Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 29
RESURRECTED INTO THE KINGDOM
Now in the last several lessons we have been talking about Christ and the firstfruits, as He was the first to be resurrected, and also those that came out of the graves after His resurrection in Matthew 27. And then we looked quite in-depth at the resurrection of the Body of Christ, the Church Age believers. How they will be separated from the rest of the believers, and we still have one group left that we didn’t squeeze into our last four lessons, and that would be the resurrection of the Old Testament believers. The best place to pick that up will be back in the Book of Daniel. Before we go to Daniel let’s read again this verse in I Corinthians 15 that we’ve been using as a jumping off place for the resurrection of the believers of all the ages.
I Corinthians 15:23
“But every man (that is every believer) in his own order: (or his own group or company, and here’s it’s reviewed again) Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”
Now here again the Scripture does not enumerate right here for us, but instead sends us back to other references to dig out where the various groups of believers come into play when it comes to resurrection. In our last lesson we looked at how Paul lays it out in the latter part of I Corinthians Chapter 15, and then going on into I and II Thessalonians how that the Church Age believers will be caught up to meet The Lord in the air. However, we did not have time to pick up the Old Testament believer, so in this lesson we’re going to go all the way back to Daniel Chapter 12. Now in other remarks that I’ve made concerning the resurrection, the Old Testament certainly alludes to it, and the Old Testament saints certainly were believers in a resurrection, but there’s nothing said about it in the Old Testament to build any real knowledge concerning it. Daniel Chapter 12 probably says the most of anything, although we’ve looked at Job’s reference to the resurrection life, and we certainly know that David expected to be resurrected, but Daniel Chapter 12 lays it out as clearly as any place, and we might as well start at verse 1.
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: (the Nation of Israel) and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: (that’s a reference to the Tribulation) and at that time thy people (the Nation of Israel) shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.”
So there we have the delineation that the unbelievers are not going to be resurrected at the same time as the believers. Now we pointed this out several lessons back that when Jesus spoke of resurrection in John Chapter 5 He did not divide them either. He just said that at the last day there would be a resurrection of the just and the unjust, but He does not put a time-frame around either one. Now verse 2.
“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”
Again that brings the two resurrections seemingly into the same event, but we know from other Scriptures that they are not. So we’re going to have the resurrection of the believing Old Testament saints that will be totally separate from the resurrection of the unbelievers which we will pick up later. Now verse 3:
” And they that be wise…”
Wise in faith, and you know I have to enlighten folk that regardless where it was in human history, whether it was Adam and Eve or whether it was Noah, Abraham, Moses, or David, they were all recipients of eternal life by virtue of faith. I can’t emphasize that enough, because it has to be by faith. Iris and I have heard whole sermons on Salvation and not once heard the word faith mentioned. I don’t see how they can do that. You must incorporate faith into our salvation experience, because it’s all of faith. The Book of Hebrews said:
“But without faith it is impossible to please him:…”
Then how in the world can they preach salvation and never use the word. Well, it’s beyond me, but here again we have to understand that these Old Testament believers were in their position as saved people, as we would call it today, by virtue of their faith. Now reading verse 3 again in Daniel 12:
“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”
Now here in verse 4 The Lord comes right down and deals with Daniel in particular.
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, (this Book of Daniel) even to the time of the end: (in other words Daniel is a Book of prophecy that was just so much gobbledy-gook, if I may put it that way, to most of the scholars and theologians down through history, because it contains so much end-time scenarios that they couldn’t comprehend it. So it was a closed Book, but here Daniel is told that it would be opened up at the time of the end, and we are certainly witnessing that today, and) many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. (in the end time.)
And of course there are various connotations to that. And when it says, “knowledge shall be increased,” I’m going to take that word to mean not just secular knowledge and the explosion of technology, which of course is pertinent to the end time. In a recent trip to Ohio and Indiana, Iris and I had a lovely time with a young couple out there, and he is involved with one of the larger banks and its computerization. My, what a thrilling time we had as he explained how all this amazing exploding technology is just bringing the whole world so rapidly to the scenario of the end-time. We know that all of the prophecies of this Book could never be fulfilled without the technology that is exploding, it just couldn’t happen. So it’s necessary, and yet it’s the very thing that tells us that the end is near. Not only are we seeing secular knowledge, but we’re also seeing a greater understanding of the Scripture in these last days than what men were able to do before, because as I’ve always taught, “God is the keeper of secrets.” And I’ve used the verse Deuteronomy 29:29 over and over.
“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God:…”
And this is so true that God has kept things secret but is now revealing them as we approach the end of the age. So knowledge is not just limited to the secular world, but also into the area of the spiritual, and the understanding of God’s Word. Now verse 5.
“Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. and one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, `How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?’ And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be (and here comes the Tribulation in a little different language) a time, (one year) times, (two years) and an half; (half a year, or a total of 3 1/2 years) and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.”
Well, that’s right in accord with all the rest of our Old Testament prophecy, as well as what Paul writes in the Book of II Thessalonians; and what John reveals in the Book of Revelation. It all speaks of these final 7 years when the Nation of Israel will come to the place where God is dealing with them again on the basis of His Covenant promises. Now verse 8, and I think this is such an appropriate verse for us to understand today. Daniel wrote and he looked at what he had written:
“And I heard, but I understood not:…”
Let me give you a comparison in the New Testament, so come back with me to the Book of Luke Chapter 18. I just happened to think of this. I think people are beginning to catch on to my style of teaching. I do not go by a particular format, or lesson plan, but rather when something comes to mind I’m going to go look at it. And as we will see here in Luke, it happens throughout Scripture in God’s dealing, how He keeps things secret even though we can’t understand. We say how could it have been kept secret? God is Sovereign, and He has a way of closing minds and ears that we know nothing of. Now remember this is the setting at the end of the three years of Christ’s earthly ministry, and they are about to go to Jerusalem for the final days before His crucifixion. Now let’s look at this carefully and compare it with what we just saw in the Book of Daniel.
“Then he (Jesus) took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, `Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on. And they shall scourge him and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.’ (do you suppose The Lord said that when the Twelve were sleeping? Why, no. They heard Him, they were listening intently, but look what the next verse says.)And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”
Now for goodness sake Who hid it? God did. It wasn’t time for them to know. Have you ever stopped to think what the account would have been in the Four Gospels if the Twelve would have known all this? It would have completely upset the apple cart, because then you see it would have to be recorded that the eleven, and Mary, and the rest of them were sitting outside the tomb waiting for the resurrection. Because they had all understood just exactly what was taking place. But they didn’t. They weren’t waiting at the tomb, you know that. When they were told that He was alive they couldn’t believe it. When you go into John’s Gospel Chapter 20, and Peter and John raced to the empty tomb, and when they saw the proof of resurrection, it says:
“Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” Well you see that’s God prerogative. He can hold things secret, and He did it with Daniel as well as He did with the Twelve. Now back to Daniel Chapter 12 again. Now verse 8 & 9.
“And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, `O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?’ And he said, `Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.'” God is not going to reveal these prophetic truths until the end-time, and He’s ready for men to begin to put it all together. Verse 10.
“Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly:…”
We’re seeing that today. I read a lot even from the secular world, and I was a reading a speech a gentlemen made from Georgetown university in Washington. He was decrying the fact that our whole society is falling apart because of the break-down of the family, and he was trying to put out some positive indications that we have sort of turned the corner. Let’s hope so. But we’ve seen during the past 20-30 years the complete destruction of the fabric of our society Absolute disregard for absolutes. A recent poll indicates that 60% of American thinks that there are no absolutes. Well no wonder we’re in trouble. And this is what the prophecy said:
“…but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”
Oklahoma is right here in the Bible belt (where most people go to Church at least once in a while) – but you bring up the fact that we’re in the end-time, and even most of these people look at you with a blank look. They don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s so sad that people don’t comprehend how close we are to the end-time. Now I’m not saying in 48 hours or anything like that, but in the relative term of the last 6000 years we are certainly within the last moments of the age whether it’s a few years or whatever. But we can understand because we know the Scripture. But now look at verses 11, 12, and 13. This is the crux of the whole things so far as I Corinthians Chapter 15 is concerned.
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, (and remember that happens at the mid-point of the Tribulation at the end of that first 3 1/2 years when the Anti-christ will go into the Temple and defile, and turn on the Nation of Israel like they’ve never been persecuted before) and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. (1290 days)
Now here you have to be a little bit of a student of Scripture to realize that all of sudden you have a different number here. We’re used to 1260 days as the length of each half of the Tribulation period. 7 years times 360 days a year = 2520 days, but we split that in half and then each half becomes 1260 days or 42 months. But here in verse 11 we have an extra 30 days thrown in. Is that a mistake? Well of course not. God knows what He’s doing. Now looking at verse 12.
“Blessed is he that waiteth…”
Now if you understand Daniel, and after reading about all this, and he gets the picture of the Great resurrection of the Just (or the believers), what would they be prone to be? Impatient. Let’s hurry up. You know I’m getting that way myself. When I see the world falling apart, and see the things that are implicating some horrible days ahead for the planet, I get in a hurry for The Lord to come quickly. But Daniel is told to be patient and wait. Now reading on:
“Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.”
Now what do we have? We’ve got an extra 75 days added to the end of the Tribulation. But here’s the secret in verse 13: Why would God reveal to Daniel that there would be an extra 75 days after He returns and sets up His Kingdom on the earth? Well here it is:
“But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, (that is in his deceased state) and stand in thy lot (Paul uses the word company) at the end of the days.”
But here we have the same connotation that within this particular group of believers that are separated from all the rest, these are the Old Testament saints. Daniel and his fellow believers of the Old Testament economy, you will, “stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” Well what days? The extra 75 days beyond the Tribulation.
Well, now what’s the picture? After the Church has been Raptured, and that company of believers (you and I) are in the presence of The Lord in our resurrected state, next is the horrors of the seven years of Tribulation. During the Tribulation there’s going to be multitudes of people that are going to believe and be martyred. That will be Jew and many, many Gentiles. Remember they are not members of the Body of Christ – the Church. They’re going to be in the Kingdom, but are not going to be included in the Body, as that was complete when the Church was taken out of the way at the Rapture. So in my own thinking they will have to be put back with Old Testament believers because the Tribulation period is the time of God dealing with the Nation of Israel. The Temple will be operating and it’s primarily a Jewish period of time. So therefore I’m going to put the whole lot of the Tribulation believers, and the Old Testament believers into this particular time of resurrection of this group of Just people. Now then this completes the resurrection of all the believers of the age.
Now we’re ready for the Kingdom, but since this resurrection of the Old Testament saints is 75 days into the Kingdom there has to be a reason, and I hope I have time to explain it. Come back with me in Daniel to Chapter 2, and this is my explanation for this extra 75 days. Now for God a lot can happen in 75 days That’s a long time for Him to operate. In this chapter we have the recovery of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream concerning all the great empires of the world, and how they are pictured in that great image. Remember the head of gold, and the chest of silver, belly of brass, legs of iron, and the feet of iron and clay mixture. These are all pictures of the Gentile empires coming down through history. All right when The Lord returns then at the Second Coming, the end of the Tribulation, He will strike that image, that representative of all the empires. The empire that is then functioning will be the empire of iron and clay, or the revived Roman empire, and He will crush every thing that smacks of Gentile rule. Then after He has returned and has crushed the residue of all these Gentiles, the armies of the Anti-christ at Armageddon, and has totally destroyed the planet, I think every city on the planet is going to fall in a matter of hours. Then verse 35:
“Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; (remember chaff is light and like a feather the wind can just blow away. So the residue of these great Gentile empires will be literally blown away) and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone (the returning Christ) that smote the image became a great mountain, (His earthly Kingdom) and filled the whole earth.”
Before He resurrects the Old Testament believers of which the greatest part will be believers out of the Nation of Israel (and remember in this earthly Kingdom everything that has been promised to them will be fulfilled just like He said), He is going to use these 75 days to get everything ready for this Kingdom economy. This 75 days will be used to just cleanse the earth of all the residue, and it will be beautiful. I think by the time these 75 days have run their course the earth will once again revert back as it was in the Garden of Eden, and the curse will be lifted, and it’s just going to be beyond human comprehension. Now for just a moment let’s turn to Psalms 45 and drop down to verse 8 through 12. Here is a connotation of a wedding feast, and I feel the Bride of Christ is the Body of Christ, the Church, and we will be united in that formal marriage after we are caught up to be with Him in Heaven. But we can’t leave the Old Testament saints out of the picture completely, so they will come in, I think, as the wedding guests.
“All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad. Kings’ daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir. Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him. And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour. The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.” The King’s daughters are going to be there for the wedding feast.