Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 71
SHOWING A BREAK IN THE O.T. PROPHECY TIME LINE
Okay, it’s good to see everybody in again this afternoon. We always appreciate the fact that you folks come in and spend the afternoon with us. For those of you out in television, again we just want to invite you to a simple, informal Bible study. I don’t want to make it too complicated. I keep telling my phone callers, keep it simple. My, everybody wants to complicate everything, and God didn’t intend it for that. He wants it kept simple. That’s how we hope to teach, and yet bring out things that the vast majority of Christendom totally ignores.
We always appreciate that everybody in the studio has their own Bible and pen and notebook. That’s the way to study. The same way for you out there in television, open your Bible and sit down with your cup of coffee and study with us.
All right, now last taping, the previous four programs, we started in the little minor prophet of Joel. In my introductory remarks, remember, I told you that Joel is the oldest written prophecy that speaks of “the day of the LORD.” Now of course, it’s back in Psalms in more latent language, and we’re going to probably look at that a little later today, but to actually come right out and speak about “the day of the LORD,” Joel is the first of our Old Testament prophets to use the term. Now remember, even though Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel come first in our Bibles, Joel was written before any of them. So, when I say that Joel is the first, I mean chronologically.
All right, now as we move away from chapter 2, where we spent our last four programs, where it spoke of “the day of the LORD” and the judgment that is facing the Nation of Israel and the world in general, we come into another break in the timeline, which of course is going to fit what we have on the board. That is in chapter 2 verse 27 as an introduction.
“And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,…” Now remember, God is talking through the prophet to the Nation of Israel. This is all Jewish.
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29. And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” Now, let’s keep right on going for a little bit -verse 30.
“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible (What?) day of the LORD come.” So, these are all descriptions of, again, that final seven years. Which, as we saw in the last four programs, are “the day of the LORD” – what we call the Tribulation. It will be followed by the return of Christ, who will finally fulfill all of the promises made to Israel, you might say since Abraham, and bring in the Kingdom.
Now, remember when we were studying Isaiah, and I kept repeating and repeating, because that’s what my listening audience asks me to do. We showed that there were three distinct judgments facing the Nation of Israel, and they all sound as though it’s next week or next month. But you see, to God time means nothing. Five minutes is ten thousand years, so far as God is concerned, or the other way around.
So, back in Isaiah, who wrote about 700 B.C., he was speaking of all three of these great invasions and destructions of the city of Jerusalem. The first one was the Babylonian invasion, which was going to come in about 100 years. But he makes it sound as though it’s going to be next month. Then the second one he talked about was the invasion of the Romans in A.D. 70. Again, it sounds as though it’ll be in a year or two. Then Isaiah comes to that “day of the LORD,” the final seven years, which would come in future from our point in time. Now, all three of those were prophesied by the prophets, but Joel only speaks of the one, and that’s the Tribulation, “the day of the LORD.”
All right, now we’re going to come back up and pick this apart before we move on through Scripture. In verses 28 and 29 we have a complete description of the day of Pentecost. That’s what happened at Pentecost when God poured out His Spirit upon all flesh. Now, you want to remember, he’s talking in terms of Jews and Israel. So the “all flesh” isn’t talking about the pagan world, it’s talking about Israel. And you remember that when we look at Acts chapter 2, it’s nothing but all Israel — “Ye men of Israel.” So, the “all flesh” is Israel.
“…that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons (Whose sons? Israel’s.) and your daughters (Israel’s) shall prophesy,…(or speak forth)”
Now, the word prophesy has two meanings in Scripture. Yes, it can tell the future, but on the other hand, it can mean just simply speaking forth the Word. You’ve got to always take the context of what it’s talking about. Now, here it’s speaking of speaking out the Word. And what was the Word on the day of Pentecost? The One you crucified WAS the Christ. Repent of it. All right, but now let’s move on.
“…your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29. And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” Well, that was Pentecost. But, you see, the prophet goes right on into verse 30 which is speaking of the “day of the LORD,” the 7 years of tribulation. Now, what’s missing? The Church Age! You know, I’ve stressed it for all the years I’ve been teaching. There is nothing in our Old Testament or in the four Gospels concerning the Church Age.
I’ve got my timeline up here, and I’ve got the Church Age pointed out here. But you want to remember that all the Old Testament prophecies went right straight through as if this wasn’t in here. They go right straight through from the ascension to the coming of the Tribulation. Well, of course, now we’ve got the Rapture, but the Old Testament knows nothing of that. So, from the Old Testament perspective, it would go right from the ascension and then in no time in would come the anti-Christ and those seven years of Tribulation, triggering the Second Coming and the setting up of the Kingdom.
They knew nothing…nothing…, and I just can’t emphasize it enough. The Old Testament prophets knew nothing of the Church Age. Jesus and the Twelve said nothing about a Church Age. It was all in respect to the Old Testament prophecies, coming right on down the line. And that’s what most of Christendom misses.
In fact, a verse just comes to mind. Come all the way with me a minute to Hebrews chapter 1. We’ve dealt with this before, but again we’ve got to keep repeating some of these things. I always have to wait because my listening audience says the same thing, “Don’t go so fast, I can’t find them.” So, we’ve got to give everybody time, including our TV audience, to look these up.
“God, (The Triune God) who at sundry times and in divers (or different) manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, (That is the Old Testament writers. Now, verse 2, the same God that inspired the Old Testament writers–) 2. Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made (or created) the worlds;”
Now, what is that telling us? When did the “last days” begin so far a Scripture is concerned? Christ’s first coming! Now, look at my timeline again. See, how that fits? Here we come all the way up through the Old Testament, 4,000 years, and Christ comes. This is the beginning of “the last days,” because had not the Church Age come in, had not 2,000 years intervened, wouldn’t that exactly be what it was? Sure. In would come the crucifixion, the ascension, then would come the Tribulation, and then would come the Kingdom.
So, from His First Advent, from the time He was born until He would come and set up His Kingdom, was only 33 years, maybe a couple, four or five years in here, for a total of 38, and then seven years of tribulation – 45 years. Less than 50 years it would all be fulfilled. So, what was it? It was “the last days.” Always remember that, because these Old Testament writers had no concept of the opening up of the timeline.
Now, I think I’m going to do something that I haven’t done for a long time. We did it way back–maybe ten, twelve years ago, but come back with me a minute to the Old Testament, again, all the way to Psalms chapter 2. Now, you’re going to say, well, I thought you said that nothing was spoken of the end-time or “the day of the LORD” until Joel. Well, I mean to specify “the day of the LORD.” But here it’s in latent language–Psalms chapter 2. We might as well start at verse 1, otherwise it doesn’t make sense.
“Why do the heathen (the non-Jewish world) rage, (Now don’t forget, who’s writing? David. When did David hold forth? 1,000 B.C., or 1,000 years after Abraham, and he writes by inspiration.) and the people (Israel) imagine a vain thing? 2. The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers (of Israel) take counsel (What’s the next word?) together,…”
That’s why we’ve got to be so careful that we don’t let the world blame Israel for the crucifixion. They were part of it. Absolutely! But they weren’t alone. Who was involved? Rome. So, the whole world was involved with the crucifixion, Israel and the non-Jewish world.
“…together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 3. Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” In other words, we’re not going to let God rule in the affairs of men. All right, verse 4, when God sees that ridiculous attitude of mankind, what does He do? He laughs. What kind of a laugh? Derision.
“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. (-) 5. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.”
Well now, since the crucifixion took place, has God ever vexed the world in His wrath and displeasure? No! It hasn’t happened yet. So, just back up a little bit, and if you don’t mind marking your Bible, put a little hyphen with parentheses around it right up there between verses 4 and 5. Just to depict a break in this prophetic timeline. Now again, look at this carefully. See, I can’t go slowly enough. Here we have mankind rejecting the Anointed at the crucifixion. Now, verse 5.
“Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.” That is the Tribulation. Is there any indication of a time factor in there? No. It is just coming right down the line. Then as soon as the Tribulation has run its course, what comes up?
“Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” The Kingdom. Now, I hope I can get everybody to see it as clearly as I do. That was Old Testament. That’s why when Christ came; it was the beginning of “the last days.” It’s all going to fall right in place. But now we know that God opened the timeline. It’s now been almost 2,000 years. But does that mean it’s not going to happen? Oh, yes, it’s going to happen! One of these days, God’s parenthesis is going to stop, and the timeline is going to pick up where it left off.
Okay, so put your little dash and parentheses back there between verses 4 and 5, where we’re going to see that mark of division between what had already happened and what is still future. All right, now let’s move all the way up. I’m not going to hit all of them. I’m just hitting a few that I remember the best. Go up to Psalms 118. Psalms 118 and drop in at verse 22. Now you want to remember the Psalms has a lot of prophecy. Veiled back in antiquity, but nevertheless, they’re all going to be fulfilled someday.
“The stone (Remember I’m always emphasizing that, who is “the stone” and “the rock” of Scripture? Well, Jesus Christ, God the Son.) which the builders refused (-) is become the head stone of the corner.” Now, when will that happen? When He sets up His Kingdom. But what’s the first half of the verse? When they rejected Him. So, what have you got here? You have a time element between His rejection and His being King and the headstone of the corner. We have now had, since David’s time, 3,000 years. But it doesn’t sound like it in the Scripture. It sounds like it is all coming right quick.
All right, let’s move up to Isaiah, the first of the Major Prophets, chapter 9. These are verses that you all know. Isaiah chapter 9 dropping in at verse 6 and to me this is the thrilling way to do Bible study. You can’t get this by just reading it like a storybook. You know, every once in a while somebody will call and say, “Well, I’ve read through the Bible three times, and I’m reading through it again.” I say, listen, that’s a waste of time. You won’t get anything out of the Bible by just reading it straight through. You’ve got to know how to study and to pick and put things together.
All right, now here is a good example. You wouldn’t get the first idea of what this is talking about by just simply reading your Bible. It doesn’t make sense. But when we understand what it’s doing here, then it’s as sensible as anything can be.
All right, now in chapter 9 of Isaiah, verse 6, again, remember this is all Jewish. There’s no Gentile involved in this.
“For unto us (the Nation of Israel) a child is born, unto us a son is given: (See, now we’re up to His first advent.) (-) and the government shall be upon his shoulder:…” Wow! What’s happened? We’ve gone all the way from Bethlehem to the Kingdom. So, what do you do? Put a hyphen in there. Put parentheses around it and show that there’s going to be a break in this timeline.
“…and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Those are all titles of Deity that He will assume when He becomes the King over His Kingdom. Now verse 7, and for you folks out there who write in once in a while – well, where do you get any idea of an earthly kingdom? Well, here’s one. Here’s your earthly kingdom.
“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David,…” And where was David’s throne? Well, Mt. Zion in Jerusalem, not up in Heaven. So, here we have the earthly Kingdom and how He will rule and reign from Mt. Zion, where David did.
“…and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” All right, up in verse 6; put a hyphen up there just before you get to his government. After “the son is given.” When He’s born at Bethlehem, then we open up the timeline with all the things that will be coming to pass in between.
Now, jump up, still in Isaiah, to chapter 61. We’ll be using this a little later this afternoon as we tie it in with Luke chapter 4. But, we’ll leave Luke 4 out of it for now. We’re just going to see where we can open this prophecy and realize that there is a long period of time in between.
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2. To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, (-) (When was that? At His First Advent, when He first came. In His earthly ministry He fulfilled all that. But now look at the next statement.) and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.”
Psalms called it what? Wrath and vexation. We call it the what? The Tribulation. All right, so, “He came to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, (-) the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.” When will that happen? In the Kingdom! So, there you’ve got the whole scope of end-time prophecy in just one or two verses. And yet, the last two parts are still future.
So, what do you do? You put a hyphen back after “year of the LORD.” There’s the break in the timeline. The vengeance hasn’t happened yet. The Kingdom hasn’t come in yet. But it’s going to. Don’t ever give up on prophecy. If the Book says it, you make up your mind it’s going to happen. I don’t care how much the world scorns it. These liberal preachers can scorn it all they want. I’ve got news for them. They’re going to one day admit that they were totally wrong, because the Word of God is true. All right, then you go on a little further to make sure that we understand that it’s the Kingdom we’re talking about, he says-
“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise…” See, that’s all a description of the Kingdom. But it hasn’t happened yet. It’s out beyond our parentheses.
All right, let’s move on to Daniel chapter 9. This is another portion of Scripture that if you know anything about prophecy at all, it’s one of the foundations of all end-time prophecy. But it, too, is speaking of a continuous timeline that has been interrupted. Daniel chapter 9 and, oh, my goodness, I think I’ve got time. Drop in at verse 24. That’s the beginning of all this.
“Seventy weeks (That is of years, so 70 times 7 is 490 years.) are determined (by God’s blueprint for the ages) upon thy people (Daniel’s people Israel) and upon thy holy city, (Jerusalem) 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.” That was certainly all part of His first coming. All right, then come on down. He breaks it down into 49 years and then for another 434 years, which gives us the total of 483 years. All right, but we won’t fool with that now today.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: (or 62 weeks, which takes us up to the 483) the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” And then verse 26–
“And after threescore and two weeks (plus the other 7, or after 69 weeks of years) shall Messiah be cut off,…(crucified)” (-) Chronologists have established that from the decree by Artaxerxes to Nehemiah to go back and rebuild the city wall until Palm Sunday was 483 years, which means there’s seven years that are still unfulfilled. All right, that’s where we’re going to put our hyphen in just a minute, and then you come down to the last part of verse 26.
“…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.”
Now, where are we? Well, we’re in the Tribulation. So, we’re going to put our hyphen back there after “Messiah is cut off.” Put your hyphen. A parenthetical period of time is going to enter in until all of a sudden the anti-Christ makes his appearance in verse 27 and signs a seven-year treaty. Well, there’s no hint in there of the Church Age whatsoever.
All right, now we’ve already talked about the one in Joel, so let’s go on up to Zechariah. That’s the next to the last book in your Old Testament. Zechariah chapter 9 verses 9 and 10. This is a simple one. My, even kids can figure this one out.
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (-) Hey, when did that happen? It happened on Palm Sunday when He came up into Jerusalem on the donkey. All right, then verse 10:
“And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off:…” Now we’re speaking of what kind of language? Tribulation!
So again, you put a hyphen between verse 9 and verse 10. There’s an opening up of time between His coming into Jerusalem and His crucifixion and so forth, until the Tribulation enters.
Well, now we’ll have to stop with that, because our time is gone. But, you see, even when you get into the New Testament you have the same setting – something is spoken concerning His First Advent and the next half of the verse speaks of something way out in the future.