156 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 4 - Book 13 - Bema Seat - Great White Throne

156: Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 13 – Bema Seat – Great White Throne

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 13

BEMA SEAT GREAT WHITE THRONE

We are ready to finish this book with this lesson. In our last lesson I didn’t finish the Great White Throne the way I wanted to, so we will finish that in a later lesson. Now, please turn to II Corinthians; let’s study the Bema Seat. You and I as believers are not going to be here for the Tribulation. I’m convinced of that, and I have enough Scripture to back me up. The believers will be taken out before the Tribulation begins. So as believers you don’t have to be filling your cellars with food and trying to get ready for the calamities that are coming as far as the Tribulation is concerned. We may go through some tough times; we don’t know what’s ahead of us, but we don’t have to prepare for the Tribulation.

So with that, I want to pick up with what happens to the believer while the Tribulation is unfolding here on earth And of course we have to go to the Apostle Paul’s writing when it comes to anything dealing with the Church or the Body of Christ. So now turn to II Corinthians Chapter 5. And let’s begin at verse 6. I like to use as many verses as we can and yet not so many that we run out of time. Paul, writing to you and I as Gentile believers, says:

II Corinthians 5:6

“Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body (this body of flesh), we are absent from the Lord:” The Lord is present in the person of the Holy Spirit, but we are not in His presence per se. Now verse 7:

II Corinthians 5:7,8

“(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

Now the question has come up recently, “What happens the second the believer dies?” Well here it is. Remember the soul and spirit are not one and the same, but they are intertwined like Siamese twins, and the moment we die our soul and spirit is present with the Lord. We go from this body immediately into His presence in the area of soul and spirit. However, not bodily. The body is going to go into the grave the Apostle Paul tells us, to await the resurrection day. Paul makes it very plain, yet simple here, that the only way we can be present with the Lord is to be absent from this body. And then verse 9:

II Corinthians 5:9

“Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.”

We have to be careful here, the word `accepted’ as it’s used here does not mean with regard to salvation, but with regard to our behavior as a believer. And again, just bring that down to the family relationship on earth. If you want a happy home where everything is running along rather smoothly, your children must be pleasing to you. Because as soon as you’ve got a black sheep or a renegade son, or a rebellious daughter, what’s the situation at home? It’s not very happy. But when the children are all that we want them to be and they are pleasing us, it’s the same way in the spiritual. When a believer is obedient to what God expects of His children, then we are pleasing to Him. And that is exactly what Paul is talking about here. That whether we are in this body or have passed on to glory, that we might be pleasing to Him. Now verse 10:

II Corinthians 5:10a

“For we (believers) must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ;…”

I think that word `judgment’ is an unfortunate translation in our King James, because the word here in the Greek is Bema. It was the Bema seat. Paul took that from the Olympics. Paul made many references to the Olympic games. So the Bema seat at an Olympic game was the place of the judges. As you watch a tennis match on television they have judges who sit on the line of the tennis court, and it’s up to the them to determine if a shot has gone in or is out of bounds. Now in so many cases you could say the judge is sitting on the Bema seat. They are sitting on the seat of a judge.

Now as Paul uses this analogy then, the Bema Seat, on which Christ will be sitting as the Judge, is not to determine heaven or hell. It’s not to judge us for our sins, because the believers sins have already been judged totally and completely at the Cross. We will never again have to face our sins. Now this doesn’t give license, not by any stretch of the imagination. We won’t come before the Bema Seat shaking in our boots wondering if we are going to make it or not. I had a gentleman in one of my classes share with me not too long ago that his father-in-law, I believe, was getting rather elderly, and had come to spend the remainder of his life with his daughter. The gentleman relating the story said, “Les would you believe that this fellow was a highly thought of well-known evangelist in his denomination. And yet I can still hear the old fellow as he walked across our living room bemoaning to himself, `Will I go to heaven when I die.'” Here he had been preaching to thousands of people throughout his lifetime, yet he didn’t have an assurance of where he would spend eternity. Isn’t that sad? There are multitudes like that. They profess salvation, and say, “Oh, yes, I believe in Christ,” But then they turn right around and think they have to work, work, work, hoping that somehow they can still make it. This is not the Gospel of Grace that the Apostle Paul preached. The Gospel of Grace says that Christ releases the power of salvation at our believing (and when I say believing I’m not just talking a mental accent. I’m talking about a genuine Holy Spirit opening of the heart, and we can without any reservation say, “I know that Christ died my death. I know that He rose from the dead, and that He had power to overcome sin and Satan.”). That’s the kind of faith God is looking for. When He sees it, our sins are judged, and we are cleansed of them. Then He seals us, and sets us on our way working, and serving Him. As a believer, the whole concept here is that we live a life well-pleasing now as a child, with the idea of gaining a reward for meritorious service. Finishing verse 10, we must all appear before the Bema Seat:

II Corinthians 5:10b

“… that every one (believers) may receive the things done in his body (while we as believers in this life), according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

So we will stand before Him to see if we are going to receive a reward. Let’s follow that back to I Corinthians Chapter 3. Here again the Apostle is writing to the Gentiles of Corinth, so basically he is writing to you and I. Again he uses the pronoun `we.’

I Corinthians 3:9

“For we are laborers together with God (now he points the finger at the believer and says): ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” You are something that God is working on.

I Corinthians 3:10

“According to the grace of God which is given unto me (Paul is speaking in reference to his own ministry), as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation (Paul is speaking about a building situation), and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.”

In other words the foundation is there. And that is the basis for any kind of a building. But now comes all the various workers that are going to put their little bit into this building. Now verse 11. Notice Paul doesn’t claim to be the foundation:

I Corinthians 3:11

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

He is the basic foundation of all our works. And you can’t begin to build on that foundation until you have experienced His salvation. There is no such thing as working for that. But after God has imparted salvation and the power of God has been released into our very existence, then He expects us to serve him. That doesn’t mean we have to be a Billy Graham, or go to the foreign mission field, or have to be teachers or something like that, but in Romans 12, we’ve got all these areas of service that believers can fill. I’ve told my classes, over the years, every single believer has at least one gift that can be used in God’s service. Many times people are exercising their gift and seeing all the fruits of it and they come to me and say, “Well, Les, I wish I had a gift.” You’ve got a gift and you’re using it! Just keep on doing what you are doing, whatever it may be. People who are elderly and can’t get out and do much anymore, they can serve the Lord in just prayer alone! Prayer changes things. Older people could literally turn a nation around if they would pray. Others may have accumulated enough wealth that they can judiciously give and further God’s work.

Now, I don’t buy this thing of, “I’ll just put it out there and God’s knows my heart.” No, God has given every individual intelligence and discernment. You give where God directs you and give where it will be honoring to Him. Don’t just throw it out there someplace and think, “Well, this is good enough. I’ve given in the right attitude.” No, you are to be judicious even in your giving. There’s all kinds of places and ways to serve God. Ministering to the poor and sick are two ways. These are gifts of serving. Now, as we serve, come to verse 12:

I Corinthians 3:12

“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood hay, stubble;”

As we enter into this life of the Christian walk or service, God provides opportunity for six building materials. Wood, hay and stubble; gold, silver and precious stones. Those are the ones that are available. Now, of course, a lot of believers never get anything more than wood, hay and stubble. That’s as far as they ever get. But you see, others will get out and put forth some effort and energy and they’re going to drum up some gold, silver and precious stones. Here’s the way you have to look at these six materials; which ones can withstand the flames of the judgment fire? I’m not talking about Hellfire, I’m talking about the Judge’s eyes. He’s going to have eyes of fire that are going to penetrate our works at the Bema Seat. Which ones are going to survive those flaming eyes. Well, not the wood, hay and stubble because that’s going to go up in a puff of smoke. It’s the gold, silver and precious stones, whatever that may be. In other words, the things that have lasting value. The things that have really made a difference, maybe in your home, in the community, in your church, or whatever. That’s the gold, silver and precious stones. Now let’s read on again in verse 13:

I Corinthians 3:13

“Every man’s work (it’s the masculine gender, but includes everyone as a believer. Not for salvation) shall be made manifest (like being put under a spotlight. As we come before the Bema Seat to see what our rewards are going to be, we are put in the spotlight. Then the penetrating eyes of Christ will burn off the draught showing if you have gold, silver or precious stones left): for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.”

I Corinthians 3:14

“If any man’s work abide (survives His scrutiny) which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive (not salvation, but) a reward.”

I know a lot of people are turned off by the concept of rewards, but it’s very scriptural. The Scripture maintains that you and I are literally to work for rewards. Verse 15, but:

I Corinthians 3:15

“If any man’s work shall be burned (that has no reference to hell. That just simply says that if all we have is hay, wood, or stubble … we didn’t do things for the right reason for example. And the Lord looks at it, and our works shall be burned up and disappear), he shall suffer loss (not his salvation, but of his reward): but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

This person will be there, but he will not have earned the reward. Now let’s go over to Chapter 9. Here Paul is again going to use one of his many allusions to the Olympics. Paul must have truly loved the Olympics. Here he’s writing to you and I, the believers:

I Corinthians 9:24,25

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all (they all take off at the starting gun. But how many receive the prize?), but one receiveth the prize? (now who determines the winners? Judges who sit on the Bema Seat) so run, that ye may obtain.”

“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things (what’s he talking about? Their training period, while they were getting ready for the race. They maintained good diet, exercise, and they didn’t overdo anything. The Scripture says, “that in all things be temperate.” We wouldn’t have so many of these health problems if people were just temperate). Now they (these athletes) do it to obtain a corruptible crown (you know what corruptible means, it doesn’t last); but we an incorruptible.”

Paul says, “We don’t run and work for something that is going to pass off the scene in short order. But ours is what? Incorruptible!” And even though Christianity has been on the scene almost 2000 years, the rewards that those early believers earned are still there. They are still waiting, and when we get there our rewards will be there also. Have you stopped to think about God’s rewarding for the believer at the Bema Seat, at the end. We don’t receive rewards as we come along. And do you know why? Because the next generation will benefit from everything that you and I do in the Lord’s service (if this world keeps going). The same is true for the wicked person. His activity is going to effect people of the next generation, and generations to come.

Sometimes I think of that dear old Pastor that first asked me to teach in Sunday School. Do you know that someday, whatever I’ve been able to accomplish is also going to go to his credit. And someday down the road, people whose lives I have touched, whatever they do, is one day, going to come to my credit. And so it is with every believer. And that’s why it will all come at the end. And now, I’d like to give this illustration. If you throw a pretty good sized rock into the middle of a fairly large pond of water, how far do the effects go? To every inch of shore line! And so it is with the believer. Everything we do will ripple out and have an effect on more and more people. Now verse 26: The Apostle Paul then says:

I Corinthians 9:26

“I therefore so run (that I may win the prize.),…”

155 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 3 - Book 13 - New Heaven and Earth

155: Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 13 – New Heaven and Earth

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 13

NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH

Now let’s come back to Revelation Chapter 20 once again. And now the Kingdom has run its course of Utopian rule. No sin. No death. Now it’s a possibility that it could happen, I’m going to maintain that it’s not going to happen. But the thousand-year reign of Christ is another time of testing. You have to realize if you’ve been with me these past three and a half years (and many of you have been with me the better part of twenty years), that as we’ve come up through human history, God has changed His dealing with the human race. Now God didn’t change. But He changed in His dealings.

In other words, when Adam and Eve were in the garden, God dealt with them under those circumstances. The garden was theirs to enjoy. God communed with them everyday. And everything was pretty simple. Then all of a sudden sin entered. And then what happened? A whole new ball game. Adam and Eve are expelled from the garden. All of a sudden they have to work with the sweat of their brow. Sin, and the curse is now on the scene. And that’s certainly far different than it was in the garden. And that went on until it got so bad that God destroyed the whole human race with the exception of Noah and his family. Then they come out of the ark and what happened? Another whole different set of circumstances. Totally different than it was before the flood. And so that goes on. And then the next great event in history is the Tower of Babel. All those new generations of people coming out of the sons of Noah have gathered in rebellion. That’s what the tower of Babel really is. It’s a place of rebellion. And again, God intervenes and confuses all their languages and what happens? God scatters them.

Then He calls Abraham, and again it’s something totally different. He now is going to deal with one special little race of people. That’s why they are called “The chosen race.” They’re Covenant people. Again, that’s totally different than what He’s ever done before. Then along comes Moses about 1500 BC. At God’s direction, Moses gives Israel the Law. You and I have no idea what it was to live under the Mosaic Law. That put such pressure on the Jew, and you need to remember it was far different than the law practiced by Judaism today. To live under the pure Law of Moses, was to live under the constant threat of what? Death! If they picked up sticks to build a fire on the Sabbath Day they knew that death was waiting for them. One act of adultery would result in the same thing. There was no mercy. That was Law. Then along comes the Apostle Paul and to the amazement of the Jew in his day, as well as the Jew to this day, Paul proclaims that you are not under Law, but under Grace. That’s a whole different set of circumstances.

When you get into the millennial thousand-year Kingdom Age it too, is a different program altogether. If you were comparing all of them, it would be more like the Garden of Eden than any of the others. But rather than two people involved, we are going to have literally billions. The world’s population is going to explode. So the Kingdom will run its course, and remember only believers go into the Kingdom. Never forget what Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” So there will only be believing people in the Kingdom, and they will start having children. Satan is locked up during this time. We saw that in Revelation 20. Let’s look at it for a moment, and pick it up in the text at the onset of the Kingdom. John sees this in the Spirit of Prophecy:

Revelation 20:1,2

“AND I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him (how long?) a thousand years,” There’s that concept again of the thousand-year period of time. Now verse 3:

Revelation 20:3

“And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more (what’s the next word?), till (a time word) the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.”

So why is God going to release Satan after this thousand-year reign? He’s got him off the scene and they have had a thousand years of Utopian rule, and everything has been glorious and perfect. Why let that rascal out again? Well, why did God bring Satan on the scene in the first place? To bring the human race to a place of choice. That’s why God gave each of us a will. Historically, young boys and girls were matched for marriage by parents or grandparents and I guess it worked better than they do today. But under our culture, can you think of anything worse than to have someone choose your mate for you? After all, we are under the concept that we will look for our mate until we find one that we really love. And when we find the right one, and he or she loves in return, what do we think we’ve got? That marriage made in heaven.

The same concept is what brought God and the human race into the picture. God didn’t create robots. He created a being with a free will, and emotions. And so God said, “I’m going to extend my love to these creatures, I won’t force them to love me in return, but I’m going to expect love returned.” Do you see the difference? He had every right to expect the human race to love Him back, because after all, He loved them first, but He didn’t force them. So we know that the sad commentary of the human race is, “They spurned God’s love for the most part.” And all because they would rather follow the adversary. If God had not permitted Satan to come into the picture, mankind would have never had a choice. They would have had no will to exercise. They would have been like robots. He would have been the only way and the only choice.

It’s the same way here in the Kingdom. For a thousand years it will be beautiful, and all of these new children coming on the scene with that old Adamic nature, but no power of Satan to trigger it. So there has been no rebellion, no wickedness, no sin. The King is in absolute control. But have they ever made a choice? No! They have had to be obedient to the King, because of the circumstances. So at the end of the thousand years, we’ll have all of these billions of new generation children, some of them almost a thousand years old. They have been obedient by virtue of no choice. But now God is going to give them a choice to choose of their own free will just like he gave you and I. God is going to let Satan come back and they can either follow him or remain true to God. Do you have the picture? Satan must be loosed for a little season. In verse 7 we pick it up after the thousand years has run its course:

Revelation 20:7

“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,” Remember there are, I think, billions of people in the world at this time.

Revelation 20:8a

“And shall go out to deceive the (what’s the next word?) nations (now these nations are back up to full complement and are now going to be exposed to the tempting of Satan) which are in the four quarters of the earth,…”

You might say how could this be possible since they have had it so perfect for a thousand years. Listen! How good did Adam and Eve have it. They also had it perfect. I always like to tell my classes that Eve had the best husband there ever was. On the other hand, Adam had the best wife there ever was. A lot of people think I have, but Adam had a better one. They were perfect. But under those perfect, ideal circumstances, Satan came and did he succeed? You bet he did. And how did he succeed? He couldn’t say to Eve, “Listen honey, I can bring you a better man than Adam.” That isn’t what he said. He didn’t go to Adam and say, “I can find you a better wife than Eve.” That’s part of the temptations that confront people today. They’re not satisfied with their present spouse, because old Satan tells them there might be a better one out there.

Satan knew they had everything that the human race could possible want, except for one thing. And what was it? That they would be like God. That was THE LIE and temptation, and that’s going to be his same ploy here. He will come to this generation of people and they’re going to say, “Well, wait a minute, we have it so good.” But he will say, “You’re not like God, wouldn’t you like to be just like God?” And they will fall for it again. Verse 8 continuing, remember old Satan has gone forth to deceive the nations:

Revelation 20:8b

“…Gog and Magog (that northern confederation of nations we have studied before), to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.”

Tremendous amounts of people. They will be under Satan’s control, because he is their leader at this time. Who are they going to have to battle and conspire against? Christ, The King. It’s almost like a repeat of the battle of Armageddon. They will arrange themselves again around Jerusalem, and will try to destroy Christ and His Kingdom. Satan never gives up. Look what happens.

Revelation 20:9

“And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city (Jerusalem): and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.”

We don’t know whether all of them have rebelled or most of them, but we do know “the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” This will probably be the vast majority of them who will be zapped right off the scene. We have now come to the end of human history as the Bible knows it. From this point on we go into eternity. Time has now come to its final end. It has been seven thousand years from Adam!

Revelation 20:10

“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone (that’s not hell. We’ll look at the difference between hell and the lake of fire in the next lesson), where the beast (the Anti-christ) and the false prophet (the leader of the world religious system) are (notice these other two, who are human, have already been in the lake of fire for the full thousand years), and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

People who preach that hell and the lake of fire are annihilation and that’s the end, are evidently not reading this verse. The Book says the lake of fire is going to be the eternal abode. Verse 11. We find Satan is now off the scene, the earth has come to the end of its usefulness so far as human history is concerned. And I like to think that here is where we pick up the verses of II Peter Chapter 3. I know among the scholars and theologians there is a lot of controversy as to whether these verses apply to the end of the Tribulation, or to the end of the thousand years. I personally think they are at the end of the thousand years. Because the present day earth, even after it has been restored for the Kingdom Age, will be totally destroyed. Not with a flood again, but by fire. And then we will have a new heaven and a new earth. Because heaven is still going to be on the earth. That flies in the face of a lot of people’s thinking, but it’s still true.

II Peter 3:10

“But the day of the Lord (and remember the day of the Lord scripturally goes all the way from the Rapture into eternity. That whole period of time is considered the day of the Lord)will come as a thief in the night (after this semicolon you can leap a thousand years in time with a punctuation mark); in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements (that make up the planet) shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

It’s amazing that Peter, the uneducated Galilean fisherman, used the same language that science uses today. What words am I talking about? Elements, the fervent heat, and in verse 11 the word `dissolved.’ These are words you use when you get into physics and chemistry.

II Peter 3:11

“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation (manner of living) and godliness.”

The world in general doesn’t take that into consideration. They think it will just keep on going. We were talking in our class the other night and the conversation came up about how much concern the 20 and 30-year-old young people have about spiritual and eternal things. Bless their hearts, for the most part it’s not very much. I’m not putting all young people in that group, but the vast majority fits into it. They don’t seem to comprehend that this old world is not going to keep going. Peter says, “We should take all this into consideration”Now verse 12:

II Peter 3:12

“Looking for and hasting (or actually be a part of hasting His coming. And the way you and I can hasten His coming is literally win people to the Lord. Because the faster they are won to the Lord, the sooner the Body of Christ will be full and then that will be the triggering mechanism for bringing it all in) unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements (everything that makes up the earth) shall melt with fervent heat?”

II Peter 3:13

“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”

Go back to Revelation Chapter 20. I want you to see this same kind of setting. The thousand years have ended, we are ready for eternity, and heaven and earth have fled away. They have been burned up. But as soon as we get to Chapter 21, in the very first verse John says, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth…” So that’s coming in the future. But for now let’s look at the Great WhiteThrone.

Revelation 20:11

“And I saw a great white throne (you’ve heard of the Great White Throne), and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.”

And as this Great White Throne is set up some place out in the area of space. It’s not in heaven and not on the earth because they are being burned up. But here’s this Great White Throne of which Christ is the eternal judge. And now John says as he see this great multitude coming before the Great White Throne:

Revelation 20:12a

“And I saw the dead,…”

Now several lessons ago we talked about the two resurrections. The first resurrection was the resurrection of the just or saved. But the second resurrection was the resurrection of all the lost and that it would take place at the end of the Kingdom rule. This is the bringing out of hell all the lost of the ages. They too will have resurrected bodies even as they stand before this Great White Throne. Remember, Jesus said in John Chapter 5 that the lost would also be resurrected.

John 5:28,29

“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

This is the resurrection of damnation. The lost from all ages. Those who have never embraced God’s saving Grace. And here they come.

Revelation 20:12b

“…small and great (kings and emperors, and the greatest of the great. But also the smallest of the small), stand before God (so many times the term `God’ is used right in conjunction with Christ and here is a good example. It’s God, but it’s also Christ who is the Judge here at the Great White Throne); and the books (plural) were opened: and another book (singular)was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according their works.”

If they have any argument whether their name is in the Book of Life, Christ will show them where their name should have been but it’s not there. Remember Jesus said in His earthly ministry that they are going to come before him some day and will say, “But Lord didn’t we do this and that in your name.” And what will He tell them? “Depart from Me I never knew you.” And what’s going to be His proof? The Book! And their name is not in the Lamb’s Book of life. Then Christ goes to the books (plural) and will judge their works. A record is kept of the works of men, both lost and saved. But here we are dealing only with the lost. And God hasn’t had any trouble keeping track of people and what they do and for what motive they do it. We will pick this topic up again in the next lesson. Remember the Great White Throne is only for the lost.

154 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 2 - Book 13 - Great White Throne

154: Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 13 – Great White Throne

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 13

GREAT WHITE THRONE

I hope you have begun to study your Bible since you have joined our Bible study. To really study and compare Scriptures with Scriptures takes dedication, but this is the only way you can study correctly. This can make a tremendous difference in your lives and everything you do and say. We have been studying the Kingdom, and I have become aware that there are a lot of folk that stand staunchly against the concept of an earthly Kingdom. They have spiritualized the Scriptures, and everything that pertains to the Kingdom is spiritual in their eyes. Consequently, they refuse to accept the fact that the Bible is teaching a literal physical, political, earthly Kingdom. There will be families, and tremendous reproduction beginning with believing parents.

Just the other night a fellow in one of our classes showed me a little book that his pastor had given him. All I have to do is read through these and I see the same things over and over. I make no apology for the fact that I read the opposition. It’s almost like being a football coach. Right after the last game is over you must scout the next team you play. Well, that’s the way I do it. I have the Book of Mormon at home. I read and study it so I have a good idea what’s in their book. I’ve read quite a bit out of the Koran so I know a little about it. I read a lot of what Armstrong has written, and I’ve always read Jehovah Witness material, because I want to know where they’re coming from. It’s the same way with these people who are absolutely contrary to, and in opposition of, this concept of an earthly Kingdom, and Christ’s Second Coming ahead of it.

I would like to take this lesson to enlighten people because, as one of my dear students who is the Dean of one of the colleges of one of our universities here, came up to me and said,“Les you’re breaking new ground, you’re throwing things at some of the students that we have never heard before.” So let me try to enlighten each of you on the opposing views with regards to end-time events:

1. Pre-Tribulation and Pre-Millennium. These are of the same persuasion as myself. What we are talking about is the return of Christ. We believers in the Church Age believe that Christ is going to come from heaven to meet us in the air, to take us out before the Tribulation. So we speak of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church. But then we speak in the next term of the Second Coming of Christ actually coming to the Mount of Olives, as being Pre-Millennium. That means that Christ will return to earth before this thousand years’ Kingdom on earth is established.

2. Amillennium – This the opposing view. And in the English language when you put an A in front of something, what does it mean? `No,’ or `without.’ So you have the Pre-Tribulation, Pre-Millennium concepts of the Scriptures, versus the Amillennium – that there is no such thing as an earthly Kingdom of a thousand years. There is no return of Christ to set up an earthly Kingdom.

Several years ago, there was a pastor in the town of one of my classes who was strictly Amillennial (I had a lot of his church members in my class. But as you know, I never try to get people to just follow me. I just have a free-lance Bible study and we teach people in whatever denomination they are in, and they continue to attend their own church). So to refute my teaching the pastor handed out a little typewritten two-page publication ridiculing my stand on the Millennium, the Rapture and so forth. I read it a couple of times to see what he was thinking. What it said was that this whole concept of the Rapture and the Tribulation, and the setting up of an earthly Kingdom had its beginning with some little teenage girl in Spain who had dreamed it all up. It sounded so good that a lot of people listened. and out of that they concocted this whole idea of the Millennium. So several of those people wanted to know if there was any basis for this, because you don’t find any teaching concerning the Rapture and the Millennium back at the time of the reaffirmation of Luther, Calvin, and so forth. And that is true.

People do not understand that for the first 250 years of Church history (from about 40 or 50 AD to 300 AD), the Church stood solidly on what we call Pre-Millennalism. They had a different word for it, Chilioiism, from the word Chilioi in the Greek, which meant 1000 years, just like `mille’ means a thousand. So the words mean the same thing. During those first 250 years, we had all kinds of Church fathers who stood adamant on the fact of the soon departure of the Church, beginning with the Apostle Paul who actually thought it would take place in his lifetime, and the writing of Barnabas who was a contemporary of the Apostle Paul. And John, and Justin Martyr, and others in their writings stood on the millennial earthly rule of Christ, without any apologies.

Now the amazing thing is during that same period of time, there was not one single writer in opposition to it. But one of the strongest opponents was Whitbe. If you need a bibliography of that, call me, and I can give them to you. This Whitbe, who was totally Amillennial, wrote that Pre-Millennialism was passed down amongst the Christians for 250 years. He admitted it. Another one of great Amillennialists was a man by the name of Allis. And he, too, admitted that in the early Church writings there was nothing but the concept of Pre-Mellennialism. So we are prone to ask what happened if, for 250 years, that was the teaching. You know the twelve disciples looked for the Kingdom. I’ve shown you that more than once. Let’s look at it again. Go to Acts Chapter 1, because I always like to use as much Scripture as I can. The Lord has been crucified and raised from the dead and has spent 40 days with the disciples. Now verse 3:

Acts 1:3

“To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs (that He had risen from the grave), being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the (what?) kingdom of God:”

The Kingdom is the Kingdom is the Kingdom. You might say it’s (this time when the earth would be regenerated, the curse lifted, and it would be the Utopia that everybody is looking for). It’s been on the mind of man since the dawn of human history. Now verse 6:

Acts 1:6

“When they (the disciples) therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, `Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the (what?) kingdom to Israel?'”

Now in the thinking of the Jews of Jesus’ day, what Kingdom stood out as the high point in all of Israel’s history? David’s and Solomon’s beautiful Kingdom. Solomon’s especially, it was arrayed in such glory. What did the Queen of Sheba say? “The half hasn’t yet been told.” Well, the twelve understood that this kind of a Kingdom was once again going to be brought back to the Nation of Israel. But instead of a Solomon it would be a greater than Solomon, it would be the Messiah who would be their King. Then they are asking Him, since all of this has been accomplished: He had died at the Crucifixion, and raised from the dead; will he now give them the Kingdom? In the last verse we looked at in our last lesson, there was the promise that Christ had made to the disciples. Let’s look at it again. That is what makes Bible study so beautiful, how it all fits together.

Matthew 19:28

“And Jesus said unto them, `Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration (many people just slip over that word without really knowing what it means. If you have a dead car battery and want to restore it’s original power, what do you do? You generate it. A generator generates a flow of electricity into that battery making it like new. That word means the same thing here. One day the earth will be regenerated (made like it was in the beginning) when the Son of man (The Christ) shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also(the disciples) shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.'”

All of this written in the four Gospels especially rests on the Abrahamic Covenant. We need to look at that for a time. So go to Genesis 15. I call this the Chapter of Israel’s title deed. Most of you already have that written in your margins. Here God has come down and, as He did in the Old Testament, He appeared unto Abraham. And he literally went through the rites of transferring title deed to Abraham. And after He had done that, verse 18:

Genesis 15:18

“In the same day (God transferred the title deed to Abraham) the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, `Unto thy seed (Abraham’s offspring) have I given this land, from the river of Egypt (near the Nile) unto the great river, the river Euphrates:'”

The Euphrates goes through present day Iraq, down to the Persian Gulf. Then all the way back to near the Nile river in Egypt, up to the Mediterranean Sea north and back to the Euphrates river. That’s all going to be Israel’s homeland when the Kingdom comes in. Israel has never had it yet. David and Solomon got part of it, but not near all of it. Tonight, Israel just has a small amount of the land that God gave Abraham, but the day is coming when the Land of Israel will actually cover that whole Middle East. But this title deed will not be fulfilled until Christ sets up the Kingdom. And the twelve apostles will sit under Christ’s throne there in Jerusalem, ruling over the twelve tribes just like it says in Matthew Chapter 19. That’s the Kingdom as the twelve apostles understood it.

Paul speaks of the Kingdom and since the Kingdom is not now on earth, but in heaven, Paul then speaks of our citizenship being in heaven. And he says so in Colossians 1 so plainly:

Colossians 1:13

“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:”

When Christ returns to the earth with His Kingdom, where will we be? With Him. That’s the whole concept of Scripture, that when the Kingdom is set up we’ll come back with Him. We won’t have physical bodies of reproduction (male and female) like the survivors of the Tribulation. Jesus said we will be as the angels, but nevertheless we will be bodily present and will reign and rule with Christ. So the early Apostles believed in this earthly Kingdom. Paul taught it. John taught it and wrote the Book of Revelation.

Well, what happened then that this opposing view crept in. You want to remember that shortly after 300 A.D. something fantastic took place. Emperor Constantine, the Roman Emperor, embraced Christianity. And when he did that, what did that do to the Church? It exploded in numbers. People came in by droves, because after all it was the thing to do. Then the Church fathers, Origen being the first one, were down there at a big seminary in Alexandria Egypt. When he saw that Christianity was exploding across the Roman Empire, he reflected back – the Jewish temple had been totally destroyed; the Jews had been uprooted out of their homeland and sent like vagabonds and Gypsies throughout the Roman Empire. So he got the great light bulb explosion in his mind that evidently God was all through with the Jew. He would have nothing more to do with them, and consequently, all of the promises that God had given to the Nation of Israel and to Abraham were now blotted out, and instead, God gives all those promises to the Church.

What does that do? It destroys all end-time prophecies, because as I stressed when we first started prophecy several months ago, all prophecy is directed solely to the Jew. So when you take the Jew off the scene, what do you do with prophecy? You throw it away. And that’s exactly what they did. They took away all references to end-time prophecy, and would say it can’t be, because Israel is no longer a viable thing. Then some years after Origen there came a great Roman Catholic Bishop named Augustine. He was a tremendous man, and sometimes I even make reference to some of his writings. But Augustine also followed this concept that since Christianity was engulfing the whole world, that is how the Kingdom would be brought in, and there would be no more need for the Tribulation or the Second Coming because the Church is the literal Kingdom. He even went so far as to feel that Satan was defeated and locked up at the time of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. With that, they were already in the Kingdom.

It wasn’t too long after Augustine, as the world was already starting to slip deeper and deeper into sin, that they realized their concept wasn’t true. Then Augustine precipitated what we call Amillennialism. That all the promises given to Israel had now been given to the Church. And there were no prophecies left to fulfill.

Then the reformers came along. Martin Luther, Calvin and all the rest. That was about 1511 AD. They were so caught up in this whole concept of salvation and faith, doing away with the excesses that Roman Catholicism had brought in at that time, that they didn’t get to the place where they considered what we call eschatology or end-time events. Even from the Reformation there was nothing taught concerning the end-time. And then a fellow by the name of Joseph Mede, who lived from 1586 to 1638, began to write concerning the Nation of Israel going back to the land, and that there would be a thousand-year reign. Few paid much attention to him. But from Mede on, more and more men began to recover what we call millennialist teachings. Then, about the middle 1800’s, a gentleman from England by the name of John Darby (who many feel wrote one of the best translations of the Bible that has ever been written), became the tremendous proponent of what we call Pre-Tribulation, and the Pre-Millennial coming of Christ.

Since Darby, there have been literally thousands of tremendous theologians. And with everything that is happening on the earth tonight, we can see the whole prophetic plan coming together, and it’s much easier to embrace these things now than to say, “Well, God’s all through with the Jews.” But let me remind you that there are large groups in Christendom (I suppose at least 80%), who still hold to Amillennialism. They still have not come to the place where they recognize that the Nation of Israel is visible. In fact, most of these groups will say, “The Jews in Israel tonight have nothing to do with the Israel of Scripture.” And, as you know, I disagree with that thinking completely. I maintain the Jews in Israel tonight are the fulfillment of this Book. They are the very stamp that this Book is true and we can rest on it. And now with Israel back in the land, and the Jews planning to rebuild the Temple, the whole world political and economic system is being set up according as we see it in Scripture. So I make no apology for my stand on the Millennium, on Christ’s return, on the Rapture and Tribulation or everything else that I have been teaching. Amillennialism is fine for those that want it. But as for me, I believe otherwise!

153 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 1 - Book 13 - Bema Seat

153: Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 13 – Bema Seat

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 13

BEMA SEAT

Let’s recap our last lesson for a moment about who will go into the Kingdom. First we will have the remnant of Jews that God is going to protect during the last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation. They will be Jews that we read about in Matthew 24 that were escaping to the mountains at the mid-point of the Tribulation. They were a cross-section of the population of Jerusalem, from children and young pregnant women to retired older people. They will be the seed stock to repopulate the Nation of Israel. Second, there will be the survivors that believed the Gospel of the Kingdom as presented by the 144,000 that survive the Tribulation. They too will be a cross-section of society. This group will be Gentiles and will be the seed stock to repopulate all the nations, except the Nation of Israel. This Kingdom Age will last a thousand years and there will be only believers in this Kingdom. Satan will be locked up, the earth will be like the Garden of Eden. There will be no sin there. And Christ will be the absolute Ruler, a benevolent Dictator if you want to call Him that. It’s going to be a glorious time. There will be no sin, sickness, or death, and you will have a population explosion that the world has never seen before. We also know that since the curse has been lifted, there will be no more pain in childbirth, which I think will encourage large families.

Regarding other aspects of the Kingdom, I’ve had many people ask me if they will see their dog or cat again in heaven (they want me to say yes)? But I have to say, “Not the one you had here.” But there will be animals in the Kingdom. I’m sure that among those animals, people will have pets. I’m a dog lover myself, and have loved dogs ever since I was a kid. I had one for 15 years and I sure got attached to her. But I know I won’t see that little black dog in the Kingdom economy. But there will be animals. That is why I had you turn to Isaiah Chapter 11. We touched on this in the last lesson, so let’s just review a little. I like to show everything from Scripture. If I can’t show it from Scripture then it’s just my own idea. But when you can, I trust you will read it and believe it as this is the inspired Word of God. I take it literally. When you take the Scriptures literally you satisfy a lot of questions (and why not take it literally). If you read the account of Washington and his men crossing the Delaware on that cruel winter day, back there in the early days of our nation, do you spiritualize that and try to dream up something totally different? Of course not. You take it literally, and you take it so literally that you can almost feel the cold and pain they went through. And you need to do the same thing with Scripture. Don’t read and then try to dream up something that it must have meant. Just say, “This is what it says, and I believe it.” So looking at the animal part of the Kingdom again, let’s go to verse 6:

Isaiah 11:6

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid (baby goat); and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.”

Can you picture all of that? Just take it literally. The animal kingdom as we know it today would be in total opposition. That lion would eat that little calf in a second. But here they are lying down together. Do you see the difference? I’m always trying to get people to read their Bibles carefully. Don’t just read it to be reading it. Here we have wild animals all of a sudden cohabiting with domestic animals! And unbelievable as it may seem, who is in the midst of them? A little child. Immediately you should ask yourself, “Where does this child come from?” Well, like the children today it came from parents, a father and a mother. Let’s read on:

Isaiah 11:7

“And the cow and the bear shall feed (together); their young ones shall lie down together: and (now here is the secret of the whole thing) the lion shall eat straw like the ox.”

Now let’s compare Scripture with Scripture. Come back to Genesis Chapter l. This is why I say the Kingdom will be a reversion back to the Garden of Eden, before the curse came in. Now the comparison. Isaiah says the day is coming when these wild meat-eating animals are going to eat the same diet of grasses that cattle do today. In Genesis l:28-30 we read (here God is speaking to Adam):

Genesis 1:28-30

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, `Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.’ And God said, `Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat (or food).'” Now verse 30:

“And to every beast of the earth (that also includes the animals we read about in Isaiah), and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: (or food) and it was so.”

You won’t see God give permission (I don’t think even to the animal kingdom) to kill and eat meat for food until after the flood. Noah was then instructed that he could kill and eat the meat of these animals. But definitely before Adam sinned, none of the animals could eat meat, only green herbs. So that is what is here in Isaiah 11. The whole animal kingdom, including the most ferocious, carnivorous meat-eating species are going to change their diets and live peaceably with animals they once would have eaten.

Isaiah 11:8

“And the sucking (or nursing) child shall play on the hole of the asp, (which of course was a very poisonous serpent) and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ s(adder’s) den.”

Here we have had three children mentioned in just two verses. The inspired Word of God tells us that when this Kingdom is set up there will be human beings coming in at the front end of the Kingdom who are going to reproduce. They have to. We know by the time we get to the end of the thousand years, there are multitudes of people on the earth. We will be looking at that in a later lesson. Where did they come from? They came from believing parents who started at the beginning of the Kingdom.

Coming out of the Old Testament we came to the time of the Cross, and now we are in that undetermined period of time known as the Church Age. It will end when the Church is Raptured, or called out. And then began that seven-year period of time called the Tribulation. After Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation we come into this thousand years of what we call the Kingdom Age. It will be on earth in which these things will take place that we are reading about. All through this period of human history everything has been under the curse, and we have no question about wild animals and their behavior, and children should never play with them. And then at the end of the last lesson and I recapped at the beginning of this lesson who would be going into the Kingdom. All of these people I showed you will be different than you and I. We will have our new resurrected bodies, flesh and bone. These believing survivors of the Tribulation will have the same bodies that they had before – flesh and blood. They will then be the parents of these children we just read about with the wild animals in verse 6 and 8 of Isaiah Chapter 11. Let’s look at verse 9:

Isaiah 11:9

“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain (a mountain in Scripture, especially in the Old Testament, is a Kingdom. Always look at the text): for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

Let’s look at some more Old Testament references of the earthly Kingdom. Go to the Book of Amos Chapter 9 (in our next lesson I’m going to explain the opposition to this line of teaching about a literal earthly Kingdom that will come on the earth. We call this opposition Amillenium). Hopefully we’ll show you that we are not throwing you a bunch of smoke, but that we can rest assuredly that even in the very early days of Christianity they all held to this view of an earthly Kingdom that someday would be on the scene. We have a lot of people who watch and are in my classes, who are handed books that are in opposition of the earthly Kingdom, the Book of Revelation and so forth. Now look at Amos 9:11,12:

Amos 9:11,12

“In that day (in other words when Christ is setting up His Kingdom) will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they (Israel) may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen (Gentiles), which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.” In verse 13, Here it is:

Amos 9:13

“Behold, the days come (when this Kingdom is finally set up), saith (Who?) the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper (what does that mean? Intense reproduction, remember there will be no curse, so they won’t have to put up with weeds and insects, fungus and moles, and pests and all the things that hinder good crop production), and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.” And God goes on to say that with His dealing with His people Israel, as we have here in the Old Testament:

Amos 9:15

“And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.” Go to the Book of Zechariah, Chapter 14 verse 8:

Zechariah 14:8

“And it shall be in that day (when the Kingdom is in operation), that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem: half of them toward the former sea (the Mediterranean sea), and half of them toward the hinder sea (Dead Sea): in summer and in winter shall it be.” In order to pick up on this you have to go back to Ezekiel Chapter 47. Ezekiel sees this same river, beginning in verse 1:

Ezekiel 47:1

“AFTERWARD he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar,” Notice this river has it source under the temple in Jerusalem. Now verse 8:

Ezekiel 47:8-10

“Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea (that is the Dead Sea): which (when these waters) being brought forth into the (Dead) sea, the waters shall be healed,”

“And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither (from the temple area): for they (the waters of the Dead Sea) shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.” Now look at verse 10:

“And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it (this is the Dead Sea, and we know that from the term Engedi) from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea (the Mediterranean), exceeding many.”

When we were in Israel, we stopped at the oasis of Engedi at the Dead Sea and some of our group went swimming. Someday, this will again be fresh water. In Matthew Chapter 19, here again is the promise of this coming Kingdom when Peter says to the Lord:

Matthew 19:27,28

“…Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, `Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.'”

152 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 4 - Book 13 - First Resurrection - Gentile Believers

152: Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 13 – First Resurrection – Gentile Believers

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 13

FIRST RESURRECTION – GENTILE BELIEVERS

Revelation 20

Turn in your Bible to Isaiah 24. We continue our study on who goes into the earthly Kingdom after the Tribulation. Remember at that time the earth will be restored back to the way it was in the Garden of Eden before sin entered. It will be glorious and beautiful. As we saw last lesson, the remnant of Israel that God had protected all during the last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation will believe when they see Christ coming with power and great glory at His Second Coming. They will see the nail prints in His hands, the wound in His side and by sight, believe and know that He was and is their Messiah. They then will go into the Kingdom. Also remember this remnant is a mixed group of Jews we saw in Matthew 24 as they fled Jerusalem. They will then become the seed stock for the Nation of Israel. They are not the 144,000 Jewish men who preached during the Tribulation.

They will also, by far, be the largest nation in numbers to go into the Kingdom. So now we have the Nation of Israel established. Now let’s pick up the Gentiles whom God hasn’t forgotten. Even though the Age of Grace was primarily to the Gentiles yet even in the Tribulation, God has been preparing Gentiles to go into the Kingdom in ordinary flesh and blood bodies. Remember the Kingdom is going to see a tremendous population explosion. So by the end of that thousand years when Satan will be released for a little season to test those born during this Kingdom Age, there will be probably as many people on earth then as there are now. So in Isaiah Chapter 24 we will pick up these Gentiles. We will begin at verse 1, and again, it’s a graphic description of the Tribulation as we have been studying it for the last several lessons.

Isaiah 24:1,2

“BEHOLD, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.” We have been talking about all the cataclysmic events that will be taking place during the Tribulation.

“And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.” In other words, everyone is going to come under this tremendous cataclysmic seven-year period of events.

Isaiah 24:3,4

“The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word. The earth mourneth and fadeth away (under these judgments), the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.” Even their wealth is not going to protect them.

Isaiah 24:5,6

“The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws (the basic laws of morality laid down back in the Ten Commandments), changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” In other words, they have been totally disobedient to everything that God has instructed.

“Therefore hath the curse (that began with Adam) devoured the earth (it’s because of sin that all of these things take place), and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned (yes there could be tremendous amounts of nuclear energy released), and few men left.”

And despite all the cataclysmic events that happen, there will be survivors in just about any catastrophe that happens. There are normally some survivors. When we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, there were people who survived that blast and they were at ground zero. When there are terrible earthquakes, where there’s a building collapse and it doesn’t look possible for any one to be alive, they always find survivors. And so it will be at the end of the Tribulation. They will be scattered around the planet from every nation that you can think of.

Now let’s try to figure out in the statement of verse 6, “and few men left.” How many is a few? You can use any percentage you wish to figure a few. We have tonight in the world around 5 1/2 billion people. But for sake of easy mathematics let’s round it off to 5 billion. I think 10 percent is too high for a few. When I think of a few I think of something less then 5 percent. So what would be 5 percent of 5 billion people? 250 million people. Let’s bring it down to 1 percent and you still have 50 million. That is still a lot of people.

Don’t forget the fact that at the beginning of the Tribulation God sealed 144,000 young Jews who will preach the Gospel of the Kingdom. Their main message will be, during almost all of the Tribulation, “The King is coming to set up His Kingdom.” Many people will believe and be martyred. However some people will believe and survive. Then some people who won’t believe survive. So all of survivors combined are the, “few men left” we read about here in Isaiah. Let’s go to the Book of Matthew and pick these survivors up again and see what happens to them. Remember, no unbelievers can go into the Kingdom. Because Satan is going to be locked up, and we will start out with a generation of parents who are believers. In Matthew Chapter 25 we have the perfect description of how God is going to do it. Here we will be dealing with a point in time where the supernatural will be almost common-place. And so Christ is going to bring supernaturally all of the survivors, from all over the world, to Jerusalem. So, beginning in verse 31, this is Jesus speaking:

Matthew 25:31

“When the Son of Man shall come in his glory (now watch the language here), and all the holy angels with him (that includes you and I; this is at His Second Coming), then shall he sat upon the throne of his glory (His Kingdom rule in Jerusalem).”

Matthew 25:32

“And before him shall be gathered all nations (the biggest percentages of the population of the nations have been killed, as this is at the end of the Tribulation. But we still have the survivors, who are representative of their nations): and he (The King) shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.” Here Christ the King will separate the believers from the unbelievers.

Matthew 25:33

“And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.”

Matthew 25:34

“Then shall the (what’s the next word) King (notice He is already on the throne here ready to start ruling over the Kingdom) say unto them on his right hand (believers), `Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the (what?) kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:'”

That is nothing new to you is it? What does Ephesians Chapter 1 tell us? When were we chosen and in the mind of God? Before the foundation of the world. God in His foreknowledge knew exactly which one of these Gentiles would hear the Gospel of the Kingdom from the 144,000 and believe. Now in verse 35, the following is not what saved them but what distinguished them as believers:

Matthew 25:35,36

“For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat (food): I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.”

Matthew 25:37-40

“Then shall the righteous (these surviving believers) answer him, saying, `Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?’ And the King shall answer and say unto them, `Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,…'”

That word `brethren’ is the secret here. Jesus was a Jew so His brethren were Jews. So who is He referring to? The 144,000 that had preached the Gospel of the Kingdom during the Tribulation. It wasn’t their good deeds that saved them. It is never good works that save anyone. They were saved by their faith in this message that was preached unto them. And as soon as they were saved what were they willing to do? Help these people who had brought this saving message to them.

Remember during World War II, who helped and hid the Jewish people from the Nazis? Christians. Why? Because it’s a Christians’ nature to do things like this. So here, Jesus is showing that these 144,000 are going to suffer privation all through their ministry. Go back to Revelation Chapter 7 for a moment, where the angel says:

Revelation 7:3

“Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.”

That was like, I suppose, when God put a mark on Cain, that no one could take his life. And it’s the same way with these 144,000. They were sealed so that they could not be killed. Suffer, yes, but they couldn’t be killed. Reading on you will see that there were 12,000 sealed from each of the twelve tribes. To see how all of this fits with Matthew Chapter 25 come down to verse 16. These are the privations that Tribulation believers, as well as the 144,000, will suffer during this seven-year period.

Revelation 7:16

“They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more;…”

Remember, if people don’t take the mark of the beast during this time, they won’t be able to buy or sell, and seven years is a long time if you can’t buy groceries. Seven years is a long time if you can’t make a house payment, buy gasoline, or pay a doctor bill. So they will end up hungry and thirsty, and naked. Come back to Matthew Chapter 25. So the 144,000 suffered these same privations during the Tribulation. They were thrown in prison and they’re going to be hungry, and the only sustenance they had was from these believers. These believers, although they will have little to spare, will sacrifice to help these 144,000. Then Jesus said:

Matthew 25:40

“…Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” This is the only setting in which this text fits. You can’t put it into anything else. It’s simply the response of these believers who have survived awful events of the Tribulation. Then in verse 41 Jesus addresses the goats or unbelievers.

Matthew 25:41-45

“Then shall he (Christ) say also unto them on the left hand, `Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels (and they will ask why): For I was an hungred, and ye gave me not meat (food): I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, `Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?’(and look at the Lord’s reply): Then shall he answer them, saying, `verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these (the 144,000), ye did it not to me:'” And now He gives each group what they deserve in verse 46:

Matthew 25:46

“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” And although the Kingdom is stipulated a thousand years it is still the beginning of eternity.

I had a gentleman call the other night who said, “Les, I have problems with what takes place in the Kingdom and what takes place in eternity. What’s the difference?” I told him there were a lot of great theologians who debate the issue in their books as to what’s in the Kingdom Age and what’s in eternity. I can just simplify that by saying, “Always remember that all the situations concerning the Kingdom are an introduction to the eternal.” Now that’s the way I see it. It will be interrupted, by a new heaven and a new earth, but I think eternity will be based on pretty much the same set of circumstances that we have in the thousand years. So when Jesus tells these people that are going into the Kingdom that they are going into eternal life, indeed they are! Let’s look at a few more of the attributes of the Kingdom. Turn to Isaiah Chapter 11:

Isaiah 11:1,2

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:” Jesse was the father of David and Christ is always considered the Son of David. So we are speaking of the Branch here as the Messiah, the Christ.

“And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD:” Those are all attributes of the Spirit and also indicative of the Christ.

Isaiah 11:3,4

“And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth (this is where the Beatitudes come into play, and become the constitution of the Kingdom): and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked (He did that at Armageddon).” And in verse 5 we come back again into the Kingdom.

Isaiah 11:5,6

“And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” This is all on the earth. Animal lovers ask me if there will be animals in heaven? Yes, here it is.

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” Where did that little child come from? From believing parents.

Isaiah 11:7-9

“And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox (as it was before sin entered). And the sucking (nursing) child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ (adder’s) den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: (Kingdom) for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”