Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 12
REVIEW – GENESIS TO REVELATION:
ESCAPING REMNANTS: SATAN CAST FROM HEAVEN
I love to hear from people who tell us that for the first time in their life that they are studying their Bible. That just makes it all worth while. That is the only reason we teach – just to get people into the Book. The Book is not closed as most people think it is.
I have decided before we get back to Revelation, to give a brief review of what we have covered all the way from Genesis up to this period of the Tribulation. Then in our next lesson we will try to show from Scripture why the Nation of Israel has gone through such turmoil and suffering, and why they must go through that terrible seven years of Tribulation that is still facing them. Remember, the Book of Revelation and the Tribulation is primarily God dealing with His Covenant people Israel.
And we are not hung up on these dates that I’ll be using as being absolutely correct, but they are close. At least we can get a layman’s view of the overall picture, and see how in round figures that everything has been unfolding up through human history.
At about 4004 B. C. Adam comes on the scene. From Adam and Eve the population exploded, because the longevity was 900 + years. And they had sons and daughters – the Bible doesn’t tell us how many. By the time we get to 2400 B. C. or about 1600 years after Adam, the human race has gone down so far morally and have come into such a period of violence, that God said, “I’m going to have to destroy them.” So we come to Noah’s flood. We come out of the flood with Noah and his three sons and their wives, and once again the whole thing starts all over. But this time under a whole different set of circumstances. Everything is different after the flood than before it. One of the main changes is in Genesis Chapter 9. We have to realize that in the pre-flood era, man as well as animals were not meat eaters. They all had a diet of things that grew naturally, like nuts and fruits and grass, and the herbs and so forth. But after the flood you see in Chapter 9 that it’s completely different. Let’s read verse 1:
“And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, `Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.'” In other words, “Fill it up again.” Now watch the difference in verse 2. This wasn’t the case before the flood.
“And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.” And here is the reason in verse 3:
“Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat (or food) for you;…” This wasn’t the case before. They did not kill anything for food. Even the wild animals didn’t kill to satisfy their hunger. Everything ate of that which grew naturally.
Secondly, after the flood, God says in verse 5 that He will give man responsibility to keep the human race from killing each other, as they had been doing before the flood. Violence had filled the earth, remember. And it was simply because there was no deterrent. There was no capital punishment; there was no law against these things. But now you see God institutes man’s responsibility to maintain law and order by instituting human government or capital punishment.
“And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood (kills another person), by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” So you see it’s completely different than before.
Now about half way between Noah’s flood and the call of Abraham, we have the Tower of Babel. And again it was a total rejection of God’s instruction to repopulate and scatter around the world. Instead, that group of people coming out of the sons of Noah rebelled against God, and rather than scattering and repopulating the earth, they stayed in the area of the Euphrates River. Then under Nimrod, they gathered at the Tower of Babel. Here is where we have the beginning of all pagan religions. Everything that is contrary to the One God concept as we find it in Scripture, has its roots and beginnings here at the Tower of Babel. All your eastern religions, all idolatry, all mythology and cults have their beginning here. Then God scattered them from the Tower of Babel and idolatry had by then taken over the human race. Then God calls out one man out of that idolatry and that man was Abraham. And we can show that from Scripture. So turn to the last chapter of the Book of Joshua.
“And Joshua said unto all the people, `Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.'”
So they were all idolaters and out of that civilization, that race of humanity, God is going to take one man, Abram, as he is first called. That is the beginning of the Nation of Israel, or as we commonly now call them, the Jew. Now I need to answer a question that was asked. What’s the difference between the Jewish religion and the Jew as a race? Or what makes a Jew a Jew? The religion or his blood? How would you answer it? Both! They are first and foremost a Jew because they are out of the promised Covenant line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That makes him a Jew by blood if he has come out of the twelve tribes.
When we get to Moses, who comes on the scene about 500 years later (or about 1500 BC), and God gives to the Nation of Israel, the Law. So now then we have the institution of the racial people of Israel and God gives them their religion, if we may use that word. The Mosaic system. And from that point on the Jew and his religion are almost a pair that’s inseparable, but yet they are. Because a Jew can embrace another religion or he can turn his back totally on Judaism. But does that end his being a Jew? No, he is still a Jew. You can also have Gentiles embrace Judaism, now that may make them a Jew religiously, but it will never make them a Jew racially. Always remember, and it is one of the keys to understanding the Scriptures, that the Bible divides the whole human race into two categories. Jews and Gentiles. Even the Arabs who are next of kin to the Jew by virtue of Abraham and Ishmael and Esau, are still considered Gentiles in Scripture. Only a Jew is considered a Jew in Scripture. Now those are some basic things that a lot of people don’t understand. And the Jew and the Nation of Israel began when God called Abram out of Ur, out of idolatry and gave him those Covenant promises. And then Moses comes on the scene and leads the children of Israel out of Egypt, and that’s about 1500 years B. C. He gives them the Law and history begins to unfold, Biblically, as it pertains to the Nation of Israel.
Then the Babylonians came on the scene and took the Jews captive to Babylon. And while in Babylon, Daniel writes his tremendous book of prophecy. Let’s turn to Daniel Chapter 9, which is one of the basic Scripture references to our approach to eschatology. That is the big word for what we lay-people call “End-Times.” The study of end-time events. Here in Daniel we have the prophecy concerning God’s timetable with the Nation of Israel. And there will be 490 years. This will cover the time that Nehemiah would be given instructions to go from Babylon, back to Jerusalem and rebuild the city wall. From the day of that decree by King Cyrus that Israel can not only have the temple, but they can also have the city wall rebuilt; the time-span from that day would be 490 years until Christ would finally end His dealings with the Nation of Israel as His Covenant people. And we know from history and Scripture that 483 of those years were consummated at the Cross. And so this is where we get the whole idea of a final seven years yet in the future, that have never been completed.
Israel, after the Crucifixion, and after Pentecost, continued to reject the offers of the Old Testament promises of the King and the Kingdom and her role as, literally, being the evangelist to that pagan world around her. From there we notice that Israel begins to fade and go down spiritually. And finally in 70 A. D., which is 40 years after Pentecost, God permitted the Roman Army, under Titus, to come in and destroy the temple and the city of Jerusalem. The Jew was uprooted out of the promised land into the dispersion that carries on to our very day. And it was all because of their rejecting the promises. They rejected their Messiah and their King, so God dispersed them and took away their temple and religion.
Then God turned to the Gentiles through the Apostle Paul with what we call the Age of Grace. As we have been teaching “Through the Bible,” we have stopped short of going into the New Testament and studying Matthew, mark, Luke and John, the Book of Acts and Paul because we had such a demand to go ahead and study Revelation. So what we will do when we finally finish the Book of Revelation (if the Lord tarries that long), is come back and pick up at the beginning of the New Testament.
Now you must remember, as I have said in the past months, that God deals in specific time frames. Just like here when He said:
“Seventy weeks (490 years) are determined upon thy people…”
So let’s look at it in verse 27. And all of a sudden we find that final seven years that wasn’t completed. Remember 483 were completed from the day of the decree that King Cyrus gave Nehemiah, until the Messiah died on the Cross.
“And he (the Anti-christ, the prince in verse 26) shall confirm the covenant (or treaty) with many (Israel) for one week (seven years): and in the midst of the week…”
And this is where we base everything on our teaching concerning the Tribulation. Way back here Daniel has already, by inspiration, laid out the format. That this seven-year period of time is going to be divided in half. There will be the first 3 1/2 years and then the last 3 1/2 years. So this seven-year period of time has been shoved out into the future, and in-between we have the calling out of the Body of Christ, the Church Age, the Age of Grace. Now we feel like we are getting close to that period of time of the Church. When this Church Age is complete the Lord will take it out, because God did not deal with the Church back here when He was dealing with Israel. It was Jew only. Here in the Church Age, God is dealing primarily with the Gentile, and the Jew is out in dispersion. So before He can come back and deal with Israel again in this final seven years, this Gentile Body of Christ has to be removed from the scene. Because God doesn’t deal on both sides of the fence at the same time. And as the Church Age winds down, and the final Gentile is brought in, then we find the Church taken out in the Rapture, and Israel back in the land and ready to be dealt with as we have been seeing in the Tribulation.
Now our study has already come this far to the beginning of the Tribulation. And as I have stressed in my teaching, the best way to study Revelation is to get straight in your mind the things that happened at the very opening of the Tribulation. Then disseminate the things that take place at the middle of the Tribulation. And then we can pick out (and we will in the future) the things that take place at the end of the Tribulation. And then we fill in the details. In Daniel 9:27, the signing of this peace treaty is the triggering mechanism to start that final seven years. In other words, during the Church Age, God’s time clock has stopped. No one knows for how long. It’s a hidden time that only God knows. But that final seven years will kick in gear the moment that the peace treaty is signed. It’s going to be according to God’s time clock even as the period of time in the Old Testament. So reading verse 27 again:
“And he (the Anti-christ) shall confirm the covenant with many (Israel) for one week (seven years); and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease(what does that tell us? That tells us that the temple is operating again under the supposed protection of that seven-year treaty and the Anti-christ. This goes on for 3 1/2 years, then the Anti-christ moves in), and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it (the temple and temple worship) desolate,…”
This will last until everything is fulfilled. We find from this, that for the initial days of the opening of the Tribulation, Israel is going to think that this man Anti-christ is indeed the Messiah. At the same opening of the Tribulation we found that God sends the two witnesses to the Nation of Israel in the area of Jerusalem. As I have taught before, we don’t put a name of them. Since the Scripture doesn’t name them, I won’t try to either. Then out of the preaching of those two witnesses comes the 144,000 young Jewish men, sealed and commissioned by God to go out and take the Gospel of the Kingdom around the world. And remember, the Gospel of the Kingdom is the good news that the King is coming. Of course those who are saved will be saved on the merit of the Cross, but the message will be the King is coming.
Then we found in Revelation 6 the appearance of the white horse and the Anti-christ. Then we had the appearance of the red horse, that I like to think is going to be the great Russian invasion of Israel from the north. That precipitates the war and the famine, pestilences and the diseases that the other horsemen of the Apocalypse depict. Then, all of a sudden, Israel is going to realize that they are not in the utopia they thought they were, but will still be permitted to have their temple worship.
Then after the war, famine and pestilences, we come to the very mid-point of the Tribulation. Now we know the mid-point is when another series of things take place. And we will be looking at that probably within the next two lessons. But one of the things we have already covered is that these two witnesses who come on the scene, are put to death at the mid-point of the Tribulation. And the world is going to be thrilled at the very thought that those two men, who caused so much turmoil by their preaching, are now dead. But they will be resurrected, brought back to life and they ascend back into heaven. The Scripture says the whole world will see it. And we pointed out that is what satellite television can do.
Then as we come into other events of the mid-point (after the two witnesses have ascended), the Anti-christ is going to come to the temple, as we saw in Daniel 9:27. He will defile the temple and force the Jews to stop their temple worship and the worship of Jehovah. He will then make them worship him as their god. And this will trigger the awful persecution of the Jew in that final 3 1/2 years. Then we will also find in one of our coming lessons that one of the other big events at the very mid-point of the Tribulation is a tremendous earthquake. That is in Chapter 6 and 11 of Revelation. And this great earthquake will set in motion the final 3 events of that last 3 1/2 years. Then after that has run its course, Christ returns to the Mount of Olives and will set up His Kingdom. The curse will have been lifted, and Israel will be the top nation of the nations. And all the rest of the world will come under the blessing of the people of the Covenant that was given to Abraham. All of Israel is looking for that glorious day. And we will be looking at all of this in the future lessons.