Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 51
Hebrews 9:15 – 10:1a
All right, we’re going where we left off in the last lesson. My people here in the studio got busy and they found the verses I was talking about in the last lesson that we couldn’t find, when we were looking for what God does with our sins.
“…and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”
They’ve been cast into the deepest sea. That’s a little different wording than I had thought. And then another one Jerry found is “that they are as far removed as east is from the west.”Well, Jerry remembered that I said years ago, how far is that? Because when you start going east from Oklahoma where do you stop going east and start going west? Well you never do. You’re always going east. And so that’s how far our sins have been removed, as “far as east is from the west.” Okay, so we got that covered.
Now let’s come back again to Hebrews chapter 9 verse 27 and I think maybe I can spend a whole half-hour on this one verse.
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the (what?) judgment.”
Nobody’s going to escape judgment except who? The believers. See, the believer doesn’t necessarily have to face death before the judgment because some of us, we trust a lot of us, are going to see the Rapture! We’re not going to die. Paul says it. Let’s look at that in I Corinthians chapter 15 verse 51. I don’t want anybody to take my word for anything. Now this is not a contradiction of Scripture because the Scripture is not speaking of believers. But rather it’s speaking of the lost of the ages. They’re all going to die and they’re all going to come up before the Great White Throne, but for us believers there will be some that won’t have to die, and I think we’re close enough that I’m looking forward to it. I really think that unless the Lord takes me out ahead of time, I’m going to be hearing that trumpet call! I really believe that. Here Paul is writing to believers, as I said.
I Corinthians 15:51a
“Behold I show you a mystery;…” Now right there is the answer to most people’s problems. They keep mixing all this stuff up together and they will not recognize that Paul had certain things revealed to him that were kept secret. And nobody had any idea of these things until it was revealed to this apostle and this was one of them. This is something that God had kept secret until He revealed it to the Apostle Paul. You won’t find it anywhere else in Scripture. Nowhere. From Genesis until Acts chapter 9 and from the little epistles, even in Hebrews, which was written to the Jews, all the way through the book of Revelation, there is not one hint of a group of people who will escape physical death. Paul alone refers to it. All right, read on.
I Corinthians 15:51
“Behold I show you a mystery; (or something that’s been kept secret) We shall not all sleep, (or die physically) but we shall all be changed.”
Well, that’s obvious isn’t it? If we’re not going to be changed through death and resurrection, then we’ll have to be changed by another miraculous act of God and that’s what He’s going to do at the Rapture. He’s suddenly going to change this physical body. Now verse 52, how?
I Corinthians 15:52a
“In a moment., (in a nanosecond someone reminded me in Florida. That’s the smallest division of time.) in the twinkling (or the blink) of an eye, (we’ll be changed from this body to the new body. All right, and it’ll be at) the last trump:…”
Now I get people who try to tell me, “Well this is the last trumpet in Revelation.” And I come right back and I say, “Now look, just analyze Scripture. Those trumpets in Revelation are seven in number and they are given to what kind of creatures? Angels. This trumpet is singular. And Who’s holding it? God Himself!”
What a difference. I’m not waiting for the seven trumpets, I’m going to be long gone out of here before they start, but I am waiting for the trumpet call. Oh, I pray every morning, Lord sound the trumpet because it’s not going to get any better. Now I know for people who have loved ones that are still lost, that’s hard to do, but nevertheless, we might as well recognize the fact, things are not going to get better. It’s going to get worse. I read a shocking thing the other day. And again, I almost hate to repeat it but it was from a reputable weekly news magazine that said since the tragedy of September 11th – 800,000 Americans have converted to Islam. Now that’s enough to shake your boots, isn’t it?
Eight hundred thousand just since September have converted TO, not away from, Islam. And it’s taking over the world. Well, we pray for the last trump.
I Corinthians 15:52b
“…for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, (it’d be the dead in Christ) and we shall be changed.”
We not going to die and be raised from the dead. We’re going to be changed if this takes place in this lifetime. And the reason is that nobody can go on to Glory until this old flesh of“corruption puts on incorruption.”
I Corinthians 15:53
“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
Now let’s come back to Hebrews chapter 9 – Paul’s reference of death and judgment is not a reference to the believer, but rather to the unbeliever. And remember that’s the vast majority of people.
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die (physically. They’re going to go through death and after death, now what happens?) but after this the judgment:”
And a lot of good church people don’t understand this. Come back with me to John’s Gospel chapter 5, beginning with verse 28. If you have a red-letter edition, it’s in red. From the lips of the Lord Himself in His earthly ministry. I’m finding out very few church people realize this is in their Bible. But the Lord says:
“Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, (He doesn’t give any hint when,) in the which all that are in the graves (everybody since Adam and Eve until the end of time. Everybody that has lived a physical life and died) shall hear his voice.”
Whose voice? God’s voice. And when God speaks, they’ll come forth from their place – as lost people and the saved. Verse 29:
“And shall come forth; (now here God separates them,) they who have done good (in other words, people of faith, that’s the only good that a man can do is have faith in what God has said) unto the resurrection of life; (Eternal life. Into God’s presence. But the other side of the coin are the lost) and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
The lost have remained in unbelief. They’ve never exercised faith. And so they are workers of iniquity, they’ve done evil. They’re going to come forth in a resurrection to what? “Condemnation.” Horrible thought. But they’re going to. They’re not going to escape it. I don’t care if Cain has been dead, what, 6,000 years in our reckoning? Cain’s going to come forth in resurrection, as a lost person as far as we know. And where’s he going to stand? Before the Righteous Judge. Now we have to go back to Revelation chapter 20, don’t we?
Paul speaks of the resurrection of the saved or the justified ones in I Thessalonians 4:13-18, and I Corinthians 15:51-58, when the dead in Christ shall rise with new resurrected bodies fit for glory. But the lost are going to be resurrected to stand before the judge and to hear their sentence here in Revelation chapter 20. And this is at the end of the 1,000 years Kingdom Age, and John says:
“And I saw a great white throne, and him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12. And I saw the dead, (see? The dead of humanity) small and great, (the great emperors, the great politicians, the corporate CEO’s, all of them, small and great, and they’re going to be resurrected to) stand before God;”
Now what person of the Godhead will they stand before? The Son! Jesus Christ is going to be the Judge. The Righteous Judge. And He will send no one to their doom that doesn’t deserve it. He will never make a mistake. And so they stand before God the Son:
“…and the books (plural, see?) were opened: and another book (singular) was opened, which is the book of life: (to show the lost that their name was not in that book) and the dead(lost) were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”
So the dead were judged out those things which were written in the books (plural) according to their works. God’s record. They’re there from beginning to end of every life.
Now you know, years and years back I used to have to contemplate something like that. My goodness, Heaven would be full of books. But if mankind can put the whole King James Bible in a chip as small as a pin head, then God won’t have any trouble keeping track of everybody’s works. And it’s not going to take a lot of room doing it. His technology is far beyond human technology. So don’t ever doubt this. Yes, every lost person is going to come before Him, and the first thing they’re going to be shown is that the Book of Life does not have their name in it. Now you can look at it two ways. Either they were never entered into the Book of Life, or, like some say, every person that’s born, their name goes in then when they leave life as an unbeliever, it’s taken out. You take your pick.
They’re going to stand before the Judge and they’re going to have to see that their name is not in the Lamb’s Book of Life and then they will be judged out of those books which are a complete record of everything, from the day they were born until they die. And according to those works they will then suffer their condemnation.
Now, it stands to reason there’s going to be a lot of good people there. Good people who have never done anything vile. They’ve never done anything, what we would call wicked or sinful, but they’ve never become partakers of Paul’s Gospel of I Corinthians 15:1-4 and Romans 10:9-10 and 13. They stayed in their unbelief. It’s going to be frightening. Because you know, I’ve always said there’s only one sin that will condemn a person to a lost eternity and it’s unbelief! Not their wickedness, not their sin. It’s unbelief. And so yes, there will be some who are going to be ‘good people.’ But they were still in unbelief – condemned.
Then you’ve got the murderers and the wicked, just the lowest of humanity. Yes, they’re going to suffer. In fact, let me go back and show from Scripture that there will be degrees of punishment. We’ve done this before but you know, a lot of time has gone by and we’ve got to repeat some of these things. Come back with me to Matthew chapter 10, and again in chapter 11. But let’s start in chapter 10 of Matthew. And again it’s the words of the Lord Himself.
“Verily I say unto you, it shall be (what?) more tolerable (what does that mean? It’s not going to be as hard on some) for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah, than for that city.” Those wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are going to have an easier time of it at the judgment day than for that city where He had performed miracles and had preached the Gospel of the Kingdom, and rejected it. He goes on to say in verse 16:
“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” That was the instructions to the Twelve. Now let’s go over to chapter 11 and He enlarges on it a little more and He names a couple of the cities that He’s speaking of. Jewish cities. Chorazin. Bethsaida. Capernaum is also mentioned in verse 23. But, look what He says starting in verse 20:
“Then he began to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, (why?) because they repented not. (they refused to believe Him. Now look what He says in the next verse.) 21. Woe unto thee Chorazin.! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! (now these were all Jewish cities.) for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, (which were basically Roman cities on the Mediterranean Sea coast and consequently were pagan and wicked – it would be more tolerable because) they would have repented long ago in sack cloth and ashes. 22. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.”
And so it’ll be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for the cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida. Now verse 23, Capernaum, once a beautiful city up there on the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee. The ruins are still beautiful.
“And thou Capernaum which art exalted unto heaven, (because it was such a beautiful city) shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.”
What’s he saying? Jesus performed miracle after miracle in the city of Capernaum. They should have believed in a minute Who He was. But what’d they do? They did everything they could to trick Him. They accused Him of being demonic. They accused Him of everything blasphemous. And what’s the result? Their judgment is going to be worse than the vile, immoral people of Sodom.
That stands to reason. God’s going to judge according to His merit scale, not humanity’s. Let’s come back again to Revelation 20. The Great White Throne is going to be awful. I think preachers should be preaching how awful it’s going to be at least two times a month. But instead they soft-soap it. They don’t let people know that this is in their future.
“…and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.”
And they were judged by the Righteous Judge, Jesus the Christ and He’s never going to be unfair. Now you have to remember, we’re dealing with billions of people but we’re not in ‘time’ as we know it. We’re in eternity and I always like to rack people’s thinking – you know in eternity that would probably take, well I’m going to stretch it a little – things that may take a million years in time, will take five minutes in eternity. So don’t ever think for a minute that God won’t have time to judge every individual. Oh, yes He will. That will not be a problem for Him, not a bit. And they’re all going to be judged individually according to their works.
“And death and hell (the abiding place of unbelievers since Cain) were cast into the lake of fire.”
We don’t like to read that. I know we don’t. It’s awful. But it’s the Word of God. This is the second death. Their first death was when they died physically. This is spiritual death and you can remember way back when I first started teaching, I put it on the chalkboard. What is death? Well, it’s the separation. Death is a separation. Physical death is the separation of the soul and spirit from the physical body. Spiritual death is the separation of the soul and spirit, the eternal make up of mankind, separated from God for all eternity. That’s the second death. A separation.
“And whosoever (none excepted, good or bad) was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Listen, do you realize that Jesus spoke far more of the doom of the wicked than He did of Heaven. Far more. How many times did He refer, for example, to, “and in that day they’ll come before me and they’ll say, but Lord, didn’t we cast out demons?” Didn’t we do this and didn’t we do that? And what will His answer be? “Depart from me ye workers of iniquity, I never knew you.”
That’s just one example and He gives them over and over. It’s serious business. Now on the one hand I can talk about the joy of you and I as believers, the hope of glory! And I’m going to really hammer it home in the next half-hour. Oh, the glory that we’re going to experience! But the other side of the coin, the devastation, the horror of lost mankind is unbelievable. Let’s come back to Hebrews chapter 9, and verse 27 again.
“And it is appointed unto men once to die (unless they become believers and they live to see the Rapture. But otherwise – death hits every human being sooner or later.) but after this the judgment: (in the Great White Throne) 28. So Christ was once (once, contrary to what so many people think) offered to bear the sins of many;…” Now who are the many? The whole human race. You remember way back, I think, when I was in Romans, maybe Corinthians. I know I probably shook a few people up. When Christ died and finished the work of the Cross, how many sins of the world did He forgive? Everybody’s! Yes, I even made the analogy of Adolph Hitler – yes, his sins were paid for. The Atoning Blood had covered his sin. Why didn’t he get to cash in? Because he never believed it as far as we know.
And it’s the same way with wicked people today. Their sins are forgiven. That’s what makes it so horrible. They’ve already been pardoned. They’ve already been reconciled to God. God has done everything that He can do. And all they have to do to cash in is BELIEVE IT. Now, I’m not talking about ‘easy-believeism.’ I’m talking about genuine, saving faith. Trusting it. Believing it. And when we come then the Lord can say, “Oh, you’re already forgiven. I’ve already pardoned you. Yes, I’ve chosen you before the foundation of the world.” That’s how all-inclusive that work of the Cross was.
“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many;…” Come back with me to II Corinthians chapter 5, and let’s drop in at verse 14:
II Corinthians 5:14
“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, (or conclude) that if one died for (how many?) all, (not just the few. He died for the whole human race) then were all dead.” Or had a necessity of salvation. Now the next verse,
II Corinthians 5:15
“And that he died (again for how many?) all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”
But the point I want to make is that when He died, He didn’t die just for a fraction of the human race. He died for ALL. And that’s why, when the lost get to that Great White Throne, there is going to be no real argument. Because they’re going to understand that the only reason they’re missing glory is their UNBELIEF. They refused to believe. They refused to take it by simple faith. And like I said earlier this afternoon, this plan of salvation is so complex that I can’t begin to fathom it. But on the other hand it is so simple that six and seven-year-old kids can enter in. They can believe it and they don’t have any problem.