The deadliest force in the world is not nature. It’s not winds. It’s not rains. It’s not the earthquakes or wildfires that are raging around us. The dangerous force, the most dangerous, the most deadly are humans because we can plot evil. We devise harm. We’re not like animals who kill because they were designed by God to kill. That’s how the food chain works. Humans were designed by God to give life, but they’re so crafty at creating death. Decadence is a good word to describe human history. Human history is a decline. The society of man has been on a decline since the fall of Adam. Man has never ascended. We’ve only descended progressively more and more from the fall. Mankind started life perfectly in the image of God. When we sin, that image was marred, and the process of decline began. Now, we sink lower and lower and lower until finally mankind sinks into the debauchery that’s described in Revelation, at the time of the tribulation. At the end of that debauchery, Christ Himself comes to put an end to it. That’s the death of a nation. That’s why nations die. That’s God’s justice, His patience, and His coming wrath.
John Barnett here. Thanks for joining us. We’re on class seven, as you see, we’re exploring the whole book of Isaiah, 66 chapters of God’s word. The fifth largest book in the Bible, as far as the length of the book. What we’re looking at is a specific topic, it’s God’s justice in the sense of why nations throughout history have died. We’re going to examine probably a dozen different. civilizations that have existed. They’ve been nations, tribal groups, that are mentioned in the Bible, in Isaiah, in the chapters we’re covering. Every single one of those that we’re going to examine have died. They’re gone. They’re extinct. You don’t find any Tyreians anymore, or any Phoenicians anymore, or any Assyrians anymore, or any Philistines anymore, or Elamites. See, all of these nations are extinct because of God’s justice. He’s patient, but His patience and His wrath begin. Now, how do we understand? Let’s start to understand Isaiah.
Let’s look at Romans. Romans is the compendium of doctrine from God. In Romans chapter 2, and just take your Bible, find the New Testament, go through the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, next one is Romans. “But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.” Verse 6, “who ‘will render to each one according to his deeds.’ “ Verse 7, “eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for the glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness – indignation and wrath.”
Look back at your slides. Class seven, why nations die? It’s because of God’s justice, we just read about. He’s patient, but His wrath is coming. Now, this is just one class and look where we are. We’re in hour seven of these 15 classes. We’ve already covered all this material. Now remember, there’s also a class zero for any of you that are, and you can look up from your slide for a second, any of you that are joining us. If you would like to get the maximum out of this class, in class zero, let me show you what I have here, I explain how you can start a journal. In fact, that’s the project of all the students that are enrolled in this class for credit, that have paid for this class, that are getting college credit for it. They have a journal where they study 10 of the chapters of Isaiah, write a title, and by the way, the students in the Bible Institute have to write a title for every chapter of the Bible. Do you want to go to Bible school right where you are, wherever you are today?
This morning I got a note from someone. Says, I’m taking this class with you in South Africa. I got another note from someone that said, I’m a retired professor in India and I can’t believe how much I’m learning. I get notes from all of you students, all over the place. If you really want to learn, start taking your Bibles, doing the devotional, titling each chapter, finding the lessons, and then writing a personal prayer of application to God; asking Him to change your heart to conform to Christ. I also have shared with the students and I share with you that the MacArthur study Bible, you see in my hands, this is the finest study Bible. By the way, I collect theological books. I have 7,000 books in my library. I have 50 different study Bibles. 40. I think 42, not 50. 42 different study Bibles. I’ve read most of them. I’ve read the Bible a hundred times. I’ve read most of these study Bibles. This is the most amazing one that explains every hard passage in the scripture, the language, the history, the theology, the culture, even the discrepancies that come between passages. They’re all explained. So, I just encourage you.
Look back at the slides, we’re in class seven. The next hour is going to be amazing. We’re going to look at that Destroyer from the pit who kills the 185,000 Assyrian soldiers and see the context for that.
Then, we have the others and I’ve mentioned several times, this is probably the most exciting of all the hours, hour 11, God left the map of the future. I’m going to explain in there a little bit about how our current, and you can look up from the slides.
Currently we’re going through the mask wearing isolating lockdown, COVID-19 time. That’s why we’re in this virtual classroom. Bonnie and I were on the road. We fly 125,000 miles a year, and that came to a screeching halt when they shut down air travel in March. So, we’ve been beaming to the Bible Institutes all over the place from this virtual classroom. COVID-19 is the first truly global event we’ve ever had. Every nation on Earth is fighting the same enemy right now. We’ve shut down air travel. We’ve shut down, basically almost all of life in order to combat this. The lethality isn’t quite as high as a pandemic should be. It’s not like past pandemics, like the Spanish flu that killed millions and millions. It’s amazing, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is it’s playing right into what we’re going to see in hour 11.
Back at your slides, Isaiah is a book of the Bible that like every book has a structure. It has two parts. Those of you that are taking this for credit, you need to know the two divisions and the elements that are in the book. We’ve already covered God, sin, culture and consecration, the coming Messiah. We’re going to look today at these two sections, the judged nations and the woes against Judah, the tribulation foretold. As I said, we’re going to see this event in the next hour about Hezekiah. So, the first half of the book is about chastening. The second half it’s about comforting. All of the book is God’s expectations of His people and the glorious future plans for His people.
In the next slide, we’re going to start in chapter 15, and you can turn there with me to Isaiah 15. As you’re turning there, let me emphasize to you that God is watching. That’s the lesson of this chapter, that we have to look at, that God is watching. Now, look up from your slides. I want you to think as we start reading Isaiah 15, look in your Bibles, it says in verse 1, “The burden against Moab.” Then look at chapter 16, verse 1 “Send the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, to the mount of the daughter of Zion.” What is this talking about? This whole section chapter 15, chapter 16 is God’s saying I’ve been watching you that live in Moab. Whoa, have you ever thought about that? God watches and God, as we’ve already seen, is treasuring up wrath. Do you see that? God is looking at every life that’s ever lived. Now here, Isaiah was living in 740 to 680 BC. Now we’re right here, this is the year 2020 on this little timeline. This is the year 740 to 680. Right here, Isaiah is a prophet saying doom or woes on Moab, that’s who we’re looking at right now. Moab, in just a second I’ll show you a map and show you where Moab was, but it was a group of people. Everyone, see this is the lesson, every one of these nations we’re going to cover today, Moab, Philistia, Assyria, Babylon, Elam, Media, all of them are extinct. They died, why? Because God is watching and God is just, that means He has a holy standard, and He looks whether or not we want to seek His holy standard. If we seek Him, He helps us.
Remember, I shared, those of you that have been tracking all the classes, I said that Lucifer, the highest created being in the universe, the guardian angel of the throne of God, with his wings he was standing over the throne of God like a big parabolic reflector. He fell because when God removed his protection, boom. Now in this class, all of us fall short of the glory of God but when we cry out to the Lord, He holds us. That’s called justification, sanctification, redemption. That’s the plan of salvation. Rather than falling toward Hell with Satan and his angels, we’re kept by the power of God through faith, unto salvation.
God is watching. He’s watching the Moabites. All of these people we’re going to talk about today are dead, buried. Almost all of them are forgotten. In their days they ruled the world or some little part of it, but they ignored God’s justice. His patience ended and He unleashed His wrath. One by one, all of them were destroyed, except for one nation. Did you know that there’s one nation we’re going to cover today, and they are the nation of Israel, and God pronounced woes on them? Do you know what happened? They suffered. They are, they’re still suffering. They’re the most persecuted people on Earth and they are still existing though. There aren’t Elamites and Edomites and Moabites and Philistines and all these other nations, there are still Jews though.
By the way, Jew is from yehûḏâ, that’s the southern kingdom. They were called yehûḏâ, yehû’s, Jews. They’re still existing and God, when this event takes place right here, this is the rapture of the church, if you’ve heard of that, God begins to work again with Israel. Israel that has suffered so much since all of these woes because of their sin, they through the 144,000 Israelites from all 12 tribes, are the evangelists of the tribulation. They become the center of the world. Jerusalem is the center of the world during the thousand-year reign of Christ.
Let’s go back to your slides, God is watching Moab. Damascus is the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the world for centuries. You can look up from your slide. This chapter 17 of Isaiah has been one of those chapters people have smirked and laughed about. The short of it is, chapter 17 says Damascus the city is going to be destroyed so completely that, it says, only wild animals are going to live there. It says, it will never be rebuilt, and it will be destroyed in a whirlwind. The walls will melt of the city. It says that the walls of Damascus will melt in a whirlwind and the wild animals will be all that will live there.
Now think about it, God predicts the destruction of Damascus and for centuries, skeptics who deny God’s word as reliable and inspired have pointed to one entire chapter of the Bible that describes an event that has never happened. That event is the prophesied end of the oldest, continuously inhabited city. Now look down at your slides. Damascus is the oldest, continuously inhabited city.
Next slide, but it says in chapter 17 of Isaiah, that Damascus will cease. Now, look up. We can look through archeology at parts of the world and as we just saw, the founders of Damascus go all the way back to the flood of Noah. Now, if you think about it, here is creation. Let’s do another timeline. The next huge event is the flood and then after the flood we have Babel, the tower of Babel. From it, all the nations of the Earth are named, 70 families. Right now, if you go into the archives of any of the world-class museums; whether it be in America, the university of Chicago or the Smithsonian; or in England, the British museum; or the Louvre in France; or in Rome, the Vatican museum, you will find these family names.
One of them are those that are the people that inhabited Damascus. They were called the Arameans. Some of you are probably thinking, I’ve heard that word before. Their language was called Aramaic and that happened to be the language Jesus spoke when He talked. He spoke Aramaic. That’s the language of the whole Bible time. They also spoke Koine Greek, but Aramaic was the common language, from Damascus. So, we know that Damascus, from right after the tower of Babel through today, has been continuously inhabited with people. It’s like an oasis on all the caravan routes for all of ancient history. Of course, now it’s the modern nation of Syria.
Look at chapter 17 in your Bible with me please. See what it says? “The burden against Damascus.” Now, you notice this burden, all of these nations that I’ve told you about, that are extinct, now the first thing that I have a burden against you. What’s His burden? He’s just and holy and patiently watching. They won’t repent, so they’re going to go through struggles. “Behold Damascus will cease from being a city. And it will be a ruinous heap.” Verse 7, “In that day a man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will have respect for the Holy One of Israel.” Why is this coming? Verse 10, “Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not been mindful of the Rock of your stronghold.” Look at verse 13, “The nations will rush like the rushing of many waters; But God will rebuke them and they will flee far away, and be chased like chaff of the mountains before the wind, like a rolling thing before a whirlwind.” Wow. Okay, look at your slides. God says Damascus will cease. We just read those verses.
Isaiah says Damascus will be taken away from being a city. Now, let’s talk about that for a minute. Look up from your slide. Many who studied Bible prophecy, believe that one of the soon to be fulfilled events may be the destruction of Damascus, prophesied in Isaiah 17. Today, Damascus is the capital of Syria. Syria finds its way into news headlines more and more and more. There’s a civil war there. This is where all the ISIS and all the Caliphate are. This is also where a proxy war is going on between Iran and Israel. Iran is sending armaments on a daily basis to Damascus. If you just type Israel, Damascus, Iran into Google you know what you’ll find? About every two or three days or once a week, Israeli jets fly from Israel and fly to Damascus, and they send missiles and blow up another shipment of armaments that have come from Iran, arrived in the night on giant airliners, put into warehouses. The planes take off and go back to Iran and before long, an Israeli drone or an Israeli fighter jet sends a rocket. The prophecies and God’s word concerning Damascus say that it’s going to cease to exist. Did you know up through, look at this, from the tower of Babel to October 24th, 2020; Damascus is still there.
Look down at your slides. Let me share something with you. On February 16th, 2001, something happened, that the military leaders in America and Britain said it was too close for comfort. You can look up and I’ll just read this to you. For those of you who think this horrific event, Damascus ceased to exist could not occur brace yourselves, at least once in the last 20 years, February 16th, 2001 Damascus almost ended. This is what happened. A combined American British air raid was going on against the command and control center in Iraq, in 2001. Do you remember that’s the Gulf War 20 years ago? The intention was to preempt Saddam Hussein. Remember, he was the dictator of Iraq and he was doing all kinds of horrific things. One of the things he was doing was, he was sending scud missiles. He’s the only one who, up until that time, had ever shot a missile into the nation of Israel. He was doing it regularly and people were getting injured, and people were dying.
This is what happened a few days later after this British air raid, which was in early February. US satellites picked up six Iraqi divisions moving westward from Baghdad, pulling armaments, including ground to ground missiles with launching equipment. The US intelligence community estimated they would be ready for launch by Thursday evening, February 16th, or February 22nd. Israel placed their security forces on alert and went into planning. The Syrian president Bashar al-Assad granted permission for those six Iraqi divisions to be deployed on the Syrian Iraqi border, he gave Hezbollah an okay to start sending rockets against Israel. The US and Israeli government started warning Syria. Also, massive Palestinian terror attacks were being programmed as a signal for regional flare-up. Yasser Arafat arranged his personal evacuation to Baghdad. So, all of this happened in February of 2001. Nobody knew about this except the CIA and the department of defense and the British leaders.
This is what happened, Israel said, no, we’re not going to let Britain and America and the coalition fighting the Gulf War protect us. We’ll protect ourselves. A message was sent from Jerusalem to Tony Blair, then the prime minister of the UK warning Iraq, that is Israel was going to do a preemptive strike. This is what they said in literal terms. There will be a neutron bomb that will destroy all six Iraqi divisions. We will do a low yield nuclear strike on both Damascus and Baghdad on February 16th, 2001. That was the first time since 1945 that any military declared war with atomic weaponry.
Now for just a second think about this, the US atomic research was led by a Jew that escaped Europe and fled to the United States and became the leader of the development of atomic weaponry. After World War II many of those Jewish scientists went back to Israel and Israel invented the neutron bomb. The Israelis had to have a bomb that would not destroy everything around it. A neutron bomb is unique. It can, within its area of effect, kill all organic life, but not destroy anything else. In fact, if you neutron bombed the area where we’re filming this, all of us and all the animals that are around and it would even wither the plants, would just die. But this wall, this board, all of this equipment here would be fine, intact. This structure would not be affected. A neutron bomb unleashes an invisible, intense ray of radiation that kills organic life, but leaves all the buildings intact. Israel said we invented it and we’ll use it and destroy all the armies. Plus, we’ll add to that destructive power, Damascus and Baghdad. The button was to be pushed at 7:30 PM Thursday evening. At that moment, the Iraqi surface missiles were stationary and at 7:30 PM everyone’s stood down and the divisions began to withdraw from Syria and Saddam Hussein pulled them back into Baghdad. The rest is history, the Gulf War and everything that happened.
Look back at your slides. What I just described to you was an event too close for comfort, but the events of the end of days are shaping up. Think about it for a minute. Maybe next time, the Syrians won’t back down. By the way, today, Russia is their ally and Russia has troops installing the most advanced air defense system in the world around Damascus. The new missiles they’ve equipped Syria with can strike within 40 feet of any spot in Israel, including their parliament, the Knesset, including Dimona, their atomic reactor. Some of Israel’s 400 plus atomic weapons may be used to melt Damascus. There’s an eighth century BC description of a whirlwind that melts, which might be the case, prophet Isaiah seeing 2,700 years ago an atomic explosion.
Let’s continue, if you look at your slides, we’ll talk about the events of the end of days shaping up when we get to hour 11, but let’s go to Isaiah 18-20. This is about the impending conquest of Egypt and Ethiopia. If you look in your Bibles and just pull out Isaiah with me, Isaiah 18:1 says, “the land shadowed with buzzing wings.” This probably speaks of Ethiopia’s armada of ships. Ethiopia, the biblical term Kush is literally the Hebrew word for Ethiopia. It was south of Egypt and included territories belonging to modern Ethiopia. So, look at this, here comes another warning from God to Kush, modern day Ethiopia.
If you keep reading, look at chapter 19. Chapter 19 says, “The burden against Egypt.” Oh, here’s another one. The Pharaonic Egyptians, the mummy making, pyramid building, I’m not talking about the largest populated Arab country in Northern Africa, I’m talking about the ones that built the pyramids, they are in the doom. By the way, do you know any Egyptians, like the ones that built the pyramids that are alive today? No. Their civilization is gone. Look at verse 11, it talks about Zoan, actually Tanis is another name for this city, and it says that they are under doom.
Look at chapter 20 in verse 1, it talks about Tartan. The Hebrew term is not a proper name, it’s a title of the Assyrian army. Here’s another one Assyria. See this list? I could keep doing this all the way through Isaiah. Isaiah says, God pronounces doom on these nations and guess what? Why are they not existing today? One reason. God’s justice. He weighed their country, their culture, their nation in His righteous weights and he found them lacking. He waited, with many of them. If you remember, Jeremiah went and preached in Egypt. The prophets spoke to Moab, Nineveh and Jonah went to Assyria. God patiently waited, but when they did not repent, His wrath poured out.
One of the verses that’s really good, look at verse 3 of chapter 20, it says this. “Then the Lord said, ‘Just as My servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder against Egypt and Ethiopia.” Notice what it says. By the way, naked means he was in his underwear. Isaiah went around with just a little, like swaddling clothes, his underwear, and had to walk the entire length of Israel. That’s a strange thing but look what it says in verse 3. “Just as My…” What is Isaiah called? Servant. Let me read something to you, verse 3, as the impending conquest of Ethiopia and Egypt is talked about and Assyria is mentioned, verse 3 of chapter 20 designates Isaiah among a select group in all the Bible. Only Abraham, and Moses, and Caleb, and Job, and Eliakim, and a very few others are called God’s servant. Wow. Isaiah is one that honored God by saying, whatever you want me to do, if you want me to write about events, I don’t understand if you want me to declare doom on just about everybody, that means anything in this world, I’ll just do what you say, even if I don’t understand. Isaiah didn’t understand. In fact, Peter put it this way, “searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ which was in them signified, when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that would follow.” They didn’t know the full extent of what they were writing, but they did obey anyway. Back at your slides. Isaiah 18 through 20 is a series of woes and doom upon these nations.
The next slide reminds us who they’re talking about. The downfall of Egypt was prophesied, and you can look up and I’ll just explain this to you. The picture that is in that slide, you can see those pyramids, those were built about 2,600 BC. Moses, and the Exodus was about 1,440. So, after creation, Flood, and Babel, we have in 2,600 BC, the pyramids. The pyramids were all the main ones were standing, when in 2166 BC Abraham was born. 700 years later, the pyramids are still standing. In 1445, the Exodus took place with Moses. Wow. This is a 1200 year old superpower we’re talking about. What does God say to them? God says Egypt is going to fall. Jeremiah picks up on this. Isaiah is writing about Egypt in this passage, in chapter 20. Jeremiah, another prophet who’s a little bit later, see Jeremiah is actually prophesying right here. This is where Jeremiah is. He’s right here at the beginning of the fall of Jerusalem. He actually lives through the fall of Jerusalem and rights Lamentations as he’s looking at the whole city burned. Jeremiah sees the Babylonians come in 605, they come back in 597, and they finally finish off the work in 586 BC. So, while he is sitting in Jerusalem, watching all this, he joins in the writing against Egypt.
This is what he says in Jeremiah 46, the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel will punish the multitudes of No. You say No? Yeah, that’s a city in Egypt. That city had been around during the pyramids, during Abraham, during Moses, and it was still around with Isaiah and Jeremiah. That’s a long city, long lasting city, but here are the details. God says that the great Egypt will be struck by a king named Nebuchadnezzar. Whoa, Jeremiah 46 adds to Isaiah’s prophecy and Jeremiah names the king. He said the king that has whacked Jerusalem three times named Nebuchadnezzar is going to come and put an end to this empire.
If you go to the British museum in London, you will find a room devoted to Cambodia and Babylonia in 568. Now, I know a lot of people don’t like history, but in 568 BC, after 18 years of Nebuchadnezzar grinding down Jerusalem, he takes his army, he marches the length of the Nile River to what we would call southern Egypt, which they call upper Egypt and the coastal area they call lower Egypt. The part by the Mediterranean is lower. The part that’s down the Nile is upper. He goes and marches his whole army and destroys the capital of Egypt, that was the longest lasting.
Now think, this is what the historians say, after 18 years capturing Israel’s southern kingdom, Judah, Nebuchadnezzar marches the length of the Nile all the way to the first Cataract Aswan, he destroyed the capital city of No. Oh, do you know the other name for this city is? This is probably what you were waiting for, Thebes. That famous city with all the Pharaonic treasures and King Tut’s grave and all that. Those beautiful buildings were destroyed and left a heap of rubble. I’ll never forget when taking a group of holy land pilgrims, we went to Thebes, and you can still see the rubble, I remember standing there looking at that rubble and saying, wow, the God of the universe told Isaiah to predict this.
Look, how many hundreds of years from 740 to 568, Isaiah said in chapter 20, this is going to happen. Jeremiah added to its detail and it happened, look back at your slides. So, Egypt faced the wrath of God.
In chapter 21, God says that the Medes are going to take Babylon. This is what Isaiah said in Isaiah. Look with me in the book of Isaiah chapter 21. It says, “The burden against the Wilderness of the sea.” The Lord talks about Elam, verse 2; Media verse 2; and look at verse 9. “And look, here comes a chariot of men with a pair of horseman! Then he answered.” Look at verse 9, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen!” Now, he’s already talked about it. Back up to chapter 13 of Isaiah in verse 6. Verse 6 says, “Wail, for the day of the Lord is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty.” Who is getting destroyed? Look at verse 1 of chapter 13, “The burden against Babylon.” Now what does the Lord say is going to happen?
Look down at the slide. God said the Medes are going to take Babylon. You know who adds to everything that Isaiah said right here in 13:21-22? Look who else is a prophet of God. The famous handwriting on the wall event with Daniel, in chapter 5.
Look at this map, that’s Babylon, this is the empire of Babylon right here. They go from the city of Babylon, down to the water around the fertile Crescent, all the way to the borders. Then all the way down here to Thebes and to No. That’s what the Babylonians did.
Now. This shows the Medo Persian empire that succeeded. Look what the Bible says, Babylon here. It says Babylon is going to be destroyed by this group of people, the Medes. Let’s open our Bibles to chapter 5 of Daniel. I want you to see this, it’s so amazing. You’re in Isaiah go to the right. Isaiah, Jeremiah. Lamentations. Ezekiel, keep going, right after Ezekiel there it is, Daniel. Now go to chapter 5. Chapter 5 starts with Belshazzar. You remember, the king made this big feast, and he took all the vessels, verse 2, from Jerusalem, from the house of God, verse 3. Look what happens in verse 5, “In the same hour the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote opposite the lampstand on the plaster.” Now let’s come over here, in the plaster, this is plastered right here. Oh, guess what? If you go to the British museum, they actually have the decorations of that very hall where the handwriting on the wall took place. It’s a historic reminder that this event really happened. This is the night in 539 BC, that the Babylonian empire ends. Here’s what happens, “In the same hour the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote opposite the lampstand.” This is unbelievable. These are God’s amazing details. Babylon did not come on the scene for 135 years, till 135 years after Isaiah wrote, but God sees them and tells what would happen.
A quiet Hebrew prophet sat down at his writing table and the Spirit of the God of the universe hovered over him and breathed out through him to pen the events that would alter the direction of human history, Babylon would fall. The hand appears opposite the lampstand, verse 5 of Daniel 5. “On the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace; and the king saw part of the hand that wrote. The king’s countenance.” Verse 6, “changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his hips were loosened and his knees knocked against one another.”
Now, that is a graphic description of someone that is just about ready to have a heart attack. They’re so scared, they’re just shaking and quaking. He was the king of the first and greatest empire that God said is the head of gold, of the image of all the empires of human history. This was the golden empire. This was the wealthiest. This is the most beautiful and luxurious of all the empires. The head of gold was Babylon. This is what happens, keep going down to verse 28 of chapter 5. I’ll start in 25. Then the inscription that was written on the wall was four words, “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation,” Daniel says of each word, “MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; TEKEL: you have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting. PERES: Your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”
Look back at your slide. God said that the Medes and the Persians were going to come and take away the kingdom. Now look back at with me at chapter 5, verse 29, “Then Belshazzar gave the command, and they clothed Daniel with purple and put a chain of gold around his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.” What’s that? He had a dad, and he had a grandfather, and they were still around, he was the third. He had a dad, and he was here, and Daniel would be the third? So, Belshazzar still had his father who, instead of his son becoming the next ruler, the three generations, he said I’m going to make Daniel the third in command of the kingdom. Look what happens, verse 30. “That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain.” Verse 31, “and Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.”
Look back at your map, that was the launch of the Medo Persian, see it right here, empire that went from the border of India up to what we would call the bottom of Russia and the Soviet Union, including all that was Assyria, all that was Egypt, all the way over to the borders of Greece. Wow. That is an unbelievable empire. Now, let’s think about it. You can look up. Daniel is summoned hastily to the banqueting hall. He’s old and stooped as he shuffles. He has served for 70 years in the Babylonian empire. He looks at the 70 foot high palace walls and past the first 50 feet of royal blue, at the top in the plaster, a horribly large hand is suspended. Its finger outstretched. It’s scribing on the wall a terse, forward eviction notice impending judgment foretold by Isaiah, is now coming due. Herodotus, the roman historian, confirms that on that night, Cyrus waded through the shallow waters of a diverted canal, into Babylon to conquer and fulfill the promise. The city fades, never to return until modern times. Amazing.
Continuing, looking at your slides, that is an amazing prophecy, but there are more. Go to Isaiah 23 in your Bible. I’m just going to rapidly describe these things to you. What you see in this map is the prophecy of chapter 23. The prophecy of chapter 23 was that Tyre, this Island right here, this city would fall, and it would be destroyed. Now, what’s interesting was the fulfillment of that is right here. Do you see what this is? A mole. That’s this extension from the mainland. This is the mainland. This is an Island. This is a Causeway, we would call it not a mole, that was built by Alexander the Great. That is predicted by Isaiah and then in detail predicted, step-by-step by Ezekiel. That’s what happened. Tyre was under siege five times and each time they attacked. It never is fulfilled, what it says in chapter 23.
Look at your slides there, see what it says? The burden against what? Tyre. Their ships go all the way to Tarshish. These are the Phoenicians, and it says these are their cities, Tyre and Sidon right there. It says, watch out, verse 10, that God is going to stretch out His hand over the sea. He’s going to shake the kingdoms. God has given His command and it says the land of the Chaldeans and the people of Assyria are waste. It shall come to pass that Tyre will be forgotten for 70 years. It’s going to go into destruction.
Back up to this drawing here, let me read to you what happens, or I’ll just tell you. You can look up. What happened is the Babylonians tried to get it, the Medes tried to get it, the Persians tried to get it. All of them attacked, but look at this slide, they only got this part. They only got the coastal city of Tyre. They didn’t get to the island until the final and fifth attack, which is described right here in Ezekiel 26, when Alexander took all of the material of the city, all the ruins here, and built this cause way and finally took this island fortress and destroyed it. You can look up now from the slide. God keeps His word. God watches. He’s patient. His justice doesn’t change. Finally, His wrath is fulfilled, and it was.
Continuing back to the slides. Chapter 23, Tyre the magnificent was prophesied in 740 BC by Isaiah. It was destroyed in exactly the detail that God says in 332.
That is incomprehensible, statistically speaking. In fact, there’s a book that says, Dr. Stoner illustrates how impossible it would be for all the details. Look up for a second, do you know what Ezekiel said? Ezekiel said that the island of the Phoenicians, called Tyre, would be made flat and that people would spread their nets and dry them, fishermen would. He said that the dust would be picked up and would be cast in the sea. That’s what Ezekiel and Isaiah predicted. It didn’t happen for hundreds of years, but if you took every detail, that they would be attacked, that they would be leveled, that the dust would be thrown into the sea, that the island would become flat and bald and uninhabited, and that fishermen would spread their nets. Each one of those exponentially raised the possibility of it happening statistically, but it did.
The next slide, God’s prophecies are incomprehensible statistical probabilities, but they happen. Isaiah 28 has the same level of prophecy for Ephraim. That’s the northern part of Israel, and the Assyrian captivity is predicted.
You remember this slide? This is the picture of when this event took place in Isaiah 28. Those are some of the poor, unfortunate northern Israel inhabitants that are impaled by the Assyrians.
Chapter 29 of Isaiah warns Jerusalem itself that there is going to be hard times coming. Take your Bibles with me and let’s just look at something that’s repeated over and over in Isaiah. It actually starts in 28. So, on your way, just stop in 28. It says, “Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim.” That’s the first one, now look at chapter 29. “Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt!” There are six woes in a row. They are in chapter 28:1, chapter 29:1, chapter 29:15, chapter 30, chapter 31, chapter 33. Each of these woes is God adding to this list. See, here He adds Ephraim, Ep̄rayim. Every one of those, remember, have died because they didn’t repent.
Then look down at your slides. Jerusalem itself is warned and chapter 30 God starts turning His warnings back to the nation of Egypt. What the Lord says is in chapter 30 and let’s turn there. Chapter 30, verse 33. You can look there with me. It says this, “For Tophet was established of old, yes, for the king it’s prepared. He has made it deep and large; it’s pyre is fire with much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, kindles it.” Now this is at the tail end of this warning to Jerusalem, that Assyria is coming to attack them.
You see, look down at your slides. It says Jerusalem’s warned and the Assyrian captivity. So, in chapter 28, Assyria is coming toward Israel. They hit the north; they don’t come to Jerusalem. God protects them, but Jerusalem is warned. So, during this time of chapter 30 to 32 Jerusalem goes to Egypt and says, protect us against the Assyrians. So, that’s the flow of what’s happening. Now, look again at your Bible and look what it says in chapter 30 of Isaiah, verse 33. Tophet, let me read it to you, Tophet is literally the word tāp̄tê, means abomination. Israel had burned their human sacrifices there. Remember, the kings of Israel got into these false pagan Moloch worshiping, where they would actually burn their sons to appease the fertility god to make their cattle produce, their fields produce, their wives have children. It was human sacrifice. It was horrible. Tophet was where that took place. It was a place, which after that, became a place of garbage dump burning.
Now, who are we talking about? We’re talking to Jerusalem, but he said, look what it says, that Tophet will become “the breath of the Lord, like a stream of fire and brimstone.” What is the context? Back up to verse 27 of chapter 30. He talks about the coming wrath of the Lord from verse 27 down to 31, about one of the nation’s up here on this list. You see it right there, Assyria. Now pause and let me tell you what happened. A king of Assyria, the last king of Assyria.
This is his name, Sardanapalus, the last king of Assyria. The Assyrians were actually pillagers and marauders. They just went and conquered and hauled all the loot back. They didn’t build a lot of buildings and a lot of infrastructure in all the places they conquered. They just were like plunderers and they brought it all to Nineveh, to their capital city where Jonah preached. In the year 612 BC Sardanapalus was sitting in Nineveh with all of his stuff and there was a flood, there was torrential rains for a week, Herodotus the historian tells us. The Tigris and Euphrates river has got so full that they started overflowing their banks. The city of Nineveh had a moat around it that was made from the rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The confluence of them, it was like a natural defense and they had bridges over the river, but the rivers got so overflowed that they started hitting the walls of Nineveh. The walls of Nineveh, which were made from mud bricks, baked in ovens, began to crumble. Sardanapalus saw his horrible enemies, the Babylonians. Remember, Assyria was conquered by Babylon. Babylon was conquered by the Medo Persians.
The way Assyria fell was that flood. By the way, the doom of Nineveh is in the book of Nahum. I’m not covering that, but Nahum said a flood will wash away. That was another prophecy and it happen. The walls fell. So, Sardanapalus saw the Babylon army coming through the walls and he ordered that all of his treasures of his palace in Nineveh be piled up. On top of the treasures, he put all of his furniture and then he had his wives put there. Then he had his throne carried. On top of this Pyre, a stack like a campfire, Sardanapalus sat on his little throne with all of his gold, and silver, and all of his precious vessels, and all of his furniture, and all of his wives, and he had his army set fire to it. He burned to death, rather than give those old Babylonians one bit of my treasure.
Now, look back at chapter 30 because Isaiah predicted this, Assyria verse 31, the place where you punished for the Lord verse 32, you’re going to be like Tophet. You will make a deep and large pyre, your fire with much wood, and the breadth of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, kindles it. That’s the woe against Assyria, that was made eight centuries before Christ and happens six centuries, so 200 years before God said Assyria is going to burn in a pyre and it happened.
Back to your slides or we’ll never get through the slides if I talked this much about everyone. Chapter 33, the focus goes to Jerusalem, it’s another woe. 33:1 Jerusalem and it’s coming deliverance.
By the time we get to chapter 34, in the next slide, we start seeing what Isaiah says in Isaiah34:4. You can look up and read it with me. It says this in Isaiah 34, for “all the hosts of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens should be rolled up like a scroll;” Does that sound familiar? Yeah, that is Revelation chapter 6. That’s an exact quote, that is, in Revelation 6 from Isaiah. What this is saying is that now, God is starting to tell Israel, look back at your slides, that just like Israel is going to go through judgment. All the nations of the Earth are going to feel that judgment.
Then Isaiah transitions in chapter 35 into talking about the kingdom blessings. What that means is, and look up here at the drawing, Isaiah, it says that Jerusalem’s going to fall. There’s going to be even more devastation for Israel. Isaiah didn’t understand how long. Then Isaiah says, in the tribulation God is going to start turning, this is 34:4 of Isaiah, God is going to start turning His wrath away from Israel. He starts working with Israel and He’s going to put His wrath on the nations.
Then starting in chapter 35 onward, it’s talking about the kingdom blessings. Look in your Bible, Isaiah 35:1. It says the desert is going to bloom as the rose. That’s part of the promises. The desert turning into a garden is one of those millennial promises; remember I said that so much of Isaiah is about that. Look at chapter 35, verse 6, it says the lame are going to be restored and sing, that is during the millennium. There aren’t even going to be people that are seriously ill. So, all that’s going to happen.
Now really quickly, look back at your slides. What is the justice of God? All who are ever, who will ever live, are born holding two candles. They are born holding two candles: conscience, and creation.
All the nations have been wicked in the sight of God and as it says in Romans 2:5, He’s treasuring up, so everyone is without excuse. That’s what it says back here in Romans 1 and Psalm 19. Because they’re without excuse, God treasures up His wrath. Because God treasures up His wrath, nations die. That’s the message of this section of Isaiah. Every nation that God names, that He weighs with His just system are extinct except for one and that is Israel. He has made a covenant and has future promises, and they will one day be the center of the world, which we’ll cover in hour 11.
Father, thank you for your word, that you are watching, and that you keep your word. We can trust you because you are weighing even this moment, our lives, in your balance. I pray that all who are listening and watching this will come in simple faith, calling on You, clinging to You, oh Christ, and knowing that they are forever secure in your great salvation. Amen.