Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 59
REVELATION 1:11-2:10 – Part 2
We just want to thank you over and over for all your precious notes. My, mail time is just a thrill when we read all these letters of how you’ve gotten a new insight into Scripture. Many of you are telling us of your newfound salvation, and as we said before, we hardly ever get a letter that is less than kind. We just thank the Lord for it. And again, we thank you for your financial help, because, after all, that’s what keeps us on the air.
Before we get back into the lesson, I’d like to remind you, if you haven’t noticed already, our web address, of course, is up here on the board www.lesfeldick.org and I don’t take any credit for it. We have one of the best web sites up there, and again, I always have to give Matt McGee the credit. Matt has just done a tremendous job for us without ever taking a dime of compensation, and I want him to know publicly that we appreciate all that he does.
Okay, back to Revelation chapter 2, verse 9. Well, we might as well start at verse 8 and begin at the beginning of the letter, and remember, as we said in the first program, these seven letters were all in a composite of one book. The whole book was sent to all seven congregations, so that every congregation could benefit from every other portion of the whole; just like Paul’s letters to us. Paul also wrote seven letters to seven churches, and we, too, use all seven of them in this Age of Grace.
“And to the angel (or minister or to the leader of the congregation, or the synagogue) in Smyrna write; These things saith the first, the last, who was dead and is alive;”
Now remember, this is all after His death, burial and resurrection. But as we said in our last program, there is nothing associated here with salvation for these Jewish believers. It’s just simply a statement of fact that the eternal, pre-eternal Christ had died, had been raised from the dead and is alive – alive for all eternity to come. Now then, verse 9 where He again commends them, like He did Ephesus:
“I know thy works…”
I reminded you in the closing minutes of last program that this is under the works religion of Judaism. The only difference is now they have recognized who Jesus of Nazareth really is.
“…and (your) tribulation, (their testing, the persecution they were under) and (their) poverty (which of course was fairly common when people were under intense persecution they would lose their wherewithal for making an income) but thou art rich (spiritually) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews,…”
Now, here’s another good point. Remember, to be a true Jew you had to be a what? A believing Jew! So these people claimed to be believers but they were not. Anything any different today? No, we’ve got the same thing. Our churches are full of people who claim to be believers but they’re not, they’re following a false god. We’re going to look at it in just a minute.
“…but they are the synagogue of Satan.”
Now again, analyze that. Pick it apart. Is there any Gentile language in there? It’s all Jewish! They claim to be Jews but they’re not. Now, that didn’t mean that they were not Jews by blood, but Jews by faith. They were not in accord with the belief system of these fellow Jews in these assemblies. They were false teachers, and so they were consequently then, the followers of the synagogue of Satan.
All right now, Paul warns us of much the same way for this Age of Grace. Now, back up with me if you will to II Corinthians chapter 11, and we have the same dilemma. My, the world is full of these false teachers. They’re coming in like a flood. Fortunately, folks who are seeing what the Word says are catching on. More and more people are coming up and telling me how they are shutting off these false teachers. Well, that’s great! Because if they’re not in the Scriptures and truthful with it, then they do not merit your time. All right, verse 13 of II Corinthians 11, and my, what a statement under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Paul says:
II Corinthians 11:13
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.”
See, they’ve done it of their own volition of what they claim to be and what they claim to know. But Paul tells us, “don’t fall for them.”
II Corinthians 11:14
“And no marvel; (don’t be surprised) for Satan himself is transformed into (what?) an angel of light.”
My, he can appear in such a way that people say, “This is the truth.” But now, wait a minute, what light are you listening to? What spirit are you listening to? And we have to have the wherewithal to discern. That’s why God has given us the Scriptures to compare and if they don’t line up with Scripture that Paul wrote to us in this Age of Grace, then you’d better run from it.
II Corinthians 11:14b-15a
“…for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15. Therefore it is not a great thing (it’s nothing to be surprised about) if his ministers (Satan’s ministers – not God’s) are transformed as the ministers of righteousness;…”
Now, what do they do? They use all the right language. They’ll refer to the cross, they’ll refer to Christ, they’ll refer to a lot of the other things that we can agree with. But then in comes about 20 or 30 percent of absolute garbage and that makes it what? False! Totally false, and that’s why we have to be so careful. And Paul’s letters are just full of these constant reminders – beware, beware of the false teachers. Beware of those who will come in unawares and mislead the believing congregation. All right, it was the same way with these Jews.Satan doesn’t care who he deals with, whether it’s Gentiles or Jews, his end is the same.
“…and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. 10. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer:…”
Well, now again, as I mentioned in our first program this afternoon, we’re spoiled aren’t we? Can we handle real suffering? Could we handle intense persecution? Because you see our whole system of civilization abhors it, but you’ve got to realize that in many portions of the world, torture and suffering is almost an everyday occurrence. I’m sure none of them enjoy it, but I think they’re more capable of thinking about it than we are, because to us to it’s just an unheard of thing. We don’t know what it is to be tortured, but Christians have been tortured down through the ages. They have not lived on beds of ease as we have in America. Alright, so he says to these Jews: “But fear none of these things which thou shall suffer:…”
Well, the Tribulation is going to be awful. Let me see, can I take you back to some of them. Let’s go back and pick up some of the horrors of the Tribulation that are coming. I think I want Jeremiah 25. Now, this is toward the end of the Tribulation when it’s going to be by far worse than it will be earlier, but just look at the closing days of the wrath and vexation. Jeremiah 25 verse 29. The whole chapter is dealing with these things, but we’ll just take the final few verses. Now, this is just a little glimpse of what these Jews were being prepared for, because so far as they knew it was right out in front of them.
They had no idea that God was going to stop His time clock and push it out into the future 2000 years; which means the Jews of the present time are also going to go through all of this, as well as the rest of the world. All right, Jeremiah 25:29. It’s prophecy. It’s going to happen. That is what I can’t get people to understand; that since it hasn’t happened does not mean that it won’t. It is coming! And I think if you know anything about world events you can agree with me. We’re getting close.
“For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, (what’s that? Jerusalem) and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, (but it’s going to be the vortex in Jerusalem. It will be at the very center, just like it’s been with everything else in God’s dealing with the human race, so also with His judgments) saith the LORD of host. 30. Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, (and this is what God says, and God doesn’t lie) The LORD shall roar from on high, (now this is of course at the time of His Second Coming. This is at the end of the seven years. Like I say this will be the very epitome of the wrath of God being poured out) and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes against all the inhabitants of the earth.”
I’m going to take time, so come back with me to Isaiah. I hope I can find it. Where does He speak of the grapes? 63? Yeah. Isaiah 63, and this compares word for word with Revelation where you have the same scenario. While you’re looking up Isaiah 63, I’ll see if I can find it in Revelation – Fourteen? Ok, let’s look first at Isaiah, chapter 63. Let’s just begin with verse 1. This is all part and parcel of those final seven years, but this, too, like where we just were in Jeremiah, is speaking of the Second Coming, when we come to the very epitome of God’s wrath and vexation.
“Who is this that cometh from Edom, (so evidently the Second Coming is going to begin down there south of the Dead Sea area, and His judgment will just sort of flow up over Jerusalem, and up over the northern part of Israel) with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength? (so who are we talking about? Christ at His Second Coming!) I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. (again, the question is) 2. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that (what?) treadeth in the wine vat?”
Well, use a little imagination. We don’t do it here anymore, but in the Middle East, I know because we’ve been there and we’ve seen their wine vat. And the one we saw had a large wine vat and had a rope in the middle, and they’d usually have teenage kids get in there and just hang onto the rope, and they would just tramp those grapes. Well, if you tramp the grapes, how are you going to look? Grape juice splatters all over you. That’s the same analogy. So, verse 3 the Lord responds.
“I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in my (love? No. His) anger. (It’s the day of vengeance) and I will trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, I will stain all my raiment. (That doesn’t sound like the God of mercy and love does it? Well it isn’t. This is a God of vengeance when He’s finally had enough) 4.For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. 5. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. 6. And I will tread down the people in my anger, I will make them drunk in my fury, I will bring down their strength to the earth.”
That’s the vengeance of God that’s coming. Alright, keep your hand in Jeremiah 25, I’m not through there yet, now come back with me to Revelation 14, because I want you to see how these word pictures fit all the way through Scripture. And even though these men wrote hundreds and hundreds of years apart, yet everything fits so beautifully.
“And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, (now where did you see that term? Earlier today in Revelation. The Son of man, the Christ, Jesus of Nazareth) having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.”
Now, you’ve got to remember when you’re reading Scripture, and words come up, you have to understand the symbolic meaning. What was the use of the sickle in the ancient?Harvesting. In fact, remember when we were in Jordan a few years ago, they were harvesting wheat. Just a few years ago, and they still had that little one-handed sickle, or scythe as we call it, and they were still cutting the wheat and piling it up by hand. Well, the sickle here is speaking then of a harvest -God’s harvest. Not for glory, but for doom!
“And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap, for the time is come for thee to reap the harvest of the earth is ripe, (and the Greek really implies, “over-ripe.” It’s past time, God has already extended grace even longer than He would have had to.) 16. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. 17. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.” He’s going to take part in this symbolic harvest.
“And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire; and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in the sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. (That is Christ rejecting humanity; that is what we’re talking about now. The humanity that is still on the earth at the end of the Tribulation) 19. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth,…”
Now, we know in the final days leading up to Armageddon, the armies of the world are going to be called to Israel. They’re going to pack into Israel’s valleys like sardines in a can, contrary to all good military strategy, and this is that wine vat.
“…and gathers the vine of the earth, (which is the armies of the world) and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.”
Not pretty is it? How much nicer to proclaim the grace of God. How much more thrilling to proclaim the Gospel of our salvation. (I Corinthians 15:1-4) But, listen, mankind better wake up, because we can see all the evidence that this is coming, around the world today.
“And the winepress (the wine vat as we would call it) was trodden (by someone who is going to crush mankind like the grapes are crushed in a wine vat) without the city, and the blood comes out of the winepress, even to the horse bridles, by the space of thousand, six hundred furlongs.”
That, I think, is about 180 miles, which stretches from northern Israel, down to the Red Sea. And that will be the crushing of the armies of the world as they have gathered into the valleys of Israel. All right, now come back with me to Jeremiah 25, and we’ll read a little further. We were in verse 30.
“…he (The. LORD) shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. (Now granted, the main part will be in the valleys of Israel, but all the planet is going to come under this final vexation) 31. A noise shall even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD (God the Son, the Son of Man, Jesus of Nazareth, all the titles you can put on Him) has a controversy with the nations, (not just Israel, now. We’re dealing with the whole human race) he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, (death) saith the LORD. 32. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation,…”
Now you see, in our present day scenario of instant communication, tremendous travel opportunity, you can go from one end of the earth to the other in a matter of hours. This is all going to culminate, now, in God dealing the same way with nation to nation, no corner of the globe is going to escape it, not one.
“…and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the borders of the earth.” And I think I mentioned this one other time, I think that’s an indication of nuclear explosions, because they set up tremendous wind currents. And so there’ll be nuclear explosions around the planet. They’re not building all these WMDs for nothing, don’t you ever think it. They’re going to be used someday.
“And the slain of the LORD (it will be His judgment. Not man, but when the LORD decrees it then) shall be at day from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, (there will be no time for sorrowing or funerals) neither gathered, nor buried; (they’ll be too many) they shall be dung upon the ground.” That’s the coming judgment that all of Scripture is pointing to.
Alright, now then, let’s come back where we were in Revelation chapter 2 verse 10 again, so he says:
“Fear none of these things which thou shalt suffer: (because God’s going to protect His own) behold the devil shall cast some of you into prison, (and we’ve seen it all the way through human history) that you may be tried; (or tested. Now the Lord says) and ye shall have tribulation ten days;…”
Now, I know all the other approaches to this thing speaks of ten separate times of persecution and that may be, but I prefer to go back and use the Scriptural application which takes us back to Genesis 24. Let’s go back and see how Scripture deals with ten days, not men’s ideas, but how does God use the term.
Genesis chapter 24 and we’re dealing with the bride Rebekah up there in Syria, and the servant has gone to get her for Isaac. All right now, let’s pick up the story. She’s going to be going back down into Canaan with the servant of Abraham, but they’re all human just like we are. It’s not easy to break with family. Let’s pick it up in verse 49. I want you to get the full picture. And the servant is getting anxious to get back down to Canaan to take this lovely bride for his master’s son, Isaac.
“And now (the servant says) if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, (which of course was Abraham) tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left. 50. Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good. 51. Behold, Rebekah (the girl in question) is before thee, take her, and go, (but before you go, now for the sake of time we’ve got to drop all the way down to verse 55) And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least (what?) ten; and then she shall go.”
So, how is it used? Well, as indication of just a short period of time, just let her stay ten more days and by that time she’ll be ready to say her goodbyes and you can take her down to your master’s son. Well, I think you’ve got the same implication here in Revelation. Yes, there’s going to be some intense persecution, but don’t worry, it will be a short time, it won’t last long and when it’s over you’re going to have the blessings of the Kingdom that’s coming upon the earth.