Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 18
ACTS CHAPTER 5
God left us this Book to study and enjoy and hopefully you and I as ordinary believers can see what it really says. I think it was either William Tyndale or John Wycliffe, when being burned at the stake said that he wanted The Bible to be in the print and language of the common man so that every plowboy in England could have a copy of the Scriptures. Since God has seen fit to do that, it behooves us to study and read it on our own. In this first lesson I want to do a little review of the timeline (see page 6) to see more clearly how The Book lays out the whole program of God. We will start with the creation of Adam at 4004 B.C. That is the date usually ascribed to his creation, but not necessarily the planet. And then half-way in between Adam’s creation and the birth of Christ is the appearance of the man Abraham, at approximate 2000 B.C. And then from Abraham (about 400 years in round figures approximately 2400 B.C.) that brings us to the time of the flood. So from Adam to the flood is approximately 1600 years. Then about 200 years after the flood, when mankind is beginning to multiply abundantly, we find the Tower of Babel. Then 200 years later is the call of Abraham at approximately 2000 B.C.
From Adam to Abraham, God dealt with one race of people. In other words, all the things God had taught Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel were appropriate for that whole race of people for that first 2000 years. There was no organized system of worship, Temple or written Law. It was simply based on man’s conscience that if they knew they had sinned, they were to bring a blood sacrifice by faith, and if their faith was real, then it was their faith that saved them just like it’s our faith that saves us today. But we know that the human race completely fell apart until it got so wicked and rebellious that God had no remedy but to destroy it. With the advent of Noah and his three sons, Ham, Shem and Japheth, we can see God split the human race into three races. Those that will come out of Ham. Those that will come out of Shem and those out of Japheth. This was the beginning of the separation of the one race. However, they really did not scatter until they got to the Tower of Babel. Even at that time they were still of one speech. It wasn’t until God came in with the language confusion that they began to scatter into the prescribed areas of the planet. Then we find 200 years later out of the line of Shem comes this man Abraham at 2000 B.C.
To the man Abraham God promises what we are always referring to as the Abrahamic Covenant. And I’ve maintained down through the years that unless you understand the Abrahamic Covenant you will never understand The Bible or even the New Testament. Because when God called this man out of idolatry, his whole family was, as well as the whole human race was steeped in idolatry. I’ve had people ask me about Shem. The Bible is silent about Shem. A lot of those old Patriarchs probably for one reason or other lost their testimony. I know Noah did. After Noah built the vineyard and drank the wine and got drunk, you never hear another word about Noah. I don’t think he lost his Salvation, but he lost his testimony. The same thing may have happened to Shem. I don’t know. But other than that I’ve always felt comfortable teaching that after the Tower of Babel (until Abraham came along), every human being, with maybe an exception or two, had now succumbed to idolatry, and to pagan worship of the mythological gods and so forth.
So God tells Abraham, I’m going to make of you a nation. And this is what I always refer to as the three parts of the Abrahamic Covenant: “I’m going to make out of you a Nation of people. I’m going to put you into a geographical area of land.” Those two promises didn’t take all that long. And then the third part was, that someday down the road, “I will come Myself and be your King over a glorious Kingdom.” A Kingdom not up in Heaven, but on the earth. God called Abraham (usually when putting this on the black board I just pull that little nation out of the main river of humanity), because He is going to make the little nation a separate, special race of people, or as we have come to know them, the Jew. I always put it this way, “Jew only, with exceptions” God will make exceptions during this 2000 year period of time, but they are rare.
The rest of the masses of humanity will go on like the river, but out of this great river of humanity God pulls this little stream, the Nation of Israel. The whole object lesson was that He would use the Nation of Israel to penetrate the nations of the world, and bring them to a knowledge of their God. That was their opportunity and option, but we know now they rejected that. Turn to Psalms Chapter 2. With the beginning of the Abrahamic Covenant, we come back to Genesis 3:15 with the promise of the Seed of the woman. But the Seed of the woman would come through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Then out of Jacob’s twelve sons, the son of Judah. Out of Judah comes David and Solomon, then the other Branch of the tree brings us all the way up to Joseph and Mary.
When Israel has the opportunity of going to the Nations with the knowledge of their God, they reject Him and crucify Him. As we saw in the early Chapter of Acts, even though everything has been consummated for the Salvation of the whole human race, God continues to deal with the Jew. I probably fly in the face of most traditionalists, that He does not immediately go to the Gentiles, but for a few years continues to deal with the Nation of Israel in the early Chapters of Acts, until we are introduced to the Body of Christ, the Church. You only hear that phrase from Paul. You don’t see that terminology until that revelation is given to him. After his conversion on the road to Damascus, The Lord told Ananias:
Acts 9: 15
“But the Lord said unto him, `Go thy way, for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles,…'”
Now that’s the turning point in God’s dealing with the human race. He raised up that Jew, Paul, the thirteenth Apostle if you want to call him that, and He sends him specifically to the Gentiles. And then after the Church Age is completed and the Body of Christ is full, God has to take the Body out of the way so He can pick up again with the Jew in particular in those final seven years of the Tribulation. Next we have the Second Coming of Christ, and then we then have the thousand-year reign and rule of Christ in the Kingdom. Now this is the way we understand the whole seven thousand years of time that God has laid out prophetically, and a lot of it is already historical. In Psalms Chapter 2 let’s start reading at verse 1, and hopefully we can make a run through the Scriptures and show from the Old Testament perspective that this part about the Church Age was never mentioned. The rest is brought out so beautifully. As soon as Christ was crucified, a short period was to elapse, then the Tribulation was to come in, Christ was to return, and the Kingdom was then to be set up to the Nation of Israel.
“WHY do the heathen (Gentiles) rage, and the people (Jews) imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,”
In Acts, Peter’s constantly accusing the Nation of Israel for crucifying their Messiah. “You killed Him. You murdered Him” But the Scripture says both Jew and Gentile were guilty of the Crucifixion.
“Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”(-)
Now that was what the human race said concerning The Messiah. We will not have this man to rule over us. Away with Him, crucify Him So they cast off God’s reign from them. Now verse 4:
“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision.” That’s the result of the Crucifixion.
“Then (after they reject The Messiah, the offer of The King and the Kingdom) shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.” That’s the Tribulation. Do you see anything in between those two verses of the Church Age? It’s not in there. So the Psalmist continues on with the prophetic program. In verse 6, notice the next event. The Kingdom.
“Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.”
To get a grasp on what I’m teaching, turn to Luke Chapter 4:17. The setting is The Lord in His earthly ministry. He’s gone into the synagogue in His home town of Nazareth. He stands up to read:
“And there was delivered unto him the book (or Scroll) of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written (in other words, he looks for this particular portion of Scripture), `The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.’ And he closed the book, and gave it again to the minister, and sat down, And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, `This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.'” Isaiah 61:1 is identical to what Jesus read here in Luke.
“THE Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD (-), and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;”
In Luke there was a period at the end of the acceptable year of The Lord. But notice here it is a comma, so the verse goes right on to say the day of vengeance of our God. And according to Psalms Chapter 2 what was that? The wrath and vexation of the Tribulation. Do you see that? So this prophecy like Psalms Chapter 2 just flows right on through, and the last part of the verse says to comfort all that mourn. What’s that? The Kingdom age. So our Lord reading in Luke Chapter 4 knew the end from the beginning. He knew where to stop. He said this is fulfilled in your ears, the rest of it He knew wouldn’t be until later.
To show where these prophecies have been fulfilled, we will put a dash with parenthesis around it (-) indicating the rest is unfilled to date. This symbol (-) would be in verse 2 after the last `LORD.’ Look at Psalms Chapter 2 again, and stop after verse 3 to put the symbol (-) because that is as much as what happened. They rejected The Messiah, and crucified Him and then verse 5 hasn’t happened even yet. Go to Psalms 118 and we will do the same thing. The Old Testament will just continue on with the prophetic plan, but we know it’s been interrupted with the Church Age.
“The stone which the builders refused (-) (that happened at His Crucifixion. Who is the Stone of Scripture? Christ is. He was the Head of the corner, but what did they do with the Stone? They cast It aside, not knowing Who He was. So that’s all that was fulfilled, but what does the rest of the verse say?) is become the head stone of the corner.” That hasn’t happened yet so put your symbol (-) in the middle of the verse. Isaiah Chapter 9:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given (-), and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”
Only the first part has been fulfilled. The rest is still future, so put your break (-) after the word `given.’ Next is Isaiah 61:1 and we used that as our example. The next one will be Daniel Chapter 9:26. This is the Chapter on Daniel’s seventh week. Now verse 26 and the description of the coming of The Messiah:
“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off (His Crucifixion), but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary(-) (this happened in 70 A.D.) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he (the Anti-christ) shall confirm the covenant with many…” That hasn’t happened yet, so you can put your break in this verse right after the word `sanctuary.’ The next one is in Joel Chapter 2.
“And it shall come to pass afterward (after His rejection), that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:” Verse 29. “And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit (-).” Now verse 30. “And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.” Did verse 30 happen? No, but verse 28 and 29 did. Now Zechariah Chapter 9:
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having Salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass (-) (did that happen? Yes!).” Verse 10. “And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea (The Kingdom, and we know that’s not happened yet), and from the river even to the ends of the earth.” So the break goes between verses 9 and 10. The next one is in Luke Chapter 1:
“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS (-) (did it happen? You bet it did).” Verse32. “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:” Verse 32 still hasn’t happened, but it’s going to. So naturally the break on this one will be between 31 and 32. One more in Luke Chapter 21:
“And they (the Jew) shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations (that happened at the siege of Titus): and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (-). And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;”
I try to show by putting breaks in verses that this Old Testament program was suddenly interrupted with this Age of Grace we are now in, and the rest is still future.