Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 4
ABRAHAM, LOT AND MELCHIZEDEK
We are on a trek through the Scriptures from Genesis all the way through (if The Lord tarries), Revelation. We are presently in the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis Chapter 12), which is divided dormantly (they don’t all come out at once) into the promise of a nation; the promise of the land; and now we’re in the process of looking at that third part – the promise of a government or a King who will be the Son of God. We’ll find those references in Isaiah. Isaiah Chapter 9 verse 6, is a verse that is always well-known, especially at Christmas-time, but it’s a prophetic utterance given to the Nation of Israel. I’m certainly not the first nor the last Bible teacher who emphasizes that as you study your Bible, you should always determine to whom a particular portion was addressed. It is evident that most of the Old Testament is addressed to the Nation of Israel. Isaiah the Prophet is addressing the nation and says:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.“
The mighty God: Here again, many theologians are trying to tell us that Jesus never claimed to be God. That He was not Deity. That He was not the pre-existent Creator/God. But He is, and He was, and He always will be. So He shall be called The mighty God. These are all terms associated with this coming King, the Messiah, the Son of God to Whom we will be introduced in the New Testament as Jesus The Christ. These are His terms of Deity. The everlasting Father. I didn’t see this next part until just a few years ago. I have always taught from John 14 where Jesus told Philip:
“Jesus saith unto him, `Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father;…'”
Here Isaiah says the same thing, and I had never caught it. I was teaching one night and it just hit me. How did I skim over this for years and not see it! This is the beauty of the Scriptures. They are just like an artesian well which never runs dry. Every time you read the Scriptures, every time you study them, you are going to see something you never saw before. Here it is. One of His names shall be “The everlasting Father.” Note it is capitalized. The Prince of Peace: I know the Psalms instruct us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You knew that. That is what Jerusalem means: the City of Peace. But it hasn’t been a city of peace for thousands of years, and it isn’t tonight. We are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and do you know why? Because Jerusalem will know no peace until the Prince of Peace returns. When you pray for the peace of Jerusalem you are praying for the return of Christ, which is very appropriate.
“Of the increase of his government (this King who is going to come in fruition of the Abrahamic Covenant) and peace there shall be no end,…”
It is going to be a government without corruption, without turmoil, without war; it is going to be a perfect, righteous, peaceful, government. Where is He going to rule? On the throne of David. We read in II Samuel Chapter 7 – that His throne and His family would be a continuing one all the way into eternity.’ Now, here it comes. See how beautifully Scripture falls into place:
“…upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
It’s going to be the Almighty, Eternal, Infinite God Who is going to bring this all about; this King Who is coming, Who came and was rejected but is coming again. Turn to Jeremiah, Chapter 23. We are not exhausting all these references by any means. We are just picking out the ones that are easiest to understand; the ones that are most appropriate for this kind of a study.
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord (remember the word LORD in capitals is always `Jehovah’), that I will raise unto David (see that it goes back to king David again) a righteous Branch (the word Branch is capitalized so it is a title; it is a name concerning Deity), and a King (capitalized) shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice (not in Heaven, but where?)in the earth.”
Now do you see how plainly all this comes through? This is the promised kingdom that is also going to go right on into eternity. Where is it? On the earth! Few people have any concept of that. They think of Heaven as some place way out there. Well, yes – the Throne Room of God, the very Paradise we think of as Heaven – is `up there’ someplace. But the Heaven you and I are pointing to, the Heaven you and I are going to be intrinsically involved in, if we are a believer, is going to be on this earth. Christ will rule and reign upon the earth from the City of Jerusalem, the City of Peace.
“In his days (the days when Christ will be ruling from Jerusalem) Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
In some of the translations the words `The Lord Our Righteousness’ are also capitalized, and in some they are not. In the Hebrew this is `Jehovah Tsidkenu’ which, simply translated, means: `The Lord is our Righteousness.’ I like that because in Genesis 2, the very name Jehovah derives from the `I Am.’ You are all acquainted with: `I Am that I Am.’ This very title of the coming King is the `I Am.’ The Almighty `I Am’ of creation is going to be The Lord Of Righteousness. He’ll be the same God. There will be no sin. There will be no corruption. It will be a perfect government. Oh, how the world longs for that. I have read, and maybe some of you have known it for years, power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Isn’t that true? Go back through history. It has always been true that whenever a king or an emperor gets absolute power, he ends up with the most corrupt government on earth. The same is within our democracy. You get an individual who is corrupt and it isn’t long until he is corrupt absolutely. It is just human nature. That is not going to be the case here. It is going to be a kingdom of righteousness. Now read on:
“Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;”
This is being fulfilled before our very eyes. The Jews are coming back to the land from Russia and from Albania. In the last Jerusalem Post I read, there were only 100 or 200 Jews left in Albania. They have all emigrated to Israel. Recently 14,000 or 15,000 Ethiopian Jews were airlifted from Addis Ababa to Israel in 33 hours! The average American never got that. In 33 hours the Israel Air Force airlifted 14,000 Jews! We’re going to read the verse that explains it explicitly. During the airlift, several babies were born. Scripture says it would happen. Let’s read on:
“But, The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country (Russia, which is due north of Jerusalem), and from all countries whither(what’s the next pronoun?) I had driven them;…”
Why did the Jews end up outside of their Promised Land for the last 2000 years? Not because they left voluntarily. God took them out. Again, it was a disciplinary thing, because they rejected everything that was offered at His first coming. They crucified Him. They did not repent of that. After the 40 years of the Book of Acts, God’s patience finally ran out. He let the Temple be destroyed by Titus, and the Jew was dispersed into the nations of the world by a Sovereign act of God. The land was left empty, to be taken over by anyone. Now God is ready to bring His people back. The usurpers are going to have to be moved out. They don’t like that, but it is still a fact of Scripture, and God is Sovereign.
“…and they shall dwell (where?) in their own land.”
This is the land God promised in Genesis 15. Now, almost 4000 years later, it is coming to pass; the Word of Genesis is coming true. Turn to Jeremiah 31. Even though it is a repetition, remember that Scripture has the same rule of thumb which we have in our everyday conversation. If you want to emphasize something to someone, you repeat it! That’s what Scripture does. When you see something repeated two or three times within a book, or within a chapter, take notice. God is making an emphatic point. Here is a good one:
“Behold, I will bring them from the north country (this is the third time this is spoken in the Book of Jeremiah), and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.”
Part of that just took place a few weeks ago. But the end isn’t yet. They are going to keep coming in from the four corners of the world. How to assimilate all of these Jews is a big headache for the Israeli government. Most of them can’t speak the Hebrew language. The Russian Jews are having a hard time amalgamating because of the language barrier. The first thing the Israeli government does is put all these people into a language school so they can function within the society. It is mind-boggling to find apartments for them. Many are living two and three families in a small apartment. The economy has to absorb them. How do you suppose the native Israelis feel about their job security? Many of these Jews, especially those coming from Russia, are highly educated. Israel now has the lowest ratio of people per doctor of any nation on earth because so many of these Russian Jews are medical doctors; they are scientists, engineers. The Sovereign God is behind this otherwise impossible task. Turn to Zechariah Chapter 14: We’ll take a glimpse of the whole chapter. I don’t like to treat the Word of God lightly, so in your spare study-time, I trust you will read all of these verses carefully. Let’s go to the verse dealing with the King:
“BEHOLD, the day of the Lord cometh (His Second Coming), and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.” Zechariah, just like Isaiah, is writing to Israel – the Jew.
“For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle (Armageddon as we know it from the Book of Revelation); and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.”
In other words, it looks like there is no hope for the Jews in the area of Jerusalem and Judea because of the multitudes of Gentile armies surrounding them. We got a preview of that in Desert Storm; it was not Armageddon. It wasn’t even close to it, but it was a preview of how quickly the nations of the world can bring their armies to the Middle East. It’s going to happen on a full-scale some day; we don’t know when. But this is what this Scripture refers to:
“Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.” Back in Israel’s history, how many times did God undertake on behalf of the little nation against her mortal enemies?
“And his feet shall stand in that day (the day of His Second Coming) upon the mount of Olives,…” In the Book of Acts, at the time of His ascension, what did the angel say?
“AND the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.”
In other words, He left from the Mount of Olives standing on His two feet and He went up. He’s going to come back to the Mount of Olives the same way He left. He is going to come down and stand on two feet. That’s the literal, physical Second Coming of Christ as we see it even here in Zechariah.
“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.”
Don’t spiritualize and say there must be a mountain in Heaven by that name. No, it’s the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Then He expresses some of the other things that are going to take place.
“And the Lord (Jehovah) shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.”
Jehovah in the Old Testament is Christ in the New Testament. Note that He shall be king not over Heaven, but over all the earth. That is plain English. There’s no way you can foul that up. Now verse 16:
“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations (plural) which came against Jerusalem (the nations of the world)…”
All these things are going to come one right after the other. He is going to come down to the Mount of Olives; He’ll be setting up His Kingdom; and everything is going to start moving forward. There are going to be survivors. Someday we’ll study prophecy. We’ll show you particularly from the Scripture who the survivors are who will go into this earthly kingdom. I’m not talking about us because we are going to be translated before all this takes place. We’re going to come back in resurrected bodies. We’re not going to be flesh and blood as we know it, procreating, marrying and so forth. But there will be people in that category. They will be flesh and blood and partakers of the earthly kingdom. So it says those who have survived (the awful events of the Tribulation, the Battle of Armageddon) and who are believers, will go into the kingdom.
In Chapter 3 of John’s Gospel Jesus told Nicodemus as he was approached by him, “Except a man be born again he cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven.” There’s the word kingdom, but it’s the same kingdom. The kingdom is the kingdom is the kingdom. It is this kingdom that is coming upon the earth. No unbeliever will go into that kingdom; flesh and blood or otherwise. So here we have the survivors of all the terrible events of the Tribulation. They have survived the Battle of Armageddon. Reading on:
“…(They) shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.”
If they don’t, they will have no rain in their homeland. Whenever I see these stipulations I always think of other times in the past. For instance, when Israel was given the opportunity to leave Egypt did any of them stay behind? Not that we know of; they all came out. Had they stayed behind, what would have been their lot? Why, nothing! All through Scripture we have these kinds of settings where you have that opportunity, but it just doesn’t happen. So I don’t think there will be any problem in the Millennium with people not being obedient enough to come and worship the King as stipulated. In any event, there you see very plainly that when The Lord returns He is going to set up His kingdom here on the earth. Now go with me to Matthew Chapter 1.
For any of you who have had any Bible teaching at all, I think you realize that Matthew is the one of the Four Gospels that depicts Christ as the King. (Mark depicts Him as the Servant, John depicts Him as the Son of God, and Luke depicts Him as the Son of Man.) In order to be a King what do you have to have? … A genealogy. A king assumes royal throne by virtue of the royal family.
“THE book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”
Then what? Period! Now Abraham isn’t the beginning of the human race but that is where this genealogy stops. Why? Because His becoming the King is based upon that promise made to Abraham – not to anyone ahead of him. So, this genealogy will only go back as far as Abraham.
Turn to Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 3 where we have, what most people think is, the genealogy of Mary. (In Matthew it is the genealogy of Joseph.) You have to go all the way to the last verse to pick up the genealogy of Mary.
“Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God (or – is began with God).”
Now do you see the difference in those genealogies? Mary’s is the blood line of Christ. That goes all the way back to Adam, because we’re all sons of Adam. But with regard to His ascension to the royal throne, it only goes back to Abraham, because it is in the Abrahamic Covenant that we have the promise of a king. Do you see how beautifully and accurately Scripture keeps everything? We’ll pick this up in more detail in our next lesson, but for now I want you to remember promise of this king over this earthly kingdom all fits with the King of Kings, and The Lord of Lords. In Matthew, Chapter 2 we find that He is to be called by the wise men from the east, `The King.’
“Saying, `Where is he that is born King of the Jews?…'”