151 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 3 - Book 13 - Gentile Believers

151: Lesson 2 Part 3 Book 13 – Gentile Believers

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 13

GENTILE BELIEVERS

Revelation 20

I don’t claim to have any special revelations, and I don’t think I teach The Bible that much different than a lot of men who are far more important and educated than I am. But I trust that I am able to make it a little easier to understand. We have been talking about the Kingdom the past few lessons. Christ has returned, the Tribulation has run its course, and I think the questions that come into everybody’s mind are, “Who is going to go into the Kingdom? Are they going to be flesh and blood? Will they be having families? Will they be reproducing?” And the answer to all these question is, absolutely! This Kingdom will be on the earth, and will be `Utopia,’ (that’s the word the secular world likes to use). So let’s take a few references out of the Old Testament to show that this Kingdom idea has been on God’s mind from the very onset of the Book it-self, but especially after the call of Abraham.

I stressed many months ago that the Abrahamic Covenant you see was the Covenant between God and the Nation of Israel. He would make them a special, separated nation of people. He would put them in a geographic area of land and then, at the appropriate time, He would come to be their King, and set up the government. That comprises the Kingdom that everything is looking forward to. Let’s begin this lesson in Psalms Chapter 2; we have looked at some of the verses several times in the past. But in Psalms Chapter 2, we have the format of prophecy more or less laid out, and the rejection of the Messiah in verse 2. Then how God just literally ridicules mankind (in his frustrations, mankind thinks that he can rule without God in verse 3). So God laughs at mankind and will have them in derision in verse 4. And then in verse 5:

Psalms 2:5,6

“Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.” That’s the Tribulation. And then the next verse brings in the Kingdom.

“Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.”

Now that’s the Kingdom as it will be centered in Jerusalem where, of course, Zion is. Now verse 8:

Psalms 2:8

“Ask of me, and I shall give thee (The Messiah, The King) the heathen (or Gentiles) for thine inheritance (in other words it isn’t just going to be a Jewish Kingdom, but will include the whole human race), and the uttermost parts (not heaven, but what?) of the earth for thy possession.” So this Kingdom is going to be on earth. All Scripture defines it as such. Now as we leave Psalms, come to Isaiah Chapter 2 for a moment.

Isaiah 2:1

“THE word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.” See Jerusalem is at the very center of all of this.

Isaiah 2:2

“And it shall come to pass in the last days (that final thousand years), that the mountain (or Kingdom) of the LORD’s house shall be established, in the top of the mountains (over all the other nations and empires that have previously existed), and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations (plural) shall flow unto it (the Kingdom).”

We will come back to Isaiah 11 at a later time, but for now come to Matthew. As I have stressed before, we haven’t taught the four Gospels yet. We were ready to begin that study, but we had so many requests for me to teach prophecy that we skipped the four Gospels, and have been teaching prophecy for quite some time now. But in about five or six hours we will be completely finished with prophecy, and then we will begin our study in Matthew and finish the Gospels, and the Book of Acts. But for now, in Matthew Chapter 3 we have John the Baptist coming on the scene in verse 1.

Matthew 3:1,2

“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea. And saying, `Repent ye (why?): for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'”

Why was John saying that? Because the King was there. Christ was on the scene, and He was about to present Himself to the Nation of Israel as their promised Messiah and King. So they were to prepare spiritually with repentance, and the baptism of repentance that John preached. The term, “The Kingdom of heaven” is frequent throughout the Book of Matthew. Let’s look at a few of them. In Matthew Chapter 4, Jesus has begun His earthly ministry:

Matthew 4:17

“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent (why?): for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Now come on over to Chapter 9. This is all to fulfill the promises made to the Nation of Israel through the Abrahamic Covenant. And now here it comes, the nation is there, they’re in at least part of the promised land (not all of it yet), and now Jesus has come to present Himself as their King.

Matthew 9:35

“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages (of Israel), teaching in their synagogues, and preaching (what?) the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.”

When you come into Chapter 10 (we will be looking at this in detail when we come into the New Testament), Jesus chooses the twelve in verse 2. Come down to verse 5 and read the following:

Matthew 10:5,6

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them (now watch this), saying, `Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.'”

Why did Jesus do that? Why did He qualify it in such a narrow frame of reference? Because the Abrahamic Covenant had nothing to do with anyone but the Nation of Israel. He knew that because He was the Framer of it. He was the One Who made that Covenant. Don’t think for a minute He was confused. Several years ago, I was listening to a preacher of a large church in the midwest. I was never so shocked in my life at what he said. He was using this passage for his sermon subject, and he said, “You know at this point in time, Jesus was still bigoted as He wasn’t taking the Gentiles into consideration, and He didn’t fully understand the scope of His ministry.” And I’m almost quoting him word for word. Imagine that, but you see what the poor gentleman couldn’t comprehend was, that Jesus fully understood, and had a heart for the Gentiles, but it wasn’t time for their ministry yet. He had come to fulfill the promises that He had made to Israel all the way back to Abraham. So He commanded the twelve not to go to anyone but Israelites. You remember when He spoke to the Canaanite woman? It was the same reason. She was a Gentile. He said, “I can’t give to you Gentiles that which belongs to the children (that is Israel).” After He says to go only to the lost sheep of Israel, we see in verse 7:

Matthew 10:7

“And as ye (the Twelve) go, preach, saying, `The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'”

The Kingdom is mentioned over and over. Let’s stop at Chapter 19. This isn’t intended to be an in-depth study of Matthew. But now in Chapter 19 as we have gone up through Jesus’ three years of His earthly ministry, and the twelve have been dutifully going with Him everywhere He goes. Now, in verse 27 (and you know I like to point out that these twelve men were just as human as you and I are. They weren’t super spiritual. They were common, ordinary fishermen and so forth), we read the following:

Matthew 19:27

“Then answered Peter and said unto him (Jesus), Behold, we have forsaken all (their occupations), and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

Peter wasn’t talking about his salvation, he knew he had that. He had already believed that Jesus was the Christ. So what’s he talking about? He wanted to know what their reward would be for following Jesus (leaving everything else behind). Look at Jesus’ answer:

Matthew 19:28

“And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, `That ye which have followed me (the twelve, but we must leave Judas out), in the regeneration (that’s when you restore something back like it was. The earth back like it was in the Garden of Eden) when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory (and according to Psalms Chapter 2, it will be in Jerusalem), ye (the twelve, we will have Matthias in the Book of Acts) also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging (or ruling) the twelve tribes of Israel.'”

Now isn’t that so plain? When the Kingdom is set up and the Nation is now under their King, under The King will be twelve original Apostles each ruling the twelve tribes, there in Jerusalem. There in the land of Israel. Let’s look at another verse or two. This comes back to the closing days of the Tribulation, but that is all tied to the beginning of the Kingdom.

Luke 21:25,26

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” Now that’s the end of the Tribulation. Look at what the next verse says:

Luke 21:27

“And then shall they (the Jews. What’s the next word?) see (lock that word in for I’ll come back and make a point with it) the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

Luke 21:28

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Remember, He is addressing the Nation of Israel.

Luke 21:29-31

“And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the (what’s the next word?) kingdom of God is nigh at hand.”

Now come on over to the Book of Acts Chapter 1. Of course, the Crucifixion has come and gone. Christ has been raised from the dead. He has spent forty days with the eleven. And now verse 3:

Acts 1:3

“To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days (they saw Him. How? With their eyes), and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:” Now verses 6 and 7:

Acts 1:6,7

“When they therefore were come together (Jesus and the eleven, on the Mount of Olives), they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom of Israel?”Notice He didn’t tell them there wouldn’t be a Kingdom, but rather:

“And he said unto them, `It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.'”

Don’t think Peter had forgotten about the promise of both him and the others sitting on the twelve thrones we read about earlier.

I just had a thought. I’m going to give you something to look for. I want you to search the four Gospel accounts, and see if you can find a single time that the twelve referred to the Lord as “Jesus.” I think you will have an eye-opener.

So the Kingdom has been the theme throughout all of Scripture. That this Kingdom is going to come on the earth where Christ will be the absolute King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Satan, as we have seen, is going to be bound and there will be no sin. But the question is, “Who is going to go into the Kingdom?” There are qualifications, of course. Come back to John’s Gospel Chapter 3. A portion you all know forward and backward. And you have heard dozens of sermons on it. And here we have Nicodemus in verse 2:

John 3:2

“This same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”

Notice Nicodemus was head and shoulders ahead of most of the Jews of that day. He recognized that these miracles were telling him something. And he knew that Jesus was Someone special.

John 3:3

“Jesus answered and said unto him, `Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except (or unless) a man be born again (or born from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.'” Now what does that tell you. Who can go into the Kingdom? ONLY BELIEVERS!

There will be no unbelievers in the Kingdom. Come back to Matthew 24. Several lessons ago, I had my timeline on the board showing the seven years of Tribulation. And at the mid-point of the Tribulation we see the Anti-christ coming in and defiling the temple at Jerusalem? Matthew 24 verses 15a and 16:

Matthew 24:15a,16

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet,… Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:”

I call this the escaping remnant of Israel. They go down to the mountains to the southeast of Jerusalem. They won’t be the whole nation but as I taught you before, only the remnant. And in those mountains God is going to protect them for the last 3 1/2 years. Then as this remnant of Israel who have gone out to the mountains in unbelief (in that they have never recognized Christ as their Messiah), when they see Christ coming with glory and power at His Second Coming they will believe. So they, too, will get to go into the Kingdom.

Let’s look at this remnant as they see Him coming from the view of Zechariah. Remember, I told you earlier in the lesson in Luke 21:27 to remember that word `see’ – in that they would see Him:

Zechariah 12:10

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications (remember this is the house of David, no Gentiles are there): and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced (His Crucifixion),…”

They will suddenly not only have their physical eyes opened but also their spiritual eyes. And they will recognize that this coming manifestation of The Christ, The Messiah is the One Who died back there on that Roman Cross. Let’s look at one more verse in this lesson:

Zechariah 13:6

“And one (this remnant of Israel) shall say unto him, `What are these wounds in thine hands?’ Then he shall answer, `Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends,'”

Then this remnant of Israel will experience that new birth that Nicodemus was told he had to have in order to go into the Kingdom. This remnant, by far, will be the largest number of people to survive the Tribulation. This then will be the seed stock of the Nation of Israel as they come into the Kingdom. All twelve tribes will be represented here. Isaiah tells us, “Will a nation be born in a day.”

150 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 2 - Book 13 - "Who Goes into the Kingdom"

150: Lesson 2 Part 2 Book 13 – Who Goes into the Kingdom

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 13

WHO GOES INTO THE KINGDOM

Revelation 20

Let’s turn to I Corinthians Chapter 15. We have now been teaching for nearly twenty five years now and have started our fourth year on television. I’ve always given the illustration of Peter when the Lord was trying to lead him up to the house of Cornelius in Acts Chapter 10. I always use the analogy that Peter left his heel prints in the sand all the way from Joppa to Caesarea. In other words, he really didn’t want to go, but the Lord forced the issue. Well, that’s the way I was about going on television. I certainly didn’t think that I was television caliber, and I still sometimes wonder, but the Lord kept pushing and pushing and even though I left heel prints, yet here we are.

I remember several years ago a gentleman was leaving our class in McAlester, Oklahoma, and he said, “Les why in the world aren’t you reaching more people then just the 40 or 50 people that come to your classes.” I told him this is all that I ever expected, and I have always been content to teach small groups. I have even told people who try to help enlarge a class not to worry about numbers. I’m not hung up on numbers, I would rather have 15 people that are hungry and want to learn, than have a thousand people who want to be merely entertained. And that is still how I feel. We don’t know for sure just how large our television audience is, but whether it be large or small we just trust we can teach the Book in such a way that you can enjoy it, like you never have before.

Last lesson we were talking about the two resurrections. We have the resurrection of the just which will happen before the reign and rule of Christ, and the resurrection of the unjust which will come after the thousand year reign and rule of Christ. But right now we are talking about the resurrection of all the believers, from the very onset of Adam back in Genesis up until the very end of the Tribulation. So before we go back to the firstfruits in Leviticus, let’s look again at the Resurrection Chapter in I Corinthians and read these verses we looked at last lesson:

I Corinthians 15:20-22

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits (plural) of them that slept (or died).” For since by man (Adam) came death, by man (Christ) came also the resurrection of the dead.” For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive (the Power of God will resurrect the believer, and also later will resurrect the lost).”

I Corinthians 15:23

“But every man (here Paul is dealing with the believer) in his own order (and that word `order,’ is a military term speaking of a company, or battalion, or organization): Christ the firstfruits; afterward (not simultaneously, but at a later time) they that are Christ’s at his coming.”

That is the group that Paul is most concerned with. And that is the Church Age. The Grace Age Believers, The Body of Christ. You and I as believers.

I Corinthians 15:24

“Then cometh the end,…” Now we know that will be after the Tribulation.

Go back to Leviticus Chapter 23 where we left off in our last lesson. The Nation of Israel is receiving instruction of the laws, and the feast days. The Jews still celebrate these feast days even today. Maybe under a little different setting but they still have these feast days. The first one was the Feast of Passover, then Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the third one is the Feast of the Firstfruits. The Feast of Firstfruits came about the time of barley harvest. Barley was the small grain that would ripen first and be the earliest in the spring.

Leviticus 23:10

“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:”

There again the word is plural. I know we are living in a nation that is more urban than rural, but I think we still have enough rural background in most of us that we understand a little bit about small grains such as wheat, barley, oats, and so forth. When that beautiful green field is approaching the ripening stage you get a tinge of gold and yellow. And you know the crop is approaching maturity. Then all of a sudden in that sea of green you will see a gold stem with the heads being just as bright gold as they can be. And you will see several of them that are ripe scattered in that green field. The rest of the crop is still a few days away from harvest. The Jew was to go into that grain field, pluck those ripe stems until he had a multitude and could make a sheaf. Then he would take that sheaf, and present it to the priest as a wave offering.

Everything that is sown in the Old Testament comes to its fruition in the New Testament. So what we have here is not just a picture of a grain harvest, but of a spiritual harvest. Remember when Jesus was in His earthly ministry, He used this analogy to His disciples. He told them, “Look out unto the fields, they are white unto harvest.” He wasn’t talking about wheat or barley. He was talking about mankind. Mankind was ready for a harvesting of a spiritual sort. So now you can begin to tie the two together. Here we have a gathering of these ripening stems of individual barley, not the whole field. Yet there was enough they could make a sheaf of it. Now keep that thought in mind and come back with us to the Book of Matthew Chapter 27.

I remember when I first came to Oklahoma and was teaching. I hadn’t been here very long, and a dear old saint came and asked me this question. He said, “Les, what are these people who came out of the grave when Christ was on the Cross.” I told him I had never heard of such a thing. He said, “The Bible says they did.” And I said, “While He was on the Cross?” And the gentleman said, “Yes.” I wouldn’t doubt that he will watch this program, and remember he asked that question. But you see that is so typical of the average Bible reader. We read, and yet we don’t really read. Here is where he got that idea:

Matthew 27:50

“Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.” So here Christ is indeed on the Cross.

Matthew 27:51,52

“And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,”

That is as far as he had read. And if that is where you stop, what’s your impression? It happened while He was on the Cross. But you see he hadn’t read far enough. Now let’s look at the next verse.

Matthew 27:53

“And came out of the graves after his resurrection,…”

Now the casual reader probably won’t catch that. They didn’t come out while He was on the Cross, but after He had been resurrected Himself. Because you see, Christ had to be the very first. He is the first to have ever been resurrected. Then in order to make that sheaf analogy come to the full, what had to happen? There had to be other examples of resurrection, and so, evidently, some of these Jewish believers were resurrected from some of the cemeteries around Jerusalem. They came into the city and appeared to probably some of their friends and relatives. The Scripture is silent and so we have to assume that Christ in His resurrected body ascended into heaven, then these saints did also. These saints were not like Lazarus, because they didn’t die again. They have been given immortality. That makes them “The sheaf of the firstfruits.” That’s the beginning of the first resurrection.

Now let’s look at Leviticus in Chapter 19. Keep this harvest analogy in your mind. The Lord says, “The fields are white unto harvest, but the laborer are few.” Now imagine a forty acre field, and they have taken out the firstfruits of the grain as we read about in the Book of Leviticus Chapter 23. Christ has been resurrected from the dead. Those that came out of the grave after His Resurrection, they now make up the firstfruits of the spiritual.

Leviticus 19:9

“And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly (or completely) reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.” Why? Because there is a physical need as we will see in verse 10:

Leviticus 19:10

:And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.”

But although there was a physical need, the spiritual analogy is, that after the firstfruits have been taken out, then the main field would be harvested with the exception of the corners, and a few gleanings, stems that were left lying on the ground. So this main harvest represents about 98% of the total harvest. Now with your concept of history, all the way up through the Old Testament, without putting an exact number on it, how many believers do you think there were? Precious few, because you want to remember the Gentile world had no knowledge of salvation. And even in the Nation of Israel, there were very few who were true believers. You remember how many of them would follow Baal, and would worship other pagan gods. So even in Israel there were relatively few true believers. Now when you come on this side of the Cross, with the advent of Christianity and the Church Age, what have you had? There has been your main harvest. During the last 2000 years God has garnered the greatest percentage of His total harvest.

Look at the Book of Daniel for a moment. The main harvest would be the Church. And when I speak of the Church I’m talking about the Body of Christ that the Apostle Paul refers to. It doesn’t matter what your denominational handle is, as long as you are in the Body of Christ, you will be included in this main harvest. Remember we still have the corners left, and we still have the gleanings. So there is a third aspect of resurrection that is still future. Daniel 12:11:

Daniel 12:11

“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away (that’s the mid-point of the Tribulation, which is 1260 days into the Tribulation, and 1260 days to the end of the Tribulation), and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and (not sixty but) ninety days (1290 days).” Now we have an extra 30 days.

Daniel 12:12

“Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days (1335 days).”

Now we have another 45 days added to the 30 days. For a total of 75 extra days between the return of Christ and the end of the Tribulation. Now look at the next verse:

Daniel 12:13

“But go thou thy way (the Lord is speaking) till the end be (this extra 75 days as well as the Tribulation): for thou shall rest, (in the grave) and stand in thy lot (remember the word `lot’ is almost identical to the word `order’ in the New Testament, and it’s a military term for organization, or company) at the end of the days.”

So what do you have? 1. We have Christ and the firstfruits back at the time of His Resurrection. 2. Then you have the 1900 + years of the Church Age (where believers will be resurrected one day soon in what we call the Rapture). 3. Then you will have a multitude of people who will be saved during the Tribulation period. But they won’t be in number like the Church Age. They are likened to the corners and the gleanings. So I like to feel that Daniel and the Old Testament saints, and the Tribulation saints will equal the corners and gleanings.

By the time you have the sampling (firstfruits) and the main harvest, and your gleaners have come in and cleaned up the corners, and the spare stems that are left, what do you have?The First Resurrection. The field has has been swept clean. Now have I made that plain? I hope so. All the believers of all the ages, from Adam to the end of the Tribulation. Now I would like for you to come back with me to The Book of Revelation again:

Revelation 20:6

“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection:… but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

Now the question came up in our last coffee break. That in verse 4, it sounds like just Tribulation people will reign and rule with Christ, and I was glad that someone caught that. Because that is probably true, but again you have to take Scripture with Scripture, and you can’t make a doctrine, or identify anything with just one verse. Come back to Revelation Chapter 5, and here we have a verse that I would say includes all of us believers in verse 10.

Revelation 5:10

“And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and (what) we (an all inclusive word) shall reign on the earth (with Christ).” We can also look at Chapter 19 verse 7:

Revelation 19:7

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb (remember the Lamb is to married to the Body of Christ) is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.”

Revelation 19:8

“And to her was granted that she (the Body of Christ, the Church) should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”

Go over to verse 14 in this same Chapter. Here we are now included in this army that is coming with Christ at His Second Coming.

Revelation 19:14

“And the armies (Heavenly congregation) which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.”

Now can you tie all of that together? Not only are the Tribulation saints going to be included in that reigning and ruling with Christ for a thousand years but we are also included. Since we are talking about the Church Age believer in the Kingdom as this Kingdom will come on earth, come back to the Book of Colossians. Now Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles does not dwell a lot on the Kingdom, not nearly as much as the Old Testament does, and the Gospels as they pertain to Israel. But nevertheless we are involved in the Kingdom. Don’t think for a moment that we won’t be. In Colossians Chapter 1 (and again I’m going to run out of time in the middle of a subject). But if the Lord tarries there will be another lesson, and if He doesn’t, we won’t need it. Here in this passage Paul has been praying for the Colossi Gentile believers.

Colossians 1:12

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (or prepared us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath (past tense) translated us (you and I as believers) into (what?) the kingdom of his dear Son:”

We are already members of the Kingdom. But always remember, where is the Kingdom tonight? In heaven, in the Person of Christ. When He was on the earth John the Baptist approached Jesus and what did He say? “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Why? Because the King was at hand. So when the King went back to glory, then the Kingdom is again in heaven (and we don’t refer to Him as the King in the Church Age, but as Savior and Lord.) But always remember the Kingdom won’t stay in heaven, but will come back to the earth, and Paul says, “We will be with Him. Part and Parcel of that Kingdom.” So we are indeed a part of this coming Kingdom, which will then be on the earth.

149 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 1 - Book 13 - First Resurrection

149: Lesson 2 Part 1 Book 13 – First Resurrection

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 13

FIRST RESURRECTION

Revelation 20

It’s good to begin another lesson and teach the Word and put it as simply as we know how, so that folks can understand. I think there are many Bible believers who read their Bible, but they just don’t understand what they’re reading. And this is all I’m trying to do, to teach the Word. Well back to Revelation. I had a viewer call the other night who had just started watching our lessons. I told her if she was just joining us in the Book Revelation, then that would be almost like a kid that has been thrown into calculus class without ever having had 4th grade math. I love to have people start with me in the Book of Genesis and come all the way through, then all these things just fall into place. Let’s continue with our study in Revelation. In the last lesson we were in Chapter 20 and verse 6, but I would like to come back for a moment to verse 1 for a very short review, so we won’t lose track of how we have arrived at some of these points in time.

As the Tribulation has run its course, and the battle of Armageddon has taken place, Christ has returned and crushed all the armies gathered there in the Middle East. Now we are getting ready for the onset of the Kingdom. I can hardly wait. In fact, as I was thinking things over the past day or two, I was wishing that I had a four hour run without an interruption to the teach the Kingdom. Anyway, we are ready now to introduce the Kingdom. And Revelation 20 is the first place that the Kingdom is brought down to a particular time frame. The Old Testament speaks of the Kingdom. Jesus spoke of the Kingdom. Paul makes reference to the Kingdom, but not in a time frame. But here in Chapter 20 comes the almost exclusive the term – 1000 years. Now it’s put into a time frame that we can understand. Here in verse 1:

Revelation 20:1,2

“AND I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the keys of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. …that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,”

Now look in these next few verses how many times by (inspiration of the Holy Spirit) the term 1000 years is brought out. I’ve stressed all the way from the Book of Genesis that when the Bible repeats something three or four times in short order, you sit up and take notice because it’s doing it for a reason. And that is emphasis. They are emphasizing the fact that this Kingdom rule and reign of Christ will be a thousand years. In verse 3 we find that after Satan has been chained and sealed, that he’s shut up in a bottomless pit.

Revelation 20:3

“…that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled:…”

The thousand years has been used twice in two verses. After the thousand years, Satan is going to be released, and we will be teaching that in another lesson. Now in verse 4, John sees believers who have been resurrected, and brought up into the very heaven of the heavens. Now he begins to list them:

Revelation 20:4,5

“…and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands (now all of these are resurrected believers, and they are all grouped together here, I’m convinced); and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”

“But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.”

Now that’s four times we have used the thousand years in just four verses. After our last lesson, when I was teaching on the resurrection, I had a person tell me during our break that I had lost them in explaining the resurrection. So looking at verse 5 again, I want to make sure you understand these resurrections. I’ll try to go slower on this subject, because I know during the last lesson I didn’t get to explain it as well as I wanted because my time was getting away from me.

We have all the believers all the way from Adam through the Tribulation who are now resurrected and they are in the Lord’s presence. But verse 5 says, “But the rest of the dead.” You always need to remember that there are only two groups of people so far as God is concerned. And they are the lost and the saved. So if the saved are already resurrected and are in the Lord’s presence, then the rest of the dead would have to be whom? The lost. And so the lost will not have anything happen to them “until the thousand years were finished.” Now that’s just plain English. So they will stay in their original state, which is, in Hell as we understand it. And they will be there for the entire thousand years of the Kingdom rule and then they will be resurrected. And in order to pick up that resurrection, which is called the second resurrection, we find that in verse 14:

Revelation 20:14

“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire, this is the second death.”

We will be teaching this in future lessons. The Great White Throne Judgment. But just to show you now that the two resurrections are separated by a thousand years, we have the resurrection of the just as Jesus talked about in John Chapter 5, when they will all be resurrected before the Kingdom begins. But the resurrection of the unjust, as He spoke of it in John Chapter 5 will take place after the thousand years are finished, and as a result of that Great White Throne judgment. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire, this is the second death.” The lost have died physically but now they are going to experience spiritual deaththeir separation from God forever. Here you have these two great groups of humanity, the saved who are resurrected in stages before the Kingdom begins. The lost of all the ages will be resurrected here at the Great White Throne, and then go to their eternal doom. Unbelievers will also be resurrected and get a body fit for their eternity in the lake of fire, even as we will have a body prepared for eternal life. Come back to verse 6 in Chapter 20. So in this first resurrection:

Revelation 20:6

“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection (the resurrection of all the believers, Old Testament, Church Age and Tribulation): on such the second death (as we saw in verse 14) hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

Revelation 20:7

“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,”

Out of the first seven verses here in Chapter 20, a thousand years is mentioned six times. In order to qualify that, turn back with me to II Peter Chapter 3 for a moment, where again we have that term a `thousand years.’ And this is comparing Scripture with Scripture.

II Peter 3:8

“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

When we first started teaching Revelation, I think I made the point that all the seeds that are finally coming to fruition here in Revelation were sown in the Book of Genesis. Now when you come into this matter of seven days back in Genesis, how were they broken down? Six days prepared all of creation for the appearance of man. So six has always been the number of man all the way up through Scripture. Six days and God got everything ready for mankind. But then we have the seventh day. And the seventh day was a day of God’s rest. Remember I told you when we first started teach, that for 6000 years man has pretty much run the show, at least he thinks he has. But there is that 7000th year left. I think you can see now that these combined are the seven days, so far as God is concerned, that we read about in II Peter 3:8. And the seventh day or the 7000th year period of time is the one that is right out in front of us, even as we speak. Now you know I’m not one for setting dates, but there are a lot of scholars that are now frantically putting all of this together, and I certainly won’t argue the point with them, especially if they don’t set any dates. But they are just showing how the whole program of God from Genesis to Revelation seems to be set in a time frame of 7000 years.

There is a well known gentleman who has come up with some interesting figures, and he is basing some of this on the Jubilee period of time, especially in Israel’s history. A Jubilee was fifty years. And every fiftieth year was called the year of Jubilee. According to God’s Law, when He started dealing with the Nation of Israel, the year of Jubilee was the year of new beginnings. All debts were canceled, and property reverted back to the original owner. Everything looked good. But Israel, as far as I know, never practiced it. The thing I want to point out is a Jubilee was fifty years. To this gentleman who had written a book, by the end of this millennium (or the year 2000), it will have been the 120th Jubilee since Adam. That will be the year of 2000. It would be the 70th Jubilee since the year that Joshua led the Children of Israel into Canaan. And it will be the 40th Jubilee from the time of the Crucifixion. And remember these numbers are indicative of a lot of things in Scripture. For example, the number 120 is three sets of 40. And 40 in Scriptures is a time frame that God has used over and over. But this gentleman says in his book, we must be careful not to tie ourselves to that and say this is when the Lord is coming. But regardless, I feel we are getting so very, very close. Another point regardless of when Christ comes at the Second Coming, we as believers will go in the Rapture seven years before that time.

We are living in exciting times. Scriptures doesn’t set a date and neither will I, but it’s imminent. It could happen at any time. Everything is coming to pass so quickly, and the world is falling apart right before our eyes. And we are reaching the perplexity of the nations. I read an article by one of our congresswomen recently, and she made the statement that she’s finding as she travels around the world that nobody in any government on earth is having any fun. Do you know what she meant? The problems of this world are so overwhelming that people in government are almost pressed down. There is seemingly no solution to the world problems. It’s all because we are winding down and we are getting closer and closer to the time when Christ will take us out. Then there will be a lot take place in that next seven years and one of them will be the marriage of the Lamb. We will be studying about that in a future lesson. We will also study about the Bema Seat for the believers’ rewards. So we still have a lot to study before we are through with these end time events. Come back to Revelation 20:6 again:

Revelation 20:6

“…but they (resurrected believers) shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years,”

This is the first resurrection. Now let’s again come back to I Corinthians Chapter 15. The great resurrection Chapter, where the Apostle Paul deals with Resurrection in plain simple language.

I Corinthians 15:20

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits (plural) of them that slept (or have died),”

I Corinthians 15:21

“For since by man came death, by man..(as he points out in verse 47),”

I Corinthians 15:47

“The first man is of the earth, earthy (Adam): the second man is the Lord (Christ) from heaven.” Now let’s look at verse 21 again:

I Corinthians 15:21

“For since by man came death (by Adam), by man (the second man or Christ) came also the resurrection of the dead.”

You know I have never heard of a religion in the world which teaches resurrection as Christianity understands it. They all speak of a life hereafter, but they don’t teach resurrection as part of their salvation like Christianity does. Resurrection is very unique. In other words, when Elijah raised the widow’s son, that was not resurrection. He merely brought that lad back to life, and then the son at a later time died again. The same thing happened with Lazarus. Jesus called him forth from the grave, but he wasn’t resurrected. He was brought back to life. Lazarus also had to die again. So keep this concept clear, that resurrection is that unique Sovereign act of God, whereby He will bring back from the dead a human being who has died, not just to die again, but back to a life of eternity. As I stressed back in Genesis, when God breathed into man and he became a living soul, that separated man from all the other categories of life. Because man is immortal in the area of the soul.

That is why Revelation speaks of the resurrection of the just to a life of immortality in God’s presence, and the lost who will be resurrected to a life separated from God, or the second death, but they, too, will continue on throughout eternity. I know there are groups that teach that when a lost person dies they are annihilated. But that doesn’t come close to lining up with Scripture. They’re going to suffer and experience feeling and regret forever. And Christ was the first Person to ever experience Resurrection. And that is why He is called here the first fruits (Plural) of them that slept. Now for a brief moment turn to the Book of Leviticus Chapter 23. Here we have, as far as I know, the first mention of the firstfruits. Here Israel is being given the various aspects of the Law as they are gathered around Mount Sinai.

Leviticus 23:9,10

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, `Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:'”

Now is a sheaf one stem of grain or many? It’s many. And we will pick this up in our next lesson. But remember what we are talking about: “The first fruits of the harvest.”

148 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 4 - Book 13 - Babylon - "The World System"

148: Lesson 1 Part 4 Book 13 – Babylon – “The World System”: Revelation 18 & 20

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 13

BABYLON – “THE WORLD SYSTEM”

Revelation 18 & 20

We have been looking at the Second Coming of Christ and all the accompanying cataclysmic events that will be with it. In our last lesson we showed the Rapture, on the other hand, will be a silent event (we will be here one moment and gone the next. At the actual return of Christ, there will be tremendous judgment and wrath poured out upon the planet. Let’s finish Revelation 19, where we have Christ depicted as coming on the white horse in verse 11:

Revelation 19:11

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” Next he is depicted as having trampled the wrath in the wine vat.

Revelation 19:13-15

“And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” I think verse 14 is referring to the Church Age Saints that will be that army, as well as an angelic host.

“And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations (there again is a reference to His judgment, His wrath, upon the empires and nations of the world we studied in Chapter 18) and he shall rule them (nations, as he sets up His Kingdom, and we will be looking at that in our next four lessons, as to who will be in that Kingdom. And of course there will be nations again, but only believers) with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” This will be at Christ’s Second Coming:

Revelation 19:16-18

“And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Now verse 17:

“And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven (that is they are flying in the atmosphere. Scripture speaks of three heavens. The first heaven is the atmosphere where the birds fly. The second heaven is the area of what we call space, like the moon and the stars. And then the Apostle Paul refers to the third heaven, The very abode of God), `Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;'” Verse 18:

“That ye (these birds) may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.”

In other words, after the battle of Armageddon these scavenger birds and birds of prey will come and have a cleansing effect; getting the earth ready for the appearance of the Kingdom. It is well documented there is a certain type of scavenger bird in the Middle East that in the past few years has doubled its egg production. It now produces twice as many offspring as it once did. If that is true, it would indicate we are much closer to all of this. God is preparing these birds to be of such a number that they can consume this vast number of destroyed humanity. John writes in verse 19:

Revelation 19:19

“And I saw the beast (the man Anti-christ or the empire in which he ruled. Again, take it according to the context. Here we are talking about the emperor. The Anti-christ himself), and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.”

Look again at Zechariah Chapter 14. This is the best way to learn your Bible. Here is a beautiful, almost carbon copy of the Book of Revelation, concerning this last great battle before Christ’s return.

Zechariah 14:1-4

“BEHOLD, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle;… Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations,… And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives,…”

Back to the Book of Revelation. All of these kings and their armies have come to the Middle East to destroy the Nation of Israel, and, of course, they are destroyed instead by the return of Christ. Now to verse 20. Everything will move quickly now in getting the earth ready for His glorious Kingdom – that earthly Kingdom that has been talked about from the onset of human history. But before the Kingdom comes in, He has to deal with these arch-enemies:

Revelation 19:20

“And the beast (the Anti-christ) was taken , and with him the false prophet (the leader of the world’s religion during the seven years of Tribulation) that wrought miracles before him(remember they are the unholy trinity with great powers), with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them them that worshipped his image. These both(these two men) were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”

A lady asked a while ago (and I hadn’t really thought about teaching it as a lesson), “What’s the difference between Hell and the lake of fire?” Have you ever thought about that? There is all the difference in the world. A lot of people think that they are one and the same. And they are not the same. Hell will one day go into the lake of fire. But we will cover that in a later lesson.

So these two are cast alive in the lake of fire, not Hell, where lost people go today. These two will go to the lake of fire, where at this point in time there is no one there. Then verse 21:

Revelation 19:21

“And the remnant (that is those who survived the battle of Armageddon, and all the cataclysmic events) were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth (what is the sword to the Lord? Well it’s His word): and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” That is those armies that had fought against the Christ.

Now let’s go right on into Chapter 20, because as the soon as the Tribulation is ended and Christ has returned, we’re going to set the stage now for that thousand years reign of Christ, what we call the Kingdom or Millennium here on the earth.

Revelation 20:1

“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.”

This is another Chapter where that language is used, and do you remember what I said? It doesn’t necessarily mean an iron chain, to confine a spirit being like Satan. Now verse 2. And John said:

Revelation 20:2

“And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.”

I’m a literalist. When the Bible says Satan will be bound a thousand years, that’s exactly what it means. He’s bound…

Revelation 20:3

“And cast him into the bottomless pit (that’s not Hell, and it’s not the lake of fire, but it’s a unique place known only to God. The reason He can’t send Satan to the lake of fire; that is a place for eternity. And Satan isn’t ready for eternity yet. He’s got one more opportunity at the end of the of the thousand-year reign of Christ. At that time, he’s going to be released, and again he’s going to have full freedom to deceive the nations that will be back on the scene once again. So rather than put him into the place that was prepared for him and his angels and his eternal doom, God confines him to a place for that thousand year period of time), and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more (what’s the next word?), till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.”

He will then have an opportunity to test the new generations that will come on the scene in that Kingdom economy. In other words the Millennium becomes another period of testing. We have had six periods of testing all the way up through human history. And this one must be the seventh. God always does things in sevens. Even the citizens of the this Kingdom who will fill the earth during this thousand year Kingdom Age, will be normal flesh and blood people, having children, working, producing, but it will be in the absence of sin and Satan, and will be under the perfect righteous rule of Christ The King. That’s what will make it so perfect. It will be the epitome of everything that man could hope or even dream of. But you and I won’t be part of that flesh and blood population. From our place of authority as resurrected saints, God is going to give every believer an area of responsibility. And beyond that, I can’t explain it. I gather that from His account of the talents. When the person that He had given ten talents to came back with ten additional, what was the Lord’s response? “When I come into the Kingdom you shall rule over ten cities.” So I like to think that the rewards of the believers are going to be various amounts of responsibility in that Kingdom economy.

I like to use an illustration like this: Most people like to have activity. I think that even some of the ancient philosophers have said, “Two weeks of idleness is about as much as the human body can take.” Even after vacationing for two weeks, most of us are ready to go back to work. I think this will carry over into the Kingdom. And as I have said before, we won’t be sitting strumming a harp on a cloud with nothing else to do. I think most of you, if you had the chance to get involved with something exciting or just sit on the sidelines and watch, would choose the former. Most of us would want to be involved. I think it will be the same way in the Kingdom.

Satan will be confined for that thousand years. Then he must be released to test this new generation of that thousand-year time.

Revelation 20:4,5

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment (rule) was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus (the martyred) and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.”

Who are the rest of the dead? They are the lost. Now let’s go back to John’s Gospel, Chapter 5. Here we are in the midst of Jesus’ earthly ministry. And this is Jesus speaking:

John 5:28

“Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,”

Some people take that to mean there will be only one resurrection. They think everybody will come out of the grave at the same time. But I always maintain that you must compare Scripture with Scripture. Now maybe according to this one verse it may sound that way. But the rest of Scriptures say it’s not going to be one single resurrection. So what do you do? You lay one against the others. In any kind of a doctrine, you don’t just take one verse and lift it out and say, “Hey, this is it.” But you compare from cover to cover the whole spectrum of Scripture. So let’s go on with verse 29:

John 5:29

“And shall come forth, they that have done good (the people of faith), unto the resurrection of life (that’s the resurrection of the believers. Revelation calls that the first resurrection); and then they that have done evil (the unbeliever or lost person), unto the resurrection of damnation.” That’s the second resurrection.

How many kinds of people do you have in those verses? Two! The believing, and the unbelieving. Yes, they will all be resurrected, but it doesn’t say all at the same time. Let’s qualify that statement. Let’s go back for a moment to the Book of Daniel, to verse 8. Daniel asks the question:

Daniel 12:8-12

“And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, `O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?’ (then God said) And he said, `Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried: but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.'” Now verse 13:

Daniel 12:13

“But go thou thy way till the end be (Daniel wasn’t supposed to understand): for thou shalt rest (die), and stand in thy lot (now what does the word lot mean? A military term for company) at the end of the days.”

That takes us all the way to the beginning days of the Millennium. Let’s see what the Apostle Paul says in I Corinthians Chapter 15. All of Scriptures fits if you will just look for it. Jesus spoke as if they would happen maybe at the same time, but the rest of Scriptures state otherwise. And Jesus had a purpose for that. Remember the Church Age hadn’t come on the scene yet. There will be segments that will be resurrected in their own time. That’s why Revelation says the first resurrection is the resurrection of life, and the second resurrection is the resurrection unto condemnation.”

I Corinthians 15:20,21

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept (or have died).”

“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” In other words if you die and God is going to keep His promises, we must be resurrected.

I Corinthians 15:22,23

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Do you see how that fits with John Chapter 5? Certainly the lost will be resurrected. But now look at the next verse:

“But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”

Daniel would have said, “in his own lot.” Order and lot both mean the same thing. It’s a military term of organization. So every person that is resurrected is either going to be in the lot or order of the lost (which will be all one group), or they will be resurrected in Daniel’s company, which will be the Old Testament saints. Or they will be resurrected with the company of believers that the Apostle Paul talks about, which is the Body of Christ, the Church Age saints. And we know from Scripture that the Tribulation saints are going to be in a separate resurrection or translation. And then those of you who really know your Bible, recall what took place on the morning of the Resurrection at Jerusalem, in the grave yard. Many who were asleep in the grave arose from the dead and became the first fruits of them that slept.

So I qualify the first resurrection then as, (1) the first fruits, those who came out after Christ on the morning of the resurrection. (2) Then the main harvest will be the Church Age Believers, you and I. (3) Then the Old Testament Saints who will come up on the scene a short time after the Kingdom has begun, and they will be the wedding guests at the great marriage supper of the Lamb. Now those three categories of Believers comprise the first resurrection. The lost are not going to be resurrected until after the thousand year Kingdom rule. Then they will be resurrected at the Great White Throne to be judged.

147 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 3 - Book 13 - Babylon - "The World System"

147: Lesson 1 Part 3 Book 13 – Babylon – “The World System”: Revelation 18 & 20

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 13

BABYLON – “THE WORLD SYSTEM”

Revelation 18 & 20

Now back to Revelation 18 again. As we look at these cataclysmic events that are associated with the end of the Tribulation and the return of Christ, I want you to keep them in your mind. Because at the end of this lesson I want to go back and show the graphic difference between this and the silent removal of the believer at the Rapture when there are no cataclysmic events, or great upheaval; we just simply one day will be gone. And I’m going to show you from Scripture, so there is no doubt in your mind that these are not one and the same event as a many folks believe.

I remember I taught the Rapture in a church we were involved in at one time, and one of the leaders came up to me afterwards and said, “Les I’ve always believed in the Second Coming, but I’ve never heard of it in two parts.” And it shocked me, because I have never known it any other way. But now since I’ve been teaching for all these twenty some years, I’ve found many people know nothing of what we call the Rapture. They don’t know the difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming. Keep that in mind as we look at these horrible cataclysmic events leading up to the return of Christ at His Second Coming. Now to Revelation 18:14-16:

Revelation 18:14-16

“And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her (by this great system, a conglomeration of religion, politics and government, and economics), shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, And saying, `Alas, alas, that great city (great system) that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!'”

Revelation 18:17-19

“For in one hour (just one short period of time) so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning,… And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, `Alas, alas, that great city, wherein where made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.'”

Now come to Chapter 16. And here we get another graphic statement that alludes to the very same thing. Here, as the final great bowl judgment is poured out at the battle of Armageddon (that great plague of hundred pound hail stones), right in the middle of that bowl judgment you will find in verse 19 the following:

Revelation 16:19

“And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell (here’s where I get the concept that the great commercial centers of the world, the Tokyo’s and Hong Kong’s, etc. as we listed them, are all going to go): and great Babylon (that whole consortium) came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.”

Those of us who know the Lord look around us and wonder how long is God going to be patient? We don’t know how long, but one thing I know, and I can guarantee; one day His patience is going to end. His Grace is going to end. And His wrath is going to fall. Now back to Revelation 18 to wind it up:

Revelation 18:22

“And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers and trumpeters (today we would have to add the other musical instruments we have, but on that day they will all be quiet), shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone (the sound of production) shall be heard no more at all in thee;”

Revelation 18:23

“And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries (drugs. There will be a tremendous drug culture during the Tribulation) were all nations deceived.”

Now verse 24, and here is another reason God’s wrath is going to be so tremendous. This world system for the last 2600 years, all the way back to Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon; what have they done to God’s people? They have been persecuting, and murdering them. And now here it comes:

Revelation 18:24

“And in her (this great system) was found the blood of prophets (Old Testament days) and of saints (believers of the New Testament Age, I think), and of all that were slain upon the earth.

Several weeks ago I gave you some figures that were shocking. Remember I told you 50 million people, civilian and military, lost their lives during World War II. I also told you that 50 million lost their lives during the 70 years that the communists ran Russia. And during the dark ages, 50 million believers also lost their lives. We sometimes think that wars are precipitated solely on the basis of patriotism, and you and I are of the mindset that if someone was to come and take away our freedoms we would all be willing to fight and die to keep them. And our men have done that down through our history. But the more you analyze much of the wars of history, they were manipulated by the super, super rich, because when you get into the area of war and war materials, who profits? The rich.

Now I’m not one of these who scream, “The rich this and the rich that…” Not at all, but I’m a realist. And I know that these things are manipulated. We know that the wealthy people of the world will finance both sides of a war. They don’t care about the human misery. All they care about is how much can they get for their war material. And that is the basis today of most of the economies of the world, even our beloved America. What do you suppose is the backbone of our economy? Defense. The defense contractors. And I’m not against defense spending, for I know we have to have a certain amount of it, and I always want us prepared. But what I’m saying is the merchant and money men of this world are not concerned about the welfare of the individual on the street. They’re concerned about how they can generate wealth.

The Scripture makes it so plain that, as they have gathered all this wealth, they have also come down, for the most part, on God’s people. Just remember that all the events associated with Christ’s Second Coming and His return to earth are cataclysmic, and judgmental, bringing this whole earth down to the place where everything that’s materialism, and technological (all the efforts of man) will be gone. Here is a point I haven’t made that I should. Who is the god of this world that is behind all of this? Satan. The god of this whole world system we have on the scene is Satan. He is the promoter of it, and all the misery that goes with it. And it won’t be until he is defeated that these things can go down the tube. Go back to the Book of Zechariah to Chapter 14. And this is still the Second Coming. When the disciples stood on the Mount of Olives with Jesus and as He ascended, what did the angel tell them?

Acts 1:11

“…this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

Now what does that mean? He left from the Mount of Olives and He’s coming back to the Mount of Olives. And I’ve said it like this more than once. “He left head first, He’s coming back feet first.” Remember, Zechariah is writing to the Jew:

Zechariah 14:1,2

“Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” And then in verse 3, when it looks like there is no hope:

Zechariah 14:3

“Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations (these Gentile nations that have been gathered to fight against the Jew), as when he fought in the day of battle.” That refers to when the Lord fought Israel’s battles back in the Old Testament. Then verse 4; notice how plain this is:

Zechariah 14:4a

“And his feet shall stand in that day (what day? The day of His Second Coming) upon the mount of Olives (where is the Mount of Olives? In Jerusalem), which is before Jerusalem on the east,…”

He will then prepare for the Kingdom, and we will come back to that at a later time. For now, let’s go to I Corinthians Chapter 15. Drop down to those verses we know so well, verses 51 and 52. Remember the Apostle Paul is the Apostle of the Gentiles. That’s Romans 11:13. And as the Apostle to the Gentiles, all of his writings are directed mostly to us Gentiles. And he always writes to the believer. So now, he writes to the believing Gentiles at Corinth, who were not the most magnificent testimony of the Christian faith, but nevertheless they were believers. And, as he writes to the believers there at Corinth, he’s writing to you and I today. That’s the difference. You’ve got to watch as you read your Bible, to whom was it written! When the Old Testament prophets are writing, they are writing to the Jew, the Nation of Israel under the Law. But when we come to Paul, he is writing to us Gentiles, who are not under the Law, but rather under Grace. We are under a whole different economy. We are now members of the Body of Christ.

I Corinthians 15:51

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep (or die physically) but we shall all be changed,”

Whether we have died, or whether we remain alive at this time, we are going to have a resurrected body. We are going to have a new body, like His resurrected body. The body that can travel at the speed of light. A body that can go through a wall without a door. That will be able to eat and enjoy food, A body that can disappear out of sight. I always tell my classes if you want to get an inkling of what our new body is going to be like, just study those 40 days of Christ’s life after His Resurrection.

I Corinthians 15:52

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” Now let’s break the verse down.

“In a moment (a moment in the Greek is not a sixty second minute. It’s the smallest divisible portion of time. So it’s just a fraction of a second), in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead (those who have died as believers in Christ. I don’t believe the Old Testament believers are going to be in there. This is strictly an event for the Body of Christ) shall be raised incorruptible, and we (Paul writes as though he is to still be alive when this happens. What is so amazing about this Church Age Doctrine of the Rapture, and given only to the Apostle Paul, is that it’s always been an imminent event. And so it is today. We don’t know when He will return, but I don’t think it will be long. Personally, I think it will be when the last person is saved during this Age of Grace) shall be changed.” Remember we can’t go to heaven in this old body, we must put on that body like Christ has. I always like to compare it to the caterpillar and the butterfly, but that takes time, and this will be in a twinkling of an eye. Now do you see any language about cataclysmic events, or the wrath of God being poured out here? No! It’s just all of a sudden here it comes and we’re going to be gone!

Let’s come on over to I Thessalonians Chapter 4. Now in verse 13, and now the Apostle uses that same language that he uses so often as he writes to believers.

I Thessalonians 4:13

“But I would not have you to be ignorant (untaught, In other words, Paul says learn this, understand it), brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as other which have no hope.” Now here it comes verse 14:

I Thessalonians 4:14

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again,…”

That’s according to Paul’s Gospel that He died for my sins, He was buried and He arose again! This is the only qualification for being in this number. Paul doesn’t say if you believed and joined the church, and you have been baptised and you’ve done this and that. No! But only if we have believed Paul’s Gospel. Granted, as we saw in an earlier lesson, when we become a believer, what does God expect? That we withdraw from the world and all of its appetites, but that’s not qualification for salvation. Those are the things that follow salvation. But the qualification to be in that number is to believe the Gospel. Now if we have, and we are alive, then those who have died as believers…

I Thessalonians 4:14

“… even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”

These people are in heaven in the presence of God in soul and spirit only. They are waiting for the resurrection day so they can have their new body. A lot of people think their loved ones are already walking the streets of gold, and are having a ball in glory. I can’t find that in Scripture. They’re in glory alright and in the Lords presence, but they can’t have a resurrected body until the resurrection day! And that hasn’t happened yet. Now verse 15.

I Thessalonians 4:15

“For this we say unto you be word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (or go ahead of them who have died) them which are asleep.” And here is the reason why.

I Thessalonians 4:16

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God (I love it when people write and say they are waiting for the trumpet to sound. Aren’t we all): and the dead in Christ shall rise first:”

I Thessalonians 4:17

“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord (where?) in the air (there’s nothing of him coming to Mount of Olives here. There is nothing of cataclysmic judgments here. Nor the wrath of God falling all around us. But all of a sudden there is going to be a quiet disappearance): and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

I Thessalonians 4:18

“Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

Now let’s go down into Chapter 5 and watch the difference in language. Here in Chapter 4 Paul is including the believers with his own experience. The pronouns are `we’ and `you.’ Now come into Chapter 5:

I Thessalonians 5:1,2

“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.”

I Thessalonians 5:3

“For when (what’s the pronoun?) they shall say, Peace and safety: then sudden destruction cometh upon (what’s the pronoun? Do you see that) them, as travail upon a woman with child; and (and again) they shall not escape.”

For those of us who are going to be in this great out-calling, Paul includes us in the first person. But when he speaks of those who will be left behind to face the wrath and awful cataclysmic events of the Tribulation, the pronouns are `they’ and `them.’ Now you come on down to verse 9 and I guess it’s time to close again.

I Thessalonians 5:9

“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,”

God hath not appointed you and I, as believers, to wrath. He hasn’t designated that we are going to have to suffer the awful events of the Tribulation before He comes. We’re not appointed to that, we will be taken out ahead of it.

I Thessalonians 5:10

“Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

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