Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 17
Acts 1:9. Remember, Jesus and the eleven are still on the Mount of Olives. They have been talking about things pertaining to the Kingdom. It’s a valid Kingdom they have been talking about; the same Kingdom we have seen all the way up through the Old Testament and the same Kingdom that is yet going to come back to the earth as soon as the Tribulation is over and Christ returns. Christ knows that Israel will reject all of this and that He would be turning to the Gentiles under a whole different program. But He kept that secret until the Apostle Paul came on the scene and revealed that only to him. Now verse 9:
“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld (they watched Him), he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” Now personally I think this cloud was a heavenly host, I don’t think it was cumulus cloud, but a heavenly host that ushered Him into glory. Now verse 10:
“And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;”
I like to point out that throughout Israel’s history, when the supernatural such as angelic appearances took place, were they all shook up? No. As these eleven men are standing on the Mount of Olives, suddenly Jesus is going up into the atmosphere without benefit of rocket power, and then two angels appear, but this doesn’t shake them up. If that happened today there’d be pandemonium. But it’s been common place for the disciples for the past three years.
“Which also said, `Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.'”
Now what does that mean? Just exactly what it says. You don’t spiritualize it, or allegorize it, you just simply say this is easy to comprehend. Here He was standing in His resurrected body. He had been fellowshipping and eating and talking with the eleven for forty days, and then all of a sudden He went up! He went up head first which means He’s going to come back feet first, bodily. Not in some ethereal form, or in a spiritualized realm of influence, but He is going to physically return to this planet. I know there are a lot of people that scoff at the thought of His Second Coming. But all of Scripture is full of it. In type as well as a literal sense. Now here it’s literal. He’s standing there, and talking with them – they have been touching Him. His body is for real, and now He’s taken up. Now we need to go back to the Old Testament and compare. So turn to the Book of Zechariah Chapter 14. This is prophecy and is directed to the Nation of Israel. Let’s begin with verse 1:
“BEHOLD, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.”
“For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle (and we can see the stage being set even today. All the Middle Eastern nations are building up their hardware by the billions. And the rest of the world is not far behind them. And what’s the purpose. They’re getting ready for when God will call them all to come to that end-time doom. The battle of Armageddon); and the city shall be taken (now listen, the Nation of Israel is going to go through some terrible, terrible days, especially in those last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation); and the houses rifled (no mercy), and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth in captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” Just when it looks like Satan is finally going to succeed in destroying the Nation of Israel, by virtue of these Gentile hordes:
“Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations (the word LORD in the Old Testament capitalized is Jehovah. We have shown over and over that Jesus claimed to be the I AM of the Old Testament. So the LORD here is the LORD Christ. He’s in heaven today, but He will return), as when he fought in the day of battle.” God fought Israel’s battle all through history.
“And his feet (that left the Mount of Olives in Acts 1:9 where the angels said He will come back the same way. You can’t spiritualize that) shall stand in that day (second coming) upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.” Now verse 8:
“And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem (in other words pure water); half of them toward the former sea (Mediterranean), and half of them toward the hinder sea (Dead Sea); in summer and in winter shall it be.”
It’s interesting that plans are being drawn up to build a canal from the Mediterranean to the Dead sea. It’s going to cost billions of dollars. But you see God is going to do it in a moment of time. At His Second Coming there will be a fresh water river running from Jerusalem to the Mediterranean, and from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea. All of this is going to happen just as He says it will.
“And the LORD shall be king over all the earth:…” And that will be in His Kingdom rule. We also need to look at Ezekiel Chapter 47. The prophet Ezekiel is getting a vision of this water way that will run out from the throne room in Jerusalem all the way again to the Dead Sea. Verse 8:
“Then said he unto me, `These waters issue out (from Jerusalem) toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the (Dead) sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed (nothing can live in the Dead sea). And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish (in the Dead sea), because these waters shall come thither (From Jerusalem): for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.'” Now verse 10:
“And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it (the Dead Sea) from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea (Mediterranean), exceeding many.” Could this happen to the Dead Sea through man’s technology? No! But it will happen when the Kingdom is set up at His Second Coming.
Now, the Second Coming. The Old Testament alludes to it by symbol, especially in the life of Moses and the life of Joseph. And we see that clearly in Acts Chapter 7, where Stephen is rehearsing the history of Israel and talking about the famine and Joseph in Egypt.
“Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance. But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first (the brethren). And at the second time Joseph was made know to his brethren; and Joseph’s kindred was made know unto Pharaoh.”
Why does Scripture bring in the “second time?” Well, the first time the brothers went down to see Joseph, he knew who they were, but they didn’t recognize him. And that is exactly what happened to Christ at His First Advent. He came unto His own, He knew who they were. But did they know who He was? No. But when He comes the second time, just like when the brothers went the second time down unto Egypt, Joseph revealed himself to them. And there was weeping for joy. Joseph had become their saviour. He had the grain that saved them from starvation. And so Israel will also recognize Christ at His Second Coming.
I said Moses was the other one. When Moses went out the first time and he saw the Egyptian misusing a Jew. Moses killed him and hid his body. And Moses had to flee. Stephen is going to rehearse this as well. Because Stephen is driving home the very point that Christ came to them the first time in His earthly ministry and they rejected Him. But now He is ready to come the second time if they will just believe that He is Who He says He is. Stephen doesn’t see 1900 + years into the future either. Christ had died which He had to do. He’d been raised from the dead, and ascended. Everything was set for Him to come back if Israel will just believe. So here’s the type with regard to Moses.
“And when he was full forty years old (Moses had been in Pharaoh’s house since a baby), it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian. For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.”
Moses’ position in Egypt was that of the second greatest man, so he thought he had the power and clout to lead the children of Israel out of bondage into freedom, and back to a relationship with their God. Moses at this time becomes a man of faith, but what didn’t he take into consideration? That Israel wouldn’t buy it.
“And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, `Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another?’ But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, `Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us?'”
Now are you getting the parallel? Jesus came unto His own, they could have accepted Him, they should have accepted Him, but what was their answer. “Who made you a ruler and judge over us?”
“Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian,…”
“This Moses whom they refused saying, `Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same (Moses) did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.'”
Now what’s the lesson? In both instances, it was the second time that things came to the full. And so also Israel will recognize their Messiah the second time and acclaim Him. Let’s come back to the Book of Matthew and look at this same concept of His Second Coming. This is Jesus speaking in His earthly ministry. This chapter is all Tribulation ground. This is the final seven years of prophecy:
“For as the lightning cometh out of the east (Tribulation storm already over), and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
That will be the Second Coming when He will stand on the Mount of Olives in Zechariah 14:4. In John 14, most people think that this is the Rapture of the Church, but it’s the Second Coming. John knows nothing of the Church Age or the Rapture of the Church, those were secrets that were only revealed to the Apostle Paul.
“LET not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again,…” Here The Lord is talking to the Nation of Israel and preparing them for His Second Coming.