168 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 4 - Book 14 - Matthew 1 - John the Baptist

168: Matthew 1 – John the Baptist – Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 14

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 14

MATTHEW 1 – JOHN THE BAPTIST

Let’s get back to Matthew Chapter 3, where we were talking about the baptism of repentance as proclaimed by John the Baptist, and how it was a natural to the Jew. They didn’t have any problem accepting this baptism. Years ago, when I was just a young deacon, and there was a lot I didn’t know, I asked one of our old deacons, “Was there any hint of baptism before the New Testament?” I can see him to this day. He said, “Oh no, Les, there’s nothing in the Old Testament concerning baptism.” But it was all back there, that’s what the whole idea of washing was about. Let me show you a verse in Hebrews Chapter 9. Here the writer is rehearsing the Day of Atonement. And he speaks of the high priest in verse 7:

Hebrews 9:7-9

“But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all (behind the veil) was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which (all of this that was taking place back in the Old Testament economy) was a figure (or a symbol, or illustration) for the time then present (at the time of sacrificial worship), in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;”

In other words, this whole sacrificial system in itself didn’t take away sin. The blood of animals couldn’t take away sin, but the point I want to make is in verse 10. All that was practiced; the sacrificial lamb, the sprinkling of the blood, and the approaching a Holy God on Holy ground, all of this was symbolic back there.

Hebrews 9:10

“Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers (what’s the next word?) washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.”

The Greek word translated “washing” is “Baptismos.” So if the translators would have translated the word “Baptismos” like they did every other place in the New Testament, this is how it would have read: All of these things “stood only in meats and drinks, and divers baptism.” The Jew was perfectly aware of what John was doing. It was indicating a cleansing, even though the water couldn’t take away sin. Don’t ever get that idea. It was a symbolic gesture indicating a need for a spiritual cleansing. Now go to Ephesians. What a difference is there! The Apostle Paul is writing to the Gentile Church.

Ephesians 5:26

“That he (Christ) might sanctify and cleanse it (He’s talking about the Body of Christ, the Church, back in verse 25) with the washing of water by (baptism? No by) the word.”

The Bible is our cleansing vehicle. It’s the Word that cleanses. And water baptism (although very appropriate for the Jew, because he was accustomed to all of that), cannot be claimed to have any kind of cleansing effect today. Because it’s the Word that cleanses daily. People can twist the Scriptures very easily, because they really don’t see what the Scriptures say. Now back to Matthew Chapter 3. So John the Baptist is preaching repentance and baptism because the King and the Kingdom are on the scene. The King is ready to fulfill the Covenant promises of being Israel’s King. Now verse 11:

Matthew 3:11

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance (they are tied together): but he that cometh after me (speaking of Christ) is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he (Christ) shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:”

There are two alternatives. You will either be baptized with the Spirit or the lake of fire. Those are the only choices. We are either saved or lost. The Holy Spirit Baptism is found in I Corinthians Chapter 12. In Matthew Chapter 3, what were the verb tenses, past, present, or future? Future. In the present, John is baptizing in water, but he said in the future Christ would baptize you with the Holy Spirit. Here in I Corinthians Chapter 12 we pick that up.

I Corinthians 12:12,13

“For as the body (this human body) is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body (if you hurt your toe, you hurt all over): so also is Christ.”

“For by one Spirit (Holy Spirit is capitalized) are we all (not just the chosen few, but every believer) baptized into one body,…” Now what body? The Body of Christ, the Church. Every believer is connected to the Head who is in Heaven.

Every now and then I like to throw things out to make people think. Do you know that Paul never uses the illustration that we as Church Age Believers are sheep and Christ is the Shepherd? Never! Because it is so much greater to be an intrinsic member of the Body of Christ, connected to the Head, which is Christ. And that in turn is what gives us our position in Christ as a believer. We’re not like a sheep out there under a shepherd. We are part and parcel of the Head and the Body. That makes all the difference in the world. And we dare not diminish any of these things. Paul takes us into this higher plane of Christian experience, especially in the Books of Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. You won’t find this anywhere else in Scripture; it’s not there. But here is one of them, that when we become a member of the Body of Christ, we become a co-heir with Christ – we are in union with Him. The Head is in Heaven, and we are left as ambassadors here on the earth until one day we will all be with Him. Let’s get back to Matthew. We have those choices we spoke of a few moments ago. We can either become a believer and experience the baptism of the Spirit or we can reject salvation and be placed into the lake of fire for the lost.

Matthew 3:12

“Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner (or the granary); but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

That is the eternal doom of the wicked. Then we come to the baptism of Jesus, and I think we covered that sufficiently in our last lesson. The other thing I would like to point out is that at the baptism of Jesus you have one of two instances in all Scripture where all three Members of the Trinity appear in one place. Here they are:

Matthew 3:16,17

“And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, `This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'” You have all three in one place at the same time here. We’ll study Jesus’ temptation next lesson. Now Chapter 4:

Matthew 4:16

“The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” We’re not talking about physical light, but rather a spiritual light. Let’s go to Isaiah Chapter 49 and 60. Remember what Matthew just said, that people were sitting in darkness, but they see a great light.

Isaiah 49:6

“And he said, `It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.””

This light will start with Israel. Recall John 1:11, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” He came to the Nation of Israel and although they will reject Him, His salvation will extend to the ends of the earth. We have another one in Isaiah Chapter 60:

Isaiah 60:1-3a

“ARISE, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth (this is spiritual darkness), and gross darkness the people (even Israel): but (in spite of that spiritual darkness) the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light,…”

And Who is the Light? We used to sing the chorus when we were kids, “The Light of the world is Jesus.” Indeed He was! Now let’s go back to the Book of Matthew.

Matthew 4:17

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

The same message that John the Baptist preached. John is going to slip off the scene and wind up in prison, and Jesus is going to preach that same message. Because He was the King and was ready to set up His Kingdom in fulfillment of the Old Testament Covenants. What was this message called? See verse 23:

Matthew 4:23a

“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues (for Jews), and preaching the gospel of the kingdom,…” Now let’s look at another verse:

Matthew 9:35

“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages (of Israel), teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom (now in association with the Gospel of the Kingdom, what do you have? Finish the verse), and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” In another place it says that “He healed them all.” What kind of a response did this Gospel of the Kingdom bring out of the believers of that Gospel? Let’s look at Matthew 16:

Matthew 16:13-16

“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, `Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?’ And they said, `Some say that thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.’ He said unto them, `But whom say ye that I am?’ And Simon Peter answered and said, `Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.'”

Who died for me and rose from the dead? No! It doesn’t say that, does it? But that’s what everybody likes to think. Now our Gospel, the Gospel of the Grace Age, is that Christ died for me, was buried and rose from the dead. We find that in I Corinthians 15:1-4. But that wasn’t the Gospel of the Kingdom. Do you see the difference?

So the Gospel of the Kingdom precipitated this kind of a confession: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” What did that mean? He is the Messiah coming to fulfill the third part of the Covenant. The King Redeemer, the Prophet and Priest. Let’s look at John’s Gospel, Chapter 11 verse 23. Here we have the account of Lazarus. Mary and Martha have been distraught. They know that Jesus knew about Lazarus’ condition. They can’t understand why He doesn’t come and heal him. Jesus delays purposely because He wants to raise him from the dead. By the time Jesus gets back, Lazarus is dead. And Jesus says in verse 23:

John 11:23-27

“…Thy brother shall rise again (He’s comforting the girls) Martha saith unto him, `I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ Jesus said unto her, `I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me (talking of Himself) shall never die. Believest thou this?’ (Now look at Martha’s answer) She saith unto him, `Yea, Lord, I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”

“And die for me and be raised from the dead?” No, it doesn’t say that. What was her confession of faith? “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Now let’s go to Acts Chapter 8. Here we have the Ethiopian eunuch who I’m quite sure was a proselyte because, in verse 27, he was returning from Jerusalem where he had been worshiping. Let’s read verse 35:

Acts 8:35-36

“The Philip opened his mouth and began at the same scripture (which was Isaiah 53); and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch said, See here is water; what doth hinder me to baptized?” What has been part and parcel of the Gospel of the Kingdom? Repentance and water baptism. Compare all of these confessions: Peter’s, Martha’s, and this proselyte’s. Look at verse 37:

Acts 8:37

“And Philip said, `If though believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.’ And he answered and said, `I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.'”

Who died for me and rose from the dead? No! That wasn’t his confession. All he believed was that Jesus was Who He claimed to be, the Messiah, the Son of God, the King of Israel. Now, Acts Chapter 9 where we have the conversion of Saul on the way to Damascus:

Act 9:10,11

“And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision,… Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,”

Acts 9:13

“Then Ananias answered, `Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:'”

Acts 9:15

“But the Lord said unto him, `Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the (who?) Gentiles, and kings (this is something new, remember God had been dealing with the Jew only with few exceptions) and the children of Israel:'”

God is also going to give the children of Israel a chance at the Gospel that He will reveal to Saul (Paul) later. So Ananias finds Saul at the house of Judas, lays his hands on him, and he could see again. In verse 18 Scripture tells us that he was baptised. Remember Saul is converted under the Gospel of the Kingdom. To prove my point, Saul immediately starts to preach what? verse 20:

Acts 9:20

“And straightway he (Saul) preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.” Now as you finish Chapter 9, you will see that God will not permit Saul to preach that message, because He has something completely different in store for him and the Age of Grace or the Church Age.

167 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 3 - Book 14 - John the Baptist

167: John the Baptist – Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 14

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 14

JOHN THE BAPTIST

Now we would like for you to get your Bible and study with us. You don’t have to agree with everything we say, but hopefully we can give you food for thought that will cause you to search the Scriptures. We just try to keep it as simple as we can so even relatively young children can comprehend what we show.

Now for this lesson we will go right into the Book of Matthew. Hopefully, the last two or three lessons have been enough introduction so that you can see all of the Old Testament prophecies are now coming to a fulfillment in the four Gospels. They will carry on well up into the Book of Acts. And it’s all based upon everything that God had promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses. Then out of David would come the King. All of that is looking forward, and here it comes now in the New Testament, but really it is just an extension of the Old Testament program. There are a lot of people who think there is a big wall between the New and Old Testament. They think when you get into the New Testament that it’s Christianity. And the Old Testament is all Law. But we aren’t going to see Christianity right away in our study. If you are a Bible student, Matthew 1:1 should immediately open your eyes.

Matthew 1:1

“THE book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

That is as far as it goes. It doesn’t go all the way back to Adam because everything that will take place with regard to the coming of the King and the Kingdom began with Abraham and not Adam. As we go through that genealogy, let’s note that there are only four women listed. And yet they are probably the four women that everyone of us would not want in our family tree. But God sees fit to put them in here. I’ll point them out to you and you can figure out the reason I said what I said. In verse 3 you have the first one.

Matthew 1:3a

“And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar;…” Remember in Genesis, Thamar played the prostitute.

Matthew 1:5a

“And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab;…” And again Rachab was also a prostitute, a non Jew. And remember, God had always mandated that these Jews were to have nothing to do with Gentiles. And yet here we have one in the genealogy.

Matthew 1:5

“…and Booz begat Obed of Ruth;…”

And where did Ruth come from? Moab. And what were the Moabites? Taboo! They began with the terrible relationship of Lot and his daughter. (A verse just came to mind, and I think this best explains, even though we are back here in the Jewish economy, basically under the Law, yet it’s the same God. And God hasn’t changed, nor will He ever change. The only thing that changes is the responsibilities He puts on the human race).

Matthew 1:6

“And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias (Bathsheba): And you know the story of her and King David.

Romans 5:20

“Moreover the law entered, that the offence (sin) might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:”

Do you see that? As low as some of these people may have fallen, what was able to go beyond that? God’s Grace! Even though back here we are not under the program of Grace, yet God’s Grace has always been evident. Remember when Adam and Eve sinned, did they go looking for God? No. God went looking for them. And what was the basis of God looking for these creatures that had so violently disobeyed Him? Only His Grace. And so He reached down and brought them both back up into a relationship with Himself. So it is with the Nation of Israel, they would turn their back on Jehovah God, and how many times they went to very depths of rejection. And yet God’s Grace always causes Him to go back to them. It’s the same way with these four women in the genealogy. It just shows again that even though these women were in direct opposition to everything that God had instructed, yet in His mercy and grace. He’s able to bring them into a place of renown, by being in this genealogy. Now let’s move on out of the genealogy and we come to verse 18:

Matthew 1:18,19

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together (consummated); she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.” In other words to keep the whole thing secret.

Matthew 1:20a

“But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, `Joseph, thou son of David,…'”

Now keep all of this in mind. Why is this inserted here? To show that Jesus is in that royal family. In II Samuel Chapter 7, what did God promise David? That beginning with him, a royal family would proceed. And that down through the ages that royal family would be ancestors of the King. And that, of course, is Who Jesus is presented as, THE KING. And again, don’t run ahead of what has been revealed so far. All we are going to understand in the opening part of the New Testament is that the King has now made His appearance. Later on it will be revealed that He is also going to be the Redeemer. But for now just except the fact that here He comes to be the King of Israel.

Matthew 1:20b

“…fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.”

Now here is where we get the basic doctrine of the “Virgin Birth.” We know there are a lot of people that can’t believe such a thing. But if they can’t, then they are doomed! Because that is part of our salvation. That Christ was virgin-born. And the reason being, as I taught back in Genesis beginning with Eve, the blood of the mother never goes into the baby. The mother’s blood has nothing to do with the baby. The blood comes only from the father. Now this is basic, even though it is a physiological fact. It is the basis of the virgin birth of Christ, that He could be sinless and that His blood was Divine, and that He was incorruptible. Now had Mary’s blood interchanged with the baby when He was in the womb, that wouldn’t have been true. The same thing is true with the animal kingdom. The blood comes from the father. It’s just a scientific fact. And that is why the Scriptures can maintain that Jesus did not have a human father, and consequently, He didn’t have human blood. He had Divine blood! And that is why the virgin birth is so basic to our salvation. If it had been any other way, He couldn’t have shed sinless Divine blood.

Because it had been spoken of in the Old Testament we see in verse 23 the following:

Matthew 1:23-25

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child (without benefit of a human father) and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”

Now remember, Jesus is the name of His humanity; of His humility. It’s Jesus upon Whom was laid the sins of the world.

I think I told you that the disciples, and His followers in Scripture, never called Him “Jesus” during His earthly ministry. They would call Him the “Lord Jesus,” or referred to Him as “Master,” but never just “Jesus.” And very seldom does the Apostle Paul refer to Him as Jesus. Maybe once. Normally. He refers to Him as the Lord Jesus Christ, Christ, or as Lord Jesus. And the reason is that after He had suffered the humiliation of His humanity and He took upon that humanity the sins of the world, then in Resurrection power He becomes again the glorified Lord of glory, and as such we know Him. We know the resurrected Christ. The One Who died for our sins. That is important. No one is ever saved by just believing that Jesus was a good Man. That’s not salvation. We will be pointing that out as we come up through the four Gospels.

Now as we come into Chapter 2, we find the account of the wise men making their appearance, and how the family had to flee from the area of Bethlehem because of King Herod’s decree. They went down into Egypt, because of that decree, and because prophecy had said that, “He would come up out of Egypt.” Then they went to Nazareth, because again, prophecy had said that “He would be a Nazarene.”

I think now I will come right on into Chapter 3. and here we are introduced to John the Baptist. And remember that John the Baptist was a prophesied Old Testament prophet. He was to be the herald or the announcer for the King. And he is prophesied back there in the Old Testament plain as day. Between the Book of Malachi and the appearance of the Angel announcing the birth of John the Baptist, and to Joseph and Mary, is 400 years. Now that’s a long time. We call it the 400 years of silence. Up until that time, you might say from Abraham to Malachi, God had been revealing himself through the prophets and through various other means to the Nation of Israel. But after the Book of Malachi was written, completing the Old Testament, 400 years elapse until God makes His next move with the Nation of Israel. Now that’s just an historical fact, but I think it’s interesting. Let’s look at Malachi first to see the prophecy of John the Baptist.

Malachi 3:1

“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he (the messenger) shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek (now remember the Lord here is Jehovah, God the Son), shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the (what?) covenant (I’m glad we came back here. The Covenant, see), whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.”

That’s John the Baptist being promised that he would come on the scene, and be the messenger to announce the King. The King is also the fulfillment of that Abrahamic Covenant. Abraham had been promised a nation of people that would end up in a geographical area of land. And then at some future time, God would come and be their King as well as their Redeemer. That’s all in that Covenant. And then, of course, after that Covenant made with Abraham you came to the Covenant of Law, then the Covenant God made with David concerning the royal family. And the Covenant He made with Moses concerning the Land of Palestine. Now those are all separate covenants, but they were all under the Abrahamic Covenant. And now here it is. They’ve been a nation of people for 1,500 years, since they came out of Egypt. Here the Nation of Israel is in Matthew and their King is here.

Matthew 3:1,2

“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea (and here’s John’s message), And saying, `Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'”

What made the Kingdom at hand? The King! Now when the King went back to Heaven at the ascension in Acts Chapter 1, where is the Kingdom? It’s in Heaven! When the King comes back to Earth, where will the Kingdom be? On Earth. So wherever the King is, you have the Kingdom. Now the King is here. And the Kingdom of Heaven is just over the horizon. This is His whole scope of approaching the Nation of Israel. But it’s in fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant. That’s what’s promised.

Matthew 3:3

“For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias (see it’s also in Isaiah. I took you back to Malachi but Isaiah also speaks of John the Baptist) saying, `The voice of one crying in the wilderness, `Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.'” You know all about John, so now I would like for you to come quickly down to verse 6:

Matthew 3:6

“And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.”

Think for a moment. Can you think of any other subject in Christianity that will cause more controversy, more anger, more disruption of fellowship and more everything else that you can think of, than baptism? Oh, I’ve experienced it over and over. I see people who seemingly have real sweet fellowship until all of a sudden they realize they didn’t agree on baptism and then, oops, there goes their friendship. Now there’s something wrong when something can cause such division amongst believers. And I guess I’d have to say it’s because we have so many different views of this baptism. Some feel that it’s mandatory for salvation. Some, that it has nothing to do with salvation. Some in sprinkling, some in immersion. So you have all of these conflicting ideas, and I think it’s a pity.

Now we are going to see what the Scripture says. But here, John no doubt about it, maintains that if these Jews of Israel are going to show saving faith in the fact that their King and Kingdom is here, then they would have to show it with the baptism of repentance. And that is why it is always called the “Baptism of Repentance.” The two could not be separated. These Jews were repenting then of their failure of the system of law, and everything else. They were now preparing their hearts and minds for the King and His Kingdom. I have a question for you. Why baptism? That throws a curve at almost everyone. Now remember that we are dealing with the Jew, and if you go back to the Old Testament economy, in order for the priest to be prepared for service the first thing they had to do was wash, wash, and wash some more. They had lots of practice at washing. Throughout the whole system of the Law of Moses there was that constant washing to show to the very mind of Israel that sin was a filthy thing. This is what we are dealing with here. Sin!

That is why leprosy is used as a picture of sin. Now most of us don’t know how horrible a man with leprosy can look, especially in the final stages. It is beyond comprehension. And that’s what sin does. Naaman, the Syrian General, had leprosy and the servant just begged him to go to the prophet of Israel and be healed. So he ends up with Elisha, and the old prophet doesn’t even come but rather sends his own servant out, and tells this big Syrian General to do what? Go dip in the Jordan River seven times. Well he finally did, and what happened? He was healed of his leprosy. Now the water didn’t do it. God did it because Naaman, as reluctant as he was, was still exercising faith. But that dipping in the Jordan River indicated a cleansing. In the same way, the priesthood with their wash, wash, wash, were merely emphasizing their need for a spiritual cleansing. The water in no way could do that.Remember, we looked at Scripture a couple of lessons back where Israel was told that every Jew was to be a priest of God. What little rite had to happen before they would be ready for a priesthood? They had to be washed. And they experienced that symbolic washing with their baptism. Now that is all you can put on it. Nothing more!

I guess one of the biggest questions has been, “Why was Jesus baptised? He didn’t have any sin to repent of.” But again, He came to be a prophet, priest, and King, and in order to fulfill all of the requirements of the priesthood again, symbolically what did He have to experience? The washing. So as He went down into that baptism in the Jordan, he symbolically fulfilled the washing of the priesthood, and at the same time He identifies Himself with His Covenant people the Nation of Israel. Do you see how everything just fits so beautifully together? There is a reason for it, but we have to understand it.

166 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 2 - Book 14 - Matthew 1

166: Matthew 1 – Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 14

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 14

MATTHEW 1 

Now let’s get back into our introduction, and that is all we have been doing the past two lessons. But I’m trying to get everyone ready for our study of the Book of Matthew and the rest of the four Gospels. We will be taking an overview of the four Gospels and that will then prepare us for the Book of Acts. Because there is no use to study Acts unless you understand the four Gospels and what they pertain to. And there is no use to study the four Gospels unless you understand the Old Testament, or you will take a lot of Scripture out of context. As I said in our last lesson, this is all a progressive revealing. It’s just like building blocks.

So we will be turning to the Book of Exodus Chapter 19. This is also an introduction of the account of Christ’s first coming. And His dealing with the Nation of Israel. Now here the Children of Israel have just recently come out of Egypt under Moses. They are now a Nation of People. And as they are gathered around Mount Sinai they are about to receive the Law (The Ten Commandants), and then all the other ramifications of the Law will follow. But as of this writing, the Law hasn’t been given. And now God is telling Moses what to tell the children of Israel.

Exodus 19:5

“Now therefore (God says), if (He always leaves it up to the will) ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:”

Now that is God setting the Nation of Israel above all the other nations of the earth. That is why we call them the “Chosen People” “The Covenant People” and many other terms. But it is God Sovereignly designating this little nation for a unique role in His overall program for the whole human race. Just because He is going to deal with the Jew only (with few exceptions for a time), doesn’t mean that he has blanked out the Gentiles, as we will see in just a moment. But the whole scope of this is that He can prepare His chosen people, the Nation of Israel, for the express purpose of bringing all the other nations of the world to a knowledge of Israel’s God.

I have an article I cut out of the Jerusalem Post. It was written by one of Israel’s best-known rabbis, and has to do with this subject. He said in his article the following: Abraham had been promised that a nation emerging from his own loins would against all odds survive and declare the name of the one God to the world. And that is exactly what I always teach. This is the whole scope for bringing the Nation of Israel on the scene. Giving them the Abrahamic Covenant that God would make them a nation of people. He would put them in a geographic area of land, and then one day He Himself would come in the person of the Messiah to be their King. Now this is what the Abrahamic Covenant and the Old Testament state. As you read the Old Testament, always be aware that most of the time everything is written in the future tense. For example, “I will make of you a great nation.” When God spoke of King Cyrus the King of Persia, God named Him 150 years before he was born. When you see the text in future tense then that is prophecy.

Last lesson we showed how God can keep things secret and then reveal them in His own time. A lot of times in the Old Testament, He reveals things prophetically before they happen. So you have both of them to cope with. So, in Exodus 19, then, this is more or less prophetic. He’s telling the Nation of Israel again in verse 7:

Exodus 19:5,6

“Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine. (verse 6 is one of the benchmarks of Scripture) And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priest, and an holy nation (set apart), These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.”

What does that verse say? That the day would come out there in the future when every Jew would be a priest of God. Lock that in your brain! Because when we start teaching the Book of Matthew I will be referring back to this. I know you are thinking that is just for the Levites. As far a tabernacle worship was concerned, that’s right. But we are not talking about that. We are talking about reaching out to Gentiles. What is a priest? He’s a go-between. So every Jew was to get to the place that he could have been a go-between; between this pagan Gentile and this Jewish priest’s Jehovah God. That was the promise, but it was conditional; they had to be obedient to God’s voice, and keep God’s Covenant. Now let’s head toward Matthew, but first let’s stop at Isaiah Chapter 42.

Isaiah 42:1

“BEHOLD my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom (the Messiah) my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: (He is a member of Deity) he shall (future tense) bring forth judgment (or rule) to the Gentiles.”

God hasn’t forgotten about Gentiles. But He will reach those Gentiles after He has prepared this Covenant people. Now let’s go all the way to the Book of Zechariah Chapter 8.

Zechariah 8:20-22

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; `It shall (future) yet come to pass, that there shall come people (Gentiles), and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city (Gentiles)shall go to another, saying `Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts:’ (and this one Gentile will say to another) I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations (plural. These are the Gentile Nations) shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.”

Zechariah 8:23

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; `In those days (these prophetic days that are out there) it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations (Gentiles), even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew (remember what Exodus 19:6 says, they shall be a Kingdom of priests), saying, `We will go with you: (why?) for we have heard that God is with you.'”

Isn’t that plain? This is the role that God is preparing the Nation of Israel for. So that when the appropriate time comes, every Jew would have been a priest of God, to bring Gentiles to a knowledge of God. Now that is the Old Testament format. And that is all God is revealing so far. This is the way that God is going to reach the Gentiles, and that is through Israel. Let’s back up to the Book of Psalms Chapter 2. I’m trying to throw all of this introduction together in such a way, that when we get in the four Gospels you will have a clear understanding of what it’s all about. Now let’s look at Psalms 2.

Psalms 2.1-3

“Why do the heathen (or Gentile) rage, and the people (the Jew) imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth (Gentiles) set themselves, and the rulers (of Israel) take counsel together(Romans and Jews), against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, `Let us break their bands (of the Godhead) asunder, and cast away their cords from us.'” We won’t have You rule over us. Just as sure as Rome and the Jews conspired together, rejected and crucified The Christ. We see that God called Him back to Heaven in Psalms 110:1, “The LORD said unto my Lord, `Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool,'”

Psalms 2:4

“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.”

That is where we are tonight. The nations think they are in control, but we know they’re not. The world is falling apart completely, and I see no hope of the world returning to a stable condition. I’m not a pessimist, but rather an optimist; but on the other hand I see things that are going on in our beloved nation that we are no longer able to turn around. We are past that point of no return. So that tells me we are that much closer to the end and the calling out of the Body of Christ at the Rapture. I have have a Jewish gentleman that lives in Hollywood, California, that watches the program, and we share with each other quite often. He’s not a Christian Jew. He’s an Orthodox Judaistic Jew. Anyway, he called so excited the other morning, and reported that He had just returned from a seminar of rabbis. He said the rabbis are all excited because they are convinced that we are right at the coming of the Messiah. He said they realized that they had some tough times ahead during the Tribulation. I always remind him that everything they are looking for in their Messiah coming the first time, is really the Anti-christ. And it is. The Jew is blind to that and they will accept Anti-christ. Remember Jesus said in John 5:43, “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.”

Now getting back to verse 4 where we found that the Lord has the nations in derision. Now verse 5:

Psalms 2:5

“Then (when they have reached that point of perplexity) shall he speak unto them in his wrath (that’s not love, mercy, and Grace), and vex them in his sore displeasure.” This is the Tribulation. Notice what follows the Tribulation in verse 6.

Psalms 2:6

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

This is that glorious thousand-year Kingdom rule. Do you see the order of these 6 verses? That order of the Old Testament program. After Israel had the King and the Kingdom they could carry out all of these promises of taking the knowledge of salvation to the Gentiles. Now of course that flies in the face of what we understand, that there would be no unbelievers going into the Kingdom. But this was the program offered to Israel. That was all changed when Israel rejected the King and the Kingdom, and Jesus was crucified. He went back to Heaven and has waited 1900 + years until The Body of Christ will be completed. This Body of Christ was kept hidden in Scripture until the Apostle Paul came on the scene. God hadn’t revealed that yet. Here is that ability that God has to hide things until it is time to reveal them. During this time the Nation of Israel has been set aside waiting for this Church Age to be completed. But none of this was in the Old Testament. There is nothing in here that indicated there would be 1900 + years that God would not be dealing with Israel.

Let’s go on into the Book of Matthew. Remember, the first eleven Chapters of Genesis covers 2000 years. Then in Genesis 12 we have the Abrahamic Covenant with the call of Abraham. Then out of the main stream of humanity, God calls this one little nation, the Nation of Israel. And to them He makes these promises that they would be a Kingdom of Priests. In order to prepare them for that Kingdom of Priests, He puts them under Law. He gave them the temple worship, the priesthood, the Old Testament and He is going to let the Gentiles go as we saw in Ephesians Chapter 2. They’re outside the Covenant promises. They are not citizens of the Nation of Israel. They are without hope, without God, and so they continue on their way until such time as Israel can be funneled back into the Gentile nations, with the idea of bringing them to a knowledge of their God. So this is the whole scope of the Old Testament.

Everything in the Old Testament is telling future events. The coming of the Crucifixion, the death, burial, and Resurrection of Christ, is all back there. But it’s in such subdued language and latent terms that nobody understood it. They didn’t comprehend, as also the twelve disciples didn’t, even when Jesus told them in Luke 18, that He’d be crucified and would rise from the dead. They didn’t comprehend it. But here is God dealing with this Nation of Israel, preparing them for the time when they can be used to bring Gentiles to a knowledge of their God. Now, after Israel has rejected all of that and you get into the Book of Acts, it’s still the same premise. A lot of people don’t see this, but all you have to do is look at the language. Peter is strictly appealing to the Jew. And his whole idea is just an extension (and let’s put the three years of ministry here), for three years. As we now study the four Gospels, Jesus is going to be presenting himself as the fulfillment of all these prophecies, as He comes to the Nation of Israel.

Peter picks up the torch and continues on in the Book of Acts with that same program. And that’s what we’re going to be showing in the next several weeks, how that all of this is primarily, but not exclusively, Jew only. Israel continues to reject Jesus and then, here comes a body of truth that has never before been mentioned. It’s all in fulfillment, but it is a body of truth that Paul refers to as the “mystery.

Now when that is complete, then as we’ve seen over the last several months, we’re going to go into that final seven years, which once again is prophecy. The Second Coming. And this is going to end with the out-calling of the Church. This is the whole format coming out of the Old Testament and the Jew is going to continue to reject it. Then God reveals the mystery. Now, let me show you a little bit of what I’m talking about. Go with me, if you will, to Matthew 4 and verse 17.

Matthew 4:17

“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, `Repent (why?): for the kingdom of heaven is (what?) at hand.'” Now what did that mean? Well, the King was there, ready to set up His Kingdom.

165 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 1 - Book 14 - Intro to the New Testament continued

165: Intro to the New Testament continued – Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 14

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 14

INTRO TO THE NEW TESTAMENT CONTINUED

It’s good to start another lesson. We hear from lots of people who tell us they have become more and more involved in studying The Book. We don’t want you to necessarily go by what we say, but rather what The Book says. And we want you to be able to study on your own.

Now as we ended our last lesson we were having a little review of how the Abrahamic Covenant ties in so beautifully with the New Testament. So as we come through the four Gospels we want to pick up the main theme of how all of these things unfold, and prepare everything for the end-time. Now we always must realize that the Bible is simply God’s record of history written in advance. This Book is a progressive revelation. In other words, God didn’t see fit to give the whole picture of everything back here in the Book of Genesis. Now all the seeds of it are back here. But as we come up through the Scriptures and into the New Testament, we are going to see that there is a constant revealing of something that had never been revealed before.

I’m going to try to show you a couple of examples of that before we actually go into the Book of Matthew. The reason I’m doing this is because when I first started teaching these kind of classes (beginning with Genesis, 23 years ago), I wasn’t satisfied with the way I had been taught the four Gospels, Christ’s earthly ministry, and the Book of Acts. So believe it or not, the first two or three times I taught from Genesis to Revelation I would just sort of skip the four Gospels and the Book of Acts, because I just wasn’t comfortable with the way I had been taught, and with the Sunday School material I used. And then all of a sudden the Lord began to open my eyes to this very fact – that all of a sudden God didn’t just dump everything on the human race, but rather that it is progressive. And there are certain aspects of Scripture that were kept hidden in the mind of God, until He saw fit in His own time to now reveal it. And this is the way we must look at Scripture.

Now to prove my point I’m going to take a few verses throughout Scripture that show this is exactly how God did operate. So we’re going to start way back in Genesis again. Back in Chapter 21 verse 33. Of course, we’re still dealing with the man, Abraham back here.

Genesis 21:33

“And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba (remember that’s down in southern Israel), and called there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God.

Look at these various names of Deity. It’s always the same God, but His Name would be used in a particular situation or particular point to be made. In other words, back in Abraham’s dealing with God, when he was going to offer Isaac, you remember, God provided a ram in the thicket. Do you remember what the name of Jehovah was there? Jehovah-jireh. “The LORD will provide.”

But here we have another name of Deity and in the Hebrew it’s El Olam, “The everlasting God.” But it’s interesting that in the Hebrew, this word Olam, when used in common usage, always refers to things hidden. And it refers to God’s Sovereign ability to hide things. So put it in this light. He is the everlasting God. Eternity to Eternity, but He is also the God who can keep things secret until He sees fit to reveal them. Now that’s what the term in the Hebrew means here. That He is the eternal God, but He is also the God who keeps secrets. And He doesn’t have to reveal them until He is ready to in His own time. Several weeks ago we brought this out in our class in Wilburton, Oklahoma, and the next week one of my students came back to class so excited. He had found this verse in the Book of Deuteronomy that I had missed. And it just says it all so beautifully.

Deuteronomy 29:29

“The secret things (do you see that word?) belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us…”

Now remember, Moses is speaking directly to the children of Israel. So the `us’ here is dealing with Israel. But you see, it doesn’t limit it to Israel. It is God dealing with anytime in history, that when He reveals something in history, to a certain people, then they become responsible to believe it.

And if I don’t accomplish anything else in this lesson, I hope I can get the point across, and that you understand, that God did not reveal things until He in His own timing revealed it. Now let’s come on up through the Scripture. And I’m just going to bring you all the way up to John’s Gospel. There are many others, but I’m just trying to hit those that are the most obvious. And this is where we happened to be studying, when this individual went back and started looking for other verses regarding things kept secret that were revealed later. And here we were in John’s Gospel Chapter 13, and we dropped down to verse 6. Now the setting here is Jesus washing the disciples feet. You know the account.

John 13:6

“Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, `Lord, dost thou wash my feet?'”

Now you can understand that. You can understand clearly that Peter just felt that the Lord had no business condescending to such a lowly place of service as to washing their dirty feet. Now you want to remember, back in those days, they wore sandals and the streets were filthy and feet got filthy likewise. And no doubt, Peter was very well aware of this. Now verse 7:

John 13:7

“And Jesus answered and said unto him, `What I do thou knowest not (what’s the next word?) now (but don’t stop there. What comes next?); but thou shalt know hereafter.'”

Now do you see what he was saying? Peter was not in a position to understand all this yet. And so Jesus plainly tells him, “Peter, you don’t know what I’m doing. But you will when God reveals it at a later date.”

Now if you will go with me to Romans 16, now of course, the apostle Paul has come on the scene for the Gentiles. And Paul is going to use a word that is unique to his writings and we will look at that in a little more in detail later.

Romans 16:25

“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,” Now let’s digest that verse.

“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel (the gospel he preached had only been revealed to him by our risen Lord), and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation (what does revelation mean? A revealing of something that has never been revealed before) of the mystery (that comes from the Greek word, `musterion,’which is translated, `secret.’ And so he says), which was kept secret (how long?) since the world began.

Now do you see what he’s saying? This same thought, that God sees fit to keep certain things totally unrevealed until it’s time to reveal them. Come with me to Ephesians. Just keep that same thought. That’s what I’m trying to show you as we come up through the Scripture. Beginning all the way back with the Hebrew term of Deity, El Olam, “Everlasting God,” also has the Sovereign capability of keeping things secret until it is His time to reveal it. Ephesians Chapter 3 beginning at verse 1. Remember now, this is Paul writing to us Gentiles believers.

Ephesians 3:1,2

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God (now watch how it came) which is given me to you-ward.”Now there was the process.

Ephesians 3:3

“How that by revelation (there’s that word again. By the revealing of something that had never been revealed before) he made known unto me the mystery (or the secret again) [as I wrote afore in few words,]”

Ephesians 3:4

“Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery (or the secret) of Christ”

Now what’s he talking about? Something that no one else before ever had an inkling of.

Sometimes I shake people up when I tell them you’ll find nothing of the Church in the four Gospels. Why isn’t the Body of Christ, the Church, in there? Because God had not seen fit to reveal this secret which is really the body of truth that is involving the Church. So this is what Paul is making clear. It was revealed to him. Now do you see how clearly this is put? You don’t have to be a theologian. You don’t have to be an expert in language to understand this. But you see, most of us have read our Bibles so fast and have read it so glibly, we just don’t see what it says. But look what the next verse says:

Ephesians 3:5

“Which in other ages (or generations) was (see, it was) not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed (now do you see the difference? That which had not been revealed before, now it is) unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;”

Then drop down to verses 8 and 9. The Apostle Paul says:

Ephesians 3:8,9

“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles (see) the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery (or the secret), which from the beginning of the world (or the age. This mystery of Grace) hath been (past tense) hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:” See how plain that is when you take time to analyze it. And not only was the Gospel of Grace given to the Apostle Paul, but just about every doctrine concerning the Body of Christ (The Church) was given to him only.

Now what the Apostle is saying is the same thing that Moses said in Deuteronomy: that God in His Everlastingness and His Eternalness has seen fit to only reveal things by bits and pieces as we come up through the Bible and human history. A good example is the verses we just looked at concerning our salvation – the Grace that was given to Paul, we shouldn’t take these secrets and revelations that were given only to him, and try to force them back into writings before they were revealed to him. Christ didn’t, so why should we

Turn back just one page here in Ephesians to Chapter 2. And here again are shocking words. I’m amazed when people will see these things for the first time. And I’m not doing any thing except just showing what it says. Now again, in these verses, keep this whole concept in your mind that things were kept secret by God until He chose to reveal them.Remember, you can’t find the Body of Christ, the Church in the Old Testament or the four Gospels. And neither can you find any mention of the Rapture of the Church. This is what throws a curve at people, because that had been kept secret by God, until revealed to the Apostle Paul in I Thessalonians and I Corinthians. So only Paul writes of the Rapture.

In our next lesson we will try to point out the vast difference between the prophetic program as you have in the Old Testament, and this Body of Truth that Paul refers to as the“mysteries” that are suddenly now revealed. Now all that Paul is saying here in the next two verses is what the dilemma of the Gentiles was at the time Israel was still under the promises of God, back in the Old Testament economy and even into the New Testament. God was dealing with Jew only, with few exceptions.

Ephesians 2:11

“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision (normally called uncircumcision dogs) by that which is called the Circumcision(Jews) in the flesh made by hands:”

Ephesians 2:12

“That at that time (what time? Back when God was still dealing with Israel on the Covenant basis) ye (Gentiles) were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise (and we will be talking of the Covenants again in a little bit. But remember Gentiles were strangers to those promises), having no hope, and without God in the world:”

Some people get upset by that. They say God wasn’t fair. We can’t ever say that God wasn’t fair. He has always been fair. He’s always just. He’s always righteous. So He had every right in the world to do things as He did them. Because He knew what these Gentiles would have done with the plan of salvation, even if He would have revealed it to them. They wouldn’t have bought it. And so while He is dealing with the Nation of Israel, He leaves these Gentiles in the state that Paul says they were in. Outside the Covenant promises, they were not citizens of the commonwealth of Israel, and consequently they were without Christ. But now let’s not stop there! Look at the next verse. As a result of these revelations, Paul can now write:

Ephesians 2:13

“But now (things have changed) in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ (the Crucifixion).”

Now look at Luke 18. Once God reveals something, what does He expect the human race to do? Believe it. And when they don’t, God has every right in the world to reject them someday. Because He’s Sovereign. But He doesn’t expect anyone to believe something that He has not yet revealed. Here is a good example. We are at the end of Christ’s earthly ministry. They are up in Northern Israel and are on their way down to Jerusalem, where He will be crucified. We are probably within a week of the end of His earthly ministry.

Luke 18:31-33

“Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, `Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.'”

Is that plain language? You can’t get it any plainer. Did He know what was coming? Sure He did, He was God! So He tells the twelve in plain language what was going to happen. But don’t stop there, read the next verse.

Luke 18:34

“And they (the twelve) understood none of these things; and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”

Jesus told them more than once that this was going to happen, but again God never opened their eyes to it. And also remember that when Jesus was being crucified, did the Twelve know that on Sunday morning He would rise from the dead? Well, of course not. Had they understood that, they would have been waiting outside at the tomb for Him to come forth. Let’s look at one more over in the Book of John before we close. Now remember this is on the Resurrection morning and Mary has come to anoint the body of Jesus, and discovers that the body is gone. She’s all shook up and so she runs and tells Peter and John that someone has taken the body of Jesus.

John 20:4-9

“So they ran both together: and the other disciple (John) did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in (John was more timid). Then cometh Simon Peter following him (John), and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet the knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” And why didn’t they know? It was hidden from them!

164 - Les Feldick Bible Study - Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 14 - Intro to the New Testament

164: Intro to the New Testament – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 14

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 14

INTRO TO THE NEW TESTAMENT

We finished the Book of Revelation in our last lesson so now back to the Book of Matthew to continue our Through the Bible journey. We never take every Book and every verse. Instead, I try to take the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation as it unfolds. I try to keep it simple and hit the highlights without just picking out singular verses. I don’t believe in that. The cults do that, they can pick out a verse and build their whole doctrine on it. But I hope I’m never guilty of lifting a verse out of context to make it say something that it doesn’t say. Let’s start in Matthew Chapter l and verse 1. We won’t stay there very long, because contrary to about 90% of Bible readers and church members, the New Testament doesn’t suddenly start something totally different as most people think. They think there is a great big wall between the New and Old Testament, and some feel you can cut the Old Testament out because it has nothing to do with us. Nothing is further from the truth. And Matthew 1:1 immediately tells us that you can’t do that.

Matthew 1:1

“THE book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

It doesn’t go back to the beginning with Adam. Now the other genealogy in Luke Chapter 3, does go all the way back to Adam. Matthew depicts Christ as the King. And that is why the terminology “The Kingdom of Heaven” so often occurs in Matthew. It is unique to the Book of Matthew. Although the Kingdom goes all the way through the four Gospels, it is uniquely referred to as the Kingdom of Heaven here in this Book of Matthew.

Since Christ is presented in the Book of Matthew as the King, the opening verse of this Book will take us back to where that whole Kingship idea began. It all began with Abraham, and the Abrahamic Covenant. Verse one drives us back to Genesis Chapter 12. It will all tie in beautifully. Before we go very far in Matthew you will see how it will all dovetail together. We’ve covered all of this in Genesis 12 before. However, as we have many new viewers each week, We need to build some basics again before we take that run through the four Gospels, the Book of Acts, and Paul’s writings.

Genesis Chapter 12, verses 1, 2, and 3 reveals the Abrahamic Covenant. You might want to mark your Bible. A covenant, by definition, is an agreement that originates and ends in God. Even though it’s made with man, and in this case with the man Abraham, and later with the Nation of Israel. Even though it’s made with man, since it originates and ends with God, regardless of what man does, a covenant never becomes invalid. It is never broken nor rescinded. These covenants stand forever and ever, as we have seen in our study of Revelation. They go on into eternity.

Before we look at this Covenant let me review for a moment to bring us to the place of this Covenant. Beginning with the creation of Adam, we had one race of people. Everyone will come from Adam and Eve, and their offspring. We often get the question, “Where did Cain get his wife?” Well, there certainly were not other people, because only Adam and Eve were created. So it follows that brothers married sisters for the first generation or two. That was no problem because the human race was so pure genetically. In fact as far along as Abraham, which is 2000 years after Adam, we find Abraham, with God’s blessings, married his half sister. God did not limit marrying close relatives until sometime after Abraham.

Out of that one race of people of Adam, we have a great multitude of people who totally turned their backs on God. Then we had Noah’s flood which destroyed all except the eight people that were in the Ark. Noah and his wife, and their three sons, and their wives. Then out of those 3 sons and their wives we had the onset again of the whole human race out of the sons of Ham, Shem, and Japheth. Then out of the line of Shem comes this man Abraham.

In the approximate 400-year interval between Noah and Abraham, about midway we have the Tower of Babel. The race by now hadn’t multiplied into millions upon millions, but there were already, in this approximate 200 years, a large number. The whole human race was still one race with one language and one blood, basically. They all met down in the Plains of Shinar in Mesopotamia in the Euphrates River Valley. And there they built the tower. It was at the Tower of Babel, under the leadership of Nimrod, that Satan, the god of this world, instituted all pagan and mythological religions. Always remember that. I’ve stressed that all these years of teaching. By the time you get to Abraham, a couple of hundred of years after the Tower of Babel, at 2000 B.C., the whole then-known world was already steeped in pagan idolatry and mythological worship. Out of this race of people so saturated in this kind of worship, God finds one man that He knows still has a spark of faith, or the ability to believe. And I have to feel he was the only one. So God reaches down and puts His finger on that one man. And to this one man God says in Genesis 12, verse l. the following:

Genesis 12:1

“NOW the LORD had said (back in Chapter 11) unto Abram, `Get thee out of thy country (in other word get out of Ur of the Chaldees, a little way from the Persian Gulf), and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:'”

He didn’t tell Abraham where he was going, but in so many words said, “I’ll lead you, and you follow” Now Abram, or Abraham, as we will know him later, is a man of faith. So he takes God at His Word. He doesn’t ask questions. He doesn’t ask for a map. And at this point Abraham doesn’t ask for a deed, although he will later. Abraham just simply follows. Now he’s not totally obedient. This is the beauty of Scripture, and I’ve said this before. If God would raise men up, and make them super-human sinless, obedient people, then you and I would feel that we were miserable failures. But these people failed. They people weren’t always right on the mark. God had instructed Abraham to leave his father and family and get out of Ur. Abraham was obedient, but only up to a point, because who did he take with him? His father, and his nephew Lot. God couldn’t let that happen for very long, so as they got up to the upper regions of the Euphrates near Haran which was north of present day Damascus, God stopped that little entourage. He keeps them there until Terah, Abraham’s father dies. God at this point does condescend and let Abraham keep Lot with him. So now God brings Abram down into the Promised Land. Now this didn’t all happen in a year or two. Years go by, probably as much as twenty five years. Now verse 2. Look at the pronoun, it’s God speaking all the way through. Abraham hasn’t said a word yet nor will he.

Genesis 12:2

“And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:”

We know that archaeologists have found many things pertaining to Abraham and his great name. The name Abraham is known even in the secular world. And every Jew is just thrilled that he is a son of Abraham. Now verse 3, remember this is all part of this Covenant that God makes with this man Abraham.

Genesis 12:3

“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee (Abraham) shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

There was an article by a rabbi in the last Jerusalem Post that I received, and like everyone else in Israel lately, they (rabbis) are looking for their Messiah. This rabbi makes reference to the Messiah almost every week. In this particular article, he says in so many words that, “Israel is looking for the one who will bring the Nation of Israel to the peak of peace and prosperity so that she can funnel it out to all the other nations of the world.” I told my wife, Iris, this is exactly what I had been teaching for over twenty years – the prospect given to Abraham, that out of Israel would come a King who wouldn’t just rule the Nation of Israel, but would spread that rule to the whole earth through Israel.

This becomes the whole concept of the Abrahamic Covenant beginning with Genesis Chapter 12. God put His finger on one man and told him that He would make of him a nation of people. God is going to take that nation of people and put them into a geographical area of land. At some point later, God Himself would come and set up the government, because you can’t have people in a geographical area without government, or you will have anarchy. You don’t have a functional society unless you have a government. God in so many words says that nation has become visible (and we know that they became a nation in Egypt in slavery. We know they came out of Egypt under Moses as a nation of people).

Forty years later, after their wilderness experience, Joshua takes the nation into the Promised Land. Then they were ruled by judges for over 400 years, and they didn’t like that idea, so they asked God for a king. The first king, Saul, was a total flop. He fell flat on his face and God couldn’t use him. Then David was the next king, and becomes the beginning of that“Royal Family,” that is not just going to lead through generations of this existence, but all the way into eternity. Because out of the Lion of Abraham and David would come this government. But this government will not be a democracy, but a monarchy. It’s going to be ruled by “THE KING of KINGS and LORD of LORDS.” But remember He will be a benevolent King. His Kingdom will be righteous, fair, and glorious. But this is the prospect as it was laid out in the Abrahamic Covenant.

Now all the rest of the Old Testament from Genesis 12 right on into the New Testament is resting on this Abrahamic Covenant. All you have to do is watch the language as we go through the four Gospels and well into the Book of Acts. Watch for it! There will be other covenants. God makes the Covenant with Moses that we call the Law. He makes the Palestinian Covenant with Moses and the Nation of Israel, that even though they are uprooted out of the land, they will be brought back. It’s going to be their homeland. Along with that Covenant, God promises David there will be a Royal Family, leading up to the King and the Kingdom. We haven’t got time to look at all of the promises God makes to Israel, but we can look at a few. Let’s look at the first one in Isaiah Chapter 9. These verse are what makes Handles Messiah what it is.

Isaiah 9:6a

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:…”

I tie the part of this verse, where the son is given to John 3:16. What does John 3:16 say? “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son…” And who was the Son given to? The Nation of Israel. What does it say in John 1:11? “He came unto His own (Israel) but His own received Him not…” From there, through the Apostle Paul, He went to the Gentiles. Please never lose sight of the fact that Christ at His first coming came to the Nation of Israel and Israel only. Let’s just look at two references about this:

Matthew 15:24

“But he (Christ) answered and said, `I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.'” And then Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles writes in Romans Chapter 15 the following:

Romans 15:8

“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision (Israel) for the truth of God (why?), to confirm the promises made unto the fathers (this Abrahamic Covenant):” Back to Isaiah 9.

Isaiah 9:6,7

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be (future) upon his (This Son that would be given) shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” This is Old Testament! These are the names of the promised Messiah.

“Of the increase of his government and peace (isn’t that what the world is looking for tonight? `Peace’ in Scriptures means more than the absence of war. It means that whole sphere of good things that God is ready to pour out. But He can’t until Christ is King) there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom (I wish people would always be aware oftwo words; one is `kingdom’ and the other is `covenant.’ Be aware of those two words in Scripture. They constantly pop up), to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth (how long?) even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of host will perform this.” In other words, man and the United Nation can’t do it. But God Himself will bring it in. Let’s look at Luke Chapter 1.

We may have to do a little more of this review later, because I’m sure a lot of folk don’t realize where we are coming from, unless they can get a good basic understanding from the Old Testament. That’s why there is so much confusion among Christians today! One takes this, one takes that, and one takes something else, completely ignoring the foundation that was laid back here in the Old Testament, for all of this comes about in the New Testament.

Here in Luke 1 we have Zacharias the father of John the Baptist, the husband of Elizabeth, and he has been stricken dumb while Elizabeth has been carrying the baby. But here he has gotten his speech back. So now all these citizens of Judea, the Jews, are in amazement knowing that it’s quite a miracle first of all that as old as Zacharias and Elizabeth are that they are going to have a child. And also that now he has his speech back! So let’s come down to verse 67, and you will notice that Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit. That meant everything that he speaks in these next verses is going to be Holy Spirit inspired.

Luke 1:67-69

“And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people (the Nation of Israel), And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;”

Luke 1:71-73

“That we should be saved from our enemies (and remember their enemies then were the same as they are tonight), and from the hand of all that hate us;”

“To perform the mercy promised to our fathers (all the way back to Abraham), and to remember his holy (what?) covenant:” This is New Testament remember. Now what Covenant is verse 72 referring to? Look at verse 73 for the answer:

“The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,”