Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 6
FIRST FRUITS: GLEANINGS:
OLD TESTAMENT SAINTS: RESURRECTION
Daniel 12 & 9
Let’s pick up where we left off; we had covered the first aspect of the first Resurrection, which was Christ who was the first fruits, and then, those that came out of the graves in Matthew 27, who would comprise the fulfilling of the type back in Leviticus when they had to make a sheaf. Now, let’s go into the second part of the first resurrection. And again, come back to I Corinthians Chapter 15 and let’s just start all the way back to verse 20 so we can pick up the flow here, because this is all dealing with this first resurrection.
I Corinthians 15:20-22
“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept (or died). For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
Now, you want to remember that Paul is always teaching that as Adam was the head of the human race, the first Adam, so Christ is the last Adam, and He is the one that makes it possible for mankind to come out of that death. And so here he ties the two together, once again, “For since by man (Adam) came death, so also by man (The Christ, the God-man), came also the resurrection of the dead.” Look at verse 22 now. “For as in Adam all die,….“ How can anybody reject that teaching, that our whole nature was precipitated by Adam’s sin? And you know there are those who reject that. But, how can they when this makes it so plain. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Now, we have to be careful here. Going back again, to John’s Gospel, Chapter 5, the believer will be resurrected to life by the work of Christ, the work of the Cross. But, the unbeliever is also going to be resurrected one day, according to the same power of God, but to a totally different end.
I Corinthians 15:23
“But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”
Now, whenever you see that word, “but” you’ve got to look at something different here. All are going to be resurrected, “but” every man in his own order.” Now, if you’ll look it up in the Greek, that word “order” implies a military organization. Now, those of you who have been in the service know that the military starts with a platoon, then a company, and then the battalion, regiment and division. Those are all orders of command. In other words, the resurrection is not going to be general. It won’t be everybody at once, but Paul says every person in his own company. And that’s the wording I prefer to use. Everyone will be resurrected according to their organizational company.
Now, we’ve already had the first fruits, remember; indicated by Christ. But now, in verse 23, it tells us that every man in his own order, Christ the ‘first fruits’ (that one is the company), they that are at Christ’s side at his coming (now who are we talking about?). We are talking about the Church Age believer. Those who are in Christ, who are part of the Bride; who are part of the Body of Christ, they will be the next ones to experience resurrection. After Christ and the first fruits, comes this great group of believers of the Church Age. Let’s go back and pick up the Old Testament description of harvesting that field of grain. Go back to Leviticus 19:9:
“And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard: thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God:…”
Now, remember, this is God’s instructions to the Jew when they come into the land to occupy it. “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly (or completely) reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.” Now, let’s put that in a square of 40 acres of barley. They were to harvest the whole field, the very center of it, but they were to leave the corners, as well as a certain amount of gleanings. Now, that was according to Law. Now why? Look in verse 10 again. “And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard,…“ in other words, they weren’t to pick every last grape in their vineyard. “…neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard: thou shalt leave them, (for whom?) the poor….” That was mandated by God. Now, as they would go into their field of barley, they went in first and took out those ripening heads of grain, the ‘first fruits.’ Then they came in and they harvested the main field, but they had to leave the corners and the gleanings. But the main harvest was taken all at one time.
So, that is what I would call the Rapture, or resurrection of the Church Age believer. He is that main harvest, because just think now for 1900 years or so, God has been calling out people by His Grace. He has offered Salvation to everyone. No matter what color or creed, although it is predominately for the Gentiles, yet always remember that this has been God’s primary harvest. Now, let’s go back to I Corinthians 15 and look at the verse again; we’re going to pick up those who are the gleanings; the ones indicated by the corners that are left, and the gleanings.
I Corinthians 15:23-25
“But every man in his own order (his own organizational company): Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s(who are members of the body, the main harvest) at his coming.” Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God,even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he (Christ)must reign (as a king), till he hath put all enemies under his feet.”
Now, if you’ll turn with me back to Daniel 12 – and I think this is the third group that are indicated by the corners and the gleanings. Not near as great in number as the main harvest, and they also are going to be resurrected at a time slightly different from the Rapture of the Church. And in Daniel it lays it out so specifically as to when these Old Testament believers, and I’m also going to include the Tribulation saints, are going to be resurrected.
Now, when I say the Tribulation saints, that hour after the Church is gone, and we feel that we’re getting awfully close to it; and the Tribulation comes in we know that there are going to be a multitude of people saved by virtue of the 144,000 Jews (12,000 from each of the 12 tribes who will go around the world and will be missionaries and evangelists). So, there will be people saved during this seven years, but they will be killed almost as fast as they are saved until we get to those that survive at the end. So, now, the resurrection of the Tribulation saints has to be included in the gleanings and the corners because they certainly are not in the Body of Christ. And yet, Daniel now is speaking of the resurrection of the Old Testament saints at a point shortly after the end of the Tribulation; or after the Second Coming of Christ, and into the Kingdom. Here it is in Daniel Chapter 12.
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 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.”
The previous 11 chapters have been an outlaying of prophecy. In fact, Daniel and Revelation just fit together hand in glove. You can’t study Revelation without studying Daniel and vise versa. So, now, as you come into the last chapter of this great book of prophecy, Daniel writes this: “..and at that time shall Michael stand up, that great prince which standeth for the children (Israel), and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time; and at that time thy people (Israel, the Jews) shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Now, this is what Paul refers to in Romans as that remnant. “…And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth,…“In other words, they have died and they’ve reverted back to the dust. “…many of then shall awake,…“ and here we have a parallel with John’s Gospel, Chapter 5, “…some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt….“ Again, you’ve got the believer and the unbeliever listed here. Now let’s skip over to verse 8:
“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.'”
Daniel is saying that he heard but he understood not. Now, I’ve always maintained, as I’ve taught the Old Testament, that all Scripture is inspired of God. Peter says so clearly that prophecy came not in the old time by will of man; and, you remember, I ridiculed the concept several months ago, of these things having originated around the camp fire and then just having been handed down as legend. That’s not what our Bible is at all. Our Bible is the very inspiration of the Spirit of God and as Peter says, that these holy men of God wrote as they were moved along by the Spirit. Now under those circumstances, do you think they understood everything they wrote? Why, no way! And here it’s so plainly.
Look what Daniel says, after writing this great book of end-time prophecy (and he’s writing it 2500 years before it happens). And look what he says in verse 8. “And I heard,…“ He realized what he had been writing, but look at what he says next. “…I understood not (!),” He didn’t understand what he was writing. “And I said, ‘O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?'” Now, that much he could comprehend. There were some terrible times coming upon this planet. But he couldn’t understand it. And so he said, “‘what shall be the end of these things.'” And The Lord said, “‘…go thy way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.”
I always like to look back and read about men from years ago. You will find that it wasn’t until near the turn of the century that men began to get a comprehension of prophecy. Before that, there was not a clear cut teaching of how these things were going to unfold. And that’s exactly what God told Daniel. It wasn’t for men to understand until we get close to the end times. And now, every week, it is so much easier to understand. I know, 20 years ago, when I’d teach the Book of Revelation, it was hard to get people to understand what it was saying. Now, I can teach the Book of Revelation and people are almost running ahead of me with current events and news.
And the Book of Revelation is as simple as ABC anymore. A lot of people won’t agree with me, but I think any of you who have heard me teach the Book of Revelation will admit that it’s not that difficult, because we are now so close to the end. For example, I can remember when I was a kid and I heard a fellow preaching prophecy out of the Book of Revelation. He came to those two witnesses in Revelation Chapter 10 who would be killed; and their bodies would be left in the streets of Jerusalem; and the Scripture says so plain that all the world will see their dead bodies. They are actually going to celebrate by the exchanging of a gift. And what did we say? “How can that be.” How can the whole world see two bodies laying in Jerusalem? That’s not a question any more. It happens everyday with our communications and satellite television. We see everything that’s taking place on the other side of the world at the very moment it’s happening.
So, the Book of Revelation is now very believable. And when we read some of the other things in the Book of Revelation, all you have to do is attach it to a modern technology and it all makes sense. But Daniel said, “Lord I don’t know.” And God says, “don’t worry about it. It’s not for you to know until we come to the time of the end.”
“Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”
Look at what he says about “…the wicked shall do wickedly:…“ Now, you remember a few weeks ago, I said the times for the Gentiles is actually a filling up of their cup of iniquity? And it’s going to reach the full mark when we come to the end of the Tribulation and the Battle of Armageddon. Men have become so wicked. We haven’t see anything yet. It’s getting bad, but the worst is yet to come. Daniel saw it. “…and none of the wicked shall understand.” Just recently, a gentlemen that we lead to The Lord a few years ago, and who has just grown in the Word so fast, said to me, “You know, five years ago, I could watch all this that is happening in the world and it didn’t mean a thing to me. It was just news. But now every news item I read or see on television, fits with the Word of God.” It just makes it so exciting that we’re living in the last moments of this Age of Grace. “…but the wise shall understand,….“ because The Book is so plain. Verse 11:
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”
We’ll look at this further in our next lesson. But, look at what it says. “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away,…“ which will be in the middle of the seven-year period. The Anti-christ will cause the Temple to be shut down, and he will usurp it, and force the Jew to worship himself. Now that’s the abomination that’s spoken of here in verse 11. “…and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” Good Bible students know that three and a half years are 1,260 days. But, now, Daniel is going into 1,290, or an extra 30. But, it doesn’t stop there.
“Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.”
God says to Daniel, “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” Or, seventy-five days after the kingdom has been set up, Daniel can expect what? To join all those others who have been resurrected before. Look at it again. “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” Now, let’s look at verse 13:
“But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.”
As a believer who is now in the presence of God, these saints are in bliss. I don’t believe in soul sleep; they are there, but they are not there bodily. They are there in soul and spirit in the presence of The Lord, somehow or another, waiting for the resurrection day. Let’s reconstruct. The Church Age believers who have been dying now for the past 1900 years or so, as soon as they died, Paul teaches that they went into the presence of The Lord in Heaven. But they’re only there in soul and spirit. Their body is in the grave. And no where in Scripture is there any kind of entity of valid operation of the soul and spirit separated from the body.
You just study your Bible and there is nothing valid about a human being while he is separated soul and spirit from the body; and that’s why Paul is always teaching, “what are we to be looking forward to?” Oh, the resurrection of our body. In Ephesians Chapter 3 he makes it clear, that, even though we have been redeemed, have been bought back by the blood of Christ, yet our redemption will not be complete until we’ve got that new, resurrected body. So, the bodies of these departed saints will suddenly be reunited with their soul and spirit which have been in the presence of The Lord. Now we’re complete! And we’re ready to come back with Him at the end of the seven years. But you see, the Old Testament saints are going to have to wait until the Kingdom is set up, because remember, Israel is not going to enjoy the elevated roll that the Body of Christ will enjoy. And again, it boils down to terminology.
The Church is referred to as the virgin pure Bride of Christ. Israel is referred to as the adulterous, restored wife of Jehovah. Now, be careful, that does not mean that we’re talking about bigamy, because we’re not talking about sexuality. We’re merely talking about a position. The Church is the Bride of Christ, united to Him. Israel is that adulterous; and if you don’t quite understand what I’m talking about when I call Israel the adulterous wife of Jehovah, go back and study the Book of Hosea. In the Book of Hosea, what is Hosea instructed to do? Go out and marry a woman of the street, a prostitute. And he’s going to live this thing out, literally. And he brings this prostitute home as his wife and she’s not there very long and what does she do? She leaves him to go back to her lovers out on the street. But, as you get to the end of Hosea, she finally has a real conversion of heart and she comes back and becomes the obedient wife of Hosea and the mother of his children. What is that all a picture of? The Nation of Israel. Oh,listen, Israel chased after the pagan gods of the Canaanites. Let’s turn to Jeremiah 44. Just to show you how adulterous spiritually Israel was always chasing after those pagan gods. But, the time is coming as God says in:
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel , and with the house of Judah:…”
“A new covenant…” I will make with my people; and they won’t have to be instructed; they won’t have to be taught. Why? God says he will put a new heart within them and they will be His people and He will be their God. But, that isn’t the way it’s always been.
“But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven.” And this is Israel. Oh they were burning incense to the queen of heaven. Let’s read on a little bit further: “We’ll pour out our drink offerings unto her, as we have done . We and our fathers, our kings, and our princes. Since we have left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven and have pour out our drink offering unto her we have wanted all things.”
They had the idea that the worshiping this female goddess would bless them more than Jehovah would. So, Israel won’t enjoy that elevated roll in the kingdom that the Body of Christ will. Listen, when it gets to pagan idolatrous worship, nothing is ever as grossly immoral as the worship of the female goddesses. I don’t care whether it was in Egypt, Babylon, Greece or Rome. When they went to worship of a female goddess it was gross immorality.
“…And to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes….”
“But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things….”
They had the incredulous idea that this worship of a female goddess was blessing them more than Jehovah would. Now that’s spiritual adultery, and that’s why Israel is not going to enjoy that elevated roll in the Kingdom, and in eternity in the Body of Christ. Now let’s go back to Daniel 12. Let’s look at verse 13 once again. “But go thy way until the end be. Thou shalt rest and stand in thy”, what’s the word? “Lot.” Now, I liken that to a military term of a company or battalion. So the Old Testament saints will be resurrected in their own lot; they will be a smaller group thus representing the gleaning of the corners. They won’t be resurrected until after the Kingdom has been set up. So they will be guests of the wedding feast.