Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 71
SHOWING A BREAK IN THE O.T. PROPHECY TIME LINE – 2
Okay, once again, you’ve had your coffee break. We’ll go into program number two this afternoon. For those of you out in television, again we just appreciate so much your letters, your financial help, and most of all your prayers. Because, after all, I have a little plaque in the kitchen that says, “Never Underestimate the Power of Prayer.” And that is my trademark…if you can’t pray about it, then it’s not worth doing. So again, we appreciate everything and your letters.
We’re going to pick right up where we left off in our last four programs. We’ve left our original Scripture reference on the board, and we’re going to go back to it for just a moment. For those of you here in the studio, go back to Joel. Keep your hand up there in Luke, that’s where I’m going to go next. But anyhow, to get things kicked off, we’ll go back to where we started in our last half-hour, and that was in Joel chapter 2. Remember we dropped in at verse 28. We showed how all of these Old Testament prophecies speak of everything happening one thing right after the other, with no indication of a 2,000 year hiatus, or parenthetical period of time, however you want to put it, that we now know as the Church Age.
It helps you so much to understand that this is the way prophecy is written, as if it’s all going to keep coming right down the line. All right, so just for starters, let’s go back to Joel chapter 2, again, so we’ll know where we’re coming from. All right, verse 28:
“And it shall come to pass (It’s going to happen.) afterward, (after a certain number of events have taken place) that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29. And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days, I will pour out my spirit.” (-) Which we understand was the Day of Pentecost. But now the Old Testament goes right on into the Tribulation. That’s next.
“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.” That’s all part of “the day of the LORD,” or what we have been looking at in the previous half-hour of the things concerning the end-time: the Tribulation, the Second Coming, and the Kingdom.
Well, then we went all the way up through the Old Testament. We were just ready to jump into the New when we ran out of time. Let’s continue on now and jump all the way up from Joel to Luke. We’re going to stay on that same premise that all the Old Testament prophecies, as well as the Four Gospels, are still looking at everything happening right down the line, sequentially, going into the Kingdom.
Not a word about the Church Age. Not a word about the Body of Christ or the Rapture. Why? That’s going to be left for the Apostle Paul. And oh, people can’t see that! And they almost get upset with me. And it takes a lot of patience for me not to get upset back. But nevertheless, this is the way it’s laid out.
All right, are you with me in Luke chapter 1? And again, just to show how we can always put a time element in between two of these statements of prophecy. Luke chapter 1 verse 30 and the angel is speaking to Mary.
“…Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. (-) (Now we know that happened. But now look at the next verse.) 32. 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:”
Has that happened yet? No. Still hasn’t happened. So, put your hyphen between those two verses. All right, now I’ve got another one. I thought of it during break time–Acts chapter 15. Now, I could go the rest of the afternoon right here. But, I’ll try to keep it short. Acts chapter 15, you remember, is Luke’s record of the Jerusalem Council in A.D. 51, twenty-two years after the crucifixion and after Pentecost. The reason for it is that Paul has now begun his ministry among the Gentiles. He’s establishing these little congregations of Gentiles on his Gospel – salvation by faith plus nothing in the finished work of the cross, which I’m going to cover either later this afternoon or our next taping. And the Judaizers in the Jerusalem congregation couldn’t handle that.
Of course they meant well. They really thought that Paul had misled these poor Gentiles, and that they really didn’t have a full-blown salvation, because they were not keeping the Law and were not adhering to Judaism. So, what did Peter and the Eleven do? They sent men to come in behind Paul. And these men were coming in to Paul’s little congregations with that message. You can’t be saved by Paul’s Gospel alone. You have to keep circumcision, keep the Law. All right, now lest you look at me quizzically, just look at what it says in Acts chapter 15 verse 1.
“And certain men who came down from Judea…” That’s Jerusalem and they were from the Jerusalem church under the control of the Twelve. They’ve come down to Antioch. That’s where this is referring to. Paul and Barnabas have been ministering up there in Antioch in Syria.
“And certain men which came down from Judea taught the brethren, (Paul’s Gentile converts, and this is what they told them.) and said, Except (or unless) ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.”
Plain English? Well, you can’t get it any plainer than that. You can’t be saved by this Gospel alone! You’ve got to practice Judaism! You’ve got to be circumcised. You’ve got to keep the commandments. Now, this verse doesn’t say that, but verse 5 does. So, jump up to verse 5. Paul gets to Jerusalem and he meets with the Twelve and the Jerusalem church. There were other voices and here they are.
“But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees who believed,…” Well, they believed what? The Kingdom Gospel that Jesus was the Christ. So these Pharisees now are members of the Jerusalem church. They’re believers. Not of Paul’s Gospel of Grace, but of Christ’s Gospel of the Kingdom. All right, but this is what Paul was up against. These fellows were coming in behind him telling his Gentile converts that you can’t be saved unless you’re circumcised. Now read on in verse 5.
“…saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to (To what?) keep the law of Moses.”
Now, you know that just flies in the face of when Paul says in Romans 6:14 “You’re not under law, you’re under grace.” I hear it every once in a while. The girls hear it in the office “What’s Les talking about we’re not under Law?” Am I right, Liz? Yeah. They can’t comprehend it. What do you mean we’re not under the Law? I need the Ten Commandments. No. We’re not under Law, we’re under Grace!
All right, so they come together to discuss this thing with the Twelve – Paul and Barnabas against the Twelve up there at Jerusalem. All right, so after they finally agree that Paul is right. They’ve been wrong. Now, it takes good men to do that. We’re getting a few, they call and say, Les, I’m finally seeing it. You’re right. I’ve been wrong for 20 years, but now I see it. Now, that takes a good man. And I admire them for it.
In fact, I just had a call before we left. A pastor down in Florida wants us to come into his church. And that’s the first thing I asked him, “You mean, you agree with me?” He says, “One hundred percent.” And he said, “My people will agree with you one hundred percent.” He said “But, it took me ten years.” And that’s about what it does, you know. It takes a long time to come out of that that’s been 20 years wrong and suddenly see that this is where it’s at.
So, anyhow, it was the same way here at Jerusalem. The Twelve and the Jerusalem church finally come to the knowledge that Paul was right, and they’re not going to bug them anymore about putting his people under the Law. All right, so now then, drop all the way down to verse 13. See, that’s just introduction and the program’s half gone!
“After they had held their peace,…” Well, what does that mean? Hey! They’d been arguing all day! They’d been just totally toenail-to-toenail saying, Paul, you’ve got to teach these people circumcision and the Law. And Paul saying, I will not! And on and on they went. So, finally-
“And after they had held their peace, James (who was moderating this) answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me; (Listen to me.) 14. Simeon (Peter) hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.” This was a reference to the house of Cornelius, which was really Paul’s salvation. Had Peter not had that experience at Cornelius’, he would have never given in at this Jerusalem council. But he finally woke up and said, hey, a long time ago – twelve years ago – God showed me that He was going to save Gentiles. All right, here are the results!
“…how at the first God did visit the Gentiles, (Now, watch the language carefully.) to take out of them…” Now, what does that imply? There’s not going to be all that many, but He’s going to bring a certain small remnant of Gentiles out of their paganism and their unbelief into a salvation experience. All right, so, “God did visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name.” Now James, by Holy Spirit inspiration, remembers something. There’s a verse back in the Old Testament that alludes to this, that tells us what it was talking about.
“And to this agree the words of the prophets; (Old Testament) as it is written, (What’s the next word?) 16. After this (Now, what does “after this” imply? A given period of time) I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, (Which is a reference primarily to the what? The Temple and Jerusalem and the Nation of Israel, in general) which is fallen down;…” Well, does that need an explanation? The Temple has been off the scene since A.D. 70. Israel has been dispersed. They’re just recently come back to their homeland and re-established their nation, but they still don’t have the Temple. But they will!
All right, so here’s the whole thing again—that after a period of time, a break in the prophetic timeline, God’s going to come back and still finish everything that was promised. All right, now go back with me to the Book of Amos, and you’ll see what James is referring to. Go back to Amos chapter 9 dropping in at verse 11.
Now you see, without our understanding of the Church Age, these Jews had no idea what Amos was talking about. And Jesus didn’t reveal it to them in His earthly ministry. He left them in the dark. But yet, we know now that after God turned to the Gentile world and let Israel lose the Temple, lose their homeland, go into the dispersion, yet after that next period of time, which we call the Age of Grace, God’s going to come back and finish the prophecies. They’re still all going to be fulfilled.
“In that day (future) I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen,…” Well, you see, Amos didn’t know that the Romans were going to destroy Jerusalem and the Temple again. That was beyond him. But yet, by Holy Spirit inspiration, he could write prophetically that it’s going to fall. He didn’t know how or what or when, but it’s going to fall. But after a period of time then he says–
“…I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old.” All again to show us that prophecy only went up until the time of the appearance, especially, of the Apostle Paul and the opening up of the Age of Grace. When this Age of Grace is over, the Church has to be taken out of the way so that God can finish His prophecy – His timeline. It’s so simple! I mean it’s just so simple!
All right, now come back to the Book of Romans for a moment. We see much the same kind of language in a little different way. But it’s still speaking of the same concept that there’s going to be a long period of time when Israel will not be in a place of fulfilling prophecy, but they will be again. Their day is coming, and we’re getting closer and closer every day. All right, Romans chapter 11, drop down to verse 25, and the Apostle Paul writes–
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant (or unaware) of this mystery, (Or this thing that has been kept secret, that’s why the Old Testament couldn’t reveal it.) lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; (And here’s what we’re supposed to know.) that blindness (a spiritual blindness) in part (for a period of time, not forever but for a period of time) has happened to Israel, (What’s the next word?) until (There’s the time element. Israel is going to be kept spiritually blind until a point in time. And what point in time?) the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” The Rapture of the Church, when we’re out of here, and God picks up where He left off with Israel in the prophetic program.
Now, I can come back to my timeline. Here we’ve come all the way up through the Old Testament and Christ’s earthly ministry, He ascended and then shortly, later, He raises up the Apostle Paul. He sends him into the Gentile world. He opens up the timeline now for 1,900 and some years, and then we have to get the Church out of the way, because now God is ready once again to start dealing with His covenant people.
Oh, they are going to be under judgment for seven years, but the final result is what? The return of Christ and the setting up of His Kingdom! And until people can understand this break in the timeline, most of them have blenderized the whole shebang. Haven’t they? You all know they have. They threw it all into a blender, mixed it all up, and then they parcel it out and try to get people to swallow it. Well, all you have to do is just sort it out, and it’s so simple.
But it seems as though people don’t want to, and that’s what I usually tell them. I say, if you can’t see it, it’s because you don’t want to, because if you want to see, the Lord will open it up to you. You know, I’ve had call after call after call, “Les, you know how I found your program? I dropped on my knees one night and I said, God, I want to know what this Book is talking about. And within a week, I find your program.” Well, that’s what we like to hear. It’s not Les Feldick. It’s the Lord working in the hearts of people.
All right, now then, I don’t think I have to go all the way back to Joel, but come back with me to the book of Acts chapter 2, the Day of Pentecost. The Day of Pentecost, which we’ve already referred to a time or two in these prophetic statements in the Old Testament. “Your young men shall dream dreams and your young women shall see visions” and all these things. So, now in Acts chapter 2, the Holy Spirit comes down and is evidenced by the little tongues of fire sitting on the heads of the 120. Peter and the Eleven are now preaching to this vast crowd of Jews from every nation under heaven, from all these different languages. And what’s the miracle?
All right, we’ve got to pick it up down in verse 7. Here’s the miracle. And, oh, it just blows the minds of these Jews, in spite of the fact that they’ve just experienced three years of His miracles; over and over and over He’s been performing miracles. This is only 50 days later, and yet it just blows their mind. All right, look what it says.
“And they were all amazed (this whole multitude of Jews gathered for the Feast of Pentecost) and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these that speak Galileans?” Well, what’s implied? There’s no high-classed, educated, language speaking people up in Galilee. That’s the dumb, uneducated part of Israel. But that’s what these guys are, and here they’re speaking in all these languages.
“And how hear we every man in our own language, wherein we were born?” Miraculous! And the multitude was just all shook up. So now then, verse 12, here’s the response from this multitude of Jews.
“And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?” What’s going on? Now again, I’ve got to remind you, this is only 50, 52, 53 days after Christ’s earthly ministry. What’s the matter with these people? Why can’t they put two and two together that this is just an extension of what Jesus had been doing for three years. But they couldn’t get it. What does all this mean?
All right, now then verse 13; some went so far as to make the crazy suspicion that, hey, they’re drunk. Well, I’ve never seen a drunk gain in his intelligence. Wasn’t that ridiculous? But that’s what they thought. You know, they’re drunk. They’re full of new wine.
“Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. 14. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, (Who’s he addressing? Jews. Israel.) be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15. 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;” Referring to something in the past and what’s the “that?” What Joel was writing about. Peter says what you’re seeing is what Joel was prophesying. The end is coming! It won’t be long until Christ will return and we’re going to have the Kingdom. Now, if you remember, when we went through the little Jewish epistles of James and Peter and John and Jude and Revelation, what was the concept? That just over the horizon the King is coming! They had no idea of a 2,000 year interval.
All right, so Peter again, with all of the expectation that now they’re coming close to the end, said, “This is what was spoken by Joel the prophet.” Now look what Peter does. He quotes it. Verse 17 and we’ll just read it again. It won’t hurt us. He’s quoting directly from Joel chapter 2, where we started out in the last program.
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my 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: 18. And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:”
Now you see, if Peter would have had any idea that the Church Age was coming, that’s where he would have stopped. But he doesn’t; he goes right on. Now don’t miss that. That’s one of the key points here in Scripture. Peter does not know that these are not the final days. So, he goes right on. And he says, from the prophecy now, from Joel.
“And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: 20. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:” So, what’s Peter telling them? Hey, this is just telling us that the end is coming. We’re going to be getting ready for those final seven years, because if we can survive them, we’re going to be in the Kingdom.
All right, now then, the next verse throws a curve at a lot of people, because, again, they don’t understand the Old Testament program. Now verse 21, and Peter says, quoting from Joel.
“It shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Well, that’s not a parallel with Romans chapter 10:13 – it is a whole different set of circumstances. Here we’re speaking about people who would be in the Kingdom, and they would find salvation by a Jew bringing them to a knowledge of their Jehovah. In Romans 10:13, it comes after you believe Romans 10:9 for salvation.
Now, I’ve only got two minutes. Now you’ve got to move quickly with me. Come back to Isaiah, because from the Old Testament prophets Israel was going to be the ones to bring salvation, or the message of salvation, to the unsaved, who at this point in time are still pictured as in the Kingdom. And they would come to a knowledge of Jehovah through every Jew who was to have been a priest, according Exodus chapter 19 verse 6 – “And you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation.” All right, here is Isaiah’s take on it.
“Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he (speaking of the Messiah) shall bring forth judgment (or righteous rule) to the Gentiles.” Now, you come down to verse 6 and it’s speaking to the Nation.
“I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light to (What people?) the Gentiles;”
Then, when you jump on up to chapters 59 and 60, it’s the same thing, that Israel would be the vehicle to bring the Gentiles to a knowledge of salvation. But by the time we get near to the end of Christ’s earthly ministry, we now see that that’s not going to be case. There will be no unbelievers in the Kingdom for Israel to minister to, because they’ve lost that opportunity. That’s why Jesus told Nicodemus what? “Except you be born again, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.” So, now we understand, that, no, there will be no unbelievers in the Kingdom.