Fred Coulter – October 20, 2005

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And greetings brethren, welcome to Day 3 of the Feast of Tabernacles – 2005. And we’re hoping that you’re having a wonderful feast. It is certainly a great and fantastic time for God’s people. And it is one of those profound things in keeping and understanding the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles that every year we grow in grace and knowledge and a little more understanding concerning God’s way. And as we covered yesterday that what we are going to be a part of is the restoration of all things. Now that’s really quite a fantastic job and challenge, and Christ has called us to be part of that, and as we’ve seen, to rule and reign as kings and priests.

Well, you see when you look at the way that the false Christianity of the world is, and it’s really a false Christianity – very, very clever. Protestantism is perhaps the cleverest Satanic counterfeit that you would ever want to see and know. But nevertheless they don’t understand the plan of God. They believe in going to heaven. They believe to many of the false doctrines, and they have a lawless grace (which I’m going to cover here one of these days real soon), that leads to perdition. Now if you just ask the average man on the street, “What is God doing? What is He accomplishing? How is He doing it?” A lot of people would say, “Well, there isn’t a God, and there is no plan, and there is no purpose.” Now you talk to religionists and one religion has one plan, and another religion has another plan, and another religion has another plan. And they are all steeped in the traditions of men.

Now there is a time, which is now, and let’s also understand something, which we will see, if you do not keep the holy days of God you do not understand the plan of God. If you do not keep the true Passover of God in the way and the time that Jesus has said, then you are not in new covenant with God, because understanding comes with obedience. Understanding comes with repentance. Understanding comes from living and walking in God’s way. So God throws out a challenge to everyone in the world – all the religionists, all of the leaders, all of the politicians, all of those who think that they are doing the will of God.

Let’s come to Isaiah 41 and let’s see what God says here., This becomes important because what we’re seeing is God is telling all because He’s revealed this plan in His Word and He’s given His Word to the whole world. And all those who would come to the Word of God and repent and yield to God would understand the Word of God, but they don’t. And everyone wants to improve on God. Well, let me ask you a question: Is God perfect? Yes. Can you improve on His perfection? No. Are God’s laws and commandments righteous and true? Yes. Can you improve on those? No. Does God know what He’s doing? Of course He does. Now you see, you go clear back to the time of Cain, and Cain came before God and he wanted to improve on what God had told him to do by what he wanted to do. And you know what happened there. Well likewise, God says to all the world – to the great, to the small, to the important, to the unimportant, to everyone He gives this challenge: You think you know something, you want to improve on what I’m doing? All right, demonstrate it. Now here, Isaiah 41:21 God says: “Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob.” [“All right, you say this, you say that, you say the other thing. Let’s see it. Let’s examine it. Let’s look at it in the light of truth.”]

Verse 22: “Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen…” [“You tell us what the plan of God is. You tell us how He’s going to bring it about.”] “…Let them shew the former things [“Let’s see how you predicted things in the past and let’s see how you did there.”], what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them…” So in other words, “What have you done in the past? Let’s look at everything that you have done. Let’s see how much understanding you have. If you profess you have understanding, if you profess you have knowledge, if you profess you have a better way – bring that, let’s see it. Tell us what you’ve done in the past. Now let’s look at that.”

Well, if you look at all the religions of the world what do they have: sin, war, famine, pestilence, idols, false gods, false prophecies. Now you see, as we have known and understood there are only two categories of authority. You’re either under the authority of God, or you’re under the authority of Satan the devil.

Now Satan likes to come and try and make it appear that there is a middle ground. “You can have a little bit of God and you can have a little bit of my teachings and we’ll create something wonderful.” No, that’s not the way it works because God says you are to love Him with all your heart, and all your mind, and all your soul, and all your being. So the only way to understand God’s way is be completely whole heartedly and 100% with God through Jesus Christ. “…Or declare us things for to come [now tell us the things that are going to come].” Now let’s just think for a minute about all of the false prophecies that have occurred within the church of God, especially concerning the return of Jesus Christ, and look at all the false prophecies in the world. That’s why it says in I Corinthians 13 that as for prophecies (now those are the prophecies of men) they will fail. God says, “All right, tell us.”

Verse 23: “Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods…”, if you want to worship false gods and claim you know better than God. Whenever anyone wants to improve on God or to tell God that His way isn’t good, he or she makes himself a god. “…Yea, do good, or do evil [let’s see your power to do that], that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.” So what does God think of all of this? Verse 24: “Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you.” Whenever you choose man’s way it is an abomination. “I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come: from the rising of the sun shall he call upon My name…” Now this is a prophecy of Cyrus. And he did come. And the whole point that he was making here was that He (God) was saying by name, Cyrus, who would release the Jews from captivity in Babylon. And it did happen, didn’t it? Yes. “…And he shall come upon princes as upon morter, and as the potter treadeth clay. Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous?” And how many people have followed men only to be betrayed and dismayed at the end because of their sins and their wretchedness?

“…Yea, there is none that sheweth [No one has stood up, no one has said, “God, I have a better way.”], yea, there is none that declareth [you examine all the things that men have written and said and spoken in all of the prophecies], yea, there is none that heareth your words. The first shall say to Zion, Behold, behold them: and I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings [now this comes into a prophecy of Christ]. For I beheld, and there was no man; even among them, and there was no counsellor, that, when I asked of them, could answer a word.” The lot of them. You go to every one of the leading intellects in the world and every one of the philosophers and every one of the great religious leaders, and they can’t answer. God says here in verse 29: “Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing: their molten images are wind and confusion” (Isa. 41:21-29, KJV). Yes, that’s what it is, that’s exactly what it is. So they don’t understand, do they?

How do we understand? How does God make it possible for us to understand? Well, let’s come here to I Corinthians 2 and let’s see what God says. It’s not done by thinking. It’s not done by inheritance. It is not done by searching the philosophical writings of men. It is not accomplished by government plans and programs. It is not accomplished by church edicts, of popes or leaders or dalai lamas. How do you understand the Word of God? Now one of the greatest mysteries of the world is that God has given and sent His Word. And yet even thought they have it they don’t understand it, or they twist and turn it like Peter said, to their own destruction and don’t know God’s way.

Now let’s come here to I Corinthians 2 and let’s understand something here. Let’s begin in verse 6 that we may know. You see when we are done with this you’re going to understand why God does not accept nor does He want to tolerate (oh, He will allow it if men choose to do so) but He is not going to have to have any man come along and say, “I’ve got an improvement for you God. Have you ever thought of this?” See. No. And remember, the great philosophers that the world follows today are the philosophers of Greece. And guess what? They got their philosophy from Babylon. So when Paul is speaking here and he is talking concerning the Word of God and the power of God, you have to understand it doesn’t come because he was smart or intellectual. That’s why God knocked him to the ground when He first called him and told him of the things that he would suffer so that Paul would always, always be dedicated to the truth and the Spirit of God, and to write those things that God inspired him to write. That’s why the New Testament as well as the Old Testament are called the “God-breathed words of God.” And we can depend on them and rely on them.

Let’s come back here to verse 1 because you have to follow the thought all the way through: “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech [not a great orator] or of wisdom…” And it’s interesting – the Greek word for “wisdom” is “sophia” from which we get philo-sophia or philosophy, which means a lover of wisdom. So he’s saying right here he didn’t come with the philosophy of the Greeks. And remember, that before he came to Corinth, what did Paul do? Acts 17 – he spend time in Athens right at the heart and core of the center of the philosophy of the world (which we still follow today) and he argued with the Stoics and Epicureans and all of the philosophers. And right on Mars Hill, right there where the great temple of Athena was, and told them all of their gods are vanity. “And as a matter of fact, the one thing that you have dedicated here to the ‘unknown god,’ lest we forget to honor some god,” he said, “I come to preach to you.” And then he called them to all repent – all of the philosophers to repent. And you see what they did there, as it says in Acts 17, they just came around and all they did was talk and discuss, and talk and discuss, and “What do you think,” and “What is your theory.” And they were so confused that they had no way of finding God or knowing God, so they had this one plaque to the “Unknown God.” So Paul’s making it clear here, he didn’t come with wisdom and excellency of speech: “…declaring unto you the testimony of God.” He brought the testimony of God. And what is the testimony of God? Is that not the understanding of the Word of God? Yes, it is.

“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: [so] that your faith [now we need to understand this] should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery…”, that is to them. In a secret to them, because you see God does not reveal His secret except to those who love Him and obey Him. “…Even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory [that’s been a part of God’s plan all along]: which none of the princes of this world knew…” They don’t know, nor can they yet to this day. “…For had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” So God already has His plan. God has it so it is prepared for those who love Him. Very profound. Very important, you see.

“But God hath revealed them unto us…” And all of God’s plan is revealed through the framework of the holy days. Those are His days. “But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” And brethren, we are blessed because of God’s Spirit to understand some of the deep things of God. Now that’s marvelous indeed. And yet there are some people who go out and just give up on God and go out and seek things of the world, the religions of the world, the wisdom of the world, and they don’t know what they’re giving up. So God has revealed them to us by His Spirit. “…The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man [that God has formed in every man] which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” That’s why back in Isaiah 41 God said, “Produce your cause. Show us what you have. Tell us what you’ve done. Tell us what you propose for the future. You lay out a program on how to solve all the problems of the world and mankind. You lay out a program on how to solve all of the difficulties of human nature and the frailties thereof.” They can’t do it.

Now let’s understand the blessing that we have here, verse 12: “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” He wants us to know. And the whole marvelous, fantastic thing about the Feast of Tabernacles is that it shows and reveals the very plan of God – how He’s going to solve all the things in the world. And furthermore how we become part of it so that we can make it happen.

Verse 13: “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy [Spirit] Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual [things].” And this is how we know. And we have the promise of Jesus Christ that the Spirit of Truth will lead us into all truth and will reveal to us the things that are coming. But that’s not going to happen just because we have a good idea. No, we have to yield to God, we have to have the Spirit of God, we have to keep the commandments of God, we have to study and know the Word of God and then He reveals these things to us. He’s not going to lay out all of this knowledge and throw it out to the world because He’s hidden it from them. He’s not going to cast these pearls before swine. But He’s given them to us so that we can know and understand and be inspired and realize that we have a tremendous calling, a tremendous part in what God is going to give us to do to be kings and priests and restore the whole world. Now then, verse 14: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” ( I Cor. 2:1-14, KJV).

Now let’s see another blessing that Jesus said. Let’s come to Matthew 13 here for just a minute, and then we’re going to look at a lot of the prophecies and we’re going to start out with: How is the world when we first begin? How are we going to restore the things? What is it, and how is it going to be, and how are we going to handle it? And I think you’re going to be amazed.

Now here, Matthew 13:16. Now after He says that the people in the world, their eyes are shut, their ears are closed, and they are dull of hearing. Then Christ says to the apostles.. and of course this is a prophecy down to our day because as we read in Daniel 12 that there is the promise – the wise shall understand. Now that is if we continually yield to God. We can’t let our vanity and self-importance get carried away and now we have a great new knowledge and understanding that comes from God and it’s way out here in left field, or right field, and it’s not within the parameters that God has given.

Now he says, verse 16: “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” And some of the things that we are covering now brethren, even down through the ages of the churches, they haven’t known a lot of these things. So think about it. Think how special your calling is. Think how marvelous the knowledge that you have, that God has given through His word. That’s why you are to know it and prove it and understand it, you see, and have conviction concerning it.

“For verily I say unto you, That many prophets [now we’re going to read some of the things that the prophets have given] and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them” (Matt. 13:16-17, KJV).

So let’s go back to the prophet Isaiah again. Let’s come to Isaiah 24 and just think for a minute as we’re going through some of these prophecies (which we will see, and we will read, and it will give us understanding) and just ask yourself this question: I wonder what Isaiah, or Jeremiah, or Ezekiel, or any of the minor prophets (so called), Daniel, and the others, I wonder what they thought when they wrote down these prophecies. I wonder how much they had questions in their minds and yet couldn’t understand it because it wasn’t the time to understand.

Let’s begin here in Isaiah 24:16. Here’s how the earth is going to be when we start. When we return with Christ and set our feet on the Mount of Olives and begin the whole mission and plan for the thousand years, here’s what it’s going to be like. So this is going to be a great challenge for us, because it’s not automatically just going to come about. There’s going to be work, there’s going to be labor, there’s going to be time, and there’s going to be the conversion of the people of Israel, the conversion of the people of the world so that they will all come under the government of God.

Now verse 16: “From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous. But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! the treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously [now seeing the result of everything that has happened on the earth]. Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth [that is everyone]. And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake.” So you talk about shell-shock. You talk about people that will have their emotions and their minds totally bewildered. That’s what it’s talking about because this is the greatest event – Christ and the Saints on the earth.

“The earth is utterly broken down [everything is lying in destruction], the earth is clean dissolved [that means just torn asunder], the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.” So when God intervenes to do it it’s going to be something. So we have complete desolation that is going to have to be rebuilt everywhere in the world.

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.” That is He’s going to take care of the demons who have led them into this, Satan the devil who has caused it, and all the kings of the earth. And remember what it says: they are gathered together to fight against Christ. “And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before His ancients gloriously” (Isa. 24:16-23, KJV). That’s what the earth is going to be like when the Kingdom of God is established on the earth and Jesus Christ returns to rule and reign with a rod of iron. Yes, indeed, it’s going to be something. It’s going to be really quite a fantastic thing.

Now let’s come to Isaiah 48:16: “Come ye near unto Me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I [God has revealed Himself in every generation]: and now the Lord GOD, and His Spirit, hath sent Me [this is speaking of Christ]. Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! then had thy peace been as a river…” Now He’s saying, He’s telling them very clearly, “You look back at what you have done, and by your choices it could have been differently.” But they didn’t. “…And thy righteousness as the waves of the sea: thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before Me” (Isa. 48:16-19, KJV). Now you see that’s how He’s going to start. He’s going to say, “Now what has happened is because of everything that you have done in rejecting Me.” So that’s quite a thing, isn’t it?

Now here’s what God is going to say to Jacob. Now let’s pick this up beginning in verse 1: “Hear ye this, O house of Jacob [first teaching is going to be to the house of Jacob, to Israel], which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the LORD, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness.” That’s what they did. They always claimed God, didn’t they? But not in truth or in righteousness. So again He is going to begin to correct these things and show them where they have gone wrong. Now that’s the only way to lead them to repentance. “For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel; The LORD of hosts is His name. I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of My mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass.” So that’s how all of this is going to come about.

“Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them.” You see now God is making it clear right where we started in, “Bring forth your causes. Let’s see what your god can do.” See, now He’s making it clear to Israel – there is a change coming and that change is coming through repentance. “Now I want you to understand how you have done in the past, and I want you to realize that now you’re going to have to do My way.”

Now verse 6: “Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them. They are created now, and not from the beginning; even before the day when thou heardest them not; lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I knew them. Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb.” So God deferred His anger and He said here what He has done.

Let’s continue on here with the next couple verses. Verse 9: “For My name’s sake will I defer Mine anger, and for My praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction [out of the great tribulation and the things at the end-time]. For Mine own sake, even for Mine own sake, will I do it [because God has said that He will]: for how should My name be polluted [that is, if He didn’t do it]? and I will not give My glory unto another. Hearken unto Me, O Jacob and Israel, My called; I am He; I am the first, I also am the last” (Isa. 48:1-12, KJV). Then He says that He’s created everything and you begin to look to Him.

Well, there are quite a few things that we need to look at. Ok, now Isaiah 46, God again is making it very plain as to what He’s doing. Verse 3: “Hearken unto Me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by Me from the belly, which are carried from the womb: and even to your old age I am He; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you [that is if you’re gray-headed]: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.

Now they are going to understand. Here’s the thing that’s important: “To whom will ye liken Me, and make Me equal…” Now this is also part of the message that we’re going to have to teach all the other nations, isn’t it? God begins dealing with Israel first, and He’s going to restore them and then He will begin to deal with the rest of the nations, as we will see. And He’s going to give all the nations a chance to put away their gods and their idols, and as we will see, come to Jerusalem to understand what they need to do. So here He’s dealing with Israel. This is the message that is going out, verse 5: “To whom will ye liken Me, and make Me equal, and compare Me, that we may be like? They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship. They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he standeth; from his place shall he not remove…” See, God is going to expose the vanity of all of these idols. “…Yea, one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble. Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors. Remember the former things of old…” He’s going to say, “I told you this thousands of years ago. I want you to remember that.” “…For I am God, and there is none else…” That’s the first message we are going to bring – God reigns in Jerusalem; Christ is the King of the earth; we have been resurrected; we are spirit beings to help and to serve Christ, and we are to proclaim that He is God. There is none like unto him. There is none. “…Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure…” (Isa. 46:3-10, KJV).

God is going to do it. It is going to be accomplished. And without a doubt it’s going to come to pass. And God is going to make it absolutely known to everyone, so we can just put in your notes there Isaiah 45. There is a lot that has to do with that. But we’ve already covered it. Much of it is a repetition of what we have here.

Now let’s come to Isaiah 2 and let’s see how God is going to carry this out in the restitution of all things. He’s going to begin with Israel. He’s going to bring Israel back. But Christ and all the saints put their feet on the Mount of Olives – that’s the beginning of the Millennium and then everything goes out from Jerusalem. Now here’s what God says, verse 2: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” That is going to be the center of the earth, as it were. All nations are going to come. They’re all going to learn. They’re all going to look at the gods that they have bowed down to and worshipped. We’re going to go out to the different nations, because it says we are going to rule them with a rod of iron, and it says that we are going to be over cities. We are going to tell them about God. They are going to have choices to make. God is not going to come down and just wipe them out with an edict and all of a sudden there you have it – they are now obeying God. No, they’re going to be told about God. We are going to show them how we can help them. We will begin to help them. But then they also have to learn of God. So not only are we going to teach them but we’re going to say, “All right, now you’ve got to go up to Jerusalem, and you have got to establish things there in Jerusalem. And when you get there we’re going to give you the knowledge and the information that you need so that you can come back and we will also help you and we will teach you but we want you to know that this comes directly from God, directly from Jerusalem.”

Verse 3: “And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” Now, there are going to be some nations that are going to be very recalcitrant and it’s going to take time for them to come about and to submit to the Kingdom of God and the rule of Jesus Christ and the saints.

“And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Now you stop and think about it for a minute – just look at Iraq and all of the arms and munitions that have been stored there. They have said that with the crews of the United States Armies and the armies that now are being built up (the Iraqi’s) that it’s going to take them at least seven years to find and discover all the munitions, to gather them together and blow them up. Now that’s what they’re going to be doing. And then they will take the steel from those things and make agricultural implements. So this is a big project. This is not just some lofty words coming out of the Bible.

Part 2

Now let’s continue on here in Isaiah 2 and let’s just finish up verse 5: “O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD” (Isa. 2:2-5, KJV). Now in order for that to happen God is going to have to do something first. God is going to have to intervene.

Let’s come to Ezekiel 36 and see what He’s going to do. In order for them to walk in God’s way there has to be a change of heart. There has to be, as we covered last time and we’ll emphasize it again this time, a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, which is not the same as the covenant that we have. Because the covenant that we have is the covenant of the firstfruits.

Now let’s come to Ezekiel 36:24. God is going to gather all of Israel: “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.” That’s our first job. We’re going to help in the exodus bringing them back to Israel. “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean [now this is symbolic of getting rid of their sins]: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.”

Now verse 26 is the key. This shows repentance, baptism, change of heart: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My spirit within you…” It’s very profound you see. It’s not “within” a person until he or she has repented and had hands laid on them, baptized – put the spirit within you. “…And cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.” See, that is called in the New Testament “circumcision of the heart” – that you desire to do God’s will, that you desire to walk in His way. And isn’t that what we read back there in Isaiah 2:5? “Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” But there has to be that change and conversion first.

Now verse 28: “And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.” Now just think of it this way: you remember the account of the prodigal son, and how in famine and distress he came to himself and repented. Well, this is like the whole prodigal nation of the twelve tribes of Israel coming to repentance and coming back.

Now here’s what’s going to happen, verse 31. Just like the prodigal son, remember what he said? He said, “Oh, I’m going to go to my father and say, ‘Father I’ve sinned against heaven and against you and I’m no more worthy to be called your son.’ ” But what did he do? He ran out, brought him in, cleaned him up, put the best robe on him, dressed him, put shoes on his feet. Well this is what God is going to do to Israel. But you see here it shows their repentance: “Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.” And that is a model of repentance for us too, you see.

Now for them, they’re going to be able to know that God is dealing direct with them because they’re going to be able to see us, they’re going to know that Christ is ruling from Jerusalem. So it’s going to be a different set of circumstances. But still there has to be repentance regardless of the circumstances.

Now verse 32 he gives a reason: “Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded.” Now you talk about a building program, you talk about waste. Now just look at all the damage that happened because of the tsunami down in Southeast Asia. They still haven’t recovered from it in spite of all the aid, in spite of all the workers, in spite of everything that has been done. Well now, think of the worst desolations that are ever going to be in the history of the world and realize what a great reclamation and rebuilding project this is, because we start with waste, we start with destruction. You’ve got to get rid of the rubble.

You know, if you’ve seen of the History Channel’s WW II documentaries in showing how that Germany… Now if you’ve ever seen this film where they recorded the devastated cities in Germany, where they’re all bombed out. Mile after mile after mile of bombed buildings, destroyed buildings, rubble. And it was so devastating and it was so absolutely incredible and on top of it because millions of German men were killed in the war, who was left? Well it shows lines of women standing on top of these big rubble heaps getting rid of the rubble bucket by bucket by bucket. They would put the rubble in a bucket, pass it down to another woman, she’d pass it down to another woman. They had another line of women passing up the empty buckets, and that’s how they got rid of the rubble. Quite a thing. This is what we’re going to look at. Well the change that’s going to take place and how we’re going to rebuild it and make it fantastic – now that’s going to take some time.

Now notice verse 34: “And the desolate land shall be tilled…” The very first thing they’re going to do is clear off the land because they’re going to have to plant some plants. They’re going to have to grow some crops. There’s going to have to be food for people to eat. Of course the first thing that God is going to do is purify some of the water so there’s water for people to drink. Because the first thing they’re going to need is clean water to drink. Then they’re going to need food to eat. And then they’re going to be able to prepare to begin planting. “…Whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate is [shall] become like the garden of Eden…” That’s the restoration of all things for the whole world – like the Garden of Eden. “…And the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.” So this is quite a thing. God is first going to set up the twelve tribes of Israel as the model for rebuilding, for agriculture, for economy, for healing, for repentance, and then the nations are going to come.

Verse 36: “Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.” So what are we going to do? We are going to carry out exactly what God wants us to do. Do you think that Christ is going to come back to this earth with the saints and not have a plan? Do you think that God is not going to enlist all of... Now there are going to be some of us in the resurrection who our job is going to be to draw up plans for the cities: how to build them, how to do them. You know even though we will be in the category of kings and priests and teachers, that’s true, but also they’re going to be a lot of us helping out in helping design the plan. We are going to initially bring them the plans on how to rebuild. You think about that. That’s something because it says, “I the Lord have spoken it and I will do it.” And that means it’s all under His authority. You see, God is going to bring the plan with Him. This is just not going to be a piecemeal, haphazard thing. It’s going to be well laid out.

Verse 37: “Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem [now notice] in her solemn feasts…” Very interesting, isn’t it? Yes. Just as we understand what God is doing now because of the feast days, and it gives us an outline, though we look through a glass darkly. Likewise then for the children of Israel the solemn feasts of God are going to lay out for the people what God is doing. And think of it, every Sabbath like it says there in Isaiah 66 that from Sabbath to Sabbath and new moon to new moon, that means month in and month out and year in and year out, and the feasts of God, they’re all going to come and worship before God. So at this time God is going to add more meaning to the feast days. So when they come together in the solemn feasts they are not only going to worship God and understand His way, they are also going to reveal what God is going to do down through the Millennium and it’s going to be known that at the end of the Millennium certain things are going to happen. They are going to know. See, it’s not going to be like today. And we are going to teach them.

And it says here: “in her solemn feasts.” And of course we know all the nations of the world are going to keep them (Zechariah 14) don’t we? Yes. “…So shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezek. 36:24-38, KJV). Now that’s going to be quite a time, isn’t it?

Now over and over and over again, look, here’s the thing that’s important to understand: The truth of God always is perfect. And when we put the truth of God together the way God wants us to put it together everything fits and everything is in place. Now, when it says, “They shall know that I am the LORD”, does that not tie in with what we understand in I John 2, “He that says he knows Him and keeps not His commandments is a liar; and hereby we know that we know Him because we keep His commandments”; and hereby we know the Lord because we keep His Sabbaths; and hereby we know that we’re sanctified by the Lord because of His feasts and of His Sabbaths? Yes indeed. So you know, just like we started out this is revealed knowledge that we know. This is precious, this is fantastic, this is marvelous, because not only do we know when God is going to do it approximately, but we also know how God is going to do it.

Now since we’re here in Ezekiel let’s come back here to Jeremiah 32 and let’s see some more of what God is going to do and let’s see how He’s going to do it. Let’s pick it up here in verse 36: “And now therefore thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city [that is Jerusalem and how He’s going to bring it back], whereof ye say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence…” And you can apply this to the world now because Babylon the Great is in the world, you see.

Verse 37: “…Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in Mine anger, and in My fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely…” You think about a time, you see, how there is going to be no crime, no sexual predators, no murderers, nor kidnapping, nor gross lying and cheating and stealing. There is going to be no Sunday-worship, there’s going to be no idolatry. All that’s going to go by the way, you see. “…And they shall be My people, and I will be their God…” And again, notice what this is here.

“…And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear Me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them…” Now that’s something. See, the carnal hostile mind always is enmity to God and thinks that God, whatever He says that He wants a person to do, somehow is against them. Classic example: the Sabbath. Classic example: keeping the commandments of God.

I’ve got a book here I’m going to have to give some sermons on, which will be after the Feast, and it is by Louis Barry Chafer written in 1922, which is the basic handbook for the lawless grace of the Southern Baptists, Grace: An Exposition of God’s Marvelous Gifts. And in reading just some of it, it is evident that there is a split mind in the Protestants. They are schizophrenic spiritually. And why? Because they don’t have the Spirit of God and they don’t understand the grace of God. And just like it says here that God is going to take away their stony hearts, God is going to open their minds. They’re not in covenant with God. They don’t understand God’s way. They don’t understand God’s plan. But they want to have mercy and forgiveness from God so they can continue on their own way. No, they have to be converted and changed. God is going to have to change the heart. That’s what He’s saying here.

“…And I will make an everlasting covenant with them…” That’s that new covenant that God is going to establish with them and we are going to be part of that covenant just like we are part of the covenant with Christ for us today. Then the covenant that Israel will have, and the other nations of the world will have, will involve us as the sons and daughters of God, the ones who are going to rule and reign in the world and carry out the government of the Kingdom of God. We will be included in that new covenant with them. Now think about it. It’s going to have to include us. They’re going to have to obey what we teach them, right? See, this is why God now wants us to really know Him and love Him and keep His commandments so when it comes time for us to be teaching we will teach the truth of God – not our ways, not our thoughts, not our opinions, you see. And we’ll be included in this new covenant. An everlasting covenant. That means it’s going to be a covenant to eternal life: “…with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put My fear [and also love] in their hearts, that they shall not depart from Me.” So the conversions stirring during the Millennium are going to be fantastic. But the whole set of circumstances and the covenant is going to be different than what we have today. So that’s going to be a marvelous thing indeed for us to understand.

Now verse 41: “Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good…” Isn’t that something? We’re going to be part of that. We’re going to rejoice over them and do them good and they’re going to respond. “…And I will plant them in this land assuredly with My whole heart and with My whole soul.” That’s what God is going to do. “For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people [look out and see all the things that have happened in desolation, and evil, and death, and destruction], so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.” That’s a marvelous thing. That’s why in the New Testament we have it this way: All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Likewise here – everything is going to work for their good because God is going to bring them repentance; God is going to bring them conversion; God is going to give them a new heart by the circumcision of the heart; and just as they had heaped upon them all the evil and desolations God is going to heap upon them all of the good and all of the fantastic things. And we’ll see tomorrow how great that is going to be.

Verse 43: “And fields shall be bought in this land…”, because God believes in ownership. So just like He gave dominion of the whole earth to Adam and Eve, God is going to give us, as the spiritual sons and gods under Christ, the dominion of the earth. And then the human beings under us, they’re going to buy, they’re going to sell, they are going to own just like we saw of the man sitting under his own fig tree and under his vine because that’s a time of peace and prosperity that comes from God, and it shows that there is ownership. George Bush is not going to bring in an ownership society. We can be thankful for that. Christ is.

“…Whereof ye say, It is desolate without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans [or into the hands of the Beast previously before]. Men shall buy fields for money, and subscribe evidences, and seal them, and take witnesses…” And then it lists all in Benjamin, Jerusalem, Judah, the cities, the mountains, the valleys, and the cities in the south. “…For I will cause their captivity to return…” (Jer. 32:36-44, KJV), which means this: that He’s going to bring them out of captivity. So that’s quite a thing you know, the projects that God has for us.

Now I love it whenever President Bush says that he believes that he’s been called to solve BIG problems like the Social Security and so forth. Hey, no. Now he may do some good, but trust me we have been called to greater problems to be solved and with the Spirit of God and the power of Christ and the plans of God they will be solved. And furthermore we are not going to develop the inept bureaucracies that we have today in government, and we have in big business that are so saddled with policies and procedures that they can’t get anything done. And they are so disjointed in the Babylonian approach that the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. We want to fight terrorism but open the borders. Nonsense. And then you have people in office that you can’t change the laws and you can’t bring about any good. Hey, they’re out. They’re gone, see because Christ is going to have us as the rulers and the kings and priests and the mayors and the planners and all that sort of thing who agree with God and who are going to carry out God’s plan and God’s works, and God’s way for the benefit of all people. So this going to be absolutely marvelous. It’s going to be something.

Now let’s come over here to Jeremiah 33:6. Here’s how we’re going to do it. You know, I just imagine one of the first things.. Let’s read this verse here first: “Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.” See, that has to be revealed from God. Now, I wonder (so we’ll put this big question mark, ok?) – you hear of children with missing limbs – we heal them and restore them. I imagine we’re going to because it says He’s going to bring health and cure. Now what does that mean? Well that means we take what we saw with the ministry of Jesus Christ and we multiply it millions of times over around the world, and to show and demonstrate the power and mercy and forgiveness and healing of God. It’s going to give them health. He’s going to give them cure. And I think since it’s the restoration of all things, why not restore missing limbs. What a fantastic witness to the power of God. We are certainly going to heal the broken-hearted because nearly everyone is going to have a broken heart. And you think that the soldiers coming back from Iraq, and a lot of them having lived through these roadside bombs and things like this, they remember the explosions. They remember the things that take place.

Now just as an aside – they now know, as I brought sermons years ago, how that our heart has a storage of memory that connects with our minds. And that’s why God talks about the heart and the mind. Well, I was reading in this one report which showed how that those who have heart transplants, the memory the person had that died and the new heart put in the person receiving the heart, it changes their personality and it changes their memory and it changes their taste to conform to a mixture of what they had before the heart transplant and the memories of the heart of the individual who died. And this one man received the heart of a policeman who was killed in a gunfight. And after he received the heart he began having dreams of flashes of explosions right before his eyes, which was the gun going off that killed the policeman who’s heart he now carries in his bosom. Now what does this tells us? This tells us that whenever we as human beings suffer great trauma it’s burned into our memories. Now the health and care that we’re going to have here, it’s going to help cure a lot of that. You think about surviving the greatest earthquakes that the world has ever seen. You think about surviving the greatest wars that the world has ever seen. You think about those people who have gone through famine and sword and deprivation. You think about the hollow and gaunt look that’s going to be on their faces – bewildered, and we are going to bring them health and cure. Now that’s a fantastic thing. You think about that.

Now let’s go on, verse 7: “And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return [that means coming out of captivity to return to where they were], and will build them, as at the first.” So this is God’s plan. He’s got it all mapped out. “And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against Me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against Me.” Great time – fantastic time, and we are going to bring this about. Notice the result of what this is going to be: “And it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth…” See, so God is going to first reestablish Israel and do the healings, and do the cure, and do the conversion, and do the building of the land. And the nations are going to come and look and they are going to come and see, and they are going to come and say, “Hey, this is what we want.” And we’ll be able to tell them, “Yes, this is what God wants to give you, and here is how you do it.”

“And it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it. Thus saith the LORD; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast…” Now that’s what they were saying when Jerusalem was carried off into captivity into Babylon originally; then a prophecy of what happened when they went off into captivity in 70 AD. So then God says here in verse 11 in place of all of these things that were without man, without inhabitant, and without beast: “…The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts…” Just imagine what that is like. And imagine this in great congregational hymns to God in our worship services that we will help conduct for all the people. And you talk about inspiring, and you talk about uplifting, and you talk about tears of joy. This is going to be absolutely a marvelous thing. See, what we need to understand is, brethren, God has called us to the greatest work which is yet to be done. And that is after the resurrection when Christ returns.

“…For the LORD is good; for His mercy endureth for ever…” Don’t we have a whole Psalm, Psalm 132, every verse says the Lord is good for His mercy endures forever, His mercy endures forever. And they are going to understand that. “...And of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.” That is the restoration of all things. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Again in this place, which is desolate [and boy the world is going to be a desolation, isn’t it? Yes.] without man and without beast, and in all the cities thereof, shall be an habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down. In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the vale, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth [counts] them, saith the LORD. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah” (Jer. 33:6-14, KJV).

God is going to do it. That is a fantastic thing. And God has given us a part in this. That’s what’s so great. That’s what’s so marvelous. That’s what the Feast of Tabernacles is all about, so that every year we come before God and we have rehearsed in our ears the plan, the purpose, the calling, the reason why we’re here, the reason that we keep the Sabbath, the reason that we keep the holy days. The reason that we fight against the world and overcome sin is so that we can be a part of this, that we can help God do this, that we can literally be the instrumentations to carry out the will of God and bring it to the people of the world. That’s the restoration of all things.

Feast of Tabernacles – Day 3 – 2005

Scriptural References

  • Isaiah 41:21-29
  • I Corinthians 2:1-14
  • Matthew 13:16-17
  • Isaiah 24:16-23
  • Isaiah 48:16-19
  • Isaiah 48:1-12
  • Isaiah 46:3-10
  • Isaiah 2:2-5
  • Ezekiel 36:24-38
  • Jeremiah 32:36-44
  • Jeremiah 33:6-14