199 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 3 - Book 17 - Explanation of Acts 2:38

199: Explanation of Acts 2:38 – Lesson 2 Part 3 Book 17

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 17

EXPLANATION OF ACTS 2:38

We were in Acts 2:23. But I want you to look at the two words in the middle of that verse:

Acts 2:23a

“Him (Jesus), being delivered by the determinate counsel (that word counsel is spelled with an “se” so it denotes a meeting of minds? When you have that kind of counsel that’s what you are doing.) determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God,…”

What does that mean? Well Peter has just accused Israel of killing their Messiah. But was God taken by surprise? Long before anything was ever created, the Godhead (and it didn’t take a 30 minute committee meeting) determined in a split second decision, if I may call it that, that They would create the human race knowing the human race would sin and need a Redeemer. It was all preplanned. Those of you who have heard me teach these past four years on television, may have raised your eyebrows when I made reference to the fact that when Christ came the first time, Israel was given the opportunity to have The King and the Kingdom. But in the foreknowledge of God, what did He know? That they would reject Him (but nevertheless that offer was still valid, because of free will). And it had to be that way in order to bring about the Crucifixion. That also was in the predeterminate counsel of God. So the whole Godhead is involved in this tremendous work of redemption. The other word I like to point out is His foreknowledge. Back in eternity past, they put the whole plan together, and the reason they could put it together was their foreknowledge. Let me show you what I’m talking about. Come to I Peter Chapter 1:

I Peter 1:1,2a

“PETER an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers (always realize to whom a particular Scripture is written. Peter here is basically writing to Jews out in the dispersion) scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect (believing Jews) according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,…”

And you see that makes all the difference in the world. God in His foreknowledge knew what everyone who has ever lived or will live, would do with His offer of Salvation. So He knew what Israel would do. He knew as He brought the little nation on the scene with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob exactly what they would do. And then in His foreknowledge, everything would come together according to His plan. But it wasn’t that He took away their choice. God never does that, but He knew what they would do with their choice. Yes, God knew in His foreknowledge which of these Jews would be believers that Peter is writing to. In His foreknowledge, He knew you and I would be believers. And knowing that we would be believers, He could reserve a place of service in the Body for us. And all of this is based on His foreknowledge. Back to Acts Chapter 2. So Peter tells them that they didn’t take God by surprise when they crucified Him, He knew they would. And it was all decided before anything ever happened.

Acts 2:23,24

“Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:” And I’m glad we don’t have to sit under that accusation Sunday after Sunday, hearing someone tell us that we killed The Messiah. But here Peter is accusing these Jews that they killed Him. Verse 24:

“Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.”

He couldn’t be held by it, because He was God. But Peter is making the point that even though they had killed their Messiah, their King, they didn’t stop God, because God raised Him from the dead. And they knew from Psalms 110:1 that God had called Him back to heaven. Ready yet to return and still able to give them the Kingdom. We understand this as we study these early chapters of Acts. Peter is absolutely going to confirm His death, burial, and Resurrection. He merely states it as fact. But I maintain Peter never uses this as the Gospel for these Jews to believe for their Salvation. If you can prove this from Scripture let me know. Peter is still using the Gospel of the Kingdom and the Baptism of John, but also remember this is all that has been revealed to him. Now verse 25:

Acts 2:25,26

“For David speaketh concerning him (Christ), `I foresaw The Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:'”

David here is quoting Christ you might say. So Peter quotes the Psalms in verse 27:

Acts 2:27,28

“Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (the three days and nights He was in Paradise), neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.” Now Peter comes back to his own first person speaking and he says:

Acts 2:29-31

“Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David (whom Peter had just been quoting out of the Psalms) that he (David) is both dead and buried (David wasn’t saying that death couldn’t hold him), and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.”

“Therefore being a prophet (most people don’t think of prophecy coming out of the Psalms, but there is much prophecy in the Psalms), and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;” Now who sits on a throne? A King. And Peter is driving home the point that their King that they crucified and killed can still be their King, since God has raised Him from the dead.

“He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ (David wasn’t speaking concerning himself, he was speaking concerning Christ. That death and hell couldn’t hold Him), that his (Christ) soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.”

This throws a curve at some people. Why didn’t Mary recognize Jesus on that early Resurrection morning? Because it was in the predawn darkness, for one thing, and secondly all Mary could remember about Jesus was how horrible His body looked while hanging on the Cross. Not only had He been whipped with blood running down His body, but in addition the load of sins for the whole world had been placed on Him, causing His body to be marred and disfigured more than any human being ever or since. And that was the last picture that Mary had of Jesus. But when she sees Him on that Resurrection morning He had been healed of all that abuse. He looked normal, but He still had the nail prints of course. And Mary couldn’t put all of that together. But it was the same Christ, only now with that glorious resurrected body.

Acts 2:32

“This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.”

Remember if there is one proof of Resurrection that stands out above all others, it is Peter himself. Peter, you see at the night of the arrest and conviction, was fearful for his life. He denied Jesus three times; the eleven scatter in fear for their lives, and I can’t blame them. But after the Resurrection, they have a boldness that no one can shake. And why? The proof of Resurrection! We are living in a time where I’m afraid that even here in our beloved America, we as Bible believing believers could find ourselves under a lot of pressures. We could find ourselves under a lot of persecution and it can come very fast. Are we ready? Are you so bound in the hope and power of Resurrection that you’re not afraid of what they might do to this body of flesh? That’s where we should be. We should have no fear of death, because death is going to be so temporary, because of Resurrection power. And this is where these twelve men are now. Nothing scares them. Rome or the Jews don’t scare them. And because of the power of the Resurrection. Now verse 33, and Peter is referring to Christ.

Acts 2:33

“Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost (that goes back to John 14, where they were promised a Comforter), he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.”

What are they seeing and hearing? The power and manifestation of the descended Holy Spirit. That these uneducated Galileans can speak every language and dialect of the then-known world. And that was only part of it! They will continue on with all the other signs and wonders that Jesus performed. Again to prove that God was in all of this.

Acts 2:34,35

“For David is not ascended into the heavens (the Psalms were referring to Christ rather than David); but he saith himself, `The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,'”

“Until (now what kind of word is that? A time word. He is not going to sit at the Father’s right hand forever. There is coming a day when He is going to arise from that seated position. Why? He’s going to leave heaven, and come back to earth. And is yet going to be The King of that promised Kingdom on the earth) I make thy foes thy footstool.”

We are getting close to a portion of Scripture that I think has been totally confused by almost all groups, and we’re just going to take it for what it says. We’re not going to spiritualize it, or allegorize, it we are going leave it right where it is. Verse 36:

Acts 2:36a

“Therefore (because of all that has just taken place. Israel has had The Messiah for three years, performing signs and miracles, they crucified Him, God raised Him from the dead, and sent the Holy Spirit, and everything is falling into place) let all the house of Israel…”

Now you can’t put us Gentiles in this verse, unless you force it. Peter is speaking to Jews on Covenant grounds. It’s the fulfilling of the Covenant which God made with Abraham. Let’s pause for a moment and go to Chapter 3, so you’ll know what I’m talking about. And again Peter is preaching to a Jew-only crowd.

Acts 3:24,25

“Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.” What days? Everything that has just taken place. According to Peter, the Crucifixion, Resurrection, ascension and coming of the Holy Spirit was prophesied. Look at verse 25:

“Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant (only the Nation of Israel. All prophecy is directed to the Nation of Israel, they are the ones that will be at the core of these prophetic events. Even the horrible events in Revelation will be directed primarily at the Jew. But the whole world will also reap the fallout from these events. Jeremiah 30 tells us it’s the time of Jacob’s trouble) which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, `And in thy seed (through the Nation of Israel) shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.'”

So Peter is on Covenant ground. He’s still on the basis that everything that has been since Abraham, that is: the Nation of Israel was to receive the Redeemer, The Messiah, The King and the Kingdom, and it would be through Israel that God would gather the Gentiles. I never like to leave people with the idea that God had cast off the Gentiles. Oh, not at all. But He was going to use the Nation of Israel on Covenant grounds to bring them to Salvation. Even right here God has never said a word to anybody that He’s setting the Covenant promises aside for awhile. He hasn’t told anybody yet that they don’t have to keep Temple worship, or keep the Law. He hasn’t told people they must believe in His death, burial and Resurrection for their Salvation. Not a word about that as of yet. You can’t find it here. And that is what I try to tell people to understand. Don’t take my word for it. Search the Scriptures, but be sure you understand that the Scripture is putting Salvation on His death, burial, and Resurrection. Remember, there is never any reason to force anything into Scripture. Just leave them where they are. You can’t put a square peg in a round hole without doing a lot of damage. So here Peter is still on Covenant ground. Back to Acts 2:36:

Acts 2:36

“Therefore let all the house of Israel (He’s talking to Jew only) know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

Now we have to compare Scripture with Scripture. Come to the Book of Galatians, and just look at the difference in the language. We just saw Peter accusing the Nation of Israel of killing their Messiah, and now look what Paul tells us here in the Church Age.

Galatians 1:3,4a

“Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins,…”

And that’s Paul’s theme all through his writings. It’s as different as day from night with Peter’s message. Peter’s sermon just doesn’t fit Paul’s doctrine at all. And it wasn’t supposed to. God hadn’t revealed Paul’s message yet. It’s still a secret kept in the mind of God. Now back to Acts verse 37:

Acts 2:37

“Now when they heard this (heard what? That they were guilty of crucifying their Messiah. And remember, Peter isn’t just talking to 40 or 50 people. He’s got thousands out in front of him listening out there in that Temple complex. This is the feast of Pentecost and they have come from everywhere as we seen in verses 9-11) they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, `Men and brethren what shall (what’s the pronoun?) we do?'”

Remember Peter is addressing this great crowd of Jews on Covenant ground. He has accused them of killing their Messiah, and now they are so convicted that I suppose in one way or another word gets up to Peter as he is speaking. And they say, “Well, Peter, what in the world are we (and remember that pronoun) supposed to do?” Now that is the question coming from the Nation of Israel.

198 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 2 - Book 17 - Acts Chapters 1 & 2 - Part 2

198: Acts Chapters 1 & 2 – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 2 Book 17

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 17

ACTS CHAPTERS 1 & 2

Now as we start another lesson, we will be starting with Acts 2:8 We left off with the day of Pentecost, and Jews had come to Jerusalem from all over the the known world to celebrate this Jewish feast day. Remember there were seven of these feast days that the Jews celebrated. We were discussing in our last lesson how these thousands of Jews could understand the disciples in their own languages and dialect. So not only did these disciples speak in different languages, they brought it down to dialect of individual areas. And this is only to point out that God is so miraculous in everything that He does. This isn’t something to be taken lightly. But these twelve men were given that ability of languages where all could understand them regardless where they were from or what languages they spoke. And as we discussed, these twelve men are not highly educated and yet they are speaking all the languages and dialects so these people could understand every word that they were saying.

Acts 2:8-11

“And how hear we every man in our own tongue (language), wherein we were born?” The names of the nations from which they came are listed in verse 9. Although these are Gentile nations, these are Jews that have come from these nations.

“Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.” These are Jews who had been living in these various nations. This is the power that Jesus had promised to come upon them back there in Acts 1:8.

Acts 2:12,13

“And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, `What meaneth this?'” What’s going on? Can’t you imagine? And how the crowd became alive at something so supernatural. But You’ve always got your scoffers, it’s no different today. They will just grab at straws, and foolish notions to try to make a point. “Others mocking said, `These men are full of new wine.'” How ridiculous! Alcohol can make a man make a fool of himself. But I’ve never seen it elevate man to a higher level of intelligence.

Acts 2:14-16

“But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:” Remember he is talking to Jews with maybe an occasional proselyte.

“For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.” That was another thing that made it ridiculous, it was too early in the day for anyone to be that far along. Verse 16, Here’s where we are going to get real picky.

“But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;”

Stop and analyze what is `this’ and what is `that? Well, the `this’ he is talking about is this manifestation now of the coming down of the Holy Spirit in a role that is completely different than that He had ever played before. Now the Spirit has always been. You go back to the creation, what moved upon the face of the deep? The Spirit did. David prayed, “Take not your Spirit from me.” So the Spirit has been evident. Although the Orthodox Jews don’t like to recognize the Holy Spirit as a Person of the Godhead. But yet the Scripture does. Let’s go back to the Book of Joel, Chapter 2, because I want you to see that this is all back in the Old Testament. And remember this is prophecy, and also remember that all prophecy is directed primarily to the Nation of Israel. There is no prophecy directed to the Church. Even today, as we see the increase of earthquakes, and the world getting ready for a one-world government, world economy, and world religion, it is still not the wheels of prophecy turning yet; it’s simply getting it ready for when they do. So Joel is writing to the Nation of Israel, and Peter has just told them that this is what Joel is talking about. Now let’s read on:

Joel 2:28,29

“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”

(-) This was fulfilled at Christ’s First Advent. But when we start to read verse 30, 31, and 32, keep in mind that didn’t happen at Pentecost, and it still hasn’t happened. But it will:

Joel 2:30-32

“And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.”

Now had Peter had the foreknowledge that Jesus had, do you know what he would have done? He would have done like Jesus did in Luke Chapter 4, when He read from Isaiah Chapter 61, when He stopped in the middle of the verse. He sat down and said, “Today this has been fulfilled before your eyes” because Jesus knew that the rest of that verse in Isaiah wouldn’t take place until another 2000 years. But Peter doesn’t know this. Peter is still on Covenant ground as I have shown so often, and he claims the Covenant promises that God made to Abraham. So Peter can’t put a break here between verses 29 and 30, because he doesn’t know. So Peter quotes the whole passage as if it’s all going to take place one thing after the other because that’s what the Old Testament showed. None of the prophets knew about this 1900 + years span called the Church Age, and neither did Peter. All they knew about was that Christ would come, He would be rejected, He would ascend back to glory, and then would come the time of vexation, and wrath of God, the Tribulation. And then yet would set their King on the Holy Hill of Zion, the Kingdom. So you can see there was no hint of the Church Age in that program. The Scriptures in the Old Testament are full of prophecies of His first coming, and the last half of the prophecies are still waiting. Now back to Acts again. Peter continues right on with prophecy, because he thinks it will happen next.

Acts 2:19

“And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:” See that’s the Tribulation. Now in verse 21:

Acts 2:21

“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of The Lord shall be saved.”

Now let’s jump to Romans 10. We have the same language here but the casual reader will never see the difference. But I want you to. What is the difference? Peter says it one way and Paul says it another. Peter had just got through quoting Joel who said whosoever shall call upon the name of The Lord shall be delivered (saved) and that is under the Old Testament economy. That would be when The King and Kingdom would come on the scene. We have looked at those verses so many times. For example Zechariah 8:23. But before Gentiles could be saved under that economy, all the Jews had to become believers and priests in the Kingdom. And Peter knows this and is trying to convince the Jews here at Jerusalem of their need. Look what Paul says in Romans:

Romans 10:13

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of The Lord shall be saved.” This isn’t going to be done through Israel. This is where we are today. Back to verse 8. I’m putting this in reverse purposely.

Romans 10:8,9

“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth The Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” See that is the heart of our Salvation message, but in order to trigger it, what are we to do? Call upon Him!

I have always used the analogy (and I like to use simple ones that anybody can understand) that if you have a swimming pool full of kids on a hot summer afternoon and they are screaming and yelling and having a good time, the ordinary person would never hear a weak swimmer call for help. But that lifeguard has a trained ear. And when that lifeguard hears that feeble call he springs into action, because he can hear a cry for help. It’s the same way with God. When God hears that sinner crying out for help, for Salvation, what does He do? He springs into action and immediately He’s there to save. But I feel that the person still has to come to the place of realizing they are in need. And when they cry out, God responds. And that is the whole concept here in Romans 10, that we are to believe that Christ died and rose from the dead, but God expects us to cry out on that basis for His saving Grace.

So Paul is writing under the Age of Grace, and that is where we are tonight. The vilest of sinners can call out for Salvation and it’s his if he believes. But back here in Joel that isn’t the case. Christ hadn’t died yet, the offer of Salvation hadn’t been turned over to the whole world, It’s still confined to Israel under the Law. The wording is the same but they are under two completely difference circumstances. One is under Grace, and the other is under the Kingdom economy. So be careful and don’t gloss that over. Now back to Acts Chapter 2 once again. We have Peter with this great crowd of Jews from every end of the then-known world congregated for this feast of Pentecost.

Acts 2:22a

Ye men of Israel,…”

And all you pagan Gentiles? No! Who’s He talking to? Jews, and Jews only. Now Jew only is not original with me. We’ve looked at it before, but we need to look at it again. Go to Chapter 11, verse 19. The setting here is much later, but Luke the writer refers back to Acts 7 when Stephen was stoned and that event was seven years after Pentecost.

Acts 11:19

“Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word (The Old Testament)to none but unto the Jews only.”

See how plain that is? The Book says it, not me. So it was Jew only, because God had not given them instructions to go to the Gentiles. He is still dealing with His Covenant people as late as Acts Chapter 7. So certainly in Acts 2 the same thing applies. He is still dealing only with the Nation of Israel and that is why Peter addresses it as such.

Acts 2:22,23

“Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs (and that is why we covered them as we came through the Four Gospels. And John tells us the purpose of those signs and miracles in John 20:30-31 was to show that He was The Christ the promised Messiah, and Peter is rehearsing that here with these Jews) which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:”

“Him (speaking of Jesus), being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:”

What’s another word for slain? Murdered. Killed. How would you like to have your pastor stand up behind the pulpit Sunday after Sunday pointing his finger at the congregation and saying, “You killed the Son of God.” We don’t hear that, and we are not supposed to, but Israel deserved it because they had killed their Messiah. And Peter makes it so plain: You killed Him. But back up a few words in this verse and there are two tremendous words that I’m afraid the average Bible students don’t see. There is so much in this Book to learn. In fact, the average Christian is so ignorant of this Book. But when I use the word `ignorant’ that doesn’t mean they are short on brain power.

Hey, I’m average in brain power, but are a lot of things that I’m completely ignorant of. And most Church members know just a little bit of the stuff that they have scratched off the surface. And so consequently, with so little Biblical knowledge they can come into the work-a-day world and they can embrace secular humanism and they don’t know what they are doing. And so people ask me why I do what I do. I don’t take any compensation, and I don’t want any. If I can just get people to wake up and realize that there is so much in this Book to learn that will help us as a nation in day-to-day living and in experience. In good citizenship. We can see what’s taking place in our young people tonight. They have no sense of right and wrong. Why? They don’t know what this Book says! All you have to do is look at our beloved nation tonight and see murder and crime running rampant, and that’s not the way it was meant. If people would only realize the Godliness of our founding fathers. And how they all quoted this Book.

197 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 1 - Book 17 - Acts Chapters 1 & 2

197: Acts Chapters 1 & 2 – Lesson 2 Part 1 Book 17

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 17

ACTS CHAPTERS 1 & 2

It thrills our heart to know that folks are learning, and so many are writing and calling and telling us that for the first they are beginning to see the difference between God dealing with Israel and the Church. Now Acts Chapter 1, where the disciples had seen The Lord ascend out of their midst from the Mount of Olives. The disciples return to Jerusalem and are meeting in an upper room. It must have been a rather large facility, because we have at least 120 people meeting here. They were instructed by The Lord to wait, before the Holy Spirit would come down on these believers. Now verse 15:

Acts 1:15

“And in those days (in that ten day period) Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty),”

Is this all the believers that remained after three years of Jesus’ preaching and teaching? I personally think so. We know there were women also, but of the men there were 120. I hope I’m wrong, but it appears in the Jerusalem area these were the sum total of His fruit. Now Peter realizes that since Jesus had left them with the idea that the Kingdom was at hand (He hasn’t told them that it’s going to postponed for some 1900 + years) and since the Kingdom is going to be ruled by Christ with the Twelve ruling the Twelve tribes of Israel, then they need twelve men rather than eleven. So Peter sees the need to fill that other slot, so they will be ready for the return of Christ when He sets up His Kingdom.

Acts 1:16,17

“Men and brethren, this Scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. For he (Judas) was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.”

Remember he had been with them the full three years. He was also their treasurer. He held the money bag. He indeed had a part in the ministry, but we also know that he never had a spiritual part of it, because Jesus said Himself that Judas was a devil from the beginning. So he had completely fooled the other eleven men, but he never fooled Jesus. Jesus knew everything about him and what he would eventually do. That is why David, by inspiration, prophesied it. A lot of people will say Judas never had a chance. God had already created him to be the betrayer. No Judas wasn’t put in that situation. Judas had a choice just like you and I have a choice. But God in His foreknowledge knew what Judas would do when he was given the opportunity. So prophecy foretold it. And when prophecy foretells something it has to happen, otherwise the Book becomes a lie. But never take away Judas’ free will.

Acts 1:18

“Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity (remember he took his thirty pieces of silver back to the priests at the Temple and threw them at their feet because of his own guilt. And the priests, knowing that it was blood money, couldn’t put it into the treasury, so they took the money and bought the potters field. And that is why this verse gives Judas the credit for purchasing the field); and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.”

Before Judas betrayed Jesus in the Garden, who actually entered into him? Satan did. So I would like to think that what happened here, as Judas comes back and tries to get out of the whole situation, that as Satan leaves him, he literally just catapults the body of Judas. Now there is a lot more here than meets the eye. Because one point of Scripture says Judas was hung. Scripture doesn’t lie so how are you going to reconcile the two? You’ve got to put all these things together. I think as a result of this catapulting action of Satan himself as he leaves Judas’ body, it caused Judas to be flung onto a low tree branch or fence post. So he ends up in both descriptive categories. Now verse 19:

Acts 1:19-22

“And it was know unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, `The field of blood.'” Because it had been purchased with blood money. Then Luke as he writes goes back to Psalms.

“For it is written in the book of Psalms, `Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick (his office as one of the twelve) let another take.’ Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that The Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.”

I’m sure most of you have heard teaching that Peter was being presumptuous here, and that he should have waited for the Apostle Paul seven years later to fill this twelfth slot. How can good solid Bible teachers make a statement like that? Look at the qualifications. It had to be someone who had been a follower of Christ from John the Baptist through His ascension. Paul wouldn’t have fit. Paul was an opposer of Christ at that time. And so evidently there were only two men that fit those qualifications out of the 120 men gathered there – Barsabas and Matthias. I don’t know how they drew lots (probably with a long and short stick). In the Old Testament God would use two stones called the Urim and Thummim for the priest arrive at certain decisions. They were evidently two little gem stones that went into a pouch behind the ephod, and when a decision of yes or no was needed the priest would use these two stones. Scripture doesn’t tell us how they were used, but we know they were used in some decision making. In choosing Matthias, I don’t think they took a vote of the 120 men, but they get God’s decision by choosing between these two men.

Acts 1:26

“And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias (some people say this doesn’t really tell us that Matthias was God’s choice. Well what are you going to do with the last part of the verse? It says clearly); and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” God made that choice and no one else.

In Chapter 2, it’s the day of Pentecost. We find this in Leviticus Chapter 23. Pentecost is not a Church day, but a Jewish feast day. It’s one of the seven feasts of Jehovah listed in Leviticus Chapter 23. And it was to be 50 days after the Passover. It started way back here in Sinai. In verse 5 we have the Passover and in verse 6 the Feast of Unleavened Bread. In verses 9-14 we have the Feast of First Fruits and in verse 15 we have the next feast.

Leviticus 23:15

“And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:”

That’s 49 days but then they were to go to the next day to make 50. The word Pentecost arrives from that. Pente means 50. This was the 50th day after Passover and it became one of the feast days that was practiced throughout Israel’s history. Now back to Acts Chapter 2. Christ has just been crucified at the time of Passover. They were waiting that 50 days till Pentecost. Remember, Jews would come to Jerusalem from the whole then-known world (predominantly Roman Empire) for these seven Jewish feast days. The Temple in Jerusalem is still operating. No one has told these Jewish believers to cast aside Temple worship, these feast days or the Law. See how clearly the Scripture points it out.

Acts 2:1-3

“AND when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all (these 120 men plus the women) with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” On a windy day you can’t see the wind but you hear it and see the results. And in order for them to see something, verse 3 states:

“And there appeared unto them cloven (separated) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.” Now it doesn’t say it was fire, but it was like as of fire. It didn’t burn them.

Acts 2:4,5

“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues (the Greek word for tongues doesn’t mean jibberish, but language), as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Ever since the Tower of Babel there have been all kinds of dialects and languages. These Jews didn’t all speak Hebrew. They had been living in Gentile nations and had picked up that language.

“And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews (notice we are not dealing with Gentiles), devout men, out of every nation under heaven.”

All these nations had Jewish communities in them. The other important word in this verse is `devout.’ What kind of Jews would spend the money and take the time to come back to Jerusalem for a feast day? Only the devout ones. And that’s why they were here. There were thousands of them. Now verse 6:

Acts 2:6,7

“Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded (amazed), because every man (regardless where he was from) heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, `Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?'”

The disciples were from that part of Israel. Northern Israel was more rural than the southern part, and not as highly educated. They were mostly farmers, shepherds, fishermen and carpenters. Evidently these 12 men showed they were not from that cultured area of Jerusalem. And the crowd could tell it. They knew these men couldn’t be smart enough to speak all the languages.

196 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 4 - Book 17 - Psalms 2 - Part 2

196: Psalms 2 – Part 2 – Lesson 1 Part 4 Book 17

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 17

PSALMS 2

Acts 1:9. Remember, Jesus and the eleven are still on the Mount of Olives. They have been talking about things pertaining to the Kingdom. It’s a valid Kingdom they have been talking about; the same Kingdom we have seen all the way up through the Old Testament and the same Kingdom that is yet going to come back to the earth as soon as the Tribulation is over and Christ returns. Christ knows that Israel will reject all of this and that He would be turning to the Gentiles under a whole different program. But He kept that secret until the Apostle Paul came on the scene and revealed that only to him. Now verse 9:

Acts 1:9,10

“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld (they watched Him), he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” Now personally I think this cloud was a heavenly host, I don’t think it was cumulus cloud, but a heavenly host that ushered Him into glory. Now verse 10:

“And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;”

I like to point out that throughout Israel’s history, when the supernatural such as angelic appearances took place, were they all shook up? No. As these eleven men are standing on the Mount of Olives, suddenly Jesus is going up into the atmosphere without benefit of rocket power, and then two angels appear, but this doesn’t shake them up. If that happened today there’d be pandemonium. But it’s been common place for the disciples for the past three years.

Acts 1:11

“Which also said, `Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? 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? Just exactly what it says. You don’t spiritualize it, or allegorize it, you just simply say this is easy to comprehend. Here He was standing in His resurrected body. He had been fellowshipping and eating and talking with the eleven for forty days, and then all of a sudden He went up! He went up head first which means He’s going to come back feet first, bodily. Not in some ethereal form, or in a spiritualized realm of influence, but He is going to physically return to this planet. I know there are a lot of people that scoff at the thought of His Second Coming. But all of Scripture is full of it. In type as well as a literal sense. Now here it’s literal. He’s standing there, and talking with them – they have been touching Him. His body is for real, and now He’s taken up. Now we need to go back to the Old Testament and compare. So turn to the Book of Zechariah Chapter 14. This is prophecy and is directed to the Nation of Israel. Let’s begin with verse 1:

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 we can see the stage being set even today. All the Middle Eastern nations are building up their hardware by the billions. And the rest of the world is not far behind them. And what’s the purpose. They’re getting ready for when God will call them all to come to that end-time doom. The battle of Armageddon); and the city shall be taken (now listen, the Nation of Israel is going to go through some terrible, terrible days, especially in those last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation); and the houses rifled (no mercy), and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth in captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” Just when it looks like Satan is finally going to succeed in destroying the Nation of Israel, by virtue of these Gentile hordes:

Zechariah 14:3

“Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations (the word LORD in the Old Testament capitalized is Jehovah. We have shown over and over that Jesus claimed to be the I AM of the Old Testament. So the LORD here is the LORD Christ. He’s in heaven today, but He will return), as when he fought in the day of battle.” God fought Israel’s battle all through history.

Zechariah 14:4

“And his feet (that left the Mount of Olives in Acts 1:9 where the angels said He will come back the same way. You can’t spiritualize that) shall stand in that day (second coming) upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.” Now verse 8:

Zechariah 14:8

“And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem (in other words pure water); half of them toward the former sea (Mediterranean), and half of them toward the hinder sea (Dead Sea); in summer and in winter shall it be.”

It’s interesting that plans are being drawn up to build a canal from the Mediterranean to the Dead sea. It’s going to cost billions of dollars. But you see God is going to do it in a moment of time. At His Second Coming there will be a fresh water river running from Jerusalem to the Mediterranean, and from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea. All of this is going to happen just as He says it will.

Zechariah 14:9a

“And the LORD shall be king over all the earth:…” And that will be in His Kingdom rule. We also need to look at Ezekiel Chapter 47. The prophet Ezekiel is getting a vision of this water way that will run out from the throne room in Jerusalem all the way again to the Dead Sea. Verse 8:

Ezekiel 47:8-10

“Then said he unto me, `These waters issue out (from Jerusalem) toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the (Dead) sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed (nothing can live in the Dead sea). And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish (in the Dead sea), because these waters shall come thither (From Jerusalem): for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.'” Now verse 10:

“And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it (the Dead Sea) from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea (Mediterranean), exceeding many.” Could this happen to the Dead Sea through man’s technology? No! But it will happen when the Kingdom is set up at His Second Coming.

Now, the Second Coming. The Old Testament alludes to it by symbol, especially in the life of Moses and the life of Joseph. And we see that clearly in Acts Chapter 7, where Stephen is rehearsing the history of Israel and talking about the famine and Joseph in Egypt.

Acts 7:11-13

“Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance. But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first (the brethren). And at the second time Joseph was made know to his brethren; and Joseph’s kindred was made know unto Pharaoh.”

Why does Scripture bring in the “second time?” Well, the first time the brothers went down to see Joseph, he knew who they were, but they didn’t recognize him. And that is exactly what happened to Christ at His First Advent. He came unto His own, He knew who they were. But did they know who He was? No. But when He comes the second time, just like when the brothers went the second time down unto Egypt, Joseph revealed himself to them. And there was weeping for joy. Joseph had become their saviour. He had the grain that saved them from starvation. And so Israel will also recognize Christ at His Second Coming.

I said Moses was the other one. When Moses went out the first time and he saw the Egyptian misusing a Jew. Moses killed him and hid his body. And Moses had to flee. Stephen is going to rehearse this as well. Because Stephen is driving home the very point that Christ came to them the first time in His earthly ministry and they rejected Him. But now He is ready to come the second time if they will just believe that He is Who He says He is. Stephen doesn’t see 1900 + years into the future either. Christ had died which He had to do. He’d been raised from the dead, and ascended. Everything was set for Him to come back if Israel will just believe. So here’s the type with regard to Moses.

Acts 7:23-25

“And when he was full forty years old (Moses had been in Pharaoh’s house since a baby), it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian. For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.”

Moses’ position in Egypt was that of the second greatest man, so he thought he had the power and clout to lead the children of Israel out of bondage into freedom, and back to a relationship with their God. Moses at this time becomes a man of faith, but what didn’t he take into consideration? That Israel wouldn’t buy it.

Acts 7:26,27

“And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, `Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another?’ But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, `Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us?'”

Now are you getting the parallel? Jesus came unto His own, they could have accepted Him, they should have accepted Him, but what was their answer. “Who made you a ruler and judge over us?”

Acts 7:29a

“Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian,…”

Acts 7:35

“This Moses whom they refused saying, `Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same (Moses) did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.'”

Now what’s the lesson? In both instances, it was the second time that things came to the full. And so also Israel will recognize their Messiah the second time and acclaim Him. Let’s come back to the Book of Matthew and look at this same concept of His Second Coming. This is Jesus speaking in His earthly ministry. This chapter is all Tribulation ground. This is the final seven years of prophecy:

Matthew 24:27

“For as the lightning cometh out of the east (Tribulation storm already over), and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”

Matthew 24:29,30

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”

That will be the Second Coming when He will stand on the Mount of Olives in Zechariah 14:4. In John 14, most people think that this is the Rapture of the Church, but it’s the Second Coming. John knows nothing of the Church Age or the Rapture of the Church, those were secrets that were only revealed to the Apostle Paul.

John 14:1-3a

“LET not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again,…” Here The Lord is talking to the Nation of Israel and preparing them for His Second Coming.

195 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 3 - Book 17 - Psalms 2

195: Psalms 2 – Lesson 1 Part 3 Book 17

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 17

PSALMS 2

We’re living in a day of course where Satan is pulling every stop. I think he already knows that his time is short. Now we know when he’s cast out of heaven at the mid-point of the Tribulation, the Book of Revelation tells us he is also going to pour out his wrath and anger on the human race because he knows his time is short. He’ll know he will only have 3 1/2 years left. And I think he already knows that he doesn’t have a lot of time left even as I speak. One of the stops that he is pulling out, is a confusion of the Scripture. What confusion there is when it comes to teaching the Word of God, and it shouldn’t be that way. God never intended it to be that way. I read the other day where there were over a thousand denominations in America alone. And very few of them agree with each other. So we are confronted with a lot of confusion. One group believes this way, another group believes another way. Well, who are you going to believe? Believe The Book!

I never tell people to go by what I say, and I don’t intend to build a following whatsoever. But we just want to help people see what The Word really says. Now in that light, lets look at Acts Chapter 1. We will be looking at verse 8 – I trust we covered the time element of verse 6 and 7 where the disciples asked Jesus the question:

Acts 1:6b,7a

“…wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” And The Lord’s answer was, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons,…” We are trying to show that throughout Scripture God has the prerogative of keeping things secret until He’s ready to reveal them. Now verse 8. He tells them that although it’s not for them to know the times, they will receive something else.

Acts 1:8

“But ye shall receive power (power is a crucial word in this verse), after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you (and we know this is going to happen in ten days): and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

Now I do not like to allegorize Scripture, unless Scripture does it itself. Most of you have heard this verse allegorized to mean that for you and I, Jerusalem would be Tulsa or some other city in the state you live in. Judaea is the state, and Samaria may be the United States. And then to the uttermost part of the earth sounds good for missionary work in foreign lands. And I have nothing against that. That is our prerogative to take the Gospel wherever we can. But that is not what this verse says. This verse says Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria, and after those three have been completely covered and converted then those Jews were to go to the uttermost part of the earth.

But from what you have been taught throughout the Old Testament, even in the last two lessons, everything that Jesus has been speaking and teaching, and the writings from the Old Testament prophets have been to the Jews and no one else. And they understood that they had no role to play as far as evangelizing Gentiles until they had The King and the Kingdom. And then the Gentiles would flow to Jerusalem as we saw in the Book of Isaiah 2:2. And again in Zechariah Chapter 8:

Zechariah 8:23

“Thus saith the LORD of host; `In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you (but not until): for we have heard that God is with you.'”

I will show you in Acts 1 verse 8 is that Jesus could have (we know He didn’t), done as He did in Luke Chapter 4, where he stopped speaking right in the middle of the verse. He could have stopped speaking after the word Samaria, because that is as far as this verse is going to be fulfilled where the Jew is concerned, so read it in that light.

Acts 1:8

“…and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria,…”

Did the disciples get that far? Why sure they did. By the time you get to Acts Chapter 8 where does Philip go? To Samaria. And Samaria heard the Word. But did the twelve disciples ever go to the nations of the world. Never! I’ve challenged people for over twenty years to show me one time in Scripture that those twelve disciples had a ministry to the Gentiles. They didn’t. Why? Because Israel never fulfilled those requirements of accepting The King, which was required before they could bring Gentiles in. The Old Testament is full of those requirements. But even here in Acts, Peter was still offering them this opportunity. So they had the opportunity even after the Crucifixion, for them to all have repented and be baptized for the remission of their sins in crucifying their King, as we saw that some of them did in Act 2:38. And then The King and Kingdom could still have been set up even at that time. So Peter’s offer was valid, but we know the nation as a whole rejected his offer just like they did Jesus’ offer. We will look at it again in Acts Chapter 3. I alluded to Luke Chapter 4 a few moments ago and I would like for us to look at it. We have looked at this many lessons ago but it won’t hurt to refresh our memory.

Luke 4:16-19

“And he (Jesus) came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias, And when he had opened the book, he found (in other words He look for a particular verse that He wanted to read) the place where it was written, `The Spirit of The Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of The Lord.'”

Let’s go back to where Jesus read from, and we find that in Isaiah Chapter 61, so let’s compare these two passages. It’s word for word.

Isaiah 61:1,2

“THE Spirit of The Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD (this is where He stopped in Luke and the punctuation was a period), and the day of vengeance of our God (what’s the vengeance? Tribulation); to comfort all that mourn;” And when will comfort all that mourn happen? In the Kingdom. Do you see the progression?

Now when Jesus was reading in Luke why didn’t He finish the verse? Because He knew the rest wasn’t going to happen at that time. He knew the Nation of Israel was going to reject Him again, and He knew there would be 1900 + years where God would be going to the Gentiles with the Apostle Paul’s message based on I Corinthians 15:1-4. But Peter had no idea of any of this as Peter’s message was to the Jew only. Now let’s flip back to Luke Chapter 4 verse 20:

Luke 4:20,21b

“And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.” Why? I think they knew what He did with that Scripture. He stopped practically in the middle of the verse. And then look what He said after He sat down.

“…This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.”

Now could He have said this if He had read the whole verse? Of course not, because the last part of that verse in Isaiah hasn’t been fulfilled yet. He knew exactly where to stop. I hope I’ve made my point, so come back to Acts. In Acts 1:8 Jesus could have stopped at the end of the word Samaria, because that’s where it did stop. The Jews and the disciples never did go to the ends of the earth with the Gospel of the Kingdom. Because the nation was rejecting it.

In verse 8, I said the secret word was “Power.” Remember, John the Baptist has said that “Jesus would baptize the Nation of Israel with or into the Holy Spirit,” well here is the purpose: to give them power. I always try to make people think, what kind of power does God have in mind for the Twelve in particular and for these believing Jews who will be coming on the scene in the next few chapters? To carry on where He left off. Now in His earthly ministry, what highlighted almost every day of His experience in those three years? Miracles, signs, and wonders. And what was the purpose?

John 20:30,31

“And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

So this was to prove Who Jesus really was. Now as Jesus is ready to go back to heaven and He is now commissioning these eleven men (and there will be one more in short order), what are they to continue? What Jesus had begun. Even though The Messiah has been crucified and has ascended back to heaven, the prospect for the Nation of Israel is still The King and the Kingdom. And the only way to convince them was more signs and miracles. And this is the reason that the Holy Spirit is going to be poured out on these Jewish believers. So they will continue to see the Nation of Israel be converted to a faith in their rejected Messiah. Now come to Chapter 3, so that you can just get a little glimpse of what I’m talking about. They weren’t concerned yet about evangelizing the world. Their chief concern was the Nation of Israel. Because Israel had to be converted to the last man. Here Peter has again presented a sermon in verses 12-18 and he says in verse 19:

Acts 3:19,20a

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted (believe Who Jesus was), that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of The Lord;” Now that’s a semicolon colon and not a period. And so the thought goes on into verse 20. Israel converted, the times of refreshing comes in and then what would God do?

“And he shall send Jesus Christ…”

For what purpose? To be their King! And Peter is saying it as clear as day if Israel would just repent and be converted, then God would send Jesus Christ to fulfill all the Covenant promises that He had made to the Nation of Israel. If you doubt that, then come on down to verse 24.

Acts 3:24

“Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.”

What days? The days that have just taken place. The appearance of their Messiah, His miracles, His rejection, His Crucifixion, His Resurrection, His ascension. Now He’s ready to return and Peter says all the prophets laid this out. We saw it in the last lesson in Psalms Chapter 2, all laid out in prophecy. But there’s nothing about the Age of Grace, the Church, as of yet. Nothing about Gentiles being saved by Grace, this is still a secret being kept in the mind of God until Paul.

Acts 3:25

“Ye (Peter is addressing the Jew only) are the children of the prophets (the Old Testament writers), and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham (see why I keep stressing the Abrahamic Covenant? Everything is resting on that Covenant), And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.”

Acts 3:26

“Unto you (the Nation of Israel) first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him, to bless you, in turning away (how many?) every one of you from his iniquities.”

And if every Jew would have responded to this message then The King and the Kingdom could have come on the scene. We know the Tribulation would have had to have taken place but, nevertheless, the Kingdom would have been set up in short order. And then Israel could have evangelized the world by bringing Gentiles to The King. What an opportunity, and they missed it. So what did God do? He converted another Jew, completely out of any prospect for being a man of God. The least likely prospect that you or I would have picked – old Saul of Tarsus. He saved him by grace, outside the land of Palestine, on Gentile ground, took him down into the desert for three years and seminary-trained him with the resurrected Lord Himself as the Instructor. And then sent him to Gentiles with a whole new program. But we’ll come to that later.

Let’s go back to the Book of Mark. This section always raises a lot of questions and controversy, but it shouldn’t if people will just leave it with the Nation of Israel. This is not Church ground at all! I never look for controversy, nor do I like to argue with people. All I do is point out what The Book says, and let the chips fall where they may. Some people will cop out on these verses and say, “Well, it wasn’t in some of the best newer manuscripts.” But you know what? In the oldest and the best ones it is. And we are finding out now that a lot of these so called “best manuscripts” are anything but the best. But these verses are in the oldest and most reliable manuscripts, they belong here, and are not to be omitted. This is Jesus speaking:

Mark 16:15-18

“And he said unto them, `Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized (that’s what it says) shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs (now watch this) shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and thy shall recover.'”

It’s so interesting what various groups do with these verses. I heard a preacher one morning, and his text was going to be verse 16. He evidently hadn’t studied very much and read about five words in verse 17 and saw what he was getting into and backed out of that verse like he had run into a buzz saw. And he said, “We’ll stop at the end of verse 16.” Now why did he want to stop there? He wasn’t in agreement with the next verse. Now listen, that is not a valid way to treat Scripture. If you can’t use all of the verse or chapter, leave it alone.Because you are going to get into trouble if you try to split it or leave some of it out. Now there are other groups that like verse 16. And some groups like 16 and 17 but won’t have any part of verse 18. So these groups just stop where it’s convenient. But I’m telling you to leave the drinking of poison or the picking up of poisonous snakes alone.

Now maybe the Kentucky hill people do it, but many don’t get away with it either. It’s not valid, it won’t work, so what are you going to do, force it? No. Just analyze the whole thing and say, “Wait a minute! – this is all part and parcel to Christ’s earthly ministry.” This was appropriate in the Jewish economy, because this is exactly what He had been doing. But it’s not appropriate today, because the Jewish program has slipped off the scene, and something new has come in. And don’t try to force these verses. And it’s that way with so much of the Four Gospels, but that doesn’t mean that you can tear it out and throw it away. Not at all. There are so many applications in the Four Gospels that are just as true for us as they were for the Jew. Same way with the Old Testament. But on the other hand, you’re going to come up against things in the Old Testament that cause nothing but problems.

I remember years ago reading where someone was decrying women wearing slacks. And he went back and used a verse in the Old Testament where it says that a women shall not wear that which pertaineth to a man. Good heavens, what did men wear in Old Testament days? Tunics and robes. They didn’t wear pants. Now what’s the poor woman to do? She can’t wear pants or robes, see how foolish things can get? So we must be discerning and understand when we read in the Old Testament about things God hates: drunkenness, misuse of the widows, corruption among the clergy and priest; does God still hate that? Why sure He does. And that’s appropriate. But when you come to certain things written directly to the Jew under the Law, don’t try to force it. It isn’t for us, you can’t practice that, because we are not under those circumstances. But we can certainly learn from all of this. The mind of God, His righteousness, His Holiness, and all the rest. We have to be so careful how we use the Scriptures.

But for now come back to Acts 1 verse 8 once again. So after the Holy Spirit would come upon them they were to receive power to continue on with what Christ had been doing in His earthly ministry. Remember 1 Corinthians 1:22 “For the Jews require a sign,” Where did the signs and miracles for Israel really begin? When Moses and Aaron went back to Pharaoh. But (and here’s a lesson that some people don’t want to hear), when Aaron threw his rod on the ground it became a serpent, which was an act of God. What did the magicians of Egypt do? The same thing. The only consolation we have is that Aaron’s serpent swallowed up the magicians’ serpents. But listen, they changed the shepherd’s rod into a serpent the same way that Aaron did. And they didn’t do it with God’s power, they did it with Satan’s power. Don’t you sell old Satan short. He hasn’t given up any of his power.

I can remember some of our missionaries coming home from the spiritually dark parts of this old world with their little 8 MM movies. They would show some scenes of some of those witch doctors and it was scary how much power some of them had. Where did they get this power? Not from God. But rather from Satan, and Satan’s power is not diminished one bit. In 1st John Chapter 4, and as we study the Book of Acts, we will be dealing with a lot of this, and I do not ascribe to emotionalism. I think it is detrimental to a Spirit-filled life. Just simply take God at His Word. Look what it says in verse 1:

I John 4:1

“BELOVED, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

Now how are you and I going to try the spirit and see if it’s of God? Line it up with The Book. If it doesn’t line up with The Book forget it, I don’t care how good it looks on the surface. I don’t care how it warms your emotions. If John thought there were a lot of false prophets in his day and time, which was toward the end of the first century, how many more have we got today!

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