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Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 39
As Believers, Always Rejoice
Now we’ve got a lot to cover again today so let’s buy up the time and drop right back into our study. We were to start with the introduction to the Book of Philippians in this lesson, but as I was preparing for today, I happened to realize that it has been a long time since I had put the timeline that has brought us all the way from Genesis to where we are now. So for the benefit of many of you who have not been with us all that long, I’m just going to make a real quick review of the timeline. You have to start with the Old Testament program, and the reason I call it that is because there’s nothing in the Old Testament or in the four gospels that ever spoke of the Church Age.
The Church Age was something that was unknown, and as Paul puts it, “It was a mystery,” and that mystery had been kept in the mind of God until revealed to the apostle Paul.Deuteronomy 29:29 is a verse we’ve used so often over the years where it says so plainly, “the secret things belong to God,” and that’s His prerogative, because He’s Sovereign, and if He doesn’t want to reveal something, He doesn’t have to. So for the last 1900 + years God has been dealing mainly with the Gentiles, and it was His prerogative not to reveal anything concerning the Church Age, and this period of time we are now living in.
Now looking at our timeline, we have the first 11 chapters of Genesis that dealt with creation, and then the flood of Noah, and then the Tower of Babel, and by then the whole human race had again gone down the tube. And at that point, beginning with Genesis chapter 12, we find God pulls out of the main stream of humanity one man, and of course those people that come from this one man are going to go back into the mainstream at a later date. We find that when he pulled Abraham out of that mainstream, He gave him a covenant, and that covenant said that He would one day make out of that man a nation of people. That nation of people would be separated from all the rest of the human race, it was to be a covenant people. Then one day God would put them in their own homeland, and we find that delineated in Genesis chapter 15. That homeland was certainly not just from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, but all the way from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates River down to the Red Sea, and back up to the river of Egypt and that was all deeded to Abraham back there in that chapter.
Well as time went by we went through the Patriarchs and the appearance of Isaac, Jacob, and the 12 sons. Then Israel became a nation while they were in captivity down in Egypt, so that when Moses brought them out of that land they were now one of the largest nations in that part of the world. So from the call of Abraham and the giving of the Abrahamic Covenant we see God dealing almost exclusively with that Jewish nation.
Then when you get to Daniel, which was written about 600 BC, we find that Daniel was revealed a time outline for the nation of Israel’s next 490 years. Now those of you who have heard me teach for very long know that prophecy is directed only to the nation of Israel, and almost always within a time frame. In other words, when God first promised Abraham that the nation of Israel would be coming on the scene He gave it a time frame of 430 years. And it was exactly 430 years from the time of Abraham’s call until Moses took them out in the Exodus.
Well one of the major prophecies is the one in Daniel chapter 9, where God prophesies on the nation of Israel 490 years. So that 490 years, according to the Old Testament, took them on up to the cross, but also would include the 7 years of wrath and vexation after the cross, which we know has not taken place yet. So 483 years of that prophecy ended at the crucifixion, but since Israel did not receive their King, the other 7 years were pushed out into the future, but will still happen one day. Now to make this Scriptural we’ll need to go back for a moment to Psalm chapter 2 which I have always referred to as the outline of other prophetic programs, or the Old Testament program. I think it’s so easy to see and to follow so let’s just begin at verse 1.
“Why do the heathen (Gentiles) rage, and the people (Israel) imagine a vain thing? 2. The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers (again of Israel) take counsel together,(so you have Jew and Gentile now conspiring) against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 3. Let us break their bands asunder, (that is the bands and control of the Godhead)and cast away their cords (reign) from us. 4. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. 5. Then (that’s a time word,) shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. (that of course is the Tribulation that we feel is not too far in the future. That seven years will complete the 490 years that was prophesied on the nation of Israel) 6. Yet have I set thy king upon my holy hill of Zion.”
Now in verse 6 we have the 1000 Kingdom reign that will come on the scene after the 7 years of Tribulation. So that’s all the Old Testament ever knew as you read the prophecies of Joel 2, and Zechariah chapter 14, Isaiah 11 and many more. This is the 490 year program in Psalm 2 that they are all referring to, it’s as plain as day. All the Old Testament speaks of that. That’s what Jesus spoke of in Matthew chapter 24, and that’s all Peter could speak of in Acts chapter 2 because that’s all they knew. But in the mind of God, kept secret was this lower timeline that includes something that’s not on this upper timeline, and it’s this Age of Grace that we’re now living in. On this upper timeline Psalms chapter 2 is laid out just perfectly the way the program was supposed to have been completed. But on this bottom timeline since Israel rejected their King, God turns to the Gentiles through the apostle Paul, with this Age of Grace, and the 7 years of His wrath and vexation, and the 1000 year Kingdom rule has been pushed out into the future. And since this is something totally removed from the Old Testament program or prophecy, it cannot be mixed with prophecy so that’s why I am such an adamant proponent of the Rapture.
The Church cannot go into that which pertains to Israel, and the Tribulation is Israel. The whole Book of Revelation is directed to the nation of Israel. Matthew chapter 24 is only directed to the nation of Israel! Once people see that, then it’s easy to understand that, yes, if God is going to pick up where He left off with Israel up here on this top timeline, then it stands to reason that He has to remove the Body of Christ that we see on the second timeline, and take it out in what we call the Rapture of the Church. After that happens we will still have the unfolding of the rest of the prophetic program that is directed to Israel. 7 years of wrath and vexation, the Second Coming of Christ, and then the setting up of the kingdom. Now as soon as you can understand that process this old Book just opens up plain as day.
So much of the stuff that people send me pertaining to end time events from our television audience, bless their hearts they mean well, but they’ve got it all jumbled up together, they don’t separate anything, and I’m sure that’s the way they’ve been taught. I finally had one guy who said, “Yes we’ve got to rightly divide the Word of Truth, we’ve got to separate the New Testament from the Old.” Well that’s over simplifying it. You don’t just separate the New from the Old because when you come into the four gospels that’s Christ earthly ministry, and promises being fulfilled in the Abrahamic Covenant to the nation of Israel. (Matthew 15:24 and Romans 15:8) And the early chapters of Acts are still Old Testament.
Now let me show you what I mean by that. Turn to Acts so we can see some of these verses that just scream at us to pay attention to whom it is written. Here in Acts chapter 3 so far as Peter was concerned he was up here on this top timeline. He was in this Old Testament prophecy and the prophetic program and he knew nothing of the mysteries that were revealed to Paul down here on the second timeline. Remember Peter wasn’t ignorant, he wasn’t out there by himself, he had the power of the Holy Spirit to direct him. Now we’re in Acts chapter 3, Pentecost was in Acts chapter 2, so this may be a week or so later, but whatever. Peter goes through another message to Israel telling them that the One they crucified was the Messiah, was the Christ, and then come all the way down to verse 24 and 25. I don’t see how God could make this any plainer if you really want to see it. The trouble is most people do something God wouldn’t do, they just put us Gentiles in the place of the Jews and Israel here and say, “this is for us. Don’t bother me with what the Scriptures really say!”
“Yea, all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days,”
Well what’s Peter talking about? Christ’s first advent. The whole picture, His coming, His ministry, His crucifixion, His burial, and resurrection was all in the Old Testament, and that’s all Peter had. It was all prophecy. So Peter says, “you’re seeing what they prophesied happen.” But don’t stop there. Verse 25.
“Ye ( You Jews to whom he’s preaching) are the children of the prophets,…”
See that’s why I said this was predominately Jew only, because the prophets didn’t write to Gentiles, but only to the nation of Israel! Now the only time prophecy refers to Gentiles back here is how God some day will pronounce woe upon them for the way they have treated Israel, but nothing in the Old Testament is written to those Gentiles. When Peter is writing this Israel is still under the Law and look what he says.
“Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.”
So you see up here on this top timeline, Peter is still looking forward to this wrath and vexation, and he knew it still had to come, and also the coming of the Kingdom, because he’s still on the Old Testament prophetic program. Peter has no concept whatsoever that God is going to all of a sudden do something totally different and that He’s going to go to the Gentiles with the apostle Paul. Now the Jew had an understanding, that yes, they were to be vehicles to the Gentiles someday. In fact someone had that come up in their Sunday School class and was sharing that with me. Let’s look at Israel’s prospect they had of being the vehicle to bring Gentiles to the Lord. And to do that let’s turn over to the Book of Isaiah. There are many Scriptures that shows us this fact, but today let’s just start with chapter 42. Of course God hadn’t given up totally on the Gentiles, but they were going to have to be brought to Himself through the nation of Israel, they were the vehicle. But you see by the time we get to the apostle Paul, things have changed so much that the program is totally different than that. At that time God turns to the Gentiles without Israel. Oh He uses a Jew in the apostle Paul, but not as a vehicle of Judaism. But nevertheless God’s purposes for the nation of Israel was that they were supposed to be the light for the rest of the world.
“Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: (the Him here refers to Christ, the Messiah) he shall bring forth judgment (rule, government) to the Gentiles.”
Do you see how plain that is? Sure God had His mind on the Gentiles, but He’s going to do it through Israel. Now let’s flip on over to chapter 59. Now these are all verses that people who have been watching the programs for several years have heard it all before as we use these verses occasionally. But if you’re new to the program, hopefully this will help you see where I’m coming from.
“And the Redeemer (the Messiah, the Christ) shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.
Now here you’ve got to know your Bible. It’s not speaking here of Christ’s crucifixion when He comes to Zion, but rather it’s to be their King! You see David ruled from Mount Zion, not from the Mount of Olives, or Mount Moriah, but rather from Mount Zion, so this is a reference to His coming to be the King so that He can reign and rule for those 1000 years. Now verse 21, and here God almost gives word for word the new covenant that He gave Jeremiah in Jeremiah 31:31, and is strictly to the house of Israel according to my Bible. But now come on down to chapter 60.
“Arise, shine, for thy light is come, (always remember that Isaiah is always writing to the Jews, the nation of Israel) and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. (at Bethlehem when He was born and presented Himself as their King) 2. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, (the nation of Israel) and his glory shall be seen upon thee. (hopefully because they have embraced their King and their Messiah) 3. And the Gentiles shall come to thy (Israel’s) light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”
I’m always stressing that God separated totally the nation of Israel from the rest of the world. Let’s come back to chapter 32, but since we’re that close let’s also look at a verse that we talked about earlier. Here in Deuteronomy 29:29 this is so obvious. My goodness a child can understand this.
“The secret things (something that no one else knows,) belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” God can keep things secret, but when He reveals it, what are we to do? Believe it! Now turn the page to chapter 32 and verse 8. This is the verse we came here for with regard to Isaiah.
“When the most High (that is the name of God with regard to the Gentiles) divided to the nations (the Gentiles) their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.”
Now what does that tell you? At the very core of God’s dealing with the people of the world is the little nation of Israel, and you can’t take that away from them. I just shared with someone just the other night that if someone cast doubt on the Scriptures, and actually asked you, “Why do you believe that Book anyway?” You answer with one statement,“Because of the Jew!” The Jew is living proof that this Bible is supernaturally written, because everything concerning the nation of Israel is unbelievable. In view of the fact that they’ve been scattered into every nation under heaven, and now here they are thousands of years later, back in their homeland, back with their old original Hebrew language, that should have never happened. But you see this old Book said it would, and so it’s living proof. Now coming back to the Scriptures for the moments we have left let’s pick up again with the prospects that Israel had of being the vehicle to bring the Gentiles to their Lord, and that would be in Zechariah chapter 8.20, and this says almost the same thing.
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: 21. And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, (Jehovah) and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also. 22. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, (where His throne will be set up) and to pray before the LORD. 23. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”
Do you see Israel’s potential? But when the Messiah came and presented Himself, proving Himself with signs and wonders, and miracles, what did Israel do? They rejected and killed Him! They said “nothing good can come out of Nazareth.” So Israel dropped the ball, and they lost that opportunity of being this light to all the nations of the world. But it didn’t stop God. God just picked out one little Jew, a little fellow, and he turns the Roman Empire upside down, one man, and we’re going to be commenting on that when we get into Philippians. How that one man was such a vibrant testimony of the Gospel, that he just literally permeated that wicked, vile, Roman empire with the Gospel of the Grace of God aside from Israel.
See, Paul never did say, “You’ve got to go to Jerusalem and worship at the temple, or bring your sacrifices,” but rather Paul said, “That’s all done!” Christ satisfied all the demands of the Law when He died on that cross, was buried, and rose in power and glory, and announced through this apostle something that had been kept secret in all the prophetic utterance. “We’re going to put this wrath on hold, God’s going to postpone it until a future date, and then God opens up this bottom timeline with at least 1900 + more years than Paul expected. Paul expected the Lord to return in his lifetime and take his little group of believers out in the Rapture. But here we are 1900 + years later and I think He’s going to take it out in my life time. Maybe He won’t but I’m just pretty sure that He will, but if not the Gospel of Grace will continue on primarily to the Gentiles, because Israel is blind as a nation to the Gospel.
I know there are some Jews that are saved, but for the most part they just can’t believe that He was the Christ, and so it’s predominately a Gentile period of salvation. But one day this Age of Grace is going to come to an end and the Body of Christ will be complete and Christ will call us out and up. He’s going to meet us in the air as I Thessalonians 4:13-18 tells us. After that happens then God’s prophetic program will pick back up with the nation of Israel. At that time the wrath and vexation will come, followed by the Second Coming of Christ, and then followed by that glorious Kingdom on earth.
So always remember that the prophet program was something that Jesus never alluded to. Now He knew it, He could have told us the exact day and hour that the Lord would come, but since it was a secret held in the mind of God, He couldn’t. And if you’ll just check His language throughout His earthly ministry you will notice that there were times He could have made references to the Church Age, but He didn’t. He just glaringly leaves it out of the picture, and keeps it a secret, and so that’s why then the apostle Paul is always referring to the fact that he was the one to whom this revelation and secrets of the Church Age was revealed to.