Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 71
SHOWING A BREAK IN THE O.T. PROPHECY TIMELINE – 3
Again, it’s good to have everybody back. We’re ready to start program number three. We always like to thank our television audience for your letters, phone calls, financial help, and prayers – everything. Every once in a while somebody will call with something that just makes my day! And it can be one thing or another. And then again, we always like to appreciate all of you folks that come in for these tapings. We know that it’s an extra effort on your part and we do, we thank you for that.
Now, we’re going to continue on where we left off in our last program. We’re still showing that there was a break in the Old Testament timeline of prophecy, with no understanding whatsoever that there was going to be almost 2,000 year’s interval. All the Old Testament spoke of it as just coming right down the pike. But yet you want to remember, in the mind of God, what is 2,000 years? Well, like a snap of the finger. Time means nothing to Him.
All right, now we’re going to take another look at it on this same concept of what Peter was talking about in Acts chapter 2. I’m doing this just to show the graphic difference between Jesus and Peter. Peter is human, and the Holy Spirit had not yet revealed to Peter that this was all going to be stopped and interrupted. Jesus knew, but yet He did not reveal the secret to anybody.
Now, I always have to make a point. That shows His Deity. Who else but God can keep a secret? You and I can’t. But see, He could. He could know all this and see the Jews in their dilemma, and, oh, it must have been a tremendous temptation to say, “But Peter.” But He didn’t. All right, Luke chapter 4 dropping in at verse 16. This is Jesus during His earthly ministry. He’s going to do the same thing that we’ve been looking at all afternoon now. He’s going to show the break in the Old Testament prophecy timeline.
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.” Now that was part of the custom of synagogue worship. If there was a visitor, he would have an opportunity to stand up and speak, or in this case, read from the Scripture.
“And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, he found (Now there’s the key word. He’s going to look for a particular portion of Scripture that He wants to read.) the place where it was written. 18. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20. And He closed the book, and gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.”
Now, that immediately should raise your questions. Why are they staring at Him? All He did was read Scripture. What had He done? The problem was He stopped in the middle of a verse, and they knew that. All right, go back and let’s read what He read, in Isaiah 61 starting at verse 1. This is the portion of Scripture that He read in the synagogue of Nazareth, but He stopped in the middle of a verse, and there was a tremendous reason why. He knew that that’s as far as the prophecy was going to go.
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek;…” Boy, you should all know this from memory by this afternoon. This is about the fifth time I’m reading it this afternoon! But that’s the way you memorize, you know. You just go over it and over it and over it and pretty soon you know it.
“…The LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broke-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, (Which, of course, He did at the resurrection, you remember?) and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 62. To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, (-) (That’s where He stopped. Now, look what follows in the prophecy.) and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;”
What was that? Well, it was future! But not just immediate future like they’d been looking at all this time, it was way out in the future, so He stopped and didn’t read it. Now come back to Luke. What does He tell them when they’re all shook up and they’re staring Him down? What have you done? So, He stands up the second time, verse 21.
“And he began to say unto them, This day (at this point in time in His earthly ministry) this Scripture is fulfilled in your ears.”
That is His first coming, His ministering to the Nation of Israel, and that’s as far as it’s going to go. He’s not going to bring in the Tribulation. He’s not going to bring in the Kingdom, because that’s going to leap 2,000 years. He knew. How did He know? He’s the author of the Book! He’s the Creator! He knew the end from the beginning. Did Peter? No.
Peter had no idea that this is the way it was going to be. That’s the point I like to make. You see, this was all in God’s providence. It was all in His plan for the ages, but He kept it secret. And that’s the one part of Scripture that most people cannot comprehend, so far as my teaching the Pauline revelations are concerned, that all these things concerning this Age of Grace were kept what? Secret!
Nobody knew that there was going to be 2,000 years of an Age of Grace. Peter didn’t know it as late as the Day of Pentecost. He thought it was all going to keep coming. Even when the little epistles are being written, they still thought it was all going to keep coming. They had no idea that the Age of Grace would go 1,900 and some years. When people can get that through their head that all of this concerning the Age of Grace was kept secret, then the Book opens up, as we’re finding out from phone call after phone call. Oh, it’s so simple if they can just grab that concept.
All right, now to epitomize that, I hope that word is right, come back with me to Deuteronomy. We haven’t used it on the program in a long time, so hopefully it’s fresh to everybody and that is Deuteronomy 29:29. Deuteronomy, that shouldn’t be too hard to find. That’s not like some of those little Minor Prophets, you know. I don’t blame you for having a hard time finding them. But this is easy.
“The secret things (See that?) belong unto the LORD our God:…” Why? Because He knows the end from the beginning. It’s His Sovereign right to keep things secret as long as He deems it necessary to keep it secret. But on the other hand, in His Sovereignty, He’ll reveal it in His own good time. That’s the whole concept of Scripture.
“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Now that, of course, is Moses, and there’s a lot of time between Moses and the end. But the concept is the same. When God keeps something secret, nobody knows about it, and He does not let it slip! All through His earthly ministry He never let this idea come out that there’s going to be a 2,000 year Church Age in here that has never been revealed. He keeps it secret!
Now, let me give you an example. Come all the way back up to, hopefully, Matthew 25 just as an example of how He kept it secret when it would have been so easy to let it slip. Now, that’s all I’m using this for, just to show you how He kept it secret instead of letting it slip. Matthew 25 verse 31 and of course it’s prophecy, because that’s all Israel understood—that which was future.
“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him,…” Does He mention anybody else? No. Could He have? Why absolutely, but He didn’t, purposely, because it wasn’t time to reveal. So all He mentions is the angels. He doesn’t mention the Old Testament saints. He doesn’t mention the Tribulation saints. And I’m not fully convinced yet whether we as the members of the Body are going to have any part in the Millennium or not. I’m still on the fence, but if indeed we are, then why didn’t He mention it? He kept it secret.
All right, now this is the whole concept then of Paul’s Apostleship. I’ve been debating for the last several days whether to do this or to go back and continue on in prophecy in Joel and so forth. But I think we’ll continue on since we’ve got your appetite whetted now on this whole idea of keeping things secret. Come up with me to Luke chapter 18. This is still in Christ’s earthly ministry, and how He uses that Sovereignty to keep things secret even if it’s only for a few days. He’ll keep it secret. He won’t be tempted to let them know ahead of time.
All right, Luke 18. We’re at the end of His earthly ministry. They’re up there in Northern Israel on what today would be a Lebanese border. He has no one with him but the Twelve. They’re at the headwaters of the Jordan River. Verse 31 and again this is just to show you how He could keep things secret for His own purposes.
“Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. 32. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: 33. And they shall scourge him, and put him to death; and the third day he shall rise again. (Don’t stop there.) 34. And they (the Twelve) understood none of these things: (Underline the word none. They didn’t get a word of it. Why? Because—) and this saying was (What’s the word?) hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”
Well, now my question is who hid it? God did. It wasn’t time for those twelve men to understand what was going to happen. Now, I’ve got an idea why. Can you imagine the furor and the fuss those twelve men would have put up if they would have understood as they went to Jerusalem all the things that would happen. They’d be fighting it tooth and nail. And He couldn’t have that. So He kept it totally secret.
Now here again, this is my argument when people say there’s never been more than one Gospel. How in the world could they preach death, burial, and resurrection when it hadn’t even happened yet? Well, then they come back with the foolish argument – well, they must have. No. It tells us right here that these twelve men had no idea that He was going to die.
All right, now then, after the fact, after He has died, are they at the tomb waiting for His resurrection? No. Why? It’s still hid from them. They don’t know He’s going to be raised from the dead. In fact, it was so, what’s the word I’m looking for? It was so devastating that now the One that they thought was the King and going to bring in all the promises of Israel, is dead. I think it was Peter, what did he say? “We go fishing.” Why? It’s all over. This was just a scam. He wasn’t who He said He was.
Oh, but now let’s go to John’s Gospel. John’s Gospel chapter 20, again, just to make my point, that, yes, after the fact that they know He’s dead, they know He was buried, but resurrected back to life? They didn’t have a clue. They had long changed their mind about the future. Everything had now fallen apart. All right, here we come. John’s Gospel chapter 20 and drop right in at verse 1.
“The first day of the week…” Sunday. Now there again. Listen. Sunday was not an invention of the Roman Catholic Church, for goodness sakes. It had been called Sunday for centuries before. It comes out of the gods and goddesses of paganism. The Bible called it the first day of the week. The first day of the week happened to be – Sunday. And so it had no connection.
“The first day of the week (resurrection day) cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, (The one that Joseph of Arimathaea had let them use.) and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. 2. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, (and we take that to be John) and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, (Any indication that she knew it was going to happen? No. She’s all shook up. Somebody has stolen the body.) and we know not where they have laid him.”
“Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. 4. So they ran both together:…” Now again, do some thinking. What’s going on in the mind of these two men? What in the world has happened? Who had the wherewithal to get past those Roman guards? Who was able to roll the stone? Who was able to steal the body? They’re all shook up. Otherwise, they’d have walked nonchalantly, but they run. Get that?
“…and the other disciple (John) did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. 5. And he stooping down, and looking in,…” Now, this is John. See, he’s a little more timid than Peter. So he just simply looks in. Now remember, we’re talking about a cave in the side of a limestone cliff.
“… saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. (Now here comes blustery Peter. He doesn’t even slow down. He just hopped right up into that cave.) 6. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 7. And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.” As though it was meticulously folded and set aside up in the corner. Now then John gets enough nerve.
“Then went in also that other disciple, who came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, (Now what can he do?) and believed.” Had he before? No. They had no idea of resurrection? They thought that when He died it was all over. Now, when he sees the evidence, yes, he believes. Now, look at the next verse.
“For as yet (up until that moment of time) they (Peter and John and I guess you might as well include Mary.) knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” They didn’t know. Why? God had kept it secret. And it isn’t until this point in time that God sees fit to open the eyes of Peter and John.
Now, that should tell us everything. How in the world could they be preaching our Gospel of faith in the death, burial, and resurrection when they knew nothing of any of it? And especially the resurrection. Common sense should tell you that they couldn’t preach something that they knew nothing about. And yet that’s what 90% of Christendom maintains, that they’ve always preached death, burial, and resurrection. It’s the only Gospel there’s ever been. What a travesty. What a travesty when you just look at it with common sense, with an intelligence level of a twelve year old. You can see that these men knew nothing of any of this until God finally step-by-step opened their ability to believe.
All right, now then, that should give me enough time to introduce Romans 16 verse 25. This is what makes the Apostle Paul’s apostleship what it is. It’s a revelation of things kept secret; given to this man like no one else—Romans 16 verse 25. I’ve said it before on the program and I’ve said it in seminar after seminar, I don’t know of a single time that anyone has ever agreed that this verse was used in a Sunday morning sermon. Never! Never! In the first place, they don’t know what it’s talking about. In the second place, if they did, they would never believe it. But here it is. It’s Scripture. It’s not Les Feldick. It’s the Word.
“Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the (secret or the) mystery, which was kept secret since the ages began.” Who kept it secret? God did! That’s what we’ve been seeing all day!
The Old Testament writers, the Old Testament believers, the Gospels—had no idea that all of these things that would happen would suddenly be interrupted and that there would be a 2,000 year period of time when none of that would be really relevant, because God’s going to do something totally different. He’s going to call out Gentiles, of all people, and bring them into the Body of Christ by virtue of His death, burial, and resurrection. And then He would take it unto Himself and then finish the prophetic Scriptures.
But see, it was kept secret. And nobody had a clue as to this one fact that God was going to reveal a Gospel of the Grace of God, which is what he’s referring to here, “the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, (which in English is a secret) which was kept secret since the world, or the ages, began.”
That’s why these Old Testament prophets knew nothing of an interruption in our timeline. They had no idea of it. They thought it was all going to keep coming. The King would come, set up His Kingdom, and that would usher in, of course, on into eternity. But, oh, unknown to all of them is this revelation. Now, to whom was this revelation given? One man. Not twelve. One! The Apostle Paul.
In fact, when we were on our cruise a year ago last fall, that was the subject of our cruise: “Why, Paul?” He had Twelve Apostles, why another one? Because the Twelve are connected with Israel; this other one is going to be connected with the rest of the world. So, he had a unique apostleship. And, oh, my goodness, now listen, you people think that I’m pulling your leg. No. We get a letter every once in a while that says, “Well, I can’t agree with you. I don’t think Paul even belongs in our Bible.”
I had a lady tell me one time on the phone, she said, “Les, I detest the guy. He hasn’t got anything for me,” and on and on. And on the ship I used to tell my classes after dinner, I’d say, now listen, you’ve got people on this ship that don’t like Paul’s Gospel. Well, that’s hard to believe, but before we left Athens that morning it became evident. One of my guys came up and said, “Les, you’re right! These people hate Paul’s Gospel.” Even though they were on the footsteps of Paul geographically, but oh…they don’t like his Gospel. All right, why? Because they don’t understand the fact that it was a secret revealed from Heaven to this one man.
Now, I’m going to use one or two verses yet from Galatians. Then we’ll have to close. Galatians chapter 1 verses 11 and 12. And again, I always have to remind everybody, every word that Paul writes is inspired by the Holy Spirit just as well as what Moses wrote or what Isaiah wrote or any of the rest of the writers of Scripture. It’s all Spirit-inspired. All right, look what he says.
“But I certify you, brethren, (I guarantee it.) that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but (How did he get it?) by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
What’s Paul saying? That his Gospel came from the Ascended Lord of Glory! Something that no other man had ever had any idea of. It was kept secret, and here’s where God now opens it up. And, oh, when people refuse to come to Paul and his Gospel, they are sealing their own doom.