Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 12
REVIEW – GENESIS TO REVELATION:
ESCAPING REMNANTS: SATAN CAST FROM HEAVEN
Now let’s turn to Matthew Chapter 24, beginning with verse 15. We are going to pick up this remnant that we talked about in the last lesson, that I feel will be the 1/3 that will survive the horrors of the Tribulation. Jesus speaks of it, and if Jesus speaks of it then we can rest on it, because after all, He is the Author of all history. He is the Author of our salvation, and eternity. And certainly He is the Author of this Book. So He says:
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet,…”
Now we just looked at that a lesson or two ago. But it says in Daniel 9:27, that in the middle of the week (seven years) that he, the Anti-christ will go into temple and defile it. That will be at the middle of the Tribulation. So Jesus is clearly defining that this event is what Daniel was talking about. Now when the word suddenly goes out that the Anti-christ has come into the temple and defiled it (and I wouldn’t doubt that since they will be back into animal sacrifices and the altar will be operating), that he will probably just out of spite and rebellion, offer a hog. A Jew couldn’t stand for a hog’s blood being spilled on their altar. After Anti-christ does this, he will immediately turn on the Jew. Jesus then says:
“Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:”
We talked about this several months ago, but again, since it is in line with our study of the Book of Revelation, we will repeat it. I want you to watch as we come down through these verses, that this is not a group of just one age, or one sex, but this is a cross-section of Jews.
“Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house.” These are probably Jewish people who are retired, and are pretty well to do. So they had better not stop in the house for extra items of clothing.
“Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.” This would include the younger people who are still working and producing. So they would just need to take off for the mountains as Jesus said.
“And woe unto them that are with child (here you have your young pregnant women), and to them that give suck in those days!” So we also have nursing mothers.
Looking back at that cross-section, we have the older retired people, the working class people. We have the young expectant mothers, and the mothers with little ones. It will be hard for the young women who are about ready to deliver to make this long journey to the mountains. I believe it will be down to the southeast of Jerusalem, probably to the area of Petra, is a good possibility. Verse 20, is an indication that the Jew will be back under the Law:
“But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter (so they wouldn’t have to suffer cold, and snow, rain and ice, and that can happen in Israel), neither on the sabbath day:”
According to the Law they were very limited to how far they could travel. And Jesus is saying you had better pray that this doesn’t happen on the Sabbath day, because the Law would prohibit them from escaping. Now as we look at this whole situation, I always like to remind the folks that I teach, to flash back to the exodus out of Egypt. So much of this is almost identical. Whether it will be in numbers or not, I’m not sure. But nevertheless, the scenario is so much the same. They will have this great number of Jews suddenly moving out to a distance place. Now verse 21. Here Jesus makes it so plain that this is the middle of the Tribulation:
“For then (in other words from this point on. This last 3 1/2 years) shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Now think what that covers. That covers all of the horrible experiences that Israel had in the Old Testament days. Also the horrors of the holocaust. This covers the famines and wars that the world has experienced in the last generations. And none of that can compare with what is ahead in these last 3 1/2 years.
“And except those days should be shortened,…”
Now from what I can get out of the Greek word, “shorten” it, doesn’t mean all of a sudden instead of 3 1/2 years it’s only going to be 3 years. But the word means, “unless it would end right on schedule.” If this 3 1/2 years would go an extra month for example, not a soul would survive, it’s going to be so awful. But there will be survivors and we will be seeing that in lessons to come. That even under the terrible cataclysmic events of the final 3 1/2 years, yet there will be survivors all around the world. So reading verse 22 in its entirety:
“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”
In other words, for the believers going into the Kingdom. And never lose sight of the fact that we must have flesh and blood believers to go into the Kingdom. So the Lord will have to stop this before all of them are killed, or there would be no one left for the regeneration of the human race in the Kingdom economy. Let’s leave Matthew and go to the Book of Revelation Chapter 6 again. In an earlier lesson in Chapter 6, we were looking at the seals. Those seals that were on the outside of this scroll of Revelation 5, which was indicative of a mortgage. And we have seen this mortgage being opened up now by taking off the seals.
I pointed out in the past several lessons, these seals are nothing more than a triggering mechanism for events in time. First the white horse, the symbolism of the coming of the Anti-christ. The red horse, I think is the symbolism of the Russian invasion of Israel. The pale horse, the symbolism for famine and diseases of this time. And the black horse, the symbolism the great death and destruction that will come as the result. And then you come down to verse 12, and He opens the 6th seal. Remember there are seven seals in all. But the 7th we will cover a little later, because it will introduce the trumpet judgments that will follow after the mid-point. I want you to see now that this 6th seal is at the mid-point of the Tribulation.
“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;”
What I think you have pictured here, is that as a result of the cataclysmic events of earthquakes and volcanoes, you will see the moon turn red as blood, because of all the pollution in the air. The sun will actually be blackened out because of it. We will pick up the intervening verses at a later time, but now come all the way down to verse 17. Remember, there will be this great earthquake here at the mid-point. It will be a specific earthquake.
“For the great day of his wrath is come:…”
In other words, the last 3 1/2 years. The time Matthew 24 said was worse than any other period in all of human history. The first 3 1/2 years are not going to be a Sunday School picnic. They won’t be a utopia. Maybe for a short while the Anti-christ is going to seem to have everything under control. But the remainder of that 3 1/2 years is going to become progressively worse. The war in Israel, the attending famine and pestilence, and so forth, is already beginning to crescendo by the mid-point. But when you come to the mid-point of the seven years, here comes this great earthquake that will trigger the start of what the Bible calls “wrath.” We have seen the two wittiness resurrected and ascended. Now come over to Chapter 11 in Revelation. And in order to pick up the timing again, I have to take this slowly or people will say “Well where do you get that this is the mid-point? How do you know it isn’t at some other time?” Refer to our study of the two witnesses a few lessons ago, in this Chapter and in verse 3?
“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days,…” How long is that? 3 1/2 years. Then as they finish their testimony they are put to death. They are resurrected in verse 11:
“And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet;… “And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, `Come up hither.’ And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.” Now that is the mid-point that’s the end of the first 3 1/2 years. Now you go right into the next verse and what does it say?
“And the same hour was there a great earthquake (see how that fits with Chapter 6?), and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men (I think it will be predominantly men in the area of Jerusalem) seven thousand: and the (what’s that next word?) remnant were affrighted (God’s got their attention now), and gave glory to the God of heaven.”
I always tell my classes, be careful because a religious Jew today doesn’t have any trouble giving glory to God. They are always elevating the God of Abraham. But what is the problem of the Jew today that God has the controversy over? They will not recognize the Christ. That is where they are blinded and still in their unbelief. They cannot recognize that Jesus was their Messiah, the Christ. Now, according to this verse, even though they give glory to God (and remember they are religious, they’ve been practicing temple worship now for 3 1/2 years), have they recognized The Christ? No!
So I maintain that this remnant under the thumb and protection of their almighty God, will flee to the mountain, but as yet in unbelief. They will go out not knowing why or where they go. And it will be providential. Now we are ready for Chapter 12. And again, this is a whole chapter full of symbolism.
“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: Now all through the Old Testament, and including the twelve stars of Joseph’s dream, the symbolism is Israel. Now verse 2:
“And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” What does Isaiah say? “Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.” Who’s the woman? Israel! What’s the delivery? When the Christ child was born in Bethlehem.
“And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon (and a dragon in Scripture is always a symbolic picture of Satan), having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns (a depiction of his power) upon his heads.”
“And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven (now who do you suppose the stars of heaven were that Satan influenced? The angels at the time of his rebellion, even before Genesis 1:2, when Satan rebelled at the authority of God, and evidently took a third of the angelic host with him in his rebellion. The Scripture references for that are Ezekiel 28:13-15 and Isaiah 14:12-14), and did cast them to the earth; and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” What did Satan try to do to the Christ child when He was born in Bethlehem. Kill Him! That’s why the decree went out to kill all the boy babies under the age of two.
“And she brought forth a man child, (Christ. Israel was the vehicle from which the Messiah came. Now the Scriptures leap time after the comma), who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron (that has been depicted ever since the onset of human history, that He one day would rule the world as His Kingdom, as King of Kings and Lord of Lords): and her child was caught up to God, and to his throne.” And that is a reference to His ascension, back in Acts Chapter 1, when He left from the Mount of Olives. He went back to God the Father, and sat down at His right hand. Now here in verse 6 we leap time again to the mid-point of the Tribulation.
“And the woman fled into the wilderness (probably the Mountains of Moab, Southeast of Jerusalem), where she hath a place prepared of God, that they (the Godhead) should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days (3 1/2 years).“
Now think of the exodus from Egypt, when God brought Israel out of Egypt and brought Israel to Himself, what did He do for them for forty years? He fed them. Their clothes didn’t wear out. They had need of nothing, because He provided everything for them. And He will do the same thing again for this remnant of Jews in this situation. And even though all the events of the Tribulation will be raging around them, they are going to be safe and secure in this place that God is going to prepare for them. Now to verse 13. This is all at the mid-point of the Tribulation:
“And when the dragon (or Satan) saw that he was cast unto the earth (which took place in the previous verses) he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.” So he is going to turn on the Jew.
“And to the woman (this escaping remnant of Jews) were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time (one year), and times (two years), and half a time (total of 3 1/2 years), from the face of the serpent.”
Now we must go back to the Book of Exodus Chapter 19 for a moment. I want you see the analogy of Israel coming out of Egypt and the fleeing remnant coming out of Jerusalem to this place prepared of God for that final 3 1/2 years.
“And Moses went up unto God (in Mount Sinai), 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; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.'”
What did God use? Eagles’ wings. What does Revelation say? They were given two wings of a great eagle. Let me remind you… did the Jews sprout wings and fly out of Egypt. No. How did they go? They walked. But it was a supernatural walk. I have to think that God did supernaturally somehow or other, move those 3 to 5 million Israelites out of Egypt. Come back to Revelation and you have the same setting. Supernaturally, Sovereign God is going to bring this remnant of Jews that are going to be saved. They are not believers yet, but are going out in unbelief, but under the thumb of their Sovereign God. And He will take them into the wilderness for those 3 1/2 years. Here’s another analogy of Egypt. Verses 15 & 16:
“And the serpent (working out of the man Anti-christ, who is now in the temple) cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.”
Now have you got the picture? Just as sure as Israel was fleeing out of Egypt down to the Red Sea, what did Pharaoh do? He sent his army after them. And the Anti-christ will do the same thing. When he hears there is a great group of Jews fleeing Jerusalem, he will immediately put out the order for the armed forces to pursue after them and destroy them. After all, this is his hatred. But God is going to intervene and as He opened the Red Sea for the Israelites, God is basically going to do the same thing with this armed force of the Anti-christ. And as Israel is making her way into the mountains, just before that armed force makes contact with the escaping Jews, the earth is going to open up and swallow them. And the armed force will be completely destroyed. Has that happened before in Scripture? Sure it did. I’ve reminded you before as you study Revelation, that so many of these events are on a grander and greater scale of course, but they have happened before. Now verse 17. When that happens, word gets back to the Anti-christ in Jerusalem, that his armed force was totally destroyed and the Jews went on into a place of safety.
“And the dragon (Anti-christ and Satan are synonymous now) was wroth (angry) with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed (now watch what remnant this is), which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
What remnant has already been out there for 3 1/2 years preaching the King is coming? The 144,000. Regarding this remnant of Jews who are proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom to the whole world (when the Anti-christ realizes that he can’t touch those who are safe, these who will be saved in a day, when they see Christ coming at His Second Coming), he will then turn all of His wrath on these 144,000. And then when you get to Matthew Chapter 25, what do you find out? They have been thrown in prison, naked, hungry, and thirsty. This will be as a result of the Anti-christ turning all of his wrath on these 144,000 Jews.