Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 42
Les & Iris’ Story – Salvation – Time-Line – Part 2
I Thessalonians 1:1 – 2:14
I have taken the time and put two timelines on the board. We have found that the timeline just makes everything more understandable for most people. If you realize that all of this top timeline is exactly like the bottom timeline with one exception. In the bottom line, where you and I are today, we’ve opened up a parenthetical part of it called the Age of Grace, or Paul’s apostleship, or the Church Age, the Body of Christ, that is not on the top timeline.
What I like to point out, is that all the Old Testament from Adam to Noah’s Flood, to the Tower of Babel (and then at the mid-point between Adam and the cross) is the call of Abraham where we have the beginning of the Nation of Israel and the Jewish people. We find that the Nation of Israel and the Jews all started in Genesis chapter 12. This the beginning of everything concerning the promise of the coming Messiah, Redeemer, and Saviour. This portion of Scripture is also called the Abrahamic Covenant. I spend a lot of time in the Abrahamic Covenant because of its intrinsic importance to even the Church Age.
“Now the LORD had said…” (back in chapter 11.)
And of course that’s a point to be made. The first 2000 years from Adam till the call of Abraham are covered in the first 11 chapters of the Bible. The rest of your Old Testament from Genesis chapter 12 and the call of Abraham, all the way up until the beginning of the New Testament, is another 2000 years, and all the Old Testament is pointing to that period in time. So remember the first 11 chapters covers 2000 years, and the rest of the Old Testament, the next 2000. But it’s all directed down to this nation that will come as a result of this covenant with Abraham.
“Now the LORD had said unto Abraham, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:”
Now on the surface of course you don’t get the real reason for God doing this. But after you’ve studied with me for a little while, and the Nation of Israel makes it’s appearance and we get into the Book of Joshua, then Joshua makes it so plain why God had to separate Abraham from his family. They were all idolaters.
“…Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor; and they served other gods.”
Terah, the father of Abraham, was an idolater. So in order for God to bring this man into a relationship with the One True God, he had to make a break with idolatry. So the purpose of verse 1, is to show God said, “Separate yourself from your family, your hometown of Ur, and get out of there. Turn your back on idolatry and go to a land that I will show you.” Now here comes the covenant.
“And I will make of thee a great nation,…”
Now I usually break this down into 3 categories. 1. The promise of a nation of people. 2. God would put them in a geographic area of land. 3. And then at a future day He will come Himself as the Messiah, the King, and rule the Nation of Israel over an earthly kingdom. Now that doesn’t explicitly say that here, I know it doesn’t, but as you study the Old Testament, it becomes rather evident.
“And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: (now here comes the crowning part of the covenant made with this man Abraham.) and in thee (Abraham) shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
Now on the surface, that’s hard to understand, but as we study the Old Testament economy from the call of Abraham, and his son Isaac, and the grandson, Jacob, and the 12 sons of Jacob who form the Nation of Israel, everything keeps moving along. The land of Canaan is deeded to Abraham as a homeland for this new nation of people. But everything all the way up through the Old Testament is preparing this little nation, coming out of one man, for the coming of their Messiah, King, and Redeemer, whom we know of course as Jesus of Nazareth.
So at 2000 BC with the call of Abraham, we have the beginning of the Nation of Israel. Now I’ve always put it this way – from Abraham until the beginning of the Church Age here on the lower timeline, you can say God was dealing with Jew only with a few Gentile exceptions. I always have to make that point. Yes there were exceptions to the Jew only aspect. Rahab, in Jericho, was not part of the family of Abraham. She was a non-Jew, she was a Gentile, she was an exception. Then there were the people of Nineveh, and that’s why Jonah didn’t want to go. Those Gentiles weren’t to have anything to do with the promises of Israel, but God made an exception, and sent him anyway. Then there was Ruth, the Moabite. The Jews were to have nothing to do with a Moabite. But Naomi and her husband Elimelech went down into Moab, which was contrary to the Laws of God, but we find that God blessed them anyway, and of course when Ruth came back with Naomi she came in as part and parcel of the family of the Messiah, although she was a Gentile, but she’s what we call an exception. So all the way up through the Old Testament and the call of Abraham to the coming of Christ, it’s Jew only, with these occasional exceptions.
And then in response to the covenant given to Abraham we have the coming of the King. Turn on over to the Book of Matthew chapter 3. This is where there’s a man that was prophesied in the Old Testament – John the Baptist. So I call him an extension of the Old Testament prophets. He’s prophesied as a messenger, or a herald who would announce to the Nation of Israel their King.
“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2. And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
The Kingdom as a whole wasn’t at hand yet, but rather what part of the Kingdom was? The King! The King was ready to make His appearance, and so all through His earthly ministry as we’ve stressed over and over, the purpose for all of His workings of signs, wonders, and miracles, was to prove to the Nation of Israel who He was. They were to have understood that He was the prophesied Messiah and King, which had been prophesied all the way up from the onset of the Abrahamic Covenant. This covenant nation would one day have their King.
Now back to our two timelines we have on the board. These two timelines show you how the Old Testament in Psalms chapter 2 lays out the prophetic program, (the top timeline), and the bottom timeline which includes the Body of Christ, the Church, that was never revealed until the apostle Paul. I call Psalms chapter 2 the outline of this Old Testament program based on this Abrahamic Covenant. This is the outline of what’s going to happen once the Nation of Israel has made its appearance, and the prophets have come on the scene. You’ve got King David and all the Psalms, the Mosaic system, the tabernacle, the Ten Commandments. Everything has come as a result of that covenant that God made with Abraham. Now in Psalms chapter 2, we get a timeline all its own, and that’s what this top line is.
“Why do the heathen rage, (the non-Jew world) and the people (Israel) imagine a vain thing? 2. The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers (of Israel) take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,”
Now, at the time of Christ’s arrest, who was involved? Well the Romans and the religious leaders of Israel together. They consorted together to arrest Him, and then they put Him on trial, and who was demanding His death? Israel, the Jew. Who carried it out? Rome. So you can’t separate the blame. You can’t say the Jews killed the Christ. On the other hand the Jews can’t say, “We didn’t have anything to do with it, the Romans killed Him.” You see they were both guilty. And that puts the whole world then under the anathema of having rejected and killed the promised King and Messiah of Israel. Now continuing on.
“Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. (we’ll not have this man to rule over us. In verse 4 what was God’s reaction?) 4. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision” God laughed at the absurdity of the thing. How in the world could they not recognize who He was after 3 years of constant working of miracles? But they didn’t, and they crucified Him. Now the first word in verse 5 is a time word. (then) It doesn’t name the day, month or year, but in generalities, after they have rejected the anointed One –
“Then shall he (God) speak unto them (the whole world) in his wrath, (not love and mercy, and Grace) and vex them In his sore displeasure.”
Now that’s my top line. As you come along through it and they’ve rejected and crucified the Messiah, the next event on that line would be the wrath and vexation which of course, comes from the prophecies given to Daniel in chapter 9, which is the last 7 years of the 490 years that the prophet Daniel prophesied upon the Nation of Israel. That will be the 7 years of tribulation that is yet to come. Now we know from archeological facts, and all the decrees that have been found, that from that period in Israel’s history when they had been in the Babylonian captivity, and Nehemiah was given permission to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the city wall till the time of Christ’s crucifixion (Palm Sunday really) that was 483 of the 490 years that had been prophesied. Then according to the timeline, those next 7 years of vexation would follow immediately and then that would complete the 490 years of the prophecy given to Daniel.
That’s all the Old Testament was looking for as we have just read in Psalm chapter 2. The coming of the King. Yes He would be rejected. He would die. He would be raised from the dead. Then would come the wrath and vexation. But what’s the next verse in Psalm chapter 2? In spite of everything man has done, they can’t upset God’s program.
“Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.”
Do see how plain that is? My, it’s just comes up out of the Old Testament prophecies. The 483 years are fulfilled, and then comes the 7 years of Tribulation of wrath and vexation, to complete the 490 years, and then what would happen? The King would return and set up His Kingdom, and from the Old Testament account that would just go right on into eternity. But we know now from our own point in time that’s not the way it happened. I don’t care whether it was Isaiah, Daniel, or Joel, this top line was their timeline. And even in Christ’s earthly ministry, those 3 years and Peter ministering after the crucifixion on the day of Pentecost, all they were looking for was the fulfillment of this Old Testament format. Now turn to Acts chapter 2.
Actually this is just a review, but at least we can hit the high points. But here on the day of Pentecost, we find Peter and the eleven supernaturally empowered to proclaim to the Nation of Israel that this Jesus whom they had crucified, had risen from the dead, and he was alive and well. Consequently what could He do? He could still fulfill all the prophecies of the Abrahamic Covenant. He could still bring in the King and the Kingdom. But Peter says, “We can’t skip this 7 years of wrath and vexation. So look what Peter writes beginning with verse 15. Remember this is the day of Pentecost
“For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; (and what did Joel prophesy?) 17. And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters (that is Israel) shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18. And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and thy shall prophesy:”
Now Peter is quoting from Joel, but he doesn’t stop with verse 18. Normally that’s where Peter should have stopped. Had Peter understood that this Old Testament program was no longer valid, he should have stopped right there, like Jesus did in Luke chapter 4. But remember Peter doesn’t have the foreknowledge that Jesus had. So Peter, relying on the Old Testament prophecies, just keeps right on quoting Joel, and look what happens next.
“And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke; 20. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:”
I always stop and ask my classes, did that happen? No, that hasn’t happened yet. But is it going to? You’d better believe it. So what happened? God intervened in Grace, and He just literally opened up the Old Testament program and He interjected parenthetically the Church Age, the Body of Christ. And the Church Age is totally revealed only by the apostle Paul. You won’t find anything of the Church back in the Old Testament, or on this top timeline, because that was all centered on Israel.
But when Israel, even after the crucifixion, continued to reject the King and Kingdom, God shoved that final 7 years clear out into the future. He opened up this top line, and I should go ahead and erase it because He opened it up, and now for 1900 + years, Israel has been out of the loop. They’re out in dispersion. But like Paul says in Romans 11, “Is God through with Israel? Don’t you believe it.” People try to tell us that they’ve been set aside forever because they killed the Messiah, so He’s through with the Jew. Paul says, “Oh God forbid.”God has simply given us 1900 + years of Grace whereby Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles, is now the spokesman. And as we saw in the first lesson, that’s why Peter said, “Now for salvation you have to go to the epistles of Paul.” The disciples of Jesus were apostles of Israel, they were under the Law, but as soon as God commissions Saul of Tarsus, who becomes Paul, then you see we come under these doctrines of Grace, which we find all the way up through Paul’s epistles from Romans through Philemon and so this is what makes all the difference. Now the 3 _ and 3 _ years of Tribulation, has been pushed out into the future. However, the world is still going to face that terrible time. Then Christ will return and yet be the King and head up the Kingdom.
Now I’ve noticed in all the various books and articles that people send me when they’re confused, they can’t figure out who’s right and who’s wrong. But every single time, it’s because the authors have been mixing all this top line with this bottom line. They’re trying to force this top line of Israel into this bottom line where the Body of Christ is, and it just won’t work. As soon as they start funneling these things from the top line of Israel and the Law into the bottom line where the Body of Christ is, you’ll have nothing but confusion. So always separate them.
And the best way I can point this out is to turn to Acts chapter 2, and drop down to verses 36, 37, and 38. Now this is Peter on the day of Pentecost and he is winding up his message to the Jews. Whenever somebody gets hung up on verse 38, I always ask them, why don’t you read verse 36 to see who Peter is speaking to, but people don’t want to see that verse. Do you realize how much of Christendom picks and chooses . That’s what they do, they like this, and that, but don’t want the rest of it. Hey, you can’t do that. You have to take it all.
“Therefore let all the house of Israel (now there are no Gentiles which primarily fills the Body of Christ in the house of Israel.) know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, (Jews to Jews) what shall we (the Nation of Israel) do?”
What should Israel do? Now verse 38 was appropriate for Israel, because it’s exactly what John the Baptist taught the nation to do.
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Well come on over to Paul as we saw in our last half hour, and let’s look at Romans 1:16, we’ll use it again, and oh what a difference. We Gentiles don’t cry out, “What must we do?”The question for us is personal. “What must I do?” And what’s the answer? “Believe the Gospel.”
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it (the Gospel) is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Now turn the page to chapter 3 in the few seconds we have left.
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God: 26. To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness; that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
And I don’t see any water baptism in that verse, and hopefully you can see the difference between what the Nation of Israel had to do for salvation under the preaching of Peter and what the Body of Christ must do under the preaching of the apostle Paul.