Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 74
CONNECTING THE DOTS OF SCRIPTURE – PART 9
Genesis through Revelation
Again, for those of you in television, if you’re a new listener, we’re not associated with any group. I’m not a pastor of a church. I’m just a cattle rancher. But we love to teach the Book, and the Lord has given me the opportunity to do this. We don’t try to attack anybody. We don’t try to elevate anybody. We just simply try to get people into the Book, and it’s working. My, if you could read our mail! It’s working. People are saying, “For the first time in my life, I’m understanding what this Book is all about.” Well, what more could we ask. That’s our whole purpose in teaching. It is to help folks to put all this together.
All right, again we have to thank you for all your prayers and your letters and, of course, your financial help. We don’t want to forget that. But keep praying for us, because the devil doesn’t like what we’re doing. We are under satanic attack, and I think most of you realize that.
All right, I’m going to continue on what we started in the last two tapings, or the last eight programs. That is more or less as Jerry titled it – “Connecting the Dots of Scripture,” didn’t you? Jerry titled it for me. We’re connecting the dots. I came up with that at one of my seminars. I think it might have been the one in Oklahoma City a year ago, where I don’t know how many people used the same expression on their way out. They said, “Les, today is the first time somebody connected the dots.” Well, you know what that means. When you just simply get all the subject matter tied together so that it makes sense. This is what we hope to do, and we started with the previous eight programs way back in Genesis and came up through the Old Testament and the promises, as we see in the verse we’re going to open up with – Romans 15 verse 8.
So, for those of you in television, the studio has got a jump on you. I gave them the verse before we opened. Find Romans 15 verse 8 and I just called it, to the audience here, the introduction to the Book of Matthew. And you say, Paul? Introducing Matthew? Well, in reality it does. Here it is.
“Now I say that Jesus Christ was (Now, naturally, that’s past tense from when Paul is writing.) a minister of the circumcision (That’s Israel, remember. So, He was–) a minister of the Nation of Israel for the truth of God, (It wasn’t something Paul dreamed up, but–) for the truth of God to confirm (or fulfill) the promises made unto the fathers:”
Now, if you think about that for a minute. Isn’t that the perfect introduction to the four gospels? Well, for most people it doesn’t mean that at all. But it should. Because you see, as we ended up in our last program, I think the last verse I used was:
“For the LORD (God the Son, Jehovah) shall be king over all the earth:…”
And very few in Christendom understand that. They don’t know what we’re talking about. So, we have to just patiently keep repeating and repeating and it finally sinks in. All right, so look at the verse again.
“Now I say that Jesus Christ (in His earthly ministry) was (years before Paul writes) a minister…” A sent one. A particular instrument that God used between Himself and the Nation of Israel.
God sent Him to Israel for what purpose? You know what most people say? Well, to go to the cross. No, the cross hadn’t even been mentioned yet. There’s no inkling of a cross except in Psalms 22, and maybe if you’ve got a lot of imagination, Isaiah 53. But the cross was unknown in the Old Testament prophets. They didn’t know He was going to go to Roman crucifixion. But what did they know? He was coming to be a king over a kingdom.
So all the prophets, and that’s what we’ve shown in the previous eight programs, were depicting a glorious, earthly Kingdom over which Israel is going to be the major player. They’ll be the major nation on earth, because Jesus Christ will be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
All right, that was the promise made to the Nation of Israel. That not only would they be a favored nation, but the day would come when they could enjoy God Himself in the role of the Son who would be their Messiah and King, and Israel would be the top dog of all the nations. That’s what the Old Testament prophets are all about. All right, now we’re going to look at how it began to unfold. “He came to fulfill the promises…”
Now, come back with me to Matthew chapter 3. We touched a little bit in previous programs on the announcement to Joseph and Mary of this virgin-born Son that was coming. We also alluded to John the Baptist and his parents, and how John the Baptist’s father recognized through the leading of the Holy Spirit that this was the favored son to announce the coming of Israel’s Messiah. This is where we’re going to start now. John the Baptist is now full grown, and he’s beginning his ministry to the Nation of Israel.
Now, I’m going to emphasize it all afternoon. Who or to whom did Christ come? Israel! And next month – no, this month already – we’re in November. In fact, I was just thinking when I was back there having my private prayer time. I think I should encourage everyone in my listening audience: you call the White House. You can find the number. It’s available to everybody. You call the White House and ask for the comment line. I do it periodically. It’ll just be an opportunity to leave a forty second recording. Well, it won’t take forty seconds for you – just admonish our President don’t force Israel to give away one acre of land.
That’s all you have to say. And if we bombard the comment line with that kind of a statement, I’m sure he’s going to have the wherewithal to think twice. Because that’s what it’s all going to be about. See, he and Condoleezza Rice want to give back East Jerusalem and some of the West Bank. And I say it flies in the face of the promises of God, except that it probably has to happen for the end-time scenario. And I guess you’re all aware that we’re getting close.
But nevertheless, Christ came to the Nation of Israel. John puts it this way, “He came unto His own (Israel), and His own received Him not.” All right, now in Matthew chapter 3 we have the beginning of the ministry of John the Baptist, who is really an Old Testament prophet. In fact, back up a few pages to Malachi. Just go back to Malachi chapter 3, because some of these preachers and theologians get all riled up with me when I make this statement that the four gospels are just an extension of the Old Testament. The only thing that’s changed, is that the Messiah is in their midst. Nothing has changed. They’re still the Nation of Israel. They’re still worshipping at the Temple. And they’re resting on the Old Testament Covenant promises. Nothing has changed. So, I make no apology. The four gospels are an extension of the Old Testament.
“Behold, (the prophet writes) I will…” Now whenever I see those words “I will” in the Old Testament, what do I put on them? The promise. That’s a promise of God. He’s going to do it! As I wrote to someone just this morning, anytime you have a prophetic statement from the lips of God Himself, you mark it down it is going to happen. It may take a couple more thousand years. I don’t think so. But even if it does, it’s going to happen. Anything that God says, “I will do,” is going to happen. Have I made my point? Because most of Christendom scorns this anymore. They’re throwing out prophecy by the truckload. They don’t want anything to do with it. And I beg to differ. All right, now look what God says through the prophet Malachi four hundred years before it happens.
“Behold, I will send my messenger, (a reference to John the Baptist) and he shall prepare the way before me: (That’s what John the Baptist did.) and the Lord, (God the Son) whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, (Did He? Of course He did.) even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.” Now verse 2.
“But who may abide the day of his coming? (Now, again, I’ve got to stop. Who do the Old Testament prophets write to? Israel—the Jew, the Nation of Israel.) and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: 3. And he shall sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver:…”
Now, what’s the analogy? How do you purify gold or silver or mercury or any of the heavy metals? Heat. The more you heat it, the more the impurities come to the top. And that’s the analogy here. This is what God is going to do with His covenant people Israel. It’s going to be cleansing them like the refiner’s fire or a purifier of silver.
“…and he shall purify the sons of Levi, (Now, who were the sons of Levi? The priesthood. The religious leaders.) and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. 4. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.”
“And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, (the false teachers) and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and those that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts. 6. For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”
All right, now there’s the Old Testament promise of a coming herald or announcer of a coming Messiah. And remember, it was 400 years before it happened. That was the last word that God gave Israel before He spoke to Joseph and Mary and Zacharias and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Baptist. All right, now John the Baptist begins his ministry. Back to Matthew chapter 3.
“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, (And this was his sermon. This was his message.) 2. And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven of heaven is at hand.”
Now again, I’m gathering from the letters and phone calls I get that 90% of Christendom do not have a clue what this Kingdom of Heaven really is. They think it’s some kind of a spiritual entity. Something up there in the ethereal. No. The Kingdom of Heaven is a literal and physical and, as I mentioned in the last taping, political kingdom. Christ is going to rule and reign as a legitimate King. And whenever a king rules, there are politics involved. Not the rotten kind we’re used to, but you have to control the masses. And how do you do that? With political laws and rules and so forth.
All right, now sometimes I don’t know where I’m going to go next. I guess this is one of them. Jump ahead to Matthew chapter 19 verse 27. Now maybe you think it doesn’t connect, but on the other hand I think it will. So that you see what I’m talking about, that we’re talking about a kingdom over which a government will hold sway. All right, Matthew 19 verse 27. We’re at the end of the three years of His earthly ministry. And Peter is speaking.
“Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we (the Twelve) have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?” Now put that in the realm of present day politics, and it’s real easy to explain.
If you’re going to support someone running for office, and you’re going to put a lot of time and energy and maybe even some money in it, what are you going to expect in return? Now come on, you’re all normal humans? You’re going to want to be in a place in his administration. I want a job. I don’t care what it is. But if I’m going to work for you and you win, I want a job. Okay. Fair enough. That’s what Peter is saying. Lord, we’ve been with you for three years. Now when you come and set up your kingdom, where are we going to be? Look what the answer was.
“And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory,…” Well, when is that? In the Kingdom Age! When He sets up His earthly Kingdom and the capital in Jerusalem. And this is the prospect for the Twelve. Of course, Judas lost his. Mathias comes in. But it’s still the Twelve.
“…when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory,(In that regenerated, reconstituted, remade earth like unto the Garden of Eden. We’ve been stressing that over the last several months. All right, now where are the Twelve going to be?) ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging (or ruling) the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Now, is that gobbledy-gook? That’s plain English. Where are they going to be? They are going to be under the throne room there in Jerusalem. All twelve men are going to have a distinctive tribal relationship with one of the twelve tribes, ruling under the King.
Now, is that so hard to see? Man, it’s as plain as English can make it. That’s what it’s going to be. Christ is going to be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but under Him are going to be the Twelve Apostles—each with one of the twelve tribes and their jurisdiction.
All right, now speaking of the King, let’s go all the way back to Isaiah. We may have used it in the last two tapings, but let’s look at it again. I’ve got to convince the doubters that we’re talking about a literal, physical, political kingdom. Isaiah chapter 9, I think it is. I hope it is. Isaiah 9 verses 6 and 7, now if this doesn’t fit with what we’re talking about, land, I don’t know what does. But this is written 700 years before the Matthew prophecy. But it still fits. It’s the Word of God.
You know, when we were down in Georgia the other day, I don’t know how many people said that what our ministry has done for them is just like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. That when you’ve got everything as it should be, it all fits. Well, that’s the way this Book is. If you get it all put together, it fits!
“For unto us (the Nation of Israel) a child is born, unto us a son is given: (That was the whole purpose of Christ coming to the Nation of Israel in Bethlehem.) and the government shall be upon his shoulder: (Who? The Son that was given, that was born in Bethlehem.) and his name shall be called (When he becomes this glorious King in the Kingdom.) Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, (In other words, no enemy is ever going to come in and upset it.) upon the throne of David,…” And that’s why I always put it where? Mount Zion. Just south of the Temple Mount that you see in the news all the time lately. About a quarter of a mile south and down a little bit was Mount Zion. And that’s where His throne is going to be. And that’s where the Twelve will have their twelve thrones.
“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and justice from henceforth forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” In other words, that Kingdom is going to slip right on into eternity, I think, on the new heaven and the new earth that we see in Revelation 21.
All right, now let’s come back quickly. My goodness, time is almost gone. Back to Matthew chapter 3 and here comes John the Baptist, the heralder, the announcer that the King is in their midst. Consequently, what’s the message?
“…Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Well, now why was repentance the prerogative? Because it’s going to be a sinless kingdom and Israel had to get righteously right with their Messiah before the Kingdom could be brought in. The sin problem had to be dealt with. You don’t hear much about sin anymore, do we? No matter how vile everything gets, they never call it sin. But Israel had the same sins that we’ve got today. They were listed when we were back there in Malachi. They robbed the widows. They committed adultery. They were everything. Well, they had to repent of all that, and be ready for this glorious King and His Kingdom.
“For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, (Now, I didn’t look at Isaiah. I looked at Malachi. I could have taken you also back to Isaiah, but I didn’t for sake of time. But this is how Isaiah put it.) The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, (Now, maybe I can clarify it a little bit and change the preposition – Prepare ye the way for the Lord. Get ready for Him. He’s coming!) make his paths straight.”
In other words, let His ministry come to full fruition, like Romans 15:8 said, that He could “fulfill the promises made to the fathers.” All right, now come on across the page to chapter 3 verse 11. Not only where they to recognize who Jesus was, but now they had another prerequisite, they had to follow this repentance with water baptism. Boy, that makes everybody smile, doesn’t it? Nothing makes people feel better than when I agree with water baptism. Well, for these Jews it was appropriate. Of course it was.
Come all the way back with me to Leviticus. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus—because we’ve got to make all of this make sense. I’ll never forget. Quite a few years ago now, I was at a funeral. As I was walking back to my car, one of the pastors in that community (he’s gone on to be with the Lord now) was walking the other way. He just yelled across the street. He said, “Les, I watch you every morning.” And I was shocked. And I said, “You don’t disagree?” “He says how can I? You prove everything from the Book.” Well, that’s what I like to hear.
Well, now here’s my take on why did these Jews need repentance and water baptism? Well, I should have even gone one book further. Keep your hand in Leviticus; go back to Exodus 19. Here’s where it all begins. I’m sorry about that. But people who know how I teach. It doesn’t bother them. So, I hope nobody out there cares. Exodus 19 verse 6. Israel is just out of Egypt and gathered around Mount Sinai. In chapter 20 God is going to give Moses the Ten Commandments. So we’ve got the Nation ready for the Law. But before they get the Law, look what God promises, again Exodus 19 verse 6.
“And you (the Nation of Israel) shall be unto me a kingdom (with a king, but they’re to be) of priests,…” Every Jew a priest of Jehovah. Not just Levi, every Jew was going to be a go-between.
“And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” All right, now come back to Leviticus. If they’re going to be a priest of Jehovah, like the Levites, what are they all going to have to go through? Water washing. Now, Leviticus chapter 8 verse 1.
“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2.Take Aaron (Now, he was the first high priest, if you remember.) and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, and a bullock for the sin-offering, and two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread; 3. And gather thou all the congregation together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 4. And Moses did as the LORD commanded him;…” All right, now then, verse 5.
“And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing which the LORD commanded to be done. (Now this is the first time. This is the beginning of Israel’s religious history.) 6. And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and (What?) washed them with (What?) water.” And that was the whole idea of preparation for the priesthood.
Now, as Judaism went up through the years then, it just became a ritual where the priests would be constantly washing, washing, washing. In the water. In fact, one time Iris and I were way down in the lower parts of Ancient Jerusalem. We had an archeologist guide, and he was showing us what they thought had been the house of Caiaphas the High Priest. Seven bathrooms! Seven. But they weren’t just bathrooms, they were ritual baths. For what? That constant cleansing, cleansing, cleansing.
Come back to Matthew 3. So, if Israel is going to be a nation of priests, what is every Jew going to have to use as an introductory rite? Water. Baptism. And that’s the way it is translated in the book of Hebrews. Washings. Washings. But the Greek word is baptizo, so the two are synonymous. When you wash, you baptize. When you baptize, you’re going to have a symbolic washing. All right, so quickly now, and then we’ve got to wind it down. Where John the Baptist says,
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with (Water? No. but–) the Holy Spirit, and with fire:”