Isaiah 25

Sunday Morning Bible Study

July 25 , 1999

Tonight we’ll be having our Evening Service at Edison Field in Anaheim. J Our special guest speaker will be Greg Laurie who will be talking on "Is the end of the world near?"


We have entered a new section of Isaiah known as "Isaiah’s Apocalypse". It covers chapters 24-27, and deals with what we know as the "end times". We’ve already seen a picture of the devastation on the earth that will take place during the upcoming Tribulation period, and today we get a peek at what happens after Jesus comes back and sets up His kingdom on earth.

:1-3 The city destroyed

:1 O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee

This is probably the prophet Isaiah speaking here as he is reflecting on what God has shown him.

:1 thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth

(Isa 25:1 NASB) …For Thou hast worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.


God keeps His promises.

Last night at the Harvest Crusade one of the bands (Big Tent Revival) was singing a song that had the lyrics "Don’t let me down".

I think a lot of us know the disappointment of having counted on a certain person and they let us down. Perhaps it was a parent who left the family. Perhaps it was a boyfriend or girlfriend who promised to be yours, but left. Perhaps it was a spouse who left.

It’s easy to understand why we get cynical and don’t trust people.

But Jesus will NEVER let you down. He is faithful in that He will always keep His word. You can depend on Him.

(1 John 1:9 KJV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

One of the things He is faithful to do is to forgive us for our sins if we’ll confess them to Him.

He will always forgive. He’ll never let you down.

:2 For thou hast made of a city an heap

city – in Isaiah’s day, where most people lived on a farm, a city was a place of wealth and power. This "city" could be a city like Babylon, but could simply be a reference to those who oppose God. The great cities of the world will be no place of defense against the judgment of God.

We saw in chapter 24 how God would be bringing judgment on the world during the time we call the "Tribulation".

(Isa 24:1 NLT) Look! The LORD is about to destroy the earth and make it a vast wasteland. See how he is scattering the people over the face of the earth.

(Isa 24:5-6 NLT) The earth suffers for the sins of its people, for they have twisted the instructions of God, violated his laws, and broken his everlasting covenant. {6} Therefore, a curse consumes the earth and its people. They are left desolate, destroyed by fire. Few will be left alive.

Even the earthly rulers will not be exempt from God’s judgment.

(Isa 24:21-22 NLT) In that day the LORD will punish the fallen angels in the heavens and the proud rulers of the nations on earth. {22} They will be rounded up and put in prison until they are tried and condemned.


No enemy can stand before God.

God can take the biggest, baddest foe that we face and wipe it out.

It doesn’t matter how big your obstacle or your enemy is. God is bigger.

:3 the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee

(Isa 25:3 NASB) Therefore a strong people will glorify Thee; Cities of ruthless nations will revere Thee.

The idea is that those that are left of the Gentile nations will fear the Lord when they see the judgment that God has brought to the world.

:4-5 Refuge from the storm

:4 a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress


God helps the needy.

We’ve often heard the phrase, "God helps those who help themselves". This is NOT in the Bible!

The truth is that God helps those who need help.

If you are feeling poor and needy, then you’re in a good place. You’re in a place where God can help you.

The trouble comes when you don’t think you need God’s help.

:5 Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers …

(Isa 25:4-5 NLT) But to the poor, O LORD, you are a refuge from the storm. To the needy in distress, you are a shelter from the rain and the heat. For the oppressive acts of ruthless people are like a storm beating against a wall, {5} or like the relentless heat of the desert. But you silence the roar of foreign nations. You cool the land with the shade of a cloud. So the boastful songs of ruthless people are stilled.

:6-8 The Feast

:6 mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast

mountain – probably mount Zion in Jerusalem

all people – not just Jews. There will be people in all the nations of the world that will be saved and in the kingdom.

God is going to throw an incredible party. It will be a feast.

(Mat 8:11 NIV) I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.

This feast will be for all those who are going to enter into Jesus’ kingdom on earth.

Who will be at the party?

When Jesus returns and ends the Tribulation, He will set up His kingdom on earth and rule for 1,000 years. We call this the Millennial Kingdom.

There will be two kinds of people entering into this kingdom.

1. Resurrected believers.

The first type of people will be those of us who will have received our new and improved, resurrected bodies.

Very soon, before the Tribulation period starts, we believe an event called the "Rapture" of the church will take place. At the Rapture, first those who have already died will receive their new, resurrected bodies. Then those of us still alive on the earth will receive our new bodies.

(1 Th 4:13-18 KJV) But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. {14} For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. {15} For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. {16} For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: {17} Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. {18} Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Those of us in resurrected bodies will be at the party.

2. Tribulation survivors.

As the Tribulation begins to unfold on the earth, there will actually be people who will come to the Lord. Many of these will face martyrs deaths (Rev. 7:14), but a few of them will actually make it to the end of the Tribulation alive when Jesus comes back. When Jesus comes back, all those on earth who do not believe in Jesus will be killed. This group of believers in their old normal bodies will form the second group of people entering into the Millennial kingdom. It’s this group that will be having children and repopulating the earth. Since nobody is going to die during this thousand years, there will be a population explosion.

During the thousand years, Satan will be bound and people will not have a choice of whether to serve Jesus or Satan. They will only be able to serve Jesus. But at the end of the thousand years, Satan will be released for a short time in order to give these children of the surviving Tribulation believers a chance to make their own free will choice of serving God or Satan. Many of them will be deceived and will follow Satan (Rev. 20:8).

The surviving Tribulation saints will be at the party.

:6 of fat things …of wines on the lees well refined

"fat things" and "marrow" speaks of the best kinds of meat. In those days, the "fat" was considered the best part of the meat. In the sacrifices, the fat was always given to God.

The "lees" were the "dregs" or the little particles of grapes that would settle to the bottom of a bottle of wine. The finest wine was allowed to ferment with the lees still in the wine, and before it got too old, the lees were filtered out. This made the best wine.

Here at His great feast, He will share all of His best with us. I wonder if there will be any Baskin Robbins’ ice cream. Wouldn’t that be considered one of the "fat things"?

:7 And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering

covering … veil – he’s talking about death, as if it’s a shroud, like the sheet that would be placed over a dead body. As we’ll see in the next verse, death will be removed.

:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces

The concept of the end of physical death will actually take place over several events.

Paul quotes this to talk about how it will be partly fulfilled at the Rapture. When we receive our resurrected bodies, we will no longer face death.

(1 Cor 15:51-55 KJV) Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, {52} In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. {53} For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. {54} So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. {55} O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

But there will still be people on earth with their normal bodies. The concept of physical death will be suspended for a while during the Millennium, but at the end of the Millennium, physical death will cease permanently.

(Rev 20:14 KJV) And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

We see it fully in the Eternal State

(Rev 21:1-4 KJV) And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. {2} And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. {3} And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. {4} And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.


It’ll be worth the wait.

The pain, sorrow and death we experience now are only temporary. There will be a day when none of these will any longer exist.

Some of us have family and friends who have already gone on ahead of us. They no longer have any death, sorrow, or pain.

This is heaven.


Get your ticket.

As Greg Laurie was saying Friday night, not everyone will be going to heaven. It will only be those who have a "ticket" to get there.

You can only get your "ticket" to heaven by coming to trust in Jesus.

After we die, we face a judgment before God where we face the possibility of being judged for all that we’ve ever done.

Many of us have been deceived to think that our good deeds will just naturally outweigh our bad deeds, and we’ll be allowed into heaven.

But the truth is that the only thing that can balance out our bad deeds is death. And if you want to pay the price for your bad deeds on your own, you will die an eternal death, in hell, forever separated from God.

But Jesus Christ, the infinite God, became a man for one specific purpose, to die a horrible, infinite death on a cross and to take our place in death. He has paid the price for our ticket to heaven by dying for us.

And all God expects now is that we "receive" that ticket. He offers it to you freely, but you must receive it. You receive the ticket by choosing to believe that Jesus died for you on the cross and by choosing to follow after Jesus.

:9 The Reward – Our God

:9 Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him

waitedqavah – to wait, look for, hope, expect


One day we’ll finally see Him.

When Jesus rose from the dead, Thomas doubted that it had actually happened. But when Jesus appeared to Thomas in front of the other disciples, Thomas believed.

(John 20:29 KJV) Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

We are part of that group that have not seen and have still believed.

We have not seen Jesus with our own eyes. But we have chosen to believe.

(1 Pet 1:6-9 KJV) Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: {7} That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: {8} Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: {9} Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

I think we all go through times when we ask ourselves those dark questions such as, "Is this all really true?" I have. It helps to know how strong the evidence in the Scriptures is of the truth, but there is ultimately a point where we are going to have to choose to believe. We have to trust Him even when we don’t see Him.

It’s almost like a long-distance love relationship, we’ve never seen Him, and yet we love Him. I shared this story at Family Camp:


The Sailor and the Lady

John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his Army uniform, and studied the crowd of people making their way through Grand Central Station. He looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he didn’t, the girl with the rose. His interest in her had begun thirteen months before in a Florida library. Taking a book off the shelf he found himself intrigued, not with the words of the book, but with the notes penciled in the margin. The soft handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind. In the front of the book, he discovered the previous owner’s name, Miss Hollis Maynell. With time and effort he located her address. She lived in New York City. He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her to correspond. The next day he was shipped overseas for service in World War II. During the next year and one month the two grew to know each other through the mail. Each letter was a seed falling on a fertile heart. A romance was budding. Blanchard requested a photograph, but she refused. She felt that if he really cared, it wouldn’t matter what she looked like. When the day finally came for him to return from Europe, they scheduled their first meeting - 7:00 PM at the Grand Central Station in New York. "You’ll recognize me," she wrote, "by the red rose I’ll be wearing on my lapel." So at 7:00 he was in the station looking for a girl whose heart he loved, but whose face he’d never seen. I’ll let Mr. Blanchard tell you what happened: A young woman was coming toward me, her figure long and slim. Her blonde hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her eyes were blue as flowers. Her lips and chin had a gentle firmness, and in her pale green suit she was like springtime come alive. I started toward her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was not wearing a rose. As I moved, a small, provocative smile curved her lips. "Going my way, sailor?" she murmured. Almost uncontrollably I made one step closer to her, and then I saw Hollis Maynell. She was standing almost directly behind the girl. A woman well past 40, she had graying hair tucked under a worn hat. She was more than plump, her thick-ankled feet thrust into low-heeled shoes. The girl in the green suit was walking quickly away. I felt as though I was split in two, so keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep was my longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned me and upheld my own. And there she stood. Her pale, plump face was gentle and sensible, her gray eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle. I did not hesitate. My fingers gripped the small worn blue leather copy of the book that was to identify me to her. This would not be love, but it would be something precious, something perhaps even better than love, a friendship for which I had been and must ever be grateful. I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out the book to the woman, even though while I spoke I felt choked by the bitterness of my disappointment. "I’m Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am so glad you could meet me; may I take you to dinner?" The woman’s face broadened into a tolerant smile. "I don’t know what this is about, son," she answered, "but the young lady in the green suit who just went by, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And she said if you were to ask me out to dinner, I should go and tell you that she is waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street. She said it was some kind of test!"

I can tell you that there will be a day when we finally SEE our Savior face to face. Though Isaiah writes that "There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him" (Is. 53:2 NLT), I can guarantee you that His will be the most beautiful face we’ve ever seen.

:9 we have waited for him


What are you waiting for?

Who are you waiting for? Who are you counting on?

If you’re waiting for Jesus, you won’t be disappointed. Don’t give up waiting for Him.

:10-12 Enemies destroyed

:10 Moab … as straw is trodden down for the dunghill

Moab –Moab was the nation descended from one of Lot’s daughters and her incestuous union with her father. It is representative of all who oppose God.

We’ve already seen that Moab was a land characterized by "pride".

(Isa 16:6 NIV) We have heard of Moab's pride-- her overweening pride and conceit, her pride and her insolence-- but her boasts are empty.


Those who choose to live in pride will be humbled.

(Isa 25:10 NASB) For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain, And Moab will be trodden down in his place As straw is trodden down in the water of a manure pile.

A pretty gross and humiliating picture.

:11 And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them

(Isa 25:11 NLT) God will push down Moab's people as a swimmer pushes down water with his hands. He will end their pride and all their evil works.

:12 the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down

There are two destinations in life.

One is a place where there is no more death or sorrow or pain.

The other is a place of destruction.

Where you end up depends upon the choice you make in this life concerning Jesus.