Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 64
BUT GOD – (Kingdom of God) – PART 2
Again, we want to welcome you to an informal Bible study. I think most of you realize that we are not associated with any group, we are totally independent. We just rely on the Lord to lead us and direct us, as well as supply our every need. Consequently, we do not appeal and beg for money, and the Lord always seems to provide. Again, we appreciate the prayers of all of you out there for all us as a family and the ministry, and we just give the Lord the glory and the credit.
All right, for those of you here in the studio, we’re going to go back to where we left off in the last lesson, so let’s jump right back to Matthew chapter 6 verse 33. We were talking about the difference between the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, and we haven’t mentioned it yet but we will, and the Body of Christ.
I put the three on the board during our break. Remember from our last half-hour, I explained that if you will just draw a circle on your notepad and call the large circle the Kingdom of God. That is that area of God’s Sovereignty and influence that includes everything in heaven. It includes the angelic hosts. It includes the believers from day one to the end of time. It includes everything pertaining to the Word of God. It includes the Body of Christ. It includes you and I as believers today. So, as I said in the last program, when we sit down and talk about spiritual things, we are talking about things that pertain to the Kingdom of God.
On the other hand, within that circle of the Kingdom of God, we have the Kingdom of Heaven, which is that earthly Kingdom over which Christ will rule and reign from David’s throne in Jerusalem. That’s the Kingdom of Heaven, and we were looking at that when our time ran out. Then, also, as we’ll look at further down the line this afternoon, within that same circle you can also put the Body of Christ.
Now, the Body of Christ is that present day out-calling of believers. Every true believer becomes a member of the Body of Christ, and since the Body of Christ is in the Kingdom of God, yes, we are associated with the Kingdom. But our number one priority is not to fill the Kingdom. It just almost irks me when I hear that over and over – we have to fill the Kingdom, we have to work for the Kingdom. No, we are working today to fill the Body of Christ! Because when the Body of Christ is full, we’re out of here! It’s just that simple! We’re going to be raptured! As I mentioned in the last program, that will probably be the thing that will trigger the fall of America, so far as the nations of the world are concerned. Because when that many people suddenly disappear, things are bound to happen, and of course, the rapture is what we’re hoping and praying for.
All right, let’s come back to our verse, where Jesus has made note of the fact that the lilies gain all their beauty without any outward energy. He’s telling His Jewish listeners not to be so concerned with the physical and the material, but to have the number one priority.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Of course, we have to have things. You’ve got to have things, or you won’t survive. We have to have the wherewithal to keep a roof over our head. We have to have the wherewithal to buy our daily food and clothing, and God knows that. But that’s not to be our number one priority.
All right, we took off in our last program on delineating the Kingdom of Heaven as over against the Kingdom of God. We were back in Daniel’s prophecy, where he laid out the Gentile Empires. Now, let’s go back to Daniel again and pick up where we left off concerning the Kingdom of Heaven. That is going to be the veritable Sovereign rule and reign of Christ on the planet. He’s going to be totally Sovereign God. All right, let’s come back to Daniel 7, because we had to kind of wind it up quickly. Daniel 7 and drop in again at verse 13.
Now, this is a repetition of where we left off, but everybody keeps reminding me, even here in the studio, to repeat, repeat, and repeat. In fact, I guess Luther said it, “When I finally get so full up with your repetition that it makes me almost sick, that’s when it finally clicks!” And that’s about it. You just have to have it pounded and pounded and pounded and all of a sudden – and these are the kind of phone calls we get, “Les, all of a sudden it just opens up.” Well, that’s the way it works. Here, Daniel is now rehearsing his own vision concerning the end time. And he says:
“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man (That’s, of course, God the Son, Jesus Christ of the New Testament.) came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, (Which is a reference to God the Father.) and they brought him near before him. 14. And there was given him dominion, and glory,…” Now, I didn’t do this in the last program, but I’m going to do it now. Who was first given dominion over this planet? Adam! Adam was given dominion over everything on the planet. Everything that lived and moved was under Adam’s dominion. But he lost it because of his rebellion when he ate of the tree. All right, now here we are some 6000 or more years later where the Second Adam, as Paul refers to Him, the Second Adam is going to pick up that which Adam lost. That’s why we use the same word – “dominion.”
“And there was given him dominion, and glory, (Now this is literal. Just read it for what it says.) and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him:…” In other words, His Kingdom is going to cover the whole globe – not just Israel – not just the Middle East.
Israel will be the apple of His eye. Israel will be the top dog of the nations, if I may put it that way. But it’s going to control the whole planet. It’s going to be glorious. It’s going to be heaven on earth. But yes, there are going to be animals. There are going to be the lion and the wolf and the lamb and the goat and the kids and the children are going to play amongst them, because it’s going to be a glorious kingdom. Satan is locked up. There’s no more sin, or death, or sickness. It is Heaven on earth. That’s why it’s called the Kingdom gospel, or the Kingdom of Heaven, because it’s going to be heaven on earth. All right, now finish the verse.
“…his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom which shall not be destroyed.” Now of course, like I mentioned in the closing seconds, Revelation puts a timeframe on it, doesn’t it? One thousand years. But this says it’s going to reign forever.
All right, so what’s going to happen? The thousand years will just slip right on into eternity. I remember reading a book years and years ago, and I guess it was appropriate that I read it when I did. This was a seminary professor, who had his head on straight, and he put it this way, “The thousand year kingdom-reign of Christ is just sort of like kindergarten for a child. You go from kindergarten right on into a higher level of everything.” That’s what it’s going to be. People will write with questions and this question was just a couple of weeks ago, “Well, now when the thousand years are over and we go into eternity, will everything come together and be mixed up as one?” No, I don’t think so. For the simple reason that when you get to Revelation chapter 21 and this whole system, I think the whole universe is going to go. What takes its place?
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth:…” Well, if it’s all going to be mixed up, why keep the two entities separate? So, my own conviction, I can’t prove this beyond where I’m showing you, is that even in eternity, God is still going to have Israel in the earthly realm and the Body of Christ in the heavenly. Now, you don’t have to buy that if you don’t want to, but this verse would seem to indicate that He is always going to keep those two entities separate.
All right, now let’s go a little further in the Old Testament. Come back with me to Isaiah. Now remember your prophets – Isaiah is the first of the Major Prophets, Daniel is the fourth. Come back to Isaiah chapter 2 – and with the description in Daniel, this should make sense.
“The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. (Now here it comes.) 2. And it shall come to pass…” What does that mean? Maybe? No, it means it’s GOING to. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. It’s going to happen because God has said it shall, after all of human history has run its course.
“…that the mountain (or the kingdom) of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, (Or kingdoms! Now, as I told you in the last program, a mountain in Old Testament language is a kingdom. All right, this kingdom is going to be established as the top kingdom of the kingdoms.) and shall be exalted above the hills; (Or the smaller kingdoms or the other nations of the world – this kingdom with its capital, of course, in Jerusalem.) and all the nations shall (What?) flow unto it.” In other words, it’s going to be the hub of all of the planet’s activity – Jerusalem, where the King of Kings will be ruling and reigning. All right, now from Isaiah 2, let’s jump up to chapter 9. And the language is so self-explanatory, even though it’s written 700 years before Christ – 2,700 years before our day and time. That’s a long time ago. And look how accurately it is placed.
“For unto us (the Nation of Israel, again) a child is born, (Now, that’s a reference to Christ at Bethlehem.) unto us a son is given:…” Well, at the beginning of His earthly ministry, even the book of John says what? “He came unto his own.” Who were His own? Israel. He was given for their benefit. All right, now back to our text in verse 6.
“…and the government…” What’s the purpose of government? Control the masses. Otherwise you’ve got anarchy. Even in an area like the heaven on earth, you have to have control of the masses, so He’s going to have government.
“…and the government shall be upon his shoulder: (Whose shoulder? The Son that is given, up in the first part of the verse, which is Jesus of Nazareth.) and his name (When He comes to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords.) shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” See, He’s God in total. Now verse 7:
“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end,…” In other words, it’s going to be totally in control of God’s planet earth as well as, I think, the whole universe, but whatever, and “There shall be no end.” Because, like I’ve already said, it’s going to slip right on into eternity. Now, look where He’s going to rule from.
“…upon the throne of David,…” Now, we’ve said it a hundred times on this program, where was David’s throne? Mount Zion in Jerusalem. And that’s exactly where Christ is going to set up His rule and reign when He returns. He’s going to rule from Mt. Zion in Jerusalem.
“…and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment…” Now, the word judgment as it’s used in this vein is not meting out punishment. The word judgment means “righteous rule.” Always remember that when you see the word judgment in this kind of a setting, it’s not sentencing people. It is a righteous, godly rule.
“…and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” All right, now let’s go a little further in the Old Testament to Zechariah, the next to the last book in the Old Testament. These are all portions that I know we’ve used before in previous programs, but we’ll keep repeating them, because this is mandatory to understanding the end time scenario. This is what everything is moving forward to – the return of Christ and the setting up of His Kingdom. Now, this doesn’t pertain so much to you and I as members of the Body of Christ, but this is the promise made to Israel. They are the ones that are looking forward to this glorious Kingdom. All right, now let’s take our time and jump in at Zechariah 14 and see what has to precede the coming in of this glorious heaven on earth Kingdom.
“Behold, the day of the LORD cometh,…” Now, the unskilled Bible reader doesn’t really know what that means. But those of you that have heard me teach long enough, you know that the day of the Lord is the Tribulation. Those final seven years, again from Daniel’s prophecy, where it’s going to be the most horrible period of time the world has ever experienced. It’s called the day of the Lord: Judgment – Wrath – Punishment.
“…and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. (In other words, Israel is going to be overrun by her enemies.) 2. For I (God) will (Sovereignly) gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle;…” Now, let’s compare Scripture with Scripture. Stop right there. Jump ahead to Matthew 24 with the words of the Lord Jesus Himself. Keep your hand in Zechariah, we’ll come right back. Matthew 24 and here is a chapter that is all Tribulation ground. Everything He speaks of is going to take place once that final seven years kicks in. All right, you’re going to come down to verse 7, you can jump in almost anyplace, but let’s jump in at verse 7, and Jesus is speaking.
“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there will be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” Now, this all sounds familiar doesn’t it? But we’re not there yet. Even though we’re seeing a lot of this, it isn’t this prophecy yet being fulfilled. It’s going to be far, far worse than anything we’re seeing today. Even though all of this is telling the world that we’re coming closer and closer.
“All these (these disasters and catastrophes) are the (What?) beginning of sorrows.” Now, some of your newer translations may have “travail,” because it’s a reference to the woman approaching childbirth or delivery. The world or the earth is approaching the delivery from the curse. And the only way God can bring it about is to bring in this utter devastation upon Christ-rejecting mankind. So, all of these phenomena, far worse than anything we’ve seen today, are just the beginning. All right, now verse 9, and once it starts, like the woman approaching delivery —
“Then (Jesus says, and remember, He’s speaking to the Twelve who are representative of the Nation of Israel.) they shall deliver you (That is the Jewish people.) up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: (Sound familiar? Hitler all over again, only worse.) and ye shall be hated of (What’s the term?) all nations for my name’s sake. “ There won’t be a single nation on earth that will come to Israel’s defense like we would today. Even America will lose that opportunity of helping Israel. All the nations of the world will turn against them. Then it goes on, of course, until finally, in verse 21, Jesus puts the capstone on all these prophetic events.
“For then (Jesus said) shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” In other words, when He’s speaking there in 28-29 AD, this is going to be the most horrible seven-year period in all of human history. And the world just laughs at the thought of it. But I’m here to tell them, it’s going to happen because God’s Word has mandated it. All right, let’s go back to Zechariah. Here is what Jesus was making reference to, this prophecy right here in verse 2.
“For I will gather all nations, against Jerusalem to battle; (For war, not for peace, not a road map, this is for a total destruction of the Jewish people.) and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, (or ransacked) and the women ravished; (Or raped, it’s going to worse than anything you’ve ever seen or heard of.) and half of the city (That is Jerusalem, remember.) shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” In other words, it’s going to be a total, total mayhem for the city of Jerusalem. Then verse 3, before it is totally consummated, before the Jews are totally destroyed:
“Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations as when he fought in the day of battle.” And you remember how I’m always pointing out time-words. At that precise moment, now we don’t know the day, the month, or the year, but God does. But there will come a time when the Lord Jesus Christ, God the Son, Israel’s Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, however you want to look at Him: “Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations.” When all the nations of the world have come to the Middle East for the sole purpose of destroying and removing the Jewish people, God will intervene. He is going to come in what we call the Second Coming, and it’s going to be with wrath and destruction. He’s going to come “as when he fought in the day of battle.” All right, now when all that is consummated, and the enemies have been totally destroyed, now verse 4.
“And his feet (In other words, He’s going to return bodily, physically, visibly; just like He left from the Mount of Olives in Acts chapter 1.) shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, (That’s in Jerusalem today.) which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave (or separate) in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, (to form a great river valley that will go from the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea) 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.” Then you pick it up in verse 8. After this valley is formed, going right through the middle of the Mount of Olives headed out to the Dead Sea, it will create a great river of supernaturally fresh water. It’s going to be so supernaturally fresh that it will clean up the Dead Sea. All right now verse 8.
“And it shall be in that day, (When Christ returns to Jerusalem.) that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, (That is, out to the Mediterranean.) and half of them toward the hinder sea: (Which is the Dead Sea.) in summer and in winter shall it be. (But now, here is the capstone again, and this is the final result of all this.) 9. And the LORD shall be king over (What?) all the earth: (Not just Israel. Not just Jerusalem. He’s going to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords over the whole planet.) in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.” So, this is the whole, prophetic picture of the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven.
All right, now let’s jump up to Acts a minute. I forestalled going, because I thought I’d run out of time, but let’s go to Acts chapter 1 and pick up that same kind of language. Acts chapter 1. We looked at this verse in the last program, but let’s look at it again. This is where Jesus and the Eleven are now meeting at the end of His time on earth, and He’s ready to ascend back to Glory, verse 6.
“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” Now, what Kingdom did they have in their mind? Solomon’s! See what glory for Israel! Is Israel again ready to have that kind of a kingdom? Well, Jesus’ answer was:
“And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons,…” He didn’t say it wasn’t going to happen, He just said it’s not for you to know when. But it will come. All right, now let’s go over quickly to verse 9, as they are standing on the Mount of Olives talking about things pertaining to this coming kingdom.
“And when he had spoken these things, and while they beheld, (Or, while they watched.) he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men (or two angels) stood by them in white apparel; (Now look what the angels told them, exactly what Zechariah just got through telling us.) 11. Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, (in His resurrected body) shall so come in like manner as (What?) as ye have seen him go into heaven.”