Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 11
THE ANTI-CHRIST: DEPARTURE: ESCAPING REMNANTS
We’ve been talking about the Anti-christ, the kind of person he would be and how that he is going to sign a seven-year treaty with the Nation of Israel. Now let’s turn to Daniel Chapter 9 once again. We’ll look at verse 27, where we see so clearly this prince that shall come, this Anti-christ, this vile person, this being of fierce countenance, this man who is going to come in with peace and prosperity on his platform. He’s going to literally bowl people over with his charismatic personality. The thing that is going to reveal who he really is that he will sign a seven-year treaty with the Nation of Israel. And that’s why I maintain that we, as believers, will not see this happen, because it can’t happen until after we’re gone.
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
“And he,” this Man of Sin, this Anti-christ, “shall confirm“ or make, “the Covenant with many,“ the Nation of Israel, “for one week:…” Remember, going back a few lessons, that Daniel’s prophecy was a 490 year period of time, going all the way back to Nehemiah’s return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls. And 483 of those years were fulfilled just before the Crucifixion: probably on Palm Sunday. And then, according to the Old Testament prophetic program, there might have been a small interval of time between the death, burial and resurrection, and the ushering in of this final seven years to complete the 490. We’ve been trying to show that nothing in the Old Testament indicated that 490 would be split open and stretched out over almost 2,000 years before the final seven happen. But they are going to still be fulfilled. And so this is the triggering mechanism that kicks God’s time clock back in gear.
You want to remember that when those 483 years were completed and Israel rejected the King and the Kingdom, God put His whole program on hold. His time clock stopped. And it hasn’t run for the last 1900 years or so. But as soon as this individual signs a seven-year treaty with Israel, then you’re going to have seven literal years unfold and then Christ returns. So the language is plain enough, that then, “in the middle of the week,” or the middle of that seven years, “he is going to cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” In other words, the Temple worship will stop. Now in order for the Temple worship to stop, it has to be in operation. So we gather from this that Israel is going to rebuild her Temple. Whether she’ll have it the whole 3 1/2 years is beside the point. It’s going to be operating by the mid-point of this seven years.
This is one reason I think the Anti-christ will be an apostate Jew, because when this fellow signs this seven-year treaty with Israel, they are going to be so enraptured with him. He’s promising them the peace and prosperity they’ve been looking for; he’s going to guarantee their borders against any of their enemies and he’s going to give them permission for Temple worship – well, this is everything they’ve been dreaming of. As I’ve referred to in several of our lessons recently, when you read little comments from some of the Rabbis in the Jerusalem Post, that the Messiah they’re looking for is really a perfect description of the Man of Sin. They’re looking for a man who will rule the world in peace. Someone who will elevate Israel to the epitome of all the nations. But that all the nations would enjoy the peace that could flow from their Messiah ruling the Nation of Israel. That’s what they’re looking for.
So this guy is going to come on the scene, sign the seven-year treaty, and the Jews are going to think they’ve finally arrived. They no longer have to maintain that tremendous military machine. They can lower their taxes and have a prosperity of domestic production and what have you. But, this verse says, that in the middle of the week he’s going to cause all of that to stop; he’s going to turn on the Jew and he will usher in then that final 3 1/2 years. After the departing, which we talked about last lesson, from II Thessalonians, then shall that Wicked One be revealed. He’s going to sign this seven-year treaty with Israel, but in the middle of that seven years, he’s going to go down to Jerusalem, probably from his headquarters in Europe, move into the Temple complex, defile the Temple and force the Jew to worship him as God. It’s going to be Hitler’s Nazism all over again, only a thousand times worse. Let’s go to Matthew 24 again. I think if I’ve emphasized anything over the last two and one half years of teaching on television, it’s that Christ is the Creator God of the universe. He is the very Author of this Book and He Himself refers to this verse we just read in Daniel, when He says in verse 15, “and when you see these things,“ and this where we closed last lesson. I’ve been hitting this several times over the last few weeks for emphasis. Now Verse 15:
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth, let him understand:),”
The holy place spoken of here is Jerusalem. Now get the setting here. This is Jesus in His earthly ministry. He’s talking to the twelve and He’s talking as if it’s going to happen in their lifetime. He gives no indication there’s going to be a big time span in between all of this. He’s talking to them as if they should be ready for it. Now this is in accord with all of Scripture until you get to the Apostle Paul. Then all of a sudden we realize that instead of Israel going out to the nations with the Gospel, what does God tell Ananias in Chapter 9? “Don’t be afraid of old Saul of Tarsus coming into your home, because I have commissioned him to be the apostle of the Gentiles.” See what a difference that makes? Jesus isn’t speaking that way. He is speaking as if all these things are about to happen. Now read on:
“Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains:”
Now I like to always emphasize time words. Until, is a time word. Then, is a time word. And now He says, “then,“ at that point in time when the Anti-christ comes in and defiles the Temple and causes the Jews to stop their worship of their Old Testament system, “then,“ He says, “let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains.” Now keep that in your mind because we’re going to refer back to it in a little bit. Now to verse 17:
“Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house:”
There’s been a lot of talk about the remnant Jew in the Tribulation. Some think it’s the 144,000, but it’s amazing that, of all the reading I’ve done concerning the remnant of Jews who will be saved during the Tribulation, nobody, I feel, explains this portion of Scripture. These are not 144,000 young Jewish men, which Revelation says they will be. This is a mixture of a whole society. Now look at them as we come down through them. Now “Let him which is on the housetop not come down…“ If you know anything about Middle Eastern lifestyle, folks who had retired and who were living in a nice comfortable retirement situation, where was their patio? It was upon the roof top. And so Jesus is referring to people who were quite well-to-do, who were no longer in the mainstream work force, but were now enjoying a life of relative ease on their patio on the roof top.
Now, He says to that remnant of Jews, “Who is going to be in the exodus out of Jerusalem?” To this particular group He said, “Don’t even bother to stop and take your clothes.” Well now just be sensible. Just be logical. What class of people are going to be more concerned about the clothes in their closets than they are about getting out of a place of danger? The wealthy, the well-to-do. They may have some expensive dresses, and suits, and so forth. “Oh, I can’t leave them behind.” And so Jesus said if you are in that category, don’t you take time for it. Because time is going to be of the essence. All right, that’s another class of people; let’s read on:
“Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.”
Now what class of people do you have? Working people. Probably the younger people, between the ages of 25 and retirement age, who are still out there working every day. They are doing the common everyday tasks of life. And to that class of people He says, “Don’t you turn back to get your clothes or anything out of your house. Regardless of where you are working, when you hear the Temple has been defiled, you move out to the mountains if you want to escape.”
“And woe unto them that are with child (now what age level are we talking about? Probably young mothers in their 20’s and 30’s. They will be heavy with child, and they are going to have to walk a long way. But He is including them in that escaping remnant.), and to them that give suck (or nursing) in those days!”
There you have young mothers. Do you see the cross-section of society that we are coming up with? We’ve got older, retired well-to-do people, the working class, the young married with their children. A cross-section from top-to-bottom. In Verse 20 Jesus said:
“But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:”
Do you see what that shows? Since the Temple has been operating for this first 3 1/2 years, what are the Jews going to be aware of concerning the sabbath day? The Law, and how far they can walk without breaking it! And they are going to be so aware of the Law, that Jesus said if it’s on the sabbath most of you won’t dare walk more than the lawful limit. Approximately what? 4000 feet? They wouldn’t get out of town! And then He said hope that it’s not in the winter time, because they are going to be walking. When the Anti-christ comes in and defiles the Temple, when he turns on the Children of Israel or the Jews, and there’s that exodus.
Let’s use our timeline in a two-fold way. The Anti-christ is going to come in, I think, from Europe, from the west. He’s going to go down into Jerusalem into the Temple, defile it, and immediately turn on the Jew. Now we are going to go to Revelation, and we’re going to find there is going to be another triggering mechanism that’s going to cause these Jews to go down to the mountains. These mountains are to the Southeast of Jerusalem. I call this the escaping remnant. It’s not the whole nation, but only a remnant of Jews from all categories of life. And they are going to flee the area of Jerusalem down to the mountains; whether it’s the city of Petra or not I don’t know – it’s possible. And while there, God is going to watch over and protect them for that whole 3 1/2 years. Now let’s read one more verse before we leave Matthew 24. Verse 21:
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, or ever shall be.”
I believe the beginning of this verse is the mid-point of the Tribulation. The last 3 1/2 years is known as the Great Tribulation. The first 3 1/2 years is not going to be a Sunday school picnic, as I’ll try to show you during the next lesson. But here at the mid-point, things start to get tough. You not only have the outpouring of Satan’s wrath, but also the outpouring of God’s wrath on the whole human race. Stop and think, those of you who heard me teach about the flood; was that an enjoyable experience? It was awful. It was cataclysmic. It was the end of everybody living at that time except Noah and his family. Then, come up through history. I’ve always said the more you read history, the more you realize that for 95% of the world’s population, life was not life, it was an existence. It was a life of slavery, just barely existing. In World War II, it wasn’t just the slaughter of the Jews, but Russians, and Germans; millions came under the suffering of that war. But Jesus said that is nothing compared to what is coming to this planet.
“And except those days should be shortened,…”
Many people get the idea that instead of running seven years it may run only 6 1/2. I believe the Greek implies that, unless it would end on time, there wouldn’t be anyone left. But since it will end on schedule, there will be survivors. We have to have survivors, for after all, you’ve got to have people going into the Kingdom. The largest group of survivors will be this escaping remnant of Israel. Now to Revelation again and let’s pick up this escaping remnant in the prophetic Book. Revelation Chapter 11. Now here again, symbolism comes in so clearly; all we have to do is decipher it, and all of a sudden the symbolism becomes a literal truth. Just as literal as if it had been written out in plain English. In verse 3, we have the very onset of the seven years, as soon as Israel signs that treaty with the Anti-christ. I think at this time God is going to send the two witnesses to Jerusalem. The two Jews who are going to proclaim salvation to the Nation of Israel. I think it will be out of their ministry that the 144,000 will be sealed and designated, and sent out into the world to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom (The King is coming, and is going to set up His Kingdom.) In order to pick up the time factor, look at verse 3:
“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.”
How long is that? Three and one-half years. They will be put to death; we’ll come to that later. Anyway, at the end of that 3 1/2 years, verse 12:
“And they heard a great voice in heaven saying unto them, come up hither….”
In other words, they’d been killed, and the whole world is going to see their bodies lying on the streets of Jerusalem. Remember, before the invention of television and Telstar; those of us who are old enough can remember hearing sermon after sermon on this, wondering how in the world will everyone see their bodies. But now we know. With our current technology, the streets of Jerusalem are constantly in our living room on the evening news. So every household will see those two Jews lying on the street, I suppose to rot in that hot midday sun. Then, after lying there for 3 days, they stand upon their feet, as God calls them back to life. And He calls them back to heaven.
“And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud (now this is the miraculous again you know. I’ve told you as soon as God starts dealing with Israel, the supernatural comes in and becomes almost everyday. So they ascend into heaven in a cloud); and their enemies beheld them.”
I don’t know if it will be on the 6:00 news, but it wouldn’t surprise me. This is going to be world news. Now verse 13. This is what I really wanted to come to.
“And the same hour (remember where we are at in the Tribulation? The mid-point) was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.”
Now be careful. Is there salvation by merely ascribing glory to the God of heaven? No! A lot of people do that constantly. And so these Jews recognize now that the God of Abraham, the God of Heaven, is certainly working in their midst. It’s not a salvation experience; but because of their physical fear of what has just taken place, what are they going to do? They are going to flee. Remember not all, but a remnant. Let’s go to Chapter 12, verses 5 and 6. Now here is symbolism again. The woman is the Nation of Israel.
“And she brought forth a man child (in other words, the Christ child. And here we leap the ages, from the time of His birth to the rule of His Kingdom, 2000 years or more), who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron (now the verse backs up again to His ascension): and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. In verse 6, we leap back to the mid-point of the Tribulation:
“And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they (The Godhead) should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” Or 31/2 years. This is the last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation. Now in that same 12th Chapter, verses 13-16:
“And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman (that is the Nation of Israel) which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished (by God) for a time, and times, and half a time (3 1/2 years), from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.”
Quickly go to Exodus 19. I’ve always taught that so much of what happened in Genesis and Exodus, we see a repetition of in Revelation. And this is exactly what we have here. In Exodus, we have Israel fleeing out of Egypt with the Egyptian armies behind them. Now look how God looked at it. He says through Moses:
“Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.”
Do you see what it says? Now flip back again to Revelation 12:14:
” And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness,…”
Now put all of this together. What happened back there in Exodus when Israel was escaping? Pharaoh sent his armies and chariots out to destroy Israel. Where did God stop Pharaoh? At the Red Sea. The Anti-christ is going to do the same thing. He’s going to send an army after this escaping remnant of Jews as they are being hurried along by the escaping power of God. But what’s going to happen? The armies will be destroyed.