Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 48
The All Powerful Word of God
This is the first time we’ve taped since the tragic events of September 11th, and so, consequently, I think we’ll digress from our teachings in Hebrews for this half hour, and comment on these events. My, we’ve been getting a lot of phone calls, and a lot of letters for our comments with regard to what’s taking place in the world today. Like I told Iris on the way up, I still hadn’t decided whether to or not to, but since we do have such a nationwide audience I do feel that it’s only appropriate that we address the fact that our hearts have gone out to those who lost loved ones, to those who went through the trying moments of hearing their loved ones say goodbye. I just can’t comprehend those kinds of circumstances. And yet, that’s part and parcel of being under the curse, because after all, that’s what precipitates all of mankind’s problems.
It’s not God. Never blame God for these things. Horror of horrors. We’re not living under the wrath of God, but rather His glorious Grace. Now the day is coming when the wrath of God will finally be poured out, but that’s not today. These disasters tear at the heart of God just as much as it does ours but it’s the work of the adversary who loves to bring misery into the human race knowing that it gets at the very heart of the Creator Himself.
So, again our hearts do go out to those who have lost loved ones amidst the turmoil of these last several weeks. We almost sympathize with our leadership. I don’t see how our President can sleep at night with the pressure that’s upon him. And again remember it’s not the wrath of God, although God permitted it to happen. But rather I think all these events are setting the stage for what’s coming. This is a wake-up call. This is just simply letting the world know what we are heading for in the days to come, like it says in Luke 21, and we may have time to look at that. But, Luke 21 says so clearly that the nations will be in perplexity. And certainly that’s where we are. There is not a visible enemy that you can send your troops out to confront. You can’t line up your artillery weapons and start bombarding on a front. But rather we are confronted with something that’s going to be hard to pinpoint. And I’m glad our leadership is letting us know that this is going to be a time consuming thing.
So what I admonish all my classes here in Oklahoma is that you just pray, pray, pray, that God will give our men in places of leadership the wisdom that they need to confront these things. No matter how bad something is there’s always some good and I think we can all realize as believers that the good that has come from this is that once again America is not ashamed to use the term ‘God.’ And our liberals and our ACLU should probably wake up and realize that even though they have cowed people, they have frightened people into a silence, that all of a sudden the true nature of most of our people has come to the fore and we are not ashamed to say “God Bless America!” We’re not ashamed to wave the flag. And, I think that again we realize that the enemy is always out there envious of what we have.
Because remember that the whole purpose of government down through history is to protect its citizens from those who like to come in and take what someone else has. That’s human nature. And even as great as America is we have to maintain a defense posture because as we’ve already seen there are people out there that would love to destroy us. So consequently, you be much in prayer and you encourage our government people to maintain our defensive posture. After all we’re living in a world that’s under the curse. We’re living in a world where Satan is the god of this world and God in His Sovereignty of course, permits these things but He certainly does not direct it.
I’d like to bring out the point, ‘Why has all this been precipitated?’ I think I can hit the nail on the head by saying it is because of the little Nation of Israel. 90% of our problems that are arising is that the enemy detests the fact that God’s Word is being fulfilled. And never lose sight of the fact, in fact, I just rehearsed it with someone the other day who had a grandchild who was about 18 years-old, and who was kind of adamant about believing the Bible. And I just suggested to them, next time you talk to this kid, just ask, “Have you ever stopped to think, that here we have the little Nation of Israel with only five million people, living in a geographical area smaller than one-half of New Jersey and yet they’re in the news every day of the week.”
I’ve made a habit now of checking the Daily Oklahoman and I can honestly say that there is not a day that the little Nation of Israel is not in the News. That should precipitate some common sense questioning. Why? Why, one little nation of only five million people constantly in the world’s spotlight? Well, you see, it just again goes back to prove that this is the only Book on earth (and I never attack other religions. I still don’t have to, as all I have to do is stand on this one.) No other Book on earth was able to tell things hundreds of years in advance and with what we’re seeing in the Middle East 3,500 years in advance. No human intellect could have ever done that. But it’s only because it is the supernatural Word of God.
We’re not going to have time to look at all of these but I just checked it again the other evening. King Josiah, one of the Kings of ancient Israel, was named three hundred years before he was born. King Cyrus of the Medes and the Persians was named and designated as the one who would make the decree to send the Jews back to rebuild the city of Jerusalem, one hundred years before he was born. And so all the way through Scripture we have these things that designate it as a supernaturally inspired Book.
Now I said the Bible foretells 3500 years in advance, so let’s start over in the Book of Deuteronomy in chapter 30 and this is the reason why we have the Middle East the way it is. Now remember, this was written by Moses 1,500 years before Christ. That’s 3,500 years back from today, and look what he wrote.
“And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, (now remember Moses wrote to the children of Israel) the blessings and the curse, which I have set before thee, (Now watch this.) and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,”
Now what does that tell you? That at some point future from Moses’ time and back from our time, the Jews would be scattered into every sovereign nation on earth. None excepted, and they were, and many are still in those nations, but many have returned to the little Nation of Israel. Alright, now look at the next verse. After they’ve been scattered to every nation under heaven.
“And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.”
Now in order to define that a little closer, I usually like to jump up to Ezekiel chapter 37 and most of you are acquainted with that as the chapter of the dry bones. Ezekiel saw the vision and he saw symbolically the Jews scattered out into the nations of the world. Out of the land of blessing. Separated from their Temple, without a priesthood, without a sacrifice. And it was just as if they were dead people, and spiritually, of course, they were.
Out of all those graves, then (as the Bible calls Israel living amongst the Gentiles while living in dispersion), the vision showed Ezekiel that one day those people would come back to a life (a spiritual life) and that God would supernaturally bring them back to the land. Now again, many times, even we as believers just take this as a mundane thing. It’s something we’ve always heard and we think nothing of it. But just stop and meditate. Here you have one little group of people scattered amongst all the other various nationalities and races with always the constant temptation to intermarry and yet for the most part they never did. And so for the 3,500 years that have elapsed they have not lost their national or racial identity. Unbelievable! They should have disappeared 2,000 years ago at least. But they haven’t. And even in spite of all their persecution and their pressure and being driven out of first one empire after the next, yet they’ve always survived.
Another facet of Scripture has always proved itself and that was the part of the Covenant that God gave to Abraham before the Nation of Israel ever began. And that was, that He would bless those who would bless the Jew and He would curse those who cursed or turned on the Jew. And all you have to do is go to your library and be a student of history and you’ll see that that has never failed. Sometimes it takes a while, but sooner or later any empire or any nation that turned on the Jew went down the tube never again to come back to a place of preeminence. And so that’s why I think we as Americans have to realize that God has blessed us in spite of all of our sin. In spite of all of our wickedness and unbelief God has continued to bless us because we have been a blessing to the Jewish people, we have been the only ones that have stood with her. And if ever that changes then America like everybody else will go down the tube, maybe not immediately, but sooner or later. And so we have to rest on the promises of this Book, which alone proves itself as the divinely inspired Word of God.
Alright, have you got Ezekiel 37 verse 11? After he sees the vision of all these valleys of dry bones, which were symbolically indicative of the Nation of Israel, scattered amongst the Gentiles nations, verse 11.
“Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel:…”
Again I have to stop for just a second. You know, there are those who say the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom were lost and disappeared into antiquity and that the only Jews were those that remain from the southern two tribes of Judea and Benjamin. Not according to this. It’s the “whole” house of Israel. All the tribes are going to be involved in their end-time scenario. So these bones are the whole house of Israel.
“…behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.” Because they’ve been out there for so long, and now God says to Ezekiel in verse 12:
“Therefore, prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God;…” The Creator God. We’re going to go back to Hebrews in our next half-hour and again we’re going to be dealing with that ‘Living God’ that Hebrews refers to so often. And here was the same One.
“Therefore, (this Living God says) prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, (and this is the part I want you to underline or highlight. He’s going to bring them out of those habitations amongst the Gentiles) and I will bring you into the land of Israel.”
That’s the only reason they’re there back in the land of Israel tonight. There is no other valid reason why the Jew had been able to go back and out of a land that was desolate, treeless, rock-strewn, arid. Full of disease, predominately the malaria. Kept devastated by earthquakes for almost 2,000 years since the 70 AD dispersion and then all of a sudden the land becomes once again responsive. The Jews start coming in first in a trickle. Setting up the kibbutzes, clearing the land, planting the trees and now we’ve seen the results of it. It’s now again almost a Garden of Eden as you drive up and down the land of Israel. The green wheat fields. And the banana orchards and the nut orchards, and so forth, it’s literally a land that has been brought back from total desolation.
For some of our seminars this past summer and some of our Oklahoma classes I read a little clip from a book by Mark Twain and I don’t want to take time to read all of it here on the program. But I’ll just read you a line or two of how Mark Twain described the land of Palestine or Israel, as we know it biblically in the 1860’s. Now remember Titus destroyed the city of Jerusalem in 70 AD whereupon the Jews were emptied out of the land. But, just exactly like Leviticus told the Jews at the Babylonian captivity that when He would take Israel out of the land it would become a desolation. That even their enemies would be totally amazed at how desolate the land of Israel could become.
Alright, so this is what Mark Twain wrote then in the 1860’s and it comes from a book that is called The Innocence Abroad. I’m hopefully giving it the right credit. And this is what he wrote:
‘The soil is rich enough but is given completely to weeds. A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action. We never saw a human being on the whole route. We never saw a human being. We pressed toward Jerusalem and the further we went the hotter the sun got. The more rocky and bare and repulsive and dreary the landscape became. Jerusalem is lifeless. I would not desire to live there. Palestine is a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land. It sits in sackcloth and ashes.”
Now this is by a reputable man, the writer of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain or Samuel Clemens as he was known. This is out of his own book. That was the picture of the so-called Promised Land or the land that the Arab world would try to tell us has always been verdant and green and productive. But it hasn’t. God purposely kept it barren and desolate. Then I read not too long ago that one of the instruments God used to keep the land was earthquakes. And that from almost antiquity on up until 1900 earthquakes literally leveled any city that anyone tried to build. And those of you who have been with us to Israel remember some of the ruins at Bethshan and Caesarea on the Sea, and Sepphoris and some of these, where the Romans had built beautiful cities and they are devastated. Well, what caused it? Earthquakes. And so all the way through those 2,000 years there were enough earthquakes across the land of Palestine that nothing survived.
And as I’ve already mentioned, the malarial disease was rampant, and, one author even put it this way. Jews who tried to go back and eke out a living would never last more than two generations until disease would wipe them out. So, God’s Word was true that with Israel out of the land it would remain a total desolation. But beginning at about 1900, for the last hundred years now, God has been setting the stage. And that’s the best way I can put everything that has taken place, even in our lifetime, in the last 50 years, everything is simply setting the stage for the day when the man of sin will come on the scene. We call him the anti-Christ. Which, I think is sort of a misnomer because the term makes most people think that this guy is going to come on the scene hating God and he’s going to be anti-God, which of course, he will.
But that’s beneath the surface. On the surface, the term anti-Christ means the master counterfeiter. And that’s what he’s going to be. He’s going to come on the world scene as the counterfeit Messiah. And as I have taught and I guess we’re teaching this on the daily programs which are reruns of course, made almost 8-9 years ago, but when he comes on the scene, even Israel will think that he’s the long promised Messiah, because supernaturally, not under ordinary politics, but supernaturally he will be able to bring peace to the Middle East which no one today could do. But he will and he will actually get the Arab world to agree to let the Jews build a Temple.
Now, it’s not going to be a gold furbished temple like Solomon’s. It’s not going to be made with the Cedars of Lebanon. My own idea is it’s probably some kind of a prefab thing that is already sitting in a warehouse in Jerusalem. But, whatever. It’s going to be functional, because we know that for three and a half years Israel is going to once again go back under the Law and enjoy their Temple Worship. So, this man is going to negotiate that kind of a peace treaty. Well, the world will just be aghast that after all the efforts of America and Europe to bring peace to the Middle East, this guy will do it with one fell swoop. And so this is everything that is taking place.
You know about 8-10 years ago there were a lot of books out and there was a lot of talk about a so-called conspiracy. And that certain groups in the world were conspiring to bring about world government. Well, no doubt some of those things were true, but, I’ve always said, no. It’s not a conspiracy; it’s the Sovereign God. God is setting the stage. And I guess I usually use my hands for emphasis. I always sort of bring it to a point like a pyramid, because that’s what we’re seeing.
For the last ‘umpteen’ hundred years everything has been moving the world, just like up to the point of a pyramid to the time when this one man will be able to come in and perform the things that will just astonish the world. And we call him the anti-Christ, but I call him the counterfeit Christ and he will bring about peace to the Middle East. Israel will rebuild the Temple and then we enter into all the horrors of the seven years of Tribulation.
Now, we’re not in the Tribulation today. Not by any stretch of the imagination. As I said, early in the program. Today we’re in the Age of Grace. God is dealing with the human people in Grace, in spite of the catastrophe. In fact, I told people shortly after we realized how many people were normally in the Twin Towers on any given day. And I just simply used fourth grade arithmetic. The articles I read said that normally there were 40,000 people working in those two buildings plus about 10,000 that were there as tourists.
Forty and ten in my old arithmetic is 50,000 people. Now for the 5-6 thousand people that lost their life, it’s horrendous, it’s awful. But don’t people stop to think how that God by His Grace spared at least 40,000 who escaped with their life? But you don’t hear any of that. But that’s where I call it the Grace of God that spared that many.
But, the day is coming, beloved, when the wrath of God will begin and that of course, is all the horrors then of Revelation and the Old Testament prophecies that we covered when we were teaching end-time events, when we were covering I Thessalonians. The ‘Day of the Lord.’ It is going to be awful. And I reminded my classes all this past week, Revelation tells us that in the first three and a half years, one-fourth of the world’s population is going to go.
The world is fast approaching 8 billion people and again fourth grade arithmetic tells me that in the first three and a half years 2 billion people are going to lose their life. Now you math majors can just figure it in your mind. How many million is that a day? Every day. A million and a half people will be losing their life. And then you get into the last half of those seven years and six billion people are going to go in three and a half years. That double or triples to 2-3 million people a day.
So, yes, this is a wake-up call. The wrath of God is not here today, but, it’s coming. This Book is true. Israel proves it. That just as surely, God said He would take them out of the land and scatter them. Make the land a desolation while they’re gone. But the day would come that He would bring them back and the land would again come back into production. It would blossom like a desert rose. And we’ve seen it happen, and so all of these things are just reminders that we’re fast approaching the end. Now I don’t set dates. My, it could be several years, it could be just several months. But we as believers are told to be ready. We’re to be looking up, we’re to be realizing that our redemption is drawing nigh.
The other point that I guess I should make is watch Western Europe because it’s out of Western Europe that the events of the Tribulation will begin to come. This coming January, Western Europe will go under a common currency. The Euro Dollar and all of that is just again in a fulfillment of the setting of the stage. That’s the best way I can put it. All the players are being put in place, the background scenery is being put in place. Everything is being made ready for those final seven years. We’re not in them, however we think we’re getting close to them, and it behooves us as believers to just pray, pray, pray. Not for ourselves, but for our nation and for lost people around us.