Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 1 * BOOK 35
DOCTRINE IN RIGHTEOUSNESS
Before we continue on with our verse by verse study, let’s do a quick review from Genesis through Revelation as the history unfolds.
Many people think history is a boring subject, but when you begin to look at history in the light of Biblical teaching, you’ll find it’s the most exciting subject on earth. History, you see, is simply God’s Sovereign control of the events in time. I’ve said so often one of the things that is hard to comprehend is God turned man loose with a free will – he is not just a puppet on a string. And yet, in spite of that free will, here we are nearly 6000 years after it all began with man, and here we are right on God’s timetable. His timetable is not off 1 month, and this is one of the miracles of Biblical history.
Now I’m going to go to the timeline. For so long chronologers assumed that Christ was born at what we call 0, and that in 4000 BC Adam was created. Then, thanks to archeology, some years ago they put together the fact that because of King Herod’s rule and reign and death, that Christ had to have been born at 4 BC according to our now Gregorian calendar. So, if Adam was created 4004 BC instead of 4000 and Christ was born 4 BC, then that puts Christ crucifixion at 29 AD instead of 33 AD. I know a lot of people wonder, “Well, why do you put His crucifixion at 29 AD? I always thought He was crucified at 33? Well He was but I’m going with the newer findings that Christ was born at 4 BC instead of 0.
Now that brings up another thing which amazes me and that is how many will call or write and ask, “What does AD stand for?” I had a lady call and say, “I asked my pastor, and he didn’t know. I asked everybody in my Church, and nobody could tell me what AD stood for. Some said after death, but that doesn’t figure.” And it doesn’t because AD goes back to 0 according to the Gregorian calendar. So I’m also going to put that on the board for the sake of so many. AD comes from the two Latin words Anno Domini. And of course from Anno we get our word Annual, and Domini means Master or Lord. So then AD stands for the year of our Lord. And everything before His birth is referred to as BC. And everything on this side of His birth we refer to as the year of our Lord or AD.
Now thanks to the powers that be and archeology etc., they’ve got to get Christ out of the picture one way or another so they’ve changed these nomenclatures from BC (Before Christ) to BCE (Before Common Era.) And AD (year of our Lord) is now referred to as CE or (Common Era.) Now where they get all of this I don’t know, but this is what they are now doing. I told one of our guides in Israel one time, “You know, it’s amazing what people will do just to push God out of the picture.” Now that’s all they’re trying to do when they change things like this. There’s no other reason. Instead of recognizing our calendars are based on Christ’s birth they’ve pushed that out of men’s thinking and changed it to something that means nothing – “common era.” But I guess it’s the best thing they could come up with – I guess that still has a reference to the letter C. So be aware of these things. Our normal approach to these things will still be BC and AD.
Now getting back to the timeline, we find Adam was created way back in 4004 BC. Adam’s race and that whole generation up to the flood covered a period of approximately 1600 years. I always tell people that this is all in round figures. So that means at about 2400 BC the flood took place. I think it’s worthy of mention that this first 1600 years of mankind is recorded in the first 11 chapters of Genesis. Just the first 11 chapters of Genesis cover that 1600- year period of time from the creation of Adam until that whole Generation was destroyed by Noah’s flood.
Then the time of Noah’s flood to the next event in Biblical history, which was the Tower of Babel, and that is only 200 years after the flood, or 2200 years BC. And at the Tower of Babel the nations made their appearance and God separated them by virtue of the confusion of languages and so forth. Then another 200 years of time goes by, and as a result of the false and pagan religions and idolatry that came about at the Tower of Babel.
God now has to do something totally different at approximately 2000 BC, and He lets this whole human race coming from Adam, just flow on like a river; and out of that river of humanity we have the call of one man that we call Abraham. As a result we have the appearance of the Nation of Israel, the Jew. That covers everything then from Genesis chapter 12 until we go into the Book of Acts chapter 8. God at that time is dealing with Jew only with a few exceptions. So everything from Genesis chapter 12 and the Abrahamic Covenant to Acts chapter 8 is dealing with the Nation of Israel, giving them the Law and the Temple, with the idea that one day God would funnel them back in that filthy, ungodly river of humanity, and bring them a knowledge of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Now that was the noble plan of God and His Sovereignty. Of course we know that it didn’t work because Israel didn’t believe it, but at least God offered it to the Nation of Israel.
Now on our timeline then we go from 2000 BC (from the call of Abraham) to 1500 BC and we have Moses – and Moses gives Israel the Law. Then, 1000 BC brings about the appearance of King David, and Solomon, his son. Solomon builds the first Temple, and that is all within a few years of 1000 BC. Then we can go all the way to the birth of Christ at 4 BC and then we have the Cross of Christ and that took place at 29 AD.
King David and Solomon and his glorious Temple that he built were only on the scene about 350 to 400 years. Now in our reckoning of time that’s a long time, but over a time span of 2000 years that’s not very long. Now Solomon’s Temple, or the first Temple, was a glorious one. It was so beautiful, and it took about 40 years to construct. It was one of the wonders of the ancient world, yet it only stood about 360 years. Then the next real important thing on our timeline is at about 606 BC in history or about 400 years after the Temple was built. Nebucchadnezzar comes into Jerusalem and the Babylonian Empire destroys the Temple and Jerusalem, and Israel goes into captivity, and you know about the Babylonian captivity.
Now the reason I like to bring out the Babylonian captivity is again, it points out a fact of history that most people totally overlook, and that is common to the activities of those conquering empires, they literally emptied the land of Israel of most of the Jews. They took them East to Babylon, and then 70 years later the next empire, the Medes and Persians under King Cyrus gave them a decree that the Jews were now free to go back to their homeland in Jerusalem, and they also had the permission to rebuild their Temple. Now here’s where a part of history comes in that you’ll pick up when we get into the New Testament. Most of the Jews that were out there in Babylonian as a result of the captivity did not go back to Palestine and Jerusalem. Only 44,000 went back out of several million. What happened to the rest of them? Well they got comfortable out there in the Gentile world and became astute at banking and business, and so as a result those Jews began to migrate to every corner of the then-known world. Now why am I making a point of that? Now turn in your Bible if you will to Acts chapter 2. Now if you don’t know history then this don’t make much sense, but if you realize that the Jews from 606 BC had now been migrating all over the then known world. Any place where there was a city of any population of note, Jews established businesses, and synagogues and what have you. Now you see that makes sense then when you read Acts chapter 2 as you come down to verse 5.
“And there were (for this feast at Pentecost) dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, (it doesn’t say Jews and Gentiles) devout men, (keepers of the Law and Temple worship) out of every nation under heaven.”
Well how did they get into every nation under Heaven? Because when they were taken out to Babylon in 606 BC instead of going back to Jerusalem when they were free to do so, they scattered throughout the then known world. Now the other thing I like to point out on this same basis is a little later on in the Book of Acts we come to the apostle Paul who begins his missionary journeys first through out Asia Minor then over to Greece and finally to Rome. And every place the apostle goes what does he find? Jews and synagogues. Now they’ve been out there several hundred years because those Jews in the Babylonian captivity never chose to go back to the land of Israel. Now do you see how history has to be understood? Otherwise this verse in Acts wouldn’t make sense when we read that they were from every nation under Heaven.
Then another important reason I use 606 BC is because Jesus spoke of it as the beginning of the time of the Gentiles. And what He meant by that was from that point in time when the Temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 606 BC all the way up until we have the 2d coming of Christ, Jerusalem, for the most part, has been under the heavy boot of Gentile armies. Since Nebuchadnezzar’sg overthrow of Jerusalem the Nation of Israel has been under one Gentile power after another. Now, lately we feel that they are more or less a sovereign state, but if you know anything about the land of Israel they are anything but. They are still under the heavy hand of the UN and the United States government and they’re not as free as we’d like to think they are. Now when the anti-Christ comes in and sets up his rule and reign from the Temple during the Tribulation, then they will surely be back under the boot of the Gentile armies.
Now back to our timeline. We have in about 400 BC, the restored Temple built by Ezra and Nehemiah. And that was the Temple that was in Jerusalem when Jesus makes His appearance at His first coming. It was a restored Temple and remember Ezra and Nehemiah had limited resources so they couldn’t make a beautiful Temple like Solomon had built. Then old King Herod (who wasn’t even a believer, but he loved to build) took it upon himself to make the Temple on Mount Moriah, once again, a wonder of the ancient world. So when Christ began His earthly ministry the Temple was once again simply beautiful. That Temple then in turn was destroyed in 70 AD by the Roman general Titus, and at that time the Jews were once again sent out into a complete dispersion. A few stayed in Jerusalem and the areas of Israel, but for the most part the Jews were once again sent out into every nation under Heaven. That all took place in 70 AD.
Shortly before that and after the original day of Pentecost when Israel was no longer going to believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ, God sent them back into the mainstream of humanity, not now to be the evangelist, but simply to be that wondering Jew, that nation of people who was steeped in spiritual blindness, and unbelief. Now God is going to do something totally different and on our timeline I usually mark it like this (Church Age) It’s the out-calling of the Body of Christ which we call the Church Age. Now that is only a Pauline revelation so that is going to prepare the world then for the next event on God’s calendar and our timeline which is the Rapture or the out calling of the Church, which is His Body.
Now since this is all a Pauline revelation and has nothing to do with Old Testament prophecy, it has nothing to do with Christ and His earthly ministry and the Nation of Israel, so consequently I feel it has to be taken out of the way before God can pick up with the Nation of Israel and bring about that final seven years of the Tribulation and the appearance of the Anti-christ. Now, hopefully my timeline will make some sense, especially if you’ll just put it down on paper yourself. I wish people could just get to the place where they can sit down with a sheet of paper, draw a line across it and then just begin to unfold all these historical events. This is the easiest way to witness that I can possibly think of.
Folks have got to understand that all of these things lead up to the crucifixion of Christ. And through the crucifixion of Christ, Israel continued to reject that He was the promised one so God raised up that other apostle, the Apostle Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles whom we will be looking at in our next lesson as we begin our study in Ephesians. So Paul becomes the apostle to the Gentiles, he becomes the spokesman for God now during this age of Grace, the Church Age. This is where so many people are missing it, they simply don’t know how to rightly divide the Word of God as Paul instructed us to do. Most think that the Word is divided with the beginning of the New Testament, but if you read carefully you will find that everything from Genesis chapter 12 to the conversion of Saul of Tarsus in Acts chapter 9 is God primarily dealing with the Nation of Israel, which is completely separate from the Church, and all you have to do is look at the language in the Four Gospels and the first 8 chapters of Acts. Don’t try to fit something in the Scriptures that God didn’t fit in. It’s so obvious that God was only dealing with the Nation of Israel until we get to Paul.
Nothing gets my hackles up more than when someone calls or writes and says, “I’m not going to go by what Paul says, but rather I’m going to go by what Jesus says because what Jesus says is in the Bible, and if the Bible says it then I believe it.” Well I’ve gotten to the place when I get a response like that, that I say, “Well, OK so you’re going to do what the Bible says? If that’s the case then turn with me to the Book of Leviticus chapter 5, and then you’re still going to sit there and tell me you’re going to do what the Bible says?” See this is where it gets ridiculous, and this is just one example. I could stand here all afternoon and give you example after example. You can’t do what the Bible says all the time because not everything the Bible says is for us. Most of it is really written to the Nation of Israel. What the Bible says for us, you’d better confine yourself from Romans to Hebrews. In fact even Hebrews is written primarily to Jews. So let’s just look at Leviticus chapter 5.
“Or if a soul (or person) touch any unclean thing, whether it be a carcass of an unclean beast, or a carcass of unclean cattle, or the carcass of unclean creeping things, and if it be hidden from him: he also shall be unclean, and guilty.”
You might say you’ll never touch a dead cow. Hey this is touching anything that is dead. You might be out mowing your lawn, and you see a dead bird – you’re going to move it out of the way to the trash can and therefore you’ve touched something dead. Let’s read on, and the only way a person can overcome that situation is in verse 6.
“And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.”
Now how many people are going to do that? If they have a brain in their head, then nobody will, for this isn’t for us today. This is Israel under the Law. My goodness if I had to go to the Temple in Jerusalem every time I touched a dead animal I’d be spending most of my time on overseas flights. But we don’t. We’re not under that kind of Law. And this is just one example. Over and over the Old Testament gives instructions that don’t apply to us, and it would be ridiculous if you tried to keep all of this. But the Bible says it, of course it does, but it said it to Israel under the Law. A good one in the New Testament is during Jesus’ ministry that doesn’t apply to us and the Church Age is found in Mark chapter 16. Remember this was written to the Nation of Israel under the Law. Matthew 15:24 & Romans 15:8 tell us that Jesus came only to the Nation of Israel. God hadn’t forgotten about the Gentiles, but it just wasn’t time for the apostle Paul to come on the scene for us. God is an orderly God and never mixed Law and Grace.
“And he (Jesus) said unto them, Go ye (the believing Jew) into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (remember the Gospel we believe for salvation had not been revealed to Paul at this time. Paul doesn’t come on the scene for several more years with the Gospel of Grace as we find in I Corinthians 15:1-4) 16. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues: 18. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly things, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
So here is where it becomes so appropriate to recognize that the apostle Paul is the Gentile apostle. The apostle Paul writes that which pertains to us as Gentiles in the Church Age, and all we can do with our Old Testament is use it for building blocks of learning. This is what the apostle Paul tells us in another verse on that same line. Come back to Romans chapter 15:4.
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime (in the Old Testament) were written for our learning, (not for our doctrine, but rather for our learning) that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
Now getting back to our timeline, we find that after the Church is gone (and we feel we’re getting very close to that time), since the Church is completely insulated from everything written to the Nation of Israel under prophecy we feel it has to be taken out, and then the next great event in human history will be the appearance of the anti-Christ, the seven years of Tribulation (and don’t forget that’s exactly according to God’s timetable coming all the way from the Book of Daniel). And then at the end of the seven years of Tribulation, Christ will return at His 2nd coming and then as soon as He sets up His Kingdom there with His capital in Jerusalem, we enter into that 1000-year millennial reign of Christ, and when that ends we’ll go into eternity. Now that is basically the whole scheme of everything from Genesis to Revelation. And when you’ve got that understood then you have the battle 3/4 won.