Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 35
It’s our goal to get folks once again, or even for the first time, into reading and studying the Book, and hopefully understanding it to see what it says, and what it doesn’t say. Now let’s just get back into where we left off in the last lesson. This Book of Ephesians is profound. I mean it’s not just something that we’re going to gloss over to get rid of, but rather we’re going to take it verse by verse. Now I think it will take maybe this lesson and maybe the next one for verse 10. Most people will read this verse, and say, “Well how could you spend 60 minutes on this verse. Well the answer is easy! Before we start with verse 10 let’s back up a bit to pick up the flow.
“In whom (in Christ) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8. Wherein (Grace) he (Christ) hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9. Having made known unto us the mystery (or secret) of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself.”
Now remember I made the comment in the last lesson that everything begins and ends in and with God. Especially when we teach the covenants in the Old Testament, when God made that Covenant with Abraham in spite of all the weakness of the Nation of Israel, and the children of Abraham, did it break the Covenant? No, because you see it began with God and it’s going to end with God. And it’s the same way with all these promises of Scripture, they begin and end in God Himself. Now verse 10.
“That in the dispensation (or administration or that period of time) of the fulness of times…”
In other words, when human history will finally be brought to the full, when it will finally wound down, and we feel that’s it’s going to be 7000 years. We’ve already come 6000 years, so we know there’s a 1000 years left which no doubt will be this fullness of time we see in this verse which is still awaiting the human race. Now continuing on, and we’ve got to keep the thought here. Remember “having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself.” Remember God is Sovereign, and He can do it anyway He sees fit. God can keep things secret if He sees fit, and we saw that he did until He reveals many of these things to the apostle Paul. Now here is going to be the fruition of the whole program.
“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times (when it will all wind up) he (Christ) might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:”
Now most of you know where I’m going next already, especially with the line on the board. But before we go back to that I would like for you to turn ahead a few pages to the Book of Colossians chapter 2. I could just about go back to verse 1, but we haven’t got time for that so just drop in at verse 8.
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, (Wow! That hits a lot of people right in the face doesn’t it? Oh how many people hang onto tradition? Here we’re warned against it. Be careful, don’t hang on the tradition of men, and) after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (Why?) 9. For in him (Christ)dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”
All the Godhead is in Christ epitomized, and that’s what it says. He is up there in Heaven, not in some invisible mist like spirit world, but bodily! The same body that He left with at the Mount of Olives in Acts chapter 1, and ascended into glory. Now before we go back and take a run at our timeline again come back to Ephesians 1, because repetition is the only way these things finally soak in.
“…according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10. That in the dispensation of the fulness of times (when God is going to deal with the human race in a particular way, which we call the 1000 year reign of Christ) he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and on earth, even to him:”
Ok, Heaven and earth. Take your Bible and let’s go back to Genesis 1:1, and you’ll find way back here that we’re going to have the earth made ready for Adam and Eve. But even before we get to the Abrahamic Covenant of Genesis chapter 12 where it all of a sudden becomes a reality, in verse 1 of the Bible we have two spheres of God’s influence and what are they? Heaven and Earth. Now remember what you just read in Ephesians? The He might bring in one all things in Christ, both which are in Heaven and on Earth. Now you can’t ignore that. Now we’re going separate them, and then we’re going to see how they all come together. But here in Genesis 1:1 we find –
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
Now for sake of time let’s go all the way to chapter 12 where the flood is now history. The tower of Babel is history, and the whole human race is on the scene, and remember we’re not billions yet since we’re only about 400 years this side of the flood, but there’s still lots of people, probably a few million. But here we are at 2000 BC and we have the beginning of the Jewish nation or the call of Abraham. Now look at what it says.
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, (Abraham) `Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:'”
Now land means what it says, and it says what it means. Where is land? On the planet. Now we’re not talking about something up in Heaven, we’re talking about something on the planet earth. Now verse 2. God says to this one man –
“And I will make of thee a great nation, (and of course it’s the Nation of Israel) and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
Now hang onto that in your mind, and come all the way over to chapter 13, and let’s just drop in at verse 14.
“And the LORD said unto Abram, (Abraham) after that Lot was separated from him, `Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 15. For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever. 16. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. 17. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.'”
Now here’s my reason for doing all this. Is this a heavenly promise or an earthly promise? Well it’s earthly! All of this is earthly. You’re going to have a geographical area of land over there on the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, and I’m going to multiply you as the sand of the seashore (people). Now this is all earthly. Everything that God is going to continue to promise this man, in fact let’s just take a brief run at some of this. Come on up to Genesis 46, and by now several hundred years have elapsed. Abraham has come and gone. Isaac has come and gone. Jacob is now filling the scene with his 12 sons, and Joseph, one of his sons, is down in Egypt. Famine has hit Canaan and the rest of the world, but Joseph has the remedy because he piled up the grain in the good years. Now remember God has told Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to “stay in Canaan. Don’t you go down into Egypt, because you’ll get into trouble, and the family knew that. But now God does something different. How can God now tell them to go down in Egypt? Well because He’s a Sovereign God, and God can do whatever He wants to do. It’s now time for Jacob to do something that was anathema to him before. God says, “Go down into Egypt for I have a reason.” Now in verse 1.
“And Israel (Jacob) took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beer-sheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac. (Beer-sheba is down south of Jerusalem about 80 miles, and is almost due east of Goshen in Egypt where Israel would finally go into slavery) 2. And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob, And he said, Here am I. 3. And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt: for I will there (in Egypt) make of thee a great nation:”
Was that a heavenly promise or an earthly one? Earthly. There is nothing of heavenly here. This is an earthly people with earthly promises, and now Jacob is told to go on down into Egypt where his son Joseph is, because in God’s eternal purposes what’s going to happen? The Jews are going to have a population explosion, and they’re going to come out of Egypt some 215 years later with a population of 5-7 million people. And that number would be more numerous than any other nation in the Middle East. All right then, God’s purposes required that they had to go down into Egypt, they had to go into slavery, they had to be ready to come out when Moses led them out. It was all part of the divine purpose, but what I’m emphasizing is, it was all earthly. Remember that’s why we came here from Ephesians 1:10.
Now all the way up through the Old Testament we see that God never speaks of the Nation of Israel going to Heaven. When they die or the nation becomes a full participant in the Covenant promises, it’s always on the earth, and never lose sight of that. All the promises that God makes to the Nation of Israel are earthly promises. When you understand that then when Christ begins to minister to the Nation of Israel in Matthew it’s the same thing. Jesus doesn’t tell them to prepare for the glory land, they’re to prepare for what? This coming Kingdom of which their Messiah is going to be the King.
Let me take you all the way up to Daniel chapter 2. Let’s drop in at verse 35, and of course Daniel is interpreting the dream that King Nebuchadnezzar had, and this is part of the dream. The king sees this great image with the head of gold and the chest of silver, and the belly of brass, and the legs of iron and the feet and toes made of iron mixed with clay. This was a picture of all the great Gentile Empires that were in proximity with Israel. That’s why I do not feel that America herself is in prophecy. Remember all prophecy deals only with the nations of world that had something to do with Israel in the past, and America hasn’t. Now there may be a lot of Jews in America, but that doesn’t count for that.
But all the nations in the Old Testament historical setting that had proximity with Israel are in prophecy. So we have all these empires. First the great one was the Babylon, then came the Medes and Persians, then the Greeks, and finally the Romans. These were all in the area of Jerusalem and had to do with the Nation of Israel. Then lastly the ten toes of iron and clay, we feel are the revived Roman Empire which I think is western Europe as we see it coming to the forefront even today. Watch western Europe because it’s coming up, up and just be aware. European companies are buying up American companies, and we’re losing our clout, and they’re gaining. We know that the day will come when Western Europe will be the empire of the world. Now verse 35. So as this whole Gentile system then finally prepares for it’s demise, the Second Coming of Christ at the end of the Tribulation-
“Then was the iron, the clay,…”
This image was standing so Daniel is starting with the feet. It’s like a giant roller is going to come and smash it, and start rolling over its feet. This represents the coming of Christ, and He will destroy first the empire that is contemporary with that day which is the revived Roman empire. And then in this revived Romans empire are all the remains of the previous empires. Now if you know anything about history, you know that banking, and business, and money for usury began at Babylon. That’s why the Jews settled down so quickly in Babylon. Then came the Medes and Persians and many of their attributes are still with us today. Then the Greek culture is still very evident also, and the Romans were very careful not to destroy these cultures, and integrated them into their own empire. So much of Greek philosophy, architecture and literature are still with us. Now comes the Roman empire, and the primary thing that is still with us today that began with Rome was our whole system of courts and law. Rome was the first empire to declare a man innocent until he was proven guilty. See that’s why the apostle Paul appealed to Rome, because even Israel wouldn’t give him a fair trial. That’s when he told them, “Since you won’t give me a fair shake then I appeal to Caesar.” Paul knew that in Caesar’s court he would have as good a chance to be proven innocent, and then be released. That’s what you have in all those previous empires, but now look what happens when Christ comes –
“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; (totally annihilated) and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone (which is Christ at His Second Coming) that smote the image (and destroyed the world system) became a great mountain, (or Kingdom) and filled the whole earth.”
Notice it filled the whole earth. See how plain this is? Now let’s back up for a moment to the Book of Isaiah chapter 2, and verse 2. Remember this earthly aspect is all we’re talking about in the Ephesians 1:10 when all things are going to be finally consummated in that final dispensation, or final 1000 years. That’s why I wanted to come back here and reconstruct the earthly promises, because they’re all going to be aligned with the heavenly promises of the Church, and it’s all going to come under one umbrella of Christ. Now they’re not going to be mixed like a lot of folks are trying to do today. They’re still going to maintain their separate entities, but they’re both under the headship of Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Now we’ll be dealing with the heavenly part when we finish the earthly.
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, (that is in that final seven years that Ephesians is talking about) that the mountain (or the Kingdom) of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, (now remember a mountain in Old Testament symbolism is a kingdom. So His Kingdom is going to be above all the other kingdoms) and shall be exalted above the hills; (now no doubt under His rule there will be smaller kingdoms among the Gentile nations) and all nations shall flow unto it.”
Why? Because it’s going to be the hub of the planet. Jerusalem the capital of this earthly Kingdom will be the center of the whole world activity. I guess we could use Washington DC as an example today. We are the super power, the only one left, and so everything sort of flows to Washington today, and everything flows back from it. Well Washington is not going to last that long, but Jerusalem will. Christ, when He sets up His Kingdom, it’s going to be headed up in Jerusalem. Now let’s look at another one in the Old Testament in Zechariah chapter 14. The first 3 verses is about the battle of Armageddon, and we’re hearing a lot about that. When all the armies of the world are going to gather in the Middle East.
That’s why I’m not too shook up about the Y2K problem, because if everything crashes like they tell us it will these armies would never get to the Middle East, but they’re going to get there. So I’m not looking for a total crash, there may be some blips but, I’m not all that shook up because according to God’s time plan it’s just too early. Now if we were already out of here by way of the Rapture, and the Tribulation had begun, and that would fit with the middle of the Tribulation, then I’d say maybe, but it’s just too early. It’s just not time for the world to collapse, so I’m not jumping on that band wagon at all. But here in these verses we have the battle of Armageddon, and all the nations of the world are going to come together and be destroyed at the Second Coming of Christ. Let’s begin with verse 4.
“And his (Christ) feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east,…”
Remember that’s earthly, not heavenly. Now come on up to verse 9.
“And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.”