Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 5
Parenthesis and Dashes: The Interruption of
Old Testament Progress: Introducing Paul
Last time we were together, we went from Genesis 24, the calling out of a bride for Isaac. Abraham, the father, sent his servant up into a far country to his original kin folks, to find abride for Isaac. We likened the servant to the work of the Holy Spirit in calling out the Bride of Christ. I said we would be jumping from Genesis 24 into the New Testament; to follow up this illustration of how God has now sent the Holy Spirit amongst, primarily, the Gentiles. However, some Jews are being saved. But it’s primarily the age of the Gentiles. A Gentile Bride for God The Son. And so, in order to really explain how that all came about, I went back to Psalms Chapter 2. We put up a timeline – that from the call of Abraham in Genesis 12, we’re under the Abrahamic Covenant.
About 490 years after the call of Abraham, we had the call of Moses and the Law. So, Israel goes under the Law, then in Daniel Chapter 9, God says 490 years are determined upon your people Israel. I also emphasized earlier, how during the Old Testament, during the program of prophecy, God would tell everything long before it happened. That’s what prophecy really is. He would say to Abraham, in so many generations they would be down in Egypt, but He would bring them back. That was prophecy. And then He foretold their Babylonian captivity, that they would be 70 years in Babylon. And He foretold that Cyrus, The King of the Medes and Persians, would send a decree to put them back into Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. Everything was laid out ahead of time and that’s why we call it the prophetic program. In that prophetic program, there is not one hint of the Church Age. The Church Age is just not in there, because God had a reason.
Several weeks ago we used the term Jehovah El Olam. El Olam is translated in some places as Everlasting, or the Everlasting to Everlasting God. It is also translated as the God of Time, and in another place, the same word is translated hid, and hidden. Also, I emphasized that even though God lays everything out to the Nation of Israel, openly and prophetically, yet God has seen fit by Him being Jehovah El Olam, to hide and keep hidden the Church Age. So I went back to Psalms Chapter 2, the last few weeks we have been together. And this is the way it unfolds:
You come out of the Old Testament; The Messiah appears; He’s rejected by Jew and Gentile alike; they crucify Him. Then Psalms Chapter 2 says, after that he would ascend and be seated at the Father’s right hand. Now, we know that the Holy Spirit came down (that’s not in Psalms 2, but it’s in other references which we will see in a moment). Then Psalms 2 says the next thing that would happen would be the wrath and vexation of the Tribulation. We get the seven years of the Tribulation from Daniel, and we’ll be looking at that, hopefully, in the next few lessons. And then Psalms 2 says that after the wrath and vexation, “Yet have I sat my King on the Holy Hill of Zion.” Here we have The King and the Kingdom. That’s the Old Testament program just laid out so beautifully. But not a word of the Church Age. What we want to do now, is follow some of these Old Testament references, and pick up one where Jesus gave one little hint. He didn’t tell us what He was doing, but we can now see that He was giving a hint. We can pick that up in Luke Chapter 4. But, before we go there, go back to Isaiah 61:
“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;”
If you will look at those scriptures carefully, you have that same line of prophecy. Let’ look at it once again. “He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted.“ That all took place at the First Advent. Now he comes down to verse 2, “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” When did He do that? During His earthly ministry. He tried to tell Israel who He was, and He performed all his miracles to prove who He was. And what did Israel do? They rejected Him. Now go on in verse 2, after the word “Lord,” there is a comma. “And the day of vengeance of our God;” Now, what is he referring to? The Tribulation! Just like Psalms calls it wrath and vexation, Isaiah here calls it the vengeance, or the day of vengeance of our God; There again you have a semicolon .
What’s the next statement? “To comfort all that mourn;” Again, what’s he referring to? The Kingdom! When you read the beatitudes in Matthew, always remember that beatitudes are primarily the description of the atmosphere, or the climate of the Kingdom. It’s when the Kingdom comes in that the poor will be blessed, and the meek will inherit the earth. He also said blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Here it is. Those that He has come to comfort are those that are mourning in the verse of the beatitudes. Now, keep your hand in Isaiah 61, because we are going to come right back for a comparison. If you will turn to Luke Chapter 4. where Jesus is in his early earthly ministry. Here, we find Jesus up in the area of Galilee, and just a few miles west of the Sea of Galilee is the town of Nazareth. This is where Jesus grew up and it’s still a tourist attraction today:
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And He (that is Jesus) came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
Now what does that tell you? He lived under the Law, and He kept the Law. “ …And (he) stood up to read.” It was customary when a visitor would come into the synagogue, one of the ministers would bring him a scroll, and the visitor would have the honor and privilege of reading Scripture. You need to remember, all they had was the Old Testament, and it wasn’t in book form, it was a scroll. So they brought him the Book of Isaiah. And when He had opened the book or scroll, He found the place. When you see the word “found” what does that tell you? He looked for it. In other words, he didn’t just open the book and start reading.
“And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written: 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 he 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 you ears.'”
Back to Isaiah 61. He’s God and knows from beginning to end. So Jesus knew exactly where to stop in this verse in Isaiah.
“To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, (in Luke, He stopped and sat down – But, what’s the punctuation mark in Isaiah ? It’s a comma – it’s not the end of the sentence. Now read on) and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.”
Why did He stop where He stopped? Because Jesus knew that this Old Testament program was going to be interrupted at some point in time, shortly after His Ascension. The day of vengeance would not come in, the Kingdom would not come in until some later day. We will now show from some other portions of Scripture, that this prophetic program stopped. I like to point out, or use the analogy of God’s Time Clock, that everything has been on schedule. In fact we’ll go back right now and pick this one up. There was to be 490 years of God dealing with Israel before The King and the Kingdom would come in. These 483 years culminated with the Crucifixion, and then God’s Clock stopped right there. And it won’t pick up again until it’s time for the Church to be completed; and the bride is complete, and then He can bring in those final seven years.
Come back to Psalm Chapter 2. We’re going to show how over and over (and I’ve picked out a few of the plainest ones) the Old Testament program was interrupted. And interrupted for the purpose of calling out the Bride of Christ to complete the Body of Christ. To take it out of the way, and then continue on with this prophetic program. Let’s go to Psalms 2. Come down to verse 3, where leaders of the Gentiles and the Jews have rejected Christ’s offer to be their King and set up the Kingdom. Instead they say:
“Let us break their bands of asunder; and cast away their cords from us.” In other words, what did they tell Jesus? We’ll not have this man to rule over us. Verse 4 continuing:
“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision,” Verse 5 continuing:
“Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion.”
Right in between verses 3 and 5, you can put a parentheses in your Bible with a dash between it (–), because here is where the Old Testament program is going to be interrupted. The wrath and vengeance and vexation did not happen at Christ’s first coming. It stopped short. Now, if you don’t mind marking in your Bible, I always have people put a few references in their margins, then they can share it with someone else without going through a concordance. So, in the margin here in Psalms Chapter 2, and with that (–) between verse 3 and 5, mark that if you don’t mind. The next one will be in Psalm 118 verse 22:
“The stone which the builders refused (–) is become the head stone of the corner.” “The stone which the builders refused;” Who was that?
That was Christ – He’s always the Rock and Stone of Scripture. When did they reject Him? When they crucified Him. And then the next one-half of the verse says “…is become the head stone of the corner.” Now, He is not the Headstone of the Church, He is the Head of the Body, which is the Church. But His Headstoneship refers to what? – His kingdom, which is still future. So make your parentheses right between the word refused and the word, is. The last half of that verse has never been fulfilled. The next one we go to is a very familiar one. It is in Isaiah Chapter 9 and, especially at Christmas time, if you have ever listened to Handel’s Messiah, here is where that great Hallelujah Chorus gets its theme – from Isaiah 9:6 Watch carefully, and by the time we get a few more of these (–) you will be able to see them before I even mention it.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: (–) and the government shall be upon his shoulder.”
What government? The Kingdom! So, where are you going to put your (–)? Right after the word given. That happened at the First Advent. The promised Son came to the Nation of Israel. He came unto his own, and His own refused Him. So, the last half of that verse is interrupted and hasn’t happened yet. If everything that was spoken of in prophecy was fulfilled up to here, could it be the Word of God and this not be fulfilled? Of course not. It’s still going to happen, because He said it would. And He had the prerogative of interrupting it, and we’ll soon see how. From Isaiah Chapter 9, let’s go to Daniel Chapter 9. Here is that great prophecy, the one Jesus referred to in Matthew 24. When He says, when you see that which was spoken of by Daniel the Prophet – well here it is:
“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, [crucified] (–) but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”
That is, the people out of which the Anti-christ will one day come. We now know that was the Roman Empire. Daniel can’t speak of it because it was still prophetic in his time. But, we know he was talking about the Roman Empire that destroyed the Temple. Out of that Roman Empire shall come the prince. Now where are we going to make our parentheses? It’s going to be “after Messiah has been cut off.”
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week…”
That’s the Tribulation. That didn’t take place at Christ’s first coming. It’s been postponed. The next one is Joel Chapter 2. And here, of course, we have the introduction of the coming down of the Holy Spirit in that Old Testament program. Although it wasn’t listed in Psalms, here it is in Joel:
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,”
Always remember these prophets of the Old Testament were always writing to what people? The Jew. Now, when did the Spirit come down upon the Nation of Israel? At Pentecost! The Holy Spirit came down and this is the prophecy of it. “…your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions…“This all took place at the advent of the Holy Spirit there at Pentecost in Acts 2. Then Joel, verse 29, is still referring to it:
“And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. (–) And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.”
Did that happen? No! That’s the Tribulation. So, you see, you put your parentheses between verses 29 and 30. Everything in 28 and 29 took place at His first Advent, in the remaining verse it didn’t; it’s still ahead. Let’s come on up through your Old Testament, all the way to Zechariah Chapter 9 and drop in at verses 9 and 10:
“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. (–) 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, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.” When did that happen? At the First Advent. You know how, on Triumphal Sunday, He came riding in on that little young donkey.
“And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: (what’s that?…the Tribulation – Armageddon) and he shall speak peace unto (who? The Gentiles, or) the heathen: and his dominion (His kingdom) shall be from sea even to sea, (it’s going to encompass the whole world) and from the river even to the ends of the earth.”
Where are you going to put your cut off? Right between verses 9 and 10. Verse 9 all happened at His first coming. Verse 10 is still future. So, there’s an interruption. Now, let’s go into the New Testament and into Luke’s Gospel Chapter 1 – and here’s the announcement of the birth of Christ:
“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. (-) 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.”
Where are you going to put your parenthesis this time? Between 31 and 32. Of course He was born, and of course they named Him Jesus, but, in His first Advent, did He assume the throne of David? No! Is the Scripture lying? Of course not! It didn’t take place, but it’s going to. Let’s go all the way into the Book of Acts, Chapter 2. While you’re looking for Acts Chapter 2, I should have told you to keep your finger in the Book of Joel, and maybe some of you did. But, if you can still find Joel, find it quickly, because Peter is going to quote from Joel, like Jesus quoted in Luke from Isaiah. And what I want you to see is that Peter did not have the omnipotent insight that Christ did, so he couldn’t stop at the right place. He didn’t know that this program would be interrupted. Peter preaches it as if this is all coming. Peter has no idea of a Church Age. Acts Chapter 2? And you know the account there:
“For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.( It’s only 9 o’clock in the morning.) But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.”
Now, when he says, “…this is that….“, what is he saying? Peter is saying, what you’re seeing take place in our lifetime, what you have just experienced in His ministry; His Crucifixion; His Resurrection; and now the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit, is what Joel was talking about. It’s all coming right according to prophecy and Peter could see this whole thing. He knew that the next thing on the agenda would have to be the Tribulation and then the return of Israel’s King and the Kingdom and, as I pointed out in our last lesson, then what could Israel do? Oh, then they could go out and bring the Gentiles to a knowledge of their God. But Israel rejected it. Jesus knew in Luke Chapter 4, where to stop, because that last half of the verse would not be completed until much later. Peter goes right on through it and doesn’t know the difference. Let’s read it now from the Book of Acts:
“‘And it shall come to pass in the last days,’ saith God, ‘I will pour out of my Spirit (that is the Holy Spirit), upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:…'” (–)
“‘…And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke, The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come; And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'”
Why didn’t Peter stop in the middle like Jesus did? Peter didn’t know! So far as he was concerned, this was all that he knew.