of the God of Scripture.) 12. My people (Israel) ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God.” Now, this is not sexual whoring. We’re talking about spiritual. Chasing after idols. Don’t get the two confused. The Nation is chasing after the worship of the pagan idols. All right, now the next verse makes it plain.
“They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills,…” I’ve got to stop again. Why did, in antiquity, they always set their idols up on the hilltop? They thought they were getting closer to the real God who was above the idols. So they would set them up on the mountaintops. All right, then there was another favorite place for putting their idol or their place of worship, under a shade tree. Why? Because the Middle East gets hot! It gets hot, and they didn’t want to be worshipping out there in that hot Middle Eastern sun.
“…under oaks and poplars and elms, (under the shade tree) because the shadow thereof is good: (It feels good on a hot summer day to get in the shade.) therefore (Because Israel’s mentality is steeped in idol worship.) your daughters shall commit whoredom, and your spouses shall commit adultery. 14. I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom, nor your spouses when they commit adultery: for themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: therefore the people that doth not understand shall fall.”
What’s He talking about? Well, you have to know history. At the heart of all pagan idolatrous worship were the what? The female priestesses. What were the female priestesses? Prostitutes brought in as part of temple worship. Well, now you see, when the powers that be would come out and actually confiscate the Jewish daughters and take them into the temples, God didn’t hold them responsible. That’s why He said, He would not punish these daughters of Israel who ended up in these temples as temple prostitutes. They had no control over that as they were victims.
This is the whole picture of Israel. They are so steeped in idolatry that it is even bringing in their daughters and their sons and their young husbands to the whole temple environment. And the temple environment in antiquity was rotten to the core. I can’t emphasize it enough, that, yes, Israel was finally broken of all this; but what becomes the idols of today? Materialism–with all of its temptations and all of its tempting, especially of our young people, to go into those things that are contrary to the Word of God.
LESSON THREE * PART I
ISRAEL’S GLORY IS STILL AHEAD OF HER
Hosea 5:1 – 9:7
Okay, good to see everybody in again this afternoon and a beautiful, beautiful day in Oklahoma. We hope the rest of you out there in the countryside are experiencing the same thing. Again, we always like to welcome our television audience to a simple Bible study. Yet, we don’t want to just stay simple; we want to get into the deeper things. I usually like to cover things that I’m sure you don’t get in your Sunday school quarterlies. But, nevertheless, we don’t want to get beyond what folks can understand and learn to study and use your own Bible at home.
We are getting response to that affect, that, oh, they’re enjoying their Bible. So, hopefully the Lord is accomplishing what He wants to accomplish. Again, we have to always thank you for your prayers, your kind letters, and your financial help. After all, we do have to pay the bills. And the Lord has always provided. I don’t have to have anybody make appeals. I don’t have to. The Lord takes care of it every month. So we thank you all from the depths of our heart.
All right, now we are going to continue our study in the Book of Hosea. For those of you out in television, you can be turning to Hosea chapter 5. We’re going to start at verse 1. But again, we always like to make a little review update. Hosea, of course, is one of the Minor Prophets, which are minor only because they’re shorter in length than the Major Prophets. They say much the same thing. In fact, you compare the Major Prophets to the Minor Prophets, and it’s almost the same thing.
As I was preparing this, I couldn’t help but think, you know, I so often apologize for repeating, and yet people constantly tell me – keep repeating! You know, that’s what the Book does. Do you realize how much it repeats and it repeats and it repeats? Because see, we’ve all got thick skulls. Israel had a thick skull. That’s what it takes before it finally soaks in. So anyway, in these first four chapters that we covered in our last taping time, the theme was that Israel as a whole–the divided Kingdom, remember the two tribes to the South were Judah and Benjamin and the ten tribes to the North, are called Ephraim or Israel– yet their dilemma was the same. They had all fallen into idolatry.
Now, we’ve got to be reminded that when God first brought the Children of Israel into the Promised Land, what did He instruct the Israelites to do with the Canaanites? Now, we think it’s awful. We think it’s cruel. But what did He instruct them? Don’t leave a one of them alive. Put them all to death. Why? Because God knew that if as much as one of them lived, it would be like leaven. We’re going to be looking at that later this afternoon. And little by little Israel would fall to the Canaanite gods and goddesses of paganism. The only way God could guarantee that it wouldn’t happen was not to have any around.
Well, that was impossible you might say. So, a lot of the Canaanites stayed with them. And as Israel came up through history, they went deeper and deeper and deeper into idolatry. Even though the Temple was still operating down there at Jerusalem, the priests were just as rotten as the average Jew on the road. So consequently, this is what the prophets are dealing with – Israel’s abject unbelief and idolatry and how God is going to punish them for it. The purposes, of course, filter down and become applicable, I think, to at least three areas even for us today: Nations, Hierarchy of Denominations and Local Churches, and the Individual. Now think of that, as we look at all these things, that all these warnings deal at those levels.
First of all for a nation and I’m constantly keeping our own beloved America in the back of my mind as I read this. We are a perfect parallel with the Nation of Israel. Oh, of course, we haven’t got a Temple. We haven’t got the prophets. But nevertheless, we’ve got the Word of God in every home. Our government has been saturated with it.
You know, when we were in Washington a few years ago, I knew it from my old high school history, but it still doesn’t sink in like when you see it – that in every monument: the Jefferson Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Memorial — everything is surrounded with Scripture! That’s what those men rested on; it was the Word of God. What a heritage! Israel was the same way. They came in as the chosen people, the Covenant People. They had all the promises of God. Yet when they began to turn against it, they asked for their own judgment.
We’re in the same place as a nation today. We are asking for judgment to come. Because always remember, just because you and I sit here as believers and maybe most of our circle of friends and relatives, yet we are such a small minority anymore that we’re not going to stop the judgment from coming. When it does come, we’re going to suffer right along with the rest, because that’s exactly what happened to Israel. It was only a small minority that was still true to Jehovah, but when judgment came, they suffered right along with the rank unbelievers.
So, the whole scope of especially these little Minor Prophets, but also, of course, the Majors – Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and so forth – was to castigate, to scold, to warn Israel to turn from their idolatry. You remember in our last taping how we pointed out that this is what’s really meant when God accuses Israel of adultery, of chasing after whores and so forth. It wasn’t physical sexuality, it was spiritual idolatry. When Israel embraced the idols and the gods of the pagan world, it was spiritual adultery. Never forget that.
Well, you say, we’re not living in an idolatrous culture. No, but you know what took the place of idolatry? Materialism. All our materialism is the idolatry. It’s the purpose for all of our ungodliness. All you have to do is just close your eyes and think about Hollywood since the 30’s on up. What has Hollywood been? Hollywood has been the epitome of materialism, and they have funneled their rot to the whole world. Well, we’re no different than Israel.
So, as we read these things, don’t just say, what’s he doing way back here in Hosea and Israel 700 years BC? It has nothing to do with me. It is so apropos for today. We’ll bring it up to the New Testament in short order. All right, so the warning is, all the way through, that if Israel doesn’t turn from their idolatry, God is going to judge them with invading armies. They’re going to suffer at the hands of the Gentile world. All right, chapter 5, let’s just drop in at verse 1.
“Here ye this, O priests;…” Now stop right there. Where are we starting? At the religious leadership! You remember I said in the last taping, that one old theologian who was well known, Vance Havenor, made the statement that whenever he was a little boy walking in the forests of Carolina, he’d see that those big beautiful pine trees would start dying where? At the top! That’s exactly what we’ve got here. He’s addressing the priesthood of Israel. Why? They were just as rotten as the rest of them.
“Hear ye this, O priests; and hearken, ye house of Israel; and give ye ear, O house of (Who?) the king;…” Now, am I making my point? It was the religious leadership. It was the political leadership. They led the nation, rank and file, down into this horrible state of idolatry.
“…O house of the king; for judgment (God’s wrath) is toward you, (the leadership) because ye have been a snare on Mizpah, and a net spread upon Tabor.”
Now, the casual reader probably would never catch it. What’s he talking about? Well, those were two mountains in Israel where evidently there was a pretty good population of edible birds. Now, they didn’t have shotguns in those days. They didn’t go quail hunting and so forth. So, how did they catch the edible birds? Well, with nets. As the birds would fly, they could encircle them with the nets. All right, that’s exactly the correlation that the writer is putting with the leadership of Israel. They are netting the rank and file of Israel to follow them in their wickedness just like a fowler would do it to catch edible birds–verse 2.
“And the revolters are profound to make slaughter, though I have been a rebuker of them all.” Now, what does the word slaughter imply compared to slay or kill? Well, it’s more ruthless, isn’t it? Killing is one thing, but slaughter is something else. Slaughter is what we do to animals. Israel had gotten so far down the tube that it wasn’t just a matter of killing any more, it was like slaughtering.
“I know Ephraim, (That’s the other name for the ten northern tribes.) and Israel (That’s the other name, also.) is not hid from me: for now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom, and Israel is defiled.” Now, I’ve already told you, but what is he talking about? Embracing idols! We’re not talking about sexuality here. We’re talking about spiritual idolatry–verse 4.
“They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God: for the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them, and they have not known the LORD.” Why? Because they were wrapped up in idols. But now, just to stretch the point as we get further on this afternoon, along with their idolatry, they will still make some kind of worship toward the Temple and refer to the Lord. Ridiculous, isn’t it? Yet you know what? We’re seeing it today. Oh, they are so far a-field biblically, and yet they speak of the Lord. They speak of Christ. Totally ridiculous, but let’s get the lesson straight from Israel–verse 5.
“And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity; Judah also shall fall with them.” Judah, the southern Kingdom, they’re just as bad. Not quite as bad, I shouldn’t say just as. They weren’t quite as bad. They’re not going to really fall under God’s judgment until about 75 years later, but they’re well on their way. They can’t sit down there and think, “Boy, I’m glad we’re not like Israel. I’m glad we’re not idolatrous like the northern Kingdom.” Yes, they were. The only thing was, they hadn’t come quite as far.
“They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the LORD; (Oh, they’ve got the Lord on their mind.) but they shall not find him; (Why? Because they’re too steeped in their idolatry. They’ve got all the other gods and goddesses that are filling their real thinking.) he hath withdrawn himself from them. 7. They have dealt treacherously against the LORD: for they have begotten strange children: now shall a month devour them with their portions.” Now, the month is just simply a short period of time compared to their overall history. So it amounted to nothing time-wise. Now then verse 8.
“Blow ye the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah: cry aloud at Beth-aven, after thee, O Benjamin.” Now, Benjamin was one of the tribes of the southern Kingdom. So, what you really have here are cities that were really spiritually good cities in Israel’s origins, but now they’ve become cities of wickedness and idolatry. All right, verse 9.
“Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be. 10. The princes of Judah (That’s your southern Kingdom, now.) were like them that remove the bound:…”
Now, what do you suppose he’s talking about? Well, let me show you from Scripture. Turn with me to Deuteronomy chapter 19 verse 14. Now, this is all part of the law. And they were totally ignoring it, breaking it. In fact, I think we come to one portion, before the day is over, where they had broken every one of the Ten Commandments, routinely. That’s how far down the tube they were.
Now, you see, all of us can be guilty of breaking one of them now and then. We’re all lawbreakers. But to break all Ten every day? That was Israel. All right, here’s one of them, not in the actual Ten, but it was associated with the Civil Law.
“Thou shall not remove thy neighbor’s landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance,…” What’s he talking about? Well, your property lines. The cheater and the wicked, the ungodly, would do what? Go over and reset them to his benefit. All right, now come back to Hosea. That’s exactly what they were doing, along with all of their other stuff. There was nothing that these Israelites couldn’t do to break God’s law. They were guilty of everything in the Book. All right, verse 10 again.
“The princes of Judah were like them that moved the bound (property lines): therefore I will pour out my wrath upon them like water.” Now listen, we’ve got to stop and think. I know we’ve all heard the expression “sin is sin.” Yet we are so prone to think, “Well, a sin like moving my neighbor’s property line isn’t as bad as committing adultery.” Oh no? In God’s mind it is. Sin is sin, and it’s breaking His Law.
“Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment (In other words, God’s wrath that’s coming about.) because he willingly walked after the commandment. 12. Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, (Now, you know what he’s talking about? A moth that simply chews holes in the wool.) and to the house of Judah as rottenness.” Now, this isn’t pretty language. Why not? God is trying to get their attention.
Now, you’ve got to remember, these prophets didn’t just minister for a week or two or for a year or two. Hosea probably ministered for almost 40-50 years, maybe more than that. It was over this period of time, at the same time Hosea is prophesying, that you also have Isaiah. Isaiah and Hosea. All these prophets were on the same page, we’d say, trying to convict Israel of their gross iniquity, their idolatry. But they wouldn’t listen. They’re being warned that judgment is coming, and it’s going to come in the form of invading armies–pagan, invading armies whose soldiers have no moral boundaries. What’s that going to do for the women and girls? Well, your imagination is as good as anybody’s. But see, this was their prospect. All right, read on, verse 13.
“When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound,…” In other words, when they saw what was possibly happening, and that God was going to chastise them. Instead of repenting, I guess is the word we can use here, and falling on their knees prostrate before their Jehovah and asking God to forgive them and to restore them, what do they do instead? Well, read on.
“…then went Ephraim went to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet he could not heal you, nor cure you of your wound.” So, what did they do? They went to a pagan neighboring country asking them to take league with them in defeating their enemies.
That was the last thing God wanted them to do! Now we have another instance where one group went to the Assyrians, Israel–the northern Kingdom. The southern Kingdom went to Egypt, saying, oh, help us! The Babylonians are coming. They tried to make league with foreign countries. That isn’t what God wanted. God wanted them to just depend on Him. But they couldn’t do that. It’s a sad commentary. And then verse 14.
“For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, (Like that beast that will take its prey and drag it off.) and as a young lion to the house of Judah: (The two Kingdoms.) I, even I, will tear and go away: I will take away, and none shall rescue him.”
Now, as we go into the next verse–I may not be able to finish all this in this program. If not, we’ll just carry it on into the next one.
“I will go and return to my place, (I feel that here God is speaking through the prophet.) until they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face:…” Now, they hadn’t gotten to that place. They still haven’t. I think this is a reference now to Christ’s first advent when He came, and He came to His own, but His own what received Him not. Here is the prophecy.
“I will go (He’s going to appear to the Nation of Israel. They’re going to reject Him. The Father is going to call him back to His place in Heaven.) I will go and return to my place, (What’s the next word?) until (Another point in time) they acknowledge their offence,…”
Now, when we speak of a singular offence with regard to the Nation of Israel, what one horrible sin would it have to be? Well, the crucifixion. The rejection of their Messiah. That’s their offence.
“…they acknowledge their offence, and (then they will in some other future day) seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.” In other words, even sooner than what God had maybe intended. All right, so get the picture now. Here we have God speaking that He would go to the Nation of Israel, and He would be rejected. He would return to His place at the Father’s right hand, and He would remain there until they would acknowledge their offence. All right, now let’s see something else that has to happen. Come back with me to Psalms chapter 110 verse 1. This all fits together.
“The LORD said unto my Lord, (In other words, God the Father said to God the Son, after He’d been rejected.) Sit thou at my right hand, (What’s the next word? It is a time word.) until (Now, it doesn’t give the month and the day and the year, but it gives a point in time when something is going to happen.) I make thine enemies thy footstool.” In other words, when God will have the whole planet earth utterly destroyed and ready for His return, then He will arise from that seated position, and He will return and set up His Kingdom.
All right, now we have another reference to that. Let’s jump all the way up to Hebrews chapter 1. A little different circumstance, of course, but it’s still the same act of Christ ascending back to Glory and sitting at the Father’s right hand. He will stay there, positionally speaking, until His Second Coming. All right, Hebrews chapter 1 and we’ll start at verse 1.
“God, (the Triune God) who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, (That’s why we’re studying Hosea. This was God speaking to the Nation of Israel, but we can still draw application.) 2. Hath in these last days (That is His first advent.) spoken unto us by his Son, (The Second Person, as we speak of Him, of the Triune God.) whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made (or created) the worlds;” Here’s another reference to God the Son being the Creator of everything. But here’s the verse, verse 3.
“Who being the brightness of his glory, (He was really and truly God.) and the express image of his person,…” Now, I think I’ve got time enough. We’ve got three minutes. All right, keep your hand in Hebrews. This is the way we teach. Come back to Colossians chapter 1, so that we qualify the express image of His person. What does that mean? Let’s start in verse 14 so that we make sure we know who we’re talking about. We covered this I think not too long ago. Verse 14:
“In whom (That is the Son of verse 13.) we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15. Who (So, we know who we’re talking about, the One who shed His blood, God the Son.) who is the image (or the visible appearance) of the invisible God, the firstborn of every (or is before every) creature; 16. For by him (God the Son) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things (everything) were created by him, and for him:”
All right, now come back to Hebrews. This is the same one we’re talking about as being “the brightness of His glory, the express image of his person.” He was the visible manifestation of that invisible God. Now, that’s what we have to keep hammering home! You know, I’ve said over the years (fifteen of them now or more), why don’t more people ask: “Who is Jesus Christ?” Most don’t really know. That’s who He is. He’s the creator of everything! He’s from eternity past, and He’ll go into eternity future.
“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, (Now, what does that mean? He spoke the word and the universe appeared. He speaks the word to the dirt and Adam comes up. He speaks the word to the waves roaring on Galilee and everything calms down. That’s what it means.) when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”
Just like Psalms 110 verse 1 says, “Come sit at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Then what? Oh, He arises from that seated position, and He will return and yet fulfill the prophecies.
LESSON THREE * PART II
ISRAEL’S GLORY IS STILL AHEAD OF HER
Hosea 5:1 – 9:7
Okay, good to see everybody back. You’ve had your coffee. My, you folks out in television don’t know how these gals supply all of the goodies for the whole afternoon. It’s about like a banquet table back there, isn’t it? Anyhow, we always thank all the ladies here. Now, you know, way, way, way back when we first started, Iris did supply the cookies and stuff for it, but it got way beyond her. So, now she’s scot-free, and the rest of the gals have picked it up. But anyway, if you’re ever in the Mid-west and you can hit Tulsa on a first Wednesday afternoon of the month, stop in and spend the afternoon with us. It’s so interesting to meet people from out of state.
Okay, let us get right back where we left off. We’re going to start where we finished; then I’m going to jump right back up to the New Testament. So, if you’ll come back with me to Hosea chapter 5, the last verse and going on into chapter 6. Then we’ll have to jump up to Matthew 24. Hosea chapter 5 where we left in the last program–verse 15, and as I said, this is the Lord speaking through the prophet. He says:
“I will go (to planet earth) and return to my place, (As we showed, to the Father’s right hand.) until they (the Nation of Israel) acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: (Which now, of course, we know was the crucifixion, the rejection of His offer to be their King.) in their affliction (In other words, they are still suffering because of it.) they will seek me early.”
Well, you know it’s been 2,000 years, but they certainly had no idea that it would be that long. Now, as we jump right down into chapter 6, you want to remember that in the original writings there were no chapter breaks, so this is still dealing with His having come and returned to Glory, now verse 1 of chapter 6.
“Come, (The Nation of Israel is responding.) let us (the Nation) return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, (See, this is the coming chastisement that’s constantly prophesied.) and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.” Now verse 2, this is interesting, and I’m surprised that hardly anybody ever makes reference to it.
“After two days…” Now we know that Peter says so plainly “with the Lord a thousand years is but (What?) a day, and a day is like a thousand years.” Well, I think we can legitimately use that here.
“After two days, (two thousand years) will he revive us:…” My, and isn’t that exactly what we’ve seen in the last hundred years now? They started coming back around the turn of the century. And like the bones in Ezekiel 37, they came together. It wasn’t long until the land became productive. The Nation began to prosper. In 1948 they declared to the world that they were now an independent state. Since 1948, it’s been nothing but an increase in their population and in their prosperity. God has blessed them materially. But, the future chastisement and judgment is still going to come because of all their unbelief and their idolatry back here. It’s all accumulating. But nevertheless, back to the text in verse 2.
“After two days, he will revive us: (He will bring us back to a spiritual entity.) in the third day (or in the third thousand years) he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” Well, I think that’s a reference to the Kingdom, when finally they will see all the promises come to fruition. But before that happens, they’re going to go through 2,000 years of sorrow and heartache and oppression. That will culminate with the Great Tribulation. That’s what we’re going to look at next – what faces the Nation of Israel because of God’s wrath on their unbelief and their rejection. We’ll pick it up now in Matthew 24.
Now, we feel that Matthew 24 is all Tribulation ground. It’s the final seven years of Daniel’s 490 year prophecy in Daniel 9. In the middle of which Daniel wrote that this man anti-Christ will go into the then rebuilt temple and will defile it and will usher in those last three and one-half years, which are going to be as much hell on earth as the kingdom will be heaven on earth. It’s going to be beyond human description.
But let’s take the whole picture. We’ve got time. Start in verse 1 of Matthew 24. This, of course, is toward the end of His earthly ministry.
“And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings (or the complex) of the temple. 2. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Of course, that was fulfilled with the Roman invasion of A.D. 70. That’s when that happened. All right, now move on to verse 3.
“And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, (Without a press of any multitudes, just Jesus and the Twelve, and they said–) Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (Or the end of the Ages–next verse) 4. And Jesus answered and said unto them,…” Now, this is all appropriate for us, because I think we’re seeing the beginnings of all this even though we’re not in the Tribulation.
Once in a while I get a phone call or a letter, “Are we in the Tribulation?” Oh, heavens no! We’re not in the Kingdom either. Some people think that. No, Satan is out there alive and well, and the world is getting more wicked by the day. This cannot be the Kingdom, but it’s nothing like the horrors of the Tribulation that’s coming.
I read an article last night. I don’t even want to repeat it to anybody. It was by somebody who has supposedly been in the middle of a lot of this government in the last five to ten years. When he prognosticates–I think that’s a word–when he prognosticates what is coming, I tell you what, it’s enough to give you goose bumps and shake you to your toe nails. I keep hoping the Lord will come before it gets that bad. But listen, it’s going to get awful. The world is getting set for it.
You know, I’m an optimist. I’m not a pessimist. I’m an optimist. I have been ever since I was a kid. But on the other hand, I have to recognize that our American economy is the proverbial house of cards. It could collapse in twenty-four hours. And if it collapses, I don’t even want to think of what it’s going to be like. You don’t even have to try. You know what it’s going to be like. All you have to have is a power outage for twelve hours, and it is pandemonium. But what if it’s nationwide? What if it gets worldwide? That’s what the world is getting ready for. But as an optimist, I say it’s not going to happen until after we’re gone.
But, whatever–here is a description of the Tribulation. The Lord is speaking of it in terms and all we can do is say, well, if that’s what it’s going to be after it starts, hey, we’re already seeing a lot of it being laid out as previews of it. In fact, in some of my seminars lately I’ve started out with the question that the Pharisees asked Him, and He said, “O you hypocrites, you can look at the sky and predict tomorrow’s weather (you know the verses) but you can’t discern the signs of the times.” Well, this is what I’m trying to get people to realize. We are now at a point where we should be able to read the signs of the times that the end is near. Now, we don’t set dates, but we’re getting close. Of course the number one sign of the end time is the Nation of Israel. After being disbursed for 2,000 years, they’re back in the homeland. They’re in the news everyday. Well, it’s screaming at the world that that’s the sign that the end of this Age is near. All right, so now back into Matthew 24 verse 4.
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.” Well, that should immediately stop you in your tracks. What does that mean? There’s going to be tons of deception. And, oh, we’re seeing it. The TV and the internet is full of it. Most of it is total deception. There is very little truth anymore.
“For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; (I’m the Messiah) and shall deceive many.” Well, now I read here a while back that there is something like a thousand men–a thousand men around the world that are claiming to be Christ. And the Tribulation hasn’t even started yet. So, you can imagine what it’s going to be like. All right, verse 6.
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” Now, we’re just seeing the beginnings of it. But, once the Tribulation starts, they’re going to be compounding day by day.
“All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Or travail, the horror that’s still coming.) 9. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” Now, that’s Israel’s future. The day is coming when they aren’t going to just have anti-Semitism pop up here and there. It’s going to be worldwide. It’s going to devastate the Jewish people.
“And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. (That’s just a repetition of up there in verse 4.) 12. And because iniquity shall abound,…” We have no idea how gross it’s going to get. Because you have to realize that even in other areas of the world there are still decent, moral people that are keeping the brakes on the outflow of wickedness. Even though they may not be believers, they’ve got enough good sense of morality that they still act as a brake to it. But once the Tribulation starts, that’s all going to collapse, and wickedness is going to come in like a flood.
“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Now, I feel that that’s physical, not spiritual. If someone has the wherewithal to survive all these horrors, and they’re fortunate enough, they can come to the end of the Tribulation and still be living physically. We know there will be some. There will be a third of Israel and there will be a smattering of Gentiles. So, we know that there are going to be survivors.
“And this gospel of the kingdom (The very Gospel that Jesus and the Twelve were preaching to Israel–that He was the promised Messiah and King.) shall be preached in all the world…” Now, I maintain that this is when the Great Commission will be fulfilled. This is when the 144,000 young Jews will literally circumvent the planet. They’re going to preach the same thing that Jesus and the Twelve preached, and that is that Jesus is the King and He’s coming to set up His Kingdom. And indeed He will be, and so that’s what will be preached.
“…shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations: and then shall the end come.” They’re going to succeed in penetrating every nation, tribe, and tongue with their gospel of the Kingdom, before the Tribulation ends. All right, now in verse 15 we jump up to the mid-point. He qualifies it with the word back in Daniel.
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” Let’s know what he’s talking about.
Now, I think for benefit of our newer listeners, let’s go back to Daniel. Let’s show folks what Jesus is confirming and what He’s talking about. After all, if the Creator of the universe says it, we should be able to believe it. Daniel chapter 9 and let’s see, that’s verse 27. Daniel has delineated the first 483 years, which would take place up until Christ’s first advent or His crucifixion, when He satisfies and makes the end of sin and so forth. But now comes the final seven years of that 490 year prophecy. Here is where we get our teaching of the Tribulation’s final seven years. And Jesus confirmed it.
“And he (The anti-Christ, this prince that shall come) shall confirm (or make) the covenant with many for one week:…” Or seven years. Now, logic tells us today that this is going to be a peace treaty between Israel and the Arab world. Finally the Middle East will have a semblance of peace. All right, it’s going to be a miraculous thing. No human element could ever bring it about, because the hatred runs too deep. But when God moves in, even the Arabs are going to be willing to make peace with the little Nation of Israel. All right, it’s going to be a seven-year peace treaty. Now, here it comes.
“…and in the midst of the week (or the middle of the seven years) he (the anti-Christ) will cause the sacrifice and the oblation (That is, the ritual of Temple worship. He’s going to cause it–) to cease,…” Now, I always stop there and I ask the question–before something can stop, what does it have do? It has to start.
And we know there hasn’t been any Temple worship for 2,000 years, which means, that this peace treaty will allow Israel to rebuild a Temple. Now, it won’t be gold and silver and cedar like Solomon’s. I think, personally, and this is my own idea, I think it’s already pre-fabbed and standing in a warehouse in Israel. They’ll set that thing up in two or three days time and it’ll be functional. It won’t be beautiful, but it will be functional. Israel will suddenly be back under the Law and Temple worship. Three and a half years later, the anti-Christ goes in and defiles it.
“…he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblations to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations (Just to make it so horrible that the Jews can’t stand it.) he shall make it (the Temple) desolate, even until the consummation, (that is the end of the seven-years) and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (or the desolator.)”
In other words, all the prophecies concerning that final three and a half years will be fulfilled. All right, so there’s what Jesus is referring to. Now, come back to Matthew 24, again. Now He’s giving a little indication of what these last three and a half years are going to be like. The first three and half are certainly no Sunday school picnic. Don’t ever think that for a minute, because Revelation tells us that by the end of the first three and a half years, one fourth of the world’s population will die. And that’s a bunch of people. That’s almost two billion people who will lose their life in three and a half years. But, it’s nothing like the second half. All right, reading back in Matthew 24, drop down to verse 16.
“Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:” Now remember, Jesus is speaking prophetically to the Nation. When you see this event, when you hear it, when you see it on television that the anti-Christ has gone into the Temple and has defiled it–I think he’ll be copying what Antiochus-Epiphanies, the Greek General, did back in 300 and so BC. He went into the Temple of Israel and poured hog’s blood on the altar, which is a good indication of what this guy will probably do. But whatever, he’s going to defile it somehow, and it’s going to infuriate the Jews. But Jesus said, don’t try to fight him, don’t try to do anything but flee. Run for you life. All right, verse 16 again.
“Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: 17. Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: (Time is of the essence, so don’t try to take along some heirloom or some beautiful piece of furniture. Get out of town. Run for your life.) 18. Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.”
Now again, we always have to bring Scripture up to date. At the time that Jesus is speaking, Israel is what? It’s an agricultural country. They’re sheepherders. They’re orchard keepers. They’re farmers. Very few were metropolitan. But now, of course, the working class isn’t out there in the countryside. It’s in the city. But it’s still the wage earning area. That’s what he’s addressing here. As field workers are now the scientists, the Silicon Valley in Israel, all the electronic engineers and all your manufacturing and all of the things that are associated with an economy today, they are instructed – leave your work place. Run for the mountains. Don’t go back home to your condo and pick up an extra set of clothes. You haven’t got time. So, time is of the essence. All right, reading on:
“Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19. And woe unto them that are with child, (Young pregnant women.) and to them that are nursing in those days. (It’s going to be a hard go for those gals.) 20. But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:”
Now remember, at the beginning of the Tribulation they went back under the Law and Temple Worship. What did the Law include? Well, they couldn’t walk over what? The couldn’t walk over ¾ of a mile on the Sabbath day? So, the Lord takes that into consideration. He says pray that this won’t happen on a Sabbath day or your religion won’t let you leave town. Interesting, isn’t it?
“For then (Beginning with that mid-point of the seven years) shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world (All the way back to Adam, there’s never been three and a half years like this.) no, nor ever shall be. 22. And except those days should be shortened,…”
Now, I can take that word shortened and find enough Greek to mean that it’s not going to go beyond twenty-four hours. It’s going to end at the end of the seven years with the return of Christ. It’s not going to go a week over. It won’t be a week short, because God is meticulous in His timing. I’ve always made that statement. Same way when Galatians says, “in the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law.” Was it a week late? No. Was He a week early? No. He came on the exact day that God specified. Well, the same way here. All right, so verse 23.
“Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets,…” That’s again repetition. But this is the setting for Israel in the seven years Tribulation. The first three and a half they’ll go back under Temple Worship. They’re going to be invaded, of course. Now, I don’t know if I’ve got time to go into all that or not. Only three minutes left? Hardly!
In that case, let me take you back to Revelation chapter 12. Now we pick up John’s account of this escaping remnant, as I refer to them. In Revelation chapter 12 and the woman, of course, in this chapter and all the way through is a reference to the Nation of Israel. I’m going to bring you all the way down, because of our time to verse 5.
“And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: (That’s looking forward to His Kingship. Now we come back to the time of His first advent.) and her child was caught up unto God, and his throne. (That is when God said sit at my right hand until…) 6. And the woman fled into the wilderness,…”
That’s the group of Jews we talked about in Matthew 24. So, the woman flees into the wilderness. We don’t know where it’s at. Some thinks it’s Petra. I don’t argue the point. But it’s going to be someplace where God is going to put them under an umbrella of safety. She’s going to go to the wilderness.
“…where she hath a place prepared of God,” Now you want to remember, we’re into the realm of the supernatural again. This is beyond the human element. God is going to take care of this fleeing remnant of Israel. The ones we just read about in Matthew 24.
“…that they should feed her there (God is going to feed her there) a thousand two hundred and sixty days.” That’s three and a half years. All right, now you come on down, or over, to verse 13.
“And when the dragon (That’s the anti-Christ, indwelt now by Satan.) saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. 14. And to the woman (again this remnant of Israel) were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished (God will take care of her.) for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” For three and a half years He’s going to protect this remnant of Israel. All right, then I’ve got to bring you all the way down to verse, well, I guess verses 15 and 16.
“And the serpent cast out of his mouth waters as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.” Now, I feel that that’s just simply a command from the anti-Christ, who’s headquartered in Jerusalem, to send a military contingency after this escaping remnant of Israel to destroy them. And then the earth opens up and swallows the anti-Christ’s army and protects Israel. And then verse 17:
“And the dragon was angry with the woman, (This escaping remnant.) and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” I feel that’s the 144,000. So, the remnant will go into a place of safety. The 144,000 will preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to every nation.
LESSON THREE * PART III
ISRAEL’S GLORY IS STILL AHEAD OF HER
Hosea 5:1 – 9:7
For those of you joining us on television, I think I mentioned in the last program, if you’re ever in the Mid-west and you can get into Tulsa for a Wednesday afternoon come in and do an afternoon of taping with us. We always appreciate especially out-of-staters, because, well, there’s just something about it to know that we’re reaching beyond Oklahoma’s borders.
All right, we’re just a Bible Study. Again, we like to always thank our listening audience for everything that you make possible. We thank you for your letters and for your prayers. Keep praying for us and even our daughter. How she appreciates the fact that so many people are praying for her. It does make a difference.
All right, we’re going to go right back in and keep working at this Book of Hosea. I kind of wanted to finish it today in the next program, but we’ll have to wait and see. But now chapter 7, I’m going to skip over a few verses in chapter 6 and go on into chapter 7. It’s still God’s controversy with the Nation as a whole, but the Northern Kingdom in particular.
When we speak of Ephraim, or Israel, we’re talking about the northern Ten Tribes. Judah and Benjamin, of course, are down at the south where they still have the Temple worship. Don’t ever forget that. That all the while we’re dealing with all this idolatry, they’ve still got the Temple worship. The capital of Israel (Northern Kingdom) was Samaria. Don’t lose sight of that.
You know, it just comes to mind when I maintain that Jesus never had a ministry among anyone but Jews. He had nothing to do with Gentiles except the two mentioned. Then I get letters that say, well, what do you do with the woman at the well? She was a Gentile. No, she wasn’t a Gentile. She was a Samaritan. Samaritans were these tribes of the north. After they had been taken captive, some either came back or remained and they are intermarried. So, the Samaritans of Christ’s day were half-breed Jews. That’s why they were detested by the rank and file Jew. But they were Jews. They weren’t Gentile. And Samaria was the capital of the Northern Kingdom. All right, I just had to get that in.
“When I would have healed Israel, (the Northern Kingdom) then the iniquity of Ephraim (That’s the other name for the Northern Kingdom.) was discovered, (In other words, God couldn’t heal them because they still were not turning from their idolatry.) and the wickedness of Samaria: (Now, Samaria was Jews.) for they commit falsehood; and the thief cometh in, and the troops of robbers spoileth without.” Do you see what a society they had become? It was rotten to the core. That’s what the Scripture calls them.
“And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness: now their own doings have beset them about; they are before my face. 3. They make the king (Here we come again, we go right to the top of the political spectrum.) glad with their wickedness, (He saw nothing wrong with all the rot that they were doing.) and the princes (That is the next echelon below the king.) with their lies. 4. They are all adulterers, (They were all mixing their Judaism with idolatry.) as an oven heated by the baker, who ceaseth from raising (that is the dough) after he hath kneaded the dough, until it be leavened.”
Now, whenever I read something like this in the Old Testament, I’m reminded of when Iris and I were at Pompeii. There were big, outdoor brick-made ovens. Of course the baker would come in the night before and get the dough kneaded and ready. Then early in the morning, as the guide would explain it to us, they would put the bread into the ovens so the citizens of Pompeii would be ready to come down and buy fresh bread in the morning.
Well, you have it here. Israel, or the Northern Kingdom, is going to be likened now to a baker and his ovens. I’m going to come back here in a little bit, but I want to continue on with this thought, so come on down to verse 6. Here is an analogy of how Israel was spiritually. They are like an oven.
“For they have made ready their heart like an oven, whiles they lie in wait: (In other words, they’re waiting for the bread to be baked, and so forth, so they can take it back home.) their baker sleepeth all the night; (He’s not paying attention to anything. And while he’s sleeping all the night, the fire that is heating the oven is not controlled, but it’s what?) in the morning it burneth as a flaming fire.” He hasn’t been minding his business. All right, now you’ve got an overheated oven. This is interesting. At least I think it is. Here we have an overheated oven, verse 7.
“They are all hot as an oven, and have devoured their judges; (In other words, they just simply ruined anything that smacked of goodness.) all their kings are fallen: there is none among them that calleth unto me. 8. (God says.) Ephraim, (again, the Northern Kingdom) he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.”
Now, we’ve got to come back to the oven concept. Here you’ve got this red-hot oven, and you’ve got a sluggard baker. He puts the dough in, and it’s likened to a pancake, now. It hits that hot oven, and he doesn’t turn it. So, what happened? Well, the bottom side is black as coal and the topside is still raw. Can you eat the stuff? Now, my wife has never done that! But you get the picture? That was Israel–like a cake not turned. That’s bad enough. But it was a cake that was put in an uncontrolled, heated oven. It was worthless. You got the picture? That was Israel. All right, now let’s jump back up and pick up verse 4.
“They are all adulterers, (Spiritually–they are all worshipping pagan gods.) as an oven heated by the baker, who ceaseth from raising (who does not take care of his business) after he hath kneaded the dough, until it be leavened.” Now, I have to stop at that word leavened. In Scripture, what is leaven always likened to? Sin! And it’s always with that impression that when leaven enters it doesn’t stop until when? It consumes the whole. That’s the whole idea of leaven. It’s always pictured as evil in Scripture.
So, when we go back to Israel going into the land of Canaan, as I referred to it in the last program, why did God instruct them to kill all the Canaanites? Because if one of them was left alive with his idols, he would be like what? Leaven. And that’s exactly what it was. Now, it took a few hundred years, but the leaven did its work until it permeated the whole Nation of Israel. All right, let’s not leave it with Israel. Let’s bring it up to our own day and time.
Come up with me to I Corinthians where Paul uses the same analogy. I Corinthians chapter 5 and this is where you can compare Scripture with Scripture. Don’t just write the Old Testament off as inappropriate. I was going to use the verse when I started this afternoon and I forgot, but it’s in Romans 15 verse 4. What is it? Yes, you’re nodding your heads. You all know it.
Now all these things were written aforetime for our learning. Well, I hope you’re learning. I hope you’re getting the picture of how ungodliness and rebelliousness destroyed the Nation of Israel. Hate hasn’t quit, and Satan hasn’t quit. All right, I Corinthians chapter 5, drop in at verse 6. Now, this is just after the church at Corinth has found gross immorality in their midst. And, just like today, instead of weeping over this sinful act and situation, what were they doing? Well, they were making light of it. They were glorying in it – well, at least I’m not like that guy. So, here’s the admonition.
I Corinthians 5:6
“Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth (How much?) the whole lump? Now, what’s the warning? We’re dealing with the local church here, of course. If you don’t deal with this, it won’t be long and somebody else can say, well, if he’s doing it, why shouldn’t I? And it just keeps coming and coming until finally the whole congregation finds nothing wrong with some of these gross misdeeds. And that’s always the danger. If sin isn’t dealt with, it just continues to work like leaven.
Now again, like I said at the beginning of our first program this afternoon, what did I tell you? All of these warnings of Israel have a multi-layered application. First, whether it’s a nation and it works with nations – as their leadership goes – the next level goes. It goes right down to the population. All right, we can bring it into the Spiritual realm. A denomination–where does a denomination start to get rotten? At the top. And then comes the next layer. Then it gets into the seminaries. From the seminaries it goes out to the congregations and the whole is leavened.
Then bring it down to the individual. No individual is all of a sudden going to go clear out into a life of carnality overnight. Rather, it’s a gradual thing. And unless the Lord convicts us and brings us back, we are prone to just keep slipping and slipping and slipping. Of course, we call it backsliding. But nevertheless, it’s the constant warning that once sin makes an entrance, it’s going to be just like leaven. It’s going to continue to work until it is totally excluded.
All right, now let’s jump back to Galatians chapter 5, and, oh my, I almost have to start at verse 1. This is too good to skip! Paul has just come out of chapter 4 using the allegory of Ishmael and Isaac, who were pictures of Law and Grace. Ishmael was of the flesh. God didn’t tell Abraham to go have a child with the slave girl. That was of the flesh. It was Sarah and Abraham. All right, but God told Abraham that he would have a son that was promised. That was Isaac. All right, now in chapter 4 God, through the Holy Spirit, causes Paul to write that Ishmael was a picture of the flesh (it was the Law, Judaism, it was fleshly) as over against Paul’s Gospel of Grace, which is spiritual. It’s heavenly and all the rest. So, he makes that analogy.
In fact, go back to chapter 4, verse 25.
“For this Hagar (the mother of Ishmael) is Mount Sinai in Arabia,…” Well, good heavens, what happened at Mount Sinai in Arabia? Moses got the Law! All right, so that was a picture of Ishmael, of the flesh. The Law was fleshly. It had no real power. Now on the other hand, up in verse 26 of chapter 4.
“But Jerusalem which is above (that’s our connection) is free, (liberty, total freedom) and is the mother of us all.” As believers. That’s Grace.
Okay, but come all the way down to chapter 5 verse 1. I wasn’t intending to do this. This is all coming off the top. I can’t help it.
“Stand fast therefore…” Now, that’s positionally. Don’t be wishy-washy. Don’t listen to this preacher and say, well, he must be right. Then don’t listen to me and say, well, Les Feldick must be right. Then tomorrow you listen to somebody else, well, now that doesn’t agree with Les, but he must be right. No. Don’t be swayed with every wind of doctrine. Stand fast. You know, I usually use the term – set in concrete. That’s still the best. Just set yourself in concrete and stay in the Word, especially in Paul’s Grace that he teaches.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty (the freedom) wherewith Christ hath made us free, (How? By taking our sin in that work of the cross.) and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” The Law. Legalism. Now verse 2.
“Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, (as part of salvation) Christ shall profit you nothing.” You know when I teach this I always say you can put anything in there that you can do in the flesh. I don’t care what it is. Church membership. Baptism. Repentance of sin. Tongues. Giving. You name it. If you’re going to put that in as part of your salvation, you’ve canceled the cross. You’ve just literally put an “X” through it, because God will not have it, because He finished the work of salvation. It and it alone is going to get us to Glory. All right, so he says, “I say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.” Verse 3.
“For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, (Now be careful. Are you using this as your salvation?) that he is a debtor to do the whole law.” If you’re going to use one part of legalism, you’ve got to carry the whole thing through. And no man can do it.
“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; (or by works) ye are fallen (or you have turned your back) from grace.” It doesn’t mean you are saved and lost. Don’t ever buy that. It just simply means that if you’re depending on something other than the Gospel, the finished work of Christ, then you are rejecting God’s Grace. All right, now I’m getting down to the word I want down in verse 9.
“For, we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith (and faith alone) which worketh by love. 7. Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?”
Now, you remember the problem with the Galatians was that false teachers were coming in and telling them that they had to do this and they had to do that and that Paul’s Gospel alone wasn’t sufficient. So Paul says, what’s happened to you? Who fried your brain? That’s what I asked somebody the other day. I said, “Who fried your brain? How in the world do you get so goofed up?” But, oh, they do. Oh, you can’t believe what people come up with. All right, here Paul is saying the same thing. Verse 7 again.
“Ye did run well; (You were off to a good start.) who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? 8. This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. (This isn’t God’s doing. Now, here comes the verse.) 9. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” Now, what was it saying? If you’re going to bring in just a little bit of legalism, it’s going to ruin everything. You’ve just got to keep it out of the picture. And it’s not easy.
Oh, they want to always put you in a place where you’ve got to do something, and God won’t have it. And so a “little leaven leaveneth the whole lump,” and that’s always been the case. I guess I can go back to Adam, can’t I? Adam dumped in the first bunch of yeast, and it’s been working ever since. It’ll never stop, until time stops. It’s the same way, like I said before. It can happen in a government. It can happen to a denomination. It can happen in an individual. Where just a little bit of sin comes in, and if we don’t deal with it, it just keeps working, working, working, and working. It’s insidious. Really.
Okay, well enough of that, I hope. Let’s come back to Hosea, once again, chapter 7 and we’ll move on. A different concept is going to come up now. Now we move away from the baker and his over-hot oven and the blackened cake. Now, we come to verse 9.
“Strangers have devoured his strength, (That is Israel’s, Ephraim’s.) and he knoweth it not: yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not.” In other words, maturity should have been showing some sense of knowledge and understanding, but they couldn’t get it. All right, verse 10.
“And the pride of Israel testifieth to his face: and they do not return to the LORD their God, nor seek him for all this. 11. Ephraim also is like a silly dove…”
Now, you know birds haven’t got a lot of brains, do they? That’s why we call them “bird brains.” They flip, flop, flop, flop and all that. All right, that’s the analogy now. They’ve been just as short of brainpower spiritually as a little bird. And you’re just like a silly dove.
“…without a heart: they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria.” Well, for what? Come and defend us! You get the picture. They knew they were about to be invaded by the Babylonians. Old Nebuchadnezzar down there is raising a rumpus in Babylon. They knew he was coming. So, instead of getting on their knees prostrate before God, they forget about God and go down to Egypt. Help us! We’re going to be invaded! And another bunch went to Assyria, who was up there a little bit north of Babylon. Come and help us.
Now, you see, that’s the last thing God wanted Israel to do. It goes all the way back to when they wanted a king. Why did they want a king? Well, all the rest of the world has got kings. God says, but you’re not like the rest of the world. I don’t want you to have a king. I think it’s the same way today. Israel wants to be accepted by the nations of the world, and God won’t have it. They never will. God has set them apart.
Now, you know, I have a hard time agreeing with the ultra-orthodox over in Israel. If you know anything about the Judaism in Israel, there are several categories. But, the ultra-orthodox, the guys with the big, long beards and the black hats and the black coat, they won’t let their sons serve in the Israeli army. They don’t want Israel to fight any wars. What’s their concept? God will do it. Well, like I say, on one hand I think, yes, they’re right. Israel should just let God do it. But on the other hand, in the real world, will it work? I don’t know. But that’s their concept. We don’t have to raise an army. We don’t have to fight. God will do it. Well, whatever.
Down here in this verse, they didn’t depend on God. They ran down to Egypt. Help us. The Babylonians are coming. Others went up to Assyria. Help us. The Babylonians are coming. All right, now verse 12.
“When they shall go, I will spread my net upon them; I will bring them down as the fowls (or the birds) of the heaven;…” Here we’ve got the net again–the bird net. How they would catch the birds. The silly birds didn’t have brains enough to get past the net.
“…I will bring them down as fowls of the heaven; I will chastise them, as their congregation hath heard. 13. Woe unto them! for they have fled from me:” Oh, they can run up to Assyria. They can run down to Egypt. But they can’t give Me a minute of time.
“…for they have fled from me: destruction unto them! because they have transgressed against me: though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me.” Now, don’t let that word redeemed throw a curve at you. You want to remember that in this case what is God speaking of? They’re His Covenant People. They’re not like the rest of the world. He has set them apart. But they’ve rejected the role that God has given them.
“And they have not cried unto me with their heart,…” They aren’t in contrition asking God to spare them. God take away our enemies. No. They’re trying to do everything in their own power. And what do you suppose is the main reason? They didn’t want God in their life. They’re having too much good time in their wickedness. They didn’t want any spiritual life.
“And they have not cried unto me with their heart, when they howled upon their beds: they assemble themselves for corn and wine, (in other words, banqueting) and they rebel against me. 15. Though I have bound and strengthened their arms, yet do they imagine mischief against me. 16. They return, but not to the most High: They are like a deceitful bow:…” Now, what does that mean? Well, the bow is a reference to the bow and arrow. So, what’s a deceitful bow? One that’s crooked and can’t shoot straight. See how these little tidbits come up? They’re just like a bow that can’t shoot straight. It’s just simply constructed to shoot crooked. That was Israel.
“…they are like a deceitful bow: their princes shall fall by the sword for the rage of their tongue: this shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.” Even the pagan Egyptians will scorn these idolatrous, wicked Jews.
All right, now we’ve got a couple of minutes left. Let’s go on into chapter 8. Maybe I can skip a few places here, and we can wind it up in the next half hour. All right, chapter 8:
“Set the trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant, and transgressed against my law. 2. Israel shall cry unto me, My God, we know thee. 3. Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him.” In other words, God is going to let it happen.
“They have set up kings, but not by me: (They didn’t consult with God about anything.) they have made princes and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold they have made them idols, that they may be cut off.” You see that? That’s how steeped in idolatry the Nation of Israel was. They used their silver and gold to make idols, just like the Ephesians did in Paul’s day.
“Thy calf, O Samaria, (Now, that again was an idol likened unto the golden calf, which was like idols they had in Egypt.) hath cast thee off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long with it be err they attain to innocency? 6. For from Israel was it also: the workman made it; therefore it is not God: but the calf (this idol) of Samaria shall be broken in pieces.” Now, here comes a verse that you’ve all heard sometime in your life.
“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: (In other words, whatever they plant won’t amount to anything.) if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.” If anything does grow, the invading armies will get it.
“Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure. 9. For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself:…” Now, what is that a picture of? Well, one little donkey out on the desert wouldn’t last long, would it? Why, it would be taken by a wild animal in less than twelve hours. And that was Israel. They were hopeless and helpless. Yet they couldn’t recognize their need.
“…Ephraim hath hired lovers.” Well, again, who were their lovers? Idols. Everything they did was under the influence of idols. They rejected all the overtures of the God of Israel. It’s a sad story, and yet it’s a lesson for us today.
LESSON THREE * PART IV
ISRAEL’S GLORY IS STILL AHEAD OF HER
Hosea 5:1 – 9:7
Okay, glad to have everybody back, once again. This is program number four this afternoon, and then we can be heading home. For those of you joining us on television, we trust that you’re learning, and that you’re learning to study on your own. Don’t go by what I say, but search the Scriptures and see that these things are really so, because it’s an interesting Book.
I had a fellow call me the other day. He’d never had any interest. Never went to church. Caught my program and now he says, “I can’t get enough of it.” And I said, “Interesting Book, isn’t it?” He said, “There’s nothing like it!” Well, that’s the way it is, if you’ll once get into it. It is so interesting that – well, that’s why I like to bring out the little tidbits, you know. I like to bring out the little things that the casual reader just goes right over. But, they’re there for a purpose.
Okay, I want to mention once again that we’ve got a good supply of the one and only book we’ve ever published. It’s eighty some questions with the answers taken from our television material. We send them out postage paid for $11.00, if you are interested in them. They make good Christmas presents. Young people like them. We find that college age people really go for these question and answer books. If you’re wondering what to give that grandson or that granddaughter, it might not be such a bad idea.
Okay, I think that’s all we’ve got for announcements. We’ll go right back and keep going in Hosea. I don’t know whether I’ll finish it this afternoon or not, but I always have high hopes. I’d like to get Hosea all in Book 70.
Hosea chapter 9 and we’ll start right there at verse 1. Hosea 9 verse 1. Remember, the whole setting is still the same–God’s controversy with Israel because of their idolatry. He just can’t break them of it. I guess I should do this again. I haven’t done it in a long time. Just to show you how ridiculously they hooked up with idolatry, come back to Jeremiah. Keep your hand in Hosea, we’ll right back. But Jeremiah 44 says it all! Yet, it’s the Word of God. It’s inspired by the Spirit, so it’s the way it was. This was the religious or the spiritual climate in Israel at the time of these prophets. Jeremiah 44, you’ll recognize it. We’ve looked at it time and again. I always like to start at verse 15. This is exactly the way it was.
“Then all the men who 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 you.” See that rebelliousness? Jeremiah, we don’t care what you’ve got to say. We don’t believe it!
“But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven,…” Who was the queen of heaven? The female goddess Astarte, or Isis in Egypt, I think it was, Venus in Greece. They all had different names, but it was the same corrupt, immoral female goddess around whom all the sexual impurity that you could think of would revolve. Everything you could think of in the realm of immoral sex was wrapped up in this queen of heaven.
“…and (we’re going) to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, (Remember what we just saw in Hosea? From the top to the bottom.) in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then we had plenty of victuals, (or food) and were well, and saw no evil.” Was that the truth? Well, it was a lie! They were already feeling God’s chastising. They were already having crop failures. They were already being threatened by invading armies. It wasn’t all that good. All right, verse 18.
“But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things,…” You see that? That wasn’t their problem. Their problem was they were rejecting Jehovah. How could God bless the Nation when they turned their back on him and went to a female goddess?
Now listen, they were just as human as we are. There was no difference. The human race hasn’t changed. My goodness, our materialism today isn’t much different. My, they go to these mega churches and they get entertained. You know, I don’t like to criticize, and I’ve told people I’m not going to name names, but I had one of our listeners go as a guest to one of these humongous places and she said, “Les, for a solid hour I never once heard the name of Jesus Christ.” Never heard the name. But, oh, it was church.
Well, that’s what I have to think of in the back of my mind when I look at Israel. They were no different. Not one whit. All right, verse 18 again.
“But since we left off burning incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.” But they weren’t putting it where it belonged. They were suffering because they’d turned their back on Jehovah. Not because they’d quite offering sacrifices to the queen of heaven, for goodness sakes! Verse 20
“Then Jeremiah said unto all the people, to the men, and to the women, and to all the people which had given him that answer, saying, 21. The incense that ye burned in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, ye, and your fathers, your kings, and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the LORD remember them, and came it not into his mind?” You think God didn’t know what you were doing? Now, have you got the picture? Okay, come back to Hosea chapter 9.
“Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, (Now remember, I’ve been stressing for the last eight programs that we’re not talking about physical immorality. We’re talking about spiritual. They are adulterating their relationship with God by going whole-hog over to idolatry.) thou hast loved a reward upon every corn floor. 2. The floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail in her. 3. They shall not dwell in the LORD’S land; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean things in Assyria.”
Now, that’s another reference to what we saw in the last program. Instead of going to God for their help, instead of going back in repentance and asking God to restore them to a place of blessing, what did they do? They go to Gentile nations. They went up north to Assyria. They went down south to Egypt. Hey, we need help! But they didn’t take God into their thinking.
Now look, is America any different today? We’ve kicked God out of everything. You know, I think there’s a sign in Muskogee, if I’m not mistaken. I think it’s still there that says, “How can we expect God to bless when we’ve kicked Him out of everything?” That’s so true. God isn’t in our national life anymore. We’re no different than these Israelites. Materialism has become our idolatry.
“They shall not offer wine offerings to the LORD, neither shall they be pleasing unto him: their sacrifices shall be unto them as the bread of mourners; all that eat thereof shall be polluted: for their bread for their soul shall not come into the house of the LORD.” I’m looking for a place when we can come down to one of these references now to the grapevine. I had it all picked out last night, when I was ready for this, but come down to verse 16. We have Ephraim, again that nation of the Ten Tribes.
“Ephraim is smitten, (with idolatry) their root is dried up, (so far as their worship of Jehovah) they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb. (even their children) 17. My God will cast them away,…”
Well, as I was looking at this last night, I have to bring you up to the New Testament, because I want to use it as much as possible. That’s what I try to do when I prepare all of this. I don’t want to just stay back here. Now we’ve got to come up and get the New Testament approach, as well. Come up with me to John’s Gospel chapter 15, which is a portion that you all know. Yet I think it fits so appropriately with what we’re seeing back in Hosea and all the prophets, as far as that goes.
The vine and the branches, you all know it. I haven’t taught it, I don’t think, ever on television. I teach it other places, but I don’t think I’ve ever done it on television. So, this is probably a good time to do it. During the Lord’s earthly ministry and He’s speaking. Remember, whatever Jesus spoke, it was to what people? It was to Israel–under their Judaistic system and with reference to all these Old Testament things.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit he purgeth it, (Or prunes it, we call it today.) that it may bring forth more fruit.” In other words, we’re speaking in terms of a great vineyard.
“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. (Now of course, He’s talking to the Twelve in particular, but the Nation of Israel in general. Now verse 4, here comes the promise.) 4. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch (on which the fruit will appear) cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye except ye abide in me.” Now of course, it’s no different for us as a believer in Paul’s teachings. We are members of the Body of Christ and as such we feed on the Head. And as soon as we lose that relationship, we’re worthless. All right, verse 5 and He repeats it.
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:…” Now, here we come from one level of bearing to another. We go from bearing fruit to much fruit. Then I think we’re going to come to more fruit.
“…for without me ye can do nothing. 6. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; (And a withered branch doesn’t produce grapes.) and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”
All right, now this is not speaking of someone saved and lost and needs to be resaved. This is totally a reference to the Twelve as members of the Nation of Israel, and they’re placing their trust in Him as their Redeemer, their Messiah, the Son of God, and all the rest of it. And without a relationship with Him, they were as nothing. Of course, that was again the vast majority of the Jews in Christ’s day. It was only a small percentage that truly believed who He was. A small percentage. The vast majority of Israel just continued on in their religion, but in unbelief. But for those few, this was their relationship. Like the vine and the branch and the fruit.
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” Now, of course, that’s a promise that was intrinsic to Israel, and I always maintain in view of the coming Kingdom. When they would come into the Kingdom, there would be no such thing as unanswered prayer. I’ll repeat what I said earlier. Don’t tell me it works today.
Because you do not pray and get everything you pray for. If you do, I’ve never heard of it. But these people had that, because they were in view of the earthly Kingdom over which Christ would rule and reign. Satan would be off the scene. That’s a whole different scenario than what we’re in today. But nevertheless, we can, just like the Old Testament, glean from this. Now verse 8:
“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; (not just more, not just the average, but much fruit) so shall ye be my disciples. 9. As the Father hath loved me, as have I loved you: continue ye in my love.” Then here comes the legalist part.
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” But the point I wanted to show was Israel was like a grapevine whose branches had what? Withered. There was no fruit bearing. They were steeped in idolatry and unbelief and consequently the Nation was facing nothing but judgment.
But always remember, as we’re going to see, even, I think, before we get to the end of the Book of Hosea, no matter how much punishment and judgment God was promising Israel, what lay beyond it? Blessings! Blessings! And all of it is pointing to that earthly Kingdom which will come after the horrors of the Tribulation, as we saw a couple of programs back.
So, never think for a minute that God’s going to give up on the Nation of Israel. Never! He’s still going to fulfill the promises that were made to the Fathers. Now, back to Hosea, and let’s come on down to, oh, we’re still in chapter 9. Let’s come back a minute for some of the area that I skipped over. Verse 6
“For, lo, they are gone because of destruction: Egypt shall gather them up, (They’re going to run to Egypt for help, but Egypt will become their adversary rather than a blessing.) Memphis shall bury them: (That’s a city in Egypt) the pleasant places for their silver, nettles shall possess them: thorns shall be in their tabernacles. (In other words again, it’s not blessing. It’s what Deuteronomy calls curses.) 7. The days of visitation are come, the days of recompence are come; Israel shall know it: the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad,…”
Now don’t forget, remember when we studied Isaiah? My goodness, how long ago has that been already? I was constantly showing that in the Book of Isaiah there were three distinct times of judgment and blessing in Israel’s future. When Isaiah was writing, the first one was the coming. It was the Babylonian invasion and they would be taken out into seventy years of captivity. When the seventy years are over, then they would come back and rebuild the Temple, and the Nation would get ready for the coming of Christ in His first advent. That was the first one.
All right, the second great judgment was A.D. 70 when Rome came in and destroyed the city and the Temple and the Jews were scattered into every nation of the world. All right, now we’ve seen them coming back the last hundred years. They’re back in the land and everything is getting ready for the next great judgment – the seven years of Tribulation, which we looked at a little while ago. But following the Tribulation – what? The Glory of the Kingdom, it’s finally going to come to fruition, where Israel is going to enjoy all the blessings of the Kingdom.
Now, I’m going to cover that before we quit this afternoon. Maybe we should start taking a look at them before we run out of time. The glories of the Kingdom – well, we really have to go back to Isaiah. I’m going to start with Isaiah chapter 2. That’s really the first instance that the prophecy is starting to look up, that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Isaiah chapter 2 and here comes the beginning of the promise. Of course, Israel is going to still go through a lot of chastisement, but this will be end result.
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, (in other words, just before the onset of eternity) that the mountain (or the Kingdom) of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and (Now here’s the key statement.) all nations shall flow unto it.” Israel is going to be the apple of God’s eye. It’s going to be the greatest nation on earth.
Deuteronomy says — They’re not going to be the tail. They’re going to be the head. They’re not going to be beneath. They’re going to be above. They’re not going to borrow. They’re going to loan. They’re going to be the top, top nation of the nations. That’s their prospect.
All right, let’s jump ahead a little ways to chapter 9. These are all promises that are going to follow the final chastisement, which is the Tribulation. Then their Messiah will return in power and glory and set up a kingdom like this world has never seen before. That, of course, will usher on into eternity.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government (the righteous rule) shall be upon His shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Those are all terms associated with God the Son.
“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, (It’s just going to be getting better and better on into eternity.) upon the throne of David, (Which was in Jerusalem, remember.) and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” It’s going to happen, Beloved, in spite of all of Israel’s failures. God hasn’t forgotten these promises.
All right, let’s move on to chapter 11. Oh, I have ball. I can do this in my own sleep! My, all this is coming! Isaiah chapter 11 verse 1
“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, (who was the father of David) and a Branch (Capital B, it’s one of the terms of God the Son in the Old Testament.) shall grow out of his roots:” So, out of King David’s reign will come this glorious monarch of the King of Kings. All right, verses 2 and 3.
“And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD: 3. And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge (or rule) after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4. But with righteousness…” With all the knowledge of the Godhead, He’ll know every person in His Kingdom. He will know every detail. Nobody’s going to have to report to Him what needs to be done. He’s going to have all the omniscience of the Godhead.
“But with righteousness shall he judge (rule) the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth:…” In other words, nobody will be downtrodden and left without.
“And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins,…” And then verse 6 — you’ve seen me do this over and over. Here we come into the physical attributes of this glorious earthly kingdom, where –
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. (My, can you picture this? Use a little imagination. Here we have these little kids out playing amongst the lions and the leopards and what have you. They’re no longer carnivorous. They’re no longer mean and wild.) 7. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like an ox.”
“And the nursing child shall play on the hole of the asp, (what used to be the poisonous snake) and the weaned child (a little older kid) shall put his hand on the cockatrice’s den. 9. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain:…” In all my kingdom there will never be as much as a bruised finger. No child will come running to Momma because they’re hurt. Nothing is going to go amiss. It’s going to be heaven on earth.
“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth (The earth! This planet!) shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. 10. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, (Jesus the Christ) who shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.” Oh, we can’t even begin to describe it.
All right, let’s come all the way up through the prophets, now. I’m going to bring you, with the time we have left, to the little Book of Amos. That’s right after Hosea, Joel then Amos. The last chapter, chapter 9 verse 13, this is going to be beyond comprehension. No weeds. No insects. No drought. No flood. Everything is going to be perfect! Verse 13
“Behold, the days come, (It’s going to. God said it!) saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, (In other words, the guy getting the soil ready will be waiting for them to harvest the previous crop. And it’ll be without the sweat of the face. It’s going to be pleasant.) and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed (He will be catching up with one who is sowing the seed); and the mountain shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. 14. And I will bring again the captivity of my people of 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 fruitof them.” Boy, isn’t that a contrast from Hosea?
After all the chastisement, after all the judgment, is going to come the glory of the blessings. But you know, what we can’t understand is that it’s going to take 2,000 years. It is actually 2,700 from the time that Hosea wrote this. But nevertheless, God’s wheel grinds slowly. It’s coming! Verse 15
“And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up…” That’s why I’m convinced that we are close to the end time. Israel is back in the land and nothing is going to chase them out! Nothing! Now, we have to take everything into consideration. Do you think God will let a hydrogen bomb explode over Jerusalem? I don’t think so. It’s not going to happen, because Jerusalem is going to be there when Christ returns. Israel’s remnant is going to be ready to come up to the city and start enjoying the kingdom. So, I cannot see a nuclear explosion happening over Israel. Now, the rest of the world? Very likely, but I don’t think it’s going to happen to God’s city.
Now, it’s going to come under all the heavy boots of the invading armies. But to be flattened and turned to ashes by a nuclear explosion? I just can’t see it happening. Israel’s glory, in spite of all of her wickedness, is still ahead of her.