Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 1 * BOOK 17
ACTS CHAPTER 1: 6-11
Turn to Acts Chapter 1 and we will start where we left off last lesson. It always thrills us when folks write or call and tell us they are learning. They never try to make me more than I am. I have never had any formal Bible training at a Seminary or Bible School. I’m not a theologian or anything like that. I suppose I’m more like the average Sunday School teacher. We don’t have any deep theological background but I do feel The Lord has given me the gift of teaching the Word in a way that common folks can understand it, and that’s what makes the whole thing work. As I teach I just trust The Lord to lead me to the correct passages so the Word is open to people. We have been doing this about twenty-four years now and it just thrills my heart to see people studying the Word of God. We left off on the last lesson on the baptisms and I trust I showed it so plainly, that from the baptism that Jesus instituted when He said He would baptize with the Holy Spirit, He was referring to the Nation of Israel, and looking forward to the day of Pentecost. This would be the day they would be inundated by the Holy Spirit. Because when someone is baptized (in the Greek) they are engulfed. I Corinthians Chapter 10 says about the children of Israel.
I Corinthians 10:2
“And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.”
They weren’t baptized in water – they came across on dry land. So what kind of a baptism was it? They were engulfed, and inundated in the leadership of Moses and in the power and protection of that cloud. So baptism in Scripture doesn’t always refer to water baptism. Then we pointed out in the last lesson there was a change of operations when you get to Paul and the Age of Grace. Now in the Age of Grace, it’s not Jesus who does the baptizing but the Holy Spirit Who is the One doing the baptizing. And He baptizes believers into Christ. It’s just a complete reversal to what had been taking place. Remember back in the Four Gospels and Acts it was Jesus that baptized the Jews into the Holy Spirit. Now verse 6, and remember we are on the Mount of Olives, with just Jesus and the eleven. They haven’t chosen a replacement for Judas as of yet.
“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, `Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?'”
I emphasize good reading. I guess I learned to read well from a junior high reading teacher, and a good high school english teacher, and now I’m glad I did. We run into so much confusion in the Scriptures because people don’t read. They just will not see what the Scriptures say. We gloss over it, and interpret it by what we may have heard over the years, but we really don’t take time to read what it says. And here is a good example. There are two words in here that make all the difference in the world in this one verse. It’s the two words“restore again.” Now what does that tell you? We are talking about something that has been in the past aren’t we? So when the disciples asked Jesus, “Are you now going to restore, bring back on the scene again for the second time the Kingdom to Israel?” Now when did Israel have a Kingdom that they were proud of and they gloried in? King David’s and Solomon’s. The Queen of Sheba came and saw the glories of Solomon’s Kingdom and what did she say? As much as she had heard wasn’t the half of what she had now seen. So it was this glorious Kingdom that Israel was remembering. I can’t help but think of a verse that Jesus spoke in the Book of Luke 11:31 “…for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.” And He was speaking of Himself.
Many people just can’t accept this Kingdom aspect, and ridicule it through ignorance. They won’t accept this idea of an earthly Kingdom, yet The Book is full of this terminology. It’s the very fact of Scripture that this Kingdom concept, that had its beginning with the Nation of Israel under the Abrahamic Covenant with David and Solomon, reached its pinnacle of glory such as the world had never seen up to that time, then faded off the scene. Now the disciples use those two words so appropriately, “Lord wilt thou at this time restore again the Kingdom.” Was the Kingdom of David and Solomon an ethereal spiritualized Kingdom or was it real? It was a real, political Kingdom. It was Kingdom here on earth under the authority of a King. And they are still talking about the same kind of set up, only this time they know that Christ will be The King. They knew they were going to have it, but they didn’t know when.
Let’s recall this whole idea of a coming Kingdom, as it is just part and parcel of the Old Testament. And as you read your Old Testament, I’m sure you will see this constantly coming to the top. I’ll hit the most evident and most descriptive of this Kingdom concept that God is constantly holding before the Nation of Israel. So let’s turn to II Samuel Chapter 7. God is dealing here with David. This goes further back to the Abrahamic Covenant, when God had promised that out of him would come a nation of people, and one day He would put them in the geographical area of Palestine or the Land of Israel. And then at the appropriate time He would bring forth the Ruler or government to be over this Kingdom. In this passage God is speaking to David through the prophet Nathan.
II Samuel 7:13-16
“He (Solomon) shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. “ It was just going to be 40 years as was normal, but this Kingdom was going to be forever. This is going to be a perpetual Kingdom.
“I will be his father, and he shall be my son (here God isn’t just talking about Solomon but also the Nation of Israel). If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men (I’ll use other nations), and with the stripes of the children of men:” And that is what God has done through history.
“But (in spite of all that) my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.” Verse 16, and this is looking down through the corridors of time:
“And thine house (the house of David) and thy kingdom (the Kingdom that began with David) shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.”
We know David and Solomon didn’t live forever. But the forever end of it refers to when The Messiah, The eternal Son of God would come and be The King over this Kingdom. Look at the Book of Isaiah. Isaiah speaks so much of the coming glory of Israel. Yes he has to scold them. He preaches at them for their iniquities, but he always comes back with the prospect of their glorious future.
“THE word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days,…”
Always remember that the last days for Israel are not the last days for the Church. The last days for Israel is when The King comes and sets up the Kingdom. They will have finally come to the fulfillment of all these previous times. The last days for the Church is that Age of Grace from the time of Christ’s death, burial, and Resurrection until the Church is caught up to meet The Lord in the air as we see in I Thessalonians 4:13-18. They are not even close to being identical. So the last days here refers to Israel’s Kingdom.
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain (or Kingdom) of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains (remember the term mountain or mountains when used symbolically refers to a Kingdom. And this will be the top Kingdom of all kingdoms), and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.”
“And many people (from around the planet) shall go and say, `Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain (Kingdom) of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem (notice it doesn’t say heaven). And he shall judge (rule)among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.'”
During this Kingdom Age there won’t be war anymore. We are trying to show Old Testament prophecies are looking forward to this coming Kingdom, so the disciples are asking Jesus on the Mount of Olives, “Are you now ready to restore the Kingdom; will we see again the glory we had under King Solomon?” Isaiah Chapter 9:
“For unto us (Israel) a child is born (Christ), unto us a son is given: and the (what?) government shall be upon his shoulder (during this earthly Kingdom. He will have a righteous and benevolent rule. Today they are trying to shove world government down our throats, and it’s coming whether we want it or not. But if it’s any comfort, the world must have that before we can have this glorious Kingdom): and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Those are all titles of Christ, The Messiah.
“Of the increase of his government (rule) and peace there shall be no end (and where is He going to rule from?), upon the throne of David (and where is David’s throne? In Jerusalem, upon the earth), and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment (rule) and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
This Kingdom in the Old Testament is forever and ever, but when we get to the Book of Revelation it’s restricted to a thousand years. Why the difference? Well, when this Kingdom is set up after the Tribulation the first thousand years will be a time of testing for the off-spring of the believing survivors of the Tribulation. Satan will have been locked up for this thousand years but he is released for a little season to test this new population. They have not had to make a choice like you and I had to make, because Christ will be The King, and everything has been wonderful. Just like it was in the Garden of Eden. So Satan goes forth and deceives this new generation, and Satan and the ones that follow him are judged by Christ. This first thousand years will only be an introduction to eternity. Let’s move to Ezekiel 37. This is about the “dry bones.” And it’s about the Nation of Israel who has been out in dispersion among the Gentile nations, with no hope. They can only dream of some day going back to Jerusalem and one day having their homeland. Ezekiel prophesies that one day these dry bones will be brought back to life as we have seen in our own time. So let’s look verse 15:
“The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, `Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:'” He is referring to the Nation of Israel when it was divided. The Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom. Verse 19. When they say, “What does all this mean?”
“Say unto them, thus saith The Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.'” They will no longer be a divided Kingdom. Verse 21:
“And say unto them, `Thus saith The Lord GOD; `Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen (Gentiles), whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and (how many?) one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:'” Now verse 24:
“And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd:”
“Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.” What do these verses point toward? The King and the Kingdom.
Look at Daniel for a moment. In Chapter 2 King Nebuchadnezzar has the dream that Daniel interprets for him (about four great Gentile empires that were going to rule the earth). Then Daniel tells us in verse 35 about Christ Who will come and destroy these empires, and His Kingdom will fill the whole earth. Verse 44:
“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, 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 forever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone (Christ in His Second Coming) was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass.” Now to Hosea, where Christ is speaking through the prophet:
I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence (having crucified Him), and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.” The nation is beginning to long for their Messiah even as we speak. They don’t realize He’s been here and has left. Chapter 6 shows that’s what has happened.
“COME, and let us return unto the LORD (This is Israel speaking): for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten (He has been punishing them), and he will bind us up.”
“After two days (two thousand years, as in Scripture a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day) will he revive us (it’s been two thousand years and that’s just what He’s doing): in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.”
We’re getting so close for all this to come to pass. We’ve seen Israel being revived for about 50 years now and it won’t be long before she will be raised up. Go to Zechariah Chapter 14. At the beginning of the chapter we have the description of the Tribulation.
“And the LORD shall be king over all the (what?) earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.” And a King can’t be a King unless He has a Kingdom.