Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 48
Today, If You Will Hear My Voice – Part 2
You know, I am always reminded of one of the first statements of the old, I think it was the old Heidelberg Catechism. And it was a question and answer deal, for those of you who may have been through that. And the first question was, “What is the chief end of man?” And the answer was, “To serve God and enjoy Him forever.”
Well, you see the way we enjoy God today, of course is first and foremost through His Word. And so we just trust that we can get people into the Book and not go by what I say, but search the Scriptures and see if these things are true. I had a gentleman come up in one of our seminars in Tennessee, I think it was, and he said, “You know Les, I’ve been an amillenialist all my life, but after hearing you and seeing you use the Scriptures, you have changed my mind! And now I can believe in the Rapture and everything as you teach it.” Well, it is the Scripture that has to change your mind. I can’t. But we have to come in to the Book.
We’re going to pick up where we left off in our last lesson, and if I remember correctly we got one verse out of the way in our last half-hour so maybe we will get one verse in this one. My, if we get one verse per lesson through the whole Book of Hebrews, we should be long gone in the Rapture before we finish! Shouldn’t we? Okay, chapter 3 and verse 13. But instead of departing from the Living God, up there in verse 12:
“But exhort one another daily…”
Now I am going to stop right there a moment. How many times a week does the average Christian even so much as think about Spiritual things? Once! That’s about right. Sunday morning at 11:00 o’clock. And that is about as far as it ever goes. I am not talking about everybody. I am just talking about the mundane, average church-goer. Sunday morning, 11:00 o’clock, he’s in his pew and when that hour is over, he goes home, turns on TV and he never thinks about it again until next Sunday. But you see, that is not what the Word of God teaches. The Word of God says that every time believers bump into each other, what should be we talking about? Not the weather! Not sports! Not politics! But rather The Word! Spiritual things!
And you know this is why Iris and I are always so thrilled, no matter where we go, every home that we are in. We can look back after we leave and we say, you know, 90% of our conversation was on Spiritual things. And I don’t precipitate it. I mean I don’t go in and just try to worm these things in. I let our host and hostess sort of set the tone of our conversations and you know, we no more than get in and close the door and sit down with a cup of coffee and they’ve got questions. And there is nothing we like better than to answer questions. But, it puts us on a Spiritual plane that I think every believer should be prone to do. That should be our main topic of conversation, whenever believers come together.
And this is what Paul is saying now, that believers are to exhort one another not just one hour on Sunday morning. But daily! Everyday!
“But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day;…”
Alright, now this term “today” for us, of course, is this Age of Grace. Today for us is now. For the people living today, this is their day of opportunity. And consequently, what a warning, that while it is called today, while we are still this Age of Grace and we still have this opportunity of expressing our faith and for lost people to embrace it, my, he says, do it every day:
“…lest any of you be harden through the deceitfulness of sin.”
Now I am going to take three words out of this verse. And Hebrews seems to sort of, somehow or another, enhance that and you know I did it here a while back – Lois reminded me of it. She heard it on television and she said “Les I’ll never forget it.” “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation!” Well, I spent a whole half-hour on those three words. Well, I’m going to do the same thing in this verse. We’ve got three phrases here that are loaded and the average reader just skims right over them and never sees it. Alright, look at it again. “Lest any of you be hardened,” that’s the third phrase I’m going to look at. Through the deceitfulness,” that’s the second phrase we are going to look at. And “of sin.” That will be the first one. I’ll take them in the reverse order.
So we are going to go back and start with that word “sin.” Well, in the Greek, the word is anomia. Now I am not a Greek scholar, I want everybody to know that but once in a while I will look up a word and this one is anomia, and it is in the Greek Dictionary that I have it is translated as lawless or lawlessness. Now stop and think for a moment. Isn’t that exactly what sin is all about? The first step of sin is a mental act of rebellion against what God has said. That’s what it means to be lawless. Now just think about that for a moment, that the sin that so easily besets us and that plagues the human race starts out as lawlessness. God has made certain provisions for the human race, He’s laid down certain instructions, but what is the natural reaction to all of that? I’m not going to! No, God.
You know, I always like to use that in Psalms 14, where the translators have added a word that kind of takes away the punch, I think, where “the fool hath said in his heart there is no God.” But you take away what the translators added which are italicized back there and it is “there is,” take that away, and you have, “The fool has said in his heart” what? “No, God!” See! I’m not going to do what you are telling me. And what is that? That’s lawlessness! So, let’s go all the way back to Genesis, where it all began. No let’s go back even before that! Let’s go to old Lucifer in Isaiah 14. I didn’t intend to do this, I was just going to go to Genesis, but the thought just struck me that we find the first act of lawlessness, even before Adam and Eve, in Isaiah 14. The very first act of lawlessness – Sin. As it has bedraggled the human race from day one. Isaiah chapter 14 and we’ll just start at verse 12.
“How art thou fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer….” Now I know that a lot of your new translations don’t have Lucifer in there but my old King James still does.
“How art thou fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13. For thou, hast said in thy heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; (and here it comes) I will be like the most High.”
What’s this old angel, Lucifer saying? I am going to usurp God’s throne and His authority. Did God tell him to do that? No. So what is he, lawless! He is going contrary to everything that God had stipulated and he is telling God in so many words, “I am going to take your place.” So this is the beginning of lawlessness or sin as we know it even in our own human experience. Alright, now then, let’s go back an pick it up in Genesis chapter 3 where we have the first evidence of this kind of human action – lawless. Or lawlessness. And it is, of course, Lucifer tempting Eve back there in the garden. And let’s just jump right in to verse 6. And I guess I really should remind you, what had God told Adam and Eve earlier? Of that one tree in the garden, thou shalt not eat. That’s all He said! “Thou shalt not eat of it.” Now look what happens in verse 6 of Genesis 3.
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat,…”
What had God told them? “Thou shalt not.” So what is she doing? She is becoming lawless. She is disobeying the revealed will of God, and that’s what sin is. Oh, it wasn’t anything grossly immoral. She didn’t kill anybody, or rob anyone. She didn’t go out and tear down somebody’s personality with vile language. She made a simple act of plucking the fruit from the tree and eating it. But, what did it do? Not through Eve’s act, but the next part of the verse. Since she gives it to her husband, and he did eat, now as soon as Adam ate knowing what he was doing, what does he become? Lawless! And what does he introduce into the human race? Sin! And so sin has plagued the human race from day one.
Now let’s come all the way back up to Romans. Romans chapter 5, because you see, this is the whole idea of Scripture not only to give us the plan of salvation, but to give us the reason for the need of it. Why do we need salvation? Because without it we are lawless. Without it we are not obedient to the revealed will of God. We are in constant opposition to it.Alright, so how did it all begin? Romans chapter 5 and verse 12. Remember Paul is writing:
“Wherefore, as by one man, (Adam,) sin (lawlessness) entered into the world and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Or become lawless. Now, let me show you another one in Romans chapter 8. And you know every time I read this verse I have to be amazed that the human race does as well as it does! Now we are going down the tube real fast, we all know that. But, it’s just amazing that the human race has held together for 6,000 years because look at their lot. Romans chapter 8 and let’s just start with verse 6.
“For to be carnally (or fleshly) minded is death;…”
In other words, with no sign of a salvation experience, they are still in their lawlessness. So to be carnally minded is death, spiritual death. Their doom is coming, like we saw in the last half-hour. They are going to meet the Living God. Not as their Saviour but as their Judge.
“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (and here is the reason in verse 7.) Because the carnal mind (the unsaved person,) is enmity against God;…”
Now what is that? He’s lawless. He doesn’t do what God says, He doesn’t pay any attention to the precepts of God. He does it his own way, He’s lawless. And consequently then, he’s doomed. But look what the rest of the verse says.
“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
Why not? Because he is lawless. He doesn’t pay any attention to the law, He’s a scoffer of the law. Now I suppose that there are people in all of our communities who even treat the civil law the same way today. They don’t pay any attention to the civil law. They just do things their own way, but sooner or later it’s going to catch up with them. We know that. Alright now the same way here, in Spiritual things, the lost person in his lawlessness, well, he may get through this life. He just may skim through, but he’s not going to get through eternity. And so one day he’s going to come before the Righteous Judge and he’s going to be confronted with all of his years of lawlessness and he’s going to fall into the hands of the Living God. And the Living God is not going to be a God of mercy and grace anymore. It’s going to be too late for that person. Do you see that? Now back to Hebrews chapter 3 and we will pick up the second phrase. Because you see they all tie together.
“But exhort one another daily, while it is call To day; (in this Age of Grace) lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (and be lost)
Now we have already looked at how Eve was confronted. And after all, what did old Lucifer, Satan, the Devil say to Eve? “Hey, it will do you good! There is nothing bad going to come from eating of that tree. It will do you good. You will be like God!” Well what was that? Deceit! And you see it at every hand today. I was just reading another article on the meth drug problem. How in the world can our young people even think of taking a chance? Because it has such immediate, evidently, immediate gratification. And it just puts them in an immediate euphoria. But what happens. Within a little while they have to have another one. And in a little while they have to have another one and pretty soon they are hooked.
My goodness, I just heard that since the gas prices have been so high, that there have been a lot of drilling activity here in Oklahoma once again and I am sure you read the same things I do. Last spring when a lot of these drilling companies were looking for men to work out there in the drilling fields, you know what the employment drop out rate was because of drugs? Fifty percent! Fifty percent of the applicants could not be hired because of their drug problem. Now listen, that is shocking. What is our nation coming to? But, you see, that is the deceitfulness of sin. Oh, it just looks so good. It’s so inviting. Yes, it gives you euphoria. It makes you feel good for a little bit. But then it drags you down and we know the end result. Ruined lives by the thousands all around us. And the sad part is that those of us that behave ourselves have to pick up the bill for it. That’s what gripes me. Why are our health expenses so ferocious? Because most of the people laying in your hospital beds are there because they have abused their bodies with cigarettes and booze and drugs and we have to pay for it.
Well, we love them for Christ’s sake, because He loves them, but the sad fact is, it was their choice. You know, I always have to think when I was just a young fellow and my brother was an intern and a bunch of those young doctors were talking about things, and I will never forget the term that they used. Self-destruction! The human race is just bent on self-destruction. And isn’t that what it is? They just self-destruct. Why? Through the deceitfulness of sin! Oh, it is deceitful.
Alright, then I am going to come on up to the first word. Hardened. We’re still in Hebrews chapter 3 verse 13.
“…Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness…”
What does that word hardened imply? Well, the further people go into sin the more their consciences are seared against what is wrong and they know it’s wrong, but it doesn’t bother them. Then finally they get to the place where they can do it without batting an eye. And they become hardened to it. Alright, let’s go back to Romans again because I like to back everything up that I teach with the Scripture. Because after all, what Les Feldick thinks, that doesn’t mean anything. But, what does The Book say? Alright, for one thing, some of the results of man’s sins are listed here in Romans chapter 3 and we are all aware of it. We see it all around us. This isn’t anything that was unique only to Paul’s day. It is just as evident today. Romans chapter 3, and we are going to start in verse 10.
“As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one.” Now that comes clear out of the Old Testament, so it has always been this way. There is none that understand it. There is none that seeketh after God. Why? They’ve got their own laws. They are lawless, so far as the things of God are concerned. Now verse 11.
“There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”” They are of no earthly good so far as God is concerned. And there is none that doeth good, no not one. Now here it comes. This is the description of the lawless, hardened individual in verse 13.
“Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have use deceit; the poison of asp (or poisonous snakes) is under their lips. 14. Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15. Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16. Destruction and misery are in their ways: 16. And the way of peace they have not known: 18. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Why? They are lawless. They have no concern about the laws of God. Alright, keep your hand in chapter 3 and we will be back in a little bit. Now, let’s flip over to Galatians, because, see, this is what the Book called it. This isn’t my idea. This is what The Word of God calls it. Oh, the deceitfulness of sin! It has such an allurement. I don’t think any of us would deny that most sin, on the surface, is alluring. That’s why we call it temptation. It has that ability to get our attention. Alright, now in Galatians chapter 5, here they are listed. And they are listed for us to be aware of. That we never, never compromise the fact that these things are the result of sin. Lawlessness. You know, we are living in a society where nothing is wrong anymore. We don’t know what sin is. And it is a sad commentary and our nation is suffering the results of it. But, alright look at how Paul lists it here in Galatians chapter 5 verse 19. And this right along with what he wrote in Romans chapter 3.
“Now the works of the flesh (of the carnal individual) are manifest, which are these; Adultery, (sexual immorality is always at the top of the list.) fornication, (which is just another word for it only in a worse state.) uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20. Idolatry, (instead of worshipping the Living God, what are we worshipping? A dead god! That’s what idolatry is. It’s worshipping a dead god instead of the Living One.) witchcraft, (what’s that? Drawing on the powers of the satanic world.) hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21. Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Why? Because they are lawless. They are hardened by the deceitfulness of lawlessness. Alright, come back to Romans chapter 3. And oh, this just says it so clearly. It’s their lawlessness and their living in the deceitfulness of sin which is far worse than they have any idea that it’s going to be when they start in on it, then it follows that they are guilty. They know that they are guilty. And that is why they have got to constantly subject their guilt feelings with more and more of the same. But, deep down they know that in the eyes of a Holy God, they are guilty. Alright, let’s look at it. Romans chapter 3 now verse 19. Now, don’t lose sight of the verse in Hebrews: through the deceitfulness of sin, they are being hardened.
“Now we know that what things soever the law (that is the law of God. The very mind of God.) it saith to them who are under the law:” In other words, the Law was originally given to what people? Israel. Israel was put under the Law and the whole system of worship that associated with it. Alright, but it doesn’t stop there. Yes, the Law was given to them who were under the Law but, that how many mouths should be stopped?
“…that every mouth may be stopped,…” Every mouth! Not just the Jew but every mouth of the whole human race should be just clamped shut by what? The righteousness of the laws of God. Who’s perfect. He’s sinless. Alright, read on.
“…that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world. (not just Israel, but that all the world) may become guilty before God.”
Guilty!! And what does guilt always demand? A sentence. Doesn’t it? You go before a court of law and if the Judge slams the gavel down and he says, “Guilty.” What follows? Sentencing. And it is no different in the Spiritual. The guilty world is going to come up for sentencing. There is no escaping it. And God is going to have the record. There will be no argument. It’s going to be awful, and that’s why the world doesn’t want to hear about it. How often do churches ever, ever mention Hell anymore? Almost, never. I did in one church here last winter one time and they came up after and said that’s the first time in fifty years that we have heard Hell in this church!