Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 25
In the past few lessons we’ve been talking about how God is not through with the Nation of Israel, they’ve been blinded, and broken off from the roots of Abraham, and have been out there now for the past 1900 + years in a spiritual national blindness, but God hasn’t lost track of them. God knows where everyone of them are, and as we have seen in our generation, the Jew is coming back to his homeland. He’s certainly not out of the woods, and they have a long way to go yet before they have the reality of their King and their Kingdom, but nevertheless they’re coming back from every nation under heaven you might say, and getting ready for what now we’ll pick up in verse 26. We studied about the fulness of the Gentiles coming in in our last lesson, so they’re (The Church) is out of the way as The Lord takes them up to glory (Rapture) and the unbelieving Gentile world will go on into the Tribulation, but the Tribulation is primarily God dealing again with His Covenant people.
“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:”
All Israel? Well hardly, but remember, what part of Israel is God interested in? The believers, and so all of believing Israel will be saved. Unbelieving Israel? No. We need to go to the Book of Zechariah, and look at Chapter 13. I’m sure that the word “all Israel” in verse 26 speaks to a remnant, and not to the total number of Israelites that will be living on the planet at that time. You all realize that the number of Jews today is around 15 million. Only 3 or 4 million are in Israel itself, and the rest are still in America, Russia, and various other areas of the world. But here in Zechariah it tells us something that chases up all the way back to Romans Chapter 11 that “all Israel shall be saved:”
“And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, (Israel) saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. (now there’s your remnant) And I will bring the third part through the fire, (the fires of Tribulation, the wrath, the vexation) and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, `It is my people:’ and they shall say, `The LORD is my God.'”
Now go to Jeremiah Chapter 31, verse 31, in that little portion of Scripture that we call, “The new Covenant.” The new Covenant is not Church ground, but rather Israel.
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, (this sets it in concrete, and nothing can change it.) that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:”
All Israel. Don’t you buy this stuff that the ten tribes of Israel are lost, because God knows where they all are, and each of the twelve tribes will be represented in the end times. So God tells us that He will make a new Covenant with Israel. Now verse 32.
“`Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; (in other words this Covenant is not the Law) which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them,’ saith the LORD. But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel ; `After those days,’ saith the LORD, `I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.'”
Isn’t that exactly what Zechariah said? The day would come when that 1/3 who would be a surviving remnant will suddenly realize that Jehovah is their God. They’ll recognize that Jesus of Nazareth is their Messiah, and God is going to call them, “My People” once again. He doesn’t call them that today, but He will then, and this is the new Covenant. Now verse 34:
“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, `Know the LORD:’ (that’s what Moses had instructed them back in Deuteronomy) for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Now that’s Israel’s future, but only a remnant of them, or a third, the rest of them will be cut off as we read in the Book of Zechariah, and die. Now go to Matthew Chapter 24. And here again Jesus is speaking to the Twelve. They are there on the Mount of Olives, and they have been asking questions:
“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, `Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?'”
So in those first 14 verses Jesus tells about everything that’s going to open up that seven years period of Tribulation. The famines, wars, and pestilences, earthquakes, and so forth. But now in verse 15 he brings them to the mid-point of that Tribulation. So at the end of that first 3 1/2 years of that Tribulation we find:
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, [that’s in Daniel Chapter 9, verse 26 and 27] stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:”
In order to make this stick let’s go back to the Book of Daniel for a moment, and look at Chapter 9. I think you have to see it for yourselves or else it may go in one ear and out the other. And remember earlier in this chapter Daniel says that there are a total of 490 years of prophecy determined upon the Nation of Israel, and here we have the first 483 in verses 25 , and 26.
“And after threescore and two weeks (that’s 62 weeks, + the other 7 weeks that were earlier makes a total of 69 weeks or for a total of 483 years) shall Messiah be cut off, (His crucifixion) but not for himself: and the people of the prince (The Anti-christ) that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; (who destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D.? Titus the Roman general. So it’s the Roman people from which this Anti-christ will come, or at least the old Roman Empire.) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
Now we come to that final week or 7 years. We have 483 years fulfilled almost to the exact day of the 490 years that were prophesied on Israel from the time of Nehemiah until the crucifixion. But we still have 7 years or 1 week left, and here they come in verse 27.
“And he (the Anti-christ, this prince that shall come from out of the boundaries of the old Roman Empire) shall confirm the covenant (or make a treaty) with many…”
Normally we feel that this treaty is with the Nation of Israel, but it’s also going to involve a lot of the Arab worlds, as the whole Middle East is a powder keg, not just Israel. I think this man Anti-christ will come in and make this peace agreement with Israel and her neighbors. Now let’s finish verse 27.
“…and in the midst (middle) of the week: (that’s at the end of 3 1/2 years) 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.”
Now, whenever you read a verse like that, I always tell my class people to stop and ask yourself a question. Simple questions. In order for Israel to practice sacrifices what do they have to have? The Temple! So this verse tells us that before the midpoint of the Tribulation takes place, Israel will have to have her temple. Right now, it kind of seems hopeless, but don’t give up on God. He says they’re going to have their temple again someday. Whether the anti-christ will make an agreement back here at the beginning with the Muslim world, that will permit Israel to somehow erect a place of worship next to the Mosque of Omar, or whatever, I don’t know. But I know they will have their temple and it’s going to be operating by the mid-point of the 7 years because this man is going to come into it and he’s going to cause the sacrifice and the oblation, the rituals, to stop.
“…for the overspreading of abominations (it’s going to get awful) he (the Anti-christ) shall make it (the temple) desolate, even until the consummation, (end) and that determined (all the things foretold in the book of Revelation: the trumpet judgments, the bowl judgments, the things that are going to happen on the earth in that last 3 1/2 years. That’s what Daniel is referring to. All those things are going to happen) shall be poured upon the desolate (the Anti-christ).” So here is what Jesus is now talking about when he says:
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)”
And that is that the Anti-christ will come from his place, I think in Western Europe, to come down to stand in the holy place (the Temple in Jerusalem). He’s going to defile it, turn on the Jew, take away their freedom of worship and then Revelation tells that at the same hour, in this mid-point of the Tribulation, a remnant of Israel is going to flee into the mountains from the city of Jerusalem and the area of Judea. Now that’s what Jesus is talking about in Matthew 24.
“The let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains:”
The nearest mountains for safety would be, we think, to the southeast. Some people think it will be the red rock city of Petra. But whatever, they’ll be fleeing the city, probably to the southeast and then look at the cross-section of society that we’ve got in these verses. This is not the 144,000. This is a cross-section of Jewish society as they will be fleeing from the city of Jerusalem as soon as they get word that the Anti-christ or whatever his name may be at that time, has defiled the Temple and has turned on the Jew.
“Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house.”
My own projection on this is that these are probably retired folk and people of means, rather wealthy, and they’re spending their spare time up on their roof top patio. They’ve probably got a lot of expensive things in their home that they’re going to be reluctant to leave behind, but Jesus said it’s going to be so urgent, you’ll have so little need for the things of your wealth, leave them behind. Don’t stop to take a thing out of your house. Now, that’s one group of people. Let’s look at another in verse 18.
“Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.”
Now you’re dealing with the working class people. In Christ’s day, Israel was an agrarian nation, as most of the world. So today the type of people that he’s referring to would probably be the computer operators and the office workers and the stock brokers and what have you. But whatever they may be, they better just drop it and get out of there fast. Don’t even bother to go and get an extra suit of clothes. Now verse 19 where we come to another segment of Jewish society.
“But woe unto them that are with child, (young, pregnant mothers-to-be) and to them that give suck in those days!”
Those that are nursing, young mothers. A complete cross-section of people. Older people, middle-aged people, younger people. Now verse 20. Since they’re going to be back under the Law, they have the Temple worship for the first 3 1/2 years.
“But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, (when it would be cold and miserable) neither on the sabbath day:”
That would limit how far they could walk according to their law. So if it’s on a weekday, there would be no limitation, because they’re going to have to cover quite a few miles to get down to the mountains. Now verse 21.
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
You picked that up in the book of Revelation. The trumpet judgments, the bowl judgments, etc.
“And except those days should be shortened, (I don’t believe it’s going to be made three years instead of 3 1/2, but I think the Greek word here implies that when that three and one half years is over, it’s not going to go an hour over. It’s going to be ended right on schedule. And so Jesus said if it wouldn’t be, if that period of time would go on even for 24 or 48 hours)there should no flesh be saved: but for (what’s the next word?) the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”
Whether it’s back in Genesis or in Revelation, all through human history, who are the elect? The believers! Whether he’s Jew or Gentile. They are the elect of God. Now then, there’s going to be a group of Jews who are the elect of God. And if it weren’t that this thing is ended right on schedule, even they would not be able to survive. So who are we talking about? This escaping remnant of Jews that are fleeing from Jerusalem down to the mountains. And they’re going to be supernaturally escorted. You pick that up in Revelation Chapter 12. And just like Israel coming out of Egypt, it’s almost a direct parallel. Even as Israel came out of Egypt and Pharaoh’s army is behind them, Who intervened on their behalf? God did, supernaturally. I’ve told my classes for 20 + years that just as soon as this seven years start, as soon as that man signs that treaty with Israel and the Middle Eastern nations, the supernatural is going to become commonplace. We’re not used to the supernatural today. We’re not used to seeing angels intervene. We’re not used to God using an earthquake to do a particular thing. But when this seven years starts, the supernatural is going to be taking place one right after another.
Number 1, the two witnesses are going to appear, whoever they are. If they’re Moses and Elijah, that will definitely be a supernatural phenomena. For two men who lived over two thousand years ago to come back on the scene. It will be supernatural. Those 144,000 Jews, 12,000 from each one of the twelve tribes. Nobody could do that today. You ask a Jew today what tribe do you come from, he more than likely can’t tell you. But supernaturally God’s going to know who they are. He’s going to know what tribe they’re all from. And He will set them apart and send them out. The supernatural will become commonplace.
Now the same way here. Supernaturally, this remnant of the Jews that are going to survive that last three and one half years will, without them knowing why, are going to make their way down from Jerusalem. They’re going to be as one large group like Israel coming out of Egypt, making their way to the mountains in the southeast. The Anti-christ is going to try and destroy them with an armed force. And again, God will intervene. Just like He opened the Red Sea to help Israel, this time He’s going to open the earth and pour the Anti-christ’s army into it and cover them up. It’s still a supernatural phenomena. Israel’s remnant is going to be safe. God’s going to feed them there for three and one half years, much like the wilderness experience. They won’t have to worry about clothes, or shelter because God is going to take care of them totally for three and one half years. Then at the end of the three and one half years when they see Christ returning in glory, there at the Battle of Armageddon, and as He pours out His wrath upon Christ-rejecting Gentiles who have gathered in the Middle East, this remnant of Israel will be saved in totality, every last one of them.
Go back to the last chapter of John. The eighth sign as we’ve studied it some time ago in the book of John. Remember the first seven took place before His resurrection. The eighth one took place after His resurrection. But they were all indicative of God doing something for the Nation of Israel. Look at John 21:5. Remember the disciples are on the Sea of Galilee. Even though they’ve recognized Christ in His resurrected body, they still haven’t been able to contemplate the whole idea of Christ being raised from the dead. So here they are on the Sea of Galilee fishing and they’d been fishing all night, and The Lord’s on the shore the next morning at breakfast.
“Then Jesus saith unto them, `Children, (He’s speaking to the eleven) have ye any meat?’ They answered him, `No.'” I always have to stop here. Can’t you hear a good fisherman after being skunked? “How many did you catch?” “Nothing.” You see they’re all alike. And these were no different.
“And he said unto them, `Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it (the net) for the multitude of fishes.'”Verse 11 is the real sign of this miracle.
“Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.”
What happened the last time he told them to cast on another side? It broke! But not here. So what’s the sign? That when God puts out that final net to His remnant, is He going to lose a one of them? Not a one and that’s the sign of the last chapter of John, that when God makes His final move with the Nation of Israel, of that one-third remnant, He’s not going to miss one. They’re all going to suddenly believe. Now, let’s go back to Zechariah, Chapter 12 and verse 10.
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they (the house of David, the Jew) shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son,…” Now let’s quickly go to Zechariah 13 verse 6.
“And one shall say unto him, `What are these wounds in thine hands?’ Then he shall answer, `Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends,'”
And so what’s going to happen? Every Jew of that remnant will see the nail pierced hands and that pierced side, and they’re going to suddenly, miraculously to the last Jew, just like the last fish in that net, they’re all going to believe that now He is their crucified risen Savior and Lord and Redeemer. Now the nation, as Isaiah says, will become a nation in a day.