Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 60
THE EARTHLY KINGDOM WILL APPEAR!
It is so good to be back. We’ve covered a lot of miles the last couple of weeks, but nevertheless it’s always good to be back in Oklahoma and carry forth and again have an opportunity to reach so many. Our audience is growing week by week; thanks to your prayers, your letters, and your financial help. We just trust the Lord will continue to bless every part of it.
Okay, we’re going to come right back where we left off in our study in Isaiah. We’re going to look at chapter 2 verse 2, but we might as well read verse 1, as well.
“The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.” Now, the key word there is ‘concerning’. So, who is Isaiah really addressing? Well, the southern half of the kingdom which is split at this time, but nevertheless as we’ve made note in our previous four programs, Isaiah is predominately prophesying to the southern kingdom of Judah, but he also reaches across up to the northern kingdom, so it really implies the whole house of Israel.
Now, I just had a thought. I haven’t done this before, but I’m going to read something, and I’m going to read it because I don’t think I can do it justice by just quoting it. This is a quote by Miles Coverdale, way back in the 1500’s, probably shortly after Martin Luther came out of Roman Catholicism. Now, I’m going to read it in the Old English as it’s printed here.
“It shall greatly help ye to understand Scripture if thou mark not only what is spoken or written, but of whom, with what words, where, at what time, to what intent, with what circumstances, considering what goeth before and what followeth after.”
Now, that’s pretty much in a lengthy term what I’ve always been expressing, that whenever you read the Scripture you have to determine – who’s writing it? What are the circumstances? Who’s it written to? Now, most of Christendom has failed to do 90% of this, and they have just assumed that once Israel faded off the scene after 70 AD all of Scripture became written to the “Church.” (Quote unquote).
Now, I hadn’t intended to do this; I was going to jump right into verse 2, but after we’ve read verse 2 I’m going to have to give some background.
“And it shall come to pass…” Now, those of you who have been in my Tahlequah class, this is old hat to you, but I have constantly reminded that class that we have two concepts here. A promise – ‘it shall come to pass.’ What will? A prophecy! So, all your Old Testament prophecies are given with the promise that it’s going to happen. If it doesn’t, we might as well throw this Book away and go home and forget anything that was ever said in it. But it IS going to happen. All right, so what is?
“…in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house….” Now, the word mountain here is typically referring to a kingdom. It’s used that way throughout the Old Testament, a mountain in Scripture, if not otherwise stated, is a kingdom.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, (all other kingdoms) and it shall be exalted above the hills; (even smaller kingdoms) and (it’s going to be so great, it’s going to be so world encompassing that) all nations shall flow unto it.” Not just Israel, but every nation on the planet is going to literally find Jerusalem as the capital of everything.
All right now, what this amounts to is the promise of what we’ve always referred to as a King and a Kingdom. The two go hand in hand throughout all of Scripture, but like I said, I just suddenly got the thought that so many of our letters and our phone calls are from people who have never heard of anything like this. They have never heard of an earthly Kingdom – a King and a Kingdom, a political system, a government? Yes. But it’s not going to be like any other kingdom that has every transpired. It’s going to be a heavenly Kingdom. It’s literally going to be Heaven on the earth.
This means, that the curse is going to have to be lifted. You can’t have Heaven in the midst of the curse. Satan is going to have to be removed from the scene. The earth is going to have to be regenerated. It’ll have to be made like it was at the beginning, and it will be. All of Scripture declares that.
But, now I’ve got to give you the reason that most of Christendom has never heard it. In fact, I had a phone call just this morning, and I guess that all feeds into my thinking then to digress from what I was going to do. A lady called this morning and she had been to her pastor to ask about the 144,000 in the book of Revelation. What do you suppose his answer was? We don’t pay any attention to the book of Revelation, that’s all past. That was all finished in the first century.
Well, yes, that’s typical of most of Christendom. I’m going to give you the background. We did it I think, way back in one of our earliest programs, but only a few people, percentage-wise, have ever seen that. I’m going to give you, in this first half hour, just a brief background of how did this concept ever come about; that there is no Kingdom, there is no King, there is nothing associated with the book of Revelation.
Well, it’s simply because in 315 AD, now you know I’m a stickler for history. You can’t really comprehend this Book unless you know history, and in 315 AD we had a Roman emperor by the name of Constantine, after which Constantinople was named. Now, Constantine’s mother, Queen Helene, became a believer. So she prevailed upon her son, the Emperor, to take the onus off of Christianity, the persecution and the pressuring of it, and declare it by an emperor’s decree to be the official religion of the Roman Empire.
Now, that sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, what did it do? It opened the church then to the masses, who literally became church members without benefit of any spiritual rebirth.It was just simply ‘the thing to do’ to become a Christian. Well, there was such a mass movement of the population of the Roman Empire that a church father back in Jerusalem, by the name of Origen (‘O-r-i-g-e-n’. Some pronounce it ‘O-re-gen.’ I pronounce it ‘Or-i-gen.’), came to the conclusion that since the Jews had rejected their Messiah and crucified Him that God, in His wrath against them, not only destroyed their Temple and destroyed their city, but He, for all practical purposes, destroyed the Nation of Israel.
Well, He didn’t destroy them, He merely disbursed them. He sent them into every nation in the then known world. But, you see, by the end of 300 years, the world had just about treated the Jew as ‘nothing’, just dirt under their feet. They were persecuted; they were hated. So, Origen came to this conclusion that since God had now destroyed the Nation of Israel, all of the Old Testament promises were now given to ‘the church.’ There are some now, in our present times, who refer to it as ‘replacement theology,’ which is a very descriptive term. But I’ve always called it ‘Amillennialism’. Another term is ‘Preterism.’ They all three mean the same thing. They maintain that with the demise of Israel, the destruction of the city and the temple, that God had now turned all of the prophecy promises over to the church.
Well, you see, following that line of teaching then, Augustine, who was a bishop in North Africa, the Bishop of Hippo, a member of the Roman Catholic Church, picked up on Origen’s teaching that indeed God was all through with Israel, and that He would just let the Jews slip into a disappearance act. So, he began to promote this concept that since there was no prophecy left to be fulfilled, (how can there be without Israel?) consequently there can be no end-time events. So, their thinking was that the church will keep going. Some kind of intimated that the church would actually take control of the world and ‘reconstructionism’ is the term for that, and that by force Christianity could literally overtake the planet. Well, none of that is according to the Book!
So, a lot of these other false ideas came in, but primarily that since the Jew is completely out of the picture there can be no end-time events. Well, that follows. If you haven’t got Israel in the land where God can judge her and deal with her in what we call the Tribulation, then that knocks that out. Well, if there’s no Tribulation, there’s no Second Coming. If there’s no Second Coming, there’s no Thousand-Year Reign of Christ, so they wiped all that off the slate.
See, that’s what this lady’s pastor told her just this morning; we don’t have anything to do with the book of Revelation because that was all fulfilled in the first century. Well, now what happened in the first century? Seventy AD the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and sent the Jews into dispersion. Well, that’s what they’re all hanging on to, and most Roman Catholics have never heard anything different than that. Of course, when Martin Luther had the awakening that ‘the just shall live by Faith’ and withdrew from Catholicism, he took this concept with him. He never for a moment changed the amillennial view. So, you’ll find that all the reformers followed Luther in that concept.
Consequently, as you look at most of your major Protestant denominations today, they, like the Roman Catholics, have never heard one word about this earthly kingdom. It’s a whole new concept to them. Then this old ‘rancher’ comes along and opens up all this. Some of them, of course, probably think that’s just, you know some crazy guy’s idea. But, all I maintain is that God never gave any hint that Israel would disappear; quite the opposite.
“Thus saith the LORD which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereofroar; The LORD of hosts is his name; 36. If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever.“ He makes the statement that the “sun will fall out of its position, the stars and the moon will fall out of their orbit before Israel stops being a nation.” So, you see, these people have been, however you want to put it, they’ve been beating a dead horse so to speak, in trumpeting that there are no end-time events when this Book says,
“And it shall come to pass…” Now, whenever they take away all these prophetic things, then they’re telling me, they’ll never admit it, but they’re telling me that God lied. Because when God says, “it will come to pass” and they say it won’t, somebody’s lying, and I don’t think it’s God!
So, where are we? Yes, these prophecies are still valid. Yes, there is going to be an earthy kingdom over which Christ is going to rule and reign for a thousand years. Now, most of the Old Testament, only one exception that I can find, never mentions the time element. That’s left for the book of Revelation, but there is a hint in the book of Hosea, and we’ll come to it at a later time. Anyway, this is the first thing I want to establish. If you happen to be in a denomination where you’ve never heard this earthly kingdom taught, don’t think that I’m way out in left field concocting this, because you see…now, I’m going to have you turn with me to Daniel.
I think the Lord purposely waited until the last hundred years to open up this whole concept again of Biblical prophecy, because all the rest of the time it was moot. They weren’t about to be in the end-time scenario; it didn’t make any difference if they understood end-time prophecy, because God knew it wasn’t going to happen until now. But now, you see, in the last hundred years, as I have taught in seminars and so forth, everything that’s been happening in the world has now begun to set the stage for these final days’ events.
The increase in technology – well, it didn’t come just all at once. In the latter part of the 1800’s you had the simple inventions of the telephone and the telegraph, which compared to today was about as simple as you can get. You had the invention of the steam engine, which led to the invention of the internal combustion engine, which led to the automobile. But see, all those things just started in the last part of the 1800’s. Well, the same way with the scenario in the Middle East. God purposely kept the land of Israel desolate, for about 1900 years, saving it for the nation of Israel to return to it at the appropriate time. It was devoid of any real population; devoid of any production of any kind. How did He do it? He stopped the rain. He increased the earthquakes.
So, for 1900 years the Middle East was pretty much kept in turmoil with earthquakes. Malaria ran rampant in Israel because the Hula Valley swamps were loaded with mosquitoes. Well, all of those things kept the Middle East desolate for 1900 years. Then all of a sudden things began to happen. They drained the Hula Valley swamps and they licked malaria. The earthquakes stopped – miraculously. There hasn’t been a major earthquake since 1900, until the one a few weeks ago. It was the first major one they’ve had. Then the rains began to return. They learned how to irrigate and production began to increase.
Well, all of those things have happened since 1900, which gave rise to the return of the Jew to their homeland. Now, that wasn’t an accident, and that too started about 1900. It wasn’t the Jews’ idea; it was the Arab world that was forcing them out, persecuting them, and killing them. So finally, the Jews had no place to go but back to their ancient homeland.
When they got to their ancient homeland what did they do? Start getting it back into production. As soon as they get it into production, who comes in to get their jobs? Well, the Arab world. So, the two things come together. Well, all of these things have given rise, now, in our relatively memorable time that God is getting everything set for the last days. Well, there wasn’t any need to know that 200 years ago; they weren’t in the last days.
All right, now turn with me to Daniel chapter 12 where God tells Daniel an amazing thing. Daniel, in the first three verses of that chapter, deals with the resurrection of the Old Testament saints. We’ll look at that another time, but now in verse 4.
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end…”: So you see, all of Daniel’s prophecies were moot for almost 1900 years because they weren’t about to happen for a long time, and God knew that, and by the time of the end, here we have our first indication of a change in modus operandi of the world.
“…many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Now, that’s just a little indication of the change of the world’s population.
Now, I think I made the statement on the program a long time ago, that you could have taken a family from almost anyplace on the planet, transferred them to another place on the planet, and they would not have suffered culture shock, until after the middle 1800’s. Now, just think about it. Until the middle 1800’s most of the world’s population still carried their water from creeks or wells or so forth. They cooked with fire, and they did everything the hard way. Their clothes were homespun, and their food was homemade.
Then all of a sudden what happened? Well, the western world began to enjoy the advance in technology. Then your city people were enjoying all the good things of life, and you transport them out into a certain area of Africa or India – culture shock! But until that time, everybody pretty much operated the same way. So, here is an indication that there’s going to be a change in the knowledge and in the travel practices as we approach the end-time.
All right, now as you come a little further in chapter 12, you come all the way down to verse 8, and this is another amazing statement, where Daniel now responds to the Lord by saying,
“And I heard but I (what?) understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? That is, all these prophecies that he had been writing throughout the book of Daniel. Now, look at the Lord’s answer – go out and preach it Daniel? Publish it? No; quite the opposite.
“And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words (that is what he has just written in these twelve chapters) are closed up and sealed (but what’s the next word?) till the time of the end.”
So, there would come a time when these prophecies would be understood. When was it? It was after about 1900. So, we can look back now and see that Amillennialism, Preterism, or Replacement Theology, whatever you call it, really didn’t matter that much, because there was no understanding of end-time prophecy anyway. But once we got past 1900 the pieces started to fall into place and Bible scholars could put together the fact that we’re going to have the rise of a revived Roman Empire.
They began to foretell that the Jews would be going back to their homeland. That had been unheard of! They began to have prophecy conferences teaching these whole concepts; that, along with the return of the Jew to Israel, it would bring about the final seven years of Tribulation that Daniel prophesied. That would bring about the Second Coming of Christ, which all the Old Testament referred to one way or another. All of these things start falling into place.
So now, absolutely, it’s important that we study prophecy. I don’t agree it should be the only thing we study. Prophecy alone will not bring salvation to the lost billions, but if it will sort of whet their appetite to get into the Word, and perhaps by getting into the Word find salvation, then it’s worth it. But, you see, prophecy for the sake of prophecy is not going to bring salvation to the multitudes of people that need to hear it. But, for those of us now who believe, it’s so encouraging to know that all these Old Testament promises and prophecies – they’re going to happen. They are going to happen because this Word says they will! I don’t care what the theologians say, I don’t care how many hundreds of years they’ve said it, I can stand here without apology and I’ll say, “We are seeing things come together so fast today, how can anybody refuse it?’
Now, I was reading one of these guys. I read them, don’t think I don’t know what they’re spitting out. One of them I read here awhile back made this kind of a statement:
“The Jews in the world today aren’t Jews at all. The real Jew disappeared shortly after 70 AD. These people that claim to be Jews came out of the steps of southern Russian, north of the Black Sea, the Czars and so forth and they simply saw all of this Jewish material laying around and they saw those empty synagogues and so they just sort of usurped them and formed their own religion around it and called themselves Jews.”
Well, you know, I got to bed that night and I got to thinking, who in the world would be crazy enough to claim to be a Jew and come under all the suffering that the Jews suffer if there’s no real need for it? Ridiculous! The Jews suffer because they’re Jews. They can understand that that’s their reason for suffering.
I can show you plainly, from the very promises made to Abraham, that through this one nation of people would come forth, not only the Word of God, but the Messiah, the Redeemer, the Savior of the whole world would come through this one little nation of people.
So, what does Old Satan think? “Well, I’m going to show God a thing or two. I’m going to destroy that nation before He can use them.” But, you see, he’s never quite succeeded. So, even today, I’m constantly reminding people wherever I go, don’t wonder why the whole world is against Israel over there today. Don’t wonder why the Palestinian and the Arab world hate them so, that’s Satan’s work. Satan is still convinced that if he can destroy the nation of Israel, he can destroy this Book. That’s his hope. But, I’ve got news for him; it’s not going to happen. God is going to spare the Jew, the nation of Israel, so that they will be there for these end-time results that are coming. So, I’ve made almost a complete study on this. What is the proof that this is the Word of God alone, of all religious writings? BECAUSE OF THE JEW!
The Jew is the promised fulfillment that this Book is true. Now, I’ve got time enough. I’m going to go back and show you. Go back to Deuteronomy chapter 30. We’ve done this before, but some things bear repeating, and this just says it all. This, remember, is written 3500 years ago. Moses is writing Deuteronomy chapter 30 at about 1500 BC. This isn’t gobbledy gook. This doesn’t take a rocket science education. This is plain simple language.
“It shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, (which are listed in 28 and 29) which (God says) I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee.” Now, do you see what that says? Moses is prophesying; the day is coming when the Jews will be scattered into every nation under heaven. Did it happen? Yes! It’s proven, in every nation, none excepted. But, now look at the promise in verse 2, that after they’ve been scattered into 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: 3. That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.”
Now, they can’t return unto the Lord their God until they return to where? The homeland. That’s where they have to go. We’ve seen it in our lifetime; since 1900. Some of you almost go back that far. But anyway, we’ve seen the return of the Jew to the homeland; exactly as it was promised 1500 years before Christ. How can anybody deny that that is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, that the nation of Israel would be scattered first into every nation but at the point leading up to the end-time they would return, and they are exactly where God intends them to be, and God is never a day late.