Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 6
SECOND COMING: MILLENNIUM
Daniel 9 & Genesis 25-26
Turn to Matthew 24, for a quick review of our last lesson, where we left off with Jesus telling the Twelve the events of the Tribulation:
“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).”
He makes a tremendous statement that gives veracity to the Book of Daniel — a book that has probably been under more attack by the scoffers and the liberals than any other book in The Bible, except maybe Genesis. But, here in Matthew 24, Jesus puts his stamp of approval upon the prophet Daniel. “When ye therefore,…“ and remember He’s talking to the Twelve; and so He is naturally talking primarily to the Jew. Never forget that this great Tribulation period, the seven years that is spoken of throughout all the Old Testament, is referred to here by Christ. And then, of course, the road map of it is in the Book of Revelation; that seven-year period is primarily, according to Jeremiah Chapter 30, Jacob’s trouble. Which means it is primarily God dealing with the Nation of Israel after all these years of seemingly ignoring them, and yet not really. Because always remember, one of the greatest miracles of the whole human race is the Nation of Israel. They should have been long gone, but here they are after over 4,000 years of history; and more than one government, more than one empire, more than one king has tried to obliterate them. And yet, here they are.
I’m reminded of an anecdote I read years ago that during the time of Bismarck, I think it was, and the Prussian empire, he was an unbeliever and almost an agnostic, had one of his top generals who was a very devout believer. And so, one day as he was conducting his inspection, he came to this general and sneeringly said, “General, tell me why do you still believe The Bible? Tell me in one or two words.” And the general, without a pause, said, “Sir, the Jew.” And you see that is. The proof of this Book is the Nation of Israel. God is not through with them. He is still bringing them back to the land and that’s why we’re seeing this mass emigration into that little postage stamp piece of real estate, because God’s getting ready to again pick up where He left off with His favored nation.
Now, here in Matthew 24, verse 15, He says to the Twelve, “when ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (that would be in the Temple) whoso readeth, let him understand.” Let’s go back to Daniel and pick up again those verses that Jesus was referring to, so we can tie it all together. Now, as I was driving up here for our lesson today, I was trying to sort things out in my own mind, because this is not just a short lesson, and we can go on to another subject some other time. We’re trying to teach the whole scope of Scripture from Genesis through Revelation, and not in just bits and pieces; not as a shotgun approach, but we’re trying to tie everything together. And I’ve known in my classes when people have gone through Genesis to Revelation four, five, six times with me; every time they will pick up things that they’ve never caught before. I used to apologize for reviewing, but I don’t anymore, because every time I review, I know that somebody picks up a little bit that they’ve either forgotten, or they’ve never actually tied together. So, let’s look at Daniel 9:24:
“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”
We’re again dealing with the Nation of Israel; it’s Old Testament, and some may say, “Wait a minute, you mean that the Old Testament isn’t for us?” Of course it is! All Scripture is by inspiration and is profitable. So, we don’t put lines through any of it. But, I maintain that you have to be aware to whom the particular passage was directed. And so, here again, Daniel makes it so plain that “seventy weeks,” or seventy weeks of years, or 490 years, “are determined upon thy people.” God is speaking, of course, through the prophets. So, who are Daniel’s people? Well, the Jew – Israel – the nation. “and upon thy holy city,” (Jerusalem), “to finish the transgression and to make and end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity.” Of course, that all took place at the Cross.
That’s where sin was paid for, and all these things came to their culmination. But, on the other hand, there’s still some time to go on after the Cross and the verse continues on, “…to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” This is not an in depth study on prophecy; we’re still going to go back to Genesis soon. But as I mentioned the last lesson, we’ve had so many requests to go back and spend a little time on end-time things, because we are getting so close to it all. And I agreed heartily, because, when I look at how long it’s taken to go through the first 24 verses of Genesis, I’m honestly convinced that we won’t be here long enough to finish the whole book. We’ll be gone before it’s all gone. So, we are just taking a brief overview.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times: And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”
So then, here in verse 25 & 26, we see that these 490 years are broken down into a period that would be 483 years. Remember, that Abraham, the beginning of the Jewish nation, began about 2,000 B.C. The Cross would be in the middle. Now, in this passage of Daniel, he is speaking of 483 years that would transpire from the decree from the king, which we find in Nehemiah 2. That decree was found to be dated in 445 B.C. If I remember right, the date was March 14. All you have do is remember a scriptural year is 360 days, not 365. It’s twelve months of 30 days, or 360 days. But you still have to compensate for those 5 days and leap years, so you just punch it out in your calculator, even with our present day calendar, from 445 B.C., archaeologists have found this. It’s not just pulled out of a hat. From 445 B.C. until the year of the Crucifixion, as I calculate it, comes to within about one year. And there can easily be that much difference in calendarization and so forth. So always remember that the Scripture is so accurate. Nothing is guesswork. And if there is a discrepancy, it is ours, not God’s.
So, anyway, Daniel has determined that there would be 483 years from that decree of Nehemiah 2 until the Crucifixion. But, the total years that God was going to deal with Israel was 490. So, if 483 took place up to the Cross, that means there is seven years left. And consequently, most Bible scholars, and those who do a lot of writing, will refer to the seven-year period as Daniel’s seventieth week. Sixty-nine were fulfilled at the Cross. God’s clock stopped, and the last seven years are still ahead of us. They still have to be fulfilled. Now, then, as you go into verse 26, it speaks of a coming prince. “After the threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off (at the Crucifixion),but not for himself,” He didn’t die because of anything He had done. He died for us, “and the people,” (now here’s where you have watch carefully as you read), “…the people of the prince that shall come,…“ Now, the prince that shall come is a small letter “p,” and is the reference to what we call the Anti-christ. Christ is the Prince and He would be capitalized.
But, this prince is a small letter, and it’s a reference to the counterfeit christ, the Anti-christ, and it’s the people out of which he will one day come that will destroy the Temple. And we know that was done by the Roman general, Titus, in 70 A.D. So, that verse tells us at the time of the Anti-christ’s appearance, he will have to come out of the geographical area that comprises the ancient Roman empire. And it’s coming to pass right before our eyes. It’s basically the European Community, which by the end of this year, they hope to be able to call a Federation of Europe, or a United States of Europe. And so, the geographical part of it is already in place; that somewhere out of that revived Roman empire this prince will make his appearance. Then, in verse 27, we find what he is going to do:
“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.”
He is going to make a covenant or a treaty with Israel for how long? One week – seven years! Now, there comes that seventieth week of sevens, or that 483 to the 490. He’s going to sign the seven-year treaty. So on that basis, I’ve taught that when that treaty is signed by the Anti-christ and Israel, that puts God’s time clock back in gear, which stopped back there at the Cross. And there have been an indeterminate number of years since then. But as soon as that man signs a treaty with Israel, God’s seven-year time clock starts running. But, look on in the rest of that verse, at what’s going to happen? And this is what Jesus was making reference to when He said in Matthew 24, “when you see this desolation take place in the Temple, then flee to the mountains.” And here it is. “In the middle of the week”, in other words at the end of 3 1/2 years, “he will cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease”,or to stop. Now, the first thing you’ve got to ask yourself when you read something like that, in order for Israel to have the Temple worship and have it disrupted, what is Israel going to have to have first? The Temple.
And so, we know that one day soon, some how or another everything is going to fall into place, that Israel will have her Temple rebuilt. And we know from all our news coming out of Israel that they’ve already got young men trained for the priesthood. They’ve already got all the garments of the priesthood hanging on mannequins. They’ve got everything ready, and all they need is the Temple, and that can go up rather quickly with all the technology that we have today. In fact, I saw in the Jerusalem Post, just recently, all of the damage that was done by the scuds and next to it was the picture of the same street today. And do you know what? Everything was rebuilt and you couldn’t tell there had been any damage at all. The streets were new. And they did that in one year!
So, don’t ever shrink and ask how can they build a Temple and get everything going so quickly. It won’t take that long. But in the middle of this seven years, the Anti-christ is going to turn on that nation with whom he made this treaty, and go into the Temple, Daniel says. There he’s going to cause an abomination. And he shall make the Temple desolate. In other words, he’s going to shut it down, and, the reason for that, is he’s going to force Israel to worship him as their Messiah. Now, I think for the first three and one half years, Israel will enjoy the protection of this individual, and they will be so awed by what he is able to do, that they will begin to wonder if he, indeed, is the real Messiah. But then, at the mid-point of that Tribulation, they will suddenly realize that, indeed, he is not The Messiah, but in fact, quite the opposite. I was reading a book the other evening concerning the New Age movement. It’s amazing how gullible people can be. I just can’t understand it. And these New Age people are actually elevating Lucifer and Satan and his man Anti-christ, as the one who will bring in the utopia that the world is looking for. And we know from Scripture, that this man is not going to bring in a utopia; he’s going to bring in the most devastating years that this world has ever known.
Come back to Matthew 24 so we can continue for just a moment to see how Jesus describes these seven years, but in particular, the last 3 1/2. He’s talking about the time from when the Anti-christ goes into the Temple here in verse 15. We covered this in our last lesson so we’re going to take a real brief look at how he now instructs the Jews, living in the area of Jerusalem and Judea, at the time that all of this takes place, to flee to the mountains. In other words, they must get out of the area of Jerusalem and Judea. Then, I gave you a good indication of all the various types of people that will be in that fleeing remnant of Israel. Let’s look at it in Matthew:
“let him which is on the house top not come down to take anything out of his house:…” This is probably somebody who is retired and may be fairly well-to-do, with no day-to-day responsibilities.
“Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.”
Here we’ve got the opposite, a younger person who is a laboring person, working every day. And Jesus said to let him not go back to get his clothes, but let him flee.
“And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!” You have the young women of a society. Some mothers and some mothers-to-be, but you’ve got a whole cross-section here. Men, women, young children, infants, babies and those that are about to be born.
“But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day;…”
Here’s the reference that Israel will be be back under the Law. That’s another thing many people can’t comprehend – that Israel is getting ready to go back under the old Mosaic Law. Oh, not in it’s purity, as Moses gave it to them, but as it was, perhaps, at the time of Christ. If you know anything at all of Judaism, you know that it was pretty well adulterated, and that’s why Jesus made such a fuss over the way they were conducting themselves in the Temple. But, they’re going to go back under the Law; they’re going to have the Temple worship; and at the mid-point of that last seven years, when you see the Temple desecrated and the abomination, they will flee to the mountains. We don’t know when it will be, because this is a question mark period of time, but we do know that this is going to be seven years. Daniel divided it and Jesus divided it.
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
“For then (in other words from the mid-point on) shall be great tribulation,…” Now, watch the language – “such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time,…“ or that time, because He’s speaking of it in the future tense, “no, nor ever shall be.” I do a lot of reading and I think you all know that by now. Recently, I read something that came in the mail and I don’t know what group put it out, they didn’t have their name on it. I’ve got a pretty good idea though. They were maintaining that we’re just simply going right straight on through to the Second Coming. Christ comes and that ends it, and they completely ignore verses like this. But Jesus here is speaking of a time of trouble that this world has never seen, as over against what this particular little booklet was saying, that if the Book of Revelation ever was acted out, it was back in the time of Nero, and some of those in the Roman empire.
What these folks don’t understand is that there has never been a time in human history, not under these Caesar’s, or Hitler, or Stalin, like that which is coming after the Anti-christ turns upon the Nation of Israel. And look what He says, “there shall be great Tribulation like as was not since the beginning of the world, nor ever shall be.” Now, let’s go back and take a look at this in Revelation Chapter 11. I always like to point out that throughout Scripture this seven-year period is always broken down into the two halves. In fact, you might even want to look at Chapter 11, verse 2:
“But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” We’re not going to make comment on the verse per se, except to say that the last part of the verse says, “…for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot Forty and two months.” How long is that? Three and one-half years.
“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? Forty-two months or three and one-half years. Now then, come on a little further:
“And the same hour 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,”
This is the exact mid-point of the seven years. Then there’s going to be a tremendous earthquake in the area of Jerusalem. Now, I think we’re all aware that we’re already seeing a progressive increase in the number of earthquakes, all around the planet. They started about 1972 or 1973 and they’ve been increasing ever since. Well, all during this seven years, along with all the other plagues and the wars and famines and pestilence, there’s going to be tremendous, physical upheaval. Much, as it was, during the Flood. Tremendous earthquakes, volcanoes, tidal waves, you name it. The old earth is going to come under all of this.
This remnant will be these Jews fleeing (as Jesus said they’d better), out of Jerusalem, at the mid-point, and a lot of things happen. When I teach the Book of Revelation, I try to, first and foremost, delineate between all the events at the opening. And then all the major events at the middle, and all the major events at the end. And then fill in. Because that’s the only way you can really comprehend the Book of Revelation. Now, here at the mid-point, there is going to be a lot of things taking place. The two witnesses that have been preaching there for 3 1/2 years, are suddenly going to be killed, laid in the street for three days, and then they are going to be resurrected and taken up so the whole world can see them go.
The Anti-christ is going to move his headquarters down into the Temple in Jerusalem. He’ll defile the Temple, and set up his throne room there and his seat of government. Along with that, Satan is going to be cast out of Heaven for the last time, and so he comes down with all his wicked cohorts – now this all takes place in a matter of hours at the mid-point of this seven years. Along with it, is this tremendous earthquake and the fleeing of the remnant of Israel. That remnant we just saw in Matthew 24. Older people, middle age people, working people, young people – men and women, boys and girls. They’ll be fleeing out of Jerusalem to their place of safety. But they go out in unbelief concerning The Messiah.
Now, pick that up here in verse 13. They gave glory to God. I enjoy reading that Jerusalem Post just to see the attitude, and every week there’s an article in there by one of the chief Rabbi’s of Israel. And listen, they’re getting more religious by the week, over there. And so, the Rabbi’s are speaking of God and of all of His glory, but who are the still rejecting? The Christ! And so, they will not recognize that Jesus was The Christ. And, you’ve got the same thing here in Revelation. They’re going to be fleeing out of Jerusalem. They’re going to give glory to the God of Abraham, but they still don’t know The Christ. Then, let’s pick them up across in Chapter 12:
“And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.” It says that she brought forth a man child, that is the Nation of Israel, “…who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron (and, of course, He is! It’s coming closer now) and her child was caught up unto God and to his throne,” – that was the ascension.
“And the woman fled in the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.”
We come back again to this remnant of Israel, fleeing Jerusalem, “…where she hath a place prepared of God, that they (the God head, the Trinity, that’s why it’s a plural pronoun)should feed her there (out in the mountains, how long?) a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” There’s that same number again. Three and one-half years. And it just keeps coming up over and over. So, there’s just no way that we can explain away the fact that. This remnant of Israel will finally flee to the mountains (and I think it will be in the mountains in Moab, probably the ancient of city of Petra). But for 3 1/2 years, God will protect them out here even in their unbelief – don’t forget that. Now, He’s going to protect those remnant Jews who have fled from the area of Jerusalem, much the same way as He did for the Jews under Moses, when they were in the wilderness for 40 years. You all know what happened there. Their shoes and clothes didn’t wear out; they never went hungry; they never went thirsty. God provided everything, and so He will again. Now, if you want to pick that up, carry it across to verse 14:
“And to the woman (that is this fleeing remnant) were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time (one year) and times (plural for two years for a total of three years) and half a time (making 3 1/2) from the face of the serpent.”
Now, let’s go back and cover that statement in verse 14, that she’s given the wings of a great eagle. Let’s go back to Exodus 19, and I think you’re all acquainted, especially if you’ve seen the movie, “The Ten Commandments,” with the fact that Israel did not sprout wings and fly. No Air Force came and picked them up, like some folks like to think they’re going to this time. But, how did they leave? Well, they walked. But, look what Exodus says about it. God is speaking to Moses there at Sinai now, and He says:
“Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.”
You can really learn something from this. Whenever you see something in Scripture that you can’t make sense out of, always go back to the place of first mention. And here it is: “I took you out on eagles wings, but they walked.” Again, He’s going to take them out as if they were going on eagle’s wings.