Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 44
2 Thessalonians 2:14 -3:18
Again, we always like to let our audience know that we’re not associated with any group, and we’re not underwritten. In fact, I want to emphasize that. I just had a call last night that said, well, now do these various cities have somebody that underwrites you? No. We do not. We depend totally on the free-will offerings of God’s people. We can only go as far as we have funds available. We’re here to teach the Word with no ax to grind. Hopefully, I never attack anybody or any group. We’re just going to see what the Bible says. Now at the end of the program, you’ll notice that we do have various things that are available for study helps and so forth.
All right, now my lesson today is not in line with our going through the Bible. We just finished the Thessalonian letters, and I wanted to fill in this half hour—before we start the letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon—with some questions that come in constantly. I put it in my newsletter that will be coming out in the next week or two, but I know that only a small, small percentage of our audience gets the newsletter. So I decided to use this half hour to point out the false teaching that is inundating people concerning three things. Two primarily, but these three things that I’ve got on the board that were all introduced way back in the Book of Genesis before the Mosaic Law ever began.
These are some of the arguments that people will give me. Well, we must keep the seventh day Sabbath, because it was already in vogue before Abraham. We have to tithe, because it was already practiced back with Abraham. I’m just going to show that all of these things that we’ve got here on the board—the seventh day Sabbath, tithing, and circumcision—were all introduced way back in the Book of Genesis. But then they all three became part of the Mosaic Law. So that when Paul writes in Romans 6—you’re not under the Law, you’re under Grace—it follows that these three, as well as all the rest of the Mosaic system disappeared. They’re no longer valid.
All right, so we’re going to use the Scriptures. We’re not just going to use what Les Feldick thinks. We’re going to use the Scriptures. Let’s start in Genesis chapter 2 verse 1 and particularly verse 2.
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2. And on the seventh day (That’s our Saturday.) God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it (That is the seventh day.) he had rested…”
Now there’s not a word there about worship. It all indicates a lack of labor. Okay, that’s where the seventh day Sabbath was first introduced in Scripture—when God Himself rested from the six days of creation.
All right, now the next one we’re going to look at from the Old Testament, before even the Law, was this whole idea of tithing. This, of course, was introduced when Abraham had defeated the over-runners of Lot and the fellows at Sodom. We’ll come all the way up to Genesis 14 for this one. Genesis 14, and, oh, for sake of time, I can’t read all of these I’d like to. I’m going to come down to—boy, I can’t find the verse that I want! Okay, verse 20, there it is.
“And blessed be the most high God, who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him (That is Abram gave to God.) tithes of all. (That is of all the spoil.) 21. And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. 22. But Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, 23. That I will not take from a thread even to a shoe latchet, and that I will not take anything that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:”
But he did give the tithes of that spoil to God. So here we have the concept of tithing, or the ten percent as people like to look at it, way back here before the Law was ever introduced. All right, now the third thing—it doesn’t affect us so much in our western culture, but nevertheless, I’m going to use it. Because it is part of these things that were introduced back here to Abraham and that were all funneled into the Mosaic Law. The seventh day Sabbath, tithing, and circumcision all became part of the Mosaic Law. All right, the next one I want to show you is circumcision. It’s the first time it’s introduced. That would be in chapter 17.
“This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; (This is God speaking to Abraham.) Every man child among you shall be circumcised.” Now verse 12:
“And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations,…” Now verse 14:
“And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.” Circumcision, then, became the covenant sign between Israel and Jehovah. All right, now what I want to do is show how all three of these concepts—the Sabbath and tithing and circumcision—were picked up by the Mosaic Law as we go on into Israel’s history.
Now turn with me up to Exodus. We’re going to take them in this order as we’ve got them on the board. Because that’s the way they came in Genesis. Now in Exodus 16, the Law still hasn’t been given. That doesn’t happen until chapter 20. But God has just begun showering the manna on the children of Israel as they go into the wilderness. So here is where God is going to begin the concept of the seventh day of rest, as He Himself had practiced it back in Genesis. All right, now look what it says in Exodus 16, after they have been receiving the manna. Verse 23:
“And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake today, (That was on Friday.)and seethe (or boil) that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.” The Sabbath day, Saturday, and so verse 25:
“And Moses said, Eat that today; for today is a sabbath (a day of rest) unto the LORD: today ye shall not find it in the field. 26. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.”
All right, the Law hasn’t been given yet. But it was something that God incorporated. Because now Israel was beginning to labor to pick up the manna. All right, when you get into chapter 20—turn over to that in Exodus. Here you’ll find that the seventh day Sabbath becomes part of the Ten Commandments. It becomes part of the Mosaic Law. Exodus chapter 20 verse 8 and it’s the same concept that He just gave them in chapter 16.
“Remember the sabbath day, (the seventh day) to keep it holy. 9. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: 10. But the seventh day is the sabbath (or the rest day) of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter,…” and so on and so forth. It’s that constant reminder that God instituted the seventh day of rest back there in Genesis chapter 2.
So here we see, then, that the seventh day Sabbath was introduced way back at creation. It was repeated to the Nation of Israel when they started picking up the manna. And then just a few weeks later, it became part of the Ten Commandments.
All right, now let’s do the same thing with tithing. We’ve already seen that Abraham tithed of the spoil that he got from defeating the kings that had overrun Sodom and Gomorrah. All right, now let’s see where it picks up in the Law. Leviticus, and, oh goodness, if people would just do a word-study of tithing, they wouldn’t have so much difficult. Because it’s totally different than what most churches are practicing today.
“And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD. 31. And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.” In other words, if a gentleman wanted to take cash to the Temple instead of grain or sheep or something like that, he would have to pay a 20% penalty. If he wanted to turn it into what today we would call cash. Now verse 32:
“And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.” In other words, if they would count their sheep coming out of the fold, that’s what it meant to go under the rod. They would have the counting rod over the gate, and as the sheep went by the rod, they could count. All right, now out of those sheep, or whatever it was that went under the rod, they were to keep count. And one out of every ten was given to the Levites.
Now the purpose of the tithe was that the Levites did not own any of the property. They had no income. So God provided for the Levite tribe, the priests’ tribe, with the tithes of the other tribes. So the tithe is not biblical, unless it is given to the Levites. I wish people could understand that. The tithe was that which was given to support the Levites. All right, now verse 34:
“These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel…” So tithing is not, now, just something that came from Abraham. It is now part of the Law.
Now, I’m going to show a couple more verses. We’re going to have to go real fast on these, or I’m going to run out of time. II Chronicles chapter 31 verse 5. II Chronicles—that’s right after the Kings—II Chronicles 31 verse 5. II Chronicles 31—in fact, I’m going to look at verse 4. Start at verse 4, Honey.
II Chronicles 31:4
“Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the (Who?) Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD.” This is law. Even though it is not in the Ten Commandments, that doesn’t mean it’s not law. Now when you come down to verse 6:
II Chronicles 31:5-6a
“And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly. 6. And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, who dwelt in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep,…” One out of every ten that went under the rod. See that? You know what that meant? If somebody had 19 sheep, how many did he give? One. He didn’t kill one and give him nine parts of it. He took one out of ten. And until he hit 20, he gave one. Then he gave two.
That was the true tithe. It was one out of ten animals, and it went to the Levites. All right, now let’s go over a little further in history to Nehemiah.
“And we cast the lots among the priests, the Levites, (Those are the people who would need the help from the other tribes.) and the people, for the wood-offering, to bring it into the house of our God, after the houses of our fathers, at times appointed year by year, to burn upon the altar of the LORD our God, as it is written in the (What?) law:” That’s what I want people to see. This was according to the Law. Not just the Ten Commandments, but the Law. Now under that same line of thinking then, verse 37:
“And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto (What people?) the Levites, (They were the ones to accept the tithes.) that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.”
All right, then the last one that everybody likes to use to put their people under the pressure of tithing is Malachi. And you’ve all heard this one. My, you know they love to use this to pressure their people to bring ten percent of their income. Well, that’s not what the tithe was. The tithe was one out of ten of the grain or the sheep. And it was only for the Levites who were the priestly tribe. All right, Malachi 3—drop down to verse 8. These are the verses that I know a lot of people like to use.
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.” In other words, they weren’t bringing that one out of ten to the Levites. They weren’t keeping up what God had demanded of them. So consequently, verse 10:
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house,…” They were to bring all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be food in my own house. Well, who in the world served in the house of the Lord in Israel? The priests. The Levites. And that was the purpose of the tithing; because they had no flocks. They had no land. They had no orchards. They had to depend on the tithes of the people.
Now on top of the tithes, there were also offerings that were other than the tithe. And that came from their various other commodities—their fruits and vegetables and so forth. All right, now that pretty much covers the fact that tithing and the seventh day Sabbath and circumcision all went into the Law.
Now, to show you that circumcision was practiced all the way up to the time of Christ, as you well know, but I still want to show it from Scripture. Come all the way up with me to Luke chapter 1. Because I have to establish, now, that all three of these concepts—the seventh day Sabbath, the tithing, and circumcision—all funneled down into the Mosaic Law. And the Mosaic Law was in force when Christ began His ministry. You’ve heard me say that over and over. Everything that Jesus said or taught was under the Law. He never went contrary to the Law of Moses. All right, in Luke’s Gospel chapter 1, we’ve got John the Baptist, verse 59.
“And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.” All right, when you come across the page to Luke chapter 2, we have Jesus in full accordance with the Mosaic Law in verse 21.
“And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”
All right, then further up into our New Testament—come all the way up to Philippians—all the way up to Philippians chapter 3. And here we see Paul reminding us of his Jewish background—being born and raised and educated under the Law. All right, in Philippians chapter 3, might as well start at verse 4, Honey.
“Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: (And here’s why.) 5. Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;”
Circumcised? Absolutely! According to what? The Law. According to the Law. Now then, in the few moments we have left; let’s see how all three of these disappear when Paul says that we’re no longer under the Law. We are now under Grace. And Grace is that total freedom from the Law. Now, if people are comfortable with not practicing circumcision, and I think 99% are, how can they drop one and hang on to two?
I mean, I just can’t reconcile this with Scripture. I always say the same thing in Acts chapter 2. How in the world can people hang on to the things in chapter 2, but not have a thing to do with their bringing all things to the common place and living off the kitty? They won’t do that. But Acts chapter 2 teaches it. Well, there again, I tell people—how can you take part of a chapter and say, yeah, this is for me, but I won’t touch this. Well, it’s the same way here. If you don’t think circumcision is appropriate because we’re no longer under Law, then neither are these. That’s my argument.
Okay, now let’s look. What’s the first one? The seventh day Sabbath—I Corinthians chapter 16. All got it? Here Paul writes:
I Corinthians 16:1-2a
“Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2. Upon the first day of the week (Which today we call Sunday, not because it’s a pagan day of the sun. It’s just simply because, historically, it has been named Sunday. Has nothing scriptural, anti-scriptural about it. It’s the first day of the week.) let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him,…”
Now I can also use that verse for the next segment, for tithing. They were to bring their offerings, not their tithe. They were to bring their offerings on the first day of the week, not the Sabbath—a total departure there in just one verse. Well, I was going to take you back to another one in the Book of Acts. Back to Acts chapter 20, Honey, and this is how the early church practiced it. And there’s no denying it—Acts chapter 20 verses 6 and 7. This, of course, is back during Paul’s ministry. All got it? Now he says:
“And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas (That is over there on the western Turkish coast.) in five days; where we abode seven days. 7. And upon the first day of the week, (See?) when the disciples came together to break bread, (Fellowship, see? And worship.) Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; (which would be Monday) and continued his speech until midnight.”
All right, now let’s see—Colossians chapter 2. Boy, I’m going to be running right up against the end. Colossians chapter 2 starting at verse 14. Now, I’m still showing how that first and foremost the seventh day Sabbath is not for us, because it became part of the Law. We’re not under Law. We’re under Grace. All right, look what he says in verse 14.
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, (That’s the whole system of Law.) and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15.And having spoiled principalities and powers, triumphing over them in it.” Now then verse 16, here it comes plain as day.
“Let no man therefore judge you in food, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the (What days?) sabbath days;” Paul said, don’t let anybody confuse you and try to put you back under the Law that was crucified with Christ.
All right, then our last one again—circumcision. That, of course, is so obvious when you come back to Galatians chapter 5. Galatians chapter 5, so that all three of these concepts which went into the Law, have now been abrogated by Paul’s declaring us not under Law but under Grace.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty (What does liberty imply? Not under Law) wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Now here it comes, and where we’re going to be able to close.) 2. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, (According to the Law—if you’re going to practice circumcision according to the Law as part of your salvation.) Christ (the crucified, risen) shall profit you (How much?) nothing.” Circumcision went away with the Law.