Sabbath was Nailed to the Cross

517: Sabbath was Nailed to the Cross – Lesson 1 Part 1 Book 44


 

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 1 * BOOK 44

 Sabbath was Nailed to the Cross

II Thessalonians 2:14 – 3:18

Once again, we always want to welcome our television audience.  We appreciate hearing from you—for your prayers and your financial help.  We had a letter the other day that started, “Dear Les and Iris, If it weren’t for you, I’d still be lost,” and he signed his name.    Well, that’s not much.  But on the other hand, that’s a load.  After all, what more could you hope for?    It is just thrilling to get letters from our television audience.

You may notice that my voice is not as strong as usual. That is because we just got back from a stringent, but glorious, teaching trip back East in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.   When you teach five, six, or seven hours in a row, then two hours every night, and then another all-day Saturday seminar, it begins to tell on the vocal cords. But it was a glorious trip.  And we just praise the Lord for every opportunity.

But now we’re here to study.  So come right back where we left off in the last program. That would be in II Thessalonians chapter 2, and we’ll read verse 14 again.

II Thessalonians 2:14

“Whereunto he called you by our gospel (We covered that rather in-depth in the last half hour. How that Paul over and over refers to this Gospel of Grace as his gospel of salvation, because it was revealed first and foremost to this apostle to take to the Gentile world.) to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Maybe that’s a good time to go back.  I don’t like to run something into the ground.  Yet when something is so appropriate, I can’t help but use it.   So in that regard—that it was Paul’s Gospel because of the revelations given to him by the ascended Lord—let’s turn to II Peter chapter 3.  I’ve used these verses a lot lately, because I suddenly realized that these verses say so much coming from the pen of the Apostle Peter—who also writes by the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit that Paul does.  Yet it is so obvious that this is where so much of Christendom is missing the boat.  Much of Christendom today doesn’t listen to what Peter says, much less Paul.

II Peter 3:15a

“And account (or understand) that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; (the same salvation that we’ve been talking about up here in II Thessalonians) even as our belovedbrother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him…”

What’s Peter talking about?  Those revelations that were given unto Paul!  It was those same revelations that those other apostles never knew anything of.  We know that Peter and Paul came to an agreement on that in Galatians 2:7-9 when they shook hands. The agreement was: Paul and Barnabas would continue on with their ministry to the Gentiles with the Gospel of Grace. Which, remember, is believing in your heart for salvation that Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again!   Plus NOTHING!

Whereas Peter and the Eleven would continue their ministry to the nation of Israel with the Gospel of the Kingdom—which was faith in believing Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God.  Then they were commanded to repent and be baptized in water, as seen in Acts 2:38.  We know that so many mix and match the two.

This is what Peter is no doubt alluding to. This revelation that had been given to the Apostle Paul that he and the other Eleven knew nothing of.  So he says:

II Peter 3:15b

“…even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom (the revelations of the mystery) given unto him hath written unto you;” Now the next verse confirms what Paul had said all along—that he had given us the truth of the Word of God.  Paul’s epistles are just as much Scripture as the five books of Moses or the Psalms or the prophets or the four gospels or anything else—because Peter by inspiration says in verse 16:

II Peter 3:16a

“As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; (these things which pertain to salvation) in which are some things hard to be understood,…”  The reason Peter couldn’t understand these things was because he was a legalist.  And for Peter to fully understand the Gospel of Grace—I can see where he had problems.  He says it.

II Peter 3:16b

“…in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, (Or twist—and we know that’s obvious even today.  But now here it comes.)as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”  So what does that make Paul’s epistles?  Scripture!   Even from the pen of the Apostle Peter who is telling us.  We must always remember that.

I’ve said so often when I’ve used the previous verse: Why didn’t Peter say up there in verse 15, that for the plan of salvation you should listen to what I’ve told you.  Or you should listen to what Jesus said in His earthly ministry, or what John tells us. But Peter doesn’t say that.  But rather he keeps us only on one area, and that area is what Paul has said!

Back when we started Romans, I quoted one of the former presidents of Princeton University who served back in 1888-1892.  I didn’t bring the quote with me today, but I’ll try to get it close.  But what he said was essentially this, Christendom either has to go back, back, back to the epistles of Paul, or it is on and on to apostasy and despair.   Now he spoke that many years ago, and what a loaded truth.  It is either back to Paul and his epistles, or it’s on to apostasy and despair.  Well, what has the Church for the most part done?  They’ve gone on to apostasy and despair—and the apostasy that’s running rampant!

William R. Newell in one of his books, writing in 1937, in one of his footnotes wrote—and he wasn’t pinpointing any one denomination—but he said, “As fast as modernism is coming into the churches, I can foresee the day where the only place you will hear the truth of the Word of God will be in a home Bible study.”   Well, we’re getting there fast, no doubt about it, because much of Christendom is apostatizing.  They hear everything but the truth.  Not all churches are like that – there are some good ones still out there.  But there are not nearly as many as there were 50 to 100 years ago.

All right, so Peter admonishes them to go back to the epistles of Paul.  That’s why I spend as much time emphasizing that as I do.  Now back to II Thessalonians chapter 2, if you will, reading 14 again for review.

II Thessalonians 2:14-15a

“Whereunto he called you by our gospel, (Paul’s Gospel of Salvation, the one Peter just told you to go and look for.) to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  15. Therefore, brethren, (Remember, he’s writing to believers.) stand fast,…”

What was Paul talking about there?  Positionally!  Doctrinally!  Now, in another place he says, “Do not be driven to and fro with every wind of doctrine.”  Because, you see, beginning with the very first little groups of believers that he established up there in Asia Minor and then a little later across the Aegean Sea to Greece and finally on over to Rome—all those little congregations of Paul’s converts were immediately subjected to false teachings of one sort or another.  False teaching is nothing new.  It’s been rampant from day one.  It’s a wonder that the truth has survived.  It really is.  Because the truth of Paul’s Gospel of Salvation was under all kind of attacks.

First the Judaizers – and we’ve dealt with that over and over in the past. What were they trying to maintain?  That Paul’s converts could not be saved unless they practiced circumcision and kept the Mosaic Law, as you find in Acts chapter 15.  In other words, they had to be proselytes of Judaism.  Then when we get into I Corinthians chapter 15, there were those who came in and basically said there was no such thing as resurrection. There’s no such thing as being raised from the dead. Well, Paul says, and I’m paraphrasing—if Christ be not raised from the dead, we of all people are most miserable.  Because that is the basis of our faith!

Then you had those that came in and abused the Grace of God and said, look, you can use the Grace of God for the spiritual side, but let the human side live to the limit and satisfy the passions and appetites of the flesh.  And that became a false teaching.  And you’d be surprised at how many people fell for that.  Then there were those who came to the other extreme and said you couldn’t be a Christian unless you were totally suppressed in your existence.  You couldn’t enjoy anything, because that would destroy the spirit.

Well, all these false teachings have been pummeling the true Church from day one.  And even today we’re seeing all these false teachings.  People send me stuff off the internet. It’s unbelievable what’s up there.  You can find anything you want to look for, and it is bringing confusion.  Most had rather read the garbage that’s on the internet than to get into the Word.  Now, I know there’s good stuff on the internet.  Even my stuff is up there. But we have to be discerning.  Always line it up with the Scriptures.  And if we’re talking about salvation and Church doctrine, line it up with Paul’s writings.  Now verse 15 again:

II Thessalonians 2:15a

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast,…” Don’t be blown over by every false teaching that comes along.

Come back for a moment with me to the Book of Galatians chapter 5, where he used that same terminology. We’ll begin with verse 1.  The reason I like to use these various Scriptures—you know, as Paul sent these letters out, sometimes written a year or two apart, he did not purposely say, now I’ve got to repeat in this Galatians letter what I wrote to the Thessalonians.  No, as the Holy Spirit led and gave him utterance, this is what he wrote.

Galatians 5:1a

“Stand fast (positionally and doctrinally) therefore in the liberty…” That almost seems like an oxymoron—to stand fast in liberty.  Because what’s liberty?  Freedom!  Now if he had said, stand fast in this little narrow box that I have built around you.  That would be understandable, wouldn’t it?  That’s what legalists try to do.  They try to box you in so that you don’t have any freedom to exercise liberty.  You do this.  You can’t do that and so forth.  They want you to be boxed in.  But that’s not what Paul is telling them.  He’s telling us to stand fast in this liberty, this freedom.

There was a gentleman at our last taping who had come out of a tremendously legalistic cult type religion as a result of watching a couple of our tapes.  He came out of it and, of course, still had a lot of questions.  So he called Iris one day and wanted to know if he could come and spend some time with me.  Iris said, “Well, they’re still bailing hay, but by next Monday he should have time for you.”  Well, I had just finished and was changing my dirty clothes on Saturday evening and he was at the door.  He introduced himself, and I said, “Good heavens, you weren’t supposed to be here until Monday.”  He said, “I couldn’t wait.” 

Now, I can’t imagine what it’s like to be under a legalistic system that gives you no liberty.  But I’m sure some of you have also come out of that type of religion.  So the gentleman rehearsed with us that for 40 years in this legalistic religion that wouldn’t allow him to lift a finger on the Saturday Sabbath, during the years when he needed income for his family and raising his children the most, he lost 14 jobs because he would not work on Saturday.

Now that is a tough religion.  Then he said, “To come out of it and have the shackles just fall away is unbelievable.”   Well, you see, that’s the liberty we have in true Christianity.  We’re not under a set of rules and regulations that you can’t work on the seventh day or you can’t work on Sunday, or you can’t do this, and you must do that.  Because Grace doesn’t demand that!  Grace is Liberty!  But I also follow that up with what?  Grace is NOT license!

We still have guidelines that keep us within the behavior system of what God wants a Christian to be.  I usually use the two concepts of love: love for the Lord Himself on one side and love for our fellow man on the other side. Those become two guidelines that fence in our liberty.  But they’re not restrictive.  They’re not boxing us in.  It’s so easy to comprehend.  How am I going to go out and get drunk on Saturday night when I know that is not going to be pleasing to the love of the Lord who bought me?  Do you see what I mean?  On the other hand, I’m not going to go cheating on my wife.  Because if I love her, how can I?  So those two guidelines become, yes, a restriction of sort, but it so free. And such liberty that we never have to feel like we’ve been pressed down and shackled.  Now that’s what it means to be free and in liberty.  Let’s read it again.

Galatians 5:1

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty (Don’t let somebody box you in with religious, legalistic demands.) wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

Well, what’s the yoke of bondage?  Legalism of whatever sort.  Legalism like the gentleman we were talking about earlier went through—can’t work on the seventh day Sabbath.  That’s legalism.  Now, it can be a lot more than just the seventh day Sabbath.   Some say, “My, you can’t eat pork.”  Remember, eating pork was also under the Law, and we know it was forbidden under the law.  But if you want to have sausage for breakfast, this Book says eat it.  Just thank God for it and eat it.  But nevertheless, legalism will always say, “No, you can’t!”  So it becomes, then, a yoke of bondage. And even Peter recognized it as such.

Let’s come back to Acts 15, and you’ll see Peter himself agreed to that statement.  I like folks to see that I’m not so narrow-minded that I can’t ever get out of Paul’s writings.  All I’m saying is that when Paul says it, you’d better mark it down, because it applies to us as Gentile believers in the Age of Grace.  Now the setting here in Acts 15 is the Jerusalem counsel—where Peter and the other believers have been trying to force Paul and Barnabas to bring their Gentile converts back under the law of Moses. As you read that chapter and Galatians chapter 2, you’ll see that Paul refuses to give into that.  Peter finally has his spiritual eyes opened.

Acts 15:10

“Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke (A burden. When they put the ox under the yoke, what was the purpose? To put that animal under the burden of pulling something. So the yoke is a picture of a burden.) upon the neck of the disciples, (Now the word disciples here is talking about Paul’s converts, Paul’s believing Gentiles.) which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?”

Could anybody keep the Law?  No way!  It was an impossible task.  It was the yoke under which they labored and suffered.  I’ve always said that when the Law was really operating as Moses first gave it, it was severe.  But when Israel degenerated, then they could get by with almost anything. But when the Law was operating in its purity and fullness, it was severe.  If they picked up sticks on the Saturday Sabbath, what was the result?  Death!  Well, if that isn’t severe, then I don’t know what is.  That was the yoke of bondage.

All right, today we’re not under those kinds of things.  We’ve been set free according to Paul.  We are to constantly stand fast in this liberty of the Grace of God in which we now move and live and operate as Grace-Age believers.  Now back to II Thessalonians 2:15:

II Thessalonians 2:15a

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast, (Don’t be deceived.  Don’t fall into the trap of a false teaching.) and hold the traditions…”

When I started getting ready for this verse, I thought, now Paul and I have been condemning traditions.  It’s a bad word in the Scriptures.  Because what is tradition?  It is following in the footsteps of some man-made ideas.  But in this case I chased it down. When Paul uses the word here, he’s really talking about the things that he had taught.  The things that he had drummed into the men who were working with him—first, Barnabas, and then Silas, and later on Timothy and Titus.  This is what he’s talking about.  Hold on to those things that he (Paul) had taught.

Remember, from the time Paul began his ministry among the Gentiles (around A.D. 40), until he wrote the Thessalonian letters in about A.D. 58, is how long?  About 18 years that there was no written New Testament.  They had the Old Testament, but the Gentiles certainly didn’t know that much of it. So how in the world did these new Gentile believers, fresh out of paganism, survive in their walk of faith?  By gifted men who had the gift of prophecy, as we find in I Corinthians chapters 12 and 14.  I think chapter 14 will be sufficient.

I Corinthians 14:1

“Follow after charity, (love) and desire spiritual gifts, but rather (What is the most important gift for this early Church?) that ye may prophesy.”

Many people do not realize that the word “prophesy” as we see it here in the New Testament as it comes out of the Greek, was not to be a prophet—like Isaiah and Jeremiah—who could tell something in the future.  To have the gift of prophecy as Paul is teaching it here was to have the gift to speak forth the Word of God.  And it was a necessary gift, because they had no printed New Testament as yet.  All these new little groups of believers would have to depend on after Paul left them were gifted men who could literally speak forth the Word of God without benefit of Paul’s written material.  That’s why in chapter 13 he says prophecy would cease.  Why?  Once it got in print and they had Paul’s letters, they no longer needed those gifted men.  So when you look at it in verse 15 of II Thessalonians 2, this is exactly why it says what it says.

II Thessalonians 2:15a

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions (things that Paul had taught them or through these gifted men) which ye have been taught, (Now look how Paul divides it.)whether by word, or our epistle.”

So what’s he talking about?  Either what you have heard from these gifted men who have been speaking the Word of God these last 18 years in which there was no printed material or whether it was now from Paul’s own written epistles.  Now, I do all this just to show you how miraculously the true Church survived.  I don’t see how it did, except through the miracle-working power of God.   I mean, the odds against it were so tremendous.  But still these little groups of believers were able to survive by those two areas.

Gifted men who could speak forth the Word of God following in Paul’s teachings and footsteps, then with his writings as they began to come in about A.D. 58 with the Thessalonian letters. Then in about A.D. 60 come Galatians and Romans on up until he finally brings in the last of his epistles to Timothy and Titus shortly before he’s martyred, probably in about A.D. 66 or 67.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-14 - Part 2

516: 2 Thessalonians 2:9-14 – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 43


 

Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 43

2 Thessalonians 2:9-14 – Part 2

We are amazed at how many people just simply take whatever they hear from whatever source and never check it out. And that’s dangerous. There is nothing more dangerous than to just take somebody at face value. So, search the scriptures and see if I’m on the plumb line with the Word of God.

We are continuing our study of II Thessalonians 2:13 but pretty much ready to go into verse 14. But, I want us to read verse 13 again.

II Thessalonians 2:13a

“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you,…”

Now never forget what the settings for these various letters are. Remember the Thessalonian letters were the first of Paul’s writings. They were not the last, as it sits in the New Testament, but they were actually the first. And, he had only been able to spend about three weeks with that little group of Thessalonian believers, who were fresh out of paganism.

I was reading the other night, the horrors of life under paganism. The rank and file were, today I guess we would say, living in the pits. And, if they were in the upper crust of society, then morally speaking they were profligate They had no morality. They were loose. And so, it was into those kind of communities that the Apostle Paul came. With the simply preaching of the Gospel, God miraculously brought these people out of abject paganism and idolatrous darkness. And they were believers of Paul’s Gospel.

Now, I was reading an account in this same article the other night that one of the early, early church writers, either Justin Marter or Chris Lastome. They gave an account of two ladies who were actually from the slave element of society. They had become believers and immediately came under gross persecution, and they never wavered. This is hard for us to believe. To have been steeped in Christianity for five, ten or fifteen years and then be able to withstand persecution. That’s one thing. But, to be a new believer just out of a loose immoral lifestyle and then be so transformed that they were willing to suffer horrible deaths without recanting their faith.

These are the situations that Paul had to address as he wrote these letters. Especially to the Thessalonians. He had only had a few weeks time with them. He left them, of course with gifted men that God had promised to give the early churches. And so, this is why he wrote these letters, relatively soon after leaving Thessalonica, so this is always what you want to keep in mind. What was the purpose for these letters? As yet they had not been established long enough to have false teaching coming in. So, Paul was not addressing the false teachers, per se as the danger but he was just simply encouraging them in their new found faith.

II Thessalonians 2:13

“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” And we showed in the closing statements of the last lesson, their belief of Paul’s Gospel, and in verse 14, he calls it exactly that.

II Thessalonians 2:14a

“Whereunto he called you by our (or as many other places he would say, my) gospel,….”

You see that? How that Paul takes full credit for this Gospel of truth. Let’s go back and chase down a few other references that confirm that this is not just a misprint. This is not a misinterpretation by the translators, because, he does constantly refer to it as my gospel.

Go all the way back to Romans Chapter 2 verse 16. A verse that I dare say most people don’t know is in their Bible.

Romans 2:16

“In the day when God shall (now I am sure this is a reference to the Great White Throne of Revelation 20) judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ (who will be the judge at he Great White Throne, remember. And so, Jesus Christ will judge the secrets of men according to what benchmark?) according to my gospel”

Isn’t that something? This is written by inspiration. This is not an arrogant, egotistical Jew showing forth his own personality. This is a Jew called out of legalism and out of Judaism to become the Apostle of the Gentiles. To him was revealed this tremendous Gospel of truth. And so he says that “God will judge mankind according to my gospel.” Now turn to Romans 16 verse 25. Because all this points up what I am constantly trying to get across, that you will not find the Gospel of the Grace of God in the four gospels. It’s not back there. It couldn’t be because in the first place Christ hadn’t died yet. Except the closing chapter, but for the most part of Christ’s earthly ministry, he hasn’t died. He hasn’t been crucified, buried and resurrected. So that couldn’t be proclaimed as a Gospel. It had to be after the fact before it could become a veritable truth to be believed. Alright, so now here in Romans 16 verse 25 Paul makes almost the same kind of a statement.

Romans 16:25

“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, (my Gospel, Do you see that? And what’s Paul’s Gospel? The preaching of Jesus Christ!) and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, (or the secret) which was kept secret since the world (or the ages) began.”

Now that’s plain English! This isn’t some kind of gobbledy gook that you have to have an earned doctorate in order to understand it. It might help. But you sure don’t need it, because it is plain English. So Paul says “that his Gospel which is the preaching of Jesus Christ according to a revealing of something that had been kept secret since the ages began.” That’s why I said in the last lesson, when John wrote in his gospel that the law came by Moses but grace and truth by Jesus Christ. Yes, Jesus finished what had to be done but it was not proclaimed as a salvation gospel until it became the Gospel of the grace of God committed unto the Apostle Paul. That reminds me of a verse, I probably should have used earlier. Acts Chapter 20 verse 24.

Acts 20:24

“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify (or to proclaim) the gospel of ( of what?) the grace of God.”

This again has never been revealed until it came to the Apostle Paul. Now what is that? The Gospel of the Grace of God is that, because of God’s love for mankind, what did God do? Well, he came down and took on human flesh. He walked the dusty roads of the land of Israel as we now know it. And suffered at the hands of ungodly men. Went to the cross. Took upon himself the sins of the world. And rose from the dead. And then he didn’t say if you do this and if you do that then you can have all this appropriated to your account. No. It was handed out free for nothing to the whole human race. Now what is that? That’s grace! Nobody deserves it. And yet, the vilest sinner can appropriate it by faith and faith alone. That’s the Gospel of the Grace of God. It was committed unto the Apostle Paul. So, until Paul began to proclaim this Gospel, it was a secret, as he says in Romans 16, “hid in the mind of God until it was revealed to this apostle.”

Now let’s go to Galatians because again, I’m just going to hammer this home. That this Gospel, which is the truth, which is our salvation was committed first of all to this one man. And as we finish Thessalonians we will be going into the letters to Timothy and we are going to see that Paul is now ready to pass the baton as the racing element would use it. He’s going to pass the baton to those that were coming behind. Which would be Timothy and Titus. But as of his own ministry, it’s his Gospel.

Galatians Chapter 1. We’ve used these verses over the years many, many times. Starting in verse 11. Early on in the chapter he is admonishing us not to fall for an adulterated gospel.That anybody who falls for something that is not Paul’s Gospel is already condemned. They are accursed because God will not stand for his pure Gospel of Grace to be adulterated with legalism. Millions, billions are going to miss heaven because that’s what they are doing. They are religious. They are in church every Sunday. But, they have adulterated this Gospel of Grace by adding to it.

Galatians 1:11-12

“But I certify you, brethren, (I guarantee it) that the gospel which was preached of me (his gospel) is not after man. (and why isn’t it?) 12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, (how did he get it?) but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

In other words, it was revealed to this man by the ascended, resurrected Lord of glory. And he didn’t go to the twelve in Jerusalem. He didn’t go check in with Peter, James and John. But when you get over to Chapter 2, the exact opposite is the truth. When he could show to Peter, James and John that he had revelations that they knew nothing of. Then they finally condescended and shook hands and agreed. As Peter says in his own epistle, “that because of the wisdom given unto him (Paul). This is where we have to go for the knowledge of salvation.”

Let’s stay a little farther in Chapter one of Galatians, where he comes down to verse 15:

Galatians 1:15

“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,”

By his what? “by his grace.” Now you want to remember – the high priests of Israel, how did they attain their office? Well not by the Grace of God calling them in to it. But, they came into it by virtue of their being in the family line of the priest of Aaron.

But this man didn’t come into this role by inheritance. He didn’t come into it by having gone through and earned his degree, even though he sat at the feet of Gamaliel. But, the Lord just reached down and in unfathomable Grace, saved his arch enemy. I guess that’s the way I can put it. Saved his arch enemy, who hated the very name Jesus of Nazareth. And told him“from henceforth I will send you to the Gentiles.” Alright now, lets pick it up again. So he saved me by his Grace. For what purpose?

Galatians 1:16a

“To reveal his Son in me…”

In other words, so that Paul can get a full understanding. Not just of Jesus of Nazareth, but the Messiah. The Son of God, who had died. Taken upon himself the sins of the whole world and had been resurrected in power and glory.

Galatians 1:16b

“…that I might preach him (the resurrected Christ) among (what people?) the heathen,”

Who are the heathen in scripture? Gentiles! A complete departure from everything that’s gone before. And so to preach him among the Gentiles:

Galatians 1:16b-18a

“…immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 17. Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. 18. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem…”

Well now Paul, of course, is ready to begin to proclaim his Gospel to the Gentile world. Come back with me to Ephesians to establish the fact that Paul’s Gospel is all sufficient, and nothing can be added to it. And we know there are a host of people trying to do that today.

In fact, we were just telling our guests that Monday morning is usually our busiest morning on the phone. You can imagine why. People are calling about what they heard on Sunday morning. And all we ask them is. Can you back it up with Scripture? No, that’s why I’m calling. I can’t find it in my Bible. Well, if what they are telling you, you can’t find it in your Bible, you’d better run. And you better run fast, because you are going to end up in deep trouble.

Now Ephesians Chapter 2. Verses I think that most kids have learned in Sunday School or in Catechism, or whatever. If they haven’t, they should have! I don’t use them as often as I should.

Ephesians 2:8

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; (plus what? Nothing! There is nothing else there. You are saved by Grace through faith. Nothing added.) and that not of yourselves: (even if you tried to add something, you’d have to admit, the next part cancels that. You can’t be saved by faith plus something you do. Why?) it is the gift of God:”

For goodness sakes, you are all enough aware of the English language. Do you work for a gift? No! If you work five minutes for something somebody gave you, then it wouldn’t be a gift because you have already worked for part of it. And so, salvation has to be left purely a gift. For which we have labored none. But it doesn’t stop there. God doesn’t save us just to escape hell fire. I’ve said that as long as I have been teaching. Salvation is more than a fire escape. Salvation is that which prepares us for a life of service. That’s why God leaves us here. Otherwise, he would be better off to just get us out of here the minute we are saved. But, he leaves us here to serve him. Next verse, verse 10.

Ephesians 1:9-10a

“Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10. For we are his workmanship…”

Now I think I have explained this when we were teaching the book of Ephesians. The Greek word is the same root word from which we get symphony or poem. The Greek word ispoema, if I’m not mistaken. And, it simply meant, something that was intricately put together so that it now becomes something beautiful. And that is what every believer is. God has not only saved us but he has put us together just like something beautiful. A beautiful poem or a beautiful piece of music. And again just to sit on the shelf? No, to be used.

What good would Beethoven’s music have been if he had just simply stuck it in a shelf some place and the world had never been able to enjoy it? It would have been good for nothing. But any good work of art or anything that we can enjoy would be worth nothing if it hadn’t been made available. Alright now, it’s the same way here. God has not only saved us, he has-

Ephesians 2:10b

“…created (us) in Christ Jesus (now, our position as a believer. For what purpose?) unto good works,…”

Absolutely good works has a place. But not for salvation. It won’t count for anything as far as salvation. But, once we have been created in Christ Jesus unto good works:

Ephesians 2:10c

“…which God hath before ordained…”

Now you know what that means? This is all part and parcel of God’s blue print. That the minute you and I heard the Gospel and believed it and He brought us into the Body of Christ. And He created within us a function in the Body. Now we are all different. We don’t all have the same function. You can’t all teach. I can’t be musical. I can’t do certain things that some of you can do. But, you all have something that God can use in his vineyard. The whole purpose of the Christian experience is that we reach out somehow to the world around us.

I’ve never met a believer yet that didn’t have an intrinsic ability that God can use. And don’t tell me that you haven’t got one, because I have met too many people to know better. Every believer has something that God has placed within us. Yes, I think supernaturally, so that we can be good works. That is the whole purpose.

Ephesians 2:10d

“… that we should walk in them.”

Now that’s the whole substance then of Paul’s Gospel. That since Christ has done everything that needs to be done for our salvation. We appropriated that by faith. But, now we move on into a life of works. Come back to I Corinthians Chapter 3 starting at verse 9. It’s been a long time since we have talked about doing good works as believers. Look what Paul writes. Now, even though he’s writing to the Corinthians, he could just as well be writing to us, because he’s writing to a Gentile congregation.

I Corinthians 3:9a

“For we are labourers together with God:…”

See? That’s Who is your co-worker. God himself. We are co-laborers together with God. You can also be co-laborers with other believers. In fact, if someone writes me something encouraging. I will answer back that I am thrilled to have someone who is a co-laborer with me. And we all work together with God. That’s why we are here. Alright, he said…

I Corinthians 3:9b-10

“…ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. 10. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I (See there is his egotism, people think. No. This is Holy Spirit inspired.) have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.” In other words, with his works as a believer. Now verse 12.

I Corinthians 3:12

“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood hay stubble;” God has given us these materials to put into our, as I like to put it, section of the wall. It’s a building, with a foundation, remember? Which is Jesus Christ. Now these materials are gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay and stubble. All you have to do is look at that real sincerely and what do you see? The first three can never be damaged by fire. They are totally immune to fire and heat. But, the next three go up in a puff of smoke.

So, much of what a lot of believers are doing is just that; wood, hay and stubble. It won’t hold for reward but if we put into our works relationship with God those things that are of value and our attitude and our motive is right. Yes, we are going to earn rewards.

There is a reward system for the believer. We are not going to just all of a sudden go into glory and sit on a cloud and strum a harp. Some of us are going to have more reward than others. But, no one can ever say I can never earn a reward because I don’t have a gift that I can use. Everybody has one!

2 Thessalonians 2:9-14

515: 2 Thessalonians 2:9-14 – Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 43


 

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 43

2 Thessalonians 2:9-14

Turn with me to II Thessalonians Chapter 2. I want to go back for just a moment to review our last lesson. In that lesson we studied the verses that I feel concern people who have heard the Gospel and the Rapture has taken place and they are still unbelievers, and they find themselves in the 7-Year Tribulation. Now, a lot of people, especially those who have read the series Left Behind, are of the opinion that if you have spurned the Gospel and you go into the Tribulation that you are going to have a second chance. Well, I would hope that’s true but I can’t see it according to Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians where he makes it so plain, that if they have spurned the truth they have no chance.

II Thessalonians 2:10

“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” Then the next thing is that for that cause, because they rejected the truth of the Gospel, and they have missed the Rapture:

II Thessalonians 2:11

“And for this cause God shall send them a strong dilution, that they should believe a lie.”

Remember, I am always stressing whenever I teach prophecy or the Book of Revelation, the 7-year period is a time of supernatural activities. Today we don’t experience the supernatural. But as soon as those seven years begin, the supernatural will become almost common place. Now when I say supernatural, we know that it is impossible to get a peace treaty in the Middle East today. But we are seeing them try and try and try. Well, they might as well give up because they are not going to establish a good solid peace treaty in the Middle East until the man anti-Christ comes in. And the only reason he will accomplish it is because it’s going to be a time of supernatural work of God. So God will cause this man to supernaturally bring about a peace treaty in the Middle East that is unthinkable today. I mean it’s going to be such that you just say “Hey, it can’t happen.” But it will because it’s now time for God to move in and bring things to its culmination.

And so, these people who have spurned the Gospel during this Age of Grace will be the first, by a sovereign act of God, to embrace this man as the answer to the world’s problems. Now it isn’t because they have been taught that way previously, but it is because God will supernaturally (now I know I’m overloading that word.) bring things to pass that today would be utterly impossible. And so they, because of their rejecting the Gospel during the Age of Grace, will be sent a strong delusion that they should believe the lie. Well, what’s the lie? That the anti-Christ is the true Messiah, that he is God. You know the lie from day one back in the Garden of Eden. What was the lie? Well, if you eat of the tree you can become God. And that’s Satan’s ploy all the way up through human history. That if we follow him, then we can become gods.

That’s the whole forte of most of your oriental religions. That’s the whole idea of reincarnation. Iris had a chance while we were out east to visit with a lady of one of the oriental persuasions and she was just so excited about the fact that if she lives a good life now and dies that when she comes back next time she’ll be in a higher level than she is today. And if she can do a good job in that next sojourn on earth then she will die and come back still higher. And, of course the whole premise is that if you can live and die and keep doing it good enough that sooner or later you become God.

Well, that’s the lie. And so when the anti-Christ makes his appearance, these folks who have spurned the Gospel will be the first to accept the lie. Then their doom is mentioned in verse 12, that they will be condemned because they believed not the truth. See that’s the whole crux of the matter. We don’t ever see anyone go to their eternal doom for any other reason but unbelief. They won’t go because they are drunkards. They won’t go because they were immoral. They won’t go because of anything else. They’ll go to their doom because of their rank unbelief.

Alright now verse 13 starts with one of my favorite three letter words in scripture. What is it? Flip side! But. Do you see that? We are not in that company who have rejected the Gospel. We are not that company who will be condemned.

II Thessalonians 2:13a

“But, we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you…” Because, of course these folks were believers. They had been recently brought out of paganism. And so, he says –

II Thessalonians 2:13b

“… we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning (now that goes back to Ephesians 1. We will look at that.)chosen you to salvation through the sanctification of the Spirit and belief…”

What’s the other words for belief? Faith. Trust. Believe. See those three, all synonymous. Alright, why are these Thessalonians outside of paganism and now in God’s salvation? Because of their faith. Faith plus nothing. You never see anything added to faith in Paul’s letters. And so here again it’s so plain, that God chose them from the beginning so they could have their salvation through the sanctification of the Spirit and their faith or their belief.

II Thessalonians 2:13b

“…of the truth” All through Paul’s epistles, what basically is the truth? The Gospel! And what’s Paul’s Gospel? That Christ died for the sins of the world. He was buried and he arose from the dead. This message keeps coming together constantly. Alright, let’s read verse 14, and then we are going to go back into verse 13.

II Thessalonians 2:14a

“Whereunto he called you by our gospel…”

Now everywhere we go we run into one or two people invariably who at one time detested the Apostle Paul until they heard us teach otherwise. We had a gentleman again the other day, I think it was out in Pennsylvania and he said “Les, if it weren’t for you I would still detest the Apostle Paul. For years I thought he was arrogant. I thought he was egotistical. And, I just had no time for him. But now, I understand whenever Paul seemingly is egotistical, it’s the Spirit that is speaking and we can’t give Paul the blame for that. And so now, I agree with you 100%. It’s either Paul, or we are going to be left out in the dark.”

Paul is constantly referring to this as ‘my’ Gospel, or that which I preach. He is constantly bringing up the fact that he’s the one that brought this Gospel of the Grace of God to the human race. Now that doesn’t take anything away, in fact it’s just emanates the work of the cross. See, Paul over and over says, we preach Christ crucified, and risen from the dead.Paul doesn’t ever say we’re saved by believing in him, he’s only edifying that work of the cross.

II Thessalonians 2:14

“Whereunto he called you by our gospel, (and the end result of it all is) to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Now there again, in our human element, we can’t begin to comprehend the glory that we will one day enter in to. Paul alludes to it in Romans Chapter 8, where he says –

Romans 8:18

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worth, to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

Now come back up to verse 13. We are not going to rush through these verses because everyone of them is a gold mine, once we start digging. And so he says, since the beginning…

II Thessalonians 2:13b

“…God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification (or the setting apart work) of the Spirit and the belief of the truth:”

Let’s go back and chase that word chosen for just a few moments. We are not going to be overbearing, I trust. But, come back to Ephesians Chapter 1. It’s a verse that throws a curve at lots of people, because, either they can’t comprehend it and they skim over it or they interpret it totally wrong. And, those folks I have to disagree with when they say that when God chose us to salvation then he also chose lost people to their eternal doom. I don’t agree with that. I do not think that God said to some “you’re going to heaven” and to others “you’re going to hell.” There is no way I can agree with that, because I always have to go back to the other premise and that is that Christ died for how many? He died for all. And we are going to see that as well. But here in Ephesians Chapter 1, it’s in full accord with what he just said in II Thessalonians, where he says:

Ephesians 1:3-4a

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places (or probably the original would say in the heavenlies) in Christ” (That’s our position in Christ.) 4. According as he hath (past tense) chosen us in him (when?) before the foundation of the world…”

I always like to teach it this way. Back before anything was ever created the Triune God came together and literally drew the blueprint for creating the universe. The creating of the planet earth and the creation of the human race and just set everything in motion. And even though he has not made us robots, He has left the human race with a free will. Nations, as I have said so often, were free to raise armies and navies and to conquer and be defeated, and so forth. And yet 6,000 years later, where is the whole ball of wax? Exactly where God determined where it would be. We are exactly where God wants us to be at the end of 6,000 years of history. But nevertheless, every believer was to a certain extent chosen before anything was ever created. In other words, God knew. God knew what we would do when we heard the Gospel.

Now then, to confirm what I just said a moment ago, that Christ died for the whole human race. Come back to John’s gospel, chapter 1. The Word I am going to shock some people here. Now this is what the Book says. It’s not something that I have dreamed up. It’s something that is in your Bible as well as in mine.

John’s gospel chapter 1 verse 9. And of course, John is speaking of the Light of the world, about Jesus of Nazareth, at this point in time. As John the Baptist announced him, then he comes down to verse 9 speaking of Jesus of Nazareth.

John 1:9

“That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world”

Do you see what that says? The pygmies of Australia have received the light. I know we have a hard time with that don’t we? Now this is not knocking missions. This is not saying we don’t have to send missionaries. This is not saying we don’t have to send the Gospel to the darkened areas of the world. But, the Bible does say that every human being that has ever been brought into the human race has received enough light that they could have escaped their hell fire damnation. That’s what it says, he “lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”

Alright for comparison, I’m going to take you back to what Paul writes in Titus chapter 2. And let’s just drop down to verse 11. Now these statements are hard for us to reconcile. But, just because they are hard to reconcile is no sign we can gloss over them and say they are of no account. It’s the Word of God. The Spirit has moved these men to write what they wrote. And, look what Paul writes. Almost the same thing as what you see in John’s gospel.

Titus 2:11

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to (unto how many?) all men.”

Not just to some. Not just to Israel. Not just to the Church. The grace of God which brings salvation which is associated with that light that came into the world, has appeared unto how many? Every human being that has ever been born. Don’t ask me how. I’m just going by what the book says. Alright, now as a result of that, I can bring you back to Romans chapter 1 which has a verse that has always been hard to teach. But, after looking at these verses, it’s a little less difficult. Put all these together and there is no argument left. The argument just falls away.

Romans 1:20

“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, (or created) even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they (the whole human race) are without excuse:”

Now it has to be that way, otherwise, when the lost of all the ages would come up before the Great White Throne Judgment and they stand before Christ as the judge (not as the Savior but as the judge), are they going to able to argue and say, “Well I never had a chance?” No. You know that. The first thing that he is going to show is that their name is not in the Lamb’s book of life and they are not going to be able to say, “Well I never had a chance” because the Scripture tells us that some how or other they were enlightened.

I don’t care where they were, but I also don’t want to ever give excuse for not pushing missions. Yes, we have to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth, as far as we can. But that does not remove the fact that the lost masses of humanity will one day stand before Christ and be faced with their name not in the Lamb’s book of life. The books will be opened and they will be judged by their works. Evil, good or whatever. But it will never keep them from their eternal doom. This is Scripture! This is what the Bible teaches, and so these are the things that Paul is referring to. Now coming back to II Thessalonians chapter 2, so that we don’t lose our jumping off place. Look at verse 13 again. And so he says-

II Thessalonians 2:13b

“…God hath from the beginning chosen you…” These people had entered into God’s saving Grace. These were believers. Recently out of paganism.

II Thessalonians 2:13b

“…God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and the belief of the (what?) truth..”

Now again the only way we can put these things together is to compare Scripture with Scripture. What is, what Paul calls, the truth? In fact, I’m going to take you all the way back again to John’s gospel. John Chapter 1. It’s a verse that fits perfectly with what Paul writes here in his epistle. John Chapter 1 verse 17.

John 1:17

“For the law was given by Moses, (anybody that knows anything about the Bible knows that. But here is another big flip side, it’s something that is totally different from the law and legalism. And what is it? Grace.) but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”

Yes, the old economy came by Moses, the system of law and legalism and dealing with the Nation of Israel. But the big flip side now, Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. But we have to be careful. The Age of Grace didn’t automatically kick in the moment Christ rose from the dead. Everything that was needed was done, but it hadn’t been revealed to the human race how to appropriate that Grace and truth until, I feel, we get to the Apostle Paul. Now then, some years after Pentecost, God strikes that man on the road to Damascus and announces to Ananias within the city –

Acts 9:15

“But the Lord said unto him (Ananias) Go thy way: for he (Saul, later to be changed to Paul) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles,…”

You all know the account after his conversion, how he had to escape over the wall in a basket, because they were out to kill him. Because he had suddenly turned from being a religious zealot of Judaism to one who was now proclaiming that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Christ.

Then the Scripture tells us that he went for three years out into the Arabian Desert and from that we gather that he received all these nuggets of truth concerning the Gospel, how that Christ died for the whole human race and that he was buried and that he arose again the third day in power and victory over sin and death and Satan. And now this man was able to go out to the whole race, not just to Israel, with this amazing truth. What was that truth? The Gospel. And what was the Gospel? That Christ died and rose from the dead. It just comes full circle. Alright now then let’s look at Grace and truth. For that now let’s come back to Ephesians chapter 1, and we’ll begin with verse 12.

Ephesians 1:12

“That we (as believers as members of the body of Christ. That we) should be to the praise of his glory, (and I am going to put the pronoun ‘we’) who first trusted in Christ.” Now here it comes.

Ephesians 1:13a

“In whom ye also trusted, (placed your faith, you believed it) after that ye heard the word (of what?) of truth, ( See? Same word. So now we have to pick from this, what is the truth that Jesus Christ introduced and that Paul brings to the human race. And it is right in the next part of the verse. The truth which is) the gospel of your salvation…”

See how beautiful that is? The truth is the gospel of your salvation. A lot of universities like to put over their Administration building “The truth shall make you free.” Would to God that they knew what it was talking about. But, they don’t.

Absolutely, Paul’s Gospel is the only thing that sets men free. That’s what the truth is!

The world has totally adulterated the term. And they no longer even associate the work of the cross with truth. Truth is just something that you can have a good conscience with and write it up and live with it. Anything that goes is now truth. But, Biblically there is only one definition of truth. And what is it? The Gospel. Read on:

Ephesians 1:13b

“…the gospel of your salvation: (the truth) in whom also (speaking of Christ back in verse 12 remember) after that ye believed,…”

Plus anything? See? These are the things you have to be aware of. It doesn’t add anything in here. We receive the Gospel of truth and the power of it, not when we believe plus something but when we believe plus nothing. How plain. So after you believed then-

Ephesians 2:13b

“…ye were sealed (branded is the word I like) with (what?) that Holy Spirit of promise,”

That’s God mark of ownership. The moment we believe the truth, the Gospel, then we are branded with the indwelling Holy Spirit. Now, I Corinthians 15 where we have what Paul calls “my Gospel.” The first four verses are Paul’s Gospel, but let’s start with verse 3.

I Corinthians 15: 3-4

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4. And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

They Will Believe the Lie!

514: They Will Believe the Lie! – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 43


 

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 43

They Will Believe the Lie! – Part 2

II Thessalonians 2:9-14

Let’s begin again with verse 10. Remember the anti-Christ has now, since the middle of the Tribulation, become the absolute world despotic leader. And with the today’s technology, it will be so easy for the population to be under his thumb. I always have to stop and comment, do you realize that none of this end-time prophecy could have been even imaginable had it not been for our technology? But you can see now that our technology is making it so believable. We know that there is going to be a technology that will globally position every individual. They’ll know where we people are, there’s no place to hide.

So during the Tribulation this will all peak, and they’re going to have whatever technology is needed to fulfill what we see in the Scriptures, and that’s what makes it so believable. Twenty years ago this was still something that you had to take by pure faith, but today you can just see it coming faster and faster. I was reading an article the other day about fiber optics, and we haven’t heard a lot about that technology in the past few years, but now all of a sudden the communication experts are coming back to fiber optics and they’re realizing that they can just almost exponentially increase the number of messages going on just one little hair breath line, it’s just mind boggling.

And when they can tell you that they can put all the New York Times newspapers that have ever been printed on a little chip then you can see where we are as far as technology goes today. I read another little article where this is the whole thrust of our electronic industry, as these chips keep getting smaller and smaller and smaller. There’s almost no limit to it. Well, all of this is just telling us that it’s getting the world ready for this absolute governmental control of the masses.

Now I guess the first thing I have to clarify, because two or three at break time got the idea that I said that no one could be saved during the Tribulation. I did not say that! And I’ve got to clarify that. Only those who have heard the Grace Gospel, that Christ died for them and rose from the dead, and they can have it free for nothing by simply believing it, and they have rejected it, they’re not going to have a second chance. They’ve had their opportunity. They’ve understood it. They’ve considered it. The Holy Spirit enlightened them, but they said, “Thanks, but no thanks. I’m having too much fun. I don’t want to give up my wicked lifestyle. I’ll do it later.” Well, bless their hearts, and I feel for parents who are weeping for children out there that are in the world and lost.

But don’t give up. I’ll never forget years back I had a dear old gentleman and we were talking about this very thing. And I could see the tears running down his cheek at the back of the room. He came up afterward and I asked him, “What’s the matter?” And he said, “Les, I’ve got two grown sons who grew up in our local Sunday School class, but they never heard the Gospel. And they are out there in the world and are making big money and they are lost. If the Lord should come tonight, they’ll be left behind.” And I said, “Well, at least you can take comfort in the fact they haven’t heard the Gospel. They’re not in that category.” He said, “No, but they’ll be left behind.” Well, he doesn’t know, but here just a week or two ago, we got an e-mail from one of those boys and he had come to know the Lord and was studying our material. Oh, how I wish I could have let that weeping father know. So, one of the two have come in and maybe the second one will come too. So never give up. If you’re parents out there and your kids are out in the world, don’t ever give up. You just keep praying and praying and praying that the Lord will somehow open their hearts.

Let’s first qualify, if I was misunderstood. I didn’t say that but I might have been misunderstood. Come back with me quickly to Revelation chapter 7. We’ve always got to clarify first if there’s a need. And we’ll just start at verse 3.

Revelation 7:3

“Saying (the angels) Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till (time word. They need a segment of time. What are they going to do?) we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.”

And then he comes in and lists that it’s 12,000 young Jewish men from each one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Now, I think Dan is left out, if I’m not mistaken. It’s been awhile since I’ve looked at this. And one of the other sons of Joseph is brought in. But nevertheless, there will be 12,000 young Jewish men each out of the 12 tribes of Israel. Now you see the doubter scoffs doesn’t he? He says, “Well no Jew knows what tribe he’s from.” Well, I know the Jews don’t, at least most of them. But God does. And you know God in His Sovereignty, in His own way of doing things has somehow or another preserved 12,000 young men that will be identified with each one of the 12 original tribes of Israel, except Dan, because they went into idolatry. But, these 144,000 young Jewish men, virgin men, never been married, are going to go out and circumvent the globe. I’ve always said this is Israel’s redeeming moment. What the nation failed to do back there in Acts chapter 1, 2, and 3, these 144,000 Jews are almost going to make up for.

Now, I think, and I don’t like to quote people unless I’m real sure, but I think it was Tim LaHaye, in one of his books, that made the comment that he thought more people would be saved, and if he finds out that I said this and I’m wrong, then I apologized before he even has to call me. But I’m sure he wrote in one of his books on Revelation that he feels that there will be more people saved during this 7-year period under the preaching of the 144,000 than were saved in all the ages of the church. Now, you say, “How can that be?” Well you’ve heard me use the numbers. Why is God going to bring such wrath and judgment on this last closing generation of people? Because of the numbers. There are more people living on the planet right now than have lived all the way back.

You want to remember, the world’s population for centuries and centuries was like 500,000,000 – half a billion – that’s all. Then it wasn’t until about the mid 1800 hundreds that that doubled to 1 billion. And that happened in about the early 1900 hundreds. Now, of course, it has doubled and doubled to where we’re now 6 and one half billion. And it’s going to double again in a few more years. So, it’s numbers. And so, yes, I can see the potential that there could be more people saved in the Tribulation than would have ever been saved in the Church Age. I’m not saying that I agree with that 100%, but I do know this. Revelation chapter 7 and verse 9. After these 144,000 young Jews have been commissioned and have been sent out around the planet, they will go supernaturally. They won’t have to buy airline tickets. They won’t have to learn languages. They won’t have to fear for their life. No one can take their life from them. That’s the purpose of the seal in their forehead. But they will evidently suffer privation, hunger, heat and cold, imprisonment, but they can’t take their lives. Now look what the results of their missionary endeavors will do.

Revelation 7:9a

“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number….’

Now I know that’s a large number. And look where they come from. Not Israel! They come from all nations. And kindred, and people and languages. You know what that tells me? Even into some of these third world nations, where they have all these different dialects, these 144,000 Jews are going to penetrate every one of them. And they’re not going to have to stop and learn the language. They’re not going to have to stop and get transportation. They’re going to go like the wind. And they’re going to have a tremendous response. But, who are these people? They are people who have never heard the Gospel of the Grace of God that we find in Paul’s Gospel of I Corinthians 15:1-4. They are people who have never heard it and rejected it. These are people who will not have taken the mark of the beast, because Scripture tells us as soon as they agree to that mark in the forehead or the hand, they shut off their opportunity for salvation.

Now immediately if you will just sit and think for a moment, what part of the world has the most people who have never heard Paul’s gospel, and who are not up on all this technology, that as soon as the world is announced that everyone is going to have to have this 666 number to buy or sell, what area of the world could care less? Well a good portion of the third world countries. They’re not use to credit cards, or our high technology, and I can see the masses of Pakistan, India, and China and places in Africa where these people will respond to this gospel of the kingdom.

Matthew 24:14

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

Not the Gospel of Grace that is preached here in the Church Age, but these 144,000 will be preaching the same gospel of the kingdom that Jesus and the disciples preached during his earthly ministry, and there is a difference in these two messages. So these people who have not taken the mark of the beast, the 666, they’re going to respond by the millions. But we also know by Scripture that they’re going to be martyred as soon as they believe. And technology will play a role in that also. Just as soon as they make their profession of faith the authorities will know it, and they’ll be put to death. So consequently only a precious few of those Tribulation believers will survive, but there will be some survivors of the Tribulation Isaiah tells us.

Isaiah 24:6

“Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.”

But to qualify now where I was misunderstood, Yes there are going to be multitudes saved during the Tribulation, but it can’t be anyone who has heard and contemplated, and rejected Paul’s Gospel. And their punishment for doing this, they are going to come under the complete wrath of God, and in order to justify God’s wrath, they are going to embrace this anti-Christ and his system as what the world was really looking for in the first place. Here in II Thessalonians, chapter 2 Paul makes that so plain. Verse 10 again.

II Thessalonians 2:10

“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness (there’s nothing righteous in what they do) in them that perish; (they’re going to be lost for all eternity) because they received not the love of the truth, (which we pointed out in our last program, which was the Gospel, that Christ died for them, and rose from the dead, as we saw in I Corinthians 15:1-4) that they might be saved.” Oh they had the opportunity but they rejected it. Now verse 11.

II Thessalonians 2:11

“And for this cause (what cause? They heard Paul’s Gospel and rejected it. Plain enough? They’ve heard the Gospel, they considered it, but they rejected it, and so consequently, for this cause) God shall send them strong delusion, (He’s going to fry their brain, or mix up their thinking,) that they should believe a lie:”

They’re going to say, “The anti-Christ is the God we’re looking for. He’s the Messiah that the Bible was talking about. He’s the one we can follow, and we won’t have to change our lifestyle. We can keep on doing what we’ve been doing when we follow him. And that’s the delusion that God will put in the mind of every human being, regardless of where they are on the planet who have heard Paul’s Gospel and rejected it. Listen! If I were a lost person in the world today, I would rather have never heard the Gospel, than to sit under it Sunday after Sunday, week after week, and reject it. So to those who have heard, contemplated it, and rejected it, that God will send a delusion to change their thinking. And what is their thinking going to do now? It’s going to make them believe the lie!

And what is the lie from Genesis chapter 3 to Revelation chapter 20? That you can be like God. Am I right? That’s the lie. In fact let’s go back and look at it in Genesis chapter 3, because that’s where it all began. This is all part of the Satan’s lie, and he’s a master in carrying it out. Here Eve, of course, is in the Garden looking at the tree, and the serpent that Satan was using speaks to her.

Genesis 3:4

“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:” Now what is that? A lie. Eve did die spiritually, and later on physically, but Satan said, “she wouldn’t” Now look at verse 5.

Genesis 3:5a

“For God doth know…”

See how Satan brought God in. And the politician is the same way if he’s worth his salt, and has a great big important message, and I think F.D.R. was probably one of the masters at doing that. They never end a speech without it, and it’s usually in the last sentence or paragraph, who do they have to mention? God. Oh somehow they’ll say, “May God bless our nation,” or something like that. See they’ve got to bring God in at least that much. But see Satan is a master at it. He doesn’t say, “Now I’m telling you.” No he says, –

Genesis 3:5

“For God doeth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened (of course God knew in a far better way than Eve could have ever understood.) and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

Isn’t that what the human race is looking for? Oh to have the power of a god, and that’s the lie. See Christianity never teaches that we will be God. The New Agers do, and other cults do, but our Gospel never teaches that we become God. We’re going to be joint-heirs with Christ, we’re children of God, but we’ll never be God. Remember that. See that’s the lie of Satan, “Oh come on Eve, eat of the fruit, and you can be like God.” That’s the lie. All right, this constant urge to believe the lie of Satan is going to carry all the way through the human experience. Now back to II Thessalonians chapter 2, verse 11 again.

II Thessalonians 2:11

“And for this cause (because they rejected Paul’s gospel) God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:” That they don’t need the Gospel of the Grace of God – they’re going to follow this man anti-Christ. Now verse 12. What’s the end result? It’s frightening. I mean this is something to be scared about for an unbeliever, or at least they should be.

II Thessalonians 2:12

“That they all (these people who have heard Paul’s gospel, have considered it, they know it’s the truth, but they say, ‘not now, maybe later at a more convenient time’) might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

See God isn’t going to condemn them because of their evil works. That was just an outflow of their old Satanic nature, which all of us had the potential. But why will God in justice and righteousness condemn them to such a fate? Because they rejected the truth of the Gospel. You know we were talking the other day, if the Gospel of the Grace of God was something that would just demand a million dollars or a trip overseas, or to climb some high forbidding mountain, people would be after salvation by the millions.

But here God offers something that is absolutely free for nothing, you don’t have to do anything, but believe it, then let God do the rest, but what do the masses say? I’m not interested. They could care less, and I’m sure the heart of God breaks when he sees the masses of humanity so indifferent. Now it would be different, and I can understand their rejecting the Gospel if God was laying a lot of demands on them, like a lot of the cults do. And listen, followers of cults take on those demands gladly. But here in Grace, God doesn’t expect that, God says, “I’VE DONE IT ALL, AND ALL YOU HAVE TO DO TO RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE IS BELIEVE IT!”

Many people may say, “Now Les, why do you make such an emphasis on just believing? Now listen, everyone of us are human, and I’ve used this example before. Anyone of us if we were suddenly caught in a position that we had just witnessed something, regardless if it was an accident at an intersection, or maybe a murder or whatever. We had witnessed it, we saw it happen, and we knew every little detail without any doubt in our mind. And if someone asked us what we saw and heard, we could tell them with all the honesty at our disposal, and if that person who asked then turned around and said, “I don’t believe you. What is he calling you? A liar! Now you see every person that rejects this offer of God’s Grace in so many words is saying, “God you’re lying to me. I don’t believe it.” But when you do believe it, it just thrills the heart of God to such an extent that He saves us to the uttermost. Oh it’s so simple.

I had a lady quite a few years back who was in such distress about her eternal destiny, and so after our class one night she came up and wanted to know the plan of salvation, so she could have the hope of glory. So I explained Paul’s gospel in all of it’s simplicity. I said, “Just recognize that you’re a sinner, that you’re undone, and that Christ had done everything that needs to be done, and all you have to do is believe it,” and that poor lady looked up at me with almost the eyes of a Cocker Spaniel and said, “That’s too simple.”

Isn’t it sad? Now if I would have told her, now listen lady if you can scrape up $50,000 or if you can do this or do that for salvation, she would have been elated and tickled pink. But when you tell the lost that it’s so simple, that all you have to do is believe it with all your heart, they just shake their head and say, “I can’t buy that.” Oh it’s sad, I tell you it’s sad. Now back to where we were in II Thessalonians. So when these people believe the lie instead of the Gospel, verse 12 says –

II Thessalonians 2:12a

“That they all might be damned (for all eternity) who believed not the truth…”

The only reason they will go out into eternity lost is they didn’t believe the Gospel. A verse comes to mind, and I’m going to use it in our closing moments. Come over to the Book of Hebrews chapter 3. It’s been a long time since we’ve used these verses. Remember it’s always been this way. Now what we’re talking about in Hebrews chapter 3 is when the children of Israel were brought up to Kadesh Barnea on the southern border of the Promised Land, and they have just come from the experience of Mount Sinai where they had built that golden calf, and had fallen into the idolatry that they had brought out of Egypt. But now God has brought them up to the border and He told them to go on into the land and take it. He said, “I’ll drive the Canaanites out with hornets, you won’t have to lift a single weapon, you won’t have to lose a drop of blood, just go in and take it, but what did they do? Oh they said, “We can’t do it, we’re like grasshoppers in their sight.” So now look what God’s controversy was with them.

Hebrews 3:17-19

“But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18. And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19. So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”

They Will Believe the Lie!

513: They Will Believe the Lie! – Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 43


 

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 43

They Will Believe the Lie!

II Thessalonians 2:9-14

You know I’m always pointing out that it isn’t so much what the Bible says, as what it does not say. Always remember the deception comes in when the counterfeiters come along and make it sound like the Bible says something when it really doesn’t. Let’s get started where we left off in our last lesson, and that was in verse 9 of II Thessalonians chapter 2.

II Thessalonians 2:9a

“Even him,…”

The wicked one of verse 8 who the Lord will destroy at the end of the Tribulation, is going to meet his doom. Remember he’s a man born of a woman, and he’s going to go to his eternal doom the same as other lost people, but of course this individual and the false prophet will be unique in that they will not have the benefit of pleading their case at the Great White Throne. Now if you know your Bible you know that all the lost people of the ages will have their moment with God, and before God as they appear at the Great White Throne, but these two men don’t get that chance. They’ll go straight from their earthly existence to the eternal Lake of Fire according to the Book of Revelation 19:20. But this man anti-Christ –

II Thessalonians 2:9b

“…whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.”

And as we saw in our last program, and the Book of Revelation agrees with it 100%, the world will be deceived by this man anti-Christ. They’re going to fall for what this man offers hook, line, and sinker. Because after all, this guy is performing things that only God can do, so it must be God. I hope we’re making the point that Satan is such a master counterfeiter that he can do almost the same things that God can do. Now never forget that God is Sovereign, God is still in control, and Satan can never go any further than God permits him to go. However God is going to let him come awfully close to the original. You know I always like to use the analogy of counterfeiters of currency. The guy that can get by counterfeiting American currency is the guy that can come the closest to our original bills. And if he can come so close that the average American can’t detect it, he can go quite awhile before the experts can finally catch it. Well it’s the same way with spiritual things. These counterfeiters can confuse the masses, and the less they know of Scripture, the easier they are to confuse, and the longer they can hold them. So you’ve got to know what the truth is so that when you hear something that is not truth, it will bring up a red flag. So this anti-Christ is going to bring in signs, and lying wonders. Now verse 10.

II Thessalonians 2:10

“And with all deceivableness (or with all deceit) of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” All right, what does the word perish imply here. Well you all know John 3:16 don’t you?

John 3:16a

“For God so loved the world that whosoever believeth in him should not perish…”

Now you all know what that word is talking about. It’s eternal doom! It’s that eternal separation from God. Now that’s what the word perish here means, and Paul is using it here in the same way. These people are going to go to their eternal doom, having followed the signs and wonders and miracles of the counterfeit Christ, but the sad part is, many of them are going to be people who heard the Gospel in it’s full truth and rejected it. Now we’re going to take this real slow because this question is coming up more and more. “Is there an opportunity for salvation for someone who has heard the Gospel, missed the Rapture, and find themselves in the Tribulations?” The answer to that question is No! There will be no second chance if, and this is a big if, they have heard the true Gospel, have contemplated it, have been convicted of the need of it, and then turn around and say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Or like King Agrippa who said-

Acts 26:28

“Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.”

King Agrippa wanted a more convenient time to think on these things, and people today are doing that also. Some say, “Yeah I know I should get saved, but I want to live the good life for a while, I’ll do that later.” Well you see this is exactly what this verse is saying. They’re going to come under a deceitful regime, they’re going to come under the deceitful power of Satan, and are actually going to enjoy unrighteousness. The wickedness of that period is going far beyond our comprehension. Well I was going to Revelation chapter 9, and just happened to flip to it. Here in Revelation this just fits hand and glove with what Paul is teaching in II Thessalonians. Now remember there’s going to be tremendous loss of life during the last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation. After all, the whole world’s population is going to have to go down the tube with the exception of a very small percentage. Right now we have 6 1/2 billion that would be losing their life in these 7 years, and most of them in the last half. But look what it says in verse 20. As we come toward the end of that time we find these still haven’t lost their life.

Revelation 9:20

“And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk;” Now watch it. These are going to be the common occurrences of every society around the planet in those closing months of the Tribulations.

Revelation 9:21

“Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, (now what’s sorceries? Drawing on Satanic powers. It also means drugs. They’re not going to repent of these things. Remember the word sorceries in the Greek means pharm-I-kia from which we get pharmacy. So it will be a drug culture, and of course this verse almost describes it.) nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”

There is going to be no moral integrity. There’s not going to be any honesty left, and they’re going to revel in their wickedness. Now coming back to II Thessalonians chapter 2 and verse 10.

II Thessalonians 2:10a

“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness (they’re going to glory in their wickedness, but look who’s going to be primarily guilty. It’s going to be) in them that perish;…”They’re going to miss eternal life, and why?

II Thessalonians 2:10b

“…because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”

Now the world even likes to make a lot of truth. A lot of our universities will have over their main building, “The truth will make you free!” Well they’re not making reference to Biblical truth, but rather from the philosophical point of truth. But nevertheless, what is the truth that these people will have rejected previously? Ok, let’s chase down what the truth of the Gospel really means. Come back to Ephesians chapter 1. Also remember that these people which Paul is writing about and that Revelation describes, are people that have rejected the truth. They’ve said, “Thanks, but no thanks, I don’t want it!” And they’re going to find themselves in the Tribulation even though mom and dad have prayed for them, and pleaded with them, they’re going to have rejected all that, and they’re going to find themselves in the horrors of the Tribulation, and they’re not going to suddenly come to their senses and say, “This is what mom and dad was talking about.”

I had husbands with unsaved wives and wives with unsaved husband who have asked this question. “Now Les when we go up in the Rapture will my spouse suddenly wake up and realize that he or she or he has missed what I’ve tried to tell them? And the answer is No! When the news flashes that this man anti-Christ has now gone to Jerusalem and has signed a 7-year treaty with the Middle East, the wife or husband who has missed the Rapture is going to say, “There’s the one that I’m looking for.” See that’s going to be their response. Now you may think I’m stretching it, but let’s look. Turn to Ephesians chapter 1 and verse 13. In fact look at the word “Christ” up in verse 12 .

Ephesians 1:12-13a

“That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13. In whom (in Christ) ye also trusted, (placed your faith) after (watch this because it’s meticulous) in whom you placed your faith (when) after you heard the word of (what) truth….”

And what’s the truth. The Gospel! See how plain that is? You don’t have to be a theologian to understand this. You placed your faith in Christ after you heard the Gospel, the word of truth. Now let’s go on. After you heard the word of truth and you believed it for your salvation:

Ephesians 1:13

“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: (that One) in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.”

Not a month later or year later, but immediately you are saved, and sealed. Now that’s the whole modus operandi of God’s plan of salvation. That we hear the Gospel, we believe it, we are into the body of Christ and at the same time the Holy Spirit puts his mark of identification on us – that we’re His. Instantaneously. You don’t have to go through a trial to see if you’re worthy of it. It’s an immediate response to our faith. But the point I want to make here is, what is the word of truth? The Gospel! We’re going to come to the Gospel in a minute but let’s turn back a page or two, and I’m doing this to take it easy on your Bible. Come back to Galatians and then we’re going to go on back to I Corinthians. But right now, Galatians chapter 2. And remember in this chapter Paul has been out there being confronted by these false Judaisers who were literally submarining his teaching with the teaching that these people could not be saved unless they were circumcised according to the Law of Moses, and kept the commandments. Legalism!

And so Paul had to write this little book of Galatians to confront legalism, in whatever shape or form it might be. Now, he began that line of teaching in about 40 AD. Now here we are 12 years later and the twelve apostles in Jerusalem are still, I think, grossly unhappy with what Paul is doing. Because they cannot reconcile these Gentiles, claiming salvation, just by believing Paul’s gospel. Faith in the death, burial and resurrection plus nothing. And so they too, have been adding to this pressure to the Gentile believers to be circumcised, to keep the commandments, and otherwise to embrace Judaism to a degree. Acts 15:1-12 And so they bring Paul up to Jerusalem to confront the twelve with what he’s preaching. And now look what he says.

Galatians 2:4

“And that because of false brethren unawares (secretly) brought in, who came in privily (secretly) to spy out our (what?) liberty (or lack of legalism) which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into (what?) bondage:”

Now if you’ve ever talked to someone who has come out of a legalistic religion and they step in to the glorious Gospel of Grace, what’s the first thing they realize? They’ve come out of bondage! Now those of you who have never been in it, you won’t understand what it is. You talk to some of these people when they’re scared to death that if they break one of the commandments, they’re doomed. They are scared to death if they don’t keep the Saturday Sabbath, they’re doomed. That’s legalism. Or you can put any other twist on it that you want.But when legalism holds the heavy thumb upon an individual it’s bondage! And Grace is freedom. Paul now has to go to Jerusalem to defend his Gospel of Grace and not put those Gentile believers back under a bondage. Got it? Now let’s look at verse 5. These people in Jerusalem, and I think it was the 12, as well as some of the other leaders, were trying to pressure Paul to put his Gentile converts back under the Law, or back under bondage. He says in verse 5:

Galatians 2:5a

“To whom we gave place (gave in) by subjection….”

What does the word “subjection” imply? They were pressuring him. “Look Paul, we can never put our stamp of approval on what you’re doing until you agree to put your converts under the Law.” And the poor man is almost alone. Now I know Barnabas was with him, if I remember right. But nevertheless, for the most part, it was the Apostle Paul against maybe 12 or 15 or who know how many others. (you can read the account in Acts chapter 15) Now listen, that’s no fun place to be. I don’t want to be up against 15 people trying to drive me down. One on one I’m comfortable. But one against 15 or 20 – that’s enough to get anybody down. And this is what he’s talking about. When he came up to Jerusalem, after these 12 years of ministering to the Gentiles, and they were pressuring him to put them back under the Law, or under bondage, he said, “I did not give in to them. I stood my ground.” Now let’s read on.

Galatians 2:5

“To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; (we usually use the term “minute.” “I didn’t give in for a minute) that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.”

Do you see that? Paul says he did not give in to legalism, nor to the pressure from the 12, so that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. And he qualifies the Gospel that he’s talking about there in verse 2, that “Gospel that I preached among the Gentiles.” So he’s not talking about the same gospel that Peter and John preached at Israel in Acts 2:38, but rather he’s talking about his Gospel – the Gospel of Grace. And he says he did not give in for a minute so that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. Now think about that for a moment. Think hard. What if the Apostle Paul would have given in? Think about that! What if the man would have given in to that subjection. Our Gospel of Grace would have gone down the tube. Now, of course, God is Sovereign and we know He would not have permitted it. But nevertheless, Christianity as we know it, was on the line right here in Jerusalem in 51 or 52 AD. And had it not been for the strength and character of this Saul of Tarsus, now the Apostle Paul, you and I wouldn’t sit here reveling in the Grace of God. But he didn’t give in. He stood his ground so that the truth of the Gospel might continue with you.

Alright, what Gospel is Paul talking about that he calls “my Gospel.” Let’s go back to I Corinthians chapter 15. What Gospel does he call, “my Gospel?” What Gospel does he call, “That Gospel which I preached among the Gentiles?” What Gospel does he call “The Gospel of the Grace of God?” What Gospel does he call “The Gospel of Christ?” Here it is in this chapter and it’s not John 3:16. John 3:16 doesn’t have this gospel in it. Oh, some parts of it are certainly appropriate. We know that unless we’re saved, we’re going to perish. But there’s no death, burial and resurrection in John 3:16. It hadn’t even happened yet. And the disciples had no idea he was going to be going to a cross and die. But HERE, we have the gospel. I think Iris and I are being encouraged, because we’re seeing this Gospel in print more and more in articles, and books like I’ve never seen it before. In fact, I was so amazed the other day, it was in one of the major Christian magazines in which I have never read it before, but bless their hearts, they delineated the two gospels in the New Testament. The Gospel of the Kingdom to the Jew and the Gospel of the Grace of God that the Apostle Paul preached. In fact, a believer in Florida wrote and told us, “Did you see the article?” Well, yes, I’d already read it. But you see, it’s encouraging, not because of me, but because I think the Spirit is beginning to open eyes other than mine, to some of these truths that have been just laying there dormant. I know I didn’t grow up with it. But here it is. This is the Gospel. I Corinthians 15, beginning at verse 1.

I Corinthians 15:1-2

“Moreover, brethren, (Paul is writing to believers at Corinth) I declare unto you (what’s the article?) the (not “a.” What does that signify? Singular!) gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand: 2. By which also ye are saved,…”

You know I’ve put it on the program before that our Gospel is exclusive. Of course it is. Our Gospel isn’t just one of many. There’s only one. People don’t like to admit that, but the Word of God says there’s only one and here it is. And it’s that Gospel by which you are saved. This is the Gospel that saves lost people. Now you’re saved if you keep in memory, and I always put it this way, if you understand what you believe, unless you have believed in vain, because you just can’t take a “head knowledge” and agree to something. You have to have it in the heart, believe it with all your heart, that this is what you’re placing your faith in. And here it is in verse 3 & 4. This is the gospel of the Grace of God. This is what Paul calls, “My gospel.” This is the Gospel, again, that is referred to as “that Gospel that I preached to the Gentiles.”

I Corinthians 15:3

“For I delivered unto you first of all (they didn’t hear it first from Peter, or Christ, they heard it only from this Apostle to whom this Gospel was given) that which I also received, how that (here it is now) Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. (It wasn’t an afterthought. It was planned from before anything was ever created that Christ would pay the sin debt of lost humanity.) Now verse 4.

I Corinthians 15:4

“And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”

It wasn’t a fake death. It wasn’t just an unconscious state. He was dead to the point that he was buried and that he arose again the third day according to the scriptures. The Old Testament was full of it. But in such veiled language, nobody could understand it. Nobody had an idea that this is how God was going to bring salvation to the whole human race until it was revealed to the Apostle Paul. And now Paul is commissioned to take this Gospel, first and foremost to the Gentile, but a Jew can certainly be saved by it. We’re all on common ground today. And so this is the Gospel that he refers to constantly as “The truth of God. The Gospel how that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead.”

Now you all know the verse and you won’t have to look it up in John’s gospel. That grace and truth came how? By Jesus Christ! But the truth of this Gospel was not revealed until God poured it out on the Apostle Paul and sent him out into the Gentile world. And so this is what we have to understand. That people who have heard this Gospel, that Christ died for them and rose from the dead, and they have rejected it and suddenly find themselves under the regime of the anti-Christ, they’re not going to be able to say, “Well, Mom and Dad were right. I remember that preacher was right. I’m going to go and get saved.” No beloved, it’s not going to happen.