[ 841 ] Les Feldick [ Book 71 - Lesson 1 - Part 1 ] Alas, the day of the Lord is at hand |a
[ 842 ] Les Feldick [ Book 71 - Lesson 1 - Part 2 ] Alas, the day of the Lord is at hand |b
[ 843 ] Les Feldick [ Book 71 - Lesson 1 - Part 3 ] Alas, the day of the Lord is at hand |c
[ 844 ] Les Feldick [ Book 71 - Lesson 1 - Part 4 ] Alas, the day of the Lord is at hand |d
[ 845 ] Les Feldick [ Book 71 - Lesson 2 - Part 1 ] Showing a break in the O.T. prophecy timeline |a
[ 846 ] Les Feldick [ Book 71 - Lesson 2 - Part 2 ] Showing a break in the O.T. prophecy timeline |b
[ 847 ] Les Feldick [ Book 71 - Lesson 2 - Part 3 ] Showing a break in the O.T. prophecy timeline |c
[ 848 ] Les Feldick [ Book 71 - Lesson 2 - Part 4 ] Showing a break in the O.T. prophecy timeline |d
[ 849 ] Les Feldick [ Book 71 - Lesson 3 - Part 1 ] Antichrist, the Beast, the Wicked One |a
[ 850 ] Les Feldick [ Book 71 - Lesson 3 - Part 2 ] Antichrist, the Beast, the Wicked One |b
[ 851 ] Les Feldick [ Book 71 - Lesson 3 - Part 3 ] Antichrist, the Beast, the Wicked One |c
[ 852 ] Les Feldick [ Book 71 - Lesson 3 - Part 4 ] Antichrist, the Beast, the Wicked One |d
ALAS, THE DAY OF THE LORD IS AT HAND
It’s so good to see everybody in this afternoon. For those of you out in television, again we just like to welcome you to our informal Bible study. I’ve said so often, but I’ll say it again, we don’t try to pick away at other people; we don’t try to attack anyone. I’m just going to teach what the Book says.
You know, I’m just reminded. I had a gentleman in one of my classes here in Oklahoma. He’s been part of the class for a long, long time. As a young man, he was a football player for one of the major universities in America. He told me one time, “When you’re in that situation, there’s nothing that you can’t do.” But he said, “You know, Les, over all the years that I’ve been coming to your classes, I’ve never heard you rant and rave against the drinking, against this or against that. And yet thanks to your teaching, that’s all left my lifestyle.”
So, what’s the point? Hey, you don’t have to rant and rave at these people that you can’t do this and get to heaven. All you have to do is just teach the Book and the Word of God will take care of it. So, that’s my approach to these things. If you haven’t heard me get all up tight about one thing or another, well, that’s my attitude. If I can keep people in the Book, the Book will take care of it. I don’t have to.
So again, those of you out in television, just remember, that all we’re going to do is search the Scriptures–compare Scripture with Scripture–and let you decide what the Book really says.
Today we’re going to start a study in the Minor Prophets, where we started some time ago in Hosea. But before we go back to Joel, which we’re going to study today, I’d like to have you turn with me to Romans chapter 15 verse 4. And this is the encouragement to study all of Scripture. Now you know I’m so Pauline in our doctrines for today, of course. Paul is the Apostle of the Gentiles. But see, our Apostle of the Gentiles admonishes us to study all of the Scripture, not just Romans through Philemon. That’s the approach we have to take. The Apostle of the Gentiles writes:
Romans 15:4 a
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime (In other words, before he came on the scene, probably even before Christ’s earthly ministry.) were written for our (What’s the word?) learning,…” Now, what’s the difference between learning and doctrine? Well, all the difference in the world. Learning is background. Learning is to get an understanding of how did all this come about? How did it happen that Christ was crucified? How did it happen that He ascended back to Glory? How did it happen that He sent the Apostle Paul to the Gentiles? This is all background.
But doctrine, what does that tell you? It tells us how to be saved, how to live the Christian life, what to look for at the end, so far as we are concerned. That’s in Paul’s epistles. But all of Scripture is for our learning. Always remember that. All right, so finish the verse.
“…that we (as Grace Age believers) through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” See, and the world despairs.
The world is in perplexity today. They don’t know which way to turn. My, I was reading an editorial again just this morning which was almost a carbon copy of one I referred to in our last taping. The dilemma that the Western world finds itself in. We either have to go in and stop Iran and their nuclear enterprise, or we have to put up with them and then let them blackmail us. So, which is worse? Well, one is as bad as the other. There is no real solution as far as men can understand it. What did the Lord tell us? In the last days, the world would be filled with perplexity. And that’s the word—perplexity.
All right, we can go back into the Old Testament now, and we’re going to see how that through the prophetic writings we can look at the situation today and say, “Hey, it’s all in God’s design. He knows what’s going on. He’s not caught by surprise. This is exactly what prophecy has told us would come.”
All right, so we’re going to go back, and we’re going to start our study in the next little Minor Prophet. We used Hosea our last time together, and now today we’re going to take the next one. But, like I told the folks here in the studio, don’t walk away from the TV set and say, “Oh, well, he’s in the Old Testament. That doesn’t mean anything to me.” We’re not going to stay in the Old Testament very long today. We’re going to be jumping right up into other portions of Scripture. But we’re going to start back here in the little Minor Prophet of Joel, which is probably, as near as I can determine from all the chronologies that I can look at, the first of the Jewish prophets. He writes about 25, 30 – 40 years before Isaiah. He writes before any of the others. Maybe Jonah was a little earlier, but Jonah isn’t really a book of prophecy like these are.
So, this little Book of Joel actually is the first real book of prophecy in our Old Testament. It’s going to line up, of course, with all the rest of them, but it stands alone as being the first or the oldest. In other words, you know that David and Solomon ruled around 1,000 BC. Joel is written about 800 and some BC–between 100 and 200 years after King David.
Now, I was mulling this over again during the night. I had to think, that’s no longer than you and I think of George Washington and John Adams and our founding fathers. They were all holding forth in the late 1700’s, and that’s just a little over 200 years ago. So, in proximity, Joel is writing about the same distance of time after David and Solomon as we’re living after Washington and the founding fathers. Just to give you a little time element. All right, let’s pick it up now in verse 1, chapter 1, the Book of Joel.
“The word of the LORD (Now that means that God Himself is speaking through this human instrument.) that came to Joel the son of Pethuel. 2. Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers?” In other words, there’s the key. Has anything like this been spoken before in Israel’s history? No! This is the first real revelation of prophetic events. They’ve never heard anything like this before. All right, now verse 3:
“Tell ye your children of it, (It’s important.) and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.” In other words, there’s another little tidbit of information. This isn’t going to happen tomorrow, but down the road, maybe several generations. Well, you know, it was even more than that. It has now been over 3,000 years. These prophetic things are written so accurately, which proves, of course, that our Bible is the Word of God. It also shows that with God time really doesn’t mean anything.
Three thousand years with God is no more than a snap of the finger. As these things are written as we saw in the Book of Isaiah, I’ll go back to that a minute first. You remember in the Book of Isaiah that we had three distinct prophecies concerning Israel. The first one was the Babylonian invasion which was imminent. It wasn’t that far in the future. The next one was the Roman invasion of A.D. 70, after Christ’s earthly ministry. The third one, of course, was the one that we’re going to look at today–the Tribulation bringing in the Second Coming. So, you have those three big events in Israel’s prophecy. Two of them have now been fulfilled; the third one is still future.
Isaiah dealt with all three. Jeremiah did. Most of the other prophets did, but Joel deals with one. And which one is it? The Tribulation. So we’re going to be spending the whole afternoon today studying the scriptural description of this final seven years of horrible tribulation.
All right, reading on in verse 4. Here we get a little physical illustration of what the Nation of Israel, I think, suffered physically at the time that Joel is writing, but it was also an indication of periods of time leading up to this final chastisement which we call the Tribulation. All right, he uses a locust as an example — verse 4.
“That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpillar eaten.” Now, stop and think a minute. How much is left? Nothing! Nothing! The land is totally barren of anything edible. And unless you understand the devastation of locusts in the Middle East, you probably can’t really understand at all.
But when you read about it, they could actually eat the doors off of their houses. They could eat the bark off the trees so that everything died. But the interesting part now, here comes the Divine inspiration of all of this. We have four distinct steps here. Look at them. The first one is – “that which the palmerworm hath left the locust ate.” Then you have – “what the locust left the cankerworm ate. And that which the cankerworm left the caterpillar ate.”
All right, now I like to think, and I don’t know if I’m on the right track or not, but as soon as we get to the Book of Daniel, Daniel laid out the prophetic program or what the Bible calls the “times of the Gentiles.” And when would it start? With the Babylonian captivity, or the Babylonian invasion, and the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. That was the first great Gentile empire. That’s the first part of the locust I like to think.
The second empire was the Medes and the Persians. They overtook the Babylonians. They ruled the then known world. Then after a couple or hundred years or so Alexander the Great came up from Greece, and he enveloped the then known world, including Jerusalem and the Jew. All right, after Alexander the Great’s demise, then you come to the worst empire of all, and that was what? Rome! And Rome also, as you well know, was occupying Jerusalem at the time of the crucifixion. They were the heavy boots that the Jews hated. Oh, they hated the Romans. So, here we have four distinct periods of time that are symbolically pictured with four distinct periods of locusts. And all of it is to show Israel, as well as us, that by the time they have gone through their time of testing and tribulation there would be nothing left. Nothing!
And we’re going to see in our Scriptures that that’s exactly what the rest of prophecy is telling us. It’s going to be the worst time in all of human history when this final seven years comes upon the planet.
All right, but I want to go ahead and finish the first fourteen verses before we start chasing other Scripture. So, let’s go on ahead now to verse 5, the warning to the Nation of Israel, even though this is way back 800 years before Christ. Almost 3,000 years before it’s going to happen he says:
“Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth. (Shoot, there’s nothing growing! There are no grapes on the vine.) 6. For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion.”
Well, if you remember your other descriptions of the Roman Empire, that was part of it. It was beyond description. It had teeth that were indescribable. This is the picture, of course, of the empire that will be evident when Israel comes into this final Tribulation.
“He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree:…” Now, don’t forget what the analogy is. The locusts are doing it physically as a symbol, but when it comes in reality, the whole land will come under this kind of devastation, not from locusts, but from invading armies. Get the picture? We’re using the locust as a symbolism of what’s really going to be done with the invading Gentile armies at the time of the Tribulation.
“…he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.” Now understand what he’s talking about? Why are they white? They’ve eaten the bark off. The locusts have taken all the bark off the trees. It’s a symbolism that during the Tribulation the same thing is going to happen to everything in the physical world. It’s going to be devastated.
“Lament (be sorrowful) like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.” Now, we just saw it happen in the news in New York the other day; where the groom was killed and the poor little bride was left without him. And it is heartbreaking. We see it periodically where maybe on the day of a wedding or maybe just a day after the wedding one or the other is killed or something. And it is; it’s devastating. It’s heartbreaking for a young couple to be suddenly left without their mate. All right, so this is the kind of sorrow that will be coming on the Nation of Israel in particular but the whole world in general.
“The meat (or the meal) offering and the drink-offering is cut off from the house of the LORD; (In other words, no more ritual, no more opportunity to carry out Temple worship.) the priests, the LORD’S ministers, mourn. (Because there is nothing to partake of) 10.The field is wasted, (no production) the land mourneth; for the corn (or the grain) is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth.”
“Be you ashamed, O ye husbandman; (Now, the other word for husbandman in my language is farmers – those who till the ground and raise the crops.) howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.” There is none. We got just a little taste of it here in our wheat area of Oklahoma this past year, where there just was no crop. That’s only one little small area; it didn’t affect the whole. But here it’s going to be universal. It’s not just going to be a little small segment or area of the planet. Okay, now then verse 12.
“The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered:…” For two reasons: the bark has all been eaten off, and there’s no water. When we jump up to the Tribulation, it is going to be such horrendous devastation it’ll be the same effect. So, all of this is symbolism of a reality. All right, reading on in verse 13.
“Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, (which was a humiliating experience, of course) ye ministers of my God: for the meal-offering and the drink-offering is withholden from the house of your God.” Because there isn’t anything. There’s nothing to bring.
“Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD,” Because of the devastation. All right, now here’s the verse that I want to take as our subject matter for the rest of the afternoon. This is the first time in Scripture that it’s alluded to. All the other prophets will use it, but Joel is the first, as near as I can tell — verse 15.
“Alas for the day! (What day?) for the day of the LORD is at hand,…” Now, let that just ring for the rest of the afternoon. We’re going to be talking about the day of the Lord.
Now, for those of you that have been with me for quite a while, what’s the day of the Lord? The Tribulation! Those final seven years of horrendous activity on the earth. God’s wrath being poured out. And according to the Book of Revelation, during the last half it’s going to be Satan’s wrath as well. So, it’s going to be a double-barreled attack on the planet.
“Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD (Don’t let it leave your thinking.) is at hand,…” Now there again, I have to stop, don’t I? What does “at hand” mean? Well, it’s just out in front of us. But was it? No. It is three thousand years away. Three thousand years out into the future. But God is speaking of it as “at hand.” Now, what does that show? That God is timeless. Does that mean it’s not going to happen? Don’t you believe it. It is going to happen. But it’s going to be in God’s own time.
Now, you remember when we were back in Isaiah. When Isaiah spoke of the coming Babylonian invasion, he spoke of it, too, as maybe in the next month or next two months, it’s coming. Israel was to get ready for it. In actuality, how long was it? It was almost a hundred years, because God is timeless. So, we look at all these things the same way. My, the way it looks to us the Lord could come tomorrow! He could come next week. Everything so far as we can see is in place. But don’t bet on it necessarily, because God is so timeless. His wheels grind so slowly. But it’s going to happen.
When they foretold of Christ’s first coming, it was the same kind of a situation. They didn’t know but that it was going to be in their lifetime. But was it? Why, heavens no. Christ didn’t come until 2,000 years after Abraham. A thousand years after David. But He came! How does Galatians put it? “That when the fullness of time…” Oh, I love it when you people know these verses and say them before I do. “That when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son.” Was He a day late? No. Was He a day early? No.
So, we can always rest assured that these prophecies, even though they are way out in the future, they’re going to happen. All right, now then, the day of the Lord, we’re going to chase this down. I’ve almost not enough time left, but we’ll go back to Psalms a minute. Come back with me to Psalms chapter 2. Here is one of the earlier outlines of prophecy. You’ve heard me use it over and over.
You know, I always have to be reminded. Iris tries to convince me, but it’s still hard, because whenever I teach something the second time, I feel as though it’s old hat to everybody. That’s the hardest part of holding a seminar. I’ll tell Iris on the way, I say, “But, Honey, they’ve heard all of this before.” She says, “But, Les, they don’t remember all this after just one hearing of it.” But to me you do. But on the other hand, no, we’ve just got to keep repeating it. All right, so I’ve used this portion of Psalms over and over. But I know there’s somebody out in television that has never seen it before. So, if you’ve heard it, ten, twelve, fourteen times, bear with me. If you’re hearing it for the first time, well, let me know it. Okay, Psalms chapter 2 and I guess I might as well start at verse 1, because it’s just not fair to jump into the middle of something like this.
“Why do the heathen (the non-Jewish world) rage, and the people (that’s the people of Israel) imagine a vain thing?” So, we’ve got the whole human race in the lens of our picture here, the heathen and the Nation of Israel. Verse 2
“The kings of the earth (the world and of Israel) set themselves, and the rulers (of all of these) take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,” What does that mean? Neither one was responsible for Christ’s death by themselves. The Gentile world was just as responsible as Israel and visa versa, because they were both involved. And you know that from the crucifixion. All right, so the world in general, the leadership at least, they say:
“Let us break their (That is–God’s.) bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” In other words, cords is what we would call reins as we drive a horse. They’re not going to let God control them. And then when God sees their attitude, verse 4-
“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: (Not a laugh of comedy, but a laugh of scorn. Ridiculous! How can men laugh at the Creator of everything?) the LORD shall have them in derision.” Now, I used the word perplexity in my opening remarks. It is the same thing. The world was in total derision when Christ made His first advent. They didn’t know what to do with Him. They didn’t know how to handle him. All right, now then verse 5. Because they rejected Him, you’ve got to read between the lines, now. The world and Israel have rejected the Messiah at His first advent.
“Then (After they’ve rejected Him. They’ve crucified Him.) shall he will speak unto them in his (What?) wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.” Now, don’t miss that. It doesn’t say a word there about love and mercy and grace. He’s going to speak to them in His wrath.
Now, let’s look at my time line for a moment. Coming out of the Old Testament prophets, we have His three years of ministry, and then Rome and Israel put Him on the cross. He rose from the dead. He went back to Glory. All right, then instead of opening up the Church Age right away as it happened—according to the Old Testament prophets, the next thing that was to happen was the seven years of Tribulation. The Old Testament knew nothing of a Church Age! That was the next thing on God’s prophetic program. This is what I always like to emphasize – there is nothing in the Old Testament or the four Gospels to indicate that God’s going to open up His timeline and go to the Gentiles. Nothing! Everything was to keep coming just like it says here. Watch this! This says it all.
After they’ve crucified Him, they’ve rejected Him, and they’re in confusion, they don’t know how to handle Him, what’s the next thing in God’s program? His wrath—because they rejected the Messiah. All right, but then what follows the wrath? Verse 6—the King and His Kingdom.
“Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” This is what I’m always trying to emphasize, that when you leave Paul out of your Scripture – when you drop Romans through Philemon out of your Scripture – for the sake of understanding the Old Testament, then what you’ve got is the Old Testament program. Christ goes up, in comes the Tribulation, Christ returns, and He sets up the Kingdom. That was the Old Testament – that’s all they knew, because the Church Age and the Gospel of Grace was a total secret. No one had even a clue this was going to happen. This is what’s basic in understanding Old Testament prophecy. That it was going to come right down the line and Israel, of course, was to have evangelized the nations. They were to be the light to the world. That’s all true enough, but you’ve got to remember that the Church Age was unknown in the Old Testament economy.
LESSON ONE * PART II
ALAS, THE DAY OF THE LORD IS AT HAND
For those of you joining us on television, again, we just want to thank you from the depths of our heart for all your kind letters. My, I wish I could share our letters with everybody. You know the favorite theme? I may be 30 years old, some are 40, 50, 60, 70 years old, it doesn’t matter how old they claim to be – “For the first time in my life I am understanding the Bible! And I’m enjoying it.” Well, that thrills us; because that’s all we want to do, just help folks to study on their own. Don’t sit back and listen to what I say or what some preacher says, get into the Book. This is where it’s at.
You know, I can twist things if I wanted to. Other people twist it, you know they do, but the Word is sure. It’s steadfast. It’s unchangeable. That’s what we hope we are accomplishing.
Again, we want to thank you for your prayer support and your financial help. After all, we do have to pay for TV time. I think some people think they pay us. You know, that’s what my wife thought. When they called and asked if we would come up here to Channel 47, she thought, well, they pay all the comedians! Why don’t they pay you?! But, that’s not the way it works. We have to pay for our own TV time. So we do appreciate so much your financial help and your prayers.
Anyway, we’re going to keep right on going this afternoon. I suppose if I want to title these four programs, Jerry, we can just title it as “The Day of the LORD.” This time of vexation, this time of devastation, death, destruction, and the wrath of God, however you want to put it. It’s coming. And don’t blame God. He gave the human race 6,000 years to give Him credit where credit is due, but they will not. So finally His wrath is going to be poured out. All right, we’re going to still basically use Joel as our jumping off place.
Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is at hand,…” But since we ended the program the last half hour finishing with the verses in Psalms chapter 2, I’m going to jump up now in this half-hour to some of the other portions that deal with this same term – “The day of the LORD.” So for now, turn to Isaiah chapter 2. I’m going to start reading at verse 6. The term we’re going to head for is in verse 12.
Let’s start reading in verse 6. Now remember, this is Isaiah. He writes almost a hundred years later than Joel. They are, of course, writing before the Babylonian captivity, which happened in about 606 B.C., but nevertheless, Isaiah is also going to use the same term.
“Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers. 7. Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots:”
“Their land also is full of idols; (Speaking of, in this case, the Babylonians, I think.) they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: 9. And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not. 10. Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty.”
“The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. (Now, here it comes.) 12. For the day of the LORD (The same day of the LORD that Joel talked about, that Psalms 2 was foretelling, now Isaiah speaks of it.) for the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low.” In other words, even the kings and presidents and senators and emperors and generals are all going to come under this tremendous wrath of God. All right, it’s going to even affect the physical, verse 13.
“And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, (the eastern country beyond present day Iraq) 14. And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, 15. And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall,” In other words, this wrath of God is going to fall on everything and everybody.
Now again, always go back to the analogy that we drew from the Book of Joel. Grasshoppers and locust destroying everything in their way – the bark off the trees, the wood off the houses, the water out of the creeks and rivers, everything goes! Well, that’s a symbolic picture of this horrendous day of the LORD.
All right, now let’s jump up a little ways further, still in the Old Testament prophets. Come up with me to Jeremiah chapter 25. We’ve used these verses before. This is a little more graphic, a little more frightening. In fact, if you aren’t frightened at the situation in the world today, then you don’t know what’s going on, because it is getting frightening.
We as believers are going to be hated more and more. We know that there are powers out there that think that they’re doing their god a service by getting rid of us. And if the Lord doesn’t come, we may face that yet, earlier than we’d like. But here it is, in the day of the LORD, Jeremiah chapter 25. Oh, I’m going to, just for sake of time, now, drop all the way down to verse 30. Now, this is another description of the events associated with the day of the LORD.
“Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, the LORD (Now, that’s the term for Jehovah, which is the Old Testament term for God the Son, or Jesus the Christ as we know Him in the New Testament.) the LORD shall roar…”
Now, I just caught this since I’ve been preparing for this last week. You know, that whenever you have Scripture dealing with God’s judgment on the Gentile world, I think you’ll almost always see the word “roar.” Just look for it. Now, that’s just a little tidbit, again, that as you study on your own, look for that term, “the Lord will roar.” Now, I don’t think it’s ever spoken of on Israel alone, but whenever the Gentile world comes in, this is the term.
“…and say unto them, the LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, (Now, if we’ve got time this afternoon, we may see the references that are associated with the treading of grapes in the books of Revelation and Isaiah.) they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.” Not just Israel, even though Jeremiah is writing to Israel, yet watch the language. This roaring is going to come upon the whole human race. Now verse 31, watch the globalism of this language.
“A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD (God the Son, again) hath a controversy with the nations, (not just Israel – all of them) he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD.” Which, of course, is an instrument of death.
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, (Not righteousness. Not holiness. Evil.) and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.” Now, the other word for coast is borders. Sometimes your marginal help will tell you that. So, these great whirlwinds are going to be established. They will go from nation to nation from one border to the other.
I feel that this is an indication of nuclear explosions, because I feel this is toward the end of the seven years. Now verse 33 and I think this nuclear devastation is going to almost go from one end of the planet to the other. There are enough nukes stored to destroy this whole planet ten times over, and they’re going to use them, but I don’t think it’ll be until we get to the last year or two of the Tribulation. Here is the end result now in verse 33.
“And the slain of the LORD (This is God’s wrath. Not His love. It’s His wrath.) shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; (Because there’s going to be so many of them there won’t be any opportunity for anyone to even take bulldozers, because there’d be nobody to run the bulldozer.) they shall be as dung (trash) upon the ground.”
All right, that’s a graphic description, of course, but that, too, is written by one of our Old Testament prophets. All right, now let’s jump up to Ezekiel. This is another big battle. I almost stood alone for the longest time, but not anymore. There are a lot of people beginning to see it as I have for a long time, that this battle will be in the first year, I feel, of the Tribulation. It will probably be toward the end of the first year, maybe the tenth or eleventh month of the first year of the seven. It’s the great northern invasion, when Russia and the Muslim world to the south of them, as well as North Africa, will come together under a Russian leadership, and they’re going to invade the mountains of Israel.
I guess maybe that takes a little explanation. We know that as soon as the anti-Christ comes in, we’ll be looking at it down the road, but I think in order to understand this we have to jump ahead of it. When the anti-Christ makes his appearance, the first thing he’s going to do is get a tremendous peace treaty established in the Middle East, which will be a supernatural thing because humans would never be able to do it. But supernaturally, in God’s design, he will bring about a peace treaty between Israel and the Arab or the Muslim world.
We know from other Scriptures that it’s going to be a treaty that will allow Israel to rebuild their Temple. They’re going to go back into Temple worship. Those of you who have been there, or if you’ve read about it, there is a group in Jerusalem that has everything ready for Temple worship. They’ve got the priests’ garments hanging on the mannequins. They’ve got all the shovels for all the altars. They’ve got everything ready. So, as soon as that Temple is built, why, it’ll be a matter of hours and they’ll re-establish Temple worship. So, we have to realize that that peace is going to be a phenomenal thing that will actually bring the Arab world to the point of permitting Israel to build a Temple. They will.
Okay, with that kind of a peace and prosperity making the Jewish people into a state of euphoria, they’re going to think that they’ve got nothing to worry about. I think they’ll dismantle their military in six months. They’re going to send those Israeli troops and the gals home. They’re going to forget war and military operations. They’re going to be, like I said, in a state of euphoria. But, you see, what they don’t realize is that some Russian generals up there in Moscow are planning a great invasion. And of course, it is God design. God says, “He’s going to put hooks in their jaws.”
God is going to pull them down, and it becomes a means of God’s judgment. But nevertheless, it’s going to happen. The Russians are going to put together a great army, including most of the Muslim world. But, as I’ve pointed out before and in some of my seminars, the unique thing is there are two nations here that, almost hard to believe, are not listed, and that’s present day Iraq, or Babylon, and Egypt. Egypt isn’t in here. Neither is Babylon or Iraq. So, I have to feel that something is going to happen over there that will yet bring Iraq to the fore as a financial center of the final seven years.
Okay, come with me now to Ezekiel 38 where, again, this is all part of the day of the LORD. This is going to happen after the Tribulation has begun. Ezekiel 38 and I guess I might as well start at verse 1.
“And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2. Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,” Now, all Bible scholars are pretty well agreed that that’s terminology that points at Moscow and Russia and, of course, they’re due north of Jerusalem.
“And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; (See, this is all God’s design.) Behold, I am against thee, (In other words, it’s going to be God’s act of judgment against the nation of Russia.) O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 4. And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, (Now, this is symbolism of how God is going to literally cause them to bring about this invasion.) and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses, and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armor,…”
Now you’ve got to remember, Ezekiel is writing back in antiquity. So, he couldn’t say trucks and tanks and helicopters, could he? But that’s what it’ll be. It’ll be military hardware.
“…even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. (or weapons. Here are the nations that are listed.) 5. Persia, (present day Iran. Yes, Iran is going to meet its doom, I think, in that first year of the seven.) Ethiopia, (Ethiopia down there in Africa. It is almost 100% Muslim today.) and Libya with them; (You know Libya is Muslim, under Qaddafi.) all of them with shield and helmet:”
“Gomer, (Which, of course, is Eastern Europe and Yugoslavia and Albania, Northern Greece. That’s all part of what we would call Gomer. It, too, is mostly Muslim.) and all his bands; the house of Togarmah…” That’s Turkey. And goodness sakes, anybody knows that Turkey is predominately Muslim. My, when we were over there some time ago, all you see are the onion head mosques. And a couple of the girls that guided us on two different occasions were Muslims, but in name only. They were secular, but they were Muslim, simply because their parents had raised them that way. But they said they never practiced it. But nevertheless, Turkey is Muslim. So, all these Muslim nations will be brought together by a Russian military leadership, and he’s going to bring them “on to the mountains of Israel.” Verse 7
“Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. 8. After many days (So we know that this is at the end of God’s time for the human race. This is in the Tribulation.) thou shalt be visited: (God’s going to move in) in the latter years thou shalt come into the land (Now watch this carefully, because you know this is exactly what Israel is today.) that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people,…”
Now stop a minute. Go back with me to Deuteronomy. Keep your hand in Ezekiel. Deuteronomy chapter 30 verses 1 and 2 because this is exactly the prophecies that fit. You know, I was so tickled, Dick. The other day after our Oklahoma City seminar, I don’t know how many people as they left said, “Les, I’ve been listening to you for years, but today is the first time that all the dots connected.” Did you hear something like that, Dick? Over and over. And then someone else said, “Now it all fits.” Well, we’ve just got to keep plugging away. And hopefully this is what will happen.
Here’s a good example. Moses is writing clear back here in 1500 B.C., prophetically.
“And it shall come to pass, (It’s going to happen.) when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, (Now remember who we’re talking to, the Nation of Israel, the Jew.) and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations,…” Now, what does that mean? Every one of them. Every nation on the planet. Now of course, at the time that Moses wrote, it was still rather limited. But for our day and time when it’s going to happen, it means 140 some distinct nations. Jews are going to come out of every one of them.
“…thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, (And then verse 2, what’s going to happen?) 2. And thou shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice…” Now in order for Israel to return to the Lord, where do they have to go back to? The homeland! And have they? Yes!
“…and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.”
They’re there. Contrary to anything logical, they are there. They should have never made it, but they did. All right, now chapter 38 of Ezekiel. See how it all fits? Where does this land that’s going to be invaded, where do the people of it come from? Every nation on the planet. The Jews have come in from every direction. All right, Ezekiel 38 verse 8 again.
“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered (That’s the Jew) out of many people, against the mountains of Israel,…” Now that’s a term that we like to use just about like the day of the LORD.
The mountains of Israel. All those geographical high points that you’re acquainted with throughout the Old Testament, where are they geographically on today’s map? They’re in the West Bank. They’re occupied predominately by Palestinians. So the mountains of Israel are going to be invaded for a two-fold purpose – to chastise Russia and the Muslim world, but also to open the mountains of Israel to be occupied by the people who have had it promised to them from time immemorial, the Jew. All right, reading on.
“… (and they’re going to come) against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.” And that’s where they are. They’re in relative safety. They’re in production. My, a couple of years ago we happened to be in Israel at the very right time when all the almond trees were in bloom? Oh! They opened the windows of the bus and for miles the aroma of the blossoms of those almond trees was just floating through the bus. Oh, it’s just unbelievable. Not just a little grove or two, it was miles! That’s Israel today in such production. All right, read on in verse 9. Now when it seems as though Israel has finally arrived, they’ve come back from every nation under heaven, they’re prospering, and they’re production is unbelievable – the Russian generals get an idea, and God says:
“Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, (up to the Nation of Israel) thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. 10. Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: 11. And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled (or undefended) villages;…”
Now remember what I said a moment ago. As soon as the peace treaty is signed, Israel will dismantle their military. So, what have they got to defend themselves? Nothing. They’re defenseless. This Russian invasion will take advantage of that. They’re going to come–
“To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, (the Jew) who have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.”
That’s Israel today. Now you’ve got to remember, I’ve referred to this over and over, as late as 1944, the final years of WWII, I had a good friend who was stationed with the British Army. He was detached from the American Army and was assimilated with the British for whatever reason, and he ended up serving in Palestine—Ancient Israel. And you’ve heard me say it before, how did he describe it? Absolute desolation. He said there was nothing there. This is, you know, after the war that we’re talking about. Absolute desolation. He said he wouldn’t want to be caught dead there.
Well, that’s what the Scripture says. It’s been desolate, but now it’s in full production. So we know that we’re getting so close, all these things are being fulfilled. Well, anyway, for sake of time, we’ve only got two minutes left. I’ve got to bring you on over to the end of chapter 38. What’s going to happen to this invading horde? Oh, God is going to supernaturally annihilate them on the mountains of Israel.
“For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day (when this great invasion comes on the mountains of Israel) there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; 20. So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, (everything) and all the men that are on the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down,…”
Now this is all the supernatural activity of the day of the LORD. That’s why I came back here. Now verse 21, God says:
“And I will call for a sword against him (this invading force from the north) throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother.” What are they going to do? They’re going to be killing each other. Now remember, it said everyone is going to have a weapon. They’ll be using their weapons on each other.
Now, has that happened before in Israel’s history? Sure. The Syrians did it, and when the Jews got there all the spoil was laying there for them to take because the Syrians had killed each other, not knowing what they were doing, in their confusion. The same thing’s going to happen here. All right, then verse 22, here comes the wrath of God at the first year of the seven.
“And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.”
Now, a lot of people think that that’s the language of Armageddon, and it is, but this is not Armageddon. This is a separate battle early in the time of the Tribulation. Then verse 23 in closing.
“Thus (God says) will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.” So, this is all a part of that great seven year period known in the Old Testament and in the New (we’ll see that in our next half-hour) as the “day of the LORD.”
LESSON ONE * PART III
ALAS, THE DAY OF THE LORD IS AT HAND
Okay, good to see everybody in this afternoon. Again, for those of you joining us on television, we would just like to invite you to an informal Bible study. That’s why we’ve got coffee cups and what have you. We just want to be like a home Bible study where we can just fellowship together and learn to search the Scriptures. That’s all I can beg people – just search the Scriptures! If you haven’t got a good study Bible, go out and buy one. That’d be the best money you’ve ever spent.
Okay, we’re spending the afternoon on what Joel said way back in the Old Testament, 800 years before Christ, when he used the term “the day of the LORD.” The day of the LORD is that last seven years of time before Christ returns and sets up His Kingdom.
Okay, as we are looking now at “the day of the LORD,” we’ve been coming up through the Old Testament a few portions. Now I’m going to jump into the New. Come with me to Matthew 24 and, oh, these are the words of the Lord Jesus Himself toward the end of His earthly ministry. The Twelve are getting curious. How is all this going to come to an end? They understood that He was going to be bringing in the Kingdom. But as yet in Matthew 24, they don’t know He’s going to be crucified and die, but they do realize that there’s an end to this human program that had started – well, at their point in time – 4,000 years before, and now it’s 6,000 years since Adam. All right Matthew 24 and we’ll start at verse 1.
“And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple.” Which, you’ve got to understand, the Temple wasn’t just one little building. It was a whole complex. It involved a lot of various activities. In fact, I think a lot of the apartments of the priests and so forth were involved in that Temple complex.
“And Jesus said unto them, see ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Which of course happened when the Romans came in A.D. 70, forty years later. The Romans literally took the Temple down, stone by stone.
“And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples (the Twelve, nobody else) came unto him privately, (In other words, no press of crowds or anything like that.) saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and the end of the Age? 4. And Jesus answered and said unto them, (Now, here He begins unfolding the events that will roll through those seven years of Tribulation. And the first warning was–) Take heed that no man deceive you.” Be not deceived. So, that tells us that verse 5 is already happening.
“For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; (or the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed) and shall deceive many.” Now, I just made the comment, I hope I didn’t confuse you. These are all things that will take place as soon as the Tribulation or the day of the LORD begins. It’s going to be a tremendous outpouring of satanic deception, but we’re seeing the beginnings of it.
You remember, I think in my last taping I mentioned this. I know I did in several of the seminars around the country. You remember when the Pharisees and the Sadducees taunted Jesus about end-time events and so forth, and what was Jesus’ response? Oh, He said, “you hypocrites, you can look at the sky and predict tomorrow’s weather, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.”
Well, I’ve been using that for the last twelve months or so as I travel to wake people up. What are the signs of the times, the signs that the end is near? Well, the number one sign for us today is the return of Israel to the land. That is the number one sign of the times! Because we know that you can have no end-time prophecy until Israel is back in the land. So there you are.
The same way here, Jesus is warning the Twelve that there’s going to be coming a time of deception like the human race has never seen before. Now again, remember what we showed on the timeline, that all these prophecies were going to come one right after the other. Even after Christ is crucified and He’s raised from the dead, He’ll go back to Glory. Then in would come the day of the LORD, those final seven years, and then Christ would return and yet set up the Kingdom. I guess we’ve got it up there on the board, that’s the Old Testament line of prophecy.
Now remember, keep the Church Age out, because that is not revealed until we get to the Apostle Paul. Okay, so one of the signs of the Tribulation would be a great influx of false messiahs. And He says they shall call themselves Christ.
“…and shall deceive many. 6. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” Now, I feel that the wars and rumors of wars that He’s talking about here are what we talked about in the last program, when the Russian invasion will come in the very first year of the Tribulation. All of a sudden that euphoria of peace is blown away with this tremendous horde from the North. And Israel, especially, will be suddenly bereft of any peace, because the land is covered with foreigners.
“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” Again, we’re seeing just a little bit of the beginning of this, but He’s speaking of the real thing. This is the future of those final seven years. All right, verse 8.
“All these (the famines, the pestilence, the earthquakes) are the beginning of sorrows. (That’s at the very first year or so of the seven) 9. Then they shall deliver you up to be afflicted,…” Now, who are the “you”? Israel. The Jews. And listen, anti-Semitism is just compounding by the week. The world is hating the Jew more and more every day. So we’re already seeing the signs of this.
“…they will afflict you, and they shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. (They won’t even have America as a friend or ally once the Tribulation begins.) 10. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, (Because of the pressures of hatred and persecution, one will tell on another.) and shall hate one another.”
“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” See, it’s going to be a satanic deception that will overcome even the work of the Holy Spirit, who I feel will stay on the earth after we’re gone.
“And because iniquity (wickedness) shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. (In other words, they’ll just turn against anything spiritual.) 13. But he that shall endure to the end shall be saved.” Physically—they’re going to come to the end of the seven years, and goodness sakes, they’re still alive! They haven’t been martyred. They haven’t been killed. They’re alive. All right, that’s what He’s speaking of, that “those who endure to the end shall be saved.” Physically! We’re not talking about a spiritual salvation in that verse, as I can see, at all.
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Now in verse 14, yes, during the Tribulation, the 144,000 of Revelation 7 will be preaching not the Gospel of the Grace of God, but they’re going to be preaching “the gospel of the kingdom.”
Now, I know that gets people all bent out of shape when I proclaim that there are two Gospels in the New Testament. They’re not active today, of course not. We only have the Gospel of the Grace of God today. But in Christ’s earthly ministry and Peter and the Twelve, they preached what Jesus calls “the Gospel of the Kingdom.” And the Gospel of the Kingdom was the good news of the King. The Grace of God is the good news of the finished work of the cross. Big difference.
All right, so when the Church is gone and the Gospel of Grace ends, the 144,000 will go around the world preaching again the gospel of the Kingdom. And I don’t know why that’s so hard for people to swallow. But it is. Boy, I get more complaints on that than anything else. But here it is, “The gospel of the kingdom, (not the Gospel of the Grace of God) shall be preached in all the world.”
And the Gospel of the Kingdom was believing that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, along with repentance of sins and water baptism to get ready to set up the earthly Kingdom. Whereas today in Grace we believe in our hearts for salvation that Jesus died for us, was buried, and rose again as we see in I Corinthians 15:1-4.
Now, I take this approach. I don’t mind if people disagree. Just this last week I had a couple of calls where they disagreed on something so far removed from the gospel that it’s not even funny. I said, “Now look, if I’m right and you’re wrong or you’re right and I’m wrong, is that going to determine our eternal destiny?” “No.” “Well, then it really doesn’t matter, does it?” And that’s where it’s at. If it doesn’t affect our salvation, our eternal destiny, hey, we can have some disagreements. That doesn’t bother me a bit. It’s moot. What difference does it make?
For example, you know there are those who think the world is 120 million years old. And others say, no, it’s only six thousand. You know what I say? What difference does it make? Does it make any difference? You know, I tell geologists, oil people, does it make any difference where you tell your engineers to drill if the world’s 200 million years old or if it’s six thousand? Well, no. So, it doesn’t make a bit of difference, does it? Yet they can get all bent out of shape.
Well, the same way here. We have this Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus and the Twelve proclaimed to Israel, and the 144,000 are going to take that same Gospel of the Kingdom around the world during the Tribulation. The Church is gone, the Gospel of Grace is ended, and multitudes are going to be saved by the Gospel of the Kingdom. God’s Sovereign. He can do it any way He wants. So, yes, those 144,000 are going to fulfill the Great Commission like no one has ever even come close.
All right, now verse 15; here we come to the mid-point of those seven years. Now, I’m going to make that as a separate series of references in a little bit. I’m first looking at the physical things concerning the Tribulation: the horrors, the death, and the destruction. Then we’re going to look at the time element that it is indeed seven years. And then we’re going to look at the personalities that are involved – the anti-Christ and the False Prophet and so forth. So we may not get finished this afternoon. We’ll continue next month. But, here in verse 15, now, the Lord Jesus is continuing on through the seven years of Tribulation. He reaches the mid-point, and He says in verse 15-
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet,…” Now, let’s go back and see what Daniel wrote. It’s the only way we can do it. Come back to Daniel chapter 9. This is the confirmation that Daniel knew exactly what he was talking about when he wrote by inspiration in prophecy,
Daniel chapter 9, we have to drop down to verse 24. Now remember why I’m coming here. The Lord Jesus is using this portion of Scripture to define the events of those final seven years that are coming. And remember, He doesn’t give any hint that there was 2,000 years of the Church Age in between all this. It was all just going to keep coming. Always remember that the Old Testament knew nothing of the Church Age. It knew nothing of our Gospel of Grace. Everything in the Old Testament was dealing with Israel and the Messiah, her coming King, and an earthly Kingdom. All right, but now here’s Daniel, who by Holy Spirit inspiration writes, starting at verse 24:
“Seventy weeks (of years or seventy sevens or 490 years) are determined (in God’s program, now) upon thy people (Israel) and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness,…” That is the Kingdom.
In other words, 490 years are going to take place from a point back here in the Old Testament. It’s going to be between the 400 and the 600 B.C., right about in 454 B.C. when Nehemiah was given the command to go back and rebuild the city wall around Jerusalem. That’s what it’s based on. From that point until Christ would be crucified would be 483 years. And then there would be another seven years, and it would bring in the 1,000 year Kingdom. So, 490 years would be involved fulfilling the Old Testament, Christ’s coming, the seven years of Tribulation, and the Kingdom. That’s the 490 years that are determined upon the Nation of Israel. Okay, now as you come down through verse 25, he breaks it down.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment (to Nehemiah to go back and rebuild the wall) to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and three score and two weeks:…” And that’s for a total of 483 years from Nehemiah until the crucifixion. Four hundred and eighty three years. But the whole prophecy is 490. So, we’ve got seven years left that has never been fulfilled. All right, now you come on down through verse 26.
“(After the 483 years) And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: (In other words, He died for us. He didn’t die because He deserved it. And then here comes the prophecy.) and the people of the prince that shall come,…” Now, the prince that shall come will be the personality that we’re going to look at sooner or later, the anti-Christ, and he’s going to come out of the Roman Empire.
Now again, I always like to use my timeline. As you come up through the Old Testament from 600 B.C. until you get to the time of Christ, you have the Babylonian Empire, the Mede and Persian Empire, the Greek Empire, and then the Roman Empire. And you all know that Rome was part and parcel of the crucifixion.
All right, so out of the Roman Empire then, in the prophecy line of the Old Testament, would come the anti-Christ, because Rome is over all of this. Now remember, I’ve got to keep this Church Age out of here. I should have made a second timeline, I guess, but whatever, I didn’t.
So now we’re going to use this line strictly as the seven years of Tribulation, which we’ve got here. Forget about the Church Age – for now. That’s just not involved in our Old Testament line of prophecy. Just keep it out of your mind for the time being. Then we’re going to drop down and look at those seven years on a larger scale timeline. Okay, continue on with Daniel chapter 9, once again, verse 26.
“…after Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city (And we know that Rome did this under Titus in A.D. 70.) and the sanctuary; (in other words, the Temple) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” See, there’s nothing to indicate there’s a break in the timeline. It’s all going to flow. All right, now verse 27, this prince that shall come, we call him the anti-Christ, and I’ll deal with that a little later.
“And he (this prince that shall come) shall confirm (or make) the covenant (or a treaty) with many for one week:…” Or seven years. Now, someone called, or wrote, a while back with an interesting statement. And they had a thought that I can’t ridicule one iota.
The Oslo Peace Accord that was put together back in Clinton’s time, wasn’t it? That Oslo Peace Accord has almost everything in it that would bring about the peace treaty that the anti-Christ will sign. So this writer, I think it was a lady, said, “You know, Les, if that be the case, all they’d have to do is bring that thing back up and this man anti-Christ can just simply agree – this is exactly the way we want to do it – and it’ll be confirmed and it’s in place.” Well, that just tells us how close we really are, that all the details of this necessary treaty are pretty much agreed upon already.
All right, but anyway, he’s going to make a seven year treaty between the nations of the world, predominately, I think now, the Muslim world and Israel. And it will give them, as I said early today, permission to rebuild the Temple. Now, here’s what the Lord Jesus was referring to. Remember what He said in Matthew? “When you see the desolation spoken of by Daniel.” Here it is in this verse 27.
“…and in the middle of the week (in the middle of those seven years) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,…” Can you stop something that hasn’t started? Now, you know there’s no sacrifice and oblation going on in Jerusalem today. And it can’t until they have a Temple. So, what does this tell us?
That in those first three-and-a-half years, as a result of this peace treaty, Israel is going to rebuild a Temple. And it doesn’t have to be a glorious, gold and cedar one like Solomon’s, but it’ll be functional. I personally think it’s in a warehouse in Jerusalem right now, all ready to pull out and set up, and it’ll be functioning in less than a week’s time. So, they’ll go back under Temple worship for the first three-and-a-half years.
Then the anti-Christ will turn on Israel. We’ll look at that again in Matthew 24 in just a little bit. And in the middle of the week, he will cause the sacrifice and oblation, or Temple worship, to stop. He’s going to turn on the Jew.
“…and for the overspreading of abominations he (the anti-Christ, this prince that shall come) shall make it (that restored Temple) desolate, (Inoperable as far as Judaism is concerned, and it will remain that way.) even until the consummation, (That is, the end of the seven years.) and that which is determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Or the desolater. In other words, the anti-Christ will meet his doom at the end of the Tribulation.
All right, now let’s come back to Matthew 24. Back to Matthew 24, now this is exactly what Jesus is referring to in verse 15. We are now at the mid-point of the seven years. The first fourteen verses are the first half. Now we start the second half.
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (He’s in the Temple defiling it.) (whoso readeth, let him understandJ 16. Then…”
Now, those of you that have heard me teach over a period of time, what kind of a word is then? It is a time word. When the Jews see the desolation taking place up there on the Temple Mount with the anti-Christ defiling it, probably by sacrificing a hog, Israel will be just beside themselves. But the Lord says when you see that, wake up! Get out of town! That’s the way we’d put it today. Get out of town! Here we go, verse 16:
“Then let them who be in Judea flee into the mountains;…” Now, I call this the escaping remnant of Israel. Now, you have to have the remnant that will come through the Tribulation and be ready to go into the Kingdom. You have to have the Nation of Israel, but it won’t be the whole Nation, it’ll be a remnant. I need to show you that. Let’s see, I’m going to take the time. Keep your hand in Matthew, again, and come back with me to Zechariah chapter 13 starting at verse 8. Now remember, this is prophecy, again, so it’s going to happen.
Zechariah, that’s the next to the last book in your Old Testament. You know, I always tell people to find Matthew. You can all find that, and then just go to the left, past Malachi and there’s Zechariah.
“And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, (That is, the whole land of Israel.) saith the LORD, two parts (or two thirds) therein shall be cut off and die; but the third part shall be left therein.” They’re going to survive. Now verse 9:
“And I will bring the third part through the fire, (Now the fire here is the Tribulation, the horrors of it.) and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, the LORD is my God.” So, that’s the remnant. All right, back to Matthew 24. The remnant now is fleeing out of Jerusalem at the middle of the Tribulation. All right, we’re going to do this quickly, verse 16.
“Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: 17. Let them who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house:” Time is of the essence is the way I usually put it. Don’t take time to find some heirloom or something of value – get out of town!
“Neither let him who is in the field (the working class) return back to get his clothes.”
Now, for Israel today, that would be the scientist, the medical people, and the business people, because Israel is no longer an agrarian nation like it was at the time of Christ. So, the whole cross-section of the Nation now is involved in these verses.
“And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that are nursing in those days (young mothers)! 20. But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, (Because Jerusalem gets twelve to fourteen inches of snow every once in a while.) neither on the sabbath day:” So that they would not be limited as to how far they could walk. Now, here’s the verse that I wanted to end with, verse 21.
“For then (beginning with that desecration of the Temple) shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, (the time of Christ) no, nor ever shall be.” This takes us right on up past our own day and time, including the Holocaust. So, that should tell you something – that for Israel as well as the rest of the world, the time is coming in these last three-and-a-half years when it’s going to be worse than anything in all of human history. It’s going to be beyond comprehension. And that was in the words of the Lord Jesus himself, that there is nothing in all of human history that compares with these last three-and-a-half years.
LESSON ONE * PART IV
ALAS, THE DAY OF THE LORD IS AT HAND
This is our fourth program number this afternoon. For those of you out in television, again we just want to invite you to an informal Bible study. We are just comparing Scripture with Scripture. If you disagree, like we just said at break time, you know you can disagree with me on some points as long as it doesn’t affect your eternal destiny and you’re not fooling with God’s eternal plan of salvation. Why, there’s room for differences of opinion on a lot of things.
So anyway, today we’ve been talking all day about “the day of the LORD,” which was first introduced to us in the oldest book of prophecy back there in the Book of Joel. All of the Old Testament writers speak of this period of time called “the day of the LORD.” And in one place in Paul’s epistles he does too. So, that’s why we’re going to look for these next few moments at II Thessalonians chapter 2. We’re going to start at verse 1, where, in all of Paul’s epistles, this is the only place that I’m aware of that he talks directly in a perfect parallel with the Old Testament prophecies concerning the day of the LORD and this man of sin that will be heading up the world government during that time.
II Thessalonians 2:1
“Now we beseech you, brethren, (Remember, Paul always writes to the believer.) by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him.” Now of course, we’ve got to use the timeline that we had up there to start with, where we have the Church Age now opened up out of the line of Old Testament prophecy. But for now we’re not going to do that. We’re just going to show how Paul is in perfect accord with the Old Testament. All right, verse 2:
II Thessalonians 2:2
“That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, (In other words, Paul said, don’t be taken in by a forgery.) as that the day of the LORD is at hand.” Now, what’s Paul saying? Don’t get shook up because of the horrors of persecution that you’re going through and the Roman Empire with all of its pressures upon the civilizations, upon the citizens rather. Paul says, don’t believe a forged letter that you missed the Rapture and that you’re in the Tribulation. He said, don’t buy into that. And here’s the reason, verse 3.
II Thessalonians 2:3a
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (the day of the LORD) shall not come, (or begin) except there come (Now the King James and a lot of your translations have–) a falling away first,…”
Those of you that get my newsletter, for those of you out in television, be aware of our January newsletter. We have a guest article by a famous Greek scholar who teaches this verse exactly the way I did when I taught Thessalonians a few years ago. And that is that there is a better translation and one that all the old manuscripts used instead of a falling away. It is the departure—to leave from one place to another. That’s the way I look at the Rapture.
II Thessalonians 2:3b
“…that day (the day of the LORD) shall not come, except there come a departure first, (the Rapture, the leaving of the Church) and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;”
Now, those are all terms that Scripture applies to this “prince that shall come” spoken of in Daniel, and that John, we’re going to see in a little bit, calls the “anti-Christ.” All right, let’s continue on in Paul’s dissertation concerning Old Testament prophecy. So, this man of sin cannot be revealed until the Church is gone. Now verse 4, this is going to be the character of this man, the anti-Christ.
II Thessalonians 2:4a
“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God,…” Now, there’s only one Temple of God so far as earth is concerned, and where is it? Jerusalem.
Fortunately, we talked about the Tribulation Temple in the last program. It’s going to be built at the very beginning of the seven years, because the anti-Christ, as he makes that peace between the Muslim world and Israel, will give them permission to rebuild their Temple. I think they’ll have it right beside the golden dome up on the Temple Mount. All right, now when the anti-Christ goes in and defiles it, he will, I think, set it up as his headquarters in total opposition to everything Jewish.
II Thessalonians 2:4
“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” He’s going to be above every god, he thinks, that has ever been known, whether they’re pagan or whatever, and he is going to sit in the temple of God. I think it’s the temple in Jerusalem, the one that Israel has just had defiled. He’s going to show himself that he is God.
All right, let’s go back, before we go any further, to the Book of Daniel chapter 11. There are several references to him in Daniel’s book of prophecy. But let’s just go to chapter 11, dropping down to verse 21.
“And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: (In other words, they aren’t going to just glibly say, “Here, we want you to be the head of this kingdom.”) but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.” He’s going to be the smoothest fast-talker the world has ever known. And he’s going to wiggle his way in and become the chief governmental authority on the planet for these last seven years.
All right, now let’s see, I think I’ve got another one I want to use here in chapter 11, verses 36 and 37
“And the king (This vile person that’s going to come in and take over the rule of the world through flattery.) shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, (See what kind of a person he is?) and magnify himself above every god, (be it pagan or whatever) and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, (the God of Scripture) and shall prosper till the indignation (or the day of the LORD, or the seven years) be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.” It’s going to happen! God has spoken it. He’s going to remain as head of the world government until he’s finally deposed at the end of the seven years.
”Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, (Now you can make out of that whatever you want.) nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.” Now, that says enough about him, doesn’t it?
All right, let’s come back to how Paul explains it in Thessalonians again. Now, in light of Daniel, let’s read verse 4 again, II Thessalonians chapter 2 repeating verse 4.
II Thessalonians 2:4
“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God (That’s what the world is going to reckon him as, that he is the God of Creation. He’s the supernatural.) sitteth in the temple of God, (The one that he defiled, probably with hog’s blood.) shewing himself that he is God.” Now verse 5—Paul is writing to these Thessalonian believers who’d only been with him a couple of weeks. And, boy, he must have really unloaded on them, because what does he say?
II Thessalonians 2:5
“Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?” Now imagine, here they’re fresh out of paganism and yet they were in such a spiritual state that they could comprehend all the things that Paul was teaching. So now he could write some time later, don’t you remember that when I was yet with you I told you these things?
Now, I use that as a reason to teach prophecy even today. Now granted, you’re not going to get salvation by understanding prophecy. But, it will enhance your spiritual life to have an understanding of what is out in front of us. It’s coming. Every day’s newspaper is screaming it. Paul was doing the same thing with the Thessalonians. He was telling them that all these things were just out in front of them and to be ready for it. They had no idea that it would be 2,000 years. All right, reading on in verse 6, now Paul writes:
II Thessalonians 2:6
“And now ye know what withholdeth (Or, that which restrains) that he might be revealed in his time.” Now there’s a difference of opinion by some people on this verse. I feel this is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the restrainer. He’s the One that’s holding back the forces of iniquity that are trying to come in even before the Tribulation begins. So, since you and I are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, that becomes part of our experience, to be a restrainer. We’re not going to turn it around. We’re going to hold it back. All right, now verse 7:
II Thessalonians 2:7
“For the mystery (or the secret) of iniquity doth already work: (In other words, sinfulness and wickedness have been with us, especially since the Tower of Babel, and it’s increasing in its power and its control.) only he who now hindereth will hinder, (That’s why I feel this is the work of the Holy Spirit.) until he be taken out of the way.”
II Thessalonians 2:8a
“And then (There’s your time word again. When the Church is gone, when the Body of Christ is gone.) shall that Wicked one be revealed,…” That’s perfectly in accord with verse 3. They both are saying the same thing. As soon as the Body of Christ is raptured and gone, and the Holy Spirit’s main vehicle for restraining sin is gone, “Then shall that Wicked one be revealed.” The anti-Christ. Daniel calls him “the prince that shall come.” Paul calls him the “son of perdition, that man of sin.” See, these are all references to this one supremely wicked individual. All right, but the Lord’s going to consume him, verse 8.
II Thessalonians 2:8b-9a
“…whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, (at the end of the Tribulation) and shall destroy him with the brightness of his coming: 9. Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan…”
All right, now I think I have to stop here a minute. Let’s go all the way up to the Book of Revelation. I just have to do this. Come up with me to Revelation chapter 12. Since we’ve been introduced to Satan, now, as being a major player during this last three and a half years, let’s see what happens. Revelation chapter 12 and let’s drop in at verse 7. Remember why I came here. Paul refers to Satan as coming during the last half of the Tribulation with power and signs and lying wonders. All right, here’s where he comes from, chapter 12 verse 7.
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; (Now remember, who is the dragon throughout all of Scripture? Satan. This is a real war.) and the dragon fought and his angels, 8. And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.” Michael is the winner.
“And the great dragon (Satan) was cast out,…” (of heaven) Oh, now people have a problem with that. Satan in heaven? Yes. Satan has access to heaven. Absolutely! I think that’s why we’ve got to have a new heaven and a new earth at the end of everything, because Satan has defiled everything that God ever made.
“…that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, who deceiveth the whole world: (He is the master deceiver.) he was cast out (of heaven) into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God,…” Well, what’s it telling us? As soon as the Tribulation has run its course, it’s going to end with the Second Coming of Christ. He’s going to set up His kingdom, and we’re going to have that thousand-year reign. It all fits. Now continue on:
“…and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, who accused them (That is, the believers.) before our God day and night.” Now, have you ever been aware of that? Every time we fail, every time we give somebody a sharp tongue, the old Devil is right there with the Lord, and he says, see what he just did? See what she just did? He’s accusing the believers constantly – day and night. All right, verse 11, but of course Michael and his holy angels:
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (All right, now here is why I came back here, verse 12.) Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea!…” Now remember, who’s down on the planet? The lost who were left behind. Now some of them are being saved, of course, by the 144,000 preaching, but the vast majority is still in total rebellion. They’re under the control of the anti-Christ.
“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! (Here it is now.) for the devil (Satan) is come down unto you, having great (What?) wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” That’s what’s making him so angry? He knows he only has a short time. So what do I call this last three and a half years? It’s a double-barreled wrath. The wrath of God because of unrighteous men; the wrath of Satan because he suddenly realizes his time is about over. And it’s going to be beyond human description. That’s why Jesus said it the way He did, that there has never been a time in human history like those last three and a half years.
All right, let’s come back to Thessalonians and again pick up Paul’s dealing with these things, in full accord with the Old Testament prophets and the Book of Revelation. All right, verse 9 again:
II Thessalonians 2:9
“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan (Who has now been cast out of heaven. He’s in full force in the planet. I think he will indwell the man anti-Christ like he did Judas, and he will empower that wicked individual like no human being has ever been empowered.) with power and signs and lying wonders,” What does he use them for? To convince the masses that he is what he claims to be because he can perform miracles. That’s why I am so frightened by the miracle working, because it deludes too many people. All right, now read on in verse 10.
II Thessalonians 2:10a
“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish;…” Now stop and think a minute about what we’ve covered today. What did Jesus claim would be the main factor in the opening days of the Tribulation? Deception. Remember? Deception. Deception. The master deceiver is now coming to the fore.
Always remember that the term anti-Christ is really a misnomer. He’s not against Christ so much as he is a counterfeit Christ. He is going to claim to be even more than Jesus Christ Himself. He’s a counterfeit. All right, read on.
II Thessalonians 2:10
“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” Now, you want to remember that we’re dealing in a period of time of only seven years.
So, all of these people that are living in this seven year period had opportunity to hear the Gospel. Right? They had every opportunity, especially with the technology that we’ve got today. They’ve had every opportunity to hear the Gospel. So, why are they in the Tribulation? They refused it. That’s what Paul is talking about. These people who are suffering under the deluding power of Satan are there because they rejected the Gospel before the Rapture took place.
All right, now then, for those who heard the Gospel and understood it and perceived it and still said, “Thanks, but no thanks,” their doom is sealed even worse than those who had never heard before. And remember, the 144,000 are going to go into every tongue and tribe. Nobody will be able to say I never had a chance. But these people who heard the Gospel and rejected it, here it is in verse 11.
II Thessalonians 2:11
“And for this cause (Because they heard it, and they rejected it.) God shall send them a strong delusion, (He’s going to mix their brain. And what are they going to do?) that they should believe the lie.” They’re going to believe the lie. I prefer the over a lie, because it’s the primary lie that they’re going to believe. And what is it? That the anti-Christ is God. That’s what they’re going to believe. Why are they going to believe it? Because God has made them think that way.
Now, let’s read it again, because this is a big question that comes in all the time, “Les, who are these that Paul is talking about in II Thessalonians 2?” Well, these are people who heard the Gospel of Grace of I Corinthians 15:1-4. They’ve considered it and rejected it. Now, you’ve got to stop and think. There are multitudes of people who have never heard “the Gospel” to consider it—church people.
They go to church every Sunday. They don’t hear the True Gospel. But IF they’ve heard it and they’ve contemplated it, the Spirit has opened their understanding and they still reject it, then God will send them a strong delusion. They’re going to believe that the anti-Christ is who he says he is. That will seal their doom. All right, so for that reason then:
II Thessalonians 2:11b-12
“…God shall send them a strong delusion, that they should believe the lie. 12. That they all (those who have been deluded) might be condemned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” They’d rather live in the wickedness of the world as to come in to God’s saving Grace.
All right, now in the couple of minutes we have left, let’s go back to Revelation and pick up this man anti-Christ who is going to be revealed shortly after the Church is taken out. He’s going to become a great world ruler. Let’s start at verse 1 of chapter 13. Here we are going to look at this person who is going to come, and through the power of Satan, rule the planet.
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, (That is the sea of humanity. We’re not talking about the Atlantic Ocean or the Pacific. We’re talking about the sea of humanity, with all of its teeming millions.) and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 2. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard,…” Now remember, this is merely a symbolic picture of this empire as well as the emperor.
“…and his were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, (or throne) and great authority.” Now, this is the coming into human view of this man anti-Christ. He’s going to have all the powers of previous empires at his disposal. All right, we’ve got to do this quickly.
“And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” Again, there are two ways to look at it – is the Empire the Roman Empire which died and came back, or does this man die and miraculously come back? But whatever – he’s going to come out of the masses of humanity. He’s going to become a tremendous world ruler. But before we let this half-hour run out, I have to show what’s going to happen to him, and that is back in chapter 19. We are still in Revelation, got to do this quickly! Got 50 seconds left! Revelation 19, the Second Coming of Christ defeats all the armies of this man anti-Christ, now verse 19.
“And I saw the beast, (the anti-Christ, this world ruler) and the kings of the earth, (who have been cooperating with him) and their armies, gathered together to make war against him who sat on the horse, and against his army. (That’s Christ at His Second Coming. So, this is after the horrors of the battle of Armageddon and Christ has destroyed the armies.) 20. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them who had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.”
LESSON TWO * PART I
SHOWING A BREAK IN THE O.T. PROPHECY TIME LINE
Okay, it’s good to see everybody in again this afternoon. We always appreciate the fact that you folks come in and spend the afternoon with us. For those of you out in television, again we just want to invite you to a simple, informal Bible study. I don’t want to make it too complicated. I keep telling my phone callers, keep it simple. My, everybody wants to complicate everything, and God didn’t intend it for that. He wants it kept simple. That’s how we hope to teach, and yet bring out things that the vast majority of Christendom totally ignores.
We always appreciate that everybody in the studio has their own Bible and pen and notebook. That’s the way to study. The same way for you out there in television, open your Bible and sit down with your cup of coffee and study with us.
All right, now last taping, the previous four programs, we started in the little minor prophet of Joel. In my introductory remarks, remember, I told you that Joel is the oldest written prophecy that speaks of “the day of the LORD.” Now of course, it’s back in Psalms in more latent language, and we’re going to probably look at that a little later today, but to actually come right out and speak about “the day of the LORD,” Joel is the first of our Old Testament prophets to use the term. Now remember, even though Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel come first in our Bibles, Joel was written before any of them. So, when I say that Joel is the first, I mean chronologically.
All right, now as we move away from chapter 2, where we spent our last four programs, where it spoke of “the day of the LORD” and the judgment that is facing the Nation of Israel and the world in general, we come into another break in the timeline, which of course is going to fit what we have on the board. That is in chapter 2 verse 27 as an introduction.
“And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,…” Now remember, God is talking through the prophet to the Nation of Israel. This is all Jewish.
“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: 29. And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” Now, let’s keep right on going for a little bit -verse 30.
“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible (What?) day of the LORD come.” So, these are all descriptions of, again, that final seven years. Which, as we saw in the last four programs, are “the day of the LORD” – what we call the Tribulation. It will be followed by the return of Christ, who will finally fulfill all of the promises made to Israel, you might say since Abraham, and bring in the Kingdom.
Now, remember when we were studying Isaiah, and I kept repeating and repeating, because that’s what my listening audience asks me to do. We showed that there were three distinct judgments facing the Nation of Israel, and they all sound as though it’s next week or next month. But you see, to God time means nothing. Five minutes is ten thousand years, so far as God is concerned, or the other way around.
So, back in Isaiah, who wrote about 700 B.C., he was speaking of all three of these great invasions and destructions of the city of Jerusalem. The first one was the Babylonian invasion, which was going to come in about 100 years. But he makes it sound as though it’s going to be next month. Then the second one he talked about was the invasion of the Romans in A.D. 70. Again, it sounds as though it’ll be in a year or two. Then Isaiah comes to that “day of the LORD,” the final seven years, which would come in future from our point in time. Now, all three of those were prophesied by the prophets, but Joel only speaks of the one, and that’s the Tribulation, “the day of the LORD.”
All right, now we’re going to come back up and pick this apart before we move on through Scripture. In verses 28 and 29 we have a complete description of the day of Pentecost. That’s what happened at Pentecost when God poured out His Spirit upon all flesh. Now, you want to remember, he’s talking in terms of Jews and Israel. So the “all flesh” isn’t talking about the pagan world, it’s talking about Israel. And you remember that when we look at Acts chapter 2, it’s nothing but all Israel — “Ye men of Israel.” So, the “all flesh” is Israel.
“…that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons (Whose sons? Israel’s.) and your daughters (Israel’s) shall prophesy,…(or speak forth)”
Now, the word prophesy has two meanings in Scripture. Yes, it can tell the future, but on the other hand, it can mean just simply speaking forth the Word. You’ve got to always take the context of what it’s talking about. Now, here it’s speaking of speaking out the Word. And what was the Word on the day of Pentecost? The One you crucified WAS the Christ. Repent of it. All right, but now let’s move on.
“…your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29. And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” Well, that was Pentecost. But, you see, the prophet goes right on into verse 30 which is speaking of the “day of the LORD,” the 7 years of tribulation. Now, what’s missing? The Church Age! You know, I’ve stressed it for all the years I’ve been teaching. There is nothing in our Old Testament or in the four Gospels concerning the Church Age.
I’ve got my timeline up here, and I’ve got the Church Age pointed out here. But you want to remember that all the Old Testament prophecies went right straight through as if this wasn’t in here. They go right straight through from the ascension to the coming of the Tribulation. Well, of course, now we’ve got the Rapture, but the Old Testament knows nothing of that. So, from the Old Testament perspective, it would go right from the ascension and then in no time in would come the anti-Christ and those seven years of Tribulation, triggering the Second Coming and the setting up of the Kingdom.
They knew nothing…nothing…, and I just can’t emphasize it enough. The Old Testament prophets knew nothing of the Church Age. Jesus and the Twelve said nothing about a Church Age. It was all in respect to the Old Testament prophecies, coming right on down the line. And that’s what most of Christendom misses.
In fact, a verse just comes to mind. Come all the way with me a minute to Hebrews chapter 1. We’ve dealt with this before, but again we’ve got to keep repeating some of these things. I always have to wait because my listening audience says the same thing, “Don’t go so fast, I can’t find them.” So, we’ve got to give everybody time, including our TV audience, to look these up.
“God, (The Triune God) who at sundry times and in divers (or different) manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, (That is the Old Testament writers. Now, verse 2, the same God that inspired the Old Testament writers–) 2. Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made (or created) the worlds;”
Now, what is that telling us? When did the “last days” begin so far a Scripture is concerned? Christ’s first coming! Now, look at my timeline again. See, how that fits? Here we come all the way up through the Old Testament, 4,000 years, and Christ comes. This is the beginning of “the last days,” because had not the Church Age come in, had not 2,000 years intervened, wouldn’t that exactly be what it was? Sure. In would come the crucifixion, the ascension, then would come the Tribulation, and then would come the Kingdom.
So, from His First Advent, from the time He was born until He would come and set up His Kingdom, was only 33 years, maybe a couple, four or five years in here, for a total of 38, and then seven years of tribulation – 45 years. Less than 50 years it would all be fulfilled. So, what was it? It was “the last days.” Always remember that, because these Old Testament writers had no concept of the opening up of the timeline.
Now, I think I’m going to do something that I haven’t done for a long time. We did it way back–maybe ten, twelve years ago, but come back with me a minute to the Old Testament, again, all the way to Psalms chapter 2. Now, you’re going to say, well, I thought you said that nothing was spoken of the end-time or “the day of the LORD” until Joel. Well, I mean to specify “the day of the LORD.” But here it’s in latent language–Psalms chapter 2. We might as well start at verse 1, otherwise it doesn’t make sense.
“Why do the heathen (the non-Jewish world) rage, (Now don’t forget, who’s writing? David. When did David hold forth? 1,000 B.C., or 1,000 years after Abraham, and he writes by inspiration.) and the people (Israel) imagine a vain thing? 2. The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers (of Israel) take counsel (What’s the next word?) together,…”
That’s why we’ve got to be so careful that we don’t let the world blame Israel for the crucifixion. They were part of it. Absolutely! But they weren’t alone. Who was involved? Rome. So, the whole world was involved with the crucifixion, Israel and the non-Jewish world.
“…together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 3. Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” In other words, we’re not going to let God rule in the affairs of men. All right, verse 4, when God sees that ridiculous attitude of mankind, what does He do? He laughs. What kind of a laugh? Derision.
“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. (-) 5. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.”
Well now, since the crucifixion took place, has God ever vexed the world in His wrath and displeasure? No! It hasn’t happened yet. So, just back up a little bit, and if you don’t mind marking your Bible, put a little hyphen with parentheses around it right up there between verses 4 and 5. Just to depict a break in this prophetic timeline. Now again, look at this carefully. See, I can’t go slowly enough. Here we have mankind rejecting the Anointed at the crucifixion. Now, verse 5.
“Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.” That is the Tribulation. Is there any indication of a time factor in there? No. It is just coming right down the line. Then as soon as the Tribulation has run its course, what comes up?
“Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” The Kingdom. Now, I hope I can get everybody to see it as clearly as I do. That was Old Testament. That’s why when Christ came; it was the beginning of “the last days.” It’s all going to fall right in place. But now we know that God opened the timeline. It’s now been almost 2,000 years. But does that mean it’s not going to happen? Oh, yes, it’s going to happen! One of these days, God’s parenthesis is going to stop, and the timeline is going to pick up where it left off.
Okay, so put your little dash and parentheses back there between verses 4 and 5, where we’re going to see that mark of division between what had already happened and what is still future. All right, now let’s move all the way up. I’m not going to hit all of them. I’m just hitting a few that I remember the best. Go up to Psalms 118. Psalms 118 and drop in at verse 22. Now you want to remember the Psalms has a lot of prophecy. Veiled back in antiquity, but nevertheless, they’re all going to be fulfilled someday.
“The stone (Remember I’m always emphasizing that, who is “the stone” and “the rock” of Scripture? Well, Jesus Christ, God the Son.) which the builders refused (-) is become the head stone of the corner.” Now, when will that happen? When He sets up His Kingdom. But what’s the first half of the verse? When they rejected Him. So, what have you got here? You have a time element between His rejection and His being King and the headstone of the corner. We have now had, since David’s time, 3,000 years. But it doesn’t sound like it in the Scripture. It sounds like it is all coming right quick.
All right, let’s move up to Isaiah, the first of the Major Prophets, chapter 9. These are verses that you all know. Isaiah chapter 9 dropping in at verse 6 and to me this is the thrilling way to do Bible study. You can’t get this by just reading it like a storybook. You know, every once in a while somebody will call and say, “Well, I’ve read through the Bible three times, and I’m reading through it again.” I say, listen, that’s a waste of time. You won’t get anything out of the Bible by just reading it straight through. You’ve got to know how to study and to pick and put things together.
All right, now here is a good example. You wouldn’t get the first idea of what this is talking about by just simply reading your Bible. It doesn’t make sense. But when we understand what it’s doing here, then it’s as sensible as anything can be.
All right, now in chapter 9 of Isaiah, verse 6, again, remember this is all Jewish. There’s no Gentile involved in this.
“For unto us (the Nation of Israel) a child is born, unto us a son is given: (See, now we’re up to His first advent.) (-) and the government shall be upon his shoulder:…” Wow! What’s happened? We’ve gone all the way from Bethlehem to the Kingdom. So, what do you do? Put a hyphen in there. Put parentheses around it and show that there’s going to be a break in this timeline.
“…and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Those are all titles of Deity that He will assume when He becomes the King over His Kingdom. Now verse 7, and for you folks out there who write in once in a while – well, where do you get any idea of an earthly kingdom? Well, here’s one. Here’s your earthly kingdom.
“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David,…” And where was David’s throne? Well, Mt. Zion in Jerusalem, not up in Heaven. So, here we have the earthly Kingdom and how He will rule and reign from Mt. Zion, where David did.
“…and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” All right, up in verse 6; put a hyphen up there just before you get to his government. After “the son is given.” When He’s born at Bethlehem, then we open up the timeline with all the things that will be coming to pass in between.
Now, jump up, still in Isaiah, to chapter 61. We’ll be using this a little later this afternoon as we tie it in with Luke chapter 4. But, we’ll leave Luke 4 out of it for now. We’re just going to see where we can open this prophecy and realize that there is a long period of time in between.
“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; 2. To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, (-) (When was that? At His First Advent, when He first came. In His earthly ministry He fulfilled all that. But now look at the next statement.) and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.”
Psalms called it what? Wrath and vexation. We call it the what? The Tribulation. All right, so, “He came to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, (-) the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.” When will that happen? In the Kingdom! So, there you’ve got the whole scope of end-time prophecy in just one or two verses. And yet, the last two parts are still future.
So, what do you do? You put a hyphen back after “year of the LORD.” There’s the break in the timeline. The vengeance hasn’t happened yet. The Kingdom hasn’t come in yet. But it’s going to. Don’t ever give up on prophecy. If the Book says it, you make up your mind it’s going to happen. I don’t care how much the world scorns it. These liberal preachers can scorn it all they want. I’ve got news for them. They’re going to one day admit that they were totally wrong, because the Word of God is true. All right, then you go on a little further to make sure that we understand that it’s the Kingdom we’re talking about, he says-
“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise…” See, that’s all a description of the Kingdom. But it hasn’t happened yet. It’s out beyond our parentheses.
All right, let’s move on to Daniel chapter 9. This is another portion of Scripture that if you know anything about prophecy at all, it’s one of the foundations of all end-time prophecy. But it, too, is speaking of a continuous timeline that has been interrupted. Daniel chapter 9 and, oh, my goodness, I think I’ve got time. Drop in at verse 24. That’s the beginning of all this.
“Seventy weeks (That is of years, so 70 times 7 is 490 years.) are determined (by God’s blueprint for the ages) upon thy people (Daniel’s people Israel) and upon thy holy city, (Jerusalem) to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” That was certainly all part of His first coming. All right, then come on down. He breaks it down into 49 years and then for another 434 years, which gives us the total of 483 years. All right, but we won’t fool with that now today.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: (or 62 weeks, which takes us up to the 483) the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” And then verse 26–
“And after threescore and two weeks (plus the other 7, or after 69 weeks of years) shall Messiah be cut off,…(crucified)” (-) Chronologists have established that from the decree by Artaxerxes to Nehemiah to go back and rebuild the city wall until Palm Sunday was 483 years, which means there’s seven years that are still unfulfilled. All right, that’s where we’re going to put our hyphen in just a minute, and then you come down to the last part of verse 26.
“…and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”
Now, where are we? Well, we’re in the Tribulation. So, we’re going to put our hyphen back there after “Messiah is cut off.” Put your hyphen. A parenthetical period of time is going to enter in until all of a sudden the anti-Christ makes his appearance in verse 27 and signs a seven-year treaty. Well, there’s no hint in there of the Church Age whatsoever.
All right, now we’ve already talked about the one in Joel, so let’s go on up to Zechariah. That’s the next to the last book in your Old Testament. Zechariah chapter 9 verses 9 and 10. This is a simple one. My, even kids can figure this one out.
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (-) Hey, when did that happen? It happened on Palm Sunday when He came up into Jerusalem on the donkey. All right, then verse 10:
“And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off:…” Now we’re speaking of what kind of language? Tribulation!
So again, you put a hyphen between verse 9 and verse 10. There’s an opening up of time between His coming into Jerusalem and His crucifixion and so forth, until the Tribulation enters.
Well, now we’ll have to stop with that, because our time is gone. But, you see, even when you get into the New Testament you have the same setting – something is spoken concerning His First Advent and the next half of the verse speaks of something way out in the future.
LESSON TWO * PART II
SHOWING A BREAK IN THE O.T. PROPHECY TIME LINE
Okay, once again, you’ve had your coffee break. We’ll go into program number two this afternoon. For those of you out in television, again we just appreciate so much your letters, your financial help, and most of all your prayers. Because, after all, I have a little plaque in the kitchen that says, “Never Underestimate the Power of Prayer.” And that is my trademark…if you can’t pray about it, then it’s not worth doing. So again, we appreciate everything and your letters.
We’re going to pick right up where we left off in our last four programs. We’ve left our original Scripture reference on the board, and we’re going to go back to it for just a moment. For those of you here in the studio, go back to Joel. Keep your hand up there in Luke, that’s where I’m going to go next. But anyhow, to get things kicked off, we’ll go back to where we started in our last half-hour, and that was in Joel chapter 2. Remember we dropped in at verse 28. We showed how all of these Old Testament prophecies speak of everything happening one thing right after the other, with no indication of a 2,000 year hiatus, or parenthetical period of time, however you want to put it, that we now know as the Church Age.
It helps you so much to understand that this is the way prophecy is written, as if it’s all going to keep coming right down the line. All right, so just for starters, let’s go back to Joel chapter 2, again, so we’ll know where we’re coming from. All right, verse 28:
“And it shall come to pass (It’s going to happen.) afterward, (after a certain number of events have taken place) 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: 29. And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days, I will pour out my spirit.” (-) Which we understand was the Day of Pentecost. But now the Old Testament goes right on into the Tribulation. That’s next.
“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.” That’s all part of “the day of the LORD,” or what we have been looking at in the previous half-hour of the things concerning the end-time: the Tribulation, the Second Coming, and the Kingdom.
Well, then we went all the way up through the Old Testament. We were just ready to jump into the New when we ran out of time. Let’s continue on now and jump all the way up from Joel to Luke. We’re going to stay on that same premise that all the Old Testament prophecies, as well as the Four Gospels, are still looking at everything happening right down the line, sequentially, going into the Kingdom.
Not a word about the Church Age. Not a word about the Body of Christ or the Rapture. Why? That’s going to be left for the Apostle Paul. And oh, people can’t see that! And they almost get upset with me. And it takes a lot of patience for me not to get upset back. But nevertheless, this is the way it’s laid out.
All right, are you with me in Luke chapter 1? And again, just to show how we can always put a time element in between two of these statements of prophecy. Luke chapter 1 verse 30 and the angel is speaking to Mary.
“…Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. (-) (Now we know that happened. But now look at the next verse.) 32. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:”
Has that happened yet? No. Still hasn’t happened. So, put your hyphen between those two verses. All right, now I’ve got another one. I thought of it during break time–Acts chapter 15. Now, I could go the rest of the afternoon right here. But, I’ll try to keep it short. Acts chapter 15, you remember, is Luke’s record of the Jerusalem Council in A.D. 51, twenty-two years after the crucifixion and after Pentecost. The reason for it is that Paul has now begun his ministry among the Gentiles. He’s establishing these little congregations of Gentiles on his Gospel – salvation by faith plus nothing in the finished work of the cross, which I’m going to cover either later this afternoon or our next taping. And the Judaizers in the Jerusalem congregation couldn’t handle that.
Of course they meant well. They really thought that Paul had misled these poor Gentiles, and that they really didn’t have a full-blown salvation, because they were not keeping the Law and were not adhering to Judaism. So, what did Peter and the Eleven do? They sent men to come in behind Paul. And these men were coming in to Paul’s little congregations with that message. You can’t be saved by Paul’s Gospel alone. You have to keep circumcision, keep the Law. All right, now lest you look at me quizzically, just look at what it says in Acts chapter 15 verse 1.
“And certain men who came down from Judea…” That’s Jerusalem and they were from the Jerusalem church under the control of the Twelve. They’ve come down to Antioch. That’s where this is referring to. Paul and Barnabas have been ministering up there in Antioch in Syria.
“And certain men which came down from Judea taught the brethren, (Paul’s Gentile converts, and this is what they told them.) and said, Except (or unless) ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.”
Plain English? Well, you can’t get it any plainer than that. You can’t be saved by this Gospel alone! You’ve got to practice Judaism! You’ve got to be circumcised. You’ve got to keep the commandments. Now, this verse doesn’t say that, but verse 5 does. So, jump up to verse 5. Paul gets to Jerusalem and he meets with the Twelve and the Jerusalem church. There were other voices and here they are.
“But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees who believed,…” Well, they believed what? The Kingdom Gospel that Jesus was the Christ. So these Pharisees now are members of the Jerusalem church. They’re believers. Not of Paul’s Gospel of Grace, but of Christ’s Gospel of the Kingdom. All right, but this is what Paul was up against. These fellows were coming in behind him telling his Gentile converts that you can’t be saved unless you’re circumcised. Now read on in verse 5.
“…saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to (To what?) keep the law of Moses.”
Now, you know that just flies in the face of when Paul says in Romans 6:14 “You’re not under law, you’re under grace.” I hear it every once in a while. The girls hear it in the office “What’s Les talking about we’re not under Law?” Am I right, Liz? Yeah. They can’t comprehend it. What do you mean we’re not under the Law? I need the Ten Commandments. No. We’re not under Law, we’re under Grace!
All right, so they come together to discuss this thing with the Twelve – Paul and Barnabas against the Twelve up there at Jerusalem. All right, so after they finally agree that Paul is right. They’ve been wrong. Now, it takes good men to do that. We’re getting a few, they call and say, Les, I’m finally seeing it. You’re right. I’ve been wrong for 20 years, but now I see it. Now, that takes a good man. And I admire them for it.
In fact, I just had a call before we left. A pastor down in Florida wants us to come into his church. And that’s the first thing I asked him, “You mean, you agree with me?” He says, “One hundred percent.” And he said, “My people will agree with you one hundred percent.” He said “But, it took me ten years.” And that’s about what it does, you know. It takes a long time to come out of that that’s been 20 years wrong and suddenly see that this is where it’s at.
So, anyhow, it was the same way here at Jerusalem. The Twelve and the Jerusalem church finally come to the knowledge that Paul was right, and they’re not going to bug them anymore about putting his people under the Law. All right, so now then, drop all the way down to verse 13. See, that’s just introduction and the program’s half gone!
“After they had held their peace,…” Well, what does that mean? Hey! They’d been arguing all day! They’d been just totally toenail-to-toenail saying, Paul, you’ve got to teach these people circumcision and the Law. And Paul saying, I will not! And on and on they went. So, finally-
“And after they had held their peace, James (who was moderating this) answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me; (Listen to me.) 14. Simeon (Peter) hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.” This was a reference to the house of Cornelius, which was really Paul’s salvation. Had Peter not had that experience at Cornelius’, he would have never given in at this Jerusalem council. But he finally woke up and said, hey, a long time ago – twelve years ago – God showed me that He was going to save Gentiles. All right, here are the results!
“…how at the first God did visit the Gentiles, (Now, watch the language carefully.) to take out of them…” Now, what does that imply? There’s not going to be all that many, but He’s going to bring a certain small remnant of Gentiles out of their paganism and their unbelief into a salvation experience. All right, so, “God did visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name.” Now James, by Holy Spirit inspiration, remembers something. There’s a verse back in the Old Testament that alludes to this, that tells us what it was talking about.
“And to this agree the words of the prophets; (Old Testament) as it is written, (What’s the next word?) 16. After this (Now, what does “after this” imply? A given period of time) I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, (Which is a reference primarily to the what? The Temple and Jerusalem and the Nation of Israel, in general) which is fallen down;…” Well, does that need an explanation? The Temple has been off the scene since A.D. 70. Israel has been dispersed. They’re just recently come back to their homeland and re-established their nation, but they still don’t have the Temple. But they will!
All right, so here’s the whole thing again—that after a period of time, a break in the prophetic timeline, God’s going to come back and still finish everything that was promised. All right, now go back with me to the Book of Amos, and you’ll see what James is referring to. Go back to Amos chapter 9 dropping in at verse 11.
Now you see, without our understanding of the Church Age, these Jews had no idea what Amos was talking about. And Jesus didn’t reveal it to them in His earthly ministry. He left them in the dark. But yet, we know now that after God turned to the Gentile world and let Israel lose the Temple, lose their homeland, go into the dispersion, yet after that next period of time, which we call the Age of Grace, God’s going to come back and finish the prophecies. They’re still all going to be fulfilled.
“In that day (future) I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen,…” Well, you see, Amos didn’t know that the Romans were going to destroy Jerusalem and the Temple again. That was beyond him. But yet, by Holy Spirit inspiration, he could write prophetically that it’s going to fall. He didn’t know how or what or when, but it’s going to fall. But after a period of time then he says–
“…I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old.” All again to show us that prophecy only went up until the time of the appearance, especially, of the Apostle Paul and the opening up of the Age of Grace. When this Age of Grace is over, the Church has to be taken out of the way so that God can finish His prophecy – His timeline. It’s so simple! I mean it’s just so simple!
All right, now come back to the Book of Romans for a moment. We see much the same kind of language in a little different way. But it’s still speaking of the same concept that there’s going to be a long period of time when Israel will not be in a place of fulfilling prophecy, but they will be again. Their day is coming, and we’re getting closer and closer every day. All right, Romans chapter 11, drop down to verse 25, and the Apostle Paul writes–
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant (or unaware) of this mystery, (Or this thing that has been kept secret, that’s why the Old Testament couldn’t reveal it.) lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; (And here’s what we’re supposed to know.) that blindness (a spiritual blindness) in part (for a period of time, not forever but for a period of time) has happened to Israel, (What’s the next word?) until (There’s the time element. Israel is going to be kept spiritually blind until a point in time. And what point in time?) the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” The Rapture of the Church, when we’re out of here, and God picks up where He left off with Israel in the prophetic program.
Now, I can come back to my timeline. Here we’ve come all the way up through the Old Testament and Christ’s earthly ministry, He ascended and then shortly, later, He raises up the Apostle Paul. He sends him into the Gentile world. He opens up the timeline now for 1,900 and some years, and then we have to get the Church out of the way, because now God is ready once again to start dealing with His covenant people.
Oh, they are going to be under judgment for seven years, but the final result is what? The return of Christ and the setting up of His Kingdom! And until people can understand this break in the timeline, most of them have blenderized the whole shebang. Haven’t they? You all know they have. They threw it all into a blender, mixed it all up, and then they parcel it out and try to get people to swallow it. Well, all you have to do is just sort it out, and it’s so simple.
But it seems as though people don’t want to, and that’s what I usually tell them. I say, if you can’t see it, it’s because you don’t want to, because if you want to see, the Lord will open it up to you. You know, I’ve had call after call after call, “Les, you know how I found your program? I dropped on my knees one night and I said, God, I want to know what this Book is talking about. And within a week, I find your program.” Well, that’s what we like to hear. It’s not Les Feldick. It’s the Lord working in the hearts of people.
All right, now then, I don’t think I have to go all the way back to Joel, but come back with me to the book of Acts chapter 2, the Day of Pentecost. The Day of Pentecost, which we’ve already referred to a time or two in these prophetic statements in the Old Testament. “Your young men shall dream dreams and your young women shall see visions” and all these things. So, now in Acts chapter 2, the Holy Spirit comes down and is evidenced by the little tongues of fire sitting on the heads of the 120. Peter and the Eleven are now preaching to this vast crowd of Jews from every nation under heaven, from all these different languages. And what’s the miracle?
All right, we’ve got to pick it up down in verse 7. Here’s the miracle. And, oh, it just blows the minds of these Jews, in spite of the fact that they’ve just experienced three years of His miracles; over and over and over He’s been performing miracles. This is only 50 days later, and yet it just blows their mind. All right, look what it says.
“And they were all amazed (this whole multitude of Jews gathered for the Feast of Pentecost) and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these that speak Galileans?” Well, what’s implied? There’s no high-classed, educated, language speaking people up in Galilee. That’s the dumb, uneducated part of Israel. But that’s what these guys are, and here they’re speaking in all these languages.
“And how hear we every man in our own language, wherein we were born?” Miraculous! And the multitude was just all shook up. So now then, verse 12, here’s the response from this multitude of Jews.
“And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?” What’s going on? Now again, I’ve got to remind you, this is only 50, 52, 53 days after Christ’s earthly ministry. What’s the matter with these people? Why can’t they put two and two together that this is just an extension of what Jesus had been doing for three years. But they couldn’t get it. What does all this mean?
All right, now then verse 13; some went so far as to make the crazy suspicion that, hey, they’re drunk. Well, I’ve never seen a drunk gain in his intelligence. Wasn’t that ridiculous? But that’s what they thought. You know, they’re drunk. They’re full of new wine.
“Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. 14. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, (Who’s he addressing? Jews. Israel.) be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15. For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.” It’s only 9 o’clock in the morning.
“But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;” Referring to something in the past and what’s the “that?” What Joel was writing about. Peter says what you’re seeing is what Joel was prophesying. The end is coming! It won’t be long until Christ will return and we’re going to have the Kingdom. Now, if you remember, when we went through the little Jewish epistles of James and Peter and John and Jude and Revelation, what was the concept? That just over the horizon the King is coming! They had no idea of a 2,000 year interval.
All right, so Peter again, with all of the expectation that now they’re coming close to the end, said, “This is what was spoken by Joel the prophet.” Now look what Peter does. He quotes it. Verse 17 and we’ll just read it again. It won’t hurt us. He’s quoting directly from Joel chapter 2, where we started out in the last program.
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18. And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:”
Now you see, if Peter would have had any idea that the Church Age was coming, that’s where he would have stopped. But he doesn’t; he goes right on. Now don’t miss that. That’s one of the key points here in Scripture. Peter does not know that these are not the final days. So, he goes right on. And he says, from the prophecy now, from Joel.
“And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: 20. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:” So, what’s Peter telling them? Hey, this is just telling us that the end is coming. We’re going to be getting ready for those final seven years, because if we can survive them, we’re going to be in the Kingdom.
All right, now then, the next verse throws a curve at a lot of people, because, again, they don’t understand the Old Testament program. Now verse 21, and Peter says, quoting from Joel.
“It shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Well, that’s not a parallel with Romans chapter 10:13 – it is a whole different set of circumstances. Here we’re speaking about people who would be in the Kingdom, and they would find salvation by a Jew bringing them to a knowledge of their Jehovah. In Romans 10:13, it comes after you believe Romans 10:9 for salvation.
Now, I’ve only got two minutes. Now you’ve got to move quickly with me. Come back to Isaiah, because from the Old Testament prophets Israel was going to be the ones to bring salvation, or the message of salvation, to the unsaved, who at this point in time are still pictured as in the Kingdom. And they would come to a knowledge of Jehovah through every Jew who was to have been a priest, according Exodus chapter 19 verse 6 – “And you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation.” All right, here is Isaiah’s take on it.
“Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he (speaking of the Messiah) shall bring forth judgment (or righteous rule) to the Gentiles.” Now, you come down to verse 6 and it’s speaking to the Nation.
“I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light to (What people?) the Gentiles;”
Then, when you jump on up to chapters 59 and 60, it’s the same thing, that Israel would be the vehicle to bring the Gentiles to a knowledge of salvation. But by the time we get near to the end of Christ’s earthly ministry, we now see that that’s not going to be case. There will be no unbelievers in the Kingdom for Israel to minister to, because they’ve lost that opportunity. That’s why Jesus told Nicodemus what? “Except you be born again, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.” So, now we understand, that, no, there will be no unbelievers in the Kingdom.
LESSON TWO * PART III
SHOWING A BREAK IN THE O.T. PROPHECY TIMELINE
Again, it’s good to have everybody back. We’re ready to start program number three. We always like to thank our television audience for your letters, phone calls, financial help, and prayers – everything. Every once in a while somebody will call with something that just makes my day! And it can be one thing or another. And then again, we always like to appreciate all of you folks that come in for these tapings. We know that it’s an extra effort on your part and we do, we thank you for that.
Now, we’re going to continue on where we left off in our last program. We’re still showing that there was a break in the Old Testament timeline of prophecy, with no understanding whatsoever that there was going to be almost 2,000 year’s interval. All the Old Testament spoke of it as just coming right down the pike. But yet you want to remember, in the mind of God, what is 2,000 years? Well, like a snap of the finger. Time means nothing to Him.
All right, now we’re going to take another look at it on this same concept of what Peter was talking about in Acts chapter 2. I’m doing this just to show the graphic difference between Jesus and Peter. Peter is human, and the Holy Spirit had not yet revealed to Peter that this was all going to be stopped and interrupted. Jesus knew, but yet He did not reveal the secret to anybody.
Now, I always have to make a point. That shows His Deity. Who else but God can keep a secret? You and I can’t. But see, He could. He could know all this and see the Jews in their dilemma, and, oh, it must have been a tremendous temptation to say, “But Peter.” But He didn’t. All right, Luke chapter 4 dropping in at verse 16. This is Jesus during His earthly ministry. He’s going to do the same thing that we’ve been looking at all afternoon now. He’s going to show the break in the Old Testament prophecy timeline.
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.” Now that was part of the custom of synagogue worship. If there was a visitor, he would have an opportunity to stand up and speak, or in this case, read from the Scripture.
“And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, he found (Now there’s the key word. He’s going to look for a particular portion of Scripture that He wants to read.) the place where it was written. 18. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20. And He closed the book, and gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.”
Now, that immediately should raise your questions. Why are they staring at Him? All He did was read Scripture. What had He done? The problem was He stopped in the middle of a verse, and they knew that. All right, go back and let’s read what He read, in Isaiah 61 starting at verse 1. This is the portion of Scripture that He read in the synagogue of Nazareth, but He stopped in the middle of a verse, and there was a tremendous reason why. He knew that that’s as far as the prophecy was going to go.
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek;…” Boy, you should all know this from memory by this afternoon. This is about the fifth time I’m reading it this afternoon! But that’s the way you memorize, you know. You just go over it and over it and over it and pretty soon you know it.
“…The LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broke-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, (Which, of course, He did at the resurrection, you remember?) and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 62. To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, (-) (That’s where He stopped. Now, look what follows in the prophecy.) and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;”
What was that? Well, it was future! But not just immediate future like they’d been looking at all this time, it was way out in the future, so He stopped and didn’t read it. Now come back to Luke. What does He tell them when they’re all shook up and they’re staring Him down? What have you done? So, He stands up the second time, verse 21.
“And he began to say unto them, This day (at this point in time in His earthly ministry) this Scripture is fulfilled in your ears.”
That is His first coming, His ministering to the Nation of Israel, and that’s as far as it’s going to go. He’s not going to bring in the Tribulation. He’s not going to bring in the Kingdom, because that’s going to leap 2,000 years. He knew. How did He know? He’s the author of the Book! He’s the Creator! He knew the end from the beginning. Did Peter? No.
Peter had no idea that this is the way it was going to be. That’s the point I like to make. You see, this was all in God’s providence. It was all in His plan for the ages, but He kept it secret. And that’s the one part of Scripture that most people cannot comprehend, so far as my teaching the Pauline revelations are concerned, that all these things concerning this Age of Grace were kept what? Secret!
Nobody knew that there was going to be 2,000 years of an Age of Grace. Peter didn’t know it as late as the Day of Pentecost. He thought it was all going to keep coming. Even when the little epistles are being written, they still thought it was all going to keep coming. They had no idea that the Age of Grace would go 1,900 and some years. When people can get that through their head that all of this concerning the Age of Grace was kept secret, then the Book opens up, as we’re finding out from phone call after phone call. Oh, it’s so simple if they can just grab that concept.
All right, now to epitomize that, I hope that word is right, come back with me to Deuteronomy. We haven’t used it on the program in a long time, so hopefully it’s fresh to everybody and that is Deuteronomy 29:29. Deuteronomy, that shouldn’t be too hard to find. That’s not like some of those little Minor Prophets, you know. I don’t blame you for having a hard time finding them. But this is easy.
“The secret things (See that?) belong unto the LORD our God:…” Why? Because He knows the end from the beginning. It’s His Sovereign right to keep things secret as long as He deems it necessary to keep it secret. But on the other hand, in His Sovereignty, He’ll reveal it in His own good time. That’s the whole concept of Scripture.
“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Now that, of course, is Moses, and there’s a lot of time between Moses and the end. But the concept is the same. When God keeps something secret, nobody knows about it, and He does not let it slip! All through His earthly ministry He never let this idea come out that there’s going to be a 2,000 year Church Age in here that has never been revealed. He keeps it secret!
Now, let me give you an example. Come all the way back up to, hopefully, Matthew 25 just as an example of how He kept it secret when it would have been so easy to let it slip. Now, that’s all I’m using this for, just to show you how He kept it secret instead of letting it slip. Matthew 25 verse 31 and of course it’s prophecy, because that’s all Israel understood—that which was future.
“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him,…” Does He mention anybody else? No. Could He have? Why absolutely, but He didn’t, purposely, because it wasn’t time to reveal. So all He mentions is the angels. He doesn’t mention the Old Testament saints. He doesn’t mention the Tribulation saints. And I’m not fully convinced yet whether we as the members of the Body are going to have any part in the Millennium or not. I’m still on the fence, but if indeed we are, then why didn’t He mention it? He kept it secret.
All right, now this is the whole concept then of Paul’s Apostleship. I’ve been debating for the last several days whether to do this or to go back and continue on in prophecy in Joel and so forth. But I think we’ll continue on since we’ve got your appetite whetted now on this whole idea of keeping things secret. Come up with me to Luke chapter 18. This is still in Christ’s earthly ministry, and how He uses that Sovereignty to keep things secret even if it’s only for a few days. He’ll keep it secret. He won’t be tempted to let them know ahead of time.
All right, Luke 18. We’re at the end of His earthly ministry. They’re up there in Northern Israel on what today would be a Lebanese border. He has no one with him but the Twelve. They’re at the headwaters of the Jordan River. Verse 31 and again this is just to show you how He could keep things secret for His own purposes.
“Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. 32. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: 33. And they shall scourge him, and put him to death; and the third day he shall rise again. (Don’t stop there.) 34. And they (the Twelve) understood none of these things: (Underline the word none. They didn’t get a word of it. Why? Because—) and this saying was (What’s the word?) hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”
Well, now my question is who hid it? God did. It wasn’t time for those twelve men to understand what was going to happen. Now, I’ve got an idea why. Can you imagine the furor and the fuss those twelve men would have put up if they would have understood as they went to Jerusalem all the things that would happen. They’d be fighting it tooth and nail. And He couldn’t have that. So He kept it totally secret.
Now here again, this is my argument when people say there’s never been more than one Gospel. How in the world could they preach death, burial, and resurrection when it hadn’t even happened yet? Well, then they come back with the foolish argument – well, they must have. No. It tells us right here that these twelve men had no idea that He was going to die.
All right, now then, after the fact, after He has died, are they at the tomb waiting for His resurrection? No. Why? It’s still hid from them. They don’t know He’s going to be raised from the dead. In fact, it was so, what’s the word I’m looking for? It was so devastating that now the One that they thought was the King and going to bring in all the promises of Israel, is dead. I think it was Peter, what did he say? “We go fishing.” Why? It’s all over. This was just a scam. He wasn’t who He said He was.
Oh, but now let’s go to John’s Gospel. John’s Gospel chapter 20, again, just to make my point, that, yes, after the fact that they know He’s dead, they know He was buried, but resurrected back to life? They didn’t have a clue. They had long changed their mind about the future. Everything had now fallen apart. All right, here we come. John’s Gospel chapter 20 and drop right in at verse 1.
“The first day of the week…” Sunday. Now there again. Listen. Sunday was not an invention of the Roman Catholic Church, for goodness sakes. It had been called Sunday for centuries before. It comes out of the gods and goddesses of paganism. The Bible called it the first day of the week. The first day of the week happened to be – Sunday. And so it had no connection.
“The first day of the week (resurrection day) cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, (The one that Joseph of Arimathaea had let them use.) and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. 2. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, (and we take that to be John) and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, (Any indication that she knew it was going to happen? No. She’s all shook up. Somebody has stolen the body.) and we know not where they have laid him.”
“Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. 4. So they ran both together:…” Now again, do some thinking. What’s going on in the mind of these two men? What in the world has happened? Who had the wherewithal to get past those Roman guards? Who was able to roll the stone? Who was able to steal the body? They’re all shook up. Otherwise, they’d have walked nonchalantly, but they run. Get that?
“…and the other disciple (John) did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. 5. And he stooping down, and looking in,…” Now, this is John. See, he’s a little more timid than Peter. So he just simply looks in. Now remember, we’re talking about a cave in the side of a limestone cliff.
“… saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. (Now here comes blustery Peter. He doesn’t even slow down. He just hopped right up into that cave.) 6. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 7. And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.” As though it was meticulously folded and set aside up in the corner. Now then John gets enough nerve.
“Then went in also that other disciple, who came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, (Now what can he do?) and believed.” Had he before? No. They had no idea of resurrection? They thought that when He died it was all over. Now, when he sees the evidence, yes, he believes. Now, look at the next verse.
“For as yet (up until that moment of time) they (Peter and John and I guess you might as well include Mary.) knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” They didn’t know. Why? God had kept it secret. And it isn’t until this point in time that God sees fit to open the eyes of Peter and John.
Now, that should tell us everything. How in the world could they be preaching our Gospel of faith in the death, burial, and resurrection when they knew nothing of any of it? And especially the resurrection. Common sense should tell you that they couldn’t preach something that they knew nothing about. And yet that’s what 90% of Christendom maintains, that they’ve always preached death, burial, and resurrection. It’s the only Gospel there’s ever been. What a travesty. What a travesty when you just look at it with common sense, with an intelligence level of a twelve year old. You can see that these men knew nothing of any of this until God finally step-by-step opened their ability to believe.
All right, now then, that should give me enough time to introduce Romans 16 verse 25. This is what makes the Apostle Paul’s apostleship what it is. It’s a revelation of things kept secret; given to this man like no one else—Romans 16 verse 25. I’ve said it before on the program and I’ve said it in seminar after seminar, I don’t know of a single time that anyone has ever agreed that this verse was used in a Sunday morning sermon. Never! Never! In the first place, they don’t know what it’s talking about. In the second place, if they did, they would never believe it. But here it is. It’s Scripture. It’s not Les Feldick. It’s the Word.
“Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the (secret or the) mystery, which was kept secret since the ages began.” Who kept it secret? God did! That’s what we’ve been seeing all day!
The Old Testament writers, the Old Testament believers, the Gospels—had no idea that all of these things that would happen would suddenly be interrupted and that there would be a 2,000 year period of time when none of that would be really relevant, because God’s going to do something totally different. He’s going to call out Gentiles, of all people, and bring them into the Body of Christ by virtue of His death, burial, and resurrection. And then He would take it unto Himself and then finish the prophetic Scriptures.
But see, it was kept secret. And nobody had a clue as to this one fact that God was going to reveal a Gospel of the Grace of God, which is what he’s referring to here, “the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, (which in English is a secret) which was kept secret since the world, or the ages, began.”
That’s why these Old Testament prophets knew nothing of an interruption in our timeline. They had no idea of it. They thought it was all going to keep coming. The King would come, set up His Kingdom, and that would usher in, of course, on into eternity. But, oh, unknown to all of them is this revelation. Now, to whom was this revelation given? One man. Not twelve. One! The Apostle Paul.
In fact, when we were on our cruise a year ago last fall, that was the subject of our cruise: “Why, Paul?” He had Twelve Apostles, why another one? Because the Twelve are connected with Israel; this other one is going to be connected with the rest of the world. So, he had a unique apostleship. And, oh, my goodness, now listen, you people think that I’m pulling your leg. No. We get a letter every once in a while that says, “Well, I can’t agree with you. I don’t think Paul even belongs in our Bible.”
I had a lady tell me one time on the phone, she said, “Les, I detest the guy. He hasn’t got anything for me,” and on and on. And on the ship I used to tell my classes after dinner, I’d say, now listen, you’ve got people on this ship that don’t like Paul’s Gospel. Well, that’s hard to believe, but before we left Athens that morning it became evident. One of my guys came up and said, “Les, you’re right! These people hate Paul’s Gospel.” Even though they were on the footsteps of Paul geographically, but oh…they don’t like his Gospel. All right, why? Because they don’t understand the fact that it was a secret revealed from Heaven to this one man.
Now, I’m going to use one or two verses yet from Galatians. Then we’ll have to close. Galatians chapter 1 verses 11 and 12. And again, I always have to remind everybody, every word that Paul writes is inspired by the Holy Spirit just as well as what Moses wrote or what Isaiah wrote or any of the rest of the writers of Scripture. It’s all Spirit-inspired. All right, look what he says.
“But I certify you, brethren, (I guarantee it.) that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but (How did he get it?) by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
What’s Paul saying? That his Gospel came from the Ascended Lord of Glory! Something that no other man had ever had any idea of. It was kept secret, and here’s where God now opens it up. And, oh, when people refuse to come to Paul and his Gospel, they are sealing their own doom.
LESSON TWO * PART IV
SHOWING A BREAK IN THE O.T. PROPHECY TIMELINE
Okay, we’re working on book number 71. We’re kind of jumping around a little bit today. I didn’t feel comfortable in just staying with Joel all four programs, so I think it’s probably working out the way the Lord wants it. We ended up in our last half-hour on the revelation of the things that have been kept secret. Hopefully everyone remembers what we’re talking about now – that God in His Sovereignty can keep things secret until He is ready to reveal it. And we saw some examples coming up through Scripture.
But now, when we get to the Apostle Paul, who was sent to the Gentiles specifically, whereas the Twelve were Apostles of Israel, we find that his message, his Gospel, is a revelation of everything that had been kept secret from Adam until we get to this Apostle. So we’re going to look, during this last half-hour program, at Paul’s Gospel. We’re going to look at Ephesians chapter 3 verse 2. The reason I emphasize Paul’s Gospel is because of what it says in Romans 2:16 where Paul so plainly and so simply writes that “Every man will be judged by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.”
In other words, lost people are going to come up before the Great White Throne and Christ will tell them up front, well, you’re here because you refused to believe Paul’s Gospel. Always remember that we’re dealing with more people on the planet right now than have probably lived almost from day one. So that puts humanity under the requirement then to believe Paul’s Gospel.
All right, let’s turn to Ephesians chapter 3 and start at verse 1. Now, the first two chapters are dealing with Paul’s Gospel, how that the unsaved person is brought into a relationship with Jesus Christ by believing in the death, burial, and resurrection.
“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you (What?) Gentiles,” Now that’s not there just to fill space. That’s what he was! He was the Apostle of the Gentiles, whereas Peter and the Eleven were Apostles of Israel. Two totally different programs—as different as daylight from dark.
The Twelve were associated with Temple worship, the Law, the Old Testament promises, and the Nation of Israel. But Israel rejected everything, so now God’s going to do something totally different. In fact, now this is the way I teach, I can’t help it. Keep your hand in Ephesians. Come back with me to Matthew chapter 10. Now, for a lot of you, you’re going to say, “Oh, yeah, we’ve seen this over and over and over.” But for others, they’ve never seen it before at all. Because you won’t find this in Sunday school quarterlies; you won’t find preachers preaching on it. They just can’t handle it. But here it is in black and white. Matthew 10 verse 5, the beginning of His earthly ministry. He has just chosen the twelve apostles, or the disciples. Now verse 5:
“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans (who were half-breed Jews) enter ye not; 6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Now, what’s He saying? Have nothing to do with anybody who is not a Jew –go only to the house of Israel.
So it was throughout His three years, with two exceptions. He had nothing to do with Gentiles. And the Twelve had nothing to do with Gentiles, because that was all based on the Old Testament promises. And the Old Testament promises had nothing to do with anybody but Israel. Once Israel comes into that place of privilege, yes, then Israel could evangelize the rest of the world. But Israel rejected everything.
They show their rejection now in Acts chapter 7 – come up with me there – when they stone Stephen. This is the crescendo (this is the word I always use) of their rejection, we’ll not have this Jesus of Nazareth under any circumstances. Now remember, Stephen is appealing to them after the fact. Jesus has been crucified. He’s been raised from the dead. He’s gone back to Glory. But He would yet return and bring in the Kingdom if Israel would just repent of having killed Him and believe who He was. But they will not. All right, here’s their response. Stephen has been appealing to them to believe who Jesus was, all right, verse 57.
“Then they cried out with a loud voice, and they stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, 58. And cast him out of the city, and stoned him:…” Now you know the old cliché that I’ve used over and over through the years, “If you don’t like the message, kill the messenger.” Well, that’s what Israel had been doing for centuries. If they didn’t like what the prophets wrote and preached, they killed them.
All right, it is the same way here. They didn’t like what Stephen was preaching, so they killed him.
“…and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.” Now what’s that? That’s a new character. Here comes a new player on the stage of biblical history – Saul of Tarsus. First time he’s mentioned.
All right, then of course you go over into chapter 9 and he’s now like a raging bull going up to Damascus to arrest Jews who had embraced Jesus as the Messiah. He’s going to continue his persecution of those people by putting them to death or putting them in prison—whatever. But, oh, God intervened supernaturally. He saved that raging bull. Melted him like hot butter on a July afternoon to where he said what? Lord, what would you have me to do?
All right, now let’s just jump over a few verses in Acts chapter 9 to verse 15. Here is the big fork in the road, Beloved! And Christendom can’t see it. Here Jesus has told the Twelve go to no one but Jews. The Jews have rejected it. Now, here comes the other fork in the road.
“But the Lord said unto Ananias, Go thy way: for he (Saul of Tarsus) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles,…’” Just the opposite of what He told the Twelve. Now, why can’t people see that?
Here the Lord from Heaven tells another Jew that this man, Saul, is going to go to the Gentiles. And what’s going to be his message to the Gentiles? The same thing that Peter and the Eleven had preached? No! A whole new revelation. A whole new ball game, if I can use present day vernacular. Everything is going to be different. Oh, it’s the same God, the same Christ, but a whole different program.
All right, now let’s go back to the verse that we started out with, and I didn’t get to read –Ephesians chapter 3 verse 2. This Apostle, having been commissioned by the Lord Himself back there in Acts chapter 9, can now let us know what has happened. God has opened up the secrets. He has quit holding them. And He just opens them up and pours them on this Apostle, so that he in turn can take it out to the Gentile world. Now, when people rebel at that, and you’ve heard me say it before on the program, do they rebel at the fact that God used Moses the same way? No. They don’t have any problem with that. But that’s what God did. The whole first five books of the Bible are written by Moses. Everything pertaining to the Nation of Israel and the Law and the Tabernacle and the Priesthood came through Moses. Well, they don’t bother with that. But then when you tell them that God’s doing the same thing for the Gentiles with another man, the Apostle Paul, they can’t handle it. But, hey, that’s where’s it’s at. Okay, Ephesians chapter 3:
“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2. If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God, which is given to me to you:” Now, if Moses were writing, what would Moses say? I’m bringing you the dispensation of Law which God gave to me, and I’m coming down the mountain and I’m giving it to you. Only the “you” was Israel. But with Paul the “you” is the whole human race but predominately the Gentile world.
All right, so to this man was given all the directions for this dispensation of Grace. Now, I’m going to again define a dispensation, like I’ve done many, many times on this program. What is a dispensation? It’s a period of time during which God deals with a segment of the human race in a particular way. He gives them particular directions. I like to use the prescription aspect – that if a doctor writes a prescription and you take it to the pharmacist, he fills the prescription. He puts in the bottle what the doctor has ordered for your particular need, but what’s on the outside? Directions. That’s the key part. What good does it do to have a medication if you don’t know how much or how little to take? Without directions, what good does it do to have a bottle of medicine for a chest cold here, where over here you’ve got a bottle of medicine for arthritis?
Now just stop and think a minute. I’m going to keep the medications fluid only for sake of my illustration. Here you’ve got a bottle of medicine that has been given for your arthritic joint pain, or whatever. It’s got its own set of directions. But now you’ve gone in and you’ve gotten a bottle of medicine for a chest cold. It, too, has its own set of directions. Now, who in the world would even think about taking the cap off of both of them and mixing them and then taking a little bit of both of them or a little of one and more of another? Is that the way you would handle a prescription? No. But that’s what they’re doing with the Bible.
Now, the first and simplest dispensation was Adam and Eve in the Garden. God had them under a set of circumstances for a particular period of time. He gave them a set of directions. But it was the simplest of all the dispensations, because their directions only included one thing and what was it? “Of that tree you shall not eat.” Everything else, there was no problem. There was no death. There was no sickness. There was no sin. There was no temptation. There was tempter. Everything is yours to enjoy, but do not eat of that tree. That was their directions. Now, when they did not follow the directions, what happened? They got in trouble. And they fell. The result of their fall was expulsion from the Garden. Now, we come all the way up through biblical history with these various times where God gave a set of directions. And when they failed them, He moved on to a different one.
All right, now we come to our particular dispensation and the set of directions is: believe the Gospel. What Gospel? Paul’s Gospel. And what’s it based on? That finished work of the Cross – faith in the death, burial, and resurrection, and that alone!
All right, time’s running. Ephesians chapter 3 let’s move on. So, this dispensation, this set of directions for us today, was given to no one but the Apostle Paul. That’s why Peter and the other Eleven did not have an understanding of it until finally at the end of Peter’s life as he’s writing his second epistle. What does he tell his Jewish readers? Now with the Temple going to be destroyed in a year or two, God inspires the Apostle Peter to write to his Jewish people, if you want salvation, you go to Paul’s epistles. Why didn’t he tell his Jewish readers to go to John? He doesn’t. He says to go to Paul’s epistles, because that’s where it’s at for this dispensation. All right, read on in verse 3.
“How that by revelation (a revealing) he made known unto me the mystery;…” Or the secret of this Gospel of the Grace of God. Now stop and think a minute. Why is this so different from everything that went before?
Well you see, everything since Moses was resting on the Law, Temple worship, the sacrifices, and the priesthood. That’s all they knew. Then this man comes along and says that all counts for nothing. Forget it. All you do now is believe in the finished work of the cross. You see the difference? It’s all the difference in the world. We’re not under Temple worship. We’re not under a set of rules and regulations. We’re resting on what Christ has done on our behalf. He’s done it all! And we don’t have to do a thing but believe it and rest in it. Okay, so this is what he’s driving at, see, that it all came by revelation.
“Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery (or the secrets) of Christ)” My, there is so much that comes out in Paul’s epistles that was never even hinted at in Scripture before. Why? Because it’s a revelation of things that have been kept secret.
“Which in other ages (Or generations, or dispensations – in other words, all the way back to Adam) was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;”
Now you’ve got to be careful there. We’re not talking about the Twelve, we’re talking about the men who worked and served along with this Apostle. I’m thinking of Barnabas and Silas and Timothy and Titus and so forth. They understood. The Twelve didn’t. All right, now go on in verse 6.
“That the Gentiles (Now you see, that was the hardest pill of all for a Jew to swallow, that God would have anything to do with those pagan Gentiles. But here it is.) should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ (How?) by the gospel:”
Well, now here I guess I’d better stop and define the Gospel of our salvation according to Scripture. Not according to any denomination. Not according to tracts. Not according to me. What’s the Gospel according to Scripture? I Corinthians 15:1-4. As I’ve said before, I say it again, why does most of Christendom totally ignore it?
Just the other day I got something in the mail. I’m not going to define it too closely, but in the opening page was a whole page of how to become a Christian. And I said, Iris, read this. And it was good, with one exception. Not one reference to the resurrection. Not a word. How can they do that? Listen, if it weren’t for the resurrection, that death on the cross would have gone for nothing. It took the power of His resurrection to make that work of the cross worthwhile, to make it operate, to give it energy. All right, here it is.
I Corinthians 15: 1-2a
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel (The one and only that’s in operation today.) which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein you stand; 2. By which also ye are saved,…” Now, can you make it any plainer than that? This is The Gospel that saves people. Nothing else. And here it is, reading on in verse 2.
I Corinthians 15:2-3a
“By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. (And it would count for nothing.) 3. For I delivered unto you (not Jesus, not John, not Peter but Paul) first of all that which I also received,…” We saw from Galatians in the last half-hour, where did he receive it? From the ascended Lord. That’s where he got it. Not from any of the others. That’s what he said, that it didn’t come after man, but it came directly from Christ Himself. Now, here’s The Gospel of salvation.
I Corinthians 15:3b-4
“…how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; 4. And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures:” That’s the Gospel.
But you see, it was an unknown entity until God revealed it to this Apostle. And that’s why I have to keep trumpeting it and trumpeting it and trumpeting it. If you don’t follow Paul and his writings, you’re doomed, because that’s where it’s at. God does not wink at half-truth. God is not some Santa Claus who can be manipulated. He’s Absolute. And we’ve got to be aware of that.
My, I was just talking to a young man here today who agrees with me. He says you can talk to people up and down the streets of even Tulsa, Oklahoma, and ask them how they think they’re going to get to heaven. And the answer is almost universal – I’m doing the best I can. I think God will accept me. No, He won’t, because no person can do enough good works to merit God’s favor. We have to believe what He has done. All right, so there you have the Gospel as plain as it can be made.
Now, if you’ll come back with me once again to Ephesians 3. Then we’re going to move on to a few other places where it’s by this Gospel plus nothing that we have salvation.
“That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: 7. Whereof I (not we) was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 8. Unto me,…” The man isn’t proud. He’s not puffed up. If anything he’s the opposite. He’s the humblest of the humble. Look what he says.
“Unto me, who am lest than the least of all saints, (Paul feels he’s at the bottom of the heap.) is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9. And to make all men see (Not just Israel, not just the Gentiles, but the whole human race now comes under this Gospel of Grace.) to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, (or these things kept secret) which from the beginning of the world have been hid in God, (See that? What does that mean? It was kept secret in the mind of God. God never revealed it until this Apostle.) who created all things by Jesus Christ:”
All right, we’ve only got a couple minutes left. Let’s come back quickly now and see how that this Gospel and this Gospel alone is what saves us to the uttermost. Romans chapter 1 and we’re going to make a quick run through a few Scriptures. So be ready to turn the pages. Romans chapter 1 verse 16.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: (And what’s the Gospel? That He died, was buried, and rose from the dead. That’s the Gospel.) I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it (The Gospel) is the power of God unto salvation (eternal life) to every one that believeth;…” and is baptized? No. It doesn’t say that.
To every one who believes and gives ten percent? No. It doesn’t say that. To every one who believes and joins the church? It doesn’t say that. And on and on we could go. But it’s “to every one that (What?) believeth.” What’s the other word for believe? Faith. Faith plus nothing! Here it is. There’s nothing else added.
“…to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (or the Gentile. All right, come over to Romans chapter 3 verse 23.
“For all have sinned, (Every human being is without God in his life until he’s saved.) and come short of the glory of God; 24. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption (As we saw in previous programs, through the process of buying us back.) that is in Christ Jesus:” Now drop down to verse 26.
“To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him (or that person) who (What?) believeth in Jesus.” Now turn quickly to chapter 5, and then it’s going to be over. Time is gone. Romans chapter 5 verse 1:
“Therefore being justified by faith,…” In what? The Gospel. Believe with all your heart that when Christ died, He died for you. He died for me. He died for the whole human race. He was buried and rose again. Believe that for your salvation.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have (What?) peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” Why? Because now we’re one of His own.
LESSON THREE * PART I
ANTI-CHRIST: THE BEAST, THE WICKED ONE
Daniel 9:27 – Revelation 19:11
Okay, it’s good to see everybody in again this afternoon. As you know, we make four programs each taping, and this is the first of the afternoon. We just want to let you know how much we appreciate your letters and your phone calls. My, since we started over in Genesis, we can’t believe the response. We have to remember we’ve got new people coming in all the time and they have never heard our teachings in Genesis before. So we really do appreciate your phone calls, letters, and your financial help. And the prayers! My, how we love it when people write and say, “We pray for you every day.” That’s what has made the program go.
All right, now for those of you here in the studio, you’ve probably already turned back to the reference on the board. We’re going to continue on with what we started four or maybe eight programs ago on “The Day of the LORD.” Those final seven years of Tribulation as we now call it. Today, for the most part, I’m going to be dealing with the personality, the individual, who will be heading up the world’s government and control during those seven years. We’re going to start getting a handle on that in Daniel chapter 9 verses 25 and 26.
By the way, we’ve still got a lot of copies of the one and only book that our ministry has published. It is eighty-eight questions with the answers taken from our program material. Again, it is so well received that we want as many of these to go out as possible. It will be the best $11 you’ll ever spend.
Okay, turn to Daniel chapter 9, and we’re going to find out as much as we can today about what most people realize is the anti-Christ. We’re going to chase all the Scriptures that we can find regarding this individual—Daniel chapter 9. I’ll have it here in a second. We’ll just drop in and read verses 26 and 27.
Now remember, this whole series began back there in verse 24, where we have 490 years of a prophecy directed to the Nation of Israel. Now we know, from the breakdown and history and church history and biblical history that the 483 years culminated with the crucifixion. Then verses 26 and 27 introduce us to the final seven years and this man anti-Christ. All right, beginning at verse 26 of Daniel 9:
“And after threescore and two weeks (Now, that threescore is 60 and 2, so after sixty two weeks, or 483 years) shall Messiah be cut off, (That’s the reference to the crucifixion.) but not for himself:…” He didn’t die because of anything He deserved, we all know that. Now here comes the clue.
“…and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;…” Now, that’s where you’ve got to stop and think a minute. The people of the prince – now what does that mean?
The Empire from which this coming prince will be citizen. Now, I hope you all get that. It’s kind of in veiled language. But the “the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary (the Temple),” which we know the Romans did in A.D. 70. So, this tells us that this coming prince will come out of a revived Roman Empire.
Now, I’m going to take this slow today, because I know that since the rise of Islam these last 10-15 years, a lot of people are beginning to get kind of queasy on the fact that the anti-Christ is going to come out of the Roman Empire rather than out of the Muslim world. It’s a historical fact that when the Greek Empire disintegrated after Alexander’s death, the Syrian general who ended up in control of Jerusalem was a fellow by the name of Antiochus Epiphanes. This was back around 300 B.C. He had such a hatred for the Jews and their religion, that he purposely went into the Temple and just to infuriate the Jews sacrificed a hog in the Holy of Holies in the Temple.
Some Bible scholars take that as a preview in type of the real anti-Christ, and there is a certain degree of believability in that. But that doesn’t mean that he has to come from Syria. It doesn’t mean that he has to be Assyrian. There are other elements of all this that indicate, I think, that he has be at least part Jew. In other words, the people of Israel would never accept a pure Syrian, I don’t think. I don’t think they would accept a Muslim as their Messiah. But we’re going to be looking at all this as we go through the afternoon.
So right now, in this verse, we understand that this coming prince—we’ve got the names on the board of what he is also called in other areas. He is called all of these and maybe some more. But these are the ones that I could just knock off the top of my head. He is the prince that’s coming here in Daniel. He is also referred to in I John as the anti-Christ. Paul refers to him in II Thessalonians as the Son of Perdition, that Wicked One. What else have we got? Oh, and then the beast, he’s referred to as the beast throughout Scripture because of his bestiality in his ruling the world. So, all of these terms are indicative of the same individual who is going to actually become the worldwide dictator for these final seven years. All right, so now we’ll come back to this verse, this “prince that shall come,” a reference to the anti-Christ who is going to come out of the environs of the Ancient Roman Empire, which we are already seeing being revived with the European Community.
“…destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, (in other words, devastation) and unto the end (of that period of time, the seven years that are left) wars and desolations are determined.” All right, now verse 27.
“And he (this coming prince, this coming world ruler out of the environs of a revived Roman Empire) shall confirm (or make a covenant or a treaty) with many for one week:…” Now of course, we’ve looked at this verse hundreds of times over the last 15-16 years. The many, I think now, will have to involve the whole Arab world as well as Israel.
And it’s going to be a supernatural thing, because as we’ve witnessed, I guess since at least 1990, how many great men have tried to make peace between Israel and the Arabs? They can get ever so close and it falls apart. Well, it will never happen until God intervenes. It’s going to be a supernaturally done peace treaty. It would never happen without the providential intervention.
This man is going to be the instrument. He is going to bring about a peace treaty between Israel and, not just the Palestinians, but it will include the whole, anti-Jewish Muslim area of the Middle East. Now that includes Jordan and Egypt and probably North Africa. It includes Lebanon and Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and some of those other Muslim countries. They’re all going to come together with this peace treaty with Israel. Today that’s unbelievable. It just can’t be understood in the secular world that the Arabs will ever condescend to make peace with the Jews. But they’re going to when this thing takes place.
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: (or for that final seven years of this 490 year prophecy. All right, then it says–) and in the middle of the week (or at the end of 3 ½ years) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,…” Or stop. Again I have to stop and get everybody in my listening area to just be logical. Look at it with common sense.
We know Israel hasn’t had a temple since A.D. 70. But now all of a sudden there’s going to be temple worship. That’s what “oblation and sacrifice” indicate, that they’re going, as a result of this peace treaty, to be able to rebuild a temple. You know the Jew will never have a temple that’s not on the Temple Mount. This is unbelievable today that the Arab Muslim world will agree to the Jews building a temple on the Temple Mount. Yes, they’re going to. That’s the supernatural aspect of this treaty.
So, with the Temple rebuilt and the peace treaty that is bringing about that kind of a scenario, now again, use your imagination. What else is this going to involve? Well, just picture Israel for the last fifty years. They have been taxed to the limit. They have been taxed unmercifully. For what reason? To maintain their military.
Now when you stop and think of how a little nation of less than five million, well, they’re about five million now. Think of how they have been able to bring about, probably next to America, the greatest military machine in the world. What does that take? It takes money. I know we have helped them, but they have paid their own dues. They at one time were paying as much as 70% income tax. Now that’s a burden. My, we think it’s awful at 30 or 35%.
When this peace treaty comes about that is great enough and influential enough between Israel and the Arab world so that Israel can put a temple on the Temple Mount, what else is going to happen? It’s going to be an exploding financial restoration, to not only Israel but the whole Middle East.
That’s why I’ve said for the thirty years I’ve been teaching, I do not look for a worldwide financial collapse like we had in the 30’s. I just can’t see it prophetically. Because as we’re going to see after a bit, this man is going to come in with flattery, which means he’s going to promise the moon. In the world we’re living in today, so materialistically minded, what’s the first thing the average citizen of the world today thinks about? Their bank account. Their billfold. That’s all that matters.
My goodness, you even take our presidential elections. What is the primary reason for people to vote? The economy. And people are the same all over today. The whole world is on a financial binge. All right, so I think it’s going to continue right in past this peace treaty where this man is going to promise peace and prosperity, and it’s going to happen.
All right, now in the midst of that financial euphoria, not only are they going to have the Temple, not only are they going to have financial security, but when you’re in that state of affairs, what do you do with your military? Get rid of it! Don’t need it. So they’re going to dismantle that tremendous military machine faster than we did after World War II.
Now, for those of you that are as old as I am, and that’s getting up there, how many people did we have in the military at the end of World War II? Who wants to venture a guess? Fourteen million. See, Ike is well read. We had fourteen million people in our military at the end of World War II. How long did it take us to discharge them and send them all home? A few months. Just a few months. All right, now I use that as an example. Israel is going to do the same thing. The moment this peace treaty is signed, Israel is going to just simply park their fighter aircraft. They’re going to park their tents. They’re going to discharge their military people, and they’re going to get busy getting rich! Enjoying life. They’ve finally got the peace that they’d been looking for.
All right, that in turn brings us back to Ezekiel 38. Now, I’m just projecting. I’m not guaranteeing that this is all right out of Scripture. But with Scripture as a background, I can make a projection that this is what could logically happen next. All right, if Israel is going to dismantle their military, they’re going to wait upon the Western European Nations, and America will probably be involved. They, too, are going to guarantee Israel’s peace and safety. And they dismantle their military – now, what’s happened to their defense system? It’s gone.
All right, now back to Ezekiel 38, the chapter that we’ve looked at over and over, where we have the big northern invasion of Israel headed up by Russia. Now, if you watch the news at all, what’s happening more and more between Russia and Iran? They’re coming closer and closer together. As much as we try to stop Iran from their nuclear activity, the Russians undermine us. They’re just going to pour whatever the Iranians need in order to keep the thing going.
All right, in Ezekiel 38 it comes to a head. I have taught, for as long as I’ve been teaching prophecy that this will be in the first year or so of the seven. I’ll show you why. First, before we get into that part, let’s see how that this Russian confederation, which will include most of the Muslim world—the Lord says in verse 8.
“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years (This is at the end time.) thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword,” Well, that’s a reference to the little land of Israel. After all the wars that Israel has fought to maintain their nation’s statehood, and they have been having to fight for it almost constantly since they became a Nation, including just this past summer.
“…and is gathered out of many people, (Now we know that there are Jews in Israel from almost every nation under heaven today.) against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: (Because when Israel was out of the land, it became a desolation.) but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.”
“Thou (this Russian coalition) shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou and all thy bands, and many people with thee. 10. Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:” Now, here’s my key verse, the next one.
“And thou shalt say,…” In other words, the military planners up there in the Kremlin are going to be looking at all the details, and they’re going to just be exuberant. These Jewish people are sitting there with no military capability. They’ve dismantled everything. But that isn’t the language of about 600 B.C. What’s the language? Walled villages.
“And thou (the Russian leadership) shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages, (Now, in language of antiquity, that just simply means they had no defense. They’re sitting there like ducks on a pond.) I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, (My goodness, militarily I guess they’re at rest. They’re too busy making money. They’re too busy having a good time because of that peace treaty.) all of them dwelling without walls, (They’ve been guaranteed that no one will be able to hurt them.) and having neither bars nor gates,” To keep the enemy out. Russia is going to say, we go—
“To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited,…” Well, that’s Israel. It was a total desolation until after World War II. I’ve used it over and over where old Mark Twain was traveling over there in the 1860’s and he said he would never want to live here. It’s a desolation. Not even the weeds of the desert will grow here! He saw no living thing. Nothing! Why? It was totally desolate until the Jews started coming back after World War II.
So, all of this indicates, then, if I can bring you back now to Daniel 9, that when this peace treaty is signed at the very opening days or hours of this final seven years, this humongous personality will start all of this.
I have to think of my early years on the television program. In the early 90’s, we were on the big six-foot dish. Where’s Gary? Is he around here? I’ll never forget when I was still taping over in the old studio and on the way out Gary said, “Les, come in here.” He was office manager. And he said, “World Harvest has just signed up for a satellite with those big six-foot dishes and we’ve got to get you on there!” So we did. We got on the big six-foot satellite fairly early. One of my first responders was a Jewish young man out in California who picked us up on that six-foot dish.
Come to find out, he was a student in a yeshiva. Now, if you know what yeshiva is, that’s where they teach young Jewish men. And we had quite a few conversations there for a little while, but we had one that always stuck with me. He said, “Now, Les, you’re talking about a Messiah that’s going to be Deity.” And I said, “Well, yeah, it’s going to be the Son.” He said, “No, that’s not what we think at all.” I said, “Well, what do you think?” He said, “He’s just going to be a superman. He’s going to be super intelligent. He’s going to have super military capability. He’s going to be a super economist. He’s just going to be a superman, but he’s going to be a man.” All right, who was he really thinking about? The anti-Christ. That’s what he’s going to be. He’s going to be a superman. All right, now let’s finish Daniel 9 verse 27, again. Then we’ll look at a few more verses here in Daniel.
“…in the middle of the week…” That will be at the end of the first three and a half years. After we’ve had all this euphoric activity in Israel, especially, rebuilding the Temple and reestablishing Temple worship. Their economy is just roaring, and they are living life to the full. You know, I’ve got to give the Jews credit. Do you know of any race or nationality of people that can enjoy life more than the Jews? Huh-uh. They have always had the capability of living life to the full, even when they were under persecution. Well, can you imagine what it will be like when the Nation comes under the prosperity and the peace treaty that guarantees their safety? Why, it’s going to be unbelievable!
All right, so in the middle of the week, this super-man anti-Christ is going to go into that Temple and do much like Antiochus Epiphanes did three hundred years before Christ. He’s going to one way or another desecrate and defile Israel’s Temple. It’s whatever you want to think, but it’s something that’s just reviling. It’s rotten to the core. It’s awful. That’s what he’s going to do to the Temple.
“…in the middle of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, (He’s going to so completely defile it that a Jew wouldn’t even think of stepping inside ever again, and it’s going to stay that way.) even until the consummation, (or the ending of that last three and a half years, or the seven) and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
It will remain desolate until the seven years are completed. All that has been determined in prophecy as we’ve been looking at the last several programs, and we’ll look again this afternoon…all that has been determined will be poured upon the desolator, This man anti-Christ and the wrath of God will one day be poured upon him.
All right, now let’s just get a few more descriptions of this fellow here while we’re in Daniel. Turn up to Daniel chapter 11, if you will. Daniel chapter 11 and come on over to verse 36. Now again, Daniel, like most of the writers of prophecy, will skip periods of time and then leap clear to the end of time. All right, now here in verse 11 we feel that he is referring to this man anti-Christ at the latter days, at the end of the seven years.
“And the king (Another reference to this man anti-Christ, he’s the world ruler.) shall do according to his will; (He won’t listen to a parliament or a congress. He’s going to be a total dictator.) and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god,…” In other words, all the religions of the world that may have their particular object of worship, he’s going to put himself above them all. And he’s going to do it with force.
“…and he shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, (In other words, the God of Scripture, the God of Israel) and he shall prosper (In other words, he’s going to succeed at everything he does. He’s a superman, remember?) until the indignation be accomplished: (Which is another word for the seven years, he’s going to get away with everything until those seven years come to an end.) for that which is determined shall be done.” All the things in this seven years are going to come to pass, now verse 37.
“Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers,…” Now, this is another reason I feel he has to have some Jewish blood, because I cannot understand the Nation of Israel accepting this guy as a Messiah if he were not a Jew.
Now, I haven’t got time now in this half-hour, but in the next half hour I’m going to show you why I think they’re going to accept this man as the true Messiah. I’ll show you a verse of Scripture. But for now, just take my word for it that they are recognizing this man as their God-sent Messiah even though he will not regard the God of Israel.
“Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, (That about tells you what he is.) nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.”
What does that tell you? The guy has all the earmarks of a total dictator. He has nothing but pride for himself.
LESSON THREE * PART II
ANTI-CHRIST: THE BEAST, THE WICKED ONE
Daniel 9:27 – Revelation 19:11
Okay, good to see everybody in again. You’ve all had your coffee. We are ready for program number two this afternoon. We’re going to continue on where we started in the first half hour. How much further we’re going to go, we don’t know. We just wait for the Lord to put an end to it in His time.
We’re going to continue on where we were in the last half hour talking about this coming world ruler. He’s called various names in Scripture. We’ll flip the board in a little bit and show you that. But, remember in one of my closing remarks in the last half hour, I said I thought the man had to be at least part Jew. I don’t do that by any stretch of the imagination to put down the Jewish people, because, good heavens, every race or nationality of people have their demagogues. And the Jews have had them before. Hitler was probably at least part Jew. Some of the Communists in Russia were, so, when I say that the anti-Christ could be Jewish, that’s not because I’m deriding the Jewish people at all.
But it’s from a common sense approach to Scripture. If they are going to think that he is their Messiah, I have to think that he’s going to have to be at least part Jew, because they would never accept a Muslim as their Messiah. They’ve got their own. I think you’re all aware of that now, that this guy in Iran is promoting their own form of a Messiah called Mahde (M-a-h-d-e).
But before we look at the verse I told you that shows that the Nation of Israel is going to accept him as Messiah, I’m going to go back for just a moment. Now, I’ve got my studio folks here in John chapter 5, but if you’ll come back with me a minute to Daniel chapter 11 and pick up where we left off in our closing remarks in the last program. This tremendous individual, and he will be tremendous from the human standpoint, is going to be extra smart. He’s going to have extra charisma and be able to just boondoggle people, and they’re going to believe the lie. Well, he’s going to also have a certain element, I think, of the supernatural in order to bring it all about.
All right, so continuing that thought, let’s go back a minute to Daniel chapter 11 and repeat where we closed. Daniel chapter 11 and we’ll drop in at verse 36.
“And the king (or this king, this coming world ruler) shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, (That, of course, would be the God of the Bible.) and shall prosper (He’s going to be a tremendous innovator of the economy and everything else.) till the indignation be accomplished: (or all the horrors of the Tribulation are finished) for all that is determined shall be done.” Now verse 37:
“Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers,…” Now, I have to feel that if Scripture meant a god of the Muslims or a god of the Hindus or anything like that, it would have been a small ‘g’. But for whatever reason, at least our English version has this God with a capital ‘G.’
“Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, (Which I would say is the God of Abraham.) nor (does he have any) the desire for women,…” Which, I think again, he’ll be a homosexual. And listen, I’ve been reading more history again than I really should. How many world leaders were homosexuals? It’s just unbelievable. So, for this guy to be homosexual, hey, that’s not a stretch whatsoever. It’s very possible. But whatever.
“…nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.” Like the Caesars of Rome claimed to be gods, so will this guy. All right, then verse 38:
“But in his estate (In other words, in his position, now realizing that he is kingpin of the world.) he shall honor the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.” He’s going to be a complete opposite of the God of Scripture.
All right, I made the remark that I feel this fellow has to be enough Jew by blood for the Nation of Israel to accept him as Messiah. I told you I had a verse in the New Testament that will substantiate that. Here it is in John’s Gospel chapter 5 verse 43. This says it all in total simplicity. You don’t have to be a theologian to understand this. This is exactly what’s going to happen. All got it? John’s Gospel chapter 5 verse 43 and the Lord is speaking. And He says:
“I am come in my Father’s name, (In other words, in response to all the Old Testament prophecies.) and ye receive me not:…” You got that? Now, there’s another verse in John that says, what?
“He came unto his own and his own received him not.” Well, here it is from His own lips.
“I came in my Father’s name, (I came in fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies and you won’t take it. All right, now read on.) and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, (Not in the name of the God of Abraham. Not claiming to be fulfilling the prophecies of the Old Testament, this fellow is going to come in his own ego, if I can put it that way. In his own pride. And in his own abilities. All right, the Lord says, what will Israel do?) him ye will receive.”
Now, you see what it says? When the false one comes, they’ll believe him. They’re going to claim him as the Messiah that they’ve been looking for. I think the main reason will be because of this peace treaty that now they’ll have full freedom to build their Temple on the Temple Mount. They have freedom to dismantle their military because their boundaries are going to be guaranteed. They’re going to have an exploding economy, and the Jews are just going to be blinded with their materialism. They’re going to acclaim that this fellow is the one that they’ve been looking for.
All right, now to continue on in our definitions of the names of this man of sin, the anti-Christ, come on up with me to II Thessalonians where we’ve been before. This is the one and only place, well, I guess I should say not only. There’s a little bit in Romans 8 where Paul alludes to things prophetic. But for the most part, this is the only place in all of Paul’s epistles where he draws an analogy with Old Testament prophecy.
Paul just doesn’t have anything to do with it in any other place, because we are so insulated from it. The Body of Christ is insulated from all the Old Testament prophecies and promises that were given primarily to Israel. This is one of my main arguments that the Body of Christ cannot go into the Tribulation. Not even for a day. Because there’s nothing of Israel’s theology or background or promises that associate itself with the Church. We are insulated from all that. But here in these few verses in II Thessalonians, Paul does draw a parallel with the Old Testament. It’s the only place. All right, here we go, in II Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 1.
II Thessalonians 2:1a
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,…” Now remember, who’s he writing to? You and I, the Body of Christ believers. He’s not writing to the Jews like Jesus spoke to them in John chapter 5. Paul is now directing his writing to the Gentile believer in the Body of Christ. So, it’s the Rapture that he’s referring to, which is the coming that the Church is looking for.
II Thessalonians 2:1
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him.” Now, that’s totally different language than the Second Coming, when He comes to the Nation of Israel. A total opposite in language. I want you to see that. Here we are gathered together unto Him. When he comes the Second time He will come to them. He’s going to stand on the Mount of Olives. He’s not going to meet them halfway in the air like He will for us, but rather, He’s going to come to them and stand upon the earth. So, watch for that graphic difference in language.
All right, now then verse 2, Paul is writing to these Gentile believers up in Thessalonica, up in Greece on the Aegean Sea. And he says:
II Thessalonians 2:2
“That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, (not by some forged instrument) as that the day of the LORD is at hand.” He says, don’t get shook up, you’re not in the Tribulation. You’re not even in what I’m talking about. Although we know from everything I’ve been teaching the last several years, that all these writers of Scripture thought that all the end time events would be coming right down the pike without any great interval of time.
Until the Church Age opened, up as we showed in our last taping, they had no idea it was going to be 2,000 years between the early church or even Paul’s ministry and the Rapture and the Tribulation. They couldn’t see that. So always keep that in mind that they had no idea there was going to be a long interval in time. All right, Paul is writing to his Gentile believers that, you’re not in the Tribulation, even though we know it is right out in front of us. But, now verse 3 is the consolation.
II Thessalonians 2:3a
“But let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (the day of the LORD, the opening of the Tribulation by the signing of that seven year peace treaty) shall not come, except there come a falling away first,…” Here’s where I had the article by a guest writer in my last newsletter, explain it from the Greek exactly the way I’ve been teaching it for years, that a better translation from a better Greek word is from the aphistemi. I’ve got to look at that one, (pronounced: aphistemi or aphisteme) which means to depart rather than falling away. It’s a far better word and all the early translations used it: the Tyndale, the Geneva, the Coverdale and a couple of others. They all translated it exactly the way I had it in my last newsletter, and the way I taught it way back when we did Thessalonians. That was number forty-two. All right, now let’s read it that way.
II Thessalonians 2:3b
“…that day (the day of the LORD, the signing of that seven year peace treaty) shall not come, except there come a departure first,” And the word departure means just what it says, to move from one place to another. Alright, so Paul is saying to these Gentiles, you can’t go into Tribulation because we’re going to have to depart from earth to heaven before it happens. Plain as day.
Plus the fact that the Body of Christ is insulated from all the Jewish prophecies. We have nothing to do with them. That’s been the main thing that I’ve brought these Amillennialists and the Preterits out of what I call their false teaching is that when they understand this concept that the Body of Christ is a Pauline revelation and the rest of Scripture knows nothing of it whatsoever, how can you push that into a Jewish Tribulation? I just maintain it won’t work. It won’t fly.
All right, now read on. That’s not what we’re ready to teach this half hour, we were looking at the anti-Christ. All right, so the seven-year treaty shall not come except there be a departure first by the Body of Christ from the earth, and here it comes.
II Thessalonians 2:3c
“…and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” Now that’s one of the names of anti-Christ that I had Sharon put on the board. He’s called anti-Christ. We’ll look at that in a little bit. He’s called the prince that shall come back there in Daniel. Now we’re going to see in the next hour or so that he’s called the Beast over and over throughout Scripture. But now in Thessalonians, he’s called the Son of Perdition. That name really tells what an evil, wicked individual this guy is. In spite of all of his attributes of intelligence and charisma and power, he is still nothing more than a son of perdition. All right, now verse 4, if this isn’t in perfect accord with what we just saw in Daniel!
II Thessalonians 2:4a
“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped;…” He’s going to ridicule anything that pertains to the God of this Book, and he’s going to elevate himself above anything and everything. All right, so “he’s above all that is called God, or that is worshipped.”
In other words, we know from Revelation he’s going to have a false prophet set up a humongous image of him so that the world can look at it, probably by way of television or whatever, and they’re going to worship this man anti-Christ, the Son of Perdition. All right, he’ll evidently use Israel’s newly built Temple as his headquarters.
II Thessalonians 2:4b
“…so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, (Up there on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem he will be in the temple of God.) showing himself (to the whole world) that he is God.” Now, see how plain all this is? He is causing the whole world to fall down and worship him. And he will exclude or excuse no one.
All right, now verse 5, Paul writes to these relatively new believers, fresh out of paganism. They knew nothing of Israel’s prophets. They knew nothing of the God of the Bible. All Paul preached to them was what? Faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Son of God plus nothing, and they believed it. And God brought them out of their paganism! They became true believers in spite of all the persecution and in spite of all the opposition of not only the Jew but the Roman world around them.
Now, they were something that I know Paul was intensely proud of. To think that he had in a matter of weeks brought them out of paganism and was able to teach them all these end time events, because they thought it was going to be in their lifetime. It wasn’t all that far away. Now look what he says.
II Thessalonians 2:5
“Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?” Now who knows how long was Paul with the Thessalonian believers? About three weeks. Three weeks, that’s all! And in that three weeks time, he brought them far enough along in all this that he could teach them these end time events. That’s unbelievable, but that’s what the Book says. Don’t you remember that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? Don’t worry about going into any horrible Tribulation. The persecution you are going through is enough. It won’t be any more than that. And it was all in a matter of three weeks time. All right, now then verse 6.
II Thessalonians 2:6a
“And now ye know…” See, he’d already taught them all this. These poor people just fresh out of paganism knew more than 90% of what church people do today. Most church people don’t know anything about this. The ignorance is supreme today. It’s unbelievable. But these people weren’t after three weeks. All right, so he says:
II Thessalonians 2:6
“And now ye know what (or who) withholdeth (or holdeth back) that he might be revealed in his time.” Now, that’s almost a veiled language there, that there is a restraining force on earth that is holding things back so that the Tribulation doesn’t come before the due date.
I was just sharing at break time that I just read an interesting article in the last US News and World Report, and maybe some of you read it. It was reviewing Harry Truman’s presidency and the problems he had with General McArthur. Now I knew all about that, because I was in the Korean War, but this part I had never read or heard before. When the Chinese started coming across the Yalu River by the thousands, and that of course I was aware of. I was in hospital work, and I had a young man who had faced that horde of Chinese until his machine gun literally melted. He had to run for his life. And he had pictures! I don’t know how in the world he got them, but he showed me pictures of the Chinese just literally piled up like cord wood out in front of his machine gun.
So anyway, I was aware of that Yalu overrun by the Chinese, but I never knew that Douglas McArthur wanted Harry Truman to decree and permit bombing China with 50 to 100 nuclear bombs. Now think about that. What if Truman would have given in? Well, you see, Truman, I think, knew enough biblical prophecy. He said, “If I would do that, it would bring in a worldwide conflagration.” Was he right? Yes. And that’s why I have been teaching for 30 some years that I do not believe there will ever be a nuclear bomb exploded until we get into the Tribulation.
Then, of course, I’m sure it will happen, at least in the last half. But see, over and over there have been times when it could have been used. The Cuban thing and other times, but God held it back. How did God hold it back? Through the restraining power of the Holy Spirit. All right, that’s what Paul is talking about, that the Holy Spirit is going to restrain earthly events so that the end time scenario wouldn’t be ushered in before the time. God is meticulous with His schedule. Okay, coming back to our text and, oh my, time is going again.
II Thessalonians 2:6
“And now ye know who withholdeth (a restraining force) that he (the Son of Perdition, the anti-Christ) might be revealed in his time.” But whose time is the anti-Christ’s time? God’s time! He’s in control of every minute of human history, Beloved. Don’t you ever forget it! He’s in total control.
Alright, but He uses the work of the Holy Spirit. Of course I maintain, how does the Holy Spirit work on the planet today? Through the believer. You and I are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. You and I then become the visible manifestation of the withholding power of the Holy Spirit. That’s why we have to take a stand on things. I’ve said it for 30 years, we’re not going to turn it around, but we can hold it back. And how do we hold it back? By our convictions. Hey, this is wrong. We cannot go along with this. And even though they finally run roughshod over us, we’re still slowing it down. That’s all that God is expecting of us. All right, now verse 7.
II Thessalonians 2:7a
“For the mystery (or the secret things) of iniquity…” I feel that that all goes back to the Tower of Babel. There again, I’ve been reading history lately coming up from the Tower of Babel, and it’s just unbelievable how clearly it all falls into place. Starting with old Nimrod and his wife Semiramis, and how out of those two all the world’s religions have evolved, and they were wicked. Oh, the wickedness.
You’ve heard me say it. Most of us have no idea the wickedness in the Roman Empire, and amongst the Caesars. But it was awful. All right, Paul is saying the same thing. That the iniquity that has begun, and I think it’s implied, from the Tower of Babel is already at work – in his day! Well, now add 1,900 and some years to it. What have you got? Well, you’ve just got it multiplied over. All right, the iniquity is already at work.
II Thessalonians 2:7b
“…doth already work: only he who now hindereth…” Now the King James has the word “letteth” and has completely inverted its meaning over the centuries. So, I’ll read it as it should be read today.
II Thessalonians 2:7
“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now hindereth will hinder, until he be taken out of the way.” Now that does not mean that the Holy Spirit is going to totally leave the planet. But we will. So what is the Holy Spirit left without? You and I as the hindering force. But He will still be here. The reason I say that is because Genesis 1:2 says what? “The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” The Holy Spirit has always been a force on the planet, and He will not be removed until we go on into eternity.
So, all I think that is removed here are the believers being indwelt by the Spirit, but the Holy Spirit Himself will stay on the planet, mainly because there will be people saved from the preaching of the 144,000 throughout the Tribulation. Multitudes of them. That part is never changed. They cannot understand the preaching of the 144,000 without the work of the Holy Spirit, so He will stay.
II Thessalonians 2:8a
“And then shall that Wicked one, (See, there’s another title for this man anti-Christ.) be revealed,…” Now see, this all ties in with the Rapture, or the departure, up there in verse three. As soon as the Church departs and that part of the working of the Holy Spirit is gone, iniquity comes in like a flood. That’s also the same day that the anti-Christ will sign a peace treaty there in the Middle East, I think in Jerusalem. And then the Wicked one will be revealed when he sets down to bring in this peace treaty.
And it’s this same one who, like Daniel says, is going to operate until the end of the Tribulation. Well, this says the same thing.
II Thessalonians 2:8b
“…whom the Lord shall consume (seven years later) with the spirit of his mouth, (in other words, by the spoken word) and shall destroy him with the brightness of his coming:” Which will come, of course, as soon as the seven years have come to an end. And then verse 9:
II Thessalonians 2:9
“Even him, (This man anti-Christ, the Wicked one, the Son of Perdition, the Prince coming out of the Roman Empire.) whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,” Now you get the picture? This guy is going to be a tremendous individual. He’s going to have tremendous power and tremendous influence. The world is going to worship him like he was the true Messiah. But he’s a counterfeit. He’s false from the word go.
LESSON THREE * PART III
ANTI-CHRIST: THE BEAST, THE WICKED ONE
Daniel 9:27 – Revelation 19:11
For those of you joining us on television again, we appreciate you bringing us into your living room, kitchen, or wherever. How we appreciate your response to our teaching. We just give God the praise. How we thank you for your letters, especially when you write and tell us that for years you never had any interest in spiritual things. My, we get letters from people who haven’t been to church in years, and they get hooked. I don’t like to use the word, because it always reminds me of the drug culture, but they get hooked on our program, and it changes their life. I know one fellow wrote and he said, “Les, I used to just give up trying to read and understand the Bible. It lay on the shelf and collected dust, but you have taught me how to study, and it is so much fun.”
And that’s the right word. It’s fun to go through these Scriptures and see how it all fits. Of course, that’s what makes our Bible so unique. Unlike all the so-called religious books, it’s not laid out like a story book, but it’s a book that has to be put together like a jigsaw puzzle. That’s a good example. You just put the pieces together and you connect the dots and then all of a sudden it all just makes sense.
We are in the last four programs of book number 71. Now, for those of you out in television, it may not mean much to you. But each book that we list is twelve successive programs. So, if you want to know how many programs we’ve got in inventory, you just multiply 71 times 12 and that’s over 800.
Okay, continuing on about the anti-Christ and those final seven years that the Bible calls the Day of the LORD. We’re going to go to the one and only place that I’m aware of in Scripture where the man is referred to as the anti-Christ. That will be in I John chapter 2 verse 18. I don’t know of any other place where he’s referred to by this term. Now again remember, all of these little Jewish epistles especially are writing with the idea that this is right out in front of them. They have no idea that God is going to stop the time clock and open it up for the Church Age for 2,000 years. So he speaks of it as though it could happen the next month or two.
I John 2:18a
“Little children, (He’s writing to believing Jews.) it is the (What?) last time:…” Well, that means what it says, so far as John was concerned. So far as his fellow believers are concerned, they were right in the last days.
I John 2:18b
“…it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, (future) even now there are many antichrists;…” (plural) Well, now let’s just flip back a minute. Keep your hand in I John. We may want to come back to it. Come all the way back to Matthew chapter 24. We looked at this several programs back, but remember, repetition is the mother of learning. Matthew 24 and the Twelve have come up with the Lord Jesus on the Mount of Olives without any outside adherents. No pressure. Just Jesus and the Twelve.
“And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples (the Twelve) came unto him privately, (without any other onlookers or whatever) saying, Tell us when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age? 4. And Jesus answered and said unto them,…” Fellows, you’re crazy, you don’t know what you’re talking about! NO! That’s not the attitude He takes. He gives them a specific answer, because it was a valid question. What are the signs of the end? That’s why I think it behooves us to look at it today. Hey, we’re just as close now as they thought they were then. So, we have to look at the signs of the time.
“…Take heed that no man deceive you.” Now you out there probably don’t realize as much as I do, with the response that we get, the false teaching that is just coming in like a tsunami. It’s coming in like a huge wave. And it comes in all colors and descriptions. It’s just unbelievable…and people are falling for it. They’re sending their money to it. I constantly tell people, don’t send them your money. Why contribute to something that is so false. But it’s just like water off a duck, but that’s the sign of the times.
“…Take heed that no man deceive you. 5. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Well, in John’s language from his little epistle, what are they calling themselves? Well, they’re anti-Christs – plural. But, who is going to be the epitome of all of them, the anti-Christ, the man that we’ve been looking at—the Son of Perdition, the Prince that shall come.
Now, I know I made definition of the anti-Christ several programs back, and I’m going to have to qualify that a little bit. Number 1, the word anti doesn’t specifically mean against as what? Counterfeit. He’s a counterfeit Christ.
When I mull these things over, then I have to bring it into the language as we use it. During World War II what did many of the axis nations that were against us, Hitler’s Germany, Italy, and Japan—what was one of the things they tried to use to defeat America? They flooded the world with counterfeit American money. Now think about that a minute. It was all counterfeit. But what was the end purpose? To defeat our nation.
All right, now maybe that will enhance the word anti-Christ a little more. Yes, he’s going to be a counterfeit Messiah. But in counterfeiting the Messiah, what is his end purpose? To defeat God and the true Messiah. And it’s going to look like he’s succeeding. But, oh, he won’t. God is still in His Heaven, and one day He’s going to bring it all to an end. All right, so mark that down. When I say that anti-Christ is a counterfeit Christ, yes, the end result is the enemy activity to destroy his opposition.
Also, we find then that one of the marks of the coming Tribulation will be a flood of false Christs, but they’ll be headed up by the anti-Christ. Come back to I John chapter 2 so that you’ll see that there is a singular as well as a plural.
I John 2:18
“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist (singular) shall come, (Well, how did they know that? From the Old Testament prophecies—the Prince that shall come, this deceiver, the anti-Christ. But even now John says–) even now there are many antichrists; (Many deceivers, as we saw in Matthew 24.) whereby we know that it is the last time.”
Now if you remember, when we taught these little epistles, yes, they thought it was right out in front of them. And God didn’t give them any reason not to think that. Even the Apostle Paul, as he wrote to his Gentile believers in the Body of Christ, speaks of the rapture. How does he speak of it? Does he speak of it as something 1,900 years out into the future?
“For we shall be caught up and we shall be ever with the Lord.” Who was he including? Himself. So, they were all of that mentality that this was all approaching the coming of the anti-Christ, the seven years, the Second Coming, and the Kingdom.
They did not understand that there would be another 1,900 years in between. But where does that put us? In the very same place — I can now sit here and teach you just like John said here, beloved, there are already many anti-Christs in the world. The deception is coming in. But what does that tell us? We’re at the end. Now, I’m not saying it’s next year or it’s in five, but we’re getting close.
You know, I keep repeating something that I said way back in my early programs – the old caveman was sitting at the cave door. You remember it? And he had a sign over it, “The End Is Near.” And then I guess he had second thoughts and what did he add? The ‘ER’. So, every day we live, we are what? We’re nearer to the end. I’m not going to be apocalyptic and say, oh my, it’s going to happen tomorrow. It’s going to happen next week. But we’re getting close. Again I always repeat, God’s wheels grind what? Slowly. God’s eternal. He’s not going to get in a hurry. But we do feel by all the indications around us that we’re getting close.
All right, now to pursue this a little more. We’ve got the anti-Christ covered. We’ve got the Prince covered. We’ve got the Son of Perdition and the Wicked One also covered. I’ve got one left. What is it? The Beast. All through Scripture he’s referred to as the Beast.
Now, let’s jump on up to Revelation chapter 13. Revelation is, of course, the roadmap for the last seven years, with all the details that the Old Testament didn’t reveal. But here they are. That’s the whole Book of Revelation. It’s the roadmap for that last seven years of what we call the Tribulation. Revelation chapter 13 and we’ll start at verse 1. John says:
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea,..” Now we’ve got to qualify, don’t we? Come back with me to Revelation chapter 1, which says again just like John said in his first epistle.
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants (that is Christ’s servants) things which must shortly come to pass;…” Well, it is the same analogy. They thought that all of this was right out in front of them, and the Holy Spirit caused these men to write in that same mindset, that this was all in the immediate future.
But now you come down to verse 10. He’s beginning to set the stage for the revelation of all these things that are going to take place during that final seven years. All right, John writes:
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,…” Not Sunday, but what’s the Day of the LORD? Those final seven years! John is being transported, like a time machine, into the very future of those seven years. And miraculously, by the Spirit’s design, reveals the unfolding of those seven years. So, that’s what it means that “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.” He was transported into that future period of time.
All right, now back to Revelation 13, while he’s experiencing that supernatural phenomenon of seeing the events of those final seven years, here is one of those things.
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea,…” Now, as we taught years back in this Book of Revelation, what is the sea symbolically? Humanity. He’s standing upon the sea of the thriving millions of humanity, and up out of that fomenting sea of humanity comes what? One tremendous individual.
“And I stood upon the sands of the sea, and saw a beast (There’s the term.) beast rise up out of the sea, (Now, this is all symbolism, remember.) having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.” Now, I’ve taught this earlier, but I’d better stop and repeat it again. The Beast refers to the final empire, this worldwide empire of this world dictator. They’re both called the Beast. All right, so here we have the empire of which he’s coming out of. I think it’s the Revived Roman Empire — “Having seven heads and ten horns.”
Now, horns always depict government in Scripture. And even in the book I was reading the other night in history, the first thing old Nimrod did when he killed some wild beast was he cut its horn off and plastered it on a headpiece. It was an indication that he was now a ruler. So, it’s carried all the way through human history. A horn spoke of a government.
Alexander the Great, back in the Book of Daniel, what is it? A horn. And the same way here. This empire is depicted now as “having seven heads and ten horns” (or nations that are going to coalesce and come together) and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.” It is an anti-God empire. All right, now then verse 2.
“And the beast (this empire) which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon (Satan) gave him his power,…” So, this is going to be a complete satanic controlled earth kingdom. And God is merely going to be sovereignly letting it happen. But He’ll never relinquish His power. Don’t ever worry about that.
“…and the dragon (Satan) gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” Now we’re talking about the individual, the anti-Christ, the Beast, the Prince that shall come, the Son of Perdition. All right, verse 3, now we come back to, I think, the empire.
“And I saw a one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” Now, I didn’t intend this to be a study of the Book of Revelation, but when you get into it, you’ve got to take it as it comes.
Here we have, I think, the death of the original Roman Empire. Now some will teach this is the death of the anti-Christ, and he’ll be miraculously raised from the dead. I prefer to think that it’s the death of the Roman Empire, and it died between A.D. 300 and A.D. 400. It went into the dustbin of history.
But now, with the advent of the European Community, here it’s coming once again. What have I said for 30 years as I’ve taught Scripture? Watch Western Europe. Because right after World War II, the ten major nations of Western Europe met in Rome and they formed what was called the Club of Rome. It was that original ten nations of what is still the European Union. I feel that was the beginning of a revival of that Roman Empire that died back there between A.D. 300 and A.D. 400.
All right, here we’ve got it now. It was dead; miraculously it’s coming back to life. You know, I mentioned on a program a long time ago and this was in, I think, probably one of our daily newspapers. At least I read it some place. That at the time the Italian, now I’ve forgotten his name, (Romano) but anyway, now this is one of those things I didn’t plan on sharing. But this Italian head of state was having dinner at the White House. It was just after they had brought in another 15 or 20 of the Eastern European Nations into the European Union. And this Italian was bragging to President Bush of how the Western European Nations were growing. I suppose he was sort of letting him know that we’re going to go right by you in population and gross domestic product and all the rest. But anyhow, George W. stopped and he said, “But Romano,” he said, “That was the Roman Empire.”
Well, now I don’t know if he spoke from biblical knowledge or what, but that’s true. That’s exactly what it is. It’s the reappearing of the old ancient Roman Empire. It was dead and now it’s alive. All right, verse 3.
“and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” Now again, we’re going to take the word beast as defining the man as well as his empire from which he will draw his power. All right, verse 4.
“And they worshipped the dragon who gave power to the beast:…” What does that mean? The world is going to fall completely into Satan worship, as they worship the anti-Christ, because that’s what he is. He is the epitome of satanic operations. He is going to be wicked. He’s going to be evil, and yet he’s going to have charisma. He’s going to have intelligence to make the world think that he is their god. It’s coming.
And you can see it by the way people fall for all this false stuff. They’re ignorant of the Scriptures. Consequently, if it sounds good, hey, that’s what they have to believe. All right, coming back to Revelation 13 verse 4.
“And they worshipped the dragon who gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” So now we’re talking about the man, the man anti-Christ. But he’s got that ten-nation consortium of Western Europe, I feel, behind him. They’re doing the financing.
You know, I mentioned on the program a while back that nobody can do anything without money. You know that. Nations cannot do anything without a viable economy behind it. They have to be funded. And that’s why if they could ruin our currency with counterfeit, hey, we’d go down the tube. And that’s the one thing that scares me for America. All of these foreign people that are just raking in the trillions of dollar are investing it in our American economy. And if they would decide to pull it, it would just simply crash us. So, we have to hope and pray that they don’t do that.
But nevertheless, here again, I feel that these ten nations that make up this European Community, or European Union, will be the foundation from which this man anti-Christ will take on complete world dominion. All right, now then verse 5:
“And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue (to carry on his worldwide endeavors and his rule for another) forty and two months.” That’s three and a half years. So, that takes us from the middle to the end of the Tribulation. All right, verse 6:
“And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 7. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints,…” Now you want to remember, there are going to be people being saved during the Tribulation while these 144,000 Jews are preaching. So, he’s going to cause misery and persecution upon anyone who becomes a believer.
“…to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. (all under one man, remember) 8. And all that dwell upon the earth shall (What?) worship him,…” Now, we’re still talking about the Prince that shall come, out of Daniel. I hope you’re staying with me now. Here is where he comes to his final time of power and rule especially in the last half or the last three and a half years.
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 9. If any man have an ear, let him hear. 10. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. (It’s going to be a constant retribution thing.) Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.”
All right, now while we’ve got this minute left, remember, there is another key player during the Tribulation that we call the false prophet. And here he comes, beginning in verse 11. He’s going to work hand-in-glove with the anti-Christ. Was it Lenin who said that religion was the opiate of the masses? Well, to a degree that’s true. Look at your world today. What makes them react in violence and killing and murder? Religion! All right, so what is the anti-Christ going to use to maintain control over his masses? Religion. And how is the religion going to do it? Through one man, a false prophet, he will be the religious leader. All right, here he comes now.
“And I beheld another beast (another great world leader under the anti-Christ) coming up out of the earth; (In other words, the mass of humanity that is not in any way, shape, or form in a relationship with God.) and he had two horns like a lamb, (Showing that he’s not a militant.) and he spake like a dragon. 12. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him,…” So, they’re going to work hand-in-glove.
LESSON THREE * PART IV
ANTI-CHRIST: THE BEAST, THE WICKED ONE
Daniel 9:27 – Revelation 19:11
So good to have everyone back in today. All we want people to do is see what the Book says. And hopefully, hopefully you’ll not just blind yourselves to one denomination. If they’re on track, fine, but a lot of them aren’t. You have to determine that by searching the Scriptures.
Our last several programs we’ve been dealing with the Day of the LORD, those final seven years. They can scoff at it all they want, but the Book says it’s going to happen. And if the Book says it – it’s going to happen! I just have to keep repeating that. And a lot of them now are starting to scorn this. Even theologians are saying that all this is long in the past. It’s all been fulfilled.
And I have to say – when? When? None of this has ever happened before. If it hasn’t happened before, it’s still out in the future. I read one article again the other night that since Jesus came back there in A.D. 70 and then …blah, blah, blah. What? Jesus returned in A.D. 70??? Yeah, that’s what’s out there. So, I have to just encourage you to stop and think. Did anything happen historically that all of this is referring to? No. So it’s still out in front of us.
Anyway, now we’re going to do something a little different. We’ve been looking at these seven years, not in depth but just enough to whet your appetite. On this half hour, we’re going to look how it’s all going to end. It’s only going to go seven years. What happens at the end of the seven years? All right, we’re going to look at Revelation chapter 19 and verse 11. This is the Second Coming of Christ.
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness (Not with all the satanic wickedness of the anti-Christ, but this Christ will come in righteousness.) he doth judge and make war.” For the purpose of defeating the wicked, God-opposing anti-Christ in his world. All right, verse 12:
“His eyes (The Messiah’s, the Christ’s) were as (Now, it doesn’t say they were, but they were like burning) flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written that no man knew, but he himself. 13. And he was clothed with the vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.” Now, put verse 13 in your computer for just a few seconds. We’re going to come back to it.
“And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword,…” Now wait a minute! Don’t picture Him with a Roman sword or a dagger in His teeth, but again, compare Scripture with Scripture. What is the Sword of the Lord? The Word of God! So, He speaks and things happen.
“And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it (the spoken Word now, remember) he should smite the nations: (plural) and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: (When He sets up his kingdom following all this.) and he (Now we come back into the seven years again.) treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Now, if you’ve got a translation that capitalizes all that, every time I see this I have to think of the other time when Rome put a caption above Him and what was theirs? “THIS IS JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” But this is “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” And He’s going to rule and reign on this planet like it’s never been ruled before.
But, before He sets up His Kingdom and before He establishes His rule, He’s going to finish the punishment of wicked mankind. Now remember, when we started this several programs back, we used the analogy of a mortgage. Satan has had the planet mortgaged ever since Adam dropped the ball when he disobeyed. And how is God going to pay off the mortgage? With the horrors of these last seven years. Judgment. Chastisement. Vengeance. And wrath.
All right, it’s going to be depicted in several areas of Scripture as “grapes in a wine-vat.” We’ve been over in Jerusalem, and it was interesting. And I guess things like that sit in my mind. They had an ancient wine-vat which had been carved out of stone, and they gave a demonstration of how that they would put their teenage kids in that wine-vat and they would stomp the grapes and the juice ran out the bottom. Well all right, that’s the same analogy of Scripture, so far as God’s final judgment on this planet is concerned.
Now we’re going to jump back from Revelation. I’m going to take you all the way back to Isaiah chapter 63. This is the beauty of Scripture. And then they have the wherewithal to ridicule this and say it’s just a bunch of myths and legends, when it’s written hundreds, if not thousands, of years apart. And it all fits. How can they? That’s what makes this Book what it is. Isaiah 63, written 700 years before Christ. We’re going to start at verse 1. And just let the Scriptures speak to you.
“Who is this that cometh from Edom,…” Now you’ve got to know your Middle East geography a little bit. Edom was down there south of the Dead Sea, southwest of Israel. Not all that far, maybe a hundred miles, but here is where evidently His Second Coming is going to begin. He’s going to start down there to the southwest, and He’s going to be moving up towards the Nation of Israel.
“Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. (And so the prophet asks,) 2. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that (What?) treadeth in the wine-vat?”
So, what’s the color of His outer clothing? Grape juice. Like He’d been treading in the wine-vat. But, there’s another commodity that has the same color, and what is it? Blood. So, here we have the analogy then that His garments are literally stained with blood like the treader of grapes in the wine-vat is stained with grape juice. There’s the comparison. All right, now let’s read on, verse 3.
“(The Coming Christ answers) I have trodden the winepress alone; (He hasn’t had others to help Him.) and of the people there was none with me; for I will tread them (That is humanity – now keep the analogy of the wine-vat, don’t lose that.) in mine anger,…” Now here again, let me compare Scripture with Scripture.
Keep your hand in Revelation and Isaiah. Now, come all the way back to Psalms chapter 2, which we use over and over and over. I used it at the beginning of this series. I want you to see how language fits all the way through. Psalms chapter 2, dropping in at verse 4. The human race, Jew and Gentile together, have rejected the Messiah, and then verse 4 of Psalms 2.
“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them (that is humanity) in derision. 5. Then (The day is coming. That’s a time word.) shall he speak unto them in his (What?) wrath, (Not love. Not Grace. Wrath! What’s the other word for wrath? Anger, fury just like you just saw in Isaiah.) he shall speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.” What does that mean? He’s just utterly going to crush them. Okay, come back to Isaiah.
“…for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, (That’s why they were stained.) and I will stain all my raiment.” From exercising the wrath and vexation of God on Christ rejecting humanity.
Now, I better to stop a minute. Are people going to be prone to say that God is unfair? Yeah, they will! They’ll say this is supposed to be a God of love, a God of mercy. It doesn’t sound like it to me. No, His mercy is ended.
He has now given mankind 6,000 years of His Grace, and they walk it underfoot. And the further we go, the more they hate Him, the more they detest Him. Even our beloved nation, what we’ve always thought was Christian, is getting further and further from it every day. And do you think God is going to let us get away from it? No way. In fact, I had a caller yesterday that asked, “What was the meaning of the parable of the pounds?”
Well, it’s really simple. We call it, to whom much is given, much is what? Required. And that’s what the parable means: “To whom He gave ten pounds, He required something that was comparable to it in return. To whom He gave five, He expected something less.” Well all right, the same way in nations.
America has been so blessed. We have had such a spiritual background in our nation. And what are we doing with it? Walking it underfoot, we’re despising it. I’ve said it for thirty years. When judgment comes, America is going to suffer the worst of all because we’ve been the most blessed. We’re the most privileged. We’ve been given the most “pounds” according to the parable. So it behooves us to be aware of that. All right, back to Isaiah 63 and verse 4.
“For the day of vengeance is in mine heart,…” Now, that brings up another thought. When some of the religions of the world hate Christians and they persecute them and put them to death, do we as a Christian people respond in kind? No! That’s why it’s so difficult. They can come and kill Christians, and we can’t load up our 30.06’s and shoot them in the back as they leave. That’s totally contrary to our concept of Godliness. The whole difference between Christianity and the other religions of the world is our whole foundation of everything is love. Not hate. Not vengeance. The other religions can say if they oppose you – kill them. We can’t do that. That’s why we have to fight with our hands tied behind our backs. We can’t respond in kind.
In fact a verse in Romans comes to mind. Keep your hand in Isaiah. Keep your hand in Revelation. Let’s look at Romans a minute to get an idea that, yes, the day is coming when God is going to speak in vengeance like the world has never seen, but that’s not the way Christianity operates today. Romans chapter 12 and always remember this. We can’t respond in kind. We can’t respond by killing our enemies. We’re to love them, but yes, that’s working with your hands tied behind your back. But we know that God is in control. All right, you got Romans chapter 12 verse 17, this is our modus operandi.
“Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, (We don’t take vengeance on our enemies.) but rather give place unto wrath: (that is of the enemy) for it is written, (Here it comes now.) Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals fire on his head.”
All right, when the Lord finally pours out wrath and vexation and judgment, it’s only because they’ve rejected Him for 6,000 years, and His patience has finally run out. And it will be a judgment that is just and fair. He will not have abrogated the whole idea of love one iota. All right, back to Isaiah 63.
This is the end of the Day of the LORD. This is the Second Coming. But it’s going to be preceded with wrath and vexation on the human race, verse 4 again.
“For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. 5. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. 6. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.”
All right, now in that same light, let’s look at Jeremiah, since we’re back in the Old Testament anyway. Jeremiah chapter 25 verse 30, a totally different prophet writing a hundred years later. And he doesn’t write because of what he read in Isaiah. He writes by the same inspiration of the Holy Spirit that the others write, and he makes the same analogy.
“Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD (Now that’s God the Son. That’s Jesus Christ in the Old Testament language.) shall roar from on high, (This is His Second Coming, now.) and utter his voice from his holy habitation; (Here it comes!) he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.”
All right, now let’s go all the way back, if you will again, to Revelation chapter 14. Now we can drop in at verse 14. And remember, this is all at the end of the Day of the LORD, although we can call the Kingdom’s 1,000 years as part of it. But this is the end of the vengeance and the wrath, the seven years of Tribulation.
“And I looked and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, (Now remember, that’s a reference to Christ in His earthly ministry for sure.) having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. 15. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, (Which speaks of harvest, doesn’t it?) and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” Now, if you look in the Greek, it is almost over-ripe. It’s beyond the normal.
“And he that sat on a cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.” It was harvested. Now, of course, we’re going to be looking at the grapevine and literally taking off the lumps of grapes and throwing them into the wine-vat.
“And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 18. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.”
Now, what does the vine always speak of? Grapes—in Scripture, but the grapes in this instance are what? Humanity. That’s the analogy. Thrust in your sickle and gather the humanity that is ready for judgment. The Book of Revelation has told us earlier that the worse things got the more they blasphemed. They don’t repent. They don’t turn and say, “God, what would you have me to do?” They blaspheme all the more.
All right, so God continues now to bring in His wrath and vexation. He gathers humanity just like the husbandman would gather the grapes and cast them into the wine-vat. Now verse 19:
“And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.” Now, this isn’t Grace! This isn’t mercy! This isn’t love! This is judgment. And it’s coming. The world is getting more prepared for it every day. All right, so He brings it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. Now in verse 20 we get a picture of where this symbolic wine-vat is.
“And the winepress was trodden without the city…” Well, what city is Scripture always focused on? Jerusalem! So now we’re talking about the homeland of Israel.
Now, here I’m going to put in my own projection. I’m thinking that the winepress of humanity will be the valleys of Israel. Now, there are three or four great valleys in the little land of Israel. You’ve got the Hula Valley up north of Galilee. You’ve got the Valley of Sharon around the eastern end of the Mediterranean. You’ve got the Valley of Megiddo that runs from Mount Carmel toward Galilee. And then you have the Jordan Valley that runs all the way down to the Dead Sea.
All right, now the way I look at this is that the generals of the anti-Christ’s armies will bring in their millions. And they will pack them into these valleys of Israel. Now again, like I say, this is my own projection. But I think I’m as close as you can get. Remember, we’re in a period of time when God is now in control of everything. The anti-Christ is now under His judgment and all his armies. I think God is going to cause the generals of these armies to put their armies into these valleys of Israel contrary to any ounce of common sense. They’re going to just pack them in like sardines.
Now picture them: the Hula Valley to the north, the Valley of Sharon along the Mediterranean Sea Coast, the Valley of Megiddo in the middle, and the Jordan Valley down here. They all, more or less, geographically interconnect. Pack them with millions of troops of the world’s armies. This is Armageddon. And God is going to crush them like grapes in a wine-vat. Now finish the verse.
“And the winepress was trodden without the city, (Or outside the city of Jerusalem, because Jerusalem sits on hills, you know.) and blood came out of the winepress, (Picture my valleys.) and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, (Three feet? Four feet deep? And that is going to cause a river of blood.) by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.” A river of blood about 180 miles long.
All right, you say, how in the world can it happen? Well, skip across to chapter 16 and this is how I think, I can’t prove this from Scripture, but I think I’m showing the connection that the final judgment that is going to fall on the planet earth is now described here. I think I’ve got time to go all the way up to verse 19 of chapter 16. We’re bringing it down to the final hours of this seven years and the Second Coming of Christ.
“And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: (New York, London, San Francisco, Chicago, they’re all going to fall.) the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, (That’s, again, the reason I think Iraq may come down and yet blossom out of the desert and be a great financial center for all this.) and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine (There are your grapes again.) of the fierceness of his wrath.” And here comes what I call the crushing element of the grape-vat, these valleys full of men.
“And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: (or a hundred pounds) and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” What have you got? The crushing element of these valleys full of men.