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975: Tribulation Prophecy – 3 – Lesson 1 Part 3 Book 82

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 82

TRIBULATION PROPHECY – 3

Daniel 9:25 – 11:31

Okay, good to see you all back from coffee break. We’ll begin program number 3 this afternoon, and we’re going to go back where we left off in the last program. I didn’t really get an opportunity to finish it like I should have.   Fortunately, someone came up during the break and said, “Well, you’ve got to explain what the Gospel of the Kingdom is.”

All right, let’s go back and do that.  We don’t want to leave any loose ends.  So go back with me to Matthew chapter 9.  We’re still going to go back to Daniel, don’t worry.  We’re not out of there for good.  But come back with me to Matthew chapter 9 where we just left the end of our last program, just to qualify terminology.

Matthew 9:35

“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, (That is of the Nation of Israel.) teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, (and along with that, of course–) and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.”

All right, now then, go to chapter 10 verses 5 and 6 and you’ll see where they were to take this Gospel of the Kingdom.  And always remember, you all know it, I know you do.  What’s the definition of Gospel?  Good News!  You all know that.  All right, so it’s the good news of the what?  The Kingdom—that glorious heaven on earth that is coming at the end of the Tribulation and over which Christ will rule and reign.

All right, that was the Good News.  But in order to appropriate that Good News, what were the children of Israel to believe?  Who this Jesus was.  That’s all God was asking Israel to believe, that He was the promised Messiah.  That was their Gospel.  That was the very heart of Kingdom Gospel.

Today, under Paul’s epistles and the Gospel of Grace, we must believe that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again.

Now of course, along with the Gospel of the Kingdom they still had Temple worship.  They still kept the Law. They knew nothing of the freedoms and the liberties that we have under Grace.  But, that was the Good News of the Kingdom, that the King was in their midst.  But they had to believe who He was in order to appropriate it.  All right, but it was limited to Israel as we see now in Matthew 10 verses 5 and 6.

Matthew 10:5-6

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, (Now, that’s as plain as English can make it.) and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: (Because they were half-breeds.  They weren’t full blood Jews.  And then here’s the cap of it all.) 6. But go rather (instead of the Gentiles and Samaritans) go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”  And that is limited to Jew only.

All right, now then, to come to the very heart, like I said a moment ago, of the Gospel, turn over to Matthew 16 and we get Peter’s confession of faith.  Peter is saved by this Kingdom Gospel.  This is his confession.  Matthew 16 and again we like to start at verse 13.  We’ve done it hundreds of times over the years, but we’ll do it again.

Matthew 16:13-16

“When Jesus came into the borders of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14. And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. 15. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16. And Simon Peter answered and said, (Now here’s his profession of faith of the Kingdom Gospel.) Thou art the Christ, (the Messiah) the Son of the living God.”  Period.

Not a word about faith in the crucifixion, not a word about death, not a word about shed blood, not a word about resurrection, only that He was the Christ.

All right, now for sake of comparison, I have to do this every time. Here is the Gospel that we are proclaiming in this Age of Grace.  The Kingdom Gospel passed off during the Book of Acts, and now we’re left with only one.  I don’t know where people get the idea that I’m proclaiming two Gospels.  But, oh, I get it all the time.  Where do you get that we’re under two Gospels?  You don’t hear me right!  That’s all I can say.

The Kingdom Gospel passed off the scene in the Book of Acts.  I can’t name the date and the month, but somewhere back there in the Book of Acts it fell through the cracks.  Israel rejected everything and we’re left with this Gospel of the Grace of God, which is now I Corinthians 15, plus many other portions.  But this one in particular says it all.

I Corinthians 15:1-4 and it’s amazing.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again—it’s amazing how most tracts, books, and sermons never mention it.  I can’t understand it.  Some do, but not many.  In fact, I just gave Jerry Pool a CD that somebody sent me from the audience of the late Adrian Rogers, and what do you suppose his sermon was?  I Corinthians 15:1-4.  And it was a good one!  Man, I agreed with every word of it.  But for the most part, they just never mention it.  But here it is.

I Corinthians 15:1-2

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel  (See, singular?  Not one of two, the one and only.) which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2.  By which (this Gospel) also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you,…” In other words, this is Paul’s message—the death, burial, and resurrection of Israel’s Messiah, the Son of God.

I Corinthians 15:3-4

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, (from the ascended Lord, of course) how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4. And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” That’s the Gospel which saves us.  And it’s so simple that people hate it.  Isn’t it amazing?  They cannot believe that this is enough.

You know, I’ve shared it with a couple of my seminars.  I don’t think I’ve put it on the air.  But when we were in San Antonio a while back, after everybody had left, a young lady came up and she says, “You mean I don’t have to be baptized to go to Heaven?”  I said, “No.”  “I don’t have to do such and such?”  I don’t want to name it, because I don’t want somebody to say, well, you’re picking on that particular group.

So, she said, “I don’t have to do this and that?”  And I said, “No.”   “I don’t have to do this?”   “No.”   And she says, “Why not?”  And I said, “Young lady, do you know the last three words that Jesus spoke from the Cross?”  And I was surprised she knew.  She said, “Yea, it is finished.”  I said, “Now think a minute.  If your religious leaders are telling you you’ve got to do this and this and this and this, they’re calling God a liar, because He said, it’s all done.”

Wow!  That little gal about melted in her shoes!  Her eyes got as big as saucers.  She said, “I’ve never thought of it that way.”  I said, “Well, you’d better, because if God says it’s done, and man says but it isn’t, then in my book that’s calling Him a liar.  The God that I know will not let humans call Him a liar.”  Well, like I told someone the other day. Thinking back, I think the little gal was saved right there in front of me, because she just saw the whole thing.

And this is what I maintain—that it’s His death, burial, and resurrection.  Of course Paul doesn’t mention the shed blood here, but he does in Romans, and that’s the package that makes up the Gospel of Grace.  We don’t do a thing but believe it.  And then God goes in and transforms us and changes our appetites.  I told a young person the other day, you don’t give up anything.  The things that you think you’re going to give up, you’re only too glad to get rid of, because God changes our want to.

Well, anyway, that’s the difference between the Kingdom Gospel, which was to Israel.  It fell through the cracks in the first part of the Book of Acts, or in the first years after Acts. Then came Paul and the Gospel of the Grace of God.  That’s the big difference. There are not two Gospels today.  There’s one.  But, when the Gospel of Grace ends and the Tribulation begins, then the Gospel of the Kingdom will come back once again.

Now, I think I may have neglected showing it. Now we go to Matthew 24, or did I already?  Maybe I did that in the last program.  Let’s look at it again.  Matthew 24 verse 14 from the lips of the Lord Jesus Himself.  He’s speaking of these final seven years, Matthew 24 verse 14.  This is so simple a child can understand it.  A lot of theologians can’t, but kids can.  Verse 14:

Matthew 24:14

“And this (speaking of what He and the Twelve were now preaching) this gospel of the kingdom shall be (at a future time) preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; (Not just Israel, now it’s going to go to the end of the earth.  See, they’re going to fulfill the Great Commission. Absolutely! This is the fulfilling of the Great Commission during the Tribulation.) shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”  End of what?  The Tribulation.    Time as we know it will enter into the thousand year reign of Christ.

Well, now that’s the difference between the Gospel of the Kingdom during Christ’s earthly ministry.  It fell apart.  Disappeared.  The Gospel of Grace came in.  And when the Church is gone in the Rapture and the Tribulation begins once again, the 144,000 will proclaim the Kingdom Gospel.

Now, let’s go back and look at that.  We’ll get to Daniel by-and-by.  Don’t worry.  Come back to Revelation.  See, now this is why I don’t prepare for this.  You know that.  I didn’t intend to do this anymore than whatever.  But I just feel that this is the way the Lord leads.  Come back to Revelation 7.  I feel now—again, I can’t just point to a word that says this is the way it is—but I think by putting everything together, when you have the appearance of the anti-Christ to sign the seven year treaty, I think on the very same day, in another part of Jerusalem will come the two witnesses of chapter 11.  And they’re going to be proclaiming on the streets of Jerusalem the Kingdom Gospel.  Out of their preaching, I feel, will come the 144,000 Jews.

All right, let’s look at it.  Revelation 7 verse 3—we know that some of the horrors of the Tribulation are about to start, because the angel is told to hold off.

Revelation 7:3

“Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.”  In other words, so that no one can put them to death.  All right, now here it comes in plain, plain language.

Revelation 7:4

“And I heard the number of them who were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”  Now that’s as plain as language can make it, isn’t it?  So, the next time these people come to your door and claim to be one of the 144,000, look them straight in the face and say, “You don’t look like a Jew to me!”  “Well, I’m not.”  “Well, then how in the world can you be one of the 144,000?”   “Well, we just are.”  No, they’re not.  These 144,000 are going to be specifically sealed shortly after the Tribulation opens—again, by a God-thing!

Now just stop—just stop and think.  Israel has now been out there in dispersion since the Babylonians in 606 B.C. and then again after A.D. 70—scattered in all the nations of the world.  Just a little small nation compared to the number of everybody else, ten to fifteen million most of the time.  Any other group of people on earth would have lost their identity.  Think about it.  They would have intermarried.  They would have died off.  They would have lost their identity.  But the Jew didn’t.  And what has kept them together for 2600 years?  Passover!

The secular Jew, for the most part—just like secular Christians keep Christmas.  Oh, they wouldn’t miss Christmas for anything.  Well, the secular Jew is the same way with Passover.  They’re going to celebrate that Passover supper.  It has been the glue that has held the Jewish people together as Jews.  Even though they’re unbelievers, they’re still Jews.

And I could take you back to Exodus and that’s what it was.  It was set up to get the kids’ interest, because the children would say—why are we doing this?  And the book of Exodus says—so that you will be able to tell generations down the road about this Passover in Egypt.  And here it is, all these thousands of years later, and they’re still practicing Passover.

All right, but here’s what I was going to ask you.  How many Jews in the world today know what tribe they are associated with?  Hardly any.  There might be a few from the tribe of Judah, or Levi, rather.  The Cohens, they feel that they are in the tribe of Levi.  They don’t know what tribe they are, but you know who does?  God does.  God knows exactly every Jew on the planet and where they’re connected.  So that by the time the Tribulation opens up—let’s go back to Revelation chapter 7 again, quickly.  Revelation chapter 7 and the sealing of these 12,000 from each one of twelve tribes—you come right down the line, and then you come down to verse 9.  Twelve thousand from each one of twelve tribes for a total of 144,000 and God knows exactly who they are and where they’ve come from.

All right, now then, to show you that they are fulfilling the Great Commission—they’re naturally going to preach the Kingdom Gospel for two reasons.  What’s the first reason?  Because the Lord said they would.  What’s the second reason?  Well, the King is coming.  And that’s the whole hope of the Kingdom Gospel.    The King is coming.  He’s going to set up His Kingdom.  It’s going to happen when these seven years come to an end.  The Second Coming and in comes the King and His Kingdom.  All right, so in the meantime, throughout these seven years of the Tribulation, these 144,000 Jews are protected providentially.  Nobody can put them to death.  But, oh, what happens to their converts?  Immediate martyrdom.  Here it is, verse 9.

Revelation 7:9a

“After this….”  After these 144,000 have been set apart and they’re sent to go around the globe.  They’ll go supernaturally.  They won’t have to go through the airports.  I just know that they’re going to go from place to place without benefit of transportation.  They’re not going to have any language problem.  It’s going to be a supernatural phenomenon.

Revelation 7:9

“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, (See? Not just Israel) of all the nations, and kindreds, and people, and languages, stood before the throne,…”Here they are standing before the Lord, which means what?  They’ve already been killed.  They won’t last long during the Tribulation once they become a Kingdom believer.  All right, so here they are, already before the Lamb.

Revelation 7:9b

“…clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;” And then you come on down to verse 13, and John’s approaching one of the elders there in Heaven.

Revelation 7:13

“And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What (or who) are these who are arrayed in white robes? and where did they come from? 14. And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they who came out of great tribulation, (See?  They had responded to the 144,000 preaching by believing that Jesus of Nazareth was the King and He’s coming to set up His Kingdom.) And he said to me, These are they who came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”  So, they have put their faith, again, in that work of the Cross.

All right, now let’s go back to Matthew 24 where we digressed from. Matthew 24 and continue on for a little bit in what Jesus is saying about these final seven years.  All got it?  Verse 14 again, I want to leave it impressed.

Matthew 24:14

“And this (The same Gospel that He and the Twelve were preaching in Israel.) this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”  That is of the seven years, the Second Coming.  All right, now He backs up to the middle, what Daniel referred to as in the middle of the week.

Matthew 24:15a

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet,…” See that?  That’s from the lips of the Lord Himself, that Daniel was a legitimate God-given prophet. He’s the one who foretold these final seven years, and that in the middle of the seven this prince that shall come will go in and desecrate Israel’s Tribulation Temple and defile it.

Matthew 24:15

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, (the anti-Christ) spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (He goes into the Temple.  We’re going to cover that a little later, as Antiochus Epiphanies did a hundred and some years before as a prototype.  But when you see it for real–) (whosoever readeth, let him understand:)”  Now verse 16.  Here is the warning for the Jews of that coming day.  It’s still future.

Matthew 24:16-17

“Then let them who be in Judea flee into the mountains: 17. Let him who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house:” (They haven’t got time. Because you want to remember, war is coming like the world has never seen once we get past this mid-point.  So He said,) “Let him who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house:” 

Matthew 24:18-20

“Neither let him who is in the field return back (that is to his house) to take his clothes. (Or to get an extra set of clothes, however you want to look at it.) 19. And woe unto them that are with child, (young expectant mothers) and to them who are nursing (mothers) in those days! 20. But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, (when the snow can be 12-14 inches deep) neither on the sabbath day:” When they wouldn’t be able to walk more than three quarters of a mile and they wouldn’t even get out of Jerusalem.

Now before I go into verse 21, I want to back up a minute.  Here you have these various groups of Jews living in the area of Jerusalem that compose a cross-section of a society.  Why?  Because you see, this is the remnant of Israel that will come back up into the area of Israel from their place of safety when Christ returns and He establishes His Kingdom. This remnant of Israel will become the seed stock of the nation that’s going to be operating on the planet for the next thousand years.  So, you’ve got a whole cross-section.

I feel that those living on the housetop are retired older people who have the wherewithal to be on the housetop in the middle of the day.  Next, you have the working class, which today in Israel, of course, would be your scientists and your educators and your health people—business people.  In Jesus’ day Israel was agrarian.  It was an agricultural class of people, but not today.  Most of them are metropolitan.  All right, and then, of course, you have the ladies and the women involved and their little children. It is a complete cross-section of a society that will flee out into a place of safety to survive those last three-and-a-half years.   All right, now let’s move into verse 21 while we’re here.

Matthew 24:21a

“For then (this last half of the seven years.) shall be great tribulation,…” Not just tribulation like the first half, it’s going to be bad enough.  You know, I’ve made the point over and over that by the time you get to the middle of the Tribulation, one fourth of the world’s population is already gone.

Now, you know, we’re at about seven billion.  So, one fourth of seven is one and three quarters.  That’s a billion, seven hundred and fifty million people who will lose their life in that first three-and-a-half years.  Now, that’s bad enough, but yet it’s nothing compared to the last half.  All right, verse 21:

Matthew 24:21

“For then shall be great tribulation, (The horrors of it are beyond human comprehension.)  such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”  Now remember, these are not from some prophet. This is from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

Matthew 24:22a

“And except (or unless) those days should be shortened,…” Now I look at it—I’m not a Greek scholar—but the way I look at the Greek word there, it could mean “brought to its timely end.”  In other words, it’s not going to go a half a day over.  It won’t be a half a day short.  But on the exact time, according to God’s watch, it’s going to end.

Matthew 24:22b

“…there should no flesh be saved: (otherwise) but for the elect’s (In other words, for this group of Jews that are going to be out in a place of safety.) for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”   So here we have the scenario, then, of what I call the escaping remnant of Israel.

Now, let’s see how many that’s going to be.  I think I’ve got time.  Go back with me to Zechariah, next to the last book in your Old Testament.  I think we looked at it a couple of months ago, but we’ll look at it again.  Zechariah 13, Honey, verses 8 and 9.  And that’s why I call this group in Matthew 24 the escaping remnant.  It won’t be the whole nation.  It’s going to be the remnant.

Zechariah 13:8-9

“And it shall come to pass, (Now, you’ve heard me say that over and over.  What does that mean?  It’s going to happen.  Hasn’t yet, but it will.) that in all the land, (That is of Israel.) saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; (that’s two-thirds) but the third shall be left therein.  (And here’s why I think that this is what Jesus was referring to in Matthew 24.) 9. And I will bring a third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”