Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 24
I got a call yesterday from a man who had been watching the tapes and reading the little transcribed books, and he told me that all of a sudden the Bible was opening up to him. We’ve had many people tells us the same thing. So many people have read this Book over and over all their life, but just don’t understand it, and we trust that the Lord is using us at least a little bit to help that kind of situation. Let’s pick up where we left off in Romans Chapter 9:4, as we have been for the past two lessons, and the next part of that verse we will be covering is the services. Paul writes:
“…my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God and the promises;”
Now I would like to take a few minutes here to talk about the service of God which of course began when God gave the tabernacle to Moses, and then set up the priesthood with Aaron as the high priest. How the priest operated, how the tabernacle was set up, and later on the Temple. How the sacrifices were offered, the setting up of all the feast days throughout their religious calendar year, and then of course every thing was indicative, and looking forward to our own plan of salvation. This was not all just a bunch of religion with nothing behind it, but all of the practice of the law that Israel enjoyed was a picture of the coming of the Redeemer, and the plan of salvation as we are experiencing it today. But I think we have to be made aware that for us now in the Age of Grace we have no right whatsoever to bring any of the so-called religious practices into our system of worship.
There is no room in true Christianity for all the robes, and miters, and so forth that the high priest used, there is no room under this Age of Grace for feast days, and holy days, and so forth. I don’t make a big deal over the whole commotion of Christmas and Easter. All I tell people is that it’s not Biblical. There is nothing in this Book that gives us the right to celebrate certain high days of the year, there is nothing in this Book that tells us to celebrate the birth of Christ. There is nothing in this Book that tells us to make a special holy day of Easter, that all comes out of paganism, that comes out of Old Testament Judaism. Turn to the Book of Colossians. As far as Judaism is concerned, although that was certainly the system that God gave to Israel yet so far as you and I as believers are concerned, we are not to incorporate any of the services of Judaism into the Church Age. There is absolutely no room for all of these special days and so forth.
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances (where do you associate ordinances? With services) that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;”
Now if you will take a moment and make a mental picture of all this – that all of this ritual Israel practiced in the keeping of the law, the animal sacrifices, the robes of the priesthood, all of the washings, everything that you can think of that was associated with the ceremonial ritual has been nailed to His Cross. Now that was just a beautiful way of putting it, that when Christ died, when Christ finished the work of redemption there was no longer any need for any of that Old Testament ritual. But you know it’s so hard for mankind to lay aside things that appeal to the flesh, and that does. I remember years and years ago a dear lady that I never doubted her salvation, she had such a beautiful testimony, but she was so tied to what we would call high Church ritual. So I asked her one night at one of our classes, “Why?” And she said, “Oh I know it has nothing to do with my Salvation, but it just sort of makes me feel good that I’m worshiping, and it’s sort of a help to my worship.”
Well bless her heart I can understand her feelings up to a point, but on the other hand I have to come back, and say, but listen The Book doesn’t teach that. The Book says nothing about practicing a system of worship in this Age of Grace. Christ nailed all that to His Cross, and we are now free. In fact what does Paul say in Romans Chapter 14:
“One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” “Don’t regard one day higher than another, but rather regard every day alike” is what Paul is saying. Now I have nothing against Sunday per se, but even Sunday is not taught in the Scripture as we understand Sunday.
I Corinthians 16:2
“Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”
Paul merely says that as you come together and bring your offering on the first day of the week, on resurrection day, but so far as setting Sunday up as a special holy day, as a day that is above all the other days The Book doesn’t teach that. Every day is alike for the believer, we are to serve God just as much Monday through Friday as we would on Saturday and Sunday. And so this has all been nailed to His Cross. Now turn to the Book of Galatians Chapter 4, and this little letter Paul of course wrote specifically because the Judaisers of Galatia were convincing the Gentiles that they had to keep the Law of Moses if they wanted to experience salvation. And when Paul got word of that, he had to hurriedly pen this little letter admonishing them not to fall under the temptations to become legalists. Oh and it’s no different today. Again legalism appears to the human race because everybody likes to satisfy their own ego with, “Look what I’ve done, or look what I do,” and God will have none of it. It has to be all Grace, it has to be all His finished work or He cannot recognize it.
“Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.”
Now what’s the word I’m looking at? `Service,’ see that’s exactly what he used back here in Romans Chapter 9. That the service of the sanctuary, well it was the system, it was their ritual, which of course God gave to Israel, but what did the idolaters do? The same type of thing of service and they went through their ritual by offering their sacrifices, they went through all their superstitious acts. I always like to remind my classes that I can remember when I was a kid, and our missionaries would come home from the foreign field, and they would show some of those old movies of that day. And they would show the fear of their people of the witch doctors. Well why were they so afraid of the witch doctors? Because they had power, and I remember one of the missionary in particular said that these people who are in spiritual darkness know Satan and the power of evil, but they know nothing of the power of God. And that is so true, these people know how to fear the powerful works of the evil one. That’s why they put out these fetishes and so forth to ward off the evil power. Remember when Paul got to Athens, and as he went down that row of idols on his way to Mars Hill, they had one god that was titled to the “unknown god.” And then Paul said :
“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, `Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.'”
Well what did Paul mean? They were afraid of the powers of evil, and that’s what superstition is. Superstition is never the other direction, superstition is never man somehow seeking God. Superstition is always man fearing opposing the powers of evil. And I would ask that you remember that. Here again Paul is using the same analogy and word that Israel was steeped in with their system of worship, and the pagans were doing much the same with their ritual and services.
“But now, after that ye have know God,…”
Where did all of Paul’s converts come from? From paganism. The whole world around Paul was steeped with paganism, mythology, idol worship and so that is what he is referring to in verse 8. To these people who had recently been steeped in idolatry and now come out of the darkness, and stepped into the light of Paul’s Gospel (Ref, I Corinthians 15:1-4), and so now this is what Paul is telling them. Verse 8 again.
“…when ye knew not God, ye did service (you went through all the superstitious ritual) unto them which by nature are no gods.” Why? They were nothing but wood and stones. They had no power except Satanic power. Verse 9 again.
“But now, (Have you ever noticed how often Paul uses that term? How on this side of the Cross everything is so different.) after that ye have know God, or rather are known of God,(Now what does that tell you? The unbeliever has no relationship with God, but the believer He knows all about us, because we’re His.) how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?”
What’s Paul talking about? Religion, ritual, service, somehow appeasing a Holy God, and we’re to have none of that. But remember for Israel that was all part of their heritage, it was the very center of Jewish life. They were constantly meeting there in the Temple complex. They would come from every nation under heaven to keep these Jewish feast days. Now let’s go back to Romans Chapter 9, and verse 4 again.
“Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, (and now the next one) and the promises;”
To Israel were given the promises. All of our Old Testament is prophecy, prophecy, prophecy, and to whom is all that prophecy written? Israel. I’ve stressed on this program since the day we started that there is not a single prophecy given to the Church. Not one! All of God’s prophecy is given to the Nation of Israel, and this is what Paul is talking about. Not only the Covenant promises, but even the prophetic promises, that everything God has promised the Nation of Israel is still going to happen. You and I can see that it is getting closer and closer. You know I tell my classes almost every night of the week, “All of this prophecy would still be hard to believe if it weren’t for present day technology.”
All of a sudden this has all become so believable. Now it’s not hard to believe that where the Book of Revelation speaks of the two witnesses dead on the streets of Jerusalem, and then after three days they’re raised from the dead, and they go up to heaven in a rapturous-like experience, and the whole world will see them go. Well until our satellite technology that was a tough one to believe wasn’t it? Also the prophecy about the “Mark of the Beast” Where every individual will have to have it in the Tribulation or they won’t be able to buy or sell. Hey it’s getting so close that it’s scary. Prophecy is now right out in front of us, we can see that it’s going to be fulfilled because of the technology. Now it’s not being fulfilled per se yet, but the stage is being set so that the promises that God made to this Nation of Israel can certainly come to pass.
“Whose are the fathers,…”
What’s the first thing you think of when you speak of the, “fathers?” The forefathers of the Nation of Israel: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the twelve Patriarchs, and you come up a little farther, and you come to Joshua, Samuel, Gideon, Samson, and then you come to King David, Solomon, the prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel. All pertain to the forefathers of this little nation of Israel. Now the fathers make seven items we have covered in these last two verses and now for the eighth one. And as I told you in lesson one the eighth one goes beyond the finished part, and all of this pertaining to the Nation of Israel was leading up to what? The coming of The Messiah, The Christ; that’s the eighth one in verse 5:
“Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.”
The Messiah, The Christ, The One with Whom we are intricately involved. “Christ then as the all in all.” Let’s look at a few verses with regard to that. Turn to the Book of Colossians again. We’re living in a day and time especially with the New Age people who are growing by leaps and bounds, they are reducing Christ to nothing else, but just another prophet. He’s just another name among the gods, and we have to be careful that we’ll never be taken in by such teachings. But never lose sight of the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ Whom we serve, The Lord Jesus Who is the very Author and finisher of our faith is the Eternal, Creator, God of the universe, and I will never stop emphasizing that. Now here is a good one in Colossians. Verse 15 begins with the pronoun “Who” and that is referring to the Son up in verse 13, Whose Blood was given for our redemption, and forgiveness in verse 14.
“Who is the image of the invisible God, (Well what does that mean? God is invisible. The Trinity, the Elohim of the Old Testament was that invisible Godhead – Spirit. But out of that invisible Trinity stepped One Person of that Godhead, and He took on flesh, and became visible. Now this is what Paul is talking about.) the firstborn of every creature:” He’s before anything else has ever been. Verse 16:
“For by him (God the Son) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: “
When people have the audacity to take this Person of the Godhead, God the Son, and bring Him down to the very level of the other gods of mankind’s dreaming, what a blasphemy. He is the very Creator, and one day every human being is going to know Him as such. The lost are going to meet Him at the “Great White Throne Judgment.” And for the most part they’re not going to argue with Him. I know there is Scripture that says some will ask, “Didn’t I do this, and Didn’t I do that.” But for the most part they will be speechless. I don’t care how many other god’s they have promoted, or how much religion they have practiced they will be speechless, and they’re going to be sent to their doom because they have refused to recognize Who He really was.
It’s so sad when we have a world full of religion, and even in our own western cultures. And a lot of it is based on this Book, and yet they are totally ignorant of Who Jesus Christ really is. I’ll never forget years, and years ago when I first started teaching in just a little home Bible class of people from various denominations, and I’ll never forget when I made the statement that Jesus Christ was the Creator of Genesis 1, and saw mouths drop open all over the room. They had never heard that before, and as we were having refreshments afterwards in that living room, I’ll never forget as several came up to me and said, “Les are you sure of what you’re saying?” Well, it was so new to me at that time I probably wasn’t. But listen the more you get into this Book the more convinced you are than ever that the One Who hung on that Roman Cross was the One Who created the wood that it was made of. He was the One Who created the mount on which that Cross was planted. He is the Creator of all the host of heaven, He’s the Creator of everything that has ever been created, and then they reduce Him to nothing more than any of the other gods of the planet?. It’s past our understanding, but they’re doing it everyday.
Now this is who Paul is referring to then as having come out of all the things that Israel had enjoyed, but listen it goes a lot farther back than that. Going back to the beginning Adam and Eve have just eaten of the forbidden fruit, and have fallen. They have sinned against God, which God knew they would do. But listen, He is the Christ of Redemption because just as soon as Adam and Eve fell, and plunged everything under the curse, what did God immediately promise? A Redeemer? And here it is in Genesis Chapter 3, and the LORD is conversing here with the Devil, and He says:
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed;…”
Now remember I told you a couple of lessons ago to put that word seed in your computer, and here it comes. “The seed of the woman.” Galatians 3:16 tells us flat out Who the Seed of the woman is, and that is “Christ.” And here is where His promised coming is first voiced, and it’s right after Adam and Eve fell, and He has promised that the first thing He will do is set in motion the coming of the, “Seed of the woman.”