Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 8
MANNA: GOD’S SAME GRACE SAVES US AND KEEPS US
Let’s turn now to Exodus Chapter 19.
“In the third month (June), when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount (the mountain of God). And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, `Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians (drowning them in the Red Sea), and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.'”
It’s going to be a long time before we get to the Book of Revelation at the rate we are going. So I’m going to take the time here to jump all the way to Revelation, because you have the same identical word used. And the reason I like to tie them together is because it will be a like circumstance for a group of Jews, who at the last half of the tribulation period, will be fleeing away from Jerusalem, to a place God will lead them. It will probably be to the mountains of Moab southeast of Jerusalem, that He has this place for them. We pick this up in Revelation Chapter 12.
“And the woman (Israel) fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they (The Godhead) should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.”
That is 3 1/2 years. Now who are these Jews that are going to be fleeing from Jerusalem? For this we need to go back to Matthew 24. I hadn’t intended to teach this, I thought I was going to stay in Exodus, but I always feel that the Holy Spirit has a reason for doing some things and this may be one of them. Of course, the setting for Matthew 24 is Jesus alone with the twelve disciples. And they have asked Him in the earlier verses in this Chapter, “What are the signs of thy coming? What can Israel look for at the appearance of their Messiah?” Jesus is speaking here:
“When ye (now, He is talking to the twelve and the Nation of Israel, whom they represent. There is no Gentile language in here whatsoever.) therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)”
We want take time to go back to Daniel, but you remember that Daniel said in the middle of the week, or 7 years, the anti-christ will move down into Jerusalem. I think probably from Western Europe. He will move into the Temple in Jerusalem and defile it, probably like Antiochus the Syrian did back in the Old Testament. He will probably offer a hog on the altar at the Temple in Jerusalem, which we know will be rebuilt. And if you have been watching your news, you know that every Jew in the world is waiting for the Temple to be rebuilt. And according to Daniel, will then turn on the children of Israel, and bring in that terrible last 3 1/2 years of tribulation. Then Jesus says when you see the Temple defiled by the anti-christ:
“Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:”
I always like to point out the different classes or category of people here that Jesus is referring to. In the Middle East economy, you will find that most of the better homes have their patio on the house tops. So here you have probably retired people, and they are not to come down to take anything out of their house.
“Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes,”
Here is another category of people, and these are the working class. These are the younger people, the ones that are doing it by the sweat of the brow.
“And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!” And here is still another category as this involves mothers with little ones, and expecting mothers.“But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:”
The winters in Israel can be adverse and miserable, and also Israel is going back under the Law, so the sabbath comes into play again. It is interesting to read the accounts in the Jerusalem Post. There is a law before the Jerusalem Parliament, and has been for several months, that will actually re-establish the Sabbath in every category in Israel. And there is a lot of controversy between the secular Jews and the religious Jews, as the religious Jews have almost mandated this to be. So everything is getting set in the Nation of Israel even as we speak. We think it won’t be too long before they have the Temple and will start Temple worship again, and re-establish the Sabbath day. This will shut down all of their movies and night clubs and places of entertainment and business. And even in Jesus’ day they could only walk a short distance.
This is what Jesus is making reference to. Because they will be required to go many many miles, they had better pray that it won’t happen on the Sabbath. It will be just like leaving Egypt the night of the Passover. There was something about that exodus out of Egypt that had to be miraculous. They walked, but on the other hand God must have miraculously hurried them along, to have been able to go from Goshen down to the Red Sea in a very short period of time. And I think you will have the very same thing happen here, at the mid-point of the tribulation. These Jews are suddenly going to realize that the one they thought they could trust, the one they had signed that treaty 3 1/2 years earlier, turns out to be their mortal enemy. So this mixed escaping remnant, a complete cross-section of the Jewish society, will gather and make their flight out of Jerusalem on foot, heading for the mountains Southeast of Jerusalem.
“For then (beginning with this event) shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
This last 3 1/2 years is going to be the most awful time in all of human history. We cannot even imagine what it will be like. But this escaping group of Jews are the ones referred to in Chapter 12 of Revelation. They are going to their place in the wilderness, where the Godhead is going to protect and feed them.
“And when the dragon (and of course the dragon in Scripture is always in reference to Satan who has been cast out of heaven earlier in this Chapter.) saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman (Israel) which brought forth the man child (Christ),”
And so he just turns on the Jew, that he had earlier given permission to have the Temple worship, and had been more or less benevolent to them. Now he turns in hatred on them. Now, here is the identical word from Exodus.
“And to the woman (this escaping remnant of Jews) were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place (in other words a designated place by a Sovereign God), where she is nourished (taken care of, even as God took care of them in the wilderness with the manna, water, and etc.) for a time, and times, and half a time (3 1/2 years), from the face of the serpent.”
So they will be providentially protected by God for that last 3 1/2 years. And the reason I like to connect Exodus and Revelation is that just as surely as Israel was isolated in Goshen from the plagues, so will Israel be isolated from all the calamities of the tribulation. But wherever this group of Jews is being protected they will be completely insulated from it. And God will feed them, and protect them. Remember at the mid-point of the tribulation so many things happen. The only way I can teach Revelation is to delineate all the events at the beginning, and at the mid-point, and then all the events at the end. Then fill in the details.
So at the mid-point of the tribulation the anti-christ comes to Jerusalem (probably from Europe) but at the same moment Satan is cast out of heaven, and he indwells the anti-christ. Now, this has happened before and a good example is Judas – when Satan entered in and literally took over the man Judas, and used him. So Satan will also indwell the anti-christ and will control him. When Satan, in the man anti-christ, sees this escaping group of Jews, probably quite a few thousand of them, what does he do? – Just like Pharaoh did when he sent an army after them from Egypt. Then verse 15:
“And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, (these escaping Israelites) that he might cause her to be carried away (or destroyed) of the flood.”
Always remember that Revelation is speaking in symbolic language, and just as sure as Pharaoh saw Israel escaping and sent an army after them, the anti-christ will do the same thing. But God intervenes, even as he did at the Red Sea by drowning all the Egyptians. What does he do here?
“And the earth helped the woman (under the control of the Sovereign God), and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood (or armed force) which the dragon cast out of his mouth.”
What happened? Just before that Battalion or Regiment of armed forces got to the escaping Jews, the earth opens up in a deep crevice and just literally swallows them up. You may think that is just too hard to believe. Is it? That is no harder than believing that God opened the Red Sea and drowned them. Remember the Scriptures says “with God all things are possible.” So as these Jews are escaping, they will go out as if they have wings like a eagle. Remember that what God said happened in Egypt. And how did they leave Egypt? They walked. It was so miraculous the way God did it that it seemed like they took wings and flew. And so it will be that way again, by a miraculous, Sovereign God. Now, let’s come back again to Exodus Chapter 19. to continue our study. Now, for another real interesting 2 or 3 verses:
“Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:” Let’s break that verse down.
“Now therefore, if (means conditional. Israel is going to be left with a free will.) ye will obey (faith and obedience are almost synonymous) my voice indeed, and keep my covenant,(there will be more than one Covenant, but that all boils down to be under that one master covenant, which was the one God made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And that is, Israel would become a great nation of people, they would dwell in their own land, and one day God would be their King, and government. This was the Covenant they were to be aware of, and be obedient in preparing for the fulfillment of it.) then ye (the nation. Always remember that God deals with the Jew on two levels. One is national, and the other is personal. Never lose sight of that. When He makes a national Covenant with Israel it involves the whole nation. But a nation is still made up of individuals, so He will deal with the Jew individually of course. When the LORD says in Isaiah, and Paul repeats it in Romans Chapter 11, that the Nation of Israel shall be blinded, that is a national thing. And they have been blinded, and are still blind. But an individual Jew can still be saved today.) shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:”
Now, if you went back into the root of the word treasure, it boils down to not just an ordinary treasure, not just a treasure worth a few thousand or a few million, but it is a treasure of intrinsic value. You can’t put a value on it. It is beyond comprehension. That is what the Nation of Israel will be in God’s economy. And He says you will be that above all people. How can God designate one nation to be above all others? Because He is Sovereign. What does the rest of the verse say? Because “all the earth is mine.” There is a verse in Deuteronomy we need to look at. This is written by Moses, but Who is speaking it? God Himself. The Sovereign Almighty God.
“When the most High (remember that’s another term for Deity we studied in Genesis) divided to the nations their inheritance (God designated where their borders would be and how large their population would be and how they would be blessed one way or another), when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people (all these nations) according to the number of the children of Israel.”
Isn’t that amazing? Some people may accuse me of making too much of the Nation of Israel. How can you? You can’t make too much of them. This whole world revolves around God and His chosen people Israel. And I know they are out there today in a blindness, and dispersion, but they are still in the news, three times a day, seven days a week, Why? Because they are the very vortex of all of God’s dealing with the nations. Oh, if only our politicians could recognize it. They can not stab Israel in the back and get away with it. They can’t ignore them and hope they go away. Jerusalem from day one, God said would be a stone of stumbling. And isn’t that exactly what it is? The world today is in constant turmoil, because they don’t know what to do with Jerusalem. And the reason they don’t know what to do with Jerusalem is that they don’t know the Book. So now back to Exodus 19 again:
“And ye (the Nation) shall be unto me a kingdom of priests,….”
Those of you who have been with me a long time know that the kingdom, is the kingdom, is the kingdom. What kingdom? That kingdom that is coming on earth, which Christ will one day rule, not just the Nation of Israel. Although they will be the apple of His eye, and will be the greatest nation on earth, when that kingdom comes in. But it’s the only kingdom that the Scripture is looking forward to. Granted, you and I as Grace Age Believers, are already members of the kingdom. And it is now in heaven. But where is that kingdom coming to? Back on the earth. So always remember that the kingdom is the kingdom is the kingdom unless the text designates something else. We will be going to the Book of Acts in the next lesson and pick this up there.