Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 31
Now in our last lesson we finished Chapter 5, so we’ll review a little and then pick up with Chapter 6. I’ve told you before that I’m not a pastor or theologian, but rather just a layman, and if I can teach the Scriptures where anybody can understand them whether they’re young or old then you take what you have learned and do with it what the Lord would have you do. So now if you will take your Bible and turn to II Corinthians Chapter 5 and let’s take a brief review where we closed in our last program how that Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, is just constantly emphasizing the fact that Christ is no longer just dealing with the Nation of Israel, but now the Gospel of salvation that He gave to Paul is now going to the whole world. And as we saw up in verse 14
II Corinthians 5:14
“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, (the whole human race) then were all dead:”
And we’ve taught that from day one that when Adam fell, then you and I inherited that Adamic nature. So every human being that has ever come into the human family has been a child of Adam and we are a fallen race, we are spiritually dead. Then as we came down through these verses, we saw that it was the crucified and resurrected Christ that becomes the object of our faith. Not the Jesus of Nazareth in His earthly ministry, although He’s One and the same in Person, but yet we have to constantly emphasize that our Gospel of salvation is based on that which was revealed to this apostle after Christ’s resurrection and ascension. I feel that this being so totally neglected in so much of our preaching and teaching today. It’s these revelations from the ascended Lord that now become our primary role of believing. And that’s what he’s saying here in verse 16:
II Corinthians 5:16
“Wherefore henceforth know we know man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.”
I think Paul is making reference to the fact that as Saul of Tarsus, as Saul the persecutor, Saul the religious Pharisee, he knew all about Jesus of Nazareth. He knew about His ministry, but now you see after his revelation on that road to Damascus, and down at Arabia then he no longer refers to Christ in His earthly ministry. Sometime we hear people say, “We don’t like Paul’s teaching, because he doesn’t even mention the virgin birth, or Bethlehem, or Christ’s earthly teachings. ” Well, of course not. Why should he? That’s all been established in the early revelations, we don’t have to have it again. We understand that Christ was born at Bethlehem, born of a virgin, and went the way of the Cross, but when it comes to the post resurrection doctrines and revelations, Paul is the only one that reveals these precious truths to us. Now also look at verse 17.
II Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore (when we understand and believe that the Christ of the Cross, the Christ who has been raised from the dead is now the object of our faith, then we become a new creation because at that time God worked a work of regeneration, a work of justification, and all the things that go with it. It’s all part and parcel of that great plan of salvation how that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead.) if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: (creation) old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new,”
Now this is just a good introduction for what we are going to be seeing in Chapter 6, maybe not in this lesson but a least in the next one, and that is this whole business of separation from the world. And that’s the reason we must be separated because now we are a new creation in Christ Jesus. And that leads toward the end of Chapter 5 with that tremendous responsibility of every Grace Age believer that we are now ambassadors for Christ.
II Corinthians 5:20
“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
We are to let the world know that they have already been reconciled to God. It’s done, it’s finished, and it’s our job to let them know it. Then we come on into Chapter 6, and beginning with verse 1.
II Corinthians 6:1a
“We then as workers together…”
In other words, when our government sends an ambassador to a foreign country he doesn’t totally isolate himself, he stays in communication with the home government. They are constantly feeding information back and forth, because after all he is an employee of the government and so that’s why after teaching us that we are to be ambassadors in Chapter 5, he comes into Chapter 6 and says:
II Corinthians 6:1
“We then as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.”
God didn’t save us to sit, He didn’t save us just to escape hell fire, but we are saved to serve. We are to be useful in God’s vineyard in whatever particular capacity that He may give to each one of us. Now in verse 2 Paul is going to quote from the Old Testament from the Book of Isaiah.
II Corinthians 6:2
“(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured (or helped) thee; behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”
Do you remember back in the Book of Acts the King Agrippa and Felix account after Paul had witnessed to them?
“And as he (Paul) reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, `Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.'”
“Then Agrippa said unto Paul, `Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.'”
Well you see that is never the teaching of Scripture. The Scripture says, “today if you hear my voice harden not your heart. Today is the day of salvation” for that person who has not yet entered in. So Paul appropriately quotes from the Book of Isaiah and Psalms. Now verse 3.
II Corinthians 6:3
“Giving no offence in any thing. that the ministry (that is his ministry, our ministry of reconciliation) be not blamed;”
Now I think there is nothing that the devil likes better than to besmirch or to put a smudge on a ministry. I don’t care whether it’s mine or anybody else’s, or whether it’s your local church or a denomination. You see, as soon as the devil can convince the world of our faults and failures then he gloats, the world gloats, and of course Paul was constantly aware of that same danger. He didn’t want anything to cause people to say, “Well look what he’s doing.?” Paul wanted to keep it blameless as much as he could possibly do so. This is what Paul is saying, “he’s not going to give offense in any thing,” lest someone could turn around and truthfully accuse him.
You know truthfully, Paul was up against it constantly wasn’t he? You know I’m always saying and you’re going to hear me say it again today. “Paul has to constantly defend his apostleship.” He was constantly being falsely accused, he was constantly being submarined by the Judaisers from Israel, by the pagan world, and even by believing Jews from the element of Peter and the Twelve that he was an impostor because he didn’t require Law-keeping for these pagan believers. They thought he was a false teacher, and he didn’t have the credentials, if he could have just had letters of commendation from Peter, then he wouldn’t have had so many of these problems. But you see he didn’t have that. All he had for the proof of his ministry were these pagans that had been saved and set on the Rock Christ Jesus, and their lives were proving it. We’re going to see this now as we come on through these following verses yet in II Corinthians.
Now I should have stressed this in the beginning that the 1st letter to the Corinthians was a letter that had to correct some horrible problems among the Corinthians, the chief being this gross immorality. It was so gross that even the pagan Gentiles didn’t do it, and yet a member of the Corinthian Church was guilty. So the main thrust of that 1st letter was to correct some terrible things that were going on in that local assembly. Now this 2d letter comes within the next year of the 1st one. I want to emphasize that because as you see the language coming through these next few chapters I think you’ll understand why he is saying what he does. Now verse 4, and remember Paul’s not going to do anything to blame the ministry:
II Corinthians 6:4
“But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of (not of Jerusalem or Judaism, not of Peter and the eleven, but Paul is the minister of) God, in much patience, in affections, in necessities, in distresses.”
Now remember we went through all of his suffering in one of our studies not long ago? Paul was suffering constantly with all the attacks of Satan, privation, sickness, threats on his life, and here he mentions some more of them. It was just a constant battle in the apostle’s life against the forces that were opposing him. Verse 5.
II Corinthians 6:5,6a
“In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; (Now in verse 6 I’m going to take a little time to explain again.) 6. By pureness, by knowledge,…”
Now we’re going to have to look at a few more verse aren’t we? Come back with me to the Book of Galatians Chapter 1 first. Now we’ll be teaching the Book of Galatians verse by verse as soon as we finish II Corinthians. Remember, we came here to look at the word `knowledge.’
“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by revelation of Jesus Christ. Now come on down to verse 16 for example.
“To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; (Gentiles) 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 to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.”
Now this is all background for that knowledge of revelation that the man is always talking about. Paul had a knowledge of the mysteries. Now come on over a few pages to the Book of Ephesians Chapter 3:3.
“How that by revelation (from the ascended Lord) he made known unto me (now remember this is Holy Spirit inspired, the man isn’t bragging or giving himself credit for anything.)the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4. Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge (as a result of the revelations) in the mystery of Christ)” Now come back if you will to II Corinthians Chapter 6.
II Corinthians 6:6
“By pureness, by knowledge, (as a result of these supernatural revelations from the ascended Lord) by longsufferings, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,”
In other words did Paul ever put on a false front? Did the apostle Paul ever come into a pagan city with a veneer? No. He came in with that heart full of revelation and knowledge in the power and working of the Holy Spirit. Now verse 7.
II Corinthians 6:7
“By the word of truth,…”
Now we’re living in an age where the What is truth in the intellectual community, the politically correct are always making emphasis of, “What is truth?” There are a lot of universities that will have it over the doors of one of their great halls, What is truth? Well I’ve said it for over 20 years, and I have not changed my mind. “The perfect definition of truth is Jesus Christ! He is the Truth.” Now let’s back that up with some Scriptures. Come all the way back to John’s gospel Chapter 1:17:
“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
Christ is the epitome of truth. Now who is the direct opposite of truth? Well since you are in John come on over to Chapter 8:44 We need to arm ourselves with the Scriptures. If Christ is Truth then what is the opposite. The lie! Here in this verse Jesus is speaking to the Jews of His day and says:
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts (or desires) of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
Now remember that verse. I think most of you know it, that the devil is the originator of every lie. Now let’s head back to the Old Testament for a moment. We’ll stop first at Exodus Chapter 20. A lot of times we know these things so well, and we get so acquainted and comfortable with some of these Scriptures that we really lose the full impact of them. And the one I want you to see right now in the idea of truth and lie is this commandment in Exodus Chapter 20:16:
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”
Now what’s a false witness? It’s a lie! In other words God could have just as well said, “never lie.” It would have meant the same thing because when you bear false witness, you’re lying. When you’re lying you are being false. Now let’s see how the father of lying began. Come back with me to the Book of Genesis Chapter 3. You all know the setting. I firmly believe that Adam was not in proximity with Eve. I think the old devil caught her at a moment when she was by herself, and probably close enough to get a good eye full of the tree that was forbidden. But anyway as Satan and Eve are looking at that tree, look what Satan says in verse 4.
“And the serpent said unto the woman, `Ye shall not surely die:'”
Well now what did Truth tell them? Now remember the Lord that walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden was Christ in His Old Testament personality. So what did Truth tell Adam and Eve?
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
And remember the liar said, “Ye shall not surely die.” Now verse 5. Now he’s stacking lie on top of lie.
“For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
It was the opposite of what the devil told them. They fell from their place of dominion. It’s the lie! Remember this lie carries all the way through human history, when we come to the end of that 1000 year reign of Christ in the Kingdom age. Those generations of kids that have been born during that period have not had to deal with Satan since he has been locked up in the pit. But these kids who have grown into adults will be presented with the advisory who will be released for a short period of time. How is Satan going to get them to fall so en-masse? By the same lie. “You’ve had it so good, you’ve had it perfect, you’ve had a glorious 1000 years, but listen folks, wouldn’t you just like to go one step higher and be like God?”The Lie! It will be the same way in the Tribulation let’s look at that for a moment in II Thessalonians Chapter 2:9 Here we have the description from the pen of the apostle Paul of the Anti-christ.
II Thessalonians 2:9,10
“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, (Christ) that they might be saved.”
You can almost always use the Word Christ and Truth synonymously. Very seldom it won’t work, most of the time it will. Now verse 11.
II Thessalonians 2:11
“And for this cause (because they rejected salvation) God shall send them strong delusion, (He’s going to take away their ability to comprehend Truth during the Tribulation) that they should believe a lie:”
During that time the world is going to believe the lie of the father of all lies. Now in the short time we have left let’s come back to II Corinthians. And so Paul says, that he not coming with deceitfulness, not coming with the power of a lie, but rather by:
II Corinthians 6:7
“By the word of truth, (which is the Gospel of Christ) by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left.”
Now you know Paul has a way of using contemporary things to make a point. A lot of time he uses the Roman soldier. Now in battle what did the Roman soldier carry in his hand? His weapon in his right hand, and the shield in the left. Those were the two items that carried the soldier into battle. Paul’s making that same analogy but instead of a sword and a shield, what do we have in both hands? Righteousness. Romans Chapter 3 and drop down to verse 22. Oh how this all fits together. This isn’t something that only a few believers can have. This is for every believer.
“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:” (between Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, black and white. It makes no difference. The righteousness of God has been imputed and covers every believer.