Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 39
Ephesians 6:1-24 – Part 2
Now we’re ready to go back to Ephesians chapter 6 where we’ll finish this tremendous Book in this half hour, and maybe even have time to get into Philippians. So let’s begin with verse 15. Remember we didn’t finish that verse in the last lesson.
“And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;”
Now let’s go all the way back and pick it up in the Old Testament first and that will be in Isaiah chapter 52:7. This is a verse that most of you are aware of, but I always like to show that the Old and New fit so beautifully in so many ways, and here’s another one.
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation;…”
I made the comment in our seminar in Pennsylvania recently, that the primary purpose of this Book from cover to cover is that one word “Salvation.” The main purpose of the Word of God is to bring lost people to a knowledge of salvation. Remember God’s not willing that any should perish! And if they’re not to perish, then they need to get the remedy from the Word of God. And as I’ve said so often, that remedy can only be found for the Church Age believers in Paul’s Gospel as we see in I Corinthians 15:1-4 which is faith + Nothing in the finished work of the cross. So whether it’s Old Testament or the New Testament, salvation is the main purpose for mankind to have the Bible. So looking at Isaiah 52:7 again.
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”
That portion of Scripture was written explicitly to the nation of Israel, but the overall is still the same. Now come back to the New Testament to the Book of Romans where the apostle Paul uses much the same language with regard to the feet of the one that is taking good news. Now remember, this isn’t limited to pastors, preachers, and evangelists, but rather this is for every believer, whoever we are, and wherever we are. We should always be ready to proclaim the good tidings of salvation. So let’s look at Romans chapter 10 for a moment.
“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, (and here is where Paul goes back to the verse we just read in Isaiah) How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
Beautiful feet, because the Gospel always lifts people out of their misery. Now we don’t make the claim that when we become a Christian everything suddenly becomes a path of roses or smooth goings, but it is such a far cry from the misery of the world that words can’t explain it. Always remember where you and I as believers come head and shoulders above the rest of world is, yes we’re going to have problems, we’re going to have trials, we’re going to have tribulations, but the Lord is with us, and He takes us through it, and that’s what makes the difference. So be ready to take the good news of salvation wherever you are, and the moment you do you are using your beautiful feet. Now coming back to Ephesians chapter 6, and looking at verse 16.
“Above all, taking the shield of faith,…”
The next is probably the most important weapon we have against Satan. This is what we’re to use in our Spiritual warfare. Now I’m sure you’ve all heard it at one time before but we’re going to repeat it again. All the things that Paul is mentioning here are on the front of the soldier, and what does that tell us? You’re to never run, because the back side is left undefended. All the Roman soldiers armour was to the front, as he was never to retreat. So now looking at verse 16 again.
“Above all, taking the shield of faith, (the Roman soldier used the shield to deflect arrows, and so forth) wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (or the wicked one)
So the shield is what? Our faith! And how I’m always emphasizing faith, and what’s my definition of faith? “Taking God at His Word!” See, we have all these promises that God has given us, and so how do we appropriate them? By faith, we believe them. And everything that comes from the opposition, we deflect with something that the Word has promised. I think that even the staunchest believer has to admit that Satan will come and hit us with doubt. I don’t think that there is anybody that isn’t hit at times with doubt. Well, how are we going to deflect it? With our faith. How are we going to resist all these attacks of the evil one? With our faith. It’s just simply “but God has said it and I believe it,” and if God has said it what more do you want. So our shield is faith, and oh what a word that Paul uses over and over. In fact just back up a page to Ephesians chapter 2.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith;…”
Remember faith isn’t something that you can lay out on the table, faith isn’t something that you feel. But rather faith is something that you just simply take the Word of God and say, “I BELIEVE IT” because this is what God has said. In every aspect of our Christian experience, how do we know that the Holy Spirit dwells within? Remember the Holy Spirit didn’t make some big announcement saying, “I’m coming in to live with you.” There isn’t a diploma that someone signs, that the Holy Spirit dwells within. So how do we know that He does? The Bible says so, and we take it by faith. We can’t feel it, but we know He’s there, because this is what the Word teaches.
I just had a phone call early this morning, and I’m going to take you back to the verse that I gave them in the Book of Matthew chapter 24. The question that was asked was, “What about all these different things that we’re hearing and reading about in Christendom today?” They are as different as daylight and darkness, and they are as false as false can be, and what does all of this tell us? Well, according to Matthew chapter 24, it just tells me that we’re at the end of the age, and one of the basic signs of the end times is a tremendous wave of deception, and we’re seeing it. Look at what the Lord Himself says in this great chapter. And as we look at this let’s start with verse 3. This is in the Lord’s earthly ministry and the twelve have approached him with a question.
“And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (age) 4. And Jesus (the God of glory Himself) answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
So what is it? Deception is a sign of the end times, and we’re seeing it like never before in all of Church history. The various idea and contraptions that are coming at people from every direction are deceiving many, many people today. You can hear and see everything but the Gospel proclaimed today. When is the last time you heard the plan of salvation as outlined by the apostle Paul for the Body of Christ believers proclaimed anywhere? We are seeing this wave of deception and the only way we can confront it is to have the truth, and our faith in the Word of God. That’s our only defense, because the masses are going to fall for these deceptions, and we’re seeing it on every hand. Alright so it’s through our faith that we rest on what God has said, and what He has promised, and with it we deflect all these deceptive statements and teachings and doctrines that are being spewed out from every direction.
Now you can be coming back to the Book of Ephesians chapter 6. On Monday morning we have so many phone calls with questions because of what the people have heard the day before, which of course is Sunday. And when they ask most of these questions I usually asked them a question in reply. “Can you find it in your Bible?” And most of the time the answer is no, that’s why I’m calling.” Well if you can’t find it in your Bible in the age of Grace teachings, especially with Paul teachings, then run from it, because it’s a deception. It’s part and parcel of the end time scenario where people are believing men, and what they read in books instead of coming to the BOOK!
Now I’m not going to condemn good authors and good books, but we’re living in a day now where good Christian books are hard to find. It’s like one lady called from one of our major cities that has one of the largest Christian book stores in the country. And she said, “Les until about 5 or 6 years ago the whole front of that store was Bibles, but today, they’re all gone, they’re at the back of the store, and nothing but New Age material are up in front, and people are buying it by the case load.” Well what is that? It’s that wave of deception, and they can make it sounds so good. But the problem is they’re putting the Book at the back of the store, and they’re putting the books up front, and that’s exactly what we’ve told to be aware of.
Now coming back to the Book of Ephesians and this shield of faith, we know that all these false statements can come at us and how are we going to deflect them? What does the Bible say? Does the Book say it? If it doesn’t, then deflect it as a false teaching, and that’s the only thing I can tell people. Now let’s go on one more step in verse 16.
“…wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (one)
There again it’s a defense. We don’t attack him, but rather we defend against him, and we do it with the Word of God. Now verse 17.
“And take the helmet of salvation,…”
What does the helmet protect? Well the head, and what’s in the head? The brain, and what’s in the brain? The mind, and to look at the mind turn ahead to Philippians chapter 2, and then we’ll go back to Romans chapter 12.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7. but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8. and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
I think I emphasized a few weeks ago the death on the cross, I know I did in one of our Oklahoma classes. What made the death of the cross so unique so far as you and I are concerned? Not just the crucifixion, because they crucified them by the thousands back in Jesus’s day. But it was unique because it was on Him that all the sins of the world were placed. That’s the death of the cross. That my sin and your sin was laid on Him, and that is why Isaiah could write that He was more disfigured than any man that had ever lived. Because of that curse of man’s sin that was laid upon Him as He died that death of the cross.
But the point we want to see here is that it all come to us through the mind. The Spirit gives us understanding and we with our mental capacity except these things by faith. Now for a moment let’s follow the mind to Romans chapter 12, because we can’t take the mind out of this. It’s part and parcel of our makeup, and it’s through the mind that we function, spiritually as well as physically.
“I beseech (beg) you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your (physical) bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service.(There is nothing unreasonable or bizarre about that request at all is there? Now verse 2.) And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed (made totally different from the world around us) by the renewing of your mind,…”
This is where we have to start. We have to analyze it, and have to think of all these things that God has done on our behalf, and it has to be done through the thought processes, and you can’t do it any other way. I shared with a pastor in North Carolina, and he agreed with me so whole heartily, and it’s a verse that I like to use over and over and it’s almost a daily prayer of mine. So again turn with me to Acts chapter 16. This is when Paul and Silas went to Philippi. Now remember this is the first time that the Gospel had been on the European side of the Aegean Sea.
“And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. 14. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us:(now here’s the part I always pray for. Oh Lord give me Lydia’s today. )whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.”
Now that says it all doesn’t it? Even the apostle Paul, had the Lord not opened Lydia’s heart, how far would he have gotten? Well as we say today, not even to first base. But you see as Paul was laying out the Gospel of the Grace of God, how that Christ died for the sins of the world, and how He rose from the dead in power, and glory. And as Paul laid that out to her, the Lord opened her understanding.
Have you ever stopped to think that when the apostle Paul began his ministry among these pagan Gentiles, they had no knowledge of any of this. They had no knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures or the God of Israel. They had no knowledge of a promised Messiah and King to the nation. Oh they knew those Jews were different, but they knew nothing of Judaism or nothing of the Old Testament. And yet this apostle can come into these pagan cities and preach a crucified Jewish Messiah who rose from the dead and they believed it by the thousands. It was to such an extent that it literally penetrated and turned the Roman empire upside down, now this is unbelievable.
At least you and I, when we share the Gospel with people, hopefully they have a certain amount of knowledge of these things. They at least know the story of Christmas and Easter if nothing else, but these people had none of that. So the Lord opens their understandings, and immediately they could embrace it, they could believe it, and of course Lydia’s house, I think, became the very first congregation on the European Continent. But it took the Lord supernaturally opening the mind and the thinking processes of this lady so that she could comprehend what Paul was talking about. So always remember, whether it’s myself or you, or anybody else, we are just beating the air unless the Lord opens the heart and the mind to those we are witnessing to. Now coming back to Ephesians again.
“And take the helmet of salvation, (our whole process of thinking and believing it, taking it by faith. Now we come to the only part of all that’s listed which is a weapon. and what is it?) and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.”
Now I know you’re all aware that when they came to arrest the Lord in the garden, what did Peter draw and strike out with? A sword. I don’t know if it’s still there are not, but I was reading a gentlemen who wrote back in the 1800’s, and at that time in Rome there was a statue of Paul, and he had on his side this little Roman sword. It was not the big long battle sword, but rather what we would call a dagger. Then I happened to think of Peter the night of the arrest, so it must not have been unusual for these men to carry a defensive weapon on their person wherever they went.
I’ve often thought, and I know that he was under the Lord’s protection, but on the other hand the Lord sometimes in certain situations leaves us to our own abilities. But I often wondered, how did Paul survive those wilderness treks through Asia Minor where robbers and bandits lurked at every turn? Was he armed with something of self-defense? Maybe he was, but whatever, Paul uses the analogy that as a believer we do have the weapon that we can use in our defense, and you all know what that weapon is. “The Word of God!” Now let’s compare some scriptures again. Oh my, do we only have 30 seconds left? Quickly turn to Hebrews chapter 4.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
We also know that from the Book of Revelation, that you have the same analogy that God’s Word is the sword with which He fights.