LESSON TWO * PART 3
PRAYER: PROPHECY: OLD TESTAMENT
THROUGH THE BIBLE WITH LES FELDICK
We'll pick up where we left off. You'll remember that we stopped in Acts, and the big concern of the twelve was, "Are you about to restore the kingdom?" And then in our closing minute I took you back to Matthew, where Jesus promised the twelve that they would indeed rule the Twelve Tribes of Israel from Jerusalem under his authority, of course, when the kingdom would be set up. Now with that kind of anticipation, I mean that was the way the Lord left it, "You will rule the twelve tribes. When the kingdom is set up and the earth is regenerated, back like it would have been in the Garden of Eden." So these guys are pumped up. They had a lot to be looking forward to. Now you come into the Book of Acts. Christ has been crucified and buried, but risen from the dead. He has just spent forty days with them in His resurrected body. And now it's about the day for Him to be ascending back to glory. And there He is on the Mount of Olives with the eleven. Of course Judas is gone. And now the eleven said:
"When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time (right now) restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Now when the word "again" pops in there, you must realize that Israel had reached her glory as a nation under what king? or kings? David and Solomon. And the glory of it had spread to the then known world. And I think that these men understood that even the glory of Solomon was nothing compared to the glory that would be when their Messiah would rule and reign. So they were excited. They were anticipating, and so the question was logical, here in Chapter 1 verse 3:
"To whom (that is, the eleven) also he shewed himself alive after his passion (His death, burial, and resurrection) by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to (what?) the kingdom of God:"
For forty days in His resurrected body, what had He been doing? He had been explaining things that up until now, they hadn't comprehended. Do you remember I showed you way back in Luke Chapter 18 (so that you get an idea of how blinded these men were), how totally unsuspecting that these men were to what was about to happen, in spite of their knowledge of their Old Testament. As I said in the last program, they should have known, but they didn't. Now Luke 18, beginning in verse 31:
"Then he (Jesus) took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished."
Everything that was about to take place had already been foretold. His suffering, His death, His resurrection, His ascension, His coming again. It was all back there. Psalms is full of it. I wish some day that I could teach a whole lesson or a series of lessons on the Book of Psalms. The prophetic aspects of the Book of Psalms. It's all in there. And that doesn't even mention Isaiah and all the others that we've already looked at. Now then, read on:
"For he (speaking of himself) shall be delivered unto the Gentiles (the Romans), and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:"
"And they (that is, the Gentiles and the Jews, of course), shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again." Plain English? Or plain Aramaic, or whatever language that He spoke? As plain as it could be. Look at the next verse:
"And they (the twelve) understood (how much?) none (not a word of it. It went off of them like water off a duck's back. It never registered.) of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken."
Now that's kind of hard to swallow, I know it is, but the Book says it. Consequently, when the crucifixion came on the scene, were they expecting it? No. When He died, they placed Him in the tomb. Did they camp out until that resurrection morning? No. Why not? They did not know. They did not know that He was going to rise from the dead. Maybe they should have, but they didn't. Why? Because God had sovereignly kept them ignorant of it. That is also the reason they couldn't have preached the Gospel that saves you and I tonight. (Believing in His death, burial, and resurrection for our salvation. I Corinthians 15:1-4) People write me and tell me, "My, you've just opened my understanding." No I don't do that. That's not me. God does that. When you all of a sudden see a scriptural truth, don't give me the credit for it. Just say, "Well Lord, thank you for opening my eyes." Because that's the way it works. He is the one that has to discern or help us discern these spiritual truths. Alright while you're in Luke, stop at Chapter 24. Remember the verse in Acts 1:3 , "...being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:" Now just for an example here in Luke 24, He comes on the scene in His resurrected body, remember. He's come out of the tomb and this is during that forty days:
"And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet."
Now He's physical. He's not there in some sort of fog, or like Star Trek, beaming up or down. He was there physically, visible, and they saw the scars in His hands and His feet.
"And while they yet believed (what's the next word?) not (most people read their Bible and they don't see that little not in there. They didn't believe it. They still couldn't comprehend that all this had taken place.) And while they believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? (now the word, "meat," in the King James, 99 times out of 100 means food.)
"And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb."
And what did He do with it? Did He say, "Hey fellas, I don't need this."? No. He ate it. When we get into our new estate; when we enter into glory in our resurrected bodies, we are going to have pleasures that this world knows nothing of. Do you know that one of them is going to be eating! And we won't have to worry about a weight problem. We won't have to worry about a diabetic problem, or a high blood pressure problem. We're going to have the pleasures of things. You might say, "Where do you get that?" In the Book of Revelation Chapter 22, paraphrased it says, "The fruit of the Tree of Life will grow on both sides of the river 12 months of the year." And it's to be eaten. It's for us. And that is just one example. So the resurrected body is capable of ingesting food. But the glory of it is there will be no need of sanitation. It's going to be a chemistry that is totally different then any thing we know of. It will be totally consumed rather than the small percentage we now eat. So Jesus ate. Now verse 44:
"And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me (now look at the next verse). Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,"
It took an act of God. Do you see that? And when He sovereignty ordained that they should understand these things, all of a sudden the lights came on and they began to see this whole Old Testament program as it had been unfolding. And here is the miraculous part of it, contrary to what most of us have had taught and preached at us. There is still not a single hint of the Church Age or of God going to the Gentiles any other way except through this prophetic program. Which I'm still going to confine to the 490 years. 483 up until the Cross. Then the 7 years that were left, could have happened immediately after He ascended, and He would have come back at that time, but Israel didn't buy it. Israel rejected Him and the program. But nevertheless the 11, soon to be 12, now understood that all of this prophetic program had been fulfilled or was about to be fulfilled. Now back to the Book of Acts.
"...Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?"
Now if they were out in left field on this question, and were talking about this physical, political, and spiritual Kingdom that we have been explaining, and it was nothing but a spiritual, ethereal thing that is out there in heaven someplace, what would the Lord have said in this next verse? He would have upbraided them and explained to them, "Now listen fellas, you are barking up the wrong tree, you're not understanding," but He doesn't. He let's them ask that question, and the only thing He refuses to answer is, not the "if," but the "when." The Kingdom is going to come but He says, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons." Or when. Now according to the prophetic program it could have all happened, the Tribulation could have come right in. All of that 7 years has to happen. It could have run its course, and Israel could have had her King. It might never have been explained that way to you before. I want to make you think and study. Now since they don't know anything but the Old Testament program of death, burial, resurrection, ascension, Tribulation and His return. Now look what Peter does in Acts 2. The Pentecostal Chapter. The Chapter where the Holy Spirit comes down to the Nation of Israel. And do you remember how they were all amazed at hearing in their own language, from whatever part of the Roman Empire they had come for the Feast of Pentecost. And remember it was one of the seven Jewish feast days. They (the Israelites, we find that in verse 13) thought these men were full of new wine. But Peter says, "No way."
"For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel."
Remember we looked at these verses in Joel, not long ago, to show that the prophetic program runs constant right on through to the end. Now the amazing thing is Peter didn't have the foreknowledge to stop where he should have stopped at the end of verse 18 of this Chapter. Because beginning with verse 19 it is all Tribulation talk. Peter couldn't see 1900+ years of the Church Age. So Peter quotes from Joel Chapter 2 the prophetic 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: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:"
All of this was happening. This is what Joel was talking about. But Peter doesn't stop there. So Peter continues in verse 19:
"And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:"
Did that happen? Has it happened yet? No! But Peter didn't know that it was going to be interrupted. Peter could see this whole thing coming right down the pike. The Tribulation, the return of Christ, and the setting up of the Kingdom. And then Peter and the eleven could have taken the knowledge of their Jehovah to the ends of the earth. Sometimes I shake people up a little bit. You all know what the Great Commission says in Matthew 28. We call it "The Great Commission." "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,..." Did Peter and the eleven go? No they didn't. Were they remiss? No. Because they knew their theology better than most people do today. It wasn't for them to go to the ends of the earth preaching the Gospel, because they were not to do that under the Covenant until they had the King. And so this is where I can really shock people. Turn with me to Acts Chapter 8. And this is no study on the Book of Acts by any means. But I still want you to see the flow of this Old Testament prophetic program, even as far along as the Book of Acts. We've come through His three years of ministry all on Covenant grounds. Israel under the law. Not once did Jesus even hint that the Jews were no longer under the Law. Everything He spoke was to the Jew under the Law. Now Peter comes on the scene, here in Acts, and Israel is still under the Law. And now here in Acts Chapter 8 it is seven years after Pentecost. And seven years is still a long time:
"And Saul (the one that became Paul) was consenting unto his death, (Stephen) And at that time there was a great persecution against the church (or assembly) which was at Jerusalem; and they were all (all those Jewish believers. And when the Scriptures say "all" I say it means "all." Every Jew who had embraced the fact that Jesus was their Messiah was under such intense pressure that they had all left Jerusalem except the apostles) scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria except (who?) the apostles." Everyone else had run for their lives except the apostles. Can you picture that. Here is such an intense persecution of people (Jews) being put to death for their faith because of Saul's persecution. This is what Paul lives to regret, that he had persecuted those Jewish believers. And they all fled except the very 12 men you would think would be the first to go.
Why were they sitting so tight in Jerusalem when the Great Commission says they should have been long gone around the world with the Gospel. But after seven years they are still in Jerusalem and persecution can't even drive them out. Now were they derelict in their duties? No. Quite the opposite, they knew that they had no ministry to the ends of the earth until this Covenant program was fulfilled. Their ministry was to the Jew. Now let me show you another verse that comes to mind. Turn to the Book of Galatians. Here Paul is writing to Gentiles at the Church he had established in Asia Minor. It is now the land of Turkey. And this is about 22 years after Pentecost. And now they (the twelve) have called Paul and Barnabas back to Jerusalem on the carpet for having the audacity to go to Gentiles with that which they thought was only for the Jew. And for the sake of time, Galatians 2:1 Paul says.
"Then fourteen years after (that which had taken place up in Chapter 1) I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
"And I went up by revelation (now when Paul uses the term revelation he is referring to the fact that God had revealed to him the necessity to go. So he goes up to to Jerusalem to meet the wheels of Judaism, as I call them. They were the 12, and of the believing Jews. Those who had believed that Jesus was the Christ. They were at the assembly at Jerusalem.), and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles,..."
The prophetic program has been interrupted by now. But I'm trying to show you how Peter confined his ministry to the Jew. So Paul comes to Jerusalem to show the twelve this Gospel that he is now preaching to the Gentiles. Let's come on down to verse 6.
"But of these who seemed to be somewhat (now he is referring to the twelve), [whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me; God accepteth no man's person:] for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me."
That is a snide remark, because by this time, 22 years after Pentecost, the prophetic program had begun to fall through the cracks. Israel was rejecting it left and right. In the meantime God had raised up this Apostle to the Gentiles. While Israel is going down, the Gentile assemblies are coming up. So this is the setting. Paul says these twelve who still thought they were in the prophetic program, and not even realizing it was falling away from them.
"But contrariwise, when they (the twelve) saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision (Gentiles) was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision (Jews) was unto Peter;"
Now verse 9. And if you can see Peter, James and John going to the Gentiles in this verse, then you read English differently than I do.
"And when James, Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship (they shook hands. And this is what they shook hands on.); that we should go unto the heathen (Gentiles), and they unto the circumcision." Or the Jew.
Now isn't that plain. How can you miss it. Now let's come back to Acts 3:13. And this follows shortly after the Pentecostal sermon of Acts Chapter 2. I just want you to see that Peter is still aware of nothing but the Covenant prophetic program promised to Israel. And here Peter says:
"The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers (does that include Gentiles? Not a one. This is so "Jew only" that you can't escape it.), hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go."
"And killed the Prince of life (does that sound like our message? What do we say? Oh, God loved us and gave Himself for us. He died for our sins. Peter doesn't say that. Peter says, "You killed him."), whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
"And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers (under Israel's Law, ignorance could be a loophole.).
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;" And he shall send Jesus Christ..."
For what purpose? To be their King. Then in verse 21, Peter knew that the times of restitution of all things had to take place. That's the seven years. Now verse 24 and 25:
"Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days." The coming of the King and the Kingdom.
"Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham,..." You're the children of the what? The Covenant.