[ 877 ] Les Feldick [ Book 74 - Lesson 1 - Part 1 ] Connecting the Dots of Scripture: Gen-Rev |1/48
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CONNECTING THE DOTS OF SCRIPTURE
Genesis through Revelation
Okay, it’s good to see everybody in again this afternoon. For those of you out in television, believe it or not it’s raining cats and dogs in Oklahoma on Labor Day weekend. That’s kind of hard to believe, isn’t it? But anyway, we are glad you all braved the weather. You’re here, and we can fellowship together and study together. For those of you joining us on television, we always like to invite you to just sit down and study with us. Compare Scripture with Scripture with us. We don’t stick to any denominational line. We’re just going to see what the Book says. It’s between you and the Lord to determine what the message is for you personally.
We’re going to do something totally different for these next few programs. I don’t know where we’ll go or how far we’ll get, but it just suddenly dawned on me the other day that it’s been a long time since we’ve done some of these things on the timeline. And these last two years we have picked up a huge share of our audience, and they’ve probably never studied this stuff with us.
So for those of you who’ve been with me for twenty years, yeah, it’s old stuff. But if you haven’t been with us very long, hopefully it’ll be an eye opener. I’ll never forget, and I don’t know whether you were there at the time, Gary, but we had just finished our first thirty minute program over there in the old studio. After those four programs, the camera guys all came up, and we were trying to decide how we could arrange things so that when I’m at the blackboard the audience wouldn’t be looking at my backside. And one of the fellows who had been in my class for about fifteen years down at McAlester, he’s gone to be with the Lord now, was walking by, and he heard what we were talking about. He stopped and he said, “Look, fellows, I’ve been looking at that guy’s back for twenty years and all I ever did was learn, learn, learn.” So we never changed a thing. We’ve never tried to overcome the fact that when I’m at the board you’re just going to have to wait until I turn around again. So, we’ll be doing that today sometime.
So anyway, we’re going to start clear back in Genesis chapter 3 with what I call the very first prophetic statement of Scripture. Adam and Eve have just eaten of the tree. They’ve fallen, and the curse will immediately follow. They will be out of the Garden of Eden and starting a whole new concept of life. It’s going to be under the curse. It’s going to be a whole new relationship with God—not in complete innocence, but through the process of sins forgiven.
We’re going to look at that all the way from Genesis chapter 3 up until the last verse of Revelation. We don’t know how long it will take. Maybe we’ll do it in four programs or maybe in two or maybe in eight or twelve! I don’t know. We’re just going to go as the Spirit leads.
So join with me now in your Bibles and turn to Genesis chapter 3. I think I’m going to go all the way up to verse 6, because it may have been a long time since most of you have had this reviewed. Here Satan has just approached them in the Garden. You remember the instruction from God was, “Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shall not eat.” The tree of life was also in the midst of the Garden, but they partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. All right, we’ll pick that up in Genesis chapter 3 verse 6.
“And when the woman saw (Now this is another point I like to make. She’s not called Eve until sometime later.) that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” So, now they’ve both eaten. Now verse 7, because of that act of disobedience—now always remember, it isn’t just the fruit that was the problem; it was their act of disobedience. That was the sin. That’s what caused the fall.
“And the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” Now, if you remember when we taught this, God didn’t tell them to go and sew fig leaves together. They did that of their own volition. So the point I always like to make is from Proverbs 14:12 that says, if I remember right, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
Well, that’s a perfect example here of Adam and Eve with their fig leaves. They thought it would be sufficient. That it would cover their nakedness and God would never know the difference. But it wasn’t. It was the way of a spiritual death. Always remember that. They rationalized just like Cain did in chapter 4. Now verse 8:
“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” Now think about that a minute. What did they do? They ran from God and hid.
Now, let’s just compare Scripture with Scripture. Keep your hand here and go all the way up to John’s gospel chapter 3 verse 18. This is the Lord speaking in His earthly ministry.
“He that believeth on him (That is on God the Son up in verse 17.) is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, (Why?) because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” Now watch verse 20, this is Adam and Eve all over again.
“For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
In other words, Adam and Eve started the whole ball rolling that men in their sinful condition do not run to God as God would have them, but what do they do? They go the other direction, and they hide and they deny. They live a life of denial.
All right, come back with me to Genesis, then. So, this is where it all started. That’s why the book is called Genesis. Genesis means beginning. This book in the opening part of your Bible is the book of beginnings—verse 8 again.
“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?”
Now that’s another interesting thing. Do you think the omnipotent God didn’t know where those two people were? Well, of course He did. But have you ever realized that all through His earthly ministry, whenever He was confronted by someone; whether it was the Pharisees, the Sadducees, or whatever; how did He invariably answer? With a question. He always does. Over and over He would open a conversation with a question. Well, same way here. He wasn’t asking the question because He didn’t know where they were. He was asking a question to put them on a soapbox, as I put it. They had to respond, because He’d now asked the question, “Where are you?” And what do you suppose they said?
“And he (Adam) said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11. And the LORD said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? (Now here comes another question. God knew. But the point is to bring Adam up to the place where he had to respond.) Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” Now look at Adam’s answer. The human race is already showing all of its frailties right here. Just as soon as we’re confronted with guilt, what’s the number one thing we all do? Find a scapegoat.
She did it! I didn’t. It’s her fault. And she’ll be the first to tell you if I miss an intersection—it happened again the other day up in Minnesota. We missed an intersection. I should have turned left, and I went straight. Whose fault was it? Hers! Because when she should have been watching directions, she was showing me something that she was fiddling with. And I was looking at what she was doing and went right on through. So, eight miles down the road I said, “Honey, we’re on the wrong road.” And she said, “I’ll bet it was back at that intersection when I was showing you my stuff.” And that’s exactly where it was. But that’s human nature. We might as well face it, and it started with Adam.
“And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 13. And the LORD God said unto the woman, (to Eve) What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, (Sorry, it’s all my fault! No! What does she say?) The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” See, there always has to be a scapegoat.
All right, now here we come to where I want to take off from Genesis to Revelation over the next several programs.
“And the LORD God said unto the serpent, because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:” Now here’s the verse, verse 15, the first prophecy in Scripture where God is foretelling something that’s going to take place hundreds, yes, a couple thousand years out into the future. And what is it? The promise of a coming Redeemer.
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed (in other words, all the demonic forces of Satan) and her seed;…” Now stop right there. Whose seed? Eve’s. You see that? Most people miss it. We’re already talking about the Messiah. He’s going to come as a result of the promises made here to Adam and Eve.
Now you say, “Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I don’t get this.” Okay, let’s jump all the way to the New Testament. Go up to Galatians. That’s the only way we can understand these things. Go up to Galatians chapter 3 verse 16. I have to purposely force myself to wait until you’ve all found it; because that’s the one complaint I get from the TV audience. Slow down. I can’t find them fast enough. So I try to remember that. Galatians chapter 3 and we’re going to drop in at verse 16.
“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. (We’ll be looking at that. I don’t know whether today or next taping.) He saith not, and to seeds, (with an “s” on it, plural) as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is (Whom?) Christ.”
All right, but I said back there it was the seed of the woman. Jump across the page in my Bible; go to Galatians chapter 4 verse 4. And those of you who have heard me teach a pre-Christmas class, this will remind you. I’m always using this verse for Christmas instead of Luke chapter 2, because nobody else uses it. But here it is. This is the only time that the Apostle Paul refers to Bethlehem—never a reference to His birth. That’s what Christendom puts all their emphasis on, you know, Christmas and the celebration of all that. But Paul doesn’t. All right, now I think here’s one of the reasons.
“But when the fullness of the time was come,…” Now, what does that mean? That at the exact day and hour and minute that God had prescribed from eternity past Christ was born! Not a day late. Not a day early. Right on schedule. That’s what the fullness of time is.
“But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a (What?) woman, (Now we just got finished with a series of programs on the incarnate Christ. Remember? And what did we say the incarnate meant? God in human form. The God-Man in the flesh, and that’s exactly what it was when God sent forth the Son, Christ Jesus, by means of the woman, so that He would be now the God-Man.) God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,”
It went all the way back to Genesis 3:15. All right, go back there with me now, once again. Genesis chapter 3 verse 15, now this is prophecy. This is God telling us things that are going to take place over the next 6,000 years. And it’s accurate to the last little detail. Read verse 15 again.
“And I will put enmity (a running battle) between thee (Satan) and the woman….” And I told the class here not too long ago. I think the woman here was already looking forward to the Nation of Israel, which is always referred to in the female gender.
And it is through Israel that Satan is always trying to defeat God, because Satan knows if he can destroy the Nation of Israel, he’s the winner. Because in all of God’s prophecy, not just in His first advent, but all the way up to the second advent, Israel is the key player. Never forget that. If Satan can destroy Israel—that’s why Satan is using that guy over there in Iran—oh, Satan would love nothing better than to have that guy succeed in wiping Israel off the map. If Israel is gone, God’s program falls apart, and Satan’s the winner. So we know it’s not going to happen. It’s merely a threat. It will never happen, because God will not let it happen. But all right, it’s going to be a running battle. All right, then read on.
“…and between thy seed (Like I said, that is the demonic and the wicked hosts of Satan.) and her seed; (That is the seed of the woman, which is Christ.) it shall bruise thy head, (In other words, that’s the only place you can defeat a serpent, on the head. He did that at the cross. That’s where Satan became a defeated foe.) and thou (Satan) shalt bruise his heel. (the seed of the woman)” Which, of course, was the suffering and all that was accompanying at the cross.
All right, so now we have the beginning of the human experience. Adam and Eve will now be cast out of the Garden. They’re going to have to live under and with the curse. They’re going to have to battle the sweat of the face. They’re going to have to battle the insects and the drought and death and everything else that’s associated with the curse and that is still with us until this day.
But we who know our Bible know the day is coming when it’s going to end. It’s not going to last much longer, because one of these days Christ is going to show that He is still superior to Satan. He’s going to come and yet complete His prophetic program. All right, so here we have the first, that I call, true prophecy here in Genesis chapter 3.
Now, for the next eleven chapters it is nothing but a sad commentary on the race of Adam. Do you know that? There’s just not much good stuff in the first eleven chapters, except a record of the down, down, down, down direction of the human race leading up to the next great event. What was that? The flood.
Okay, now I think we’ve probably got it up on our timeline. No, we didn’t start with that, yet. We started with Abraham. But the flood, 1,600 years in round figures after the creation of Adam. Now I’m getting used to saying it over and over so bear with me. Think! Stop and think. Sixteen hundred years is a long time. That’s a long time. All right, so from Adam until the flood, sixteen hundred years, and they’re mostly living to be 800-900 years old. So, only God knows how many children every couple had.
So, you had a tremendous population explosion. By the time of Noah’s flood I’ve always been comfortable with the number of four billion people on the then-known world, maybe more. But out of that four billion people—let’s just look quickly at their behavior in Genesis chapter 6, so that we get a full understanding of why God was so severe in His judgment on that generation.
“And God saw…” Now remember, when we were studying the theophanies several months ago God is invisible until Christ appears at Bethlehem. It’s the invisible Triune God who would appear from time to time in a temporary human form. But God for the most part all through the Old Testament was in the invisible realm of the Triune Holy Spirit, God the Son, and God the Father. All right, so whenever you see the word God, back here in Genesis especially, it’s the Triune invisible God.
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his (man’s) heart was only evil continually.” In other words, what does that mean? Those people could not think a decent thought even once in twenty-four hours. It was just nothing but a mindset of continual wickedness. Well, we’re getting there, aren’t we? The world is getting there. We’re not there, yet, but we’re getting there. All right, now verse 6.
“And it repented the LORD (or God was sorry) that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. (So He’s got to do something. He just can’t let it go until everybody kills everybody else.) 7. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me (or it makes me sorry) that I have made them.” But then we know–
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” But I want to keep on this picture of wickedness. Come down to verse 11.
“The earth (Now we know the earth then wasn’t as we know it now, because the flood completely changed the makeup of the planet’s surface. But however much land mass there was before the flood it doesn’t make any difference. I think it was pretty much totally occupied by human beings.) The (whole) earth also was corrupt…”
Now, don’t read that word casually. You know what the epitome of corruption is to me? I did this with a bunch of Sunday school kids years ago. I hope you’ve got a good stomach. How many of you have ever raised potatoes in your garden? Come on, raise your hands. Oh, most of you have. All right, now when you’re digging potatoes, when the new ones are ripe and ready, and you’re scratching through the dirt, what will you invariably run into? That old seed potato. To me that’s the epitome of corruption. Because when I was kid, and I’d hit that thing, I just couldn’t stand it! Well, that’s the way God felt about planet earth. The whole thing was just like that old seed potato that was rotten to the core. What else could He do? Destroy it. He had to get rid of it.
“The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.” We think Baghdad has been bad. And it has. But you know what? That was just a sampling of the whole planet just before the flood. They were killing each other over and over, and that’s what violence meant. It was a society of nothing but murder and mayhem.
“And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh (not just some of it, all of it) had corrupted his way upon the earth. 13. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” And, of course, that brought in the phenomenon of Noah’s flood.
Now I think I’ve got time. Go all the way back to II Peter. I tell especially high school and college kids, always be aware that you will never see the secular world, in science or anything else, they will never admit to a Noahic Flood. II Peter chapter 3 and always remember this is the mentality of the secular world to this very day. And in it they totally reject the scriptural account of a Noahic Flood.
II Peter 3:4-6
“And (they’re) saying, Where is the promise of his coming? (We hear that all the time lately, don’t we?) for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6. Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:”
And what does Peter say? “They are willingly ignorant.” They do not want to believe the account of Noah’s flood.
LESSON ONE * PART II
CONNECTING THE DOTS OF SCRIPTURE
Genesis through Revelation
Okay, once again it is good to see everybody back. For those of you out in television, when I say to have them back—they go out and have a coffee break. It takes a little bit to get this many people served and back in here. We always like to make it known, if you’d like to come in sometime and visit us for an afternoon of taping, that we start about 12:30 p.m., and the cameras roll at 1 p.m. We’re usually out about 4:15 – 4:30 p.m. It’s just a nice afternoon. We’ve got a lot of visitors today. In fact, more than I can take time to point out, but we always like to welcome out-of-state folks.
Okay, we’re going to keep right on going where we left off in Genesis. We’re just going to make a big picture. That is the way a gentleman put it one time when I was in a class in Florida. He said, “Les, I love the way you fill in the big picture.” Well, that’s the first time I’d ever heard it put that way, but that’s so true. You know, people will call with questions, and I’ll say, “Well, sometimes, you know, God gives us enough credit that we can fill in some of these things, as long as you do it scripturally, and just fill in the big picture.” The other one we like to use is connecting the dots. It all fits if you just compare Scripture with Scripture.
So, we’re going to keep going on. After the flood the population starts expanding once again. God has instructed Noah and his three sons and their families to replenish or to fill up the earth, which meant that they were to scatter. Not stay in one place. But, man is always rebellious. Isn’t it amazing? Man never does what God wants him to do. Let’s jump in at chapter 11 verse 1.
“And the whole earth was of one language, (Now remember, it isn’t the whole world as we know it, but for them.) and of one speech. 2. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 3. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime for mortar. 4. And they (the population in general) said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven;…”
In other words, it’s going to be a place of worship. Not that they thought they could build a tower to the Heaven of the heavens, but it’d be a place of worship where they could make contact with what they conceived of as God.
“…and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered…” Now, do you see the rebellion? In casual reading you miss that. But God said, “Scatter and replenish the earth.” Man says what? We’re not going to. We’re going to stay right here lest we be scattered. All right, then verse 5:
“And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” Now, don’t just read that casually.
On what basis could God say something like that? That whatever they imagined they could do it. Why? They’re not that far from the pre-flood civilization, where you’ve heard me say it once, and I know a lot of people doubt me, but I think they had a technology almost equal to our own just before the flood. Because remember, they started out with a super brain at creation. There was nothing that had deteriorated. And they lived 900 years to use all that brainpower. So when I see evidence that at some time in the ancient past there is evidence of computers and internal combustion engines and maps like you can’t believe, then I have to say, yes, I believe that. I think it was before the flood when they had tremendous technology.
All right, so this just makes sense. These are only 200 years removed, so enough of that technology would have been made available and God said it – there’s just nothing to restrain them that they can’t do, unless He does something drastic, which was to confuse the languages. Now stop and think! What is one of the major reasons that we have had such an explosion of technology in the last 50 years?
Well, the whole world has almost again become one language. Because in the scientific world, whether it’s Japan or Europe or America, what is the basic language of science? English. So, we’re just about back full circle. Like here, when they had the advantage of one language, there was almost nothing to stop their ability to invent and so forth. And so the Lord said, “There is nothing that they can’t do.” So He had to interrupt it by confusing the languages.
Now remember, time-wise we’ve got the Flood 1,600 years after Adam, and then 200 years after Noah, we have the Tower of Babel. All right, now we’re going to skip the next 200 years and jump all the way down in this same chapter 11 to verse 31. Here we’re at about 2,000 years after Adam and 2,000 years before Christ. Abraham stands at the midpoint between creation and Christ’s first coming.
“And Terah (the father of Abraham) took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees; (Now the Chaldees, remember, were the people of Babylon.) to go into the land of Canaan; (Which is down at the eastern end of the Mediterranean.) and they came unto Haran, (Which is up north of present day Lebanon in present day Syria.) and dwelt there. (That’s where God stopped them.) 32. And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.”
All right, before we go any further, I want you to jump ahead with me to Joshua the last chapter. I think that’s chapter 24. Because I want you to see what kind of a family this was before God intervened. Remember now, that the Tower of Babel began 200 years before. This meant that the whole then-known population had come under the influence of Nimrod, who was the instigator of paganism. The other names of Nimrod are probably Zeus and Osiris and some of those other pagan names. They all referred to Nimrod. He was the beginning of all pagan religions and idolatry.
All right, so this little family that we’re dealing with was no different. Joshua 24 verse 2 and remember the setting. This is Israel now after having gone into the Promised Land. Joshua has helped them occupy it, fought all the battles. It’s time for Joshua to move on and die and join the forefathers. But look what he says.
“And Joshua saith unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers (your forefathers) dwelt on the other side of the river in old time (I think that’s the Euphrates River.) even Terah, the father of Abraham, the father of Nachor: and they (The whole family what?) served other gods.” Plural. So, what were they? Pagan idolaters. Every one of them.
All right, now naturally, especially in the Orient, who is the head of the family? Well, the patriarch, the father. In this case, it was Terah. Now how far do you think Abraham would have gotten separating from idolatry as long as the old patriarch stood there with his power over them? Well, it probably wouldn’t have happened. So, what does God wait for? He waits for Terah to die. All right, now we can move into Genesis chapter 12. This is the way God works, you know. Sometimes He moves in miraculously, but on the other hand, sometimes He just lets things take their course.
So now we come into chapter 12. Terah is dead and gone, but they are still living up there in Haran. They’re out of Ur, but they’re in Haran, which is between Ur and Canaan. Chapter 12 verse 1 and now we can pick up our timeline on the board as well.
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, (back there in chapter 11) Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:” Now why is God laying down those stipulations? To separate them from idolatry. From paganism. He doesn’t say take the family with you, but rather separate from them.
Well, what does Paul write? Same thing. “Be separate.” What does Revelation say? “Come out from among them.” Why? Because a believer cannot consort with the unbelieving world day in and day out and have any spiritual growth. It’s impossible. Now, we’re in the real world. We know that. But you still cannot mingle with the unbelievers and have any spiritual growth. So the concept is always the same: separate yourselves from the gross, unbelieving world. Verse 1 again:
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from they kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: (Now here come the promises and the prophecy.) 2. And I will make of thee a great nation,…” Now we think of Israel today as nothing but just a little tiny nothing in the affairs of the world. But you’ve got to remember, back here in antiquity people were still tribal. There were no real national entities as yet. So, this little Nation of Israel is going to become one of the greatest tribes in that part of the world, before everything starts exploding around them, if I can put it that way.
All right, so they are going to become a great nation in the eyes of antiquity. Even though in today’s world they were pretty small.
“… And I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3. And I will bless them that bless thee, (Now this is a promise that holds today just as much as it did 2,000 years before Christ.) I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; (Now, here comes the prophecy of all prophecy.) and in thee (in Abraham) shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Well, how can you and I living clear up here in the 21st century, clear over on the other side of the world, be blessed by the blessing given to Abraham? Through the work of the cross. Through this Book.
Every word of this Book, yes, including Luke, is written by Jews (Romans 3:1-2). That’s the role of the Nation of Israel. Through the Nation of Israel not only came this Book with all of its prophetic utterances, but though the Nation of Israel came the Messiah, the Savior of the world. That’s what this prophecy is talking about. That through Abraham every nation on earth will be exposed to the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, because nationally speaking He was a Jew. You see that?
All right, now this is prophecy. This is what I’m always maintaining, that there is not another book on this planet that could even come close to this one because of the prophecies. Oh, I want people to know that. The Koran has no prophecy. The Book of Mormon has no prophecy. All these other religious books of the world cannot prophesy events hundreds if not thousands of years before they happen. But this one does. And it’s not pie in the sky, because at the first advent, as I’ve said over and over on this program, over 300 distinct prophecies that were written hundreds of years before were fulfilled at Christ’s first coming.
Otherwise, Zechariah—let me just give you one example. I hope I can find it. Sometimes I feel like I’m walking into a buzz saw, because I may not find it when I want it. But I’m thinking it is Zechariah chapter 9. Zechariah chapter 9. Now this is written almost 500 years before it happened, and this isn’t something that happens every day that someone would say, well, that’s just a shot in the dark. No. This was a unique event. Oh, this is so thrilling. And this is just one out of hundreds that were fulfilled to the last jot and tittle. All got it?
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; (That’s Jerusalem and the Jews.) shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King (We’re going to be talking about that now. This is the promise in Genesis 12 that out of the Nation of Israel will come a king and a kingdom.) cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, (or a donkey) and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”
Well, when did that happen? On the Triumphal Entry. Fulfilled to the last jot and tittle that He came riding into Jerusalem, off the Mount of Olives, across the Valley of Kidron, and up to the Temple Mount on the colt of a donkey. And it was written five hundred years before. King Cyrus, the king of Persia, was named by a Jewish prophet a hundred and fifty years before he was born.
Now, I can take you back to Psalm 22, just for an example now, so that you’ll know what I’m talking about that this is the only Book on earth that can do this. Even the best of the soothsayers, the best of them, can’t get over 50%. That’s their batting average. The best of them and that, of course, is guesswork. That’s all it is. But this is so obvious. Psalm 22 verse 7 and I’ll let you judge for yourself. Who are we talking about? This, of course, was written by King David. And when was King David? A thousand years before Christ. Now, look at these descriptive words in verse 7.
“All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, 8. He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.” Who are we talking about? Isn’t that exactly what they said of Jesus as He was on the way to the cross? Well, if He’s who He says He was, let Him call ten thousand angels. See, this is all prophesied. This is what would happen. All right, verse 9:
“But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts. 10. I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.” What’s David talking about? The Messiah. All right, now verse 11.
“Be not far from me; for trouble is near: for there is none to help. (Now these, of course, are the mind and thoughts of Christ as He was on the cross or going to it.) 12. Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.” In other words, all the Roman army and everything that pertains to it.
“They gaped (or stared) upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.” Picture the crowds as He was hanging on the cross. Now, if you know anything about crucifixion, this next verse is a typical description of the suffering.
“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint:…” See, that’s what crucifixion did. As they hung there, their bones would literally be pulled from their sockets.
“…my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my being. 15. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; (a piece of clay) and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws;…” Okay, stop a minute. What was one of the seven statements from the cross? Remember when He said, “Behold, I thirst.” This is why. This is a graphic description of crucifixion one thousand years before it happened.
“For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: (Who are the dogs? The Romans. Who were the rest of them? The taunting Jews. But now don’t stop there.) they pierced my hands and my feet.” You see that, all written a thousand years before it happened. Verse 18:
“They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” Did they do it? Well, of course they did. You know that. They cast lots for His tunic, the one that was supposedly woven without a seam. They cast lots for it. All prophesied. Now that’s just a little sampling. The whole Old Testament is scattered with those kinds of statements. No other book on earth can do that.
All right, now let’s go back to Genesis chapter 12. You got all that free for nothing. I wasn’t planning on that. But see, this is what we have to understand, that this Book is so supernatural. There is no way we can doubt that it is inspired of God, even though men wrote it. All right, back to chapter 12 and the call of Abraham, as we call it. And I want you to see verse 3 again.
“I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee;…” And history supports that. Any nation or empire that turns on the Jews is going to sooner or later go down to their doom. I think Germany is still suffering the results of Hitler’s hatred for the Jewish people. All right, but the best part of all is this last statement of the verse.
“…and in thee (In Abraham, because out of Abraham would come Israel, and out of Israel would come the Messiah, and the Messiah would become the Savior of the world.) shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”
Now, that’s the beginning of our timeline as we’ve got it on the board. And now we find that from Abraham all the way up, all the way through, and we’re going to follow these from Abraham to the appearance of the Nation of Israel under Moses. Then comes David and then come the prophets. In between we have the Babylonian invasion, the destruction of the Temple, the exile to Babylon, and then all the way up through Christ’s first advent (we’ll be looking at the details in time), then the crucifixion, then 40 days with the Twelve, and then He ascends back to Glory.
Then, according to all the Old Testament and including the gospels and the first eight chapters of Acts, everything was pointing to the next big event in human history, which would be the seven years of what we call Tribulation and the horrors of it, which would trigger the Second Coming. And then in would come that glorious heaven on earth 1,000 year kingdom.
And that’s something that very few church people know anything about. I am aghast at how few church people know anything of this earthly kingdom. You know, I had someone send me a book awhile back, and I know the fellow meant well. He had written it. He had signed it and sent it to me, but what a travesty. I don’t remember the exact title, but the idea of the book was what’s Heaven going to be like? My, a book that thick. What’s Heaven going to be like? Well, I knew right away it had to be a lie, because there is nothing in this Book that tells us what our Heaven, the real Heaven, is going to be like, except for one word. Glorious! You’ve heard me say it. It’s going to be glorious. That’s all we know.
So, what did the guy write about? The earthly kingdom. Every reference that he used was a reference to this glorious kingdom, where the lion will lie down with the lamb and so on and so forth; and tremendous production, with every man living under his own fig tree. Well, those are all things concerning this earthly kingdom. Yes, it’s going to be heaven on earth, but it’s not the Heaven of the heavens that we think of. And this is where people are what I call ignorant of this Book. And it’s sad. There’s no reason for it. It’s because they don’t read. They won’t study. They won’t compare Scripture. And like I’m learning to tell them when they try to make a point of argument, the only reason you don’t see it is because you don’t want to. And that’s what it’s all down to. They don’t want to see. No, they’ll never see it. But if they want to, it’s as plain as plain can be.
All right, so let’s just take a brief run at Abraham and the Nation of Israel coming on the scene, as I always put it. Then after they become a nation and they get into the Promised Land, let’s jump up to Exodus chapter 19. Oh, my goodness, this half-hour has gone already, and I just got started. Exodus chapter 19, now Israel has become a nation. The twelve sons of Jacob have made their appearance. They went down into Egypt, remember, because Joseph was sold into slavery. He was down there and became God’s divine appointment. Pharaoh gave him authority to save the grain through the seven years of plenty to be ready for the seven years of famine. That’s the setting. All right, because of that the famine came to Canaan, and Jacob and the other sons of the family were about starving to death. When they hear there is grain in Egypt, old Jacob sent the sons, all but Benjamin, down to Egypt.
Well, when they get to Egypt to draw their grain, unknown to them who is parceling out the grain? Their brother Joseph. You know, I was reading a book, Carla, yes, I got a good book a while back. It’s from a secular point of view, but yet it just makes it so graphically plain how that Joseph was in total control all of Egypt, especially in the parceling out of the grain during those seven years of famine. So, when the brothers came over from Canaan to Egypt, he was the one that had to deal with them. Well, he immediately recognized them, if you remember, but they didn’t know him. Well, out of that situation then, the whole family is moved into Egypt under the Pharaoh and Joseph as the second man in Egypt. So Israel, as the Scripture says, “became a Nation down in Egypt.”
All right, then after 700-800 years, God raises up Moses. You know the story. Moses goes in and confronts Pharaoh. After the plagues we’ve got Israel coming out of Egypt. All right, they go to Mount Sinai—we’ll pick this up in the next half hour. Remember, God makes promises to that Nation concerning the next several thousand years of human history. All prophesied. All legitimate. And even though it hasn’t all happened yet, we can rest assured that it surely will.
LESSON ONE * PART III
CONNECTING THE DOTS OF SCRIPTURE
Genesis through Revelation
Okay, again we’re glad you’re all back. For those of you joining us on television, we just have to take a minute and thank you from the depths of our heart for all your kind letters, your cards, your prayers, and above all that keeps us on the air, your financial help. We just thank you for that. And we pray that you pray that we’ll continue to reach more and more hearts, because the kind of people that catch us on television usually have never heard any of this before.
And I guess that’s what hooks them, because it’s not just what Les Feldick thinks, it is right here in plain black and white. And why, why does the majority miss it? Well, I guess I know why. I’ve said it over and over. The world population was 4 – 5 billion at the time of the flood. How many believers? Eight. That’s a precious small percentage.
Up through Israel’s history what percent of even the chosen people were true believers? One tenth of one percent. And then you come to the Lord Jesus Himself. He put it plain as day. One time I told a gentleman who was a member of a great religion, with probably a billion people on earth, and he was trying to convert me. And I said, “Now wait a minute, the Scripture tells me that you’re wrong and I’m right.” He says, “Where?” I said, “When the Lord Himself says ‘broad is the gate and wide is the way that leadeth to destruction and many go in thereat. But narrow is the way and straight is the gate that leadeth to eternal life. And few there be that find it.’”
Never forget that. I’ve always made the statement on this program. When it comes to the things of the Spirit, the majority is always wrong. Think about it. When the twelve spies went in to search out the land of Canaan, what was the majority report? Ten – can’t do it. Wrong! They could have had it without lifting a sword. But the minority—the two—were right. But it didn’t carry. Well, it’s no different today. The majority of Christendom is going down the wrong road, because they will not look at what the Book really says.
Okay. We’re going to continue on now in the big picture of connecting the dots starting from Adam and the Fall and the curse, the coming about of the Nation of Israel, and now they’ve come out of Egypt as a Nation of people. Not as a ragtag bunch of carpetbaggers, as Cecil B. De Mille showed it, but they came out organized. And it says armies, but it really was by tribes. All twelve tribes had their own banner. They were all organized. And as they get around Mount Sinai, they encamp by tribe—total organization.
All right, that’s where we’re going to pick them up now in Exodus chapter 19. They had just recently come out of Egypt. They’re gathered around Mount Sinai, and God is now ready to do something totally different once again. He’s going to put the Nation of Israel under the Law.
“In the third month, (Now, in Biblical history the first month was April, so this would be April, May, June. It would be in the month of June.) when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. 2. For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.” Mount Sinai. Now verse 3, here’s where it gets interesting.
“And Moses went up unto God,…” Now remember, God is up in the Mount in much the same kind of a situation that you had back in chapter 3. Maybe we’d better go back and look at it. Go back to Exodus chapter 3 so that you see how completely God communicated with this man Moses. Now you know I teach as I feel the Spirit leads. I didn’t intend to do this. So, this is back while Moses was spending his forty years in the wilderness, remember, herding sheep. And one day out there on the desert, he saw that bush on fire, and it wasn’t consumed. It got his curiosity aroused. So he goes over and checks it out. All right, then the voice in verse 3.
“And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 4. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God…” Now, do you see the terms of Deity in one verse? LORD in one instance and God in the next.
“And when the LORD (That’s always the term for God the Son.) saw that he turned aside to see, God (Now that’s the whole Triune God.) called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 5. And God said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” Now watch the language.
“Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. (See, He’s made His point.) And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.” Well, you come all the way down to verses 13 and 14. Verses that I always like to use to show the connecting of the dots of Scripture.
“And Moses said unto God, (The same person speaking out of that bush is the same one that’s speaking to him up on Mount Sinai. The same God.) Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, (Now remember, this is before he’s gone back to Egypt.) and shall say unto them, The God of you fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name?…” And I always have to stop there. Why would they ask that question? Because every god in Egypt, hundreds of them, all had a name. If you had a god, he had a name. So, how can you come to us with a God without a name? Moses was right. That’s the first thing they’ll ask. What’s His name?
“…what shall I say unto them? 14. And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM (That’s His name.) hath sent me unto you.” Now, we’ve got to compare Scripture with Scripture to get the impact of it, otherwise you miss it. Go all the way up to John’s gospel, chapter 8. And here Jesus is being confronted by the religious leaders as usual. Let’s jump in at verse 48, because this is so foundational.
“Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, (Now, you know the Jews hated the Samaritans, because they were half-breeds. They weren’t Gentiles. They were half-breed Jews.) and hast a demon? 49. Jesus answered, I have not a demon; but I honor my Father, and ye do dishonour me. 50. And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth. 51. Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.” Well, boy, that was a strong statement to these religious leaders.
“Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a demon. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; (They’re dead.) and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. 53. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?” Who do you think you are? We’d say today.
“Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: 55. Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.”
Now stop a minute. Do you remember what He said in John 14 when Philip said, “…show us the Father…”? Remember that? What did He say? “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the (Who?) Father.”
Now, that’s beyond us, unless we take it by faith. But that’s the Trinity. That’s the Triune God—that when they saw Christ, they saw the whole Godhead. This is what they couldn’t get through their heads. That He was a member of that Triune Godhead, as we call it. Now verse 56:
“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” Now that’s why I’m glad we read Genesis chapter 12 verse 2. What did the Lord tell him? That out of you is going to come a nation of people. All right, this is all through that Abrahamic Covenant. All right, reading on.
“Then said the Jews unto him, Thou are not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58. Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, (What?) I AM.”
Who did He claim to be? The I AM of Exodus 3. And who is the I AM of Exodus 3? Jehovah. Who is Jehovah in the Old Testament? The LORD. Who is the LORD of the Old Testament? God the Son. Who is God the Son in the New Testament? Jesus Christ. See, it all ties together—same person, different terminology.
All right, now back to Exodus 19, if you will. Here we have Moses confronting the same God that he did in the burning bush – the same God who appeared unto Abraham – the same God who would later be born in Bethlehem.
“And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; (Here it comes now.) 4. Ye have seen (you have witnessed, you have experienced) what I did unto the Egyptians,…” And what did He do to the Egyptians?
He miraculously pulled the whole Pharaoh army into that cavern of dried Red Sea with walls of water. They must have been several miles apart, because I can’t comprehend it otherwise. And those stupid Egyptians came right in and suffered like nobody’s ever suffered since. And God brings the water back and kills every one of them. And, you know, that became one of the greatest miracles in all of Scripture.
Do you remember what Rahab said when the Jews were confronting Jericho? What did she say? “We have heard how your God opened the Red Sea.” All right, always keep those things in mind. This is what He’s referring to when He talks to Moses.
“Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.” Now that’s a play on words. They didn’t fly, but it was just as miraculous that He pulled that whole nation of people through the Red Sea before the Egyptians caught up with them.
Israel didn’t lose a man, and yet the timing was such that the minute the last Jew stepped out on the east side, the last Egyptian comes in on the west side, and the water comes back. He gets them all. Boy, don’t you wish you could fish like that? He got them all. Not a one left. Miracle of miracles. All right, so He says, “I bare you on eagles’ wings and brought you unto myself.” His chosen people. Here comes the promise now.
“Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, (Ring a bell? That was Adam’s problem. He couldn’t obey God’s voice. And it’s mankind’s problem even today.) and keep my covenant, (See, it is conditional.) then ye (the Nation) shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:”
What does that tell you? He’s Sovereign. It’s His world. It’s His universe. He can do whatever He wants to do. And if He wants to take one little nation of people and set them head and shoulders above all the rest of mankind, that’s His prerogative. And that’s what He did. They are the chosen race.
“And ye shall be unto me a (What’s the next word?) kingdom…” Now, what do you need to have a kingdom? Two entities. You have to have a king, and you have to have subjects. That makes up a kingdom. All right, this is a promise. You’re going to be a nation of people with a king ruling over you, and you will all be–
“…a kingdom of priests, (of God or of Jehovah) and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” I just had an interesting conversation the other day because of an article I had read.
Turn back with me to I Peter chapter 1. Now most of Christendom tries to make us in the Body of Christ priests of God. And the reason they try to do that is because of this little verse in I Peter. But now here’s where I object strenuously. Peter is not writing to the Gentile church. This is where what does the Book say comes into play.
Now you want to remember that our New Testament lays out just exactly the way our timeline would even down in this dispensation of Grace. Exactly. We’ve got the four gospels. We’ve got the Book of Acts, and then we’ve got Paul’s epistles. Then as soon as Paul’s epistles end, we pick right back up with Israel, again, in view of the Kingdom. So, look what Peter writes.
I Peter 1:1-2a
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, (writing) to the strangers (Not to the citizens, but rather the non-citizens) scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. 2. Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,…” Now you know that couldn’t involve Gentiles up there in what we now know as Turkey. So, who is he writing to? Jews! Fellow Jews who were believers that Jesus was the Messiah.
Now turn over, at least in my Bible, to chapter 2. Then we’re going to flip right back to Exodus 19, so that you’re sure to see the identical language of these two portions of Scripture. I Peter chapter 2 verse 9—now this is what I call Bible study. You compare Scripture with Scripture and you ask yourself, who is Peter writing to? Well, it’s obvious. He’s writing to the Twelve Tribes scattered throughout the then-known world, especially there in Asia, or what we call Turkey. Now look what he says.
I Peter 2:9
“But ye (See? Not they–) are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:” That’s Peter writing to Jews thinking that the Tribulation was right out in front of them. He had no idea that it was going to be 2,000 years of Grace to the Gentile world.
Now go back to Exodus again. Exercise your brain, now. Turn it on and look at the language. Identical. Verses 5 and 6.
“Now therefore, (God is speaking to Moses up there in Mount Sinai just after the Red Sea.) if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: (Now here come the identical words of I Peter chapter 2.) 6. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.”
All right, now to tie that together, I’m going to try something that I don’t think I’ve ever done before. Let’s jump up to Isaiah chapter 42. Keep your hand in Exodus and go to Isaiah 42 so that you can connect the dots. Now, while you’re looking, I have to ask a question. What’s the role of a priest in any religion? Go-between. So every Jew was to be a go-between between their God and the people around them. All right, who were the people around them? Here they come. Isaiah 42, this is prophecy.
“Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom (Now we’re talking about a person, not the nation. A person) my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he (this person) shall bring forth rule (or government) to (what people) the Gentiles.” All right, drop down to verse 6.
“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, (Now who is Scripture addressing? Israel, the Nation. The king first, who’s going to establish a government over the Gentiles, but now the people who, according to Exodus, are to be a nation of what? Priests. Go-betweens. All right, for what purpose?) for a light to (Whom?) the Gentiles;”
Now we know it never happened. But it wasn’t God’s fault. The promises held. So why didn’t it happen or won’t happen? Because of Israel’s unbelief. They’re not going to have this opportunity to proclaim salvation to the nations during the Kingdom Age, because only believers are going to go in at the front end of the Kingdom. That’s John 3. “Unless ye be born again, ye cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.”
So what happened? In Israel’s unbelief, they lost this opportunity to be evangelists during the Kingdom, so God changed His prerogative, and He said, well, then we’ll only let believers go into the Kingdom. But God didn’t drop the ball completely either. So when will Israel have a chance to yet evangelize the nations? They’re going to fulfill the great commission, which was never given to the church in the first place. They’re going to fulfill it where and when? During the Tribulation. By whom? The 144,000. They’re going to circumvent the globe.
I had a question the other day, “Where do you get that?” Well, I can show you. It doesn’t say they’re going to circumvent the globe, but good land, the language says it. Come back with me and I’ll answer the person’s question. Maybe I won’t have to write the letter. Go back to Revelation chapter 7 where the 144,000 are sealed. Chapter 7, now this is really going far off of where I intended to be, but I hope I don’t lose you. Revelation 7, here we have the beginning of the Tribulation. And I think the two witnesses are the preachers that these 144,000 young Jews will be listening to. But anyway, in Revelation 7 verse 4:
“And I heard the number of them who were sealed: and there were sealed 144,000 of all (that means twelve) the tribes of the children of Israel.” All right, after they’re sealed, now verse 9, naturally they’re not going to stand around in Jerusalem and say, well, what do we do next? What are they going to do? They’re going to go out and begin to proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom as Jesus said they would in Matthew 24. All right, now it doesn’t say they circumvent the globe, but good heavens, what does verse 9 say?
“And after this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and languages, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands:” What does languages mean? The whole world! All the languages. All the nations are going to have representatives of the work of these 144,000. Go on down to verses 13 and 14.
“And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? 14. And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
So yeah, it doesn’t say they’re going to circumvent the globe, but we know they did. It just says that they preached to all the nations and all the languages and all the tribes. What difference does it make whether I say circumvent or whether the Scripture says all nations and language?
Okay, I’ve got one short minute left. Back to Exodus chapter 19. The promise in verse 6 is that Israel could be a “kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” In other words, one set apart for God’s purposes, verse 7.
“And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. 8. And all the people answered together, and said, All that LORD hath spoken we will do.…” And they begin to get themselves ready for a system of religion that we call Law, a works religion.
LESSON ONE * PART IV
CONNECTING THE DOTS OF SCRIPTURE
Genesis through Revelation
Okay, good to see everybody back for our number four program this afternoon. Again, we want to welcome our television audience. And we just trust you will, as so many have written, take your Bible and your pen in hand and study with us, because we’re not going to be preaching at you, hopefully. I think I’ve only done that once or twice in thirty years where somebody came up and said, “Les, you did everything but the invitation.” But I normally claim to just be a teacher. I’m not going to preach at people. I just want folks to see what the Book really says. And it’s not that difficult. That’s what we’re trying to do, even in this series of programs. It is to show how everything fits from Genesis through Revelation. It’s not that difficult.
All right, we’re going to take this program, now, and continue on the concept that Israel is looking forward to a coming earthly kingdom, because that’s what God promised Moses on Mount Sinai back in Exodus 19: that Israel would be a “kingdom of priests.” And, you remember, I made the point (I think it was on the program) that in order to have a viable kingdom, you need two entities. What is it? The king and his subjects. All right, so now we’re going to look at the king aspect. And the ideal kingship of Israel, of course, was King David. He was a man after God’s own heart, and, I think, the apple of God’s eye! So, we’re going to jump from Exodus to II Samuel chapter 7, and we’re going to look at God dealing with King David.
Now on our timeline, remember, Abraham appears at 2,000 B.C. Then we’ve got almost 500 years between Moses and Mount Sinai and King David, who rules and reigns about 1,000 B.C. You can pick that up on the timeline. It’s not up there yet, but it will be in a moment. Okay, II Samuel chapter 7 and let’s drop down to verse 8 where God is speaking to David through the prophet Nathan.
II Samuel 7:8-10a
“Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: 9. And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. 10. Moreover (on top of all that) I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own,…” Now, as you read this, think back that since 1948 this has all been fulfilled. They’re there. By divine appointment. God said it. God promised it. And these preachers and theologians can pooh-pooh this all they want. They’re lying through their teeth, because God cannot lie. Man can, but God can’t. And God has said He’s going to “bring them back and plant them,” and you and I have seen it.
II Samuel 7:10b
“…I will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them anymore, as beforetime,” Now, keep that right between your ears, because we’re going to jump up to Luke in just a little bit, and you’ll see the same thing repeated. That’s what I like to do by connecting Scriptures. All right, now verse 11:
II Samuel 7:11
“And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also, the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house.”
Now, I have to stop. The first impression you get of “a house” is a building, right? So I suppose the first thought is that we’re talking about Israel’s Temple. No. We’re going to talk about a different house. When you have a royal family anywhere in history, it’s always called The House of such and such. The House of Togarmah. The House of Windsor in England. The House of Orange in Holland. The House of Hapsburg’s in Austria. It was called a house, because it’s a royal bloodline. Out of that family is where the kings and queens always come.
So, the “house” that God is promising David is not a physical building of wood and stone and rock, it’s a royal bloodline. It’s the family of David. And we call it the House of David. Okay? Now read on in verse 12.
II Samuel 7:12
“And when thy days be fulfilled, (In other words, he’s going to die physically like everybody else.) and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will (Now watch the I wills that God speaks in the Old Testament. If they haven’t happened, they will. God’s Word will never fail. So, after you’ve died–) I will set up thy seed after thee, (in other words, other sons and so forth) who shall proceed out of thy bowels, (Inner-most being—in other words, they will be genetically children of David.) and I (God says) will establish his kingdom.” That is, this coming son of David.
II Samuel 7:13-14
“He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” (Who are we talking about? Messiah Jesus – who’s going to be this King of Israel.) 14. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. (Now we come back in the language to the Nation of Israel itself.) If he commit iniquity, (We know God the Son never will, so now we’re talking about the Nation.) I will chasten him (or punish) with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:” In other words, God did that, you remember, with the Babylonian invasion. He did it with the A.D. 70 Roman invasion. He’s going to do it once more in the Tribulation, but the final end will be Israel’s glorious blessing.
II Samuel 7:15-16
“But (in spite of all the chastisement) my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. 16. And thine house (This royal family starting with King David and ending with King Jesus when He returns to set up His kingdom.) and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee: (Not just for a thousand years, it’s going to slip right on up into eternity.) thy throne shall be established forever.”
All right, now let’s jump all the way up to Luke chapter 1. And here we’re dealing with Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. If you know the account, John the Baptist’s father was stricken dumb, unable to speak, at the very conception of John in the mother Elizabeth. For nine months Zacharias had to labor as a priest at the Temple unable to audibly speak. All right, let’s jump in at verse 57. We’re going to take our time so that there are no gaps for questions.
“Now Elizabeth’s (That’s John the Baptist’s mother, the wife of Zacharias the priest.) full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. 58. And her neighbors and her cousins heard how the Lord had showed great mercy upon her; (Because she was beyond childbearing age, remember.) and they rejoiced with her.
“And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. 60. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. 61. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. 62. And they made signs to his father, (See, he couldn’t speak.) how he would have him called.”
“And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they all marveled. (That he and Elizabeth were in full accord that this unusual name would be used for this child.) 64. And his mouth was opened immediately, (The minute he wrote John, he got his speech back.) and his tongue was loosed, and he spake, and praised God. 65. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings…” In other words, here is this elderly couple that has had a special child, evidently. It’s been miraculously declared by his losing his speech and gaining it back.
“…and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judea. 66. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him. (That is, the child.) 67. And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit,…”
Now, that’s the key, because of the things he’s going to say. He doesn’t speak, as I’ve said over and over before, he doesn’t speak as a well-meaning Jew, or somebody who was sort of exaggerating. Everything he says is directed by the Holy Spirit.
“…Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,” Or spoke forth. It doesn’t mean that he’s telling future events, as much as he is speaking forth the Word of God. Now you’ve got to remember, how long has it been since anybody has written anything to the Nation of Israel? Four hundred years. From Malachi to the appearance of all this was four hundred years. We call it the four hundred years of silence, where God never spoke a word to Israel through prophets or through miraculous appearances – nothing. Four hundred years of silence. And I suppose that was one reason that this caught Israel so off guard. Now, let’s read on.
“Blessed be the Lord God of (The human race? Who?) Israel;…” See how Jewish this is. That’s what I want to emphasize now. This is all Jewish. This is God dealing with Israel. This isn’t the beginning of Christianity, for heaven’s sake. This is the fulfilling of the Old Testament. Most have got it all wrong, and they teach it wrong. They’ve got it all wrong, because this is not the beginning of the Church Age. This isn’t Christianity. This is just an extension of the Old Testament promises. And that’s what he’s referring to.
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, (Israel) 69. And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant (Who now?) David;” See how we’re connecting it? David is the one that began this whole genealogical line that led us up to the appearance of the Messiah. All right, now as I emphasize the Jewishness of all this, I know there are going to be questions out there in television. Now wait a minute, you mean He didn’t have anything to do with the Gentiles? Not a thing!
All right, now I’m going to use Scripture to back that up. Keep your hand in Luke. We’re going to jump all the way up to Ephesians chapter 2. And I’ll make statements, coming up in the next few programs, that Jesus, nor the Old Testament prophets ever had anything to do with the Gentiles, with the exception of a few. Precious few exceptions – Jonah went to Nineveh, the Syrian general Naaman, and Rahab on the wall of Jericho; and then in Christ’s earthly ministry, only two – the Canaanite woman and the Roman centurion. That’s all.
He never had any evangelical contact with Gentiles. Now, they may have come, and they may have eaten all of the free food that He gave out, because even the politicians know that if you want to get a crowd, offer free food. They all like a free lunch. So, there may have been some Gentiles at the feeding of the 5,000 and the feeding of the 4,000. I won’t deny that. But there was no spiritual contact. None, except those two.
Now look why. In Ephesians chapter 2 verses 11 and 12, and this is as plain as language can make it. And why can’t people read it? Ephesians 2:11 and 12 – this is from the pen of the Apostle Paul writing to his Ephesian believers at the city of Ephesus.
“Wherefore remember, that ye (Gentiles) being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by those who are called the Circumcision…” In other words, Jews referred to Gentiles as Uncircumcised. See that? Now verse 12:
“That at that time…” While God was dealing with His covenant people Israel, from Abraham in 2,000 B.C. all the way up to the time of Paul’s conversion, the Gentiles had no access to God’s saving grace. Except the very few exceptions I mentioned.
“That at that time ye were without Christ, (What’s the other word for Christ? Messiah. They didn’t have the hope of a coming Messiah. They didn’t even know what the word meant.) being aliens (or non-citizens) from the commonwealth of Israel,…”
Now, of course, we’ve gone against that in this country. We give just as much rights to the non-citizen as we do to the citizen, if not more. But that’s not the norm. In any other nation on earth, the illegal immigrant doesn’t have any rights. He’s not a citizen. And it certainly was true with Israel. The non-citizen had no rights.
“…you were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers (In other words, they were not participants.) from the covenants of promise,…” Now, we have taught the covenants in days gone by: the Abrahamic Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant, the Palestinian Covenant, the Davidic Covenant, and the New Covenant. They were all between God and Israel, in which the Gentiles had not one smidgen of rights. All right, here it is.
“…you were strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:” Now, some bleeding-heart liberal will say, well, God was unfair. No! How long did God deal with the Gentile world before this kicked in? Two thousand years.
From Adam to Abraham God tried to deal with the whole human race. He made salvation available to anybody that would just follow His instructions. For 2,000 years He dealt with them. What did they do with it? Walked it under foot. They scorned it. All right, so that’s when God set them aside, and said, okay, I’ll bring out another little nation, and I’ll deal with them. All right, so for 2,000 years God did. He let the Gentile world go, as Paul writes, and He dealt only with His covenant people.
All right, then when the Covenant people rejected everything, He turned, once again, to the Gentiles. Now for 2,000 years, again, He’s been bringing salvation to the whole world. God’s never unfair! Don’t ever even think it. He’s always fair. In this Age of Grace that we’re in today, as the Body of Christ is being filled, one can be saved by believing in our heart for salvation, “that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again.” God calls that a free gift. We find those instructions in I Corinthians 15:1-4 and in several other Scriptures of the Apostle Paul.
All right, coming back to Luke, now, this is why it’s all Jewish. God is still on covenant ground with His covenant people, and the Gentiles have no part of it. All right, back to Luke chapter 1, and we left off at verse 69.
“And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; (And that’s Jew only.) 70. As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, who have been with us since the world began: 71. That we (the Nation of Israel) should be saved from our (Not our sins, yet, but what?) enemies,…”
Now, do you remember what God told David back there in II Samuel? The very same thing. That they were spared from all their enemies because of God blessing King David. They didn’t have to worry about the Philistines and what-have-you when David was ruling. He was in control of that part of the world.
All right, then they lost it all. Now, here comes the possibility that they can enjoy that same thing once again, where they wouldn’t have to worry about invading armies of the Babylonians or the Syrians or the Egyptians or anybody else, because this coming king would save them.
“…from our enemies, and from the hand of all that (What?) hate us;” Now, you’ve got to remember, the whole Middle East has hated the Jews since day one. And we wonder—how long are they going to get away with it? Well, now a verse just comes to mind. We’ve got time. Let’s go back and look at it. I hope I’ve got the right one.
I think I want to go to Ezekiel 35. Some of these come to mind, and I’m not always sure where it is. But here it is, Ezekiel 35, lest you wonder: is God always going to let the Arabs get away with it? Huh-un. No, their day is coming, and I don’t think it’s all that far off. All right, Ezekiel 35, now this is written almost 600 years before Christ, and we’re seeing it get ripe for fulfillment. Oh, it’s getting ripe. Their day is coming.
“Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2. Son of man, set thy face against Mount Seir, and prophesy against it, (Who was Mount Seir? Esau. And in the scheme of things, who is Esau? One of the fathers of the Arab world—Ishmael, Esau, the sons of Keturah, and so forth. All right, so this is a prophecy against the offspring of Esau.) 3. And say unto it, (That is, the kingdom of the offspring of Esau, the Arab world.) Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O Mount Seir, I am against thee, and I will stretch out mine hand against thee, and I will make thee most desolate.”
“I will lay thy cities waste, and thou shalt be desolate, and thou shalt know that I am the LORD. (Now, look at the next verse) 5. Because (Not because God is unfair. Not because God is hateful, but because of the opposite. He’s just.) thou (Remember who we’re talking about now, the Arab world.) hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, (or their problems) in the time that their iniquity had an end:”
Now, you want to remember, Israel would have to be chastised from time to time by their enemies. And this is one of the things I always had a hard time comprehending. He used the Babylonians to chastise Israel, and then He comes back and He blasts the Babylonians. The only conclusion I can come to is because they overdid it. Instead of just simply defeating Israel, they tortured them and murdered them by the millions. They overdid it, and then God had to come back and punish them. So anyway, I think it’s the same way today. There are times when God uses instruments to punish God’s people, and then He has to come back and punish the punisher, because they take advantage of the situation.
All right, back to Luke chapter 1. Reading on, goodness, we’ve only got two minutes left. Okay, verse 71, again, repeating it.
“That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us: (In other words, God’s going to utterly destroy them.) 72. To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, (The patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the Twelve Sons; the beginning of the Nation of Israel all had these promises given to them.) and to remember his holy covenant; 73. The oath which he swear to our father Abraham,”
That’s why I’m always going back to Genesis 12. Everything rests on that Abrahamic Covenant, because out of that covenant came the Nation of Israel. Out the Nation of Israel came the Word of God. Out of the Nation of Israel came the Messiah, who went to the cross for the sins of the world. This is all part of that Abrahamic Covenant. All right, but Israel is only looking at the Kingdom aspect. They’re not looking at the Cross. They’re looking at the King. All right, come back to Luke 1, verse 74.
“That he (this God of Abraham) would grant unto us, that we (the Nation of Israel) being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,” In other words, living in the midst of peace and material prosperity, but it’s also going to include the spiritual.
“In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. (And now he comes back to his own son, John the Baptist.) 76. And thou, child, shall be called the prophet (or the foreteller) of the Highest: (The Son of God, who will be appearing some 30 years after all this is announced.) for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 77. To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,” To whom? His people – Israel.
LESSON TWO * PART I
CONNECTING THE DOTS OF SCRIPTURE (Part 2)
Genesis through Revelation
Okay, good to see everybody in again this afternoon. My goodness, I think we’ve got every chair filled. We’ve got a lot of out-of-state visitors today. We’ve got two up here from Florida. We’ve got six back there from Pennsylvania, and we’ve got several other new ones from our area. We want to welcome every one of you. For those of you joining us by television, again we’re just going to open the Scriptures and hopefully clarify a lot of questions. Because I can tell from the mail and the phone calls that some of the things we teach are just absolutely new to so many people. And yet it’s not new. It’s been in here for thousands of years. The only thing is, so many just can’t see it. But we’re going to do our best to keep opening the Scriptures. It’s not what I think or what any denomination thinks, but what does the Book say.
All right, for just a little refreshing of our memory, I’m going to look at a couple of verses we closed with in our last program, which on television, of course, was just yesterday. But for those of us in here, it’s been two weeks ago. Turn back with me to Luke chapter 1. We’ve been looking at this whole concept of “connecting the dots” of the big picture from Genesis to Revelation. The biggest share of it, of course, starts in Genesis chapter 12 and the call of Abraham and the appearance of the Nation of Israel.
The first eleven chapters of Genesis are what I call a disaster. It is pitiful how everything went down, down, down, from the time of Creation until God called out Abraham. Well, in the last taping we came up through the Old Testament showing the person of the coming King and how He had been prophesied all the way up through the Old Testament. Today, we’re going to look at the physical aspects of the Kingdom over which this King will one day rule.
So, just to pick up a little mind refresher from our last program, turn back with me where we stopped in Luke chapter 1, where Zacharias the priest has now had this outpouring of information from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It’s not just, like I always say, the wishful thinking of a good Jew, but rather, this was the very mind of God.
All right, I’m going to drop in at verse 69. This is just part of his speaking forth of what was about to happen so far as Old Testament prophecies were concerned, and that is that the Messiah was now in their midst. John the Baptist will soon start announcing it, but here Zacharias, at the birth of John the Baptist, is letting Israel know what is about to happen.
“And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70. As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71. That we should be saved from our enemies,…” And I always make the point: now we’re not talking about sin, yet, we’re talking about their mortal enemies living all around them, even as they are today. That’s why it’s so appropriate.
“That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72. To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73. The oath (or the covenant) which he swear to our father Abraham, 74. That he (God) would grant unto us (Israel), that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him (God) without fear,”
“In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. 76. And thou, child, (Speaking of John the Baptist, who has just been born.) shalt be called the prophet (or the forth teller) of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 77. To give knowledge of salvation…” Now we’re dealing with the sin problem.
“To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, 78. Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us.”
All right, now that’s where we stopped. I’m going to go back now and pick up the other side of the prophecies and that is the Kingdom itself and all of its physical properties. We’re going to take you all the way back to where we’ve been many, many times over the last many, many years—to Exodus 19. And remember what we’re talking about. The last programs were the promises concerning this person, the Messiah, who would be the King over the glorious Earthly Kingdom.
Now, I’m going to go back and start in Exodus and bring along all the prophecies concerning the physical attributes of the Kingdom. Before we go any further, before I have the guys turn the board, I’m just suddenly reminded – because of all the questions we get showing the confusion in all denominations about this Earthly Kingdom. People can’t get it through their heads. Yeah, I’ve got heads nodding.
You’ve run across it. They can’t get it through their head that when time ends as we understand it, and the Tribulation has run its course, and the earth has been devastated by God judging the iniquity of mankind; that the earth is going to be totally renovated, regenerated, and reconstituted. (Those were the words that are used in Scripture.) It’ll be an earth like the Garden of Eden, and that will bring in the thousand-year Earthly Kingdom. And they can’t get it through their head.
Well, now I’ve just suddenly brought to mind, when my youngest son Todd went up to Southern Illinois University back in the late 80’s. And the first Sunday he was up there in Carbondale, he found a church and he went to a Sunday school class with college kids. He was up there working on his Masters. And the subject in that Sunday school that morning was the Kingdom of Heaven. And all they could talk about was the invisible, spiritual aspect of that Kingdom of Heaven. And he said after about twenty minutes he just couldn’t hold it any longer, and he interrupted, and he said, “Now wait a minute. You’ve got it all wrong. This isn’t an invisible kingdom. It’s a visible, veritable kingdom over which Christ is going to rule and reign as King.”
Now, how I picked it up, we came in the house from church and the phone was ringing. Todd was on the phone all shook up because of what he had just experienced at his Sunday school in church. And I mean he was shook up. Almost, he probably wouldn’t want me to say this, but almost in tears. Because when he pointed out their error that this isn’t something invisible and spiritual, but it’s a physical visible Kingdom, and he said, “Dad, what do you suppose they almost screamed at me?” And I said, “Tell me.” They said, “You mean it’s a political thing?” And he said, “Well, if you want to call it that. Yes. But it’s going to be a Kingdom over which Christ is going to rule and reign.”
He said, “They couldn’t get it.” They just scoffed and scorned him, and he said, “I’ll never go back.” I said, “I don’t blame you, I wouldn’t either.” But see, that’s the mentality of Christendom. Because Todd wouldn’t go to some offbeat, liberal church, he went to what he thought was a rather biblical one. But see, they have no concept of this earthly, glorious, one thousand year Kingdom over which Christ is going to rule and reign. But it’s through all of Scripture, as I’m going to show you today continuing on from the last taping.
All right, the first real mention of this Kingdom is in Exodus 19, so turn with me there. We’re going to jump in at verse 3. And then we’re just going to do a lot of Bible reading today. So those of you out in television, bear with me. We’re just going to let the Scripture speak for itself. I don’t have to comment on it. It’s so plain. The language is so evident, that we can just let it speak.
“And Moses went up unto God, (Up there at Mount Sinai remember, and they’re all gathered around the mountain. They’ve just escaped from the Red Sea experience.) and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4. Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bear you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. 5. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant,…” Which he’s going to give now in chapter 20, the covenant of Law – the Ten Commandments and all the rest of it.
“Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye (Now we’re talking about the Nation of Israel again.) shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: (They’re going to be the chosen race. And God says I can do this, because I’m Sovereign.) for all the earth is mine: (And now here it comes.) 6. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests,…”
Now way back, I haven’t done it for a long time, I said the Kingdom is the Kingdom is the Kingdom is the Kingdom. What Kingdom is it talking about? That thousand year reign of Christ, where the world is going to be totally under His dominion. It’s going to be Heaven on Earth, and that’s why it’s called the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s going to be completely void of sin and death and disease and all the things concerning the curse, because the curse will be lifted. Satan will be removed. He’s locked up in the abyss. So it’s going to Heaven on Earth.
Keep that locked in your mind that we’re talking not about Heaven of the Heavens. The Bible doesn’t tell us much about that. All we know about the Heaven of the Heavens – it’s going to be glorious! But we get all these descriptions of this Earthly Kingdom, and we’re going to look at them today. All right, so Israel is given the prospect that when this Kingdom comes in, and all the nations are going to be represented. They’re all going to be starting on a population explosion right along with Israel. But every Jew had the prospect of being a priest. Not just the tribe of Levi, all of them. But they’re going to have to meet God’s conditions. If they would be obedient, then God would bring in this glorious opportunity for every last Jew – verse 6.
“And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. (Now, you see, that’s exactly the same words that Peter uses in his little epistle when he addressed the Jews of his day – that they were promised to be priests and a holy nation. That’s not to us. Paul never ever calls the Grace Age believer a priest. We’re members of the Body. We’re ambassadors. And we are certainly the promoters of Truth and all that. But we are never called priests in the Body of Christ. All right, so every Jew had the prospect to be a priest in this Kingdom.) These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.”
All right, now let’s jump all the way up to where the prophets begin to lay out this Earthly Kingdom in all of its physical and political, if you want to use that word, attributes. Jump up with me to Isaiah chapter 2. As far as I can tell, this is the real first prophetic utterance, unless David may possibly have it in the Psalms. But of the prophets, this is the first instance that we have this Kingdom alluded to. Isaiah chapter 2, might as well start at verse 1.
“The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2. And it shall come to pass…” Now, does time mean anything to our God? Nothing. He’s timeless. So even though Isaiah is writing 700 years before Christ, and this hasn’t happened yet, don’t you believe this stuff that everything ended in A.D. 70. I can’t, can you? I just can’t get over it. How in the world they can say this kind of stuff. But anyhow, this has not happened yet. Does that mean it isn’t going to? Well, of course not. God is timeless. His wheels grind slowly, and it’s going to happen! Now we can see the evidence that we’re getting closer and closer.
I still like to go back to my old cartoon of the caveman. Yeah, every once in a while I pull it on Iris. You know, the old caveman was sitting in front of his door and he had a big sign over it — “The End Is Near.” And then he must have had a second thought and he put “er” on the end of it. “The End Is Nearer.” Well okay, it’s nearer now than it was two weeks ago when we were here. It’s getting closer and closer and closer. And again, I’m always going back to that verse in Galatians. I did in the last taping. How did Paul refer to the birth of Christ at Bethlehem? “That when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son.” What does that mean? God, in His foreknowledge, knew exactly what day Christ was going to be born. He knew the hour, but He doesn’t necessarily reveal it.
Now, it is the same way here. God knows when this is going to come to pass. We don’t. All we know is that we are getting closer and closer. All right, back to Isaiah chapter 2.
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain (or the Kingdom) of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, (Now remember, the word mountain in the Old Testament verbiage is a kingdom.) and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” All right, so this Kingdom is going to be above all the other kingdoms of this world. “…and all nations shall flow (Where?) into it.”
Now, as we come up through the Scriptures this afternoon, keep those words uppermost in your thinking. That everything in that Kingdom is going to flow into the capital city of that Kingdom, which will be Jerusalem. All right, let’s jump all the way up to chapter 9. Now, all we’re going to do all afternoon is just look at these chronologically unfolding Scriptures that are describing this coming Kingdom, that regardless of how you look at it, has not happened yet. But it’s going to. Verses 6 and 7:
“For unto us a child is born, (a reference to Bethlehem) unto us (Israel) a son is given: and the government…” Now, you want to call it political? The only trouble is, in our understanding of Scripture, if it’s political, it’s bound to have what go with it? Corruption. Absolutely. But not in this one! This is going to be a government that is as holy and righteous as God Himself. So, you can call it political, but leave the corruption aside.
“…the government shall be upon his shoulder: (That is, this one who was born in Bethlehem.) and his name (when this Kingdom comes in) shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. 7. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, (In other words, it’s going to slip right on into eternity, and it’s going to be–) upon the throne of David,…” Now stop. Where was David’s throne? In Heaven? No. Jerusalem, and in particular, on what mountain? Mount Zion. And that’s where Christ is going to have His headquarters in this thousand-year Kingdom. On Mount Zion.
“…upon the throne of David, (where David’s throne was in the past) 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, let’s just go a little bit further to Isaiah chapter 11. I’m just taking these as they unfold in Scripture. In Isaiah chapter 11 we look at another aspect of this glorious Earthly Kingdom. And I’m going to emphasize that word ‘earthly’ all afternoon; so that people get it out of their heads that we’re talking about some kind of a spiritual, invisible entity. No. We’re talking about this planet that’s going to renovated and made new like the Garden of Eden. It’s going to be beautiful beyond comprehension, but it also has all of the other attributes of planet earth, the animal kingdom. And that’s what we see here in this chapter. Okay, Isaiah chapter 11 starting at verse 1.
“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse,…” Now, that’s just Old Testament language that out of the family tree as we refer to it, we have Jesse. Out of Jesse came David, and then down through the hundreds of years of Israel’s history came Jesus of Nazareth, the promised line of David and Solomon and so forth.
“…and a Branch (is a reference to Christ) shall grow out of his roots: (This is what’s going to happen to the Christ, the Messiah, when He returns and sets up this Kingdom on earth.) 2. And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, (the sevenfold spirits of God) the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;” In other words, He’s going to have all the attributes of the Godhead in His Kingdom rule.
“And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge (Or rule—now, we’ve gone over all this before. For a lot of you, I know this is review. But we have a lot of listeners out there who have never heard this before, believe me.) he shall not rule after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4. But with righteousness (With all the righteousness of the Godhead remember, because that’s who He is. He’s God the Son.) shall he rule the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth:…” In other words, the beatitudes are going to become the constitution of this Kingdom.
“…and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, (In other words, to prepare it for this Kingdom economy.) and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” That’s all past. That was done during the Tribulation. Now, back into the Kingdom again.
“And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reigns. (Now we come to the animal kingdom.) 6. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; (No controversy between these wild animals. No death. No tearing from limb and so forth.) and a little child shall lead them.”
Because these incoming people at the beginning of the millennium are going to be flesh and blood. They’re going to be marrying and having families and having children. That’s the whole idea of the Kingdom. But there’s no sin. There’s no Satan. Everything is going to be harmonious, as Adam and Eve could have had it had they not eaten of the tree. Well anyway, how can this happen? I always have to do this, because otherwise people say, “Well, now this doesn’t make sense.” All right, come back to Genesis chapter 1. How can all these carnivorous animals: the lion, the wolf, the tigers, and the leopards—how can they all be cohabiting with little children and with lambs and goats, which would ordinarily be their easiest prey? But here’s the reason.
Genesis 1 verse 30 and this is the way it’s going to be again. Now, this is before Adam ate. This is before the curse fell. This is the way God originally created it. All right, Genesis 1 verse 30:
“And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for food: and it was so.” Now what does that tell you? Everything. The carnivorous, as we call them, the lions and the leopards and the goats and so forth are all going to eat of things that grow naturally. That’s what we mean by the herbs. Nothing will kill something else for its diet. And that’s why it’s going to be so glorious.
All right, now with that concept, since the curse will be lifted and Satan is locked up, yes, this becomes very believable. Back to Isaiah 11 and now verse 7.
“And the cow (the domesticated cattle) and the bear (That would never happen ordinarily, but it’s going to because it’s going to revert back to the pre-Fall and so) shall feed; (that is together) their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion (of all creatures) shall eat straw (Or herbs, or grass, or forage, however you want to put it.) like the ox (cattle).” The lion won’t have to have meat for its diet. The lion’s full digestive track will be changed again so that it will be like it was before the Fall, where everything ate those things that grow naturally. All right, then verse 8:
“And the nursing child shall play on the hole of the asp, (a poisonous snake) and the weaned child (See, we’re showing that there are different stages of children just like today. There’s going to be infants and toddlers and older kids, and they’re all part of this glorious Kingdom economy now.) shall put his hand on a cockatrice’ den.” And now verse 9, here’s the frosting on the cake, as we like to put it.
“They (All these inhabitants of this glorious, Earthly Kingdom over which Christ is ruling and reigning.) shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: (There’ll be no death, no pain, no injury. It’s going to be glorious, and yet they’re going to be there in flesh and blood bodies.) for the earth (Not heaven, the earth) shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” In other words, everything is going to be as perfect as God can make it!
Why can’t people believe it? Does it stretch their imagination? My goodness, you know, if God could create the universe with all of its billions and billions and billions of stars and galaxies, you tell me that He can’t make this possible? Why, this is nothing compared to what He’s already done. And all He asks us to do is what? Believe it! That’s why faith is the key. God wants us to believe what He says. And He’s going to reward us accordingly.
LESSON TWO * PART II
CONNECTING THE DOTS OF SCRIPTURE (Part 2)
Genesis through Revelation
Okay, it’s good to see everybody back. You’ve had your coffee, and again we want to welcome our television audience and say thank you, thank you, thank you. Oh, I just can’t thank you enough for your prayers and your letters of encouragement and then, above everything else, your financial help. After all, television is expensive, and I will not run up a bill. If we can’t pay for the time, then we have to drop the station. So far we haven’t had to. It just keeps coming in. And we just thank you from the depths of our heart, because even through the summer when a lot of ministries have a hard time, we haven’t had any drop at all. So again, we just know it’s a God-thing, and we just praise Him for it.
Okay, we’re going to keep right on with our line of the coming Earthly Kingdom. For this series of programs, we’re going to be looking at the physical attributes of this Kingdom and hopefully help people see that this Kingdom is going to be right here on this planet earth, although God is going to renovate the earth first. The whole planet is going to be renovated and made like the Garden of Eden, and, as we pointed out at the beginning of our last program, even the animal kingdom will revert back to the behavior that it had before the Fall. In other words, nothing killed something else for food. There was no death. And it’s going to go back to that.
All right, now we’re going to continue on up through the Book of Isaiah, and we’re going to start in Isaiah chapter 34 verse 1. The reason I’m doing this is to show you that the Kingdom will immediately follow the horrors of the Tribulation, which ends, of course, with the Battle of Armageddon. That’s why I’m going to start here with chapter 34; it’s just an introduction to the Kingdom described in 35.
Isaiah 34 and we’re going to start at verse 1. Now remember what we’re doing. We’re going back to see what’s going to take place just before Christ returns and sets up His Kingdom.
“Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken; ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. For the indignation (or the wrath, the vexation) of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter.”
Now we have done this before. You’ve got to realize that those final months of the seven years are going to be beyond human description. The Lord Himself said it in Matthew 24:21 – “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” So, don’t ever think for a minute that this is just a stretch of a prophet’s imagination. This is the Holy Spirit inspired account of those coming days.
“Their slain (in other words, the dead) also shall be cast out and their stink (or their odor) shall come up out of their carcasses, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. 4. And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll:…” Revelation says the same thing. All right, verse 5.
“For my sword shall be bathed in heaven; behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, (Which, of course, is the whole human race.) to judgment.”
Now, let’s skip some of these, because it’s just a graphic description of the horrors that are going to take place at the Second Coming. Now, I wasn’t intending to do this, but again, I have to whenever I get the chance. You know, there is such scorn lately of the Rapture. I think we’re under attack more than has ever been in the last 2,000 years. Where people are almost getting hateful of our teaching of a sudden disappearance of the believers. And when they try to write letters of argument, and I’ve mentioned this before, the only Scriptures they use are all those pertaining to the Second Coming; which, of course, are the four Gospels and Revelation and the Old Testament. They utterly ignore Paul’s Epistles, and that’s where the Rapture is.
And see, this is another thing they can’t get through their heads—that the references to the Second Coming are all like this—the horrors and the death and the destruction that’s going to take place on planet Earth leading up to Christ’s Second Coming. Paul never speaks of those kinds of things. And I think I did it in the last taping. All Paul speaks of leading up to the Rapture is a social breakdown. II Timothy chapter 3 starting with verse 1, “…in the last days perilous times shall come. 2. For men shall be lovers of themselves… 4. …more than lovers of God.” There’s going to be this moral breakdown and apostasy in Christendom but not a word about death and destruction. Not a word. And that triggers the Rapture. But the Second Coming is filled with these kinds of prophecies.
All right, let’s go on into chapter 35 of Isaiah and get away from all the language of horror and get into the language of hope of this glorious Earthly Kingdom. Now remember, this is primarily promised to the Nation of Israel. This is not promised to the Body of Christ. Now, how much we are going to have to do with this Earthly Kingdom I’m getting further and further removed from understanding, because a lot of the things that I always used to associate with it aren’t for the Body of Christ, they’re for the Nation of Israel. So, again, I’m just going to leave it at that. Here the prophet again is addressing God’s chosen people.
“The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” Now, isn’t that a far cry from what we just read in chapter 34? My! What a difference. Do you see that?
“It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon (Now Lebanon, of course, in antiquity was known for its beautiful landscape; the cedars of Lebanon, you know that.) shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, (which are beautiful places in the land of Israel) they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.”
“Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. 4. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, (back there in the Tribulation) even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.” Now we come back to those that have survived the Tribulation and are now going into the Kingdom.
“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb will sing:…” All of these things that were part of the curse will suddenly be corrected. Now verse 7:
“And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. 8. And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. 9. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon,…” Because that’s all part of the curse. All right, now the last verse.
“And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs (see, not the cry of wrath and death and destruction, but–) and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Now this is on the planet, beloved, not up there in what we call Heaven; but it’s going to be a heavenly atmosphere on this planet.
All right, now let’s jump ahead to Jeremiah 23 verse 1, and he picks up the same tune that Isaiah has just left us with. While you’re looking it up, I’ve got my timeline back here in front of me, and we’re going to run over that for a minute, quickly. Remember that the first eleven chapters of Genesis took us up to chapter 12—the Abrahamic Covenant and the appearance of the Nation of Israel. All right, now from Genesis chapter 12 all the way up through our Old Testament economy 500 years after Abraham, we come to Moses, and we started out with that in Exodus 19 and the giving of the Law at about 1500 B.C.
Five hundred years later (1000 B.C.), we have David and Solomon and the Nation of Israel at the peak of glory in its Old Testament time. Then we come to the time of the prophets and Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. Then, of course, at the time of Daniel, about 600 B.C., we have the Babylonian invasion and the destruction of the temple. And that has all been called the “Time of the Gentiles” – when Israel would be under the heavy boot of first the Babylonians, then the Medes and then the Greeks and then the Romans, which takes us all the way up to sometime beyond Christ’s First Advent.
All right, now all the prophets are talking in terms of two distinct events always in succession. The first one is, there had to be judgment and chastisement, and that was such as the Babylonian invasion. Israel had gone into stark idolatry and rebellion and God chastised them with that Babylonian invasion. They went out into 70 years of captivity, but then they came back and rebuilt the Temple and went under God’s blessings for a period of time. That led us all the way up to Christ’s earthly ministry, bringing the prophets all these promises of chastisement and blessing, chastisement and blessing—three of them.
Now the first chastisement I’ve already mentioned was Babylon. Then the next one was the Roman invasion in A.D. 70. They’ve been under the chastisement for almost 2,000 years; and the blessing is about to come, which will be this glorious Kingdom. Now all the Old Testament promises are leading up to Christ’s First Advent. Then, so far as prophecy was concerned, yes, He would be rejected. He would be crucified. He’d be three days in the tomb. He’d be resurrected and then spend forty days with the Twelve. Then He ascended back to Glory, and then, so far as the Old Testament and the Gospels and everything were concerned, in would come the Tribulation. Those final seven years are always divided 3 ½ and 3 ½.
That’s why we can determine a seven-year period. Daniel speaks of 490 years. But only 483 were fulfilled. So, we’ve got seven years left. That’s just plain arithmetic. All right, then we come to the Book of Revelation. It stipulates 42 months and 42 months, that’s 3½ years and 3 ½ years. Another chapter will say 1,260 days and 1,260 days; 3 ½ years and 3 ½ years. All of Scripture fits into this seven-year time frame. So, don’t let people try to foul your thinking with all these other things. But we have this final seven years always divided in half, because the first half will not be anything like the last half.
All right, then, as we’ve already seen today, these seven years will lead up to the Second Coming and the coming in of the Kingdom. Now, all through Scripture there was not one hint but that it would all be coming right down the line. In other words, the Tribulation would take place just a few years after the ascension and the Second Coming. So, this was all going to take place in the lifetime of people living here after Christ ascended back to glory. Now think for a minute. Take the twelve disciples, for example. What do you suppose was their average age? Just a guess. How old do you think the disciples were? In their thirties? All right, now we know that from the crucifixion until sometime after Peter starts preaching at Pentecost, we’ll say five years go by. And that would have brought in the Tribulation. So, five plus seven would take you twelve years beyond the crucifixion, and you’d have the what? The Kingdom.
All right, so if the guys were 40 and twelve years later they are still only what? Fifty-two. So you see, this whole top line could have easily taken place in the lifetime of the people that were living at the time that Christ ministered. They had no idea that God was going to do something different. Because you see, after we’ve gone past the ascension, instead of the Tribulation taking place, Israel rejected it all when they stoned Stephen. That was shortly after His ascension, remember. All right, so they stoned Stephen. And who are we introduced to at the stoning of Stephen? Paul—who would be going to the Gentiles—not with the Gospel of the Kingdom, but rather with the Gospel of Grace.
And that’s what you have to understand. That all of a sudden Israel rejects their Messiah; rejects all these Old Testament promises, and God says, I’ll do something different. Just like He did when He called Abraham. He had one race of people. He had been dealing with them for 2,000 years, and what does God say in so many words, I’m going to do something different. And He raised up Abraham.
All right, now it’s the same way when Israel rejected and rejected. They stoned Stephen—we’ll not have this Jesus of Nazareth ruling over us—and we’re introduced to the next major player, Saul of Tarsus. All right, that means that God was going to put this whole timeline on hold. That’s why we drop it down to a second line now. Instead of bringing in the Tribulation, we bring in the Dispensation of Grace.
When this Dispensation of Grace for the out-calling of the Gentile Body is complete, it has to be taken out so that God can finish this top line dealing with Israel. And it’s so obvious from Scripture if you realize that only Paul speaks of the Rapture. Nobody else knows about it, as it was given only to Paul. The Rapture will happen when the Body of Christ is complete and just before the seven-year Tribulation begins. And so, as I’ve already pointed out, the Second Coming is associated with nothing but the wrath and destruction and the vengeance of God setting the stage for the Kingdom that’s still future.
All right, now at break time I had Sharon put on the board, again, the three circles explaining the Kingdom of God. I thought I did that Kingdom of God and Body of Christ six months ago. I went back and checked the books, and you know how long it was? That’s over two years, Sharon. That’s over two years ago. Man, it seems like six months. But anyhow, we did a whole series on the circles that she’s got here now. The Kingdom of Heaven and The Body of Christ, but they’re all in the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God is everything from eternity past to eternity future that is under God’s righteous control. There’s nothing of evil in here. There’s nothing of eternal doom in here. There’s nothing of the Lake of Fire in here. This is only that which pertains to God’s righteousness, which would be: Heaven, the angelic hosts, the Old Testament saints, the Gospel’s, Christ’s earthly ministry saints, the Tribulation saints, and the Body of Christ saints. We’re all in the Kingdom of God. But we’re not in there in a mumble-jumble group. We’re in there in two totally separate entities.
Everything pertaining to the Old Testament believers all the way from Adam until the Second Coming, which would include the Tribulation believers, they’re in the Kingdom of Heaven. They’re either going to come in here as flesh and blood, having survived the Tribulation and having become believers from the 144,000 preaching. If they’re martyred, they’re going to be resurrected and brought into the Kingdom of Heaven along with the Old Testament Saints. If they’ve managed to stay alive, then they’ll come into the Kingdom as flesh and blood, as we’ve been looking at now this afternoon.
All right, now if we don’t get to it this afternoon, then in our next taping we’re going to talk about that other group of believers who are in the Kingdom of God, which is the Body of Christ. But they’re two totally separate entities. And that’s what we have to understand.
Okay, now let’s go back to where I just was in Jeremiah chapter 23. Let’s start at verse 1. Now again, we’re going to be looking at the physical attributes of this glorious Earthly Kingdom that’s coming. Like I said in the last half hour, we don’t know when, but it’s closer today than it was yesterday. Tomorrow it’s going to closer yet, because we’re moving ever nearer and nearer. Now again, we’re going to back up a little bit in time to the reason God had to bring in wrath and destruction.
“Woe be to the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! Saith the LORD.” Now remember, who is Jeremiah writing to? Israel. The pastors here are the priests and the religious leaders of Israel.
“Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; (This is all Jewish.) Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD. 3. And I will gather the remnant (the believing remnant) of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.” Now then, we’re coming into the Kingdom economy again. Reading on…
“And I will set up shepherds over them who shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD. 5. Behold, the days come, (Now it hasn’t happened yet. Nobody can ever tell me that this took place any time in the past.) saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, (And that’s capitalized, because Branch is another one of the Old Testament terminologies for the Messiah. All right, and so–) and a (What’s the next word?) King shall reign, and prosper,…”
Now that just reminds me. You know, sometimes I do things that I don’t intend to do. Come back with me to Revelation, so that we compare Scripture with Scripture. That’s the name of the game. Now Revelation is a New Testament book that is written in the same order for the Nation of Israel, to give them a road map of what’s ahead. It’s not church language; it’s Jewish language. All right, so Revelation chapter 19 and let’s just start at verse 11. Now remember why I came back here, the word King that Jeremiah uses.
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” See, that’s the Tribulation.
“His eyes were as a flame 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 a vesture dipped in blood: (because of His victims) and his name is called The Word of God. 14. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.”
“And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, (in other words, the Word of God) that with it (His Word) he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron:” (In other words, there’s no funny business in the Kingdom. He’s going to be a benevolent King, but He will tolerate no opposition. All right, so He’s going to rule with an absolute, and then–) and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” As He winds up the Tribulation. And now here it comes. When He appears at His Second Coming and He sets up His Kingdom, here’s His title now.
“And He hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” My, that reminds me of Handel’s Messiah, doesn’t it? But that’s what He’s going to be. He’s going to be the King of Kings! Why is that so hard for people to swallow? He has every right, and all of Scripture is prophesying it. All right, back to Jeremiah. My goodness, I’ve only got three minutes left. Back to Jeremiah 23.
“Behold, the days come, (See, it hasn’t happened yet.) saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King (God the Son!) shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment (or I always take the term government) and justice in the earth.” Now, is that plain enough? We’re not talking about Heaven; we’re talking about planet Earth.
“In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” And if I remember my Hebrew right, that’s “Tsidkenu.”
“Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; (That’s what it’s always been so far. But at this point in time, it’s going to be a little different saying.) 8. But the LORD liveth, who brought up and who led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country; (Primarily Russia and northern Europe.) and from all countries whither I had driven them;…”
And we know, from Deuteronomy 30 verses 1 and 2, that the Jews would be scattered into every nation on this planet. And then at a point afterwards, God would bring them back to their homeland. We always use that in association with the signs of the times of Matthew 16. And there they are, back in the land! My goodness, I tell everybody that if for no other reason, we know this Book is true because the Jew, against all odds, is back in their homeland. And our politicians are too stupid to know the difference. It’s just unbelievable. Why can’t anybody recognize that these people who have been scattered for 1,900 and some years are, against all odds, back in Jerusalem? Back in their homeland. All of Scripture says it was going to happen.
All right, now we’re going to end this so we can move on in our next program, but again verse 8:
“But, The LORD liveth, who brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all the countries from whither I had driven the; and they shall dwell in their own land.” Does this Book lie? Well, it can’t. So, is it going to happen? Yes, it’s going to happen. And we’re getting closer every day. All the things that are taking place in the world are getting ready for this glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.
LESSON TWO * PART III
CONNECTING THE DOTS OF SCRIPTURE (Part 2)
Genesis through Revelation
Okay, all of you out in television, come and see us sometime. We have a great time on these Wednesday afternoons. Again, we always like to remind you that we’re so appreciative of all your prayers, your financial help, and your encouraging letters. My goodness, how we love our mail time!
Okay, we’re going to come right on with the theme that we’re showing the attributes of this physical, political Earthly Kingdom over which Christ is going to rule and reign. And all these Old Testament promises will finally become a reality. This isn’t just pie in the sky. This is going to happen, because it’s the Word of God.
All right, we’re going to jump in at Jeremiah 31 and verse 11. Now all of these verses are applicable. They’re all speaking of this glorious coming time for the Nation of Israel. I’m just sort of hitting the highlights. In your spare time read the rest of these chapters.
“For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob,…” Now stop a minute. Will there be any unbelieving Jews going into the Kingdom? No. The Lord made it so plain in John chapter 3 when He was speaking to Nicodemus. What did He tell him? Nicodemus, you should know this. No one goeth into the Kingdom unless they be born again. Or what we call now and I prefer, born from above.
So, there’ll be no unbelievers going into this Kingdom. It’s going to be a Kingdom of righteousness, and it’ll be a righteous government. It’s going to be a righteous environment. We’ll be looking at some more of that when we finally get into the New Testament description of these things. But here we have the redeemed of Israel who will be going into the Kingdom.
Now, let me just throw some numbers at you. We know from Zechariah chapter 8 that one third of Israel is going to come through the fires of the Tribulation and go into the Kingdom. Two thirds are going to be lost. All right, Israel today is around 15 million people. One third means five million. That’s a pretty good chunk of people. That’s more than Dallas or Fort Worth put together. All right, that will be the remnant of Israel going in on the front end. Now then, from all the other nations of the world there will just be a smattering of survivors who are believers that will go into the Kingdom as Gentiles. And that’s what you always have to remember. The millennial reign will be primarily Israel’s thing. They are going to be the head nation of the nations by virtue of numbers. But all the other nations are going to be represented with a few and the population, of course, will grow from all directions. All right, so that’s what we talk about when we speak of the inhabitants of this glorious Kingdom. Okay, now I’m going to start reading in Jeremiah 31 verse 11 again.
“For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, (or the Nation of Israel) and ransomed him from the hand of him who was stronger than he. 12. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow (That same word that Isaiah used – all the nations shall flow into it.) together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; (Are you getting the beautiful description here?) and they shall not sorrow any more at all.” It’s going to be Heaven on earth. Now that’s the only way I can put it. It’s going to be Heaven, but on planet earth, for a thousand years. All right, verse 13.
“Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. 14. I will satiate (or I will actually fill) the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD.” I’m just going to keep reading for a few more verses.
“Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not. 16. Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.” In other words, the Jews are going to be coming back from wherever they had been scattered.
“And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border.” The Jews are going to all be where they belong.
All right, now let’s just skip across in this same chapter to verse 31, where we now have the spiritual conditions of the Nation of Israel. Verse 31, this is what we call the New Covenant.
“Behold, the days come,…” Now, I can’t refrain from reminding you, what does that tell us? It’s going to happen. I don’t care how much they scorn or ridicule. You know, Christianity is under attack like almost not since the Dark Ages. Our media hates us, and they falsely accuse us of everything but the truth. And we’re just going to have to learn to live with it, because we’re not going to turn them around.
“Behold, the days come, (Because God has promised it.) saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:” In other words, the whole Nation is going to be involved. All the tribes. Not just Benjamin and Judah, all of them. Now verse 32, this new covenant will not be:
“Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke,…” In other words, this is not like the covenant of the Ten Commandments that Moses got at Mount Sinai. This is a totally new agreement between God and Israel.
“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, (In other words, after these last 1,900 and some years of dispersion. After the horrible seven years of Tribulation. After all those years have gone by–) saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” That’s God’s promise. Now verse 34:
“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD:…” In other words, as it was in Deuteronomy. When they got up in the morning, what were they to do? Memorize Scripture. When they sat down for noon time lunch, what where they to do? Memorize Scripture. When they went to bed at night, what were they to do? Memorize the Scripture. In other words, study it. That won’t be necessary, because every Jew will have it automatically. All right, that’s what He means here. Verse 34 again:
“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, (It’s going to be a given.) from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Israel is finally going to arrive. Verse 35.
“Thus saith the LORD, who giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:” He’s the Creator, remember? And it’s Jesus Christ in the New Testament.
“If (that’s conditional) those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever.” In other words, if the universe that’s been there for however long you want to put on it—if you’re a creationist, it’s less than ten thousand years. If you go beyond that, it could be billions of years. But whatever, however long it’s been there it has never deviated. The sun has never moved out of its place. The planets have never moved.
You know, I had an interesting experience. I shared with you in our last taping that we had a couple people come over to visit us from England. We were outside one evening and standing on the deck. It was a beautiful, Oklahoma, clear, starlit night. You city people don’t know what it’s like. The stars were just like they were a hundred yards up. And this Brit said, “There’s the Big Dipper. It’s in the same place as it is in England!” And you know, it is kind of a shocking thing. We know that from textbooks, yes. But to actually hear it from someone – it’s in the same place that it is in England. Well, of course. But has it ever moved? No. It’s exactly like it’s been since creation.
All right, so what God is saying is that it’s just as apt to fall out of its rightful place as it is for Israel to lose their identity. Now you Preterists out there, I know they are listening. I get books from them all the time. One of them even expected me to autograph it. Ha! Sorry, fellows. I will never condone Preterism. Because, you see, Preterism says that Israel disappeared in A.D. 70. Well then, if that’s the case, then the Bible is a lie. Or they’re a lie. Now you decide. But this is what God says. That if the ordinances of creation: the sun and the moon and the stars and the planets and the galaxies; if they disappear or “depart from before me, saith the LORD, then shall the seed of Israel.”
Well, I guess if the universe falls apart, everything goes, doesn’t it? You and I included. But this is what God is saying: that His promises with Israel are just as secure as the universe. Now isn’t that enough? How in the world can mortal men say that this is a lie? But they do.
“If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. 37. Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above (And we don’t even know where Heaven is. We know it’s there, but we don’t know where.) can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.”
Now isn’t that amazing? So, will God ever give up on Israel? Never! His promises are secure with the Nation of Israel. And I’ll take it one step further. If God can’t keep His promise with Israel, do you and I have any assurance of our salvation? Well, of course not. If He can’t keep His word with Israel, He has no reason to keep His word with me or you. But oh, beloved, He will not break His word with Israel. He will not break His promise with us. We are safe for eternity, because His Word is true. I’ll stand on that until the day they shoot me. His Word is true. All right, now I’ve got to finish the chapter, I think, and then we’re going to move on to another one.
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner. 39. And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it…” In other words, all these Kingdom promises are going to be fulfilled. All right, verse 40:
“And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the LORD; (In other words, all of the things that were ravished in those closing days of the Tribulation will disappear. It will never be remembered in this glorious Kingdom.) it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever.” All right, now let’s just turn the page. I want to go to chapter 33. Let’s see, I want to drop down to verse 7. You know, I just had a hard time picking out some of these key portions, because it’s all full of these Kingdom promises.
Now, when we get to the New Testament, I’m going to give you a verse that I’ve used over the years. But hopefully, it’ll mean a lot more now than it did before. All right, Jeremiah 33 and we’re going to drop in at verse 7.
“And I will cause the captivity (or the bringing in) of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, (In other words, by an act of God, and we’ve already seen it. That’s why they’re back in the land. It was providential.) and will build them, as at the first. (Now look at this promise.) 8. And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. 9. And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honor before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.” That is, unto the Nation of Israel.
Well, I’d like to just read all these verses, but I’m afraid people might get a little bit impatient. So let’s just skip on down to verse 12. My, there are some good verses up there. Verse 11: “the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and bride,” and all that makes up a common, ordinary human society. Now remember, they’re not angels. They’re humans. All right, now verse 12:
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Again in this place, which is desolate without man and without beast, and in all the cities thereof, shall be an habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down.” Now, what are you gathering from this? Seemingly what kind of a society or a community will the Kingdom be? Agrarian.
Have you noticed that? Agrarian. It’s not going to be metropolitan. It’s not going to be urban. It’s going to be agrarian. There’s a verse back there someplace that says, “every man will sit under his own (What?) fig tree.” In other words, there will be orchards. It’s going to be agrarian. We’re going to have the beauty of the country.
Now, I’ve never been a city dweller. Neither has my little wife. And every time we go through one, we just can’t imagine the horror of living in a big city. But you know, when these city dwellers come out and we take them around the ranch, you know what flabbergasts them? All the open space. We can go for miles and not meet a car. Well, they just can’t imagine that. But I think that’s what the Kingdom is going to be. It’s going to be so beautiful. There’s not going to be that beehive of contracted dwellings and so forth. From the language, I get at least, it’s going to be agrarian. Okay, let’s move on. Verse 14.
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. 15. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch (See, there’s that word again. That term of God the Son in the Old Testament. He’s called a Branch, whenever you see that with a capital ‘B’.) of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.”
There’s not going to be any sin. No wickedness. No immorality. It’s going to be glorious. But it’s still going to be in a human environment. Families. Husbands. Wives. And children. But no Satan. No death. No curse. All right, verse 16.
“In those days…” That is during these thousand years. Now, I’d better emphasize. The Old Testament does not put us in a time frame. We have to go to the Book of Revelation to get that. And that’s where we get the thousand years. And after the thousand years, so on and so forth. So always remember that. The Old Testament does not give us a time frame, but the New Testament does.
“In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness. (And again, that’s the Hebrew term Tsidkenu.) 17. For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; 18. Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt-offerings, and to kindle meat-offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.”
Now, there will be some sacrificial offerings in the Kingdom, and that’s hard to reconcile. And I for one cannot do justice to it, so I just sort of leave it alone. But, yes, there will be a certain amount of animal sacrifice. It’ll be limited, of course, but I think it’ll be a memorial much like our communion table. All right, verse 19.
“And the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, saying, 20.Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, (Now, here we come back again to God proving that He will never let go of Israel.) and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; 21. Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne;…”
Now, here is a good statement. When we speak of the throne of David and Christ as a Son of David, this is where the connection comes from. Christ is genealogically the Son of David. We pick that up, of course, in Matthew’s genealogy. So always put those two together, that Christ will sit upon David’s throne as the Son of David, genealogically. Not losing sight of His Deity. All right, verse 22.
“As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me. 23. Moreover, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying, 24. Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the LORD hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them.” In other words, I think he’s referring to the two kingdoms before they would be brought together: Israel in the north and Judah in the south.
“Thus saith the LORD; if my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and the earth; 26. Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, (or their control of his people. He’s going to bring them back.) and have mercy on them.”
Okay, now we’ve got time enough. Let’s jump one more to Ezekiel chapter 36, and I’m going to jump down to verse 24. Now, this is still another prophet. See, we’ve had Isaiah talk about it. We’ve seen Jeremiah speak about it. And now here comes Ezekiel. Probably in our next half-hour we’ll have time to go on up to Daniel. Then in our next taping we’ll take a look at how the New Testament approaches this Kingdom economy. All right, Ezekiel 36 verse 24, and look at the promises here. Oh my, they ought to just give you goose bumps, because we’ve seen some of this already take place.
“For I will take you from among the heathen,…” The Gentiles. Now, I think we looked at that some time ago. In fact, I think in my seminars in Florida I started every one of them with the same verse in Matthew 16, “you can discern the signs of the weather, but you can’t discern the signs of the times.” Isn’t that what I was on? Yeah. And what is the major sign of the times for you and me today? The return of Israel to their homeland. That’s a sign of the times! Because the end-time could not even begin until Israel was back in the land. They have to be there, because that’s where the Lord is going to return and set up His Kingdom. All right, now Ezekiel says the same thing.
“For I will take you from among the Gentiles, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.” How can anybody deny this? It’s beyond me, but they do. You know how they deny it? I sent you the book. They claim they’re not Jews at all. They’re Czars from the Russian Steppes, and that they simply took over the Jewish libraries and synagogues. That’s what they do with the Scriptures. That’s what they claim, that these aren’t Jews at all. They’re imposters. Well, who in the world would want to be an imposter and step in to all the hatred that the Jews get?
“Then…” Now, they haven’t done it yet. Even though Israel’s back in the land, they’re not experiencing these spiritual blessings yet. They’re still there in unbelief. They’re secular. Many of them are even atheists and agnostic. But they’re in the land, so the rest will come. Don’t worry.
“Then I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.” Now of course, the Babylonian captivity, I think, broke them of idolatry. But nevertheless, it’s still in their background.
“A new heart also (Remember what the covenant was in Jeremiah 31:31? I will put it in your heart. You won’t have to memorize it everyday. It’ll be there. It’ll be a given.) will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, (or my ordinances, or my government) and do them. 28. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be (What’s the pronoun?) my people, and I will be your God.”
Now, do you remember in Israel’s past, when Israel was out in rank unbelief and the prophet or whoever it was that was writing, what would God tell them to call them? “Your people.” He wouldn’t claim them. But the day is coming when once again God will say, “My people.” See, what a difference that makes? To Moses He said, they’re your people. To Daniel He said your people. But the day is coming. That’s why the pronoun is so important here. The day is coming when you shall be, verse 28–
“…my people, and I will be your God. 29. I will also save you from your uncleanesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.” In other words, if we get time and get to Amos yet this afternoon. I don’t know whether we’ll make it or not. But what does Amos speak of? That the reaper will follow the planter and the planter will follow the reaper. In other words, it’s going to be a continuous production of food and fiber with no opposition from insects or weeds or thorns. It’ll be easy. No sweat of the face. That’s why I maintain that I think it’s going to be an agrarian economy.
LESSON TWO * PART IV
CONNECTING THE DOTS OF SCRIPTURE (Part 2)
Genesis through Revelation
Okay, for those of you joining us on television, just in case you’re catching us for the first time, we’re just an informal Bible study. I always make the point. I’m not trying to attack anyone. And hopefully we can just get people to see what the Book says! I don’t want anyone to go into a Sunday school class and say, “This is what Les Feldick says.” That doesn’t amount to anything. Be able to say, hey, this is what the Book says. Hopefully we’re making some headway.
All right, we’re going to keep right on with our subject of the physical attributes and the qualities of this Earthly Kingdom that’s coming. And now we’re going to move on up to the next of the Major Prophets, Ezekiel. So, those of you in the studio can be turning with me to Ezekiel chapter 47. We’re going to start reading at verse 1. And again, I’m going to do like I’ve been doing all afternoon. We’re going to do more reading than usual, but hopefully the Scripture can speak for itself if you understand what we’re trying to show: that these are all promises given to the Nation of Israel that’s in their future. It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s going to happen! All right, verse 1.
“Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, (He’s speaking of this millennial building in Jerusalem.) and the waters came down from under the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. 2. Then he brought me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side.”
All right, now we looked at these before. But here is this river of water that’s going to come out from underneath the throne room there in Jerusalem during the millennium. The river will run out east to the Dead Sea, and it will totally cure the Dead Sea and make it fresh water. Everything that’s associated with the water that flows to the Dead Sea will cause life to come. That’s opposite of what the Dead Sea is now. Then the other half of the river will flow west to the Mediterranean. This is all during this 1,000 year reign of Christ.
All right, let’s move on a few verses, and then we’re going to go on into the Book of Daniel. All right, verse 7.
“Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. 8. Then he said unto me, (Now this, I think, is an angel speaking to Ezekiel.) These waters issue out toward the east country, and down into desert, and go into the sea:”
Now if you know Jerusalem, we can stand on the Mount of Olives and on a nice clear day you can almost see the Dead Sea. That’s east about 18 or 20 miles, if I remember right, from Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. All right, so this is what he’s talking about. From under the sanctuary this water or this river will flow east to the desert and into the Dead Sea.
“…which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. (That is into the Dead Sea. These waters are going to be so pure that they will purify the salty, mineralized waters of the Dead Sea.) 9. And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: (In other words, it’s going to be a water of life, or it’ll be life-giving water.) which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed;…”
If you’ve been to the Dead Sea, and many of you have, I’m sure. Absolutely nothing lives in the Dead Sea. Nothing, because it is so saturated with salt and minerals. That’s why you can’t sink in it. You float. I’ll never forget the time my dear little wife over here tried to swim in the Dead Sea, and it just flipped her upside down. She wasn’t quite ready for it. But, that’s what it is. This water from the mountain in Jerusalem is going to totally change the Dead Sea to a fresh water sea.
“And it shall come to pass, (See, it has never happened yet, but it’s going to.) that the fishers (fishermen) shall stand upon it from En-gedi even unto En-egliam; there shall be a place to spread forth nets;…” Now, someone just asked me at break time: are we going to eat meat in the millennium? That is, if we’re there. I’m still not sure whether Church Age people are going to be in the millennium or not. Because after all, they’re so separated from Israel in so many ways; I’m not putting us automatically in the millennium. But anyhow, are the citizens of the millennium, the humans, the people who have come in at the front end (Israel as well as Gentiles), are they going to eat beef? I don’t think so. Because there’ll be no death, and you’d have to kill them to eat them. Here’s what made me think of it. What was my answer? We’ll probably eat fish. It’ll probably be the main diet, because the fishermen are going to stand on the shores of the Dead Sea, now made fresh. So we know they’re going to eat fish. They’re not going to catch them just for nothing.
“…to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many.” The Mediterranean. In other words, every species of fish that is now in the Mediterranean will also be in the Dead Sea. Now that seems unbelievable, but the Scripture promises it. All right, then verse 11.
“But the miry places thereof and the marshes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt. 12. And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for (What?) food, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for food, and the leaf thereof for medicine.” Now that doesn’t mean to cure disease, but it’s therapeutic to maintain good health.
Well, those are all statements concerning this glorious Earthly Kingdom. Now, let’s skip over to Daniel chapter 2. This is the fourth Major Prophet that also speaks of this glorious Earthly Kingdom. And remember, in Daniel’s previous verses he has seen the image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, which was prophetic of all the Gentile empires that would be coming up through history from 600 B.C. as we had it on the board. Again remember, that Daniel writes from this exile to Babylon in 600 B.C. All right, so from Daniel’s time on, all these Gentile Empires will be holding forth and will be occupying and controlling the city of Jerusalem—first the Babylonians, then the Medes and Persians, and then the Greeks, and then the Romans.
All right, so that takes us on up past the time of Christ until the Roman Empire disappears. Now again, just for a quick review, remember that this is the only timeline that the Old Testament and the Four Gospels, the first eight chapters of Acts, and then the little epistles at the end of our Bible including Revelation, this is the only timeline they understand. Because Paul doesn’t appear until Stephen is martyred. We’ll see that in our next taping. When Stephen is martyred, as I just talked to somebody at break time, who are we introduced to? Saul of Tarsus. And what does that mean? A whole change of modus operandi. Instead of Christ and the Twelve holding forth, all based on these prophecies that we’ve been looking at all afternoon, all of a sudden all this is put on hold. We go into something totally different that no other portion of Scripture has any knowledge of. And that’s why it’s referred to over and over as a secret held in the mind of God until He revealed it to the Apostle Paul.
And that’s why I’ve become more Pauline with every day that I get older. Because if Paul doesn’t teach it; then you have to careful, because he alone is the Apostle of the Gentiles (Romans 11:13). And that turns people off. Tough luck. I mean, you’d better accept it, because that’s the way it is. And if Old Testament promises agree with some of the things that Paul gives, great. But if they don’t, then they’re not valid. Because he alone is the Apostle of the Gentiles.
But here we’re still dealing with the Old Testament, so back to Daniel 2, again, verse 44.
“And in the days of these kings (That is, starting with Nebuchadnezzar and those other four great empires leading up to the time of Christ’s earthly ministry.) in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed:…”
In other words, after all these Gentile empires have come and gone and the Tribulation unfolds. Now remember, there’s nothing in here of the Church Age. Keep that out of your thinking. This is all part of the prophetic scriptures. After all these empires have come and gone and the Tribulation has passed, then “shall the God of Heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed.”
And I always maintain that the 1,000 year millennium will slip right on into the eternal, somehow or other. I can’t explain it, but evidently it’s going to go into eternity.
“…which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. (Why?) 45. Forasmuch as thou sawest (Now remember, this is God speaking to Daniel, and Daniel is in turn interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.) that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, (So, it’s a reference to Christ’s Second Coming.) and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God (the God of Creation) hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.”
Now, what it really amounted to is that these great empires that had come and gone were depicted in this huge image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. The stone would strike it on its feet. It would roll it down like a steam roller until there was nothing left but dust and chaff, and it would blow away into the dust bin of eternal history. And Christ’s Kingdom would become a reality.
Well, now let’s move on over in the Book of Daniel to chapter 7. Now, instead of interpreting a dream of someone else’s, Daniel has his own. He has his own vision in chapter 7. Let’s jump in at verse 9. He sees the same series of empires, only he sees them as carnivorous beasts of prey. But he still sees the Babylonian, the Medes and the Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans; and how they would occupy Jerusalem over various periods of time. All right, but now you come up to verse 9. In his vision, in his dream–
“I beheld till the thrones (of these Gentile Empires) were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, (I feel this is a reference to God the Father who is on the Throne.) whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.” Then come all the way over to verse 13.
“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man (That’s Christ again in an Old Testament analogy.) came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, (That is, to God the Father.) and they brought him near before him.” Now, anytime I teach verse 13, I can’t help it even though we’ve done it not too long ago, come all the way with me up to Revelation chapter 5, because it’s a perfect parallel. Just see how beautifully this corresponds. Daniel sees the Son of Man coming before God the Father. John the Revelator sees almost the same thing.
“And I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne (in the hand of God the Father) a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.” Now for sake of time, I’m going to take verse 3.
“And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereupon. 4. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.” Now you remember when I taught this, this was a mortgage, in type. Satan is holding the mortgage on planet earth and only one can pay it off. And that is Christ the Son of God. All right, verse 5.
“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, (which is Jesus the Christ) the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.”
“And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four creatures, in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God…” Which is another description of God the Son—who has now finished the work of the Cross. He’s ascended back to Glory. And now it’s time to fulfill prophecy. Verse 7.
“And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him who sat upon the throne.” Now verse 9.
“And they sang a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, (or this mortgage) and to open the seals thereof: (And to be able to start paying it off, which of course Christ will do with the seven years of Tribulation. And this is why He can do what He’s doing.) for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10. And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”
All right, now come back to Daniel chapter 7 and we’ll start at verse 14. Remember, these are all the promises given to the Nation of Israel. So, after God the Son comes before the Ancient of Days, put in what He did in the Book of Revelation where He took the mortgage, and He paid it off, and Satan is totally defeated. Paid off, and he’s imprisoned in the abyss and in comes the Kingdom. Verse 14.
“And there was given him (God the Son) dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, (and in this kingdom) that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, (Here, again, it makes it sound like this Kingdom is going to go beyond the 1,000 years.) which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” And it’s a visible, earthly, political monarchy, benevolent kingdom, animal kingdom with humans: children, babies, and adults. No death. No suffering. No sickness. It’s going to be Heaven on earth. Why is that so hard to comprehend? Well, let’s look some more.
Hosea, I want to go to chapter 4. I might as well start at verse 1. Oh goodness, time’s just about gone again. Hosea chapter 4 verse 1.
“Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: (Now, is there any doubt who this is written to? This has nothing to do with us Gentiles. This is God dealing with Israel.) for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. 2. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood. 3. Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of the heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away. 4. Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people are as they that strive with priest.”
“Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night. and I will destroy thy mother. 6. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no more priest to me: seeing thou has forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” All right, now we come all the way down, and I want to bring you over to the chapter where—I was thinking chapter 10. Come all the way over to Hosea chapter 10. Now again, we’ve backed up a little bit into Israel’s time of chastisement and wrath, but here comes their final blessing.
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: (In other words, it’s been out of production.) for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. 13. Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity: ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, (in other words, their human understanding) in the multitude of thy mighty men.”
“Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all they fortresses shall be spoiled, as Shalman spoiled Beth-arbel in the day of battle: the mother was dashed in pieces upon her children. 15. So shall Beth-el do unto you because of your great wickedness: in a morning shall the king of Israel utterly be cut off.”
But now we come all the way down to the ultimate blessing in chapter 13 verse 9. Remember, all the way through the prophets it was chastisement and blessing. Chastisement followed with blessing. And here comes the final, the setting up of this glorious Kingdom in verse 9 chapter 13.
“O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; (in other words, because of their unbelief) but in me (The Lord is speaking.) is thine help. 10. I will be thy (What?) king:…” All the way through Scripture we’ve got this coming King ruling over this glorious Earthly Kingdom.
“I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? And thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes. 11. I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath.” Then come down to verse 14.
“I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes. 15. Though he be fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come, the wind of the LORD shall come up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up:…”
“Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God:…”
“O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.” Let’s move on to Zephaniah, if I can find it, chapter 3 verse 14. And this will take us, I imagine, to the end of the half-hour. Zephaniah chapter 3 verse 14, what’s the first word? “Sing.” That’s the opposite of oppression and wrath.
“Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. 15. The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy; the king of Israel, even the LORD (See that? That’s Jesus of Nazareth. The God of Glory.) is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.”
“In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. 17. The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” All right, now I think for sake of time I almost have to skip a verse or two here. Come down to verse 19.
“Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, (or the lame) and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. 20. At that time I will bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD.”
Okay, now if you can turn real quickly to Zechariah chapter 14. This is a verse that we’ve used over and over through the years where it makes it as plain as language can make it. If I had time, I’d like to start at verse 1, but we can’t do it. We’ve got 30 seconds left.
“And the LORD (That’s God the Son, that’s Jesus of Nazareth, that’s Jesus the Christ.) shall be (at some future time) king over all the earth: in that day there shall be one LORD, and his name one.”
LESSON THREE * PART I
CONNECTING THE DOTS OF SCRIPTURE (Part 3)
Genesis through Revelation
Again, for those of you in television, if you’re a new listener, we’re not associated with any group. I’m not a pastor of a church. I’m just a cattle rancher. But we love to teach the Book, and the Lord has given me the opportunity to do this. We don’t try to attack anybody. We don’t try to elevate anybody. We just simply try to get people into the Book, and it’s working. My, if you could read our mail! It’s working. People are saying, “For the first time in my life, I’m understanding what this Book is all about.” Well, what more could we ask. That’s our whole purpose in teaching. It is to help folks to put all this together.
All right, again we have to thank you for all your prayers and your letters and, of course, your financial help. We don’t want to forget that. But keep praying for us, because the devil doesn’t like what we’re doing. We are under satanic attack, and I think most of you realize that.
All right, I’m going to continue on what we started in the last two tapings, or the last eight programs. That is more or less as Jerry titled it – “Connecting the Dots of Scripture,” didn’t you? Jerry titled it for me. We’re connecting the dots. I came up with that at one of my seminars. I think it might have been the one in Oklahoma City a year ago, where I don’t know how many people used the same expression on their way out. They said, “Les, today is the first time somebody connected the dots.” Well, you know what that means. When you just simply get all the subject matter tied together so that it makes sense. This is what we hope to do, and we started with the previous eight programs way back in Genesis and came up through the Old Testament and the promises, as we see in the verse we’re going to open up with – Romans 15 verse 8.
So, for those of you in television, the studio has got a jump on you. I gave them the verse before we opened. Find Romans 15 verse 8 and I just called it, to the audience here, the introduction to the Book of Matthew. And you say, Paul? Introducing Matthew? Well, in reality it does. Here it is.
“Now I say that Jesus Christ was (Now, naturally, that’s past tense from when Paul is writing.) a minister of the circumcision (That’s Israel, remember. So, He was–) a minister of the Nation of Israel for the truth of God, (It wasn’t something Paul dreamed up, but–) for the truth of God to confirm (or fulfill) the promises made unto the fathers:”
Now, if you think about that for a minute. Isn’t that the perfect introduction to the four gospels? Well, for most people it doesn’t mean that at all. But it should. Because you see, as we ended up in our last program, I think the last verse I used was:
“For the LORD (God the Son, Jehovah) shall be king over all the earth:…”
And very few in Christendom understand that. They don’t know what we’re talking about. So, we have to just patiently keep repeating and repeating and it finally sinks in. All right, so look at the verse again.
“Now I say that Jesus Christ (in His earthly ministry) was (years before Paul writes) a minister…” A sent one. A particular instrument that God used between Himself and the Nation of Israel.
God sent Him to Israel for what purpose? You know what most people say? Well, to go to the cross. No, the cross hadn’t even been mentioned yet. There’s no inkling of a cross except in Psalms 22, and maybe if you’ve got a lot of imagination, Isaiah 53. But the cross was unknown in the Old Testament prophets. They didn’t know He was going to go to Roman crucifixion. But what did they know? He was coming to be a king over a kingdom.
So all the prophets, and that’s what we’ve shown in the previous eight programs, were depicting a glorious, earthly Kingdom over which Israel is going to be the major player. They’ll be the major nation on earth, because Jesus Christ will be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
All right, that was the promise made to the Nation of Israel. That not only would they be a favored nation, but the day would come when they could enjoy God Himself in the role of the Son who would be their Messiah and King, and Israel would be the top dog of all the nations. That’s what the Old Testament prophets are all about. All right, now we’re going to look at how it began to unfold. “He came to fulfill the promises…”
Now, come back with me to Matthew chapter 3. We touched a little bit in previous programs on the announcement to Joseph and Mary of this virgin-born Son that was coming. We also alluded to John the Baptist and his parents, and how John the Baptist’s father recognized through the leading of the Holy Spirit that this was the favored son to announce the coming of Israel’s Messiah. This is where we’re going to start now. John the Baptist is now full grown, and he’s beginning his ministry to the Nation of Israel.
Now, I’m going to emphasize it all afternoon. Who or to whom did Christ come? Israel! And next month – no, this month already – we’re in November. In fact, I was just thinking when I was back there having my private prayer time. I think I should encourage everyone in my listening audience: you call the White House. You can find the number. It’s available to everybody. You call the White House and ask for the comment line. I do it periodically. It’ll just be an opportunity to leave a forty second recording. Well, it won’t take forty seconds for you – just admonish our President don’t force Israel to give away one acre of land.
That’s all you have to say. And if we bombard the comment line with that kind of a statement, I’m sure he’s going to have the wherewithal to think twice. Because that’s what it’s all going to be about. See, he and Condoleezza Rice want to give back East Jerusalem and some of the West Bank. And I say it flies in the face of the promises of God, except that it probably has to happen for the end-time scenario. And I guess you’re all aware that we’re getting close.
But nevertheless, Christ came to the Nation of Israel. John puts it this way, “He came unto His own (Israel), and His own received Him not.” All right, now in Matthew chapter 3 we have the beginning of the ministry of John the Baptist, who is really an Old Testament prophet. In fact, back up a few pages to Malachi. Just go back to Malachi chapter 3, because some of these preachers and theologians get all riled up with me when I make this statement that the four gospels are just an extension of the Old Testament. The only thing that’s changed, is that the Messiah is in their midst. Nothing has changed. They’re still the Nation of Israel. They’re still worshipping at the Temple. And they’re resting on the Old Testament Covenant promises. Nothing has changed. So, I make no apology. The four gospels are an extension of the Old Testament.
“Behold, (the prophet writes) I will…” Now whenever I see those words “I will” in the Old Testament, what do I put on them? The promise. That’s a promise of God. He’s going to do it! As I wrote to someone just this morning, anytime you have a prophetic statement from the lips of God Himself, you mark it down it is going to happen. It may take a couple more thousand years. I don’t think so. But even if it does, it’s going to happen. Anything that God says, “I will do,” is going to happen. Have I made my point? Because most of Christendom scorns this anymore. They’re throwing out prophecy by the truckload. They don’t want anything to do with it. And I beg to differ. All right, now look what God says through the prophet Malachi four hundred years before it happens.
“Behold, I will send my messenger, (a reference to John the Baptist) and he shall prepare the way before me: (That’s what John the Baptist did.) and the Lord, (God the Son) whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, (Did He? Of course He did.) even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.” Now verse 2.
“But who may abide the day of his coming? (Now, again, I’ve got to stop. Who do the Old Testament prophets write to? Israel—the Jew, the Nation of Israel.) and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: 3. And he shall sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver:…”
Now, what’s the analogy? How do you purify gold or silver or mercury or any of the heavy metals? Heat. The more you heat it, the more the impurities come to the top. And that’s the analogy here. This is what God is going to do with His covenant people Israel. It’s going to be cleansing them like the refiner’s fire or a purifier of silver.
“…and he shall purify the sons of Levi, (Now, who were the sons of Levi? The priesthood. The religious leaders.) and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. 4. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.”
“And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, (the false teachers) and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and those that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts. 6. For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”
All right, now there’s the Old Testament promise of a coming herald or announcer of a coming Messiah. And remember, it was 400 years before it happened. That was the last word that God gave Israel before He spoke to Joseph and Mary and Zacharias and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Baptist. All right, now John the Baptist begins his ministry. Back to Matthew chapter 3.
“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, (And this was his sermon. This was his message.) 2. And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven of heaven is at hand.”
Now again, I’m gathering from the letters and phone calls I get that 90% of Christendom do not have a clue what this Kingdom of Heaven really is. They think it’s some kind of a spiritual entity. Something up there in the ethereal. No. The Kingdom of Heaven is a literal and physical and, as I mentioned in the last taping, political kingdom. Christ is going to rule and reign as a legitimate King. And whenever a king rules, there are politics involved. Not the rotten kind we’re used to, but you have to control the masses. And how do you do that? With political laws and rules and so forth.
All right, now sometimes I don’t know where I’m going to go next. I guess this is one of them. Jump ahead to Matthew chapter 19 verse 27. Now maybe you think it doesn’t connect, but on the other hand I think it will. So that you see what I’m talking about, that we’re talking about a kingdom over which a government will hold sway. All right, Matthew 19 verse 27. We’re at the end of the three years of His earthly ministry. And Peter is speaking.
“Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we (the Twelve) have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?” Now put that in the realm of present day politics, and it’s real easy to explain.
If you’re going to support someone running for office, and you’re going to put a lot of time and energy and maybe even some money in it, what are you going to expect in return? Now come on, you’re all normal humans? You’re going to want to be in a place in his administration. I want a job. I don’t care what it is. But if I’m going to work for you and you win, I want a job. Okay. Fair enough. That’s what Peter is saying. Lord, we’ve been with you for three years. Now when you come and set up your kingdom, where are we going to be? Look what the answer was.
“And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory,…” Well, when is that? In the Kingdom Age! When He sets up His earthly Kingdom and the capital in Jerusalem. And this is the prospect for the Twelve. Of course, Judas lost his. Mathias comes in. But it’s still the Twelve.
“…when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory,(In that regenerated, reconstituted, remade earth like unto the Garden of Eden. We’ve been stressing that over the last several months. All right, now where are the Twelve going to be?) ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging (or ruling) the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Now, is that gobbledy-gook? That’s plain English. Where are they going to be? They are going to be under the throne room there in Jerusalem. All twelve men are going to have a distinctive tribal relationship with one of the twelve tribes, ruling under the King.
Now, is that so hard to see? Man, it’s as plain as English can make it. That’s what it’s going to be. Christ is going to be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but under Him are going to be the Twelve Apostles—each with one of the twelve tribes and their jurisdiction.
All right, now speaking of the King, let’s go all the way back to Isaiah. We may have used it in the last two tapings, but let’s look at it again. I’ve got to convince the doubters that we’re talking about a literal, physical, political kingdom. Isaiah chapter 9, I think it is. I hope it is. Isaiah 9 verses 6 and 7, now if this doesn’t fit with what we’re talking about, land, I don’t know what does. But this is written 700 years before the Matthew prophecy. But it still fits. It’s the Word of God.
You know, when we were down in Georgia the other day, I don’t know how many people said that what our ministry has done for them is just like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. That when you’ve got everything as it should be, it all fits. Well, that’s the way this Book is. If you get it all put together, it fits!
“For unto us (the Nation of Israel) a child is born, unto us a son is given: (That was the whole purpose of Christ coming to the Nation of Israel in Bethlehem.) and the government shall be upon his shoulder: (Who? The Son that was given, that was born in Bethlehem.) and his name shall be called (When he becomes this glorious King in the Kingdom.) Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, (In other words, no enemy is ever going to come in and upset it.) upon the throne of David,…” And that’s why I always put it where? Mount Zion. Just south of the Temple Mount that you see in the news all the time lately. About a quarter of a mile south and down a little bit was Mount Zion. And that’s where His throne is going to be. And that’s where the Twelve will have their twelve thrones.
“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and justice from henceforth forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” In other words, that Kingdom is going to slip right on into eternity, I think, on the new heaven and the new earth that we see in Revelation 21.
All right, now let’s come back quickly. My goodness, time is almost gone. Back to Matthew chapter 3 and here comes John the Baptist, the heralder, the announcer that the King is in their midst. Consequently, what’s the message?
“…Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Well, now why was repentance the prerogative? Because it’s going to be a sinless kingdom and Israel had to get righteously right with their Messiah before the Kingdom could be brought in. The sin problem had to be dealt with. You don’t hear much about sin anymore, do we? No matter how vile everything gets, they never call it sin. But Israel had the same sins that we’ve got today. They were listed when we were back there in Malachi. They robbed the widows. They committed adultery. They were everything. Well, they had to repent of all that, and be ready for this glorious King and His Kingdom.
“For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, (Now, I didn’t look at Isaiah. I looked at Malachi. I could have taken you also back to Isaiah, but I didn’t for sake of time. But this is how Isaiah put it.) The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, (Now, maybe I can clarify it a little bit and change the preposition – Prepare ye the way for the Lord. Get ready for Him. He’s coming!) make his paths straight.”
In other words, let His ministry come to full fruition, like Romans 15:8 said, that He could “fulfill the promises made to the fathers.” All right, now come on across the page to chapter 3 verse 11. Not only where they to recognize who Jesus was, but now they had another prerequisite, they had to follow this repentance with water baptism. Boy, that makes everybody smile, doesn’t it? Nothing makes people feel better than when I agree with water baptism. Well, for these Jews it was appropriate. Of course it was.
Come all the way back with me to Leviticus. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus—because we’ve got to make all of this make sense. I’ll never forget. Quite a few years ago now, I was at a funeral. As I was walking back to my car, one of the pastors in that community (he’s gone on to be with the Lord now) was walking the other way. He just yelled across the street. He said, “Les, I watch you every morning.” And I was shocked. And I said, “You don’t disagree?” “He says how can I? You prove everything from the Book.” Well, that’s what I like to hear.
Well, now here’s my take on why did these Jews need repentance and water baptism? Well, I should have even gone one book further. Keep your hand in Leviticus; go back to Exodus 19. Here’s where it all begins. I’m sorry about that. But people who know how I teach. It doesn’t bother them. So, I hope nobody out there cares. Exodus 19 verse 6. Israel is just out of Egypt and gathered around Mount Sinai. In chapter 20 God is going to give Moses the Ten Commandments. So we’ve got the Nation ready for the Law. But before they get the Law, look what God promises, again Exodus 19 verse 6.
“And you (the Nation of Israel) shall be unto me a kingdom (with a king, but they’re to be) of priests,…” Every Jew a priest of Jehovah. Not just Levi, every Jew was going to be a go-between.
“And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” All right, now come back to Leviticus. If they’re going to be a priest of Jehovah, like the Levites, what are they all going to have to go through? Water washing. Now, Leviticus chapter 8 verse 1.
“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2.Take Aaron (Now, he was the first high priest, if you remember.) and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, and a bullock for the sin-offering, and two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread; 3. And gather thou all the congregation together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 4. And Moses did as the LORD commanded him;…” All right, now then, verse 5.
“And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing which the LORD commanded to be done. (Now this is the first time. This is the beginning of Israel’s religious history.) 6. And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and (What?) washed them with (What?) water.” And that was the whole idea of preparation for the priesthood.
Now, as Judaism went up through the years then, it just became a ritual where the priests would be constantly washing, washing, washing. In the water. In fact, one time Iris and I were way down in the lower parts of Ancient Jerusalem. We had an archeologist guide, and he was showing us what they thought had been the house of Caiaphas the High Priest. Seven bathrooms! Seven. But they weren’t just bathrooms, they were ritual baths. For what? That constant cleansing, cleansing, cleansing.
Come back to Matthew 3. So, if Israel is going to be a nation of priests, what is every Jew going to have to use as an introductory rite? Water. Baptism. And that’s the way it is translated in the book of Hebrews. Washings. Washings. But the Greek word is baptizo, so the two are synonymous. When you wash, you baptize. When you baptize, you’re going to have a symbolic washing. All right, so quickly now, and then we’ve got to wind it down. Where John the Baptist says,
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with (Water? No. but–) the Holy Spirit, and with fire:”
LESSON THREE * PART II
CONNECTING THE DOTS OF SCRIPTURE (Part 3)
Genesis through Revelation
Okay, good to see everybody back. Again, we’re going to go right on with our study of Christ’s earthly ministry. We’re going to do like we did in the last program. For the next several programs, I’m going to start with Romans 15 verse 8 that says what we’ve been looking at so clearly.
And while you folks are all looking that up, for those of you joining us on television, again, we want to emphasize the fact that we’re not out to push for numbers. We’re not trying to convince people how wrong they are. All we want to do is have them see what the Book really says, because tradition is a vicious thing. And that’s why the Apostle Paul is always warning against it. Beware of tradition.
It’s like what I told one young man on the phone. He said, “Well, I’m believing what Grandpa believed.” And I said, “If Grandpa is in Hell, are you going to follow him there just because of tradition? You’ve got to go back and see what the Book says, not what Grandpa thought.” That is my whole premise. We want folks to see what the Book really says.
All right, so if you’ll come back with me again, just for an opener, back to Romans chapter 15 verse 8. I don’t care if we read it often enough that you’ll know it before the afternoon is over.
“Now I say that Jesus Christ was (You remember I emphasized the past tense verb.) a minister of the circumcision (Not of the whole human race, but rather Israel.) for the truth of God, to confirm (or to bring to fruition, or to fulfill) the promises made unto the fathers:”
Now, that’s as plain as language can make it, isn’t it? That Jesus came to the Nation of Israel as the God-sent One, even though He was the Son of God Himself. He came to the Nation of Israel to fulfill all those Old Testament promises that we looked at in the last two tapings. How that Abraham was promised a nation of people, and that God would use them intrinsically and specifically to bring about His purposes. Then it wasn’t long, at least about the time of King David in 1,000 B.C., that we have the whole idea of a coming Kingdom. And David is the picture of the symbolism of this coming King and Kingdom.
David wouldn’t be the one, but it would be the One in the lineage of David. So, we had the promise then of a king, almost beginning with King David. That earthly Kingdom will last for a thousand years according to Revelation. Which is still future. Well, then all the prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and then all the Minor Prophets—that’s all they write about—this coming glorious day for the Nation of Israel.
But in the meantime, the nation of Israel would, because of their sinfulness and their unbelief, go through horrible times of correction and discipline. But through it all and through two different terrible times for Israel—the first one was the Babylonian invasion when the Temple was destroyed in 606 B.C., and the second time in A.D. 70 when the Romans destroyed everything and Israel was sent into dispersion—but always with the promise that the blessings would still come.
All right, now here we come at the beginning of Christ’s earthly ministry. When we closed in our last half hour, John the Baptist had been pleading with the Nation of Israel to repent of their national sins, because they were to be prepared for this glorious, righteous Kingdom on earth, which would be absent of any sin. It’s going to be heaven on earth. Well, you can’t take all the sins of the flesh into that kind of scenario. So, the whole message of John the Baptist was to repent and wash with the water of the Jordan River and be ready for this glorious Kingdom. All right, now let’s jump back to Matthew chapter 5.
Now then, we’ve got the timeline up here, again. While you’re looking for Matthew chapter 5, I’m going to review a little bit. Here we’ve come all the way from Adam to Abraham, which was two thousand years. In that first 2,000 years there was just one disaster after the next. You have the Flood. You have the Tower of Babel—a total rebellion. And then finally we have the appearance of Abraham in 2,000 B.C. Five hundred years later we’ve got Moses who brings the children of Israel out of Egypt, and they become a nation to be dealt with. Then 500 years after Moses, we’ve got David. Then a hundred years after David, we have the writing of the prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah and so forth.
All right, in about 600 B.C. they were taken out and exiled to Babylon. Then they come back after 70 years, reestablish the Temple, and reestablish the city and the nation. Then the Minor Prophets come in. And then, at the end of this two hundred year period, after Malachi finishes his prophecy, we have four hundred years of silence. And then we are just now beginning the three years of Christ’s earthly ministry. Now, that’s just a brief description of the Old Testament timeline. And everything is looking forward to this King and His glorious Kingdom.
All right, jump up to Matthew 5 verse 17 and this, again, is the Lord speaking. If you have a red letter edition, it’s in red. Matthew 5 verse 17, the Lord says:
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” The same word that Paul used in Romans 15. He came to fulfill. Now, the casual reader here, and probably most preachers, thinks He’s talking about the cross. No, He’s not talking about the cross. He knows of it, of course. He’s God. But that wasn’t the first priority. The first priority was to present the King and His Kingdom to Israel, putting Israel on trial.
Now you know, every once in a while I get a letter – what if? It’s a good question. I don’t mind it a bit. What if (yeah, you all are thinking the same thing) Israel would have accepted His Messiahship? What if Israel would have said, okay, we’re ready? Bring in the King and the Kingdom. What would have happened?
Well, the last one that called, I said, that’s hypothetical. That’s all it is. It is hypothetical. It could have never happened. But why? Because Christ had to die, and had they accepted the King and the Kingdom, that would have upset all that. So, why did Jesus come preaching and proclaiming? He knew they were not going to accept it. In His foreknowledge He knew that it would bring about the crucifixion. And what was the crucifixion? The preplanned plan of God to bring salvation to the whole human race. He knew how it was all going to unfold. So Israel could, in good faith, be presented with all this, because there was no danger of them accepting it. Because God knew they wouldn’t.
All right, so then I use another one as an example. When they went up to the Promised Land under Moses, what did God tell them? Go in and take it. It’s yours! You won’t lose one drop of blood. I’m going to drive the Canaanites out with hornets. Well, did He mean it? Sure, He meant it! But did Israel believe it? No. Did God know they wouldn’t? Yes. And then again, just stop and think. What if Israel would have accepted the Promised Land under Moses? That would have blown everything out of the water. That would have just upset the whole apple cart. But God knew that they would reject it, go back out into the wilderness, and then finally come in and grow as a nation over another thousand years. So, hypothetical? Yes. But you can never make it reality.
All right, but here the Lord is showing again that all these promises of the Old Testament prophets were legitimate. They’re going to happen. Oh, it didn’t happen in His first advent. But they’re still valid promises. And now we’re getting close. My goodness, anybody that can look at today’s news and not see that we’re at the end–! Now, of course with God, you know, a hundred years is nothing. That’s what tempers me all the time.
You know, it hit me when we were teaching the Book of Isaiah a year or two ago. That Isaiah was writing like all these things were going to happen when? Next week. Next month. But how long was it? A hundred years. It was over a hundred years, and then the Babylonians came. But with God, time means nothing. But on the other hand, as we see the world today, the signs of the times are all around us. Surely it can’t be much longer. But we don’t know.
All right, but here the Lord Himself says that He did not come to destroy anything of the Old Testament promises. He did not come to upset the Law and the Temple worship. He came to fulfill and to bring in the Kingdom.
All right, now as part of that process of bringing Israel into the Kingdom by virtue of their faith and believing who He was, let’s just jump up in Matthew to chapter 9. And here I have to take it slowly, because if the preachers get on my case about anything, it’s this concept of two gospels of salvation. It just bends their noses all out of shape. They get all riled up. And that makes me so angry. I have never said we are under two gospels. No. There’s only one in this Age of Grace. But during Christ’s earthly ministry and the Twelve ministering to Israel, it couldn’t be our Gospel of Grace. Rather, it was the Gospel of the Kingdom. The cross hadn’t happened yet. And this is where I get upset. How can you claim that Jesus and the Twelve preached the same message that Paul did, when the cross was unknown? But most can’t see that.
I read an article the other day by a famous one. He’s even dispensational to a point, but what did he claim? There’s never been more than one Gospel. I’ve shared this with you before. I had one guy tell me at one of my seminars out East. I said, “You mean to tell me you think Adam and Eve were saved by Paul’s Gospel?” You remember what the answer was, don’t you? “They must have.” No must have about it. We’ve got no room to put that word in there. Then I jumped up and I said “Well, are you going to say the same thing with Abraham? Abraham was saved by believing in a death, burial, and resurrection?” “He must have.” Oh! You know, that’s when my temper almost gets unleashed. How in the world can educated–but see, thank goodness. I think I’ve shared it with you on the program.
I had one Baptist preacher call here, oh, quite some time ago. Time goes fast. I think I shared it on the program. He had two earned Ph.D.’s in theology. That’s the way he put it. “Les, I’ve got two earned Ph.D.’s in theology, and after I retired I found your program. I started studying all your stuff on the internet. And I’m calling to ask one question. How in the world did I miss all of this for forty years and with all that education?” Well, that’s just one out of many now. If they will just take the time to look at what it says. How can Jesus and the Twelve preach a death, burial, and resurrection when the Twelve knew nothing of it?
In fact, the gentleman I just referred to before. About ten minutes before he finally blew his stack, which was ten minutes before we were due to close. I went back and talked to him afterwards. I had just shared Luke 18. Turn with me. Now, this is the way I teach. You know that. I’m not going to stay on an outline. Well, we’re just going to let the Spirit lead. And this is what I shared earlier. Yet, when I came back and asked him what his problem was, he tried to maintain that Adam and Eve and Abraham and all the rest of the Old Testament were saved by Paul’s Gospel – faith in the death, burial, and resurrection. How could they? And I said, “Sir, I just quoted Luke 18 ten minutes ago. Didn’t you hear it?” No, he didn’t hear it. But look what it says.
Luke 18 verse 31, now I know I get exercised. When something is so plain, how can the vast majority reject it? But they do. They don’t want anything to do with this concept of a separate gospel for Israel compared to Paul’s Gospel of Grace to the Gentile world. All right, but look at 18. Just before His crucifixion, a matter of three or four days, verse 31.
“Then he took unto him the twelve, (Peter, James, John, the rest of them, the regular 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.” Now, here’s where His Deity comes up. He knew the end from the beginning.
“For he (speaking of Himself) shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: 33. And they (of course the Romans) shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.” Plain? Well, as plain as language can make it. But, what does the next verse say?
“And they (the Twelve) understood (How much?) none of these things: (not one word) and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.” Now, I just had a lady come up and tell me how she appreciates Deuteronomy 29:29. Now, you all know what that one is? I use it all the time. Yeah, the “secret things belong to the Lord our God.”
In other words, God can keep things secret as long as He wishes to keep it secret. He’s Sovereign. And He does. And then little by little, He’ll reveal. All right, here’s another good example. It wasn’t time for the Twelve to understand.
So, then the question comes up. Why did He say it? For our benefit. Not theirs. For our benefit. Because what does this tell you? He was God. He knew exactly what was coming. And you’ve heard me say it over and over. He could have named every Roman soldier who tortured Him. He could have named the guy that was going to drive the spikes through His hands. He was God.
But in order to bring about everything up at Jerusalem, He dare not tell the Twelve or let them understand. Can you think for a minute what those twelve men would have done had they known that the Romans were going to try and arrest Him? Why, they’d have fought it tooth and toenail. And Jesus couldn’t have that. So God providentially blinded them, shut their ears, and they didn’t comprehend.
All right, read again. “They understood none of these things: and this saying (That He was going to die and be raised from the dead.) was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.” Now, if you have any doubt about that, all you have to do is just use common sense. If they’d have known that He was going to die and be raised in three days, where would they have been on Sunday morning? Out at the tomb! Were they? No, that was the last thing that they ever dreamed of. So, it was totally kept from their understanding.
Well, you see, when Peter was having his feet washed, I always say he pulled them back under the chair. And he said, Lord, you’re not going to wash my feet. Remember? And what did the Lord tell him? Well then, Peter, you have nothing to do with me. Well, then Peter stuck his other foot in his mouth, and what did he say? Well, then give me a bath! And what did the Lord say? Peter, you don’t need a bath! You have that. But what did he need? His feet washed. Well, again the Lord said the same thing. Peter, you don’t understand now, but you will. And that, of course, is the way God works.
All right, now back to Matthew. The Lord Himself says that He’s going to fulfill all of the things written in the prophets and everything like that. This is going to be the scope of His ministry: to give Israel a total opportunity to believe what this Jesus of Nazareth has to say. Now, it’s the same concept today. Why do I stress Faith Plus Nothing? What does God look for? Faith! That’s His favorite prerogative. He’s looking for our Faith.
Now, I explained to somebody. I think when we were in Georgia the other day. Why is that such an important fact? Well, just bring it into your own daily experience. What if you knew something as solid and as right as anything could be known. You tell it to someone, and he grins at you and says, but I don’t believe you? Now, if you’re a normal human and you have that normal Adamic nature to react, what would you like to do with that individual? Swat him, wouldn’t you? You mean you can’t believe something that I know is true. No, I don’t believe you.
Well, that’s the human element, of course. But look, how must God feel when He has done everything that needs to be done and has told us in this Book that if we believe it, He will claim us as His own? That’s what He wants. That’s the faith we talk about. To rest on that finished work of the cross without anything added to it. No baptism. No church membership. No tongues. No tithing. No good works. Christ did it all. It’s complete. And we have to realize that when we place our faith in that finished work, yes, as I hear it over and over and over, Les, it changed my life!!!!
I’ve got people in here today that I know, since you’ve heard this message, you’re life’s been changed. There’s one right there. Came out of Viet Nam. A church member, baptized to the whole hilt, and Jerry says, “I was as lost as lost can be.” But, when you believe this Gospel of salvation, it transforms your life. It changes your life. Then all these other good things become part of it. But for salvation, I will scream it until the day I die, don’t you add anything to what Christ has done. It’s complete in itself.
All right, but He couldn’t preach that to Israel. It hadn’t happened yet. But what could He tell Israel? I’m the promised Messiah. I am the Christ. All right, back to Matthew chapter 9 verse 35. Now, I hope I’m not upsetting the flow here, so that you hear that John the Baptist proclaimed Him as the coming promised Messiah and King, and Israel needed to repent and be baptized to be ready for this coming Kingdom. All right, then Jesus said:
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law,…(And anything that is part of Judaism with its Temple worship, the Law.)…but to fulfill.” All of that. Now to Matthew chapter 9 and verse 35.
“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, (That is of Israel. He never left the land of Israel.) teaching in their synagogues, and preaching (not the Gospel of the Grace of God. But the what?) the gospel of the kingdom,…” That’s what it says! All right, let’s, just for sake of comparison, before I run out of time. Keep your finger here. We’ll be back. Go all the way up to I Corinthians 15.
Now, I don’t have to tell most of you what that is. You already know it. But for sake of our new listeners, and my goodness, every day’s mail; I don’t know how many will say, we’ve just caught your program for the first time. I Corinthians 15:1-4. Now, this is Paul’s Gospel of salvation. When I talk about faith in the Gospel of the Grace of God, this is it. All got it? I Corinthians 15 and we’ll start at verse 1.
I Corinthians 15:1a
“Moreover brethren, (So he’s writing to fellow believers in Corinth.) I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you,…” That’s what brought them out of their paganism. This simple Gospel brought them out of paganism, mythology, and all of its immorality and its drunkenness, and it made them children of God.
I Corinthians 15:1-2a
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein you stand; 2. By which also ye are (What?) saved,…” The simple word that we still use today. If you want to escape eternal damnation, what do you need? You need to be saved. You need salvation. And this is what does it.
I Corinthians 15:2
“By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory (In other words, you don’t just blindly say, yeah, I believe. No. You’ve got to know what you believe.) what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.” Because if you don’t believe the truth in your heart for salvation, it’s for nothing. Now here’s the Gospel, verse 3.
I Corinthians 15:3a
“For I delivered unto you first of all (He was the first proclaimer of this Gospel of Grace. Peter, James, and John knew nothing of this Gospel. They only knew the Gospel of the Kingdom.) that which I also received,…” Now, I’ve got to stop. Received from where? From heaven. Now keep your hand in a third place. Go back to Galatians chapter 1. See, this all fits. Now he’s writing to the Galatians who are beginning to be fed some false teachings by the Jerusalem Jewish believers. You can read about in Acts 15:1-5. So, this was written to the Gentile believers up there in central Turkey. All got it? Galatians chapter 1 and drop in at verse 11. Now remember why I came here. In I Corinthians he says, “that which I also received.” Now I’m going to show where he received it from in verse 11.
“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me (I Corinthians 15:1-4) is not after man. 12. For I neither received it of man, (a direct reference to the Twelve, of course) neither was I taught it, (by man) but by the revelation (Or a revealing, from whom?) Jesus Christ.” And where’s Jesus Christ? In glory. All right, so where does this Gospel come from? The Ascended Lord of Glory. See, with all the authority of the Godhead. All right, back to I Corinthians 15:3 and 4 for the beautiful Gospel of Grace.
I Corinthians 15:3-4
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, (from the Ascended Lord) 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, beloved, is the Gospel. As simple as A-B-C. Believe it for your salvation.
But, oh, mankind puts everything but the kitchen sink with it, trying to add to what God has already done. And God won’t have it. Because even when He spoke from the cross, what were those final three words? “It is finished.” He didn’t say it’s almost finished. It’s finished! It’s complete. It’s done, and everything else detracts from it. Paul says in Galatians 1:6-9 that if you add or take away from this beautiful Gospel, you can’t go to heaven!
LESSON THREE * PART III
CONNECTING THE DOTS OF SCRIPTURE (Part 3)
Genesis through Revelation
Okay, good to see everybody back. We’re just going to jump right in where we left off in the last program. We’ve got a lot to cover. My, I thought I’d be way beyond this by now. But we’re going to take it slow enough that anybody, hopefully, that will read and listen will understand.
We’re going to start with that same verse in Romans 15 verse 8, because it says it so plainly. That Jesus Christ came to the Nation of Israel. Not to the whole world, yet, but to the Nation of Israel. It isn’t until after the Apostle Paul is saved on the road to Damascus, and the ascended Lord saved him and instructed him to go the Gentiles. Until that time, as you’ve been seeing, I hope, on the daily programs in the Book of Acts, it’s all Jewish. And how in the world anybody could push Gentiles into the first eight chapters of Acts, I’ll never understand. But here it is again.
“Now I say that Jesus Christ was (past tense) a minister of the circumcision (the Nation of Israel) for the truth of God, to confirm (or to fulfill) the promises made unto the fathers:”
All right, now let’s come back to Matthew 9 where we left off in our last program. Matthew 9 verse 35 again.
“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, (That is in the Nation of Israel.) teaching in their synagogues, (And you know Gentiles didn’t have much access to the synagogue.) and preaching the gospel (or the good news) of the kingdom, (and along with it) and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.”
Now, you see, this is what a lot of people are trying to push into Christendom today. This very verse: that along with salvation you should be able to experience healings and all these miracles. No, that’s not for us in the Body of Christ. This is Jesus dealing with Israel. It was part of the Kingdom Gospel.
All right, again for sake of comparison, I didn’t get time in the last program. We looked at I Corinthians 15:1-4, but now I want you to turn over to Acts 20:24 a moment. And just note the difference in language. Language. The use of words. That’s why we have language – to express and to define certain things. All right, now in Acts 20:24, Paul is at the end of his ministry. He is on his way back to Jerusalem for the last time, and he is meeting with the Ephesian elders, if you’ll remember. Luke is writing and is quoting Paul, of course, but Paul says,
“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, (Because he’s been persecuted and tortured and has been suffering for twenty some years. And so he says–) that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry,…”
Well, now that’s the same word that he uses concerning Christ’s ministry to the Nation of Israel. In other words, he was God’s sent one. He had a ministry, not specifically to Israel, but to the Gentiles. And over and over he refers to himself as the Apostle of the Gentiles. Of course he had a ministry with the Jews. But just like we are today, most of our response comes from Gentiles, a few Jews here and there. We had a couple again in the last few weeks. But it’s not very often.
All right, so now in this verse in Acts, Paul refers to his ministry as having been received, like we saw in the last half-hour in Galatians 1:11-12. He received it from the ascended Lord Jesus in Glory.
“…that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the (kingdom? No, but rather the gospel of the–) grace of God.” Two totally different messages. The good news of the Kingdom was that the King is here. He’s ready to offer the Kingdom. Believe it. But Paul’s message is that the work of salvation has been accomplished. Christ finished it. It’s God’s grace that is now being poured out. Believe it. Two totally different messages. And then preachers and teachers try to mix them. Horrors.
Well anyway, back to Matthew. Now we can just slip into chapter 10. Here we have the direction that this Gospel of the Kingdom is to go from the Lord’s own lips. Matthew chapter 10 and I know a lot of people don’t like these verses either, but I can’t help that, because that’s what the Book says. Jesus is just beginning His earthly ministry. He’s chosen the twelve disciples in verses 1 through 4. And now verse 5.
“These twelve (The same twelve that you’re all acquainted with.) Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, (Now, that’s as strong a word as you can get. He commanded them.) saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6. But go rather to the lost sheep of house of Israel.”
Why? Because He was the minister of the circumcision—the Jew. He was fulfilling the promises made by the prophets, and those promises were all directed to what people? Israel. Not Gentiles. All right, now when people call and they’ve run into a buzz saw with either a Sunday school teacher or a preacher or something, and they ridicule this idea that Jesus sent the Twelve only to Israel, I say, “Okay, now you’ve got to use Scripture.” Now, let’s turn over to Acts chapter 9. You talk about contradiction, and see, that’s what the unlearned would call it. They say, “Well, the Bible contradicts itself.” No, it’s not contradiction, but rather it’s a change of direction.
Now naturally, if you have two different sets of directions and they contradict each other, in reality it’s not a contradiction, it’s a change of directions. And that’s what we have here. Now remember, what did Jesus just say? “Go not into the way of a Gentile.” Plain? Now look at Acts chapter 9. Ananias is the believing Jew in Damascus that the Lord is going to use as a vessel between Himself and Saul of Tarsus. All right, so now verse 15.
“But the Lord said unto him, (to Ananias, the believing Jew in Damascus) Go thy way: for he (Saul of Tarsus) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before (or to, what people?) the Gentiles,…”
Now, in my understanding of language, that’s two contradictory commands. Right? The one says don’t you go to a Gentile, you go to the Jew. To the other He says, go to the Gentiles. Plain as day. Well, what is it? Two totally different programs. One was for Israel. The other is for the Gentile world, but it will also include Israel if they want to believe the message. All right, so back to Matthew once again.
“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Why does He confine it? Because of the covenant promises all the way up through the Old Testament. They were all given to the Nation of Israel, and Jesus came to fulfill them, as we saw in Romans 15:8. Well, how in the world could He, as the righteous God of Glory, muddy up the whole situation by now canceling the work of the covenants and bring in Gentiles? It wouldn’t work. He wouldn’t be God. He’d have been a liar. So, He keeps it separate. All of His ministry is to fulfill the covenant promises to Israel.
Now, lest you think I’m stretching the point, here we go again. Go back to Ephesians chapter 2 and drop in at verses 11 and 12. Now, why am I coming to this? Because of what I just said about Jesus and His loyalty to the covenant promises that were made only to Israel. No Gentiles in those covenants. Not a Gentile is mentioned in the Abrahamic Covenant, except that one day through Abraham God would go to the Gentiles.
The same way in the prophets, that one day when Israel was in the place of obedience, God would use them to reach the Gentiles. But the covenants had nothing to do with Gentiles. And here’s why. From the pen of the Apostle Paul.
“Wherefore remember (call it to mind), that ye…” Now, here’s where we’ve got to stop. Always determine who is writing? The Apostle Paul. Who is he writing to? The Ephesian Gentiles up there in Turkey. No Jews. Just Gentiles. All right, what’s the situation? Well, Paul has now been ministering to these Ephesian people. Many of them have become believers, and they have come into the Body of Christ.
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in the time past Gentiles in the flesh, (genetically) who are called Uncircumcision by (Whom?) that who is called the (Jew) Circumcision… 12. That at that time…” Well, now you’ve got to stop and qualify. What time? When God was dealing with Israel back in the Old Testament economy, and when Israel alone was under the covenant promises. Now here’s why.
“That at that time ye (as a Gentile, your Gentile great-great-great grandparents) were without Christ, (or Messiah) being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, (What does that mean? You weren’t citizens of Israel. You were outsiders.) and strangers from the (What?) covenants of promise,…”
Now, what does that mean? You had no part in the covenants between God and Israel. You were a Gentile. People have a hard time getting this through their heads. How could God abandon the Gentile world for 2,000 years and deal primarily, with a few exceptions of course, but He dealt primarily with the Nation of Israel. How could He do that? Well, because for the first 2,000 years He dealt with the whole human race. Beginning with Adam and Eve and Cain and Noah and all the way up until the call of Abraham, God was dealing with the human race. They all had an opportunity for salvation. But what did they do with it? They walked it underfoot. They had more desire to murder their fellow man than to get right with God. So He brought in the Flood and destroyed that wicked generation. Then they start over with Noah’s three sons and it didn’t improve anything.
Two hundred years later they’re all there at the Tower of Babel, falling under the wicked leadership of Nimrod; ready to embrace every dream of a pagan god that Nimrod could come up with, with Satan’s leading. But they had every opportunity, and they rejected it. So, don’t ever blame God for not giving the Gentiles a chance. They had just as much time as Israel did.
All right, now He comes to the Gentiles with His Age of Grace. Now, for 2,000 years the vast majority of Jews are left out in the cold. Not by God’s design. It’s their own fault. A Jew can be saved if they want to be. Nationally, of course, yeah, they’re set aside. But they’ve still got the opportunity, so God has never been unfair. Never. All right, but look what happened. Back to Ephesians 2.
“…ye were strangers from the covenants of promise, (Because God wasn’t dealing with Gentiles, He was dealing with Israel.) having no hope, and without God in the world:” That was the plight of the Gentiles before Christ.
Now you’ve got to remember, there weren’t billons of people on the planet at that time. There were relatively few. I think there was only one billion on the whole planet. No, half a billion, if I remember right. Five hundred million at the time of Christ. And, you see, the numbers have just been coming now in the last hundred years.
So, don’t think that you’ve got billions and billions of Gentiles out there. No. But whatever there was, they were without hope; they were without God in this world. That’s why they were steeped in their paganism. My, just go back and read some ancient history. The paganism that they worshipped, it’s unbelievable. But, now we can’t leave this without looking at verse 13.
“But now in Christ Jesus…” Because of the work of the cross, God has leveled the whole playing field. Every human being on the planet has access to that glorious salvation which was accomplished at the cross. And all they have to do is believe it. You know, years and years ago I made the statement – you don’t have to cross a raging river. You don’t have to crawl up a sheer rock cliff to get to a place where you can be saved. Where is it? Ground level. It’s right in front of every human being, every step of their life. All they have to do is turn and believe it, but they won’t. They don’t want to hear it. The favorite thing is – leave me alone, I’m comfortable.
All right, so back to Matthew. Got to make a little headway, don’t we? So now then, the Lord has turned to Israel to preach the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. All right, now at the core, at the hub of the Kingdom of Heaven and the Gospel of the Kingdom is the Nation of Israel and her Messiah. That’s where it all centers. That Israel’s Messiah was in their midst.
Now, many of you have seen the verse. I don’t know if I can find it. I’d better wait and look it up at break time. But you’re all aware of the verse that says “the kingdom of heaven is within you.” From that the theologians jump on it and say, see, it’s an invisible, spiritualized kingdom. But, you see, the problem is that the translators mistranslated a key Greek word. If you’ll look in a real study Bible, that word ‘within’ should have been translated ‘in your midst.’ The Kingdom of Heaven is in your midst in the person of the King. See what a difference that makes, just one word. The King is in your midst. He’s ready to bring in the kingdom.
All right, now that becomes the whole crux of the Kingdom Gospel, to believe that Jesus was the Promised Messiah and Christ. That was the crux of the thing. All right, go over with me now to Matthew chapter 16. Here we come to the end of His three years. After all of His signs and wonders and miracles, the Scripture only gives us a sampling. We only get a sampling. John ends his gospel with a statement that if all of His miracles were recorded, the world couldn’t contain it. So we just get a little scratching of the surface of miracles. But here we are now, at the end of three years, and they are ready to go from northern Israel up to Jerusalem for the last Passover and the crucifixion.
All right, verse 13 of Matthew 16. Now, I’m well aware that for many of you this is just review. And that’s why I’m doing it. I want another clear-cut review. I want these new listeners to see where we’re coming from. All right, verse 13.
“When Jesus came into the borders of Caesarea Philippi, (That’s up at the headwaters of the Jordan River at the base of Mount Herman.) he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” Now remember, we’re talking about Israel, Jews, not the Gentile world. Who do men in Israel say that I am? Well, you can tell by the answer that it would only be Jews that were acquainted with these names.
“And they said, Some say thou art John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” See, the Jews had them on the tip of their tongue.
“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? (Do you twelve men know better than that? And here’s Peter’s answer.) 16. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ (the Messiah, the Promised One, the Anointed One) the Son of the Living God.” Period. Now, I saw little bit of this morning’s program before I left, because I like to know what I was saying fifteen years ago, once in a while.
And I made it so plain. Does Peter add – who died for you, was buried, and rose from the dead? No, Peter doesn’t have a clue about that. But that’s what most of Christendom thinks he said. Most of Christendom thinks that Peter says, oh yeah, you’re the one who is the Son of God. You died for us and rose from the dead. No. Peter didn’t have a clue about that. But he was right on that Jesus was that Promised Messiah. See that?
All right, now let’s just chase some more of those references that prove the same thing. This is all God expected them to know. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. By what? The Word of God. Can the Word of God be available if God never spoke it? No. So you can’t believe something until God speaks it. There again, I’ll go back to Deuteronomy 29. If God has seen fit to keep it secret, nobody can believe it. But the moment He speaks it, yes, then it becomes something to believe and to place faith in.
All right, so now then, these people know nothing of a coming crucifixion. Go with me to John’s Gospel chapter 11, the story of Lazarus. John chapter 11. You know the story. Lazarus had been sick and Jesus purposely stayed away. He could have slipped into town and healed him, and we’d have missed this. He purposely stayed away so that Lazarus would die, so that He could perform the miracle of raising him from the dead. It had to happen. All right, so we pick it up down in verse 22 of John’s gospel chapter 11.
“But I know, (Martha says) that even now, (now that he’s died) whatsoever thou would ask of God, God will give it thee. 23. Jesus said unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24. And Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, (Any hint of the cross? Not a word. So, what where they to believe? Who He was. Everyone–) that believeth in me, (They know that I am the Promised Messiah.) though he were dead, yet shall he live.” That’s salvation for the Old Testament economy, bringing it on up into Christ’s earthly ministry. It’s salvation by believing who He was.
But now you want to remember, there’s not a word in any of Christ’s earthly ministry about stopping Temple worship. They still went to the Temple. They still kept the Law. That was all kept intact. But now they were to believe that Jesus was the Christ, too. All right, back to Martha in verse 27.
“She (Martha) saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe thou art the Christ, the Son of God, who should come into the world.” Now, is that so hard to comprehend? That was a simple statement of faith the same as Peter made. Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God. And Jesus was satisfied. He said, “blessed art thou Peter.” All right and the Lord here, too, He doesn’t condemn her for having it wrong. But that was her profession of faith, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
All right, now let’s move quickly into the Book of Acts chapter 8. You all know the story. How he was riding his chariot, had been to Jerusalem to worship, and was on his way back down to Ethiopia. And the Spirit encouraged Philip to catch up with him, because the guy needed some explanation. All right, verse 29.
“Then the Spirit (the Holy Spirit) said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30. And Philip ran thither to him, (caught up with him)…” Verse 32.
“The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:” Well, it was reference, of course, to Christ’s work of the cross; but nobody could put two and two together. All right, but now for sake of time, I’m going to bring you all the way down to verse 35.
“Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same Scripture, (Isaiah 53) and preached unto him Jesus.” Not a word about the death, burial, and resurrection. Just the story of Jesus.
“And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: (Philip had evidently mentioned the necessity for repentance and baptism, because the eunuch now says–) See, here is water; what doeth hinder me to be baptized? 37. And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, (Now, here’s the eunuch’s profession of faith.) I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Period. That was his profession of faith.
All right, now we’ll come back and start with our next program in this, because I don’t want to cut it too short. We’re going to find that Saul of Tarsus is saved under this same economy. He isn’t saved under the gospel that’s revealed after he comes on the scene. Paul is going to be saved by this same Kingdom Gospel, and we’ll show that at the beginning of our next program.
LESSON THREE * PART IV
CONNECTING THE DOTS OF SCRIPTURE (Part 3)
Genesis through Revelation
Okay, good to see everybody back. And for those of you joining us on television, we want to welcome you to a simple Bible study. I want to keep it simple. I shared again with somebody the other day, keep it simple. My, so many people get all wrapped up in things that nobody can figure out. But it’s not that difficult if you just keep it simple. So, we’re just glad to have you on board. We trust you will study and learn to use the Scriptures so that you can study on your own.
Okay, my little wife is the one that keeps things moving, and she says we haven’t shown people our book again for a long time. It’s eighty-eight questions with answers taken from our television material, and it’s been so well received. We like to keep promoting it, because it’s probably one-of-a-kind and about the best $11 you can spend. My, they make such wonderful gifts.
Okay, now we’re going to continue on with where we left off in the previous program, how we are connecting the dots through Scripture. We’ve moved from the call of Abraham and the appearance of the Nation of Israel; all leading up to the promises of a coming King and Kingdom. Jesus came in fulfillment of all that.
Now, it was a legitimate offer. I always compare it to when Israel went up to the Promised Land under Moses. What did God tell them? Go in and take it. It’s yours for the taking. You won’t lose one drop of blood because I’m going to drive the Canaanites out. But, did they believe it? No, they didn’t believe it. They had all kinds of excuses. The cities were well-fenced and the men were giants and, oh, they just whimpered all night. So God sent them back out into the desert.
All right, now you have much the same thing at His first advent. All the things were in place. It was a valid offer. Yes, hypothetically, they could have had it. But God knew they wouldn’t. So, the work of the cross was consummated because of Israel’s unbelief. In their unbelief, they demanded His death. But, you see, it was all so supernatural. As we’ve seen even today, Israel stoned the prophets. Paul recognized that he was part of putting those followers of Jesus to death. And Rome didn’t raise a fuss about that. But the leaders of Israel were prompted, providentially, to bring Rome into the crucifixion, because He had to be lifted up. He couldn’t be killed by stoning. He had to be crucified. So that brought the Romans into the picture. That brought about, of course, the crucifixion and burial and His resurrection.
All right, now we’re going to move over into His post-resurrection after the 40 days in the resurrected body. We’ll move into Acts chapter 1. We are just trying to show how all of this unfolded according to God’s timetable. But you have to understand the timetable to really understand where we are with regard to our doctrine. What do we believe? All right, Acts chapter 1, now it’s still Jewish. Nothing pertaining to Gentiles as yet. Saul of Tarsus hasn’t been saved as yet. All right, verse 2.
“Until the day in which he was taken up, (that is His ascension) after that he through the Holy Spirit had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: (That is the Eleven that are left. Judas is gone.) 3. To whom also (to the Twelve, now Eleven) he showed himself alive after his passion…” That is His death, burial, and resurrection. Now, you know, there have been people down through the ages who tried to prove that the resurrection of Christ was a hoax. But they invariably come away from it as believers, because there was so much proof of His resurrection.
“…by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days,…” Forty days He spent with them in the resurrected body. And it’s that forty day period with Christ that we get a hint on our eternal body. It’s going to be a body fashioned after His resurrected body. So, that’s the reason for these forty days. You pick them up in the closing chapters of the gospels.
“…being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” Now fortunately, here about a year or two ago, we spent a whole series of programs distinguishing the difference between the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, and the Body of Christ. If you remember, the Kingdom of God is that overall sphere of God’s righteous influence and control: Heaven, the angels, all the Old Testament believers, all the New Testament believers. Everything pertaining to God’s righteousness can be included in that overall circle The Kingdom of God.
But in the Kingdom of God is that future Kingdom of Heaven which is coming on the earth. It is predominately in Israel’s domain, although all the nations are going to reappear. But that’s still future. Since it was rejected at Christ’s first advent, it now has been postponed. We are now calling out the Body of Christ and it, too, is in the Kingdom of God.
So, when Paul says in Colossians chapter 1 that we have been translated from darkness into the Kingdom of His dear Son, it’s into the big circle of the Kingdom of God. But it’s also into the smaller circle of the Body of Christ. So, you have those three entities in Scripture: the overall Kingdom of God, then inside the Kingdom of God you have the promised Kingdom of Heaven on earth and the Body of Christ, which is now being called out. All right, so here we’re just talking about the big picture, the Kingdom of God. All right, verse 4.
“And being assembled together with them, (the Eleven) he commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5. For John truly baptized with water; but ye (Speaking to the Eleven who are representatives also of the Nation of Israel.) shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit (a reference to Pentecost) not many days hence.” Now verse 6 is an interesting verse.
“When they therefore were come together, (Jesus and these eleven men) they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” Well, now what Kingdom in Israel’s past was constantly a pleasant reminder for Israel? Well, David and Solomon’s when Israel reached the peak of her glory. Lord, are you ready to restore us to such a kingdom?
Well, He doesn’t ridicule them. He doesn’t say, now wait a minute, where do you guys get such an idea. He merely says, like we say today, it’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of what? When. And that’s the way it still is today. There’s no if’s about the Kingdom. It’s coming. We just don’t know when.
Now, it looks like the whole world is getting ready for the coming of Christ. The whole political situation. The economic situation. The spiritual. The ungodliness. It’s all screaming that we’re approaching the end time. But like I said in the first program, God’s wheels can roll slowly. We don’t know when it will be. But nevertheless, the world is setting the stage for Christ’s second coming. At which time He will open up this glorious Kingdom to Israel. Verse 7.
“And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.” So again, we have that same scenario where Jesus said, it’s not for you to know. But that doesn’t mean it’s not valid. It is coming. All right, now we’ll just stay here in the first part of Acts for a little bit. Verse 8. Jesus is still speaking to the Eleven, and He says–
“But (regardless of when the Kingdom comes) ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you:…” Now, not too many tapings back, we did a series on the Holy Spirit. And let’s come back. This comes to mind. I didn’t intend to do this, but come back with me to Luke 24. Because this is what you and I have to still recognize. That if we’re going to be led and controlled by the Holy Spirit, we, too, want to be under this power from on high, which is the power of the Holy Spirit. Luke 24:49, this is what Jesus is referring to in Acts chapter 1 verse 8.
“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry (or stay) ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with (What?) power from on high.” And what is the power from on high? The power of the Holy Spirit operating on planet earth.
All right, if you’ll come back to Acts chapter 1 verse 8, that’s what He’s telling the Eleven. Wait here in Jerusalem until you are endued with that power from on high, which is the coming of the Holy Spirit. Then reading on in verse 8.
“…and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria,…” Now, if you know your Bible, did they go any further? No. They never got any further. That’s as far as they got. They didn’t get to the uttermost part of the earth. Well, what happened? Israel’s unbelief.
Israel the Nation is going to continue to reject everything concerning this promised Kingdom, because they couldn’t buy into Jesus of Nazareth as that Promised Messiah. How did they put it? “Can anything good come out of Nazareth.” And the Nation went down the tube into dispersion, waiting now, of course, for God to come in and finish His second advent. But here we have it so plain. They never got any further than Samaria. They did not get to the uttermost part of the earth. But you know what? God’s promises never fail. So, how is Israel going to still fulfill this promise? Well, let me take you back to Matthew once again.
Matthew 24. And maybe this will answer a lot of questions and save me a lot of letter writing. I sometimes think I should just make copies of some of my answers, but I don’t like to do it that way. So, I take the time to personally answer. Questions come in constantly with regard to the Great Commission. You all know what it says. But I’m not going back to the Great Commission. I’m going back to Matthew 24, where Jesus is speaking concerning the Tribulation. Those final seven years before Christ’s return.
All right, verse 11. These are all prophecies from the Lord Himself concerning these final seven years that Israel is going to have to go through.
“And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many. 12. And because iniquity shall abound,…” Are we seeing it? Oh, the world is just succumbing to it at every turn. It isn’t just America. We’re still the best. When you see the wickedness in the rest of the world, we’re still fairly well blessed. Believe me. But it’s going to be global.
“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13. But, he that shall endure (That is through these seven years.) unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Physically. I don’t think this is a spiritual connotation. They’re going to survive physically.
Now a verse comes to mind. And I always think that’s a hint that the Lord wants me to take a run at it. Come back with me to Isaiah 24. Keep your hand in Matthew 24 and Acts 1. We’re coming back. Now, this is Isaiah’s picture of these final seven years. In the final days of them as the Lord says in Matthew 24. Isaiah, the first of the major prophets, chapter 24 and I’m going to take time to read these verses so that you’ll understand what the Lord is talking about in Matthew 24.
“Behold, the LORD (That’s the Old Testament term, remember, for God the Son.) maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. 2. And it shall be, (It’s going to happen.) as with the people, so with the priests; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower;…” In other words, the whole cross section of a society is now involved.
“The land shall be utterly emptied, (because of the horrors of these final hours of the Tribulation) and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word. 4. The earth mourneth and fadeth away, (In other words, all of its activity is going to come down to nothing.) the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.” Wealth isn’t going to make a bit of difference, because they’re all going to come under the wrath of God. All right, verse 5.
“The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof: because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, and broken the everlasting covenant.” In other words, they’ve broken every possible thing that God used to control humanity. All right, now verse 6.
“Therefore (because of man’s total rebellion and depravity) hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: (There’s no quality of life left.) therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned,…” And I say, without any apology, that this is going to be the nuclear unleashing of all the nuclear weapons that the world is accumulating.
“…and the inhabitants of the earth are burned, (What are the last several words?) and few men left.” What does that mean? Now, come back to Matthew 24. They’ve “endured to the end.” They’ve managed to stay alive. Oh, maybe they’re under a pile of rubble. But they’re a survivor. And these survivors, you see, are going to be brought before the King in Jerusalem.
Now, I’ve got to follow that up with Scripture, don’t I? You’re in Matthew 24. Turn over to chapter 25. Here’s where the survivors are going to end up. Now, this may not be good continuity, but bear with me. Matthew 25 and we now have the survivors of Isaiah 24 brought before the King. Because remember, no unbelievers can go into the Kingdom. So we’ve got to sort out the unbelievers of these survivors. All right, here it is in verse 31.
“When the Son of man (Now that’s the Son of God. It’s Jesus the Christ.) shall come in his glory, (His second coming) and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:” Just like we saw a few programs back in Matthew 19. The Twelve are going to rule from twelve thrones under the throne of Christ on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.
“And before him shall be gathered all nations:…” Now wait a minute? How many people are left in the nations? Just a special few, the few survivors, remember? And that’s why all these nukes are being accumulated. They’re going to use them, but not until God gives permission to. So there will be a few survivors, I feel, in every nation around the globe. Those survivors are representatives of the nations. That’s all we’ve got here. Just a few, but enough to restart the human race. Okay, so He brings them into Jerusalem and separates them.
“And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as (or like) a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats:” Now, when you separate sheep from goats, that’s easy enough to understand. The sheep go here and the goats go there. Well, that’s what He’s going to do with the believers that have survived from all these Gentile nations. He’s going to separate the lost from the saved out of these survivors.
“And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34. Then shall the King (See, this is at the onset of this earthly Kingdom.) say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit (or be part of) the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:” In other words, all the Old Testament is looking forward to this glorious, earthly Kingdom over which Christ is going to rule and reign. Then the rest, of course, explains how the goats who represent the lost will be sent to their doom.
All right, back up again to Matthew 24. These survivors will have endured those seven years to the end, and they’re going to be able to go into the Kingdom. But they can’t go into the Kingdom unless they’ve heard the gospel of salvation. Nothing is automatic. Every human being has to be presented with the plan of salvation, whether it’s Old Testament, whether it’s Christ’s earthly, kingdom gospel message, or whether it’s us in the Age of Grace. We all have to make our personal affirmation of faith. All right, now verse 14. Here it is as plain, again, as English can make it. And Jesus is speaking.
“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14. And this gospel of the kingdom…” Now, what’s the key word? THIS. What does that indicate? What has been preached in His earthly ministry for three years? This same gospel that He and the Twelve had been preaching to Israel will, during the Tribulation, be preached to the whole world. Not just Jews. Everyone.
“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.” Who’s going to have the glorious opportunity to take this Gospel of the Kingdom to the nations of the world? Jews. What Jews? The hundred and forty-four thousand. To back that up, come back to Revelation.
Back to Revelation chapter 7 verses 4 through 8. We’ve got the sealing, or setting apart, of 12,000 young Jewish men from each one of the Twelve Tribes. You know what I tell people? I think, I can’t prove it, but I think at the present time they’re already in Israel. I think these 12,000 Jews from every one of the Twelve Tribes are already in Israel. That’s how close I think we are to the end.
But see, here’s the miracle of it. Who knows what tribes they belong to? God does! And in His sovereignty He’s going to have it arranged that they’re going to be there. And again, I think, I can’t prove from Scripture, but it seems logical to believe that these 144,000 young Jews are going to hear the preaching of the two witnesses that come in at the very opening of the Tribulation—from their preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, the King is coming, and the Kingdom is just over the horizon. See how it all fits?
The King is coming. They don’t need the Gospel of Grace. That’s done. The church is gone. But the world at the end of the Tribulation is going to finally have heard this Gospel of the Kingdom from these 144,000 Jews. All right, go on into verse 9. Now we see that these young men are literally going to reach every tribe and language and dialect on the planet, which is today impossible. My goodness, the last I read, there are still thousands of tribes that have never heard the gospel. These men are going to do it.
“After this (After they’ve been sealed. I think this is on the very opening day of the Tribulation.) I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of (What?) all nations, (not just from Israel) and kindred, and people, and tongues, (or languages) stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;” What’s happened? They’ve become believers of this Gospel of the Kingdom during the Tribulation, and they’re martyred as fast as they become believers. They’re already in Glory and waiting for the Tribulation to be consummated.
“And they cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God who sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, 12. Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.” And then verse 13.
“And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and where did they come from? 14. And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they who came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” They heard the Gospel of the Kingdom from these 144,000 Jews, they believed it, and they were immediately martyred. That’s the horrors of the Tribulation.
But on the other hand, you know what? I think they’re going to be so glad to be martyred to get out from under the horrors of that period of time. So, none of this is hard to believe. “And these are they who came out of great tribulation,” and they’re martyred as fast as they became believers.