476: Philippians 3:17 – 4:23 – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 40

476: Philippians 3:17 – 4:23 – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 40

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 40

Philippians 3:17 – 4:23 – Part 2

We always like to thank you for your letters, your financial help, and most of all for your prayers. We realize that the Lord is using us in a tremendous way. We’re living in a day when a lot of people think that, “Christianity is for the women.” But I think that we are unique that we reach so many men in our ministry. All my classes here in Oklahoma are over half men, and when we have seminars around the country, it’s always over half men, and that’s as it should be. It’s the men who need to be men, I tell you what, living the Christian life is not for the weak. It takes real men to walk it as Paul of course is evidence. Now I think we’re ready to move on into Philippians chapter 4. There is a possibility that we’ll finish this Book in this lesson, and be ready for Colossians next month.

Philippians 4:1

“Therefore, (because of the Lord’s coming as Paul has been talking about. It’s at hand, and could happen at any time.) my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.”

Now never forget, where is Paul when he writes this? Well, in prison right next to Nero’s palace, and is chained to a Roman guard constantly. Many of whom I’m sure were probably some of the most furious warriors of the Roman army. Probably some of them had carried out the capital punishment. Wouldn’t it be bazaar if one of those fellows who had been commissioned to lop off the head of Nero’s wife, had actually become a convert of Paul? That wouldn’t surprise me a bit, because some of the most ruthless men in the Roman army were chained to Paul as a guard.

And he was such a powerful witness that I’m sure that by the time many of them left their tour of duty, they were believers. You say, “Well where do you get that?” Well look what it says in Titus chapter 2:11 You know I try to encourage people, when you read a verse, don’t just read it but contemplate it. Just stop and think and let the Spirit lead our thoughts, “How could something like this happen?” Well look at the verse, and always remember that it takes the Grace of God to bring a person, and especially people like these Roman guards to a knowledge of salvation.

Titus 2:11

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.”

Now of course the “all men” of Paul’s day would have been the then known world or the Roman Empire. But nevertheless Paul’s gospel had already permeated the Roman Empire from the west to the east. How else could it have happened except that these Roman soldiers in their revolving tour of duty would go to one end of the empire to the other. And as a result they became emissaries, and following in the foot steps of the apostle Paul by taking the Gospel of Grace everywhere they went. My what greater evangelist than a saved hardened Roman warrior. Have you ever thought of that? We’re going to see as we close the letter of Philippians that Paul mentions the very believers in the household of Nero. Now verse 2.

Philippians 4:2

“I beseech (or I beg) Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.”

Now these are two ladies that evidently had some differences of opinion in the Philippian congregation, but they were active. A lot of people think that Paul was anti-feminist, and always putting women down. No he wasn’t! And here he is encouraging these two ladies that he knows that are active in the Philippian Church that they solve their individual differences so that they could be of the same mind in the Lord. Now along that same line when people tell me that Paul hated women, I tell you he couldn’t have because he let so many help him in the ministry. So come back to Romans chapter 16 and let’s take a look at some women who helped Paul, and these are not the only ones. You can also defend the apostle by directing that kind of people who are of that mind set to these verse.

Romans 16:1

“I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea;”

Do you see that? Now she wasn’t a pastor, but she was active in the Church. She was a servant, she was serving the Lord, and Paul commends her for that. Now verse 2.

Romans 16:2

“That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer (helper) of many, and of myself also.” Now verse 3. Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Now let’s drop down to verse 6.

Romans 16:6

“Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.”

Naturally this wasn’t Mary the mother of Jesus, so remember over and over Paul makes reference to women. And I think the crowning accolade that a man could put on a woman, especially in those days, was that this whole Roman letter was committed unto this lady Phebe in the first verse. She carried this letter from Corinth all the way to the city of Rome. So always remember that Paul was not anti-feminist whatsoever. If he thought so little of women as some people claim, he would never have entrusted something as precious as the letter to the Romans to a woman, but he does, so whenever anybody comes up with that idea you just pitch it, and tell them they’re way out in left field, and that was not the case. Now coming back to the Book of Philippians and verse 3.

Philippians 4:3-4

“And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also and with other my fellow labourers whose name are in the book of life. (they were believers, no doubt about it. Now verse 4. From that prison next door to the most horrible death spot that ever lived Paul can write the following) Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”

My, if Paul could rejoice under his circumstances, then who are we to ever complain. Now the next two or three verses I always use when it comes to prayer for the Grace Age believers. For years I got hung up on John chapter 14, where Jesus says, “Whatsoever you will.”

John 14:13a

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do,…”

Well that didn’t work for me. I wrote to more than one friend of mine in the ministry, and wanted to know what was the matter with me, because this doesn’t work. And my friends had all kinds of gobbledygook for answers. But now I know why that didn’t work for me. Our Lord at that time was talking to the twelve under totally different circumstances. That was all in view of the Kingdom, then indeed whatever they asked it would happen.

At that time I didn’t know Paul gave the Church Age believes instructions for prayer. So here is the answer for our prayer life today. Does God always answer prayer? Yes.

Now it may not always be the way we think it should be, but He always answers. But now let’s look at it in verse 5.

Philippians 4:5

“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”

We’re not to go way out in left field, or get carried away with kooky ideas, but we’re to maintain a stable walk and manifestation of our faith, and now here it comes in verse 6.

Philippians 4:6

“Be careful for nothing: (in our language, what do we say? Don’t worry about anything. That’s easier said than done isn’t it?) but in every thing (and that means what it says. But in every thing) by prayer and supplication (but there is one string attached, and what is it?) with thanksgiving let your requests be made know unto God.”

Be thankful! That’s why I think most people’s prayers go unanswered. They just are not thankful. I think many Church congregations over the years have gone down the tube because they forgot to be thankful. I think our beloved nation has gotten to the straights that we’re in because we have forgotten to be thankful. Remember when Paul was in Athens we find that being thankful isn’t just an admonition to the believer, but the whole world should recognize the goodness and provision of God. I think it’s in Acts chapter 17 that we find that.

Acts 17:24

“God that made the world and all thins therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25. Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things. 26. And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27. That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28. For in him (God) we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”

Now Paul is talking to pagan Greek philosophers. He’s not talking to believers here, but even the unbelievers had better wake up and realize that all these good things that make life possible come from the God of glory. Now back to Philippians chapter 4. So we can come with our prayers of supplications, but it has to be with thanksgiving. You thank the Lord for what He’s going to do before you even ask for it. I think that is the clue to the whole idea of Christian living, is that we live in that constant attitude of thanks. Thank Him for His Grace. We thank Him for such a great salvation. We thank Him for His Word. We thank Him for all the promises in it. Now if we approach Him with that attitude of thanksgiving we can do the following.

Philippians 4:6b

“…let your request be made known unto God.”

Nothing is held out. Now I’m not going to let people come up with something frivolous, but anything that is of necessity, or we find dear and important to us, then we have every privilege in the world to bring it into God’s throne room. Alright now I always put it this way. God may answer yes, and miraculously, or otherwise our prayers can be answered. Oh we see it happen occasionally. But other times the Lord says no, and our prayers are not answered. Other times the Lord may say, “Just wait a while, I’ll do it in my own time.” But the next verse tells me that here is our immediate answer to prayer, whether He says, “Yes, No, or Maybe Later, that’s beside the point. The answer to our prayer is now in verse 7. The moment we pray and ask with thanksgiving we have the following.

Philippians 4:7

“And the peace of God (why? Because we’ve left it in good hands. He knows how to handle it, He’s in total control. So the peace of God) which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Now we know we’re living in a world where many are stressed out. Everybody is talking about stress, and no doubt it’s there. Stress works on the mind, but what is the best treatment for stress? The peace of God, that passeth all understanding. It’s beyond human comprehension that even when things are going against us, even when things are tough, and even when we think God has forgotten all about us. Don’t you ever think that. That’s when you’d better wake up and realize that God is in total control, even when the bad things happen. So that’s our real answer to prayer, that just as soon as we bring something into the throne room, God responds with His peace that passeth all understanding. Now let’s move on down to verse 8 and hopefully we can finish the chapter today.

Philippians 4:8a

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,…”

Now here we come with a list of statements again, and how many do you suppose there’s going to be? Seven. That perfect number of God. We know over and over Paul will peal off seven statements, and here’s another one. Seven things that we can find as part and parcel of the peace of God.

Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Seven perfect mental attitudes. My, that’s enough to heal depression or almost any malady. Oh to think on things that are true. What causes a lot of the dilemma today? People don’t know what’s true. People don’t know what they can believe. Our newspaper, the Daily Oklahoman, has articles everyday warning us not to be taken in by the con artist of what ever the media vehicle, whether it’s the internet, or tele-marketing, or whatever, don’t be taken in. We’re living in a world that is not truthful. But we’re supposed to think on things that are true. Think of things that are honest. Honesty has almost become a lost art.

The used car dealer is the butt of most jokes in that regard I suppose. I’ve got a friend up in Minnesota who was a used car dealer for a long time, and he’s a character, and I’m sure he’s watching the program. I’ll never forget we were at a Church picnic up there, and a dear old gentlemen came up to him, and said, “Aren’t you Don so and so?” He said, “Yeah.” He said, “Well I bought my first car from you years and years ago.” He said, Yeah I remember that deal explicitly. That’s the only time I ever lost money.” Well that’s the glib response of a used car dealer salesman. Some of them like to pull the wool over people’ eyes. That’s not a blanket statement as I’m sure there are some who like to be fair and honest in their dealings.

But nevertheless we’re living in a world where we’ve got to be constantly on guard that some body doesn’t pull a fast one on us. We’re not living in a world where everything is honest.Whatsoever things are just. Now that’s along the same line as honesty. If it’s honest and just, what more could you ask for. Whatsoever things are pure. Boy there’s not much of that anymore either, and that’s why I’ve quit watching television. There is absolutely nothing pure on there any more, it’s getting ridiculous. Whatsoever things are lovely. I always have to think of my wife’s sister, as that was one of her favorite words. Everything was always lovely. Well that’s nice, that’s great, but it’s a word that probably is not as easy to explain, but whatever. Take it for what it means.

Whatsoever things are of good report. Now you see all seven of these tie in to the basic Christian premise of truthfulness, and honesty, and integrity, in fact I can just lump the whole shebang into one word. Biblical morality. See that’s what makes for good citizens. If there’s any thing that you can really feel good about, then this is where it’s at. Now verse 9. All seven of these areas of Christian lifestyle Paul says –

Philippians 4:9a

“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me,…”

Here was a man who filled the bill on all seven of these attributes of a Christian life. Now do you see why the Holy Spirit says, “Follow Paul?” If you can fulfill these seven attributes as a believer in your everyday life experience never will some body point a finger at you and say, “Well there’s a hypocrite if I ever saw one.” Because this is true Christianity, and there’s nothing that makes us less than real. You know I’ve always said, “Christianity isn’t being so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good.” No that’s not what it is. Christianity is so practical. There is nothing more practical on this planet than the Christian life, but only a believer can live it, because it has to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. If I’m going to finish Philippians I’ve got to do it in 2 minutes huh? Verse 9 again.

Philippians 4:9

“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do and the God of peace shall be with you.” Now there’s a promise, it’s a response from a loving God. Now verse 10.

Philippians 4:10

“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, (or mindful) but ye lacked opportunity.”

In other words, the Philippians were not wealthy people. They were up there in northern Greece, and not a big commercial center like Corinth. So they didn’t have a lot to give. Now verse 11.

Philippians 4:11

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

Now I’ve brought out in past program since we’ve been in Paul’s letters that I think early on when he was a big wheel in Judaism, he was a wealthy man. I think he was probably one of the wealthiest Jews in Jerusalem. But he pitched it all for the sake of the Gospel. Does he complain? No he’s still content. Even though he has nothing, but a few pieces of parchment and a cloak or two, and never complains about his lack of physical material wealth. Now verse 12.

Philippians 4:12-13

“I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (now verse 13, and what a promise). I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

We can do nothing of ourselves, but when Christ is in control there is nothing that we cannot do that He wants us to do. Then of course in verse 15 he speaks of the giving and receiving from the Philippians. And in verse 17 Paul tells us the only reason he desired a gift was so that they in turn would get their reward in glory. Now verse 22. I said I’d try to bring this Book of Philippians to a close, but I wish I had a few more seconds. Now here again Paul makes mention about the saints Nero’s palace.

Philippians 4:22-23

“All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household. 23. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

So we find Paul’s converts in the very heart of Nero’s palace.

475: Les Feldick Bible Study Philippians 3:17 – 4:23 – Lesson 2 Part 3 Book 40

475: Philippians 3:17 – 4:23 – Lesson 2 Part 3 Book 40

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 40

Philippians 3:17 – 4:23

Now let’s go back to the Book of Philippians for just a little bit. We’re going to be jumping around again in this lesson, but we’ll start with verse 21 of chapter 3. Did I spend the whole half hour in verse 20? I didn’t intend to do that, as I thought sure I’d finish the whole Book of Philippians today, and we may yet be able to do that. Now verse 21 is another loaded verse that has so much in it that you have to use so much to enhance what the apostle is talking about. At the end of verse 20 we’re looking for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ to come for us.

Philippians 3:21

“Who shall change our vile body, (this old body of corruption) that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

In other words, He’s going to be able to take this body and make something of it. Now that’s a real hope isn’t it? Now let’s just look at a few verses that enhance that concept, so come back to I Corinthians chapter 15. When I teach the Rapture of the Church I always try to use I Corinthians 15:51-58 along with I Thessalonians 4:13-18, but here we just want you to see what Paul was talking about in Philippians when he says, “That when the Lord comes he will change our vile body, this body of sin and disease into a new body.”

I Corinthians 15:51a

“Behold I shew you a mystery; (a secret that had never been revealed before. This secret had been kept in the mind of God until He reveals it to this apostle.) We shall not all sleep…”

We’re not all going to die. There’s going to be a group of believers living who will not go through death. I think Enoch in the Book of Genesis chapter 5 is probably a pretty good illustration of that in the Old Testament. Enoch walked with God just before the judgment of the flood, but we find that he was translated, and escaped that judgment. So I tie that in with the Rapture of the Church. We’ll be here one moment and be gone in a split second and shortly after that the horrors of the Tribulation will fall. So Paul here is showing us a secret. Something that has never been revealed before. The Lord Jesus never mentions this during His earthly ministry. Peter knew nothing of it, but this is a revelation that was given only to this apostle in this Age of Grace. So we remember we shall not die.

I Corinthians 15:51b

“…but we shall all be changed.”

Regardless whether the believer has died or is alive at the Rapture we’re all going to be changed. We’re going to have a body fashioned after Christ’s resurrected body, and we’ll look at a few of those verses in a moment. Now verse 52. For those of us who are alive and remain this body change won’t take long to accomplish.

I Corinthians 15:52a

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:”

Now trump here is singular and I’ve started to emphasize that because I’ve had several that have tried to drum the trumpets of Revelation down my throat as being the call of the Church. Well there’s no correlation or anything that even comes close to fitting this trumpet of God that Paul speaks of and the trumpets in Revelation. Number one, this is the trumpet of God, it’s singular. Revelation has seven trumpets that are given to seven angels, not to announce His coming and the resurrection, but rather they’re to announce plagues, and the wrath of God. So I can’t see any correlation whatsoever. This is the trumpet of God and it shall sound. Now finishing verse 52.

I Corinthians 15:52b

“…for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead (the dead in Christ. Only for the Church Age. Not the Old Testament believer, as they’ll have their own resurrection, but the Church Age believers) shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

So we’re all going to be raised incorruptible, and have the same kind of body that Christ has. Every Church Age believer, whether we’re weak, carnal, or spiritual, whether we’ve accomplished a lot, little or nothing. We’re all going to be changed. And now verse 53, and here’s the reason.

I Corinthians 15:53-54a

“For this corruptible (this body of flesh) must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54. So when this corruptible, (this body that is prone to go back to the dust of the earth) shall have put on incorruption,…”

Do you know what that means? That body is going to last for eternity! Now I was reading again the other night that astronomers are finding more and more with the explosion of technology, and even though I don’t agree with their timing yet it certainly sets my mind spinning. If, as they say, this universe is billions and billions of years old, then that’s still nothing compared to eternity. We can’t put eternity in billions and billions and billions of years, because that would put an end on eternity. Eternity will never end. That’s enough to almost scare you isn’t it? How are we going to stay interested in staying alive that long? But whatever, it’s just mind boggling, that this new body that we’re going to receive is going to be our abode for eternity. When you think of these things you wonder how lost people can be so careless, because they too are going to an eternity. But it’s going to be an eternity of misery and sorrow and hopelessness. Now let’s get back to the positive.

I Corinthians 15:54

“So when this corruptible (this body of flesh that has been programmed for 70 or 80 years or so) shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” Now for sake of time let’s jump down to verse 57.

I Corinthians 15:57

“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Now let’s go back to the Book of Luke chapter 24, and get a picture of this new glorious, resurrected body that we’re going to have as believers. This passage is just one instance, there were several others. I’m sure the one you remember the most is when our Lord fell in step with the people on the road to Emmaus. He walked and talked with them, they invited Him in, no doubt, for an evening meal. He went in with them, supped with them, I’m sure, and all of a sudden He’s gone. Then in a split second He’s in the upper room in Jerusalem with the disciples.

Now here in Luke we get a graphic description of that that new resurrected body, and it’s going to be a literal physical, spiritual, and yes spiritual body. Let’s begin with verse 34. See this is what we have to do, we just can’t gloss over a verse and say, “Well I don’t really understand it.” Just search the Scriptures, and if we’re going to have a body that’s fashioned after His glorious body, then it behooves us to go into the Book and see what that body was like. Well here it is. This was His resurrected body that we’re going to read about. In verse 33 we find the disciples had returned to Jerusalem.

Luke 24:34

“Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. (remember these disciples knew nothing of resurrection before it happened. Peter and John never believed it until they saw the evidence in John 19.) 35. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.”

Now that’s where I think that on the road to Emmaus when they asked Him into the home, He must have had supper with them, before He left, because they’re now sharing that news. “He sat down and ate with us, He walked with us.” Now verse 36.

Luke 24:36-39

“And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, (He didn’t knock on the door or come through the window, but rather came right through the walls. That’s beautiful isn’t it? I tell you what, that’s going to be fabulous) and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 37. But they were terrified (now this is the eleven, they had been with Him for three years.) and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. (we would say a ghost) 38. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39. Behold my hands and my feet that it is I myself: handle me, and see: for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”

So that’s the make up of our eternal body. It’s going to be a body fashioned after His glorious body. It’s not going to be a body of flesh and blood, it’s going to be a body of flesh and bones. Now the first thing we have to asks is, “If the blood is the life flow of the human body, what is going to maintain life then of our new resurrected body?” Well, the Spirit will. The Spirit of God becomes what the blood is for us today. So we’ll be comprised of flesh and bone, but it was visible, physical, touchable, tangible, see that? This isn’t some either real invisible mist, but rather this is reality. Now verse 40.

Luke 24:40

“And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.”

Now I pointed out I think in our last taping how that Mary didn’t recognize Jesus when He appeared in that pre-dawn light. Remember the last vision she had of Jesus was the horror of His crucifixion. That’s when He had been so total disfigured, as all the sins of the world were placed on Him. Isaiah chapter 52:14 says, “He was more marred than any other man”.And then all of a sudden see a man standing there perfectly whole with all of His fleshly attributes. No wonder she didn’t recognize Him. When we see Him the only thing that will depict His crucifixion will be the nail and footprints and the wound in His side. But the Scripture gives no evidence of Him being disfigured and so forth now. Now verse 41.

Luke 24:41a

“And while they yet believed not…”

Isn’t that amazing? Now we think the world is in dire straits today because they simply can’t believe the Word of God. I bring that out when I ask the question, “What’s the basic problem with America?” We’ve become a nation destitute of faith. We just can’t believe the Word of God anymore as a nation of people. But listen, that’s not all that unusual. Here were these eleven men, who were with Him for 3 years and had seen the evidence. Peter and John had seen it earlier, and had heard how He had walked with the men on the road to Emmaus, and yet their hearts are so stirred, that they really can’t believe that it’s Him. Now finishing the verse.

Luke 24:41

“And while they yet believed not for joy, (in other words they were so ecstatic) and wondered, (the Lord was so patient with them wasn’t He? He could have said, ‘Why can’t you believe when you have seen the evidence,’ so in so many words, He says, ‘well let’s prove something’) he said unto them. Have ye here any meat?” (food)

Now it wasn’t that Jesus was hungry and had to eat, but He’s going to prove something to them, and I love this, because I love to eat. I think we all do, and we’re going to have the opportunity to enjoy food in eternity, I know we are, and here’s one of the evidences of it.

Luke 24:42-43

“And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 43. And he took it, and did eat before them.”

He didn’t pretend to eat it, but rather He ate it in that resurrected body. Now verse 44.

Luke 24:44

“And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, (back in that 3 years of ministry) that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the Law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.”

You know I’ve always said that the Old Testament was full of everything concerning His first coming. So why didn’t they know? Because it was hidden from them, God didn’t intend for them to know. Remember that’s God prerogative. He keeps things hidden until it’s time to reveal it. In fact, my favorite verse to point that out is right here in Luke. Just back up a few pages to chapter 18, and let’s look at these verses again. In this passage this is back when His earthly ministry is coming to an end. They’re up there in northern Israel, at the headwaters of the Jordan River, and they’ll soon be heading up to Jerusalem. And notice just how plain this is. My there’s not gobbledygook, there’s no deep theology here, it’s just plain English.

Luke 18:31-34

“Then he 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. (What’s He telling them? All the things written in the Old Testament are coming to a head, they’re about to be fulfilled. And He tells them in the following verses how it’s going to be.) 32. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, (the Romans) and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, (they did just about everything to Him) and spitted on: 33. And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. (He’s got it all right there in one package, but look at the next verse.) 34. And they (the twelve who had been with Him for 3 years) understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”

Now this is not the only time He tells them straight out, but God had hidden all of this from them. God didn’t want them to know and they didn’t know until the right time. See this is why Paul can honestly say that, “To him were revealed mysteries that had never been revealed to mankind before.” Oh they may be back there in some kind of Latin language, but boy you’d have to be a better scholar than I am to dig it out, because God kept it secret. It’s the same way here. These twelve men had no idea of what He was talking about. In that same light keep your hand here in Luke, and come on over to John’s gospel chapter 20. A dear old Sunday school teachers years ago told me that when he was teaching these verses out of his quarterly one Easter Sunday morning, that they skipped right over these verses, because the author of that Sunday school quarterly didn’t want the people to see this verse. It’s that amazing? But we try not to skip anything. Now look at what it says.

John 20:8

“Then went in also that other disciple, (John) which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. (They saw the evidence) 9. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.”

When Peter and John saw the evidence of the empty sepulchre they believed. This is Peter and John we’re talking about. So why didn’t they know? God hid it from them. You know I’m always using Deuteronomy 29:29.

Deuteronomy 29:29a

“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed, belong unto us…”

But they don’t belong to us until it’s revealed, and that always brings me right back to the apostle Paul’s use then of the word mystery. No body was supposed to understand it until the Lord revealed it to that apostle here in the Church Age. Now coming back to Luke chapter 24 again. So here we have these men who have been with Him for three years whose minds had been providentially closed so that they did not understand, but now they’ve got the proof standing right there in front of them in His resurrected body. Now back to verse 42.

Luke 24:42-43

“And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 43. And he took it, and did eat before them.”

To show them His physical make up. Well you have the same thing in Acts chapter 1, when He ascended and the eleven stood there and watched Him go. Did they see some kind of an enigma? They saw the risen resurrected Lord as He is now showing them that He can eat. Now verse 44 again.

Luke 24:44-45

“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 verse 45. What did it take for those eleven men to finally put it all together?) 45. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,”

Isn’t that mind-boggling? But you see it’s no different today, as I can teach until I’m blue in the face. I teach five nights a week now, but I could teach every night, and it wouldn’t make any difference unless the Lord opens the heart. It has to be that way, but on the other hand we have to fulfill our requirement of getting the message out there, so when the Lord does open their heart, it’s ready to take root. So always understand that these things were kept hidden from these men until God was ready to reveal it. Now for a moment let’s go on to verse 46.

Luke 24:46

“And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it beloved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day.”

That was what the whole scope of Scripture was leaning on, His coming to suffer, to die and to be raised from the dead, and then to show Himself openly that He was alive and showing us the kind of a body that we will one day enjoy. We’ve got one minute left so let’s go quickly to Matthew chapter 17, and here we have another glimpse of that glorious body that we’re going to have ourselves one day.

Matthew 17:1

“And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2. And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light,”

One day that’s the way we as believers are going to be like that.

 

474: Paul Our Example – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 2 Book 40

474: Paul Our Example – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 2 Book 40

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 40

Paul – Our Example – Part 2

Now we’re going to begin this lesson in Philippians verse 20, and my, what a verse. You know too many times we read these things casually and say, “There’s nothing in there.” Oh no? It’s a loaded verse if you start really picking it apart. Remember in verse 19 the last thing Paul said was that these false teachers who have adulterated and perverted the truth are only concerned about earthly things. But for the believer it’s a different story.

Philippians 3:20a

“For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven;…”

Well where your citizenship is, what also should be there? Well, your heart. And so all of Paul’s teachings then are centered in our position in the heavenlies. In fact it just comes to mind, I hadn’t planned on using this, but in Ephesians chapter 1 and drop down to verse 3, and this just says everything that I said last program.

Ephesians 1:3

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”

Now the King James says, “heavenly places” but I prefer the heavenlies. Now that’s where we’re positioned, that’s where our citizenship is, that’s where all of our blessings rest and come from. I ended that with a preposition didn’t I. You’re not supposed to do that are you? But anyway that’s where everything is centered for us as believers. So now coming back to Philippians for a second.

Philippians 3:20a

“For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven;…”

Let’s establish that first by turning to Colossians chapter 1 – so we realize, “How did I become a citizen of heaven? How did I end up in that position?” Well here it is in verse 12. This is the closing part of the apostle’s prayer on behalf of the Colossi believers.

Colossians 1:12

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (or prepared us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:”

What light? Well the Light of Christ Himself. Who John’s gospel says, “That Light that has lighted every man that cometh into the world.” So we are an inheritance of that Light. Now in verse 13 Paul is referring again to the Father.

Colossians 1:13

“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and (at the same moment) hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:”

Well where is the Son’s kingdom? It’s in heaven. Now one day, and we think soon, it’s going to be on the earth, but tonight He is in heaven, so everything concerning His kingdom is heavenly, and so that’s where we are, that’s where our citizenship is. So we have been translated into the kingdom of his dear Son. You know I’m always using the word that Christianity is so practical. So come back with for a moment to II Corinthians chapter 5, and don’t lose sight now of where our citizenship is. Well if our citizenship is in heaven, then what are we so far as the world is concerned? Aliens. Not from outer space, but from the earth itself, because our citizenship is in heaven. Well, now Paul uses a terminology in II Corinthians chapter 5 that fits so perfectly even in our present day political system.

II Corinthians 5:20a

“Now then we (as believers whose citizenship is in heaven) are ambassadors for Christ,…” See that’s a perfect terminology, because we still use ambassadors today. When our government sends an ambassador to Tokyo, he’s not a citizen of Japan, but rather he’s an alien, because his citizenship is back here in America, but he’s living in Japan. So what’s he doing over there? Well he’s being a representative of his home government. Isn’t that a beautiful picture?

That’s where we are. We’re on this earth as aliens, but we’re not just here being parasites. We’re not here just living off everybody else, We are here as direct associates of the glorious kingdom of heaven itself, and we’re here to show forth, to reflect our place of abode. That’s what we’re here for, and we are to literally reflect our heavenly position day in and day out. And that’s why I personally feel that is our great commission. This really fits, this is what you and I can do everyday of our lives. Everyday we can reflect the place of our citizenship, reflect the One who is the head of the Body, and we are ambassadors, we are constantly representing the Lord Jesus Christ and in verse 18 he tells us “we then are ministers of reconciliation.” In other words, all we have to do is let lost people know that God has already reconciled them, it’s all been done, but God can’t appropriate it until they believe it.

We make it so hard for unbelievers. I can look back in my own experience – I’ve made it hard for people. I know better now, it’s so simple. Just recognize your lostness, recognize that you’re without hope, but everything has been done for you, it’s a free gift, and all we have to do to appropriate it is to believe it in our heart. (Romans 10:9-10) The moment we believe it, God translates us into the kingdom of His dear Son, He makes us a citizen of heaven, but at the very same moment he designates us an ambassadors for Him.

Politicians have to connive and bribe to get an ambassadorial position, but we don’t have to do that because ours is given the moment we become a citizen of heaven. And oh what a responsibility we take on. You know I told my classes here in Oklahoma the other night if everyone of my class people, which is only a few hundred people, could win one every couple of weeks, and then they in turn could go out and win one every couple weeks, do you realize how fast we could make an impact on this nation? But that’s what God expects us to do, we’re ambassadors, and we are to be constantly reflecting the place of our citizenship where Christ is not so much the King of the Body as He is the Head of the Body.

Now along those lines of thinking let’s come back to Romans chapter 8. I just told some folks that I could go an hour on this verse. But some people are getting impatient that I’m taking too long to go through the Bible, and they want to know “How many more books there will be before you finally finish.” Well I can’t answer that question, I think the Lord’s going to come before we get through. Now here in Romans let’s just drop in at verse 14. See, these are all tied together. This is all because of our salvation experience, and the resulting position in the Body of Christ, in the Kingdom, just however you want to picture it.

Romans 8:14-17

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons (or children) of God. 15. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; (we’re not shaking in our boots in fear of an awesome God. No, we are one and part of Him) but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, (which is a positional term again) whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are (that’s our promise from God) the children of God: (now for some more promises, and notice it doesn’t promise me flocks and herds and material wealth, but these are all heavenly promises.) 17. And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Then Paul goes on in verse 18, and if there’s any doubt, “Is it worth suffering for?” And suffering scares most of us, but verse 18 sets that to rest.

Romans 8:18

“For I reckon that the suffering of this present time (and all the times according to II Corinthians chapter 11 that this man suffered) are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

That’s our hope. Now the Lord may bless us, and He has according to other parts of the world, as they think we’re all millionaires. But nevertheless that’s not our primarily purpose for being here. Our primary purpose is to lift up our position as representatives of our heavenly abode, and that is as ambassadors. Now back to Philippians chapter 3. We’ve discussed the first half of verse 20, but there’s more. Not only is our citizenship in heaven, not only are we ambassadors as a result of that citizenship, but we live moment by moment looking for the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 3:20

“For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:”

Another accompanying verse is found in the Book of Titus chapter 2. This is a verse that I have learned to confront people with who refuse to accept the Deity of Christ, and there are more than one group that do that. They do not believe that Jesus was God. I’ve tried all the other references and they’ve always got an answer for it. They’ll wiggle around it one way or the other every time, but this one shuts them up every time. This one they don’t have an answer for. In fact I just used this one again yesterday. The Scripture here ties in so beautifully with Philippians 3:20b “from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Look what Paul writes to Titus.

Titus 2:13

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”

Is there any doubt? They can’t wiggle around this verse, so learn to use it. When people come to your door and you asked them if they believe that Jesus Christ is God, and they say no, and give you all the reasons in their Bible that He isn’t, then you just show them this verse and it will stop them. They can’t get around it.

Titus 2:14

“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar (something of intrinsic value) people, zealous of good works”

But all the while we’re doing our good works, what are we looking for? The appearing of the Great God, and blessed hope. I’ve asked people more than once, “What is your blessed hope?” And it’s amazing how many people will say, “When I die I’ll go to heaven.” Well that’s a good hope, but that’s not the blessed hope. The blessed hope is that maybe before we leave today the Lord will return, and we’ll meet Him in the air, and I think most of us are getting homesick for that event. We just can’t wait, but that’s as it should be, but you don’t sit down on some hillside and wait for it to happen. We’re to keep busy, working, and planting.

I’ve had more than one say, “Well Les I was ready to plant an apple tree, and thought well what’s the use.” But I always say, “Go ahead and plant your apple tree, because we don’t know when He’s coming back, but we think it’s very near.” I’ve got a fence that I know I should replace, and I haven’t done it yet, because I think the same thing, but one of these days I’ve got to get it done. But nevertheless we don’t sit down and say, “Well the Lord’s coming!” No, no, we work and we continue to plan and raise our families and take care of our business as if the Lord won’t come for another 100 years. But way down deep, what do we know? It’s getting close!

We don’t know how soon, but as you see the world just falling apart, and again right here in Oklahoma, how we’ve been shaken to the toenails by another act of violence among our kids. I know it’s hard to comprehend, but the moment I hear of something like that the verse comes to mind of what Paul wrote to Timothy “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” We might as well look at that Scripture for a moment since we’re thinking on those lines. So come back to II Timothy chapter 3 verse 1. And we can expect this kind of thing. It’s not going to get better. The best we can hope for is that we can slow it down. And that we can get enough of the Word out to our people and our young people and our kids that maybe we can slow it. We’re not going to turn it around. We’re not going to see a 180 degree turn. We’re not going to see a great world revival. Forget it! It’s not in the Book. But II Timothy chapter 3 does give us the scenario. Let’s look at verse 1.

II Timothy 3:1-3a

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents,(What age level is that? Our kids, the teenagers. The Book is pointing straight at them.) unthankful, unholy. 3. Without natural affection…” What group of people does that address? Whether it’s a wife abuser, a husband abuser, or a child abuser. What’s their problem? They don’t have any natural affection. And we’re going to see more and more of it. It’s something that is disappearing from the human scenario. Nobody cares. Let’s continue on.

II Timothy 3:3b

“…trucebreakers,…”

They can make a deal and 30 minutes later they can break it. Now you know most of us are old enough, we lived in a day when you made a deal and shook hands on it and that was it. You didn’t have to have 4 copies. You didn’t have to have a whole great long page of legal stuff. You made a deal, you shook hands and that was it. You kept your word come what may. But not any more because we’ve become a society of trucebreakers.

II Timothy 3:3b-5

“…false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good. 4. Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. 5. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

You know what that tells me? Oh, they’re in church on Sunday morning. They’re filling their pew for that one hour or so on Sunday morning. And then that’s their obligation fulfilled. And then they’ll go right back out and perform all the rest of this and it doesn’t even bother then. Not all do that. Don’t get me wrong. But this is too often the case. And so all of these things are all part and parcel of our end time scenario. Now back to Philippians chapter 3.

Philippians 3:20b

“…from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:”

Now I’ve got to jump from there again to another verse in I Thessalonians chapter 4 where we have the whole thing described in detail. And as you know I make no apology that I believe in the Rapture of the Body of Christ. I believe with all my heart that one day, and I think rather soon, that the trumpet is going to sound. No, not the angelic trumpets of Revelation, but the singular, trumpet of God that Paul speaks of and the voice of the archangel, and then as he says in I Corinthians, “we who are alive and remain shall be changed.”But now in I Thessalonians chapter 4 and let’s begin with verse beginning with verse 13. This is what we’re to coincide with Philippians 3:20. When this happens we’re going to have a body fashioned after His glorious body.

I Thessalonians 4:13

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, (have died physically) that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.”

In other words, if we’re believers and our loved ones are believers when they died, we’re going to see them again. We don’t have to weep and wale like we will never see them again. Now verse 14. I always call this the qualifying factor of being in the Rapture.

I Thessalonians 4:14

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, (see, there’s Paul’s Gospel, and if we believe that with all our heart) even so them also which sleep (died) in Jesus will God bring with him.”

In other words, those who were believers who have died are in glory, they’re in Paradise, they’re in the Lord’s presence conscience, but I don’t feel they’re up there walking the golden street. They’re waiting for their resurrection just like we are. So when the trumpet sounds and Christ leaves heaven, these departed souls of the Church Age believers will come with Him to be reunited shortly with their resurrected body. Now verse 15.

I Thessalonians 4:15

“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, (the crucified, resurrected, risen, ascended Lord was instructing Paul to write this) that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (died) 16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:”

See, when I teach these things I always like to teach comparisons. This is not the Second Coming. The Second Coming comes with calamities, and disasters, and probably nuclear warfare, earthquakes, and all the rest. That’s the Second Coming. At that time He will come to the Mount of Olives, which is on Jerusalem’s east side. None of that happens here. This Rapture of the Church is just a silent intervention except for the trumpet of God, and He doesn’t come to the Mount of Olives, but rather only to the air. Verse 17.

I Thessalonians 4:17

“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Why? Because we’re citizens of that heaven from whence He has come to get us, and He’s going to take us back to that heaven. And so what a glorious blessed hope we are looking forward to. And we really think that one day soon that trumpet is going to sound and we’re going to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

473: Paul Our Example – Lesson 2 Part 1 Book 40

473: Paul Our Example – Lesson 2 Part 1 Book 40

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 40

Paul – Our Example

We hope by now that you are so interested in the Word of God that you are studying on your own, as that’s number one priority. So many of our letters tells us that for the first time many of our listeners are studying the Word, and now are understanding what they are reading. After all, the Word of God is Truth, and the Holy Spirit has been given to us so that we can discern it. So this is our prayer and whole purpose for being here.

Now we’ll get right back to where we left off in the last lesson and that will be Philippians chapter 3 and verse 17. And here in this verse Paul makes one of those graphic statements that a lot of people just don’t like to swallow. It just rubs them wrong, and here it is.

Philippians 3:17a

“Brethren, be followers together of me,…”

Do you know what about 99% of so-called Christians say? “Well I don’t follow Paul, but rather I follow Jesus.” Well you know my favorite clique on that is, “Then what do you do when you come to the shores of Galilee and He keeps going?” It’s pretty hard to do isn’t it? So always remember He was God, and we can’t walk in His footsteps, but the apostle Paul is just as human as we are, and we are admonished to follow him as he follows the resurrected Christ. Also remember that I’m always emphasizing that Paul only knows Christ, crucified, buried, and risen from the dead and ascended back to glory. And it was from that position in glory then that the Lord reveals all these precious truths to the apostle Paul. That’s what makes his apostleship so unique, and this is why he can say, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that we now as Grace Age believers are to be following him as he follows Christ.

Let’s chase a few of the references down that command us to be followers of Paul. First let’s go back to I Corinthians chapter 4, and we do this just to show folks that you can spend a whole evening chasing down some of these references that tie everything together. In this first reference let’s begin with verse 16, and again remember that every word that Paul writes is inspired by the Holy Spirit. This isn’t just his personal ego coming out, but rather it’s the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and look what He says in verse 16.

I Corinthians 4:16

“Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.”

Because Paul was the one who was literally now walking in the footsteps of the ascended Lord. Not the earthly Jesus that we see so much in the four gospels, but this is the ascended Lord who has now finished the work of the death, burial and resurrection which of course then becomes our Gospel that we must believe for salvation. Now turn a few pages to chapter 11 for the next one, and he says basically the same thing. I’m always emphasizing, why does the Scripture repeat? Well it’s the same reason we repeat things today. Emphasis! If you want somebody to really get something straight, then you don’t just tell them once, but maybe two or three times, because this is the way you want it done. Well Scripture is the same way. When there is a repetition within a short period of time, it’s there for emphasis. Now look how beautifully this verse also fits.

I Corinthians 11:1

“Be ye followers of me, (now here’s the whole thing) even as I also am of Christ.”

So it isn’t that we are told to follow just the human steps of Paul, but really as he follows Christ in the realm of the Spirit, so also we do. Now keep turning to the right, and come to Ephesians chapter 5 and verse 1. Those of you who have been with me ever since we started in Romans remember that we’re always pointing out that Paul’s earliest letters were pretty much elementary, but when we started those prison epistles of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon we took a jump up, and we get into further revelations that Paul experienced and wrote then shortly before he was martyred. And here’s one even late in his ministry, and he’s still saying the same thing.

Ephesians 5:1-2

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; (see?) 2. And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.”

And then Paul delineates all the things that should no longer be a part of our Christian experience. So always remember that we follow him, even as he follows Christ. The next one I think I’ll take you to is in I Thessalonians chapter 1. Let’s begin with verse 5, and remember where all of these various congregations are. Thessalonica was up there on the Aegean coast of Greece just a little south of Philippi, and of course was one of Paul’s earliest congregation on the European Continent, and look what he says.

I Thessalonians 1:5-7

“For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were (speaking of himself)among you for your sake. (now verse 6) And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost; 7. So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.”

And it’s also our purpose for being here today. We are to be an example now as we follow in the footsteps of the apostle who follows the Lord, and all of this is to bring honor and glory not to ourselves, but to the Lord who has bought us, and paid for us with His shed blood. There is another one in I Timothy chapter 1 where Paul tells us that he’s our pattern, our example, so let’s look at that one also.

I Timothy 1:15

“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” Paul says that he was chief. But remember, chiefhere in the Greek means, like head of a state, such as a Governor, he was first.

Paul was not the worst sinner, but rather he was at the head of the line for sinners who would become Grace Age believers, and here it is in verse 16.

I Timothy 1:16

“Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”

So Paul became our pattern and our example, and remember when he wrote these things, they were all inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. We know that Paul’s writings are not popular today, and I know some people have even gone so far as to say that they don’t think that any of his writings should even be in the New Testament. But my land, if we didn’t have Paul’s letters, we would have nothing, because here is where all of our basic truths for salvation, for Christian living, and the hope of the Church Age are all written out in Paul’s epistles. If you take that away, then we’d have nothing left. Now back to Philippians chapter 3, and reading on in verse 17. Remember Paul always promoted Grace. My land, last night Iris and I watched television for the first time in ever so long. On public television they had the three Irish tenors, maybe some of you saw it. It was a rather good program, but as soon as they started this one song, Iris said, “I bet this will get them a standing ovation,” and what was the name of the song? Amazing Grace. And I’ll tell you what, when those three men sang that song my goose bumps just jumped. When they had finished I told Iris, “Isn’t it amazing that the world just acclaims that tremendous hymn, and yet I wonder how many really understand what it’s saying.” And it is hard to understand unless you’ve read the account of the author of “Amazing Grace” John Newton.

Just to summarize it, he had been raised in a Christian home in England, he had rebelled, left home and went to sea as a sailor. Over the years in spite of his debilitating life style he became a sea captain of a slave ship, and you know what those slave ships were. They were horrible. They had absolutely no concern for human life. And with it of course, he was an intense alcoholic and very immoral. So anyway his whole life had simply hit the skids, and finally as he was getting old and up in years, he remembered what he had heard at his mother’s knee. So he cried out for salvation, and the Lord saved him miraculously, and shortly after that he wrote this tremendous hymn, “Amazing Grace.”

You know when you analyze the word he says it all. “Once I was lost.” See, that’s what most people do not realize, “That until we’re saved, we’re lost.” So old John Newton, by virtue of his lifestyle, recognized that indeed he was lost, and now he was found. “Blind.” Spiritually blind. I suppose he ridiculed his mother’s face when he was young in his blindness, but the day came, probably an answer to that dear woman’s prayers, when John Newton became a true believer. But most of all he comprehended the Grace of God. Why should God save a man like John Newton, he didn’t deserve it. He deserved nothing, but oh the Grace of God. So every time you hear the hymn, I want you to realize that even though the world may acclaim it, how many of them really understand what John Newton is trying to tell us.

But always remember it’s all of Grace, and that’s what the apostle Paul is known for. “The apostle of Grace.” I read a book some years ago and that was the title of the book. “The apostle of Grace,” it was a biography of the “apostle of Grace,” and I couldn’t put it any better. Now coming back to our text in the book of Philippians chapter 3 and let’s look at verse 17 again.

Philippians 3:17

“Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

That we too can be precipitators of people believing by the Grace of God that Christ has done everything that needed to be done. Now verse 18. In this verse we find a warning, and we’re seeing it all around us today. We know that the first thing that Jesus told the disciples when they ask Him, “What are the signs of your coming, what’s the signs of the end of the age?” And the first thing that He told them was what? “Be not deceived.” In other words the warning is the world is going to be deluged with deceptions. And my goodness we’re seeing it all around us. I always have to remind my Oklahoma classes, where I suppose I can be a little more intimate in my statements than I can on television, that you must realize that even the most bizarre, the most far out false teacher will use so much of the language that we’re accustomed to hearing. They’ll use the same terminology, but they’re false from the word go.

A Scripture comes to mind in the Book of Galatians, chapter 1. Oh, they claim too to be walking in the same path that we’re walking, but as Paul delineates it so clearly in Galatians that they’re perverting the truth. And remember that a perversion is that which is good, but it’s had something adulterated added to it. That’s the whole idea, and that hits the nail on the head with so much of what we’re seeing today in the name of Christianity.

Galatians 1:6

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ (and where were these Galatian believers slipping to?) unto another gospel:”

Then he comes back in the next verse and says, “It’s not really another gospel, it’s not something totally different so that you can see. It not that these people are preaching something that I’ve not heard before. No, these false doctrines use a portion of the truth, in fact a good portion. They may use 90 percent of truth, but then what do they do. Verse 7.

Galatians 1:7

“Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert (add to) the gospel of Christ.”

And remember to pervert something merely means that you take something which was pure and genuine, and you add something to it, and that makes it a perversion. Remember what Paul’s Gospel was as we’ve seen in I Corinthians 15:1-4 and Romans 10:9-10 and some of his other Scriptures? “That you must believe in your heart that Christ died for your sins, was buried and rose again.” But false teachers were coming in and adding to his pure Gospel that we must believe for salvation.

So this was Paul’s admonition that the true believers there in Galatians were not to be led away with a perverted Gospel. Oh it still had the basis for what he had taught them, but now they had perverted it, and in this instance of demanding that these Galatian believers keep the Law of Moses and be circumcised, which became the perversion of those early congregation.

But we’re seeing the same thing today. These false teachers will use the right language, they use so much of the truth in Paul’s Gospel but then they also demand baptism and all these other requirements, and it becomes nothing more than a perversion. So we’re to be aware what the Word of God really says, and don’t go mixing anything to Paul’s Gospel, less we be led astray with perverting. Now coming back to the Book of Philippians again if you will. I kind of jumped the gun because verse 18 is where I probably should have used Galatians 1.

Philippians 3:18

“(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, (it was breaking the apostle’s heart that these false teachers had come in. Remember that Paul was in prison when he wrote this. He’s not in a position where he can go out and confront these people, he can only do it by the written Word, and he says) that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:”

Even though they say much of the same thing that Paul said, but it’s by that perverting his Gospel that they have brought that anathema upon themselves and then they have become the enemies of the cross of Christ. Oh they think they’re preaching the Gospel, they think they are getting people on the right track, but the apostle says, “They’re not,” and they’ve caused him to weep. Now look at verse 19, and you’d think this would scare some of them.

Philippians 3:19

“Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, (well that’s a King James term, but whatever, it says what it means and it means what it says. It’s their physical appetite, and that’s mostly all they’re concerned about) and whose glory is in their shame, (oh they may have outward glory, but the real fruit of their works is shameful) who mind earthly things.” Now I have to go into the next verse for a moment before I can pursue that thought, so let’s read verse 20.

Philippians 3:20a

“For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven;…”

Now do you remember ever since we first started this whole “Through the Bible” series many years ago on television back in Genesis we made the distinction that every thing concerning the Jews, the nation of Israel, the Law and the Old Testament prophecies were all earthly promises? Whereas all the promises made to the Church Age believers are heavenly promises? Let me show you what I mean. Come back to Genesis chapter 26 and let’s look at verse 12, 13, and 14. Now this isn’t the only place you can find this, but this is a good example. We don’t have time to chase down all these verses that show the material wealth of these Old Testament people, especially the Patriarchs. Now here in this chapter we’re dealing with Isaac who had already been given everything that his father Abraham had. So here in this chapter Isaac has been a good manager of everything that he had inherited and has increased it.

Genesis 26:12-13

“Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him, (Physical, material blessing. We’re not talking about Spiritual blessing here.) 13. And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew (financially and materially) until he became very great:”

See God doesn’t condemn wealth. And for Israel it was a reward for their faithfulness, because Israel was an earthly people with earthly promises, material, physical, and this is just an example of it. Now verse 14, just to make sure that you understand that we’re talking about material blessing.

Genesis 26:14

“For he (Isaac) had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants, (and that meant also everything that went with it. Do you remember when Abraham sent the servant up to Syria to get a bride for Isaac? When the servant first approached the family, what did he make sure that they all saw? Those gold rings and bracelets, earrings, which designated the wealth of his master Abraham. Then all that wealth was handed on down to Isaac, and it goes to the place in verse 14) and the Philistines envied him.”

That’s nothing new is it? People haven’t changed even to this day. So any way the point that we want to make here is that all the promises of the Old Testament to the nation of Israel were indeed earthly, and they were material. They respond to the commands of God, and God responded to their obedience with their material blessings. But for us the Church Age believer today that’s not the case. Our blessings and all of our rewards are heavenly, and that doesn’t mean that God can’t bless us here on this earth, and that God can’t bless us with wealth and so forth, but we’re not to expect it. My, some of these preachers have just put it out there that if you do such and such that God is duty bound to make you a millionaire. No He isn’t! That’s not the Gospel of Grace, that’s not Christianity, our promises are heavenly!

Even though we may go through this life with absolutely nothing of this world’s wealth, so what. Remember all the wealth of glory is waiting for us, and one day all believers are going to cash in on it, and that’s why the apostle Paul will say later in this Book of Philippians, “that no matter what his lot in life was, he was content.”

Even though he was wealthy early in his career before he came to know the Lord, he pitched all that as we saw in our last lesson, and counted it but trash for the sake of the Gospel. Why would he do that? Because now the true wealth of the believers are heavenly, and those are heavenly promises. Now coming back to Philippians chapter 3. So for these people who are adulterating, and perverting the Gospel of Christ, they are doing nothing but satisfying their physical appetites, and mind nothing but earthly things. Turn back with me to the little book of Jude and we’re going to see these same kind of people that I think the apostle Paul had on his mind when he said in verse 18 that these enemies of Christ caused him to weep because they were perverting that pure Gospel of the Grace of God. They were adding to it things of the flesh and materials. Now let’s look how Jude describes them.

Jude 1:8

“Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.” Down to verse 10 we find.

Jude 1:10a

“But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally…”

The natural man is tied to earthly things. So here it’s saying the same thing. These false teachers are merely concerned with the material, and they try, I suppose, to use verses from the Old Testament to substantiate their thinking, but I’ve got news for them. We’re not living under the Old Testament economy, but rather we’re living under Grace, and under Grace our whole scenario is heavenly.

471: Philippians 3:4-16 - Lesson 1 Part 3 Book 40

471: Philippians 3:4-16 – Lesson 1 Part 3 Book 40

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 40

Philippians 3:4-16

Now to continue right on where we just left off in our last lesson and that would be in verse 10. It’s so thrilling to have our visitors from out of state in our class today, and we just trust that you can find your way back down here to Tulsa. In fact Paul has already said that he was coming back again next month, and he lives in Minnesota. We just have a good time in Christian love and fellowship as we open the Word of God, and hopefully we do it in such a way that you can understand it more clearly. Now in the last lesson we ran out of time before I finished my thoughts of verse 10. so we’ll pick back up with that verse.

Philippians 3:10a

“That I may know him,…”

That’s the joy, hope and security of every believer that we can know Him. He’s not just some strange God way out there some place, but rather we know Him. When I read this verse I think of a little antidote that I read years and years ago and I’m sure most of you have also heard it or read it of the young lady who was attending a university, and while there someone gave her a book to read, and she tried several times to get interested in it and never could. She would read the first chapter or two and put it back on the shelf, and finally forgot about the book. But by the time she was a senior at the university she had fallen in love with one of her professors, and it turned out he was the author of this book she could never get interested in. Then all of a sudden she couldn’t devour the book fast enough and her roommate who had been with her all through school said, “Well what in the world? I thought that was the book you could never get interested in?” She said, “it is.” Her room mate said, “well why are you interested in it now?” “Because” the young lady said “I’ve fallen in love with the author!.

Well you see that’s the secret, when you in fall in love with Christ you cannot exhaust this Book. You’ll just keep seeing new things pop up all the time, and you think, now why didn’t I see this before? Well it’s just like God told Israel when they could have gone into the land of milk and honey. He said, “I won’t drive them all out at once, I’ll drive the Canaanites out just fast enough that you can absorb and you can take over the land. Well that’s the way He does us with the Scriptures. See, He doesn’t unload it all on us at once. Even right now I could go for another 1/2 hour showing you verses that I never saw until maybe the last year or so, and I know there’s going to be more verses coming. So anyway we get to the place where we know Him, He’s personal, He’s close to us, He knows all about us. And of course when we come into that relationship with Christ, we’re also going to suffer with Him.

Now again as I’ve said so often, we in America know very little of suffering for our faith. Now it could happen yet, we hope it won’t, but it could. Remember though that through about 90% of Christendom’s history, believers suffered for their faith. They were persecuted, they were driven out from valley to valley. Their homes and villages were just utterly uprooted and destroyed simply because they were Christians. Another verse comes to mind on this subject, come back if you will to Romans chapter 8. We were just talking about it at break time. “What’s going to be our lot for eternity?” Well the Bible doesn’t tell us an awful lot about that. About the only super verse that we have on the subject is found in I Corinthians 2:9.

I Corinthians 2:9

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” And that’s about as much as we’ve got. We know there’s a glorious situation that’s coming, but just how we’re going to function, and what we’re going to do is pretty much hidden from us, but this verse gives us a little hint that He’s got good things prepared for us. Now in Romans chapter 8 let’s begin with verse 14

Romans 8:14-17b

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons (or the children) of God. 15. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; (we don’t live under constant fear that we’re breaking God’s laws) but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (that relationship again, do you see that? We’re in Christ, He’s dear to us and we’re dear to Him.) 16. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (now here it comes) 17. And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;…”

Now that’s as far as we can go with it, but it’s going to be something! Everything that God has prepared or is preparing for eternity that’s His is also going to be ours. That’s what joint-heirship is all about, and in this case beyond human understanding. That’s part again of the unsearchable riches of Christ. Now continuing on in the verse.

Romans 8:17b

“…if so be that we suffer with him, (a lot of people want to take the good stuff, but don’t want the bad. Well you see it all goes in the same program. We may have some suffering to do. But if we suffer with Him) that we may be also glorified together.”

This is our prospect, and the world may think we’re crazy, they may think we’re a bunch of kooks, but I’ve got news for them. It’s just like when the philosophers of Athens thought that Paul was nothing but a babbler. They thought they had all the real stuff, and he was just a babbler, but you see history has proven differently, and when you go to Mars Hill there a huge bronze plaque in memory of the apostle Paul, and not a single philosophers is mentioned. So in reality who were the babblers? And who had the truth? Now back to Philippians chapter 3.

Philippians 3:10b

“and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”

Now we don’t like the word death do we? I don’t for sure, we all hate it. A loved one or a pet can die and it just literally tears us up. We just literally despise death, but the bright side of the coin is that out of death, for us as believers, comes life, and that’s the process. There has to be death in order for life to appear. It’s shown in every seed that’s planted, as that seed has to die in order for a new blade of grass to appear. Well it’s the same way here, we have to be made conformable to His death before we can partake of His life. Now again, let’s go back to Romans chapter 6 to follow up on that thought. Let’s just compare Scripture with Scripture when ever possible like you’re supposed to do when you study. See all of these basic doctrines that flow from the pen of this apostle will always dove tail together, as his writing all fit together perfectly.

Romans 6:5

“For if we have been planted…”

And where do you plant things? In the ground. Now I’m going to be right up front with you. I get letter after letter asking me about cremation. Well I can’t quote a Scripture that absolutely forbids it, but I think in language it flies in the face of Scripture. The whole idea for the believer of placing our loved ones in the earth is that that they’re only there waiting for the resurrection day. And here again the concept is a seed planted in the earth, not burned, not reduced to ashes, but rather it’s planted, and as soon as it’s planted the seeds of resurrection begins. So Paul uses that same analogy that if we have been planted, literally put to death.

Romans 6:5b

… together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:”

Now in Philippians Paul used the word conformable, and here in this verse the word is likeness, but I can’t see a nickel’s worth of difference between the two because it’s still identifying us with His death. And there can be no life until there is death. Now reading on in Romans chapter 6.

Romans 6:6-7

“Knowing this, that our old man (our old Adamic nature. That part of us that came by way of physical birth) is crucified (remember crucifixion kills. We have been put to death by our faith being identified) with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, (or put out of commission) that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7. For he that is dead is freed from sin.”

Now we have another analogy right across the page in Romans chapter 7. And this is a Pauline doctrine that death brings new life, but we can’t have new life until we’ve died to the old nature. Here in this portion I guess we’ll just take time to read them all so let’s begin with verse 1.

Romans 7:1-4

“Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law;) how that the law (the civil law) hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? (when he dies that law ends it’s authority) 2. For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law (the civil law) to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. (if a spouse dies, then there is no law to forbid the living partner to remarry. Scripture doesn’t forbid it, because death ends that relationship) 3. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: (because it was not ended by death) but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. (why does Paul put this in here? To show us a doctrinal statement and here it is.) 4. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law (that is the Mosaic system) by the body of Christ; (remember the body of Christ died. Death is what broke that strangle hold of legalism on the human being)that ye should be married to another, (not to another man or woman which ever the case may be, but to whom?) even to him (Christ) who is raised from the dead, (and why are we united to Christ in resurrection power?) that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”

Now in a marriage relationship, what is fruit? Children. In this Spiritual relationship what is to be our fruit? Soul winning. We’re to win the lost, that’s why God left us here, we’re to be a testimony to His Grace. Now not everybody can be one like someone else, we’re not robots, we’re not all identical alike. But there should be that desire on the part of every believer to see lost people saved. Because the mind of God has been imparted to us, and the mind of God is that He’s not willing that any should perish. So this should be our driving desire that we might see lost people saved. I’ll never forget when we were in Charlotte, North Carolina this summer a whole black family came to know the Lord, and I just shared this with some black folks the other night. I know we have a tremendous black audience across America. Well in Charlotte this black family comprised of a husband, wife, and two grown sons and their wives, and their kids shared with us that their whole family had been saved through our program. Well I tell you what, that just makes your day, because that’s why we’re here. And when we left from out here, Steve came to the car with tears running down his cheek and said, “Now Les don’t you forget, you have changed this whole world for my whole family.” Well we’re here so that “we should bring forth fruit unto God.” Now back to Philippians chapter 3.

Philippians 3:10b

“being made conformable unto his death;”

In other words we have died with Him, we’ve been crucified with Him, and resurrected with Him in resurrection power. Now remember resurrection power is what gave Him victory over everything thing that could ever oppose Him. Resurrection power gave Christ victory over all the satanic forces, and over all the power of hell and death. Everything that was ever created now comes under His authority by virtue of His resurrection power. Now that’s where we walk, that were we live and breathe, and move is in that resurrection power. Oh I could go on and on about His wonderful and mighty resurrection power, but for sake of time let’s go on into verse 11. Now this next verse is not a verse that makes you think you can work for salvation, but what Paul is driving home is that his whole hearts desire is to attain unto that resurrection body. Let’s read the verse.

Philippians 3:11

“If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”

Let’s go ahead and drop down to verse 20 and 21 of this same chapter. We may get to it later in the afternoon, but if not we’ll pick it up next month.

Philippians 3:20-21a

“For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; (Even though we’re walking here on the earth our citizenship is already settled in heaven) from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21. Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body,…” (not his body of humiliation)

I was reading again just the other night, that a lot of people don’t realize that in His earthly ministry the name of Jesus used alone was the name of His humiliation. It was not the name that attached itself to His power and His glory, but the name of humiliation. And as He went in that name of Jesus as a man and suffered the horrors of the cross and the death of it. Then in resurrection power now we know Him more as “The Christ or The Lord Jesus Christ.” So it is not totally appropriate to simply refer to Him now in resurrection terms as simply “Jesus.”

I had made the statement some time ago that never that I knew of did the disciples ever refer to the Lord as Jesus. They called Him Master, they called Him Lord, but never called Him Jesus. Well this gentlemen called and said, “I’ve got you.” I asked him to show me the verse and he read a verse or two, but it was using the term Jesus in the third person each time. So always remember that the Lord, or the Lord Jesus Christ is His appropriate term as a result of that resurrection power. He is no longer the man of Nazareth or the man of Galilee, but rather now He is the Lord Jesus Christ. Now back to our text in verse 21.

Philippians 3:21a

Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body,…

His resurrected body which could go right through the wall or ceiling. It could go from here to Pluto in a second or less. And you know what? That’s the kind of body we’re going to have someday. It’s coming and I don’t think it’s that far off. Now finishing the verse.

Philippians 3:21b

“…according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

Now let’s see how Paul puts that back in I Corinthians chapter 15. This is almost the same language and just confirms that this is what the apostle was talking about by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

I Corinthians 15:51-52

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; (a secret, something that’s never been revealed before in Scripture.) We shall not sleep, (or die physically, but since we can’t go to glory in this old body,) but we shall all be changed. (this vile body will be made like unto His glorious body) 52. In a moment in the twinkling (or the blink of an eye) of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we (living believers) shall be changed.” We simply can’t and don’t want to go to glory in this old body of corruptible flesh. But when the Lord changes it we can, and He will. Now verse 53.

I Corinthians 15:53-54

“For this corruptible (this body that is prone to corruption)must put on incorruption, (it has to become an eternal body that will never die and never corrupt) and this mortal must put on immortality. (in other words we’re going to live, rule, and reign with Him forever. And then verse 54.) So when this corruptible (body) shall have put on incorruption, (by a sudden change for the living believers) and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”

What kind of victory? Resurrection power victory. And we will no longer deal with this old body of flesh, but rather we will be transformed and translated in that split second of time we just read about. Now back to Philippians once more and let’s look at verse 11 again.

Philippians 3:11

“If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection (out from among the dead is a better translation then) of the dead.”

And what do you suppose he’s talking about? Well when the believer experiences what I teach as the Rapture. And the living one are the ones we just talked about in I Corinthians chapter 15. And there’s a sister chapter in I Thessalonians chapter 4 that tells us so clearly that the dead in Christ will rise first, and then the next split second we follow them in that resurrection. And here this is what Paul is alluding to. That I might attain unto the resurrection out from among the dead.” I checked several Greek dictionaries and so forth last night and that’s exactly what it says. Not just the resurrection of the dead, but a resurrection from among the dead. In other words, not everyone is going to be resurrected at the same time. Now let’s go back to John chapter 5 so that you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say not everybody will be resurrected at the same time. Here in this passage the Lord Jesus in His earthly ministry is speaking.

John 5:28-29

“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice. 29. And shall come forth; (now here we have a separation. They’re not all going to come forth at once, but) they that have done good, (these are those who have become believers, they will be people of faith, and will come forth) unto the resurrection of(eternal) life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

These will be those who have done evil or were destitute of faith. This resurrection will take place a thousand and some years later according to Revelation chapter 20. And then if you remember how I taught I Corinthians chapter 15 back when we had that study, I think even the New Testament saints will also be divided into three groups. The first fruits that has happened in Matthew chapter 27 when Christ came out of the tomb. Then the major resurrection will be the Church Age (that’s us believers) in the Rapture of I Corinthians chapter 15:51-55 and I Thessalonians chapter 4:13-18, and then we have a third group which will be the Tribulation saints in Revelations chapter 20.

So you have those three categories of New Testament believers that will come forth on that last resurrection day. Then after that the lost will be resurrected to go to that Great White Throne Judgment to have their day before Christ before being cast into the Lake of Fire. This judgment will take place at the end of the thousand year reign of Christ, and before we go into eternity.