LESSON TWO * PART 2
PRAYER: PROPHECY: OLD TESTAMENT
THROUGH THE BIBLE WITH LES FELDICK
Go back with me to Daniel Chapter 9, and we're going to pick up our study on prophecy. Now you'll remember I have been stressing that true prophecy is directed to the nation of Israel and usually, but not always, but usually, within a time frame. And here is a perfect example of what I am talking about. Daniel Chapter 9 verse 24 where God speaks to the prophet Daniel. And He said:
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Now let's explain that verse:
"Seventy weeks (that is seventy weeks of years. And some of your newer translations have already put it into 490. So 490 years) are determined upon (who?) thy people (now who were Daniel's people? Israel, the Jew. Now it's interesting if you come on up through Scripture that from the very onset of the Nation of Israel coming out of Egypt, how many times the pronoun will switch with God's dealing with Israel, from My people to thy people. Remember that? Sometimes He would tell Moses, "My people," and other times He would say, "Thy people." Now here again He tells Daniel, "Thy people." What's the difference? Well you see, when they're in the place of obedience, when they're in the land and in the place of blessing, then God calls them, "My people." When they're in a place of rebellion, such as they are here in Babylon as a result of their going into idolatry; their rejecting Jehovah, what does God say? "Thy people." "Lô' `Ammî" is the Hebrew for "They're not my people." And yet that doesn't mean that He has left off His Covenant promises. But they are out of a place of relationship, so now the pronoun goes back again in Daniel to, "Thy people." So here we have a prophecy directed to the Nation of Israel that is in a time frame of 490 years.) and upon thy holy city (the city of Jerusalem.), to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity,..."
Now that was all accomplished in the work of the Cross. That was where Satan was utterly defeated. I know that he is alive and well, but for the believer, his power has been broken as a result of the work of the Cross. When Christ died, that was when reconciliation was made possible. As Paul brings out in II Corinthians 5:20 "...be ye reconciled to God." We now have the ministry of reconciliation. We can tell a lost world, "You've already been reconciled. It's all been accomplished." Believe it (the Gospel as found in I Corinthians 15:1-4 for your salvation.) and God will count you as reconciled. Now continuing with verse 24:
"...to make reconciliation for iniquity (that comma represents nearly a 2000 year time span), and to bring in everlasting righteousness,..."
That hasn't happened yet. That is the Kingdom. And the Kingdom of course, has by no way or stretch of the imagination, come on the scene. But what I'm going to be emphasizing is that we are going to show that all of these Old Testament prophecies are in a continuous flow from the time of Abraham, until the coming of the King and the Kingdom. Let me put it on the board. There's a reason I don't draw these things ahead of time. I know that a lot of people ask why I don't you just use charts? Well, it would be so much easier. But I always have to remember my old physics professor back in college days could have used charts, but he always wrote as he taught so I could follow him. If he had the whole board already full of stuff, and just used a pointer, I couldn't have followed his teaching as well. And so I think the same way with you folks. I'm going to take the time to put it on the board because it slows me down a little bit, and it helps you follow a little easier than if I had the whole thing up here.
So if we could just come back to our timeline. Adam is way back here at 4,004 B.C. Then we'll put the Cross up here in the middle. And half way between Adam and the Cross, remember, we had the call of Abraham or Abram as he's first known, at 2,000 B.C. And beginning with this call of Abraham, God pulls out a separate race of people. I always put it on the board as, "Jew only," and for those of you who have been with me, I always put what? "With Exceptions." Jew only, with exceptions. And the main river of Gentile humanity continues on its way. But beginning with that call of Abraham, God is going to bring out a separated nation of people. And it's to these people that prophecy is to be directed within a time frame. In other words, the first thing that He told Abraham is that, "430 years he would sojourn, and then the nation would be brought back to Himself." And it was exactly 430 years to the day just as God had said.
Now always get the time frame. Jeremiah had prophesied that the nation of Israel would go into captivity for 70 years. And do you remember a week or two ago why I pointed out why it was 70 years? Because every seventh year, while they were in the land of promise, they were to have left it fallow. They were supposed to let it rest. But what did they do? They kept right on farming it. And after 490 years of neglecting that sabbatical year, God says, "I'm going to get my seventy years of sabbaticals." So they were sent into that captivity in Babylon for seventy years and the land laid rest. Now of course it wasn't just because of their neglecting the sabbatical, it was also they had gone into idolatry and had rejected Jehovah and so forth. But primarily the seventy years was to make up for the one out of every seven, out of 490 years of time.
With Daniel we have a prophesy concerning 490 years from a particular time, which of course, will be after the Babylonian captivity, which took place. Nebuchadnezzar came over to Israel in 606 B.C. and took Daniel and all the Jews, captive back to Babylon. And then as that 70 years elapsed that they were to be in captivity; that brings us to 536 B.C., when Ezra goes back, you remember, by the decree of Cyrus to rebuild the Temple, which Nebuchadnezzar's force had utterly destroyed. About 90 years later, Nehemiah writes in Chapter 2 of that Book, about a decree by another king: that now the Jews can go back to Jerusalem, not to rebuild the temple, because that had already been done by Ezra.
But now they were to go back and rebuild the city wall and the gates, because in antiquities, that was their main line of defense for safety. And from that decree until the crucifixion was a period within this 490 year time frame, but it was 483 years instead of 490. So from that decree of Daniel Chapter 9 then, until Christ was cut off was 483 years. That left seven to make the 490. What most of you have heard in regard to most prophetic teaching is Daniel's 70th week. It is that seven-year period of time that we now know is still future. We think that we're getting close to it. And that is the final seven years of the Tribulation. But the point I want to make, and that's why I wanted to put it on the board, is that all the Old Testament prophecies merely speak of this timeline concerning Israel as going right on through to the completion of the 490 years, when Christ could have (this is hypothetical because it didn't happen) set up His Kingdom and He would have been the King. The nation of Israel could have been the priests that they were promised that they could be. And this goes all the way back to Exodus 19. That's why I like to take people from Genesis right through the Scriptures. Because as God brought Israel right out of Egypt, they became His Covenant people. And He told them that if they would be obedient, if they would be what He wanted them to be, they would be a nation of priests. What's a priest? He's a go-between man and God.
So every Jew was intended at some future day to become a priest of God, to bring all these pagan Gentiles to a knowledge of their God. But what I want to show at this time is that all of these prophecies run continuously. Read back again, so that you will know what I'm talking about here in this verse in Daniel Chapter 9:
"Seventy weeks (490 years) are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity (in other words, that was all satisfied at the first advent. Christ's crucifixion, His burial and resurrection.), and to bring in everlasting righteousness,..."
See, that's the Kingdom. That was all to flow right in that 490 years period of time. Go back with me if you will, to Psalms Chapter 2. Here we have again a graphic illustration that this is exactly how the Old Testament writers saw it. They didn't see, at least they certainly didn't understand, that there would be a 1,900 year gap between the 483 years and the fulfilling of the last seven. All of the Old Testament writers speak of it as a continuous flow of events until Christ would return and set up His Kingdom. Israel then could have been the vehicle to evangelize the nations.
Now always remember that when you study these things, that when Paul comes on the scene with the Gospel of Grace, the first thing that the Holy Spirit has him reveal is that all these things that Paul teaches were kept secret, hid, in the mind of God. All these Grace Age truths that we now are so aware of, they were kept secret in the mind of God. So when these Old Testament writers wrote, concerning this Old Testament history, they did not see the Church Age. Otherwise it would not have been a secret kept in the mind of God. Look in Psalms Chapter 2; this is another perfect example:
"Why do the heathen rage, and the people (Israel) imagine a vain thing (that they could get along without God)? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers (that is of Israel and they take) council together (this was fulfilled when the High Priest and Pilate consorted together to put Christ to death.), against the LORD, and against his anointed (The Christ), saying," And they say in plain English that they will not let this man rule over them.
"Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us." And then verse 4, the reaction of a Holy God the Father, I think we can put it that way, when they reject His Son. He laughs a laugh of derision.
Notice there is no indication of a break in here. It just goes from His rejection and His crucifixion. Then what did God the Father say to God the Son in Psalms 110:1? "...Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool." That was the invitation for the ascension and He did ascend. But you see according to the Old Testament He would not have stayed there long, and He would come right back and set up His Kingdom, "if." There is the big "if," and that is why it becomes hypothetical, because it was all based upon the obedience of the Nation of Israel and the belief of Israel that Jesus was the Christ. When you get into the Book of Acts, this is the whole concept of Peter and the eleven preaching to the Nation of Israel. The One you Crucified was the Christ. He is our King. He is alive. He can yet come be our King.
In the next program or two we will show how all these things were prophesied to fall right in place till the coming of the King and the Kingdom. And then Israel could evangelize the Gentiles. But in reality Israel rejected it in unbelief. And God instead turned to the Gentiles with the Age of Grace. See the difference? We have to take it through the Old Testament and not put the cart before the horse. So as the Israelites and the Gentiles, the Romans in this case, rejected and crucified the Messiah, God sits in heaven and laughs and invites the Son back to His right hand and then verse 5:
"Then shall he speak unto them in his (what is the next word?) wrath, (that is not love, nor mercy, or Grace) and vex them in his sore displeasure (what is that? That is the Tribulation. It could have followed right on the heels of the ascension so that Christ could have returned and set up His Kingdom. Because now look what the next verse says. And remember this is immediately after He vexed them in the Tribulation in verse 5)."Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill o Zion." Go to verse 8:
"Ask of me (God says), and I shall give thee (He is speaking to the Messiah) the heathen (or Gentiles) for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession."
What is that? That is the Kingdom. That's not talking about the Church, or the Age of Grace, but the Kingdom. That could have immediately followed all these things. Let me go to another one. The one we looked at a couple of lessons ago. You know I'm a stickler for a lot of review. And it is not because I'm getting old and senile and forget what I've taught before, I do it purposely. Repetition is the only way you learn. Daniel Chapter 2. Here we go to that image that Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream. This huge likeness of a human being, but made of the various metals, you remember. Now verse 34. This dream depicted all the great Gentile empires that would come on the scene, beginning with Babylon, Medes and Persians, Greeks, and Romans. And he said:
"Thou sawest until (time. You saw all these empires come and go until) that a stone was cut out without hands (that's the coming of Christ at His second Advent), which smote the image upon his feet (the empire that was on the scene at that time. We showed it to be the revived Roman Empire, as we see it coming on the scene in Western Europe even today.) that were of iron and clay and brake them to pieces." Now verse 35; watch the flow in this one verse:
"Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together (all the residue of those great Gentile Empires) and become like the chaff of the summer threshing floors (they are ground to powder); and the wind carried them away (that is all going to happen in the Tribulation.), that no place was found for them (look how it ends): and the stone (the returning Christ) that smote the image became a great mountain (or Kingdom), and filled the whole earth."
It doesn't say heaven. It is not talking about a Kingdom in heaven, it is the Kingdom on earth. But did you see the flow? Everything is moving from start to finish with no hint of a 1900 plus years of the Church Age. It is all prophesied straight down the line. Turn over a few pages to the little Book of Joel. And again a prophecy concerning the whole flow of events. Joel Chapter 2, drop down to verse 28. You need to know what went ahead of all of this in this Chapter. In the first part of the verse it speaks of afterward. After what? Well, after His coming, and being rejected, crucified, risen from the dead, ascended back to glory. And those are all parts of this Old Testament program.
"And it shall come to pass afterward (we know from our point in time, this is when it happened. That's speaking of the coming of the Holy Spirit.), I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh (Pentecost); and your sons and your daughters (Israel's) shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit." There is no break in your Bible there. There is just a continuation right into the next verse and it says:
"And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come."
Now stop and ask yourself, did all that happen right after Pentecost? Has it happened yet? NO! Why not? Because it has been interrupted. But the Old Testament prophet couldn't see the interruption. He saw it all coming as one event right after another. That is why I tell you that God is using the Nation of Israel in a "Jew only" situation, with exceptions, and I'll give you a couple of those exceptions in the near future. They would reject, and crucify Christ; he would ascend; then the Tribulation (hypothetically now) could have come right on in and Christ could have returned and set up His Kingdom. Israel could have then evangelized the Gentiles. Let's look at another verse before we run out of time on this lesson. Let's go to Zechariah Chapter 8, and we will look at a verse we read quite often, especially in the teaching of prophecy. In the passage we are leaping some of the program, but we are teaching how it was to have happened with the onset of the King and the Kingdom, so far as Israel is concerned. And remember this is God speaking. A God who knows the beginning to the end.
"Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts; I will go also. "
"Yea, many people and strong (what?) nations (plural. We are not talking about Israel now we are talking about Gentiles.) shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD,"
"Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days (when Jehovah God is ruling in Jerusalem; He is the King of Israel; King over all the earth, as Daniel has just said about His knowledge shall cover the earth as the water covereth the sea. When that has come to pass, as Psalms says, when the Tribulation has passed and the King is sitting on the Holy hill of Zion, now here was Israel's prospective role.) it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, `We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.'"
That was their prospect, they could have been priests, a Holy Nation to have had the opportunity of bringing all the Gentile nations to a knowledge of their God. Go back to Isaiah and we may have to continue this whole thought when we go into the next lesson. Start back at Isaiah Chapter 2 verse 2:
"And it shall come to pass (again, this is God speaking through the prophet) in the last days, that the mountain (or the kingdom) of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills (what does that last part say?); and all nations shall flow unto it."