Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 57
The Godhead Revealed – Part 2
I John 4:11 – 5:1
Again, we want to thank you for you letters, your prayers, and your financial help. I was just explaining to our visitor from Florida who asked, “Who backs you? Who helps you pay the bills?” The Lord does! Everything comes in just as we need it and whenever we feel that we’re getting ahead a little bit and we can afford to take another station on, well then, that’s when we expand. And as we expand the contributions expand with it. So, we still maintain that all the contribution money goes strictly to pay for television and radio. And then we pick up our operating expenses through our materials. But we’re just an independent Bible study. Nobody underwrites us. Nobody tells me what to teach and what I can’t teach. And if they did, I’d quit tomorrow. But we maintain our freedom with the Lord’s help.
Okay, let’s pick right up where we left off in our last lesson and that was in I John chapter 4, and we looked at verse 12. And now we’re going to go down to verse 13. Maybe in my next program, I’ll go back and review again how all of this is still tied to the Jewish program. There’s just nothing back here in these little Jewish epistles of James, Peter, John, and Jude, about the Body of Christ and there is no Pauline language in here.
Now I know that may disturb a few people and they think I’m may be getting out in the fringes. But, all I ask people is, what does the Word say? If you can find one word that speaks of salvation through faith in the resurrection, the shed blood, the crucifixion; then I’ll admit that maybe I’ve been missing it. But you see it’s not in here. All of this is still dealing with the same message that Jesus and the Twelve preached; what Peter and the Eleven preached; and continues right on in the same vein without any mention of what we would call “Pauline truth.” It’s just not in here. So, I’m on solid ground when I make that statement because you can’t find any salvation Scriptures that we must believe in this Church Age we’re living in. You’ve got to go to Paul’s letters for that.
All right, so now then just almost the same identical language as John’s Gospel, he goes on finishing verse 12:
I John 4:12b-13
“…If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he (God) hath given us of his Spirit.”
Now, where in the world do we get the first real revelation of the coming of God’s Spirit into the heart of the believer? Well, John’s Gospel. And that’s where we’ll go! We’ll just go right back to his gospel. The same John, even though he’s writing this epistle several years later, yet it’s the same John. And so now we’ll jump to his Gospel of John, to chapter 14 where the Lord has just finished explaining to Philip (with the rest of them listening of course) that if you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen Who? The Father! Because the Father and the Son and the Spirit are One God, as we put it on the board. But they’re in three Persons.
All right, now we’re going to see that Jesus is going to delegate another Person of the Godhead Who will take His place when He leaves. Now the Twelve have no understanding that He’s going to be leaving. They think that things are going to continue right on and He’ll be giving them the Kingdom. They’re still looking for the Kingdom that has been prophesied ever since Genesis chapter 12. But here is the first inkling now that He’s going to leave. Jesus is still speaking there in the upper room, and He says:
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter,.…” Now I think most of the translations will have that word Comforter capitalized so again it’s another name for the Holy Spirit. The Greek word if I’m not mistaken is “paraclete” – one called along side to help.
“…that he (this Comforter) may abide with you for ever; 17. (Who is it?) Even the Spirit of truth;….” The Holy Spirit. So now we have the third Person of the Trinity. God the Father. God the Son is praying that He’ll send the third Person, the Holy Spirit. All right verse 17.
“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but (He says to the Eleven) ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall (future) be in you. 18. I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you. 19. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: Because I live, you shall live also. 20. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” Now of course He’s jumping over to the time when He would be coming back and setting up the Kingdom and in the intervening years we’re going to have the crucifixion and all that, which the Twelve knew nothing of. You know I’m constantly emphasizing to people, these twelve men, I guess Judas is still with them here; these twelve men have no idea of this coming crucifixion. They are still totally unaware.
Now, in that light I always have to go back to one of my favorite portions in this line of thinking. Back to Luke 18 and while you’re looking it up I’m going to do what I rarely do. I’m just going to give you one of my past experiences. I don’t like to waste time with my own experiences because the Word of God is too important. But, I think maybe I can make a point here.
At one of my seminars back East I had been teaching for almost three hours. And I could see that one gentleman way in the back corner was getting highly exercised. I mean I could just see it. And so I stopped. It was about ten-minutes before the hour that I was going to stop anyway. It was about ten to nine and so I stopped (and this was a large crowd). This was a huge church full. And I said, “Do you have a problem?” He says, “Yes.” I said, “Well what is it?” He said, “Where do you get the idea there’s more than one Gospel?” I said, “Well the Bible is full of it. There’s been many times that God gave Good News to mankind for them to believe. For example, when Noah came off the Ark, wasn’t it Good News that He had spared him from the ravages of the Flood? When He called Abram, wasn’t it Good News that God was now going to use this man in a particular way? He’d never done anything like that before. So anyway, that’s what I’d been saying.” And he said, “Where do you get the idea that there’s more than one Gospel?” So I said, “Well I’ll speak with you afterwards.”
So after the crowd had gone down for coffee, I went back and I said, “Now wait a minute, just stop and think. Do you think Adam and Eve were saved by believing that Jesus Christ would come in the flesh and go to a Roman cross and die for their sins and be raised from the dead like we have to do today?” You know what his answer was? “Well, they must have.” I said, “They must have? How could they?’ But I said, “Okay. Let’s move on up to Abraham. Do you think that Abraham had a full understanding that God would leave the invisible Godhead and take on human flesh and at the age of 30 begin an earthly ministry that took Him to the cross, to be raised from the dead? Now do you think Abraham understood all that for his salvation?” And you know what his answer was? Same thing. “He must have.” No, he didn’t – he couldn’t have. And I said, “I just quoted a verse about five minutes ago. Didn’t you hear it?” No he didn’t hear it.
And this verse is what I had just quoted about five minutes before this conversation took place, and here it is. Verse 31 of Luke 18, and I ask you in the audience; I ask you out in television; after you read these verses can you still tell me that Peter, James and the rest preached a Gospel of salvation based on something that they knew nothing of? How could they? And this tells us:
“Then he took unto him the twelve,.…” Now this is the end of His three years of earthly ministry, you’ve always got to get the setting of Scripture. Otherwise it’s hard to comprehend. We’re at the end of His three years. They are about ready to go up to Jerusalem for the Passover and the Crucifixion and He tells the Twelve:
“…Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. 32. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: 33. And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.” Did Jesus know what was coming? Absolutely! Over the years, I’ve put it this way. He could have named the Roman soldiers that nailed Him to the cross. He could have named the soldiers that would be throwing dice for His clothes. There wasn’t anything hid from Him, He was God! All right, so He’s telling the Twelve in detail of what’s coming, but, read the next verse.
“And they (the Twelve) understood (what?) none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.” What does that tell you? They didn’t know He was going to be crucified even after He’d told them. Because God supernaturally blinded them to it – they weren’t supposed to know.” And so then, I remind people, did the Twelve or the Eleven or however many others you want to put in with them, Mary, Martha and all the rest, did they know He was going to be crucified? Of course not. And even after he was on that cross, and was laid in the tomb, did they even have an inkling He would be raised from the dead? Not a word. Now if you think they did, why weren’t they waiting outside the tomb and watching for Him to come out? Now they didn’t know He was going to be crucified. They didn’t know He was going to be raised from the dead. It was all totally hidden from them.
All right, so now I come back to my same question. How could these people be preaching a Gospel of Grace, like we do, with the saving message to believe “that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose from the dead,” if they couldn’t even comprehend He was going to die and rise again? Well I’ll tell you what the answer to that question is; they didn’t. They didn’t preach death, burial and resurrection; they couldn’t. All they knew was Who Jesus of Nazareth really was. And Who was He? He was the Christ. The Son of God, their Messiah, and that was all the Kingdom believers had to believe for salvation.
All right, so now then, here in John’s Gospel we have first and foremost Jesus revealing Himself as the Son of God – and now He’s telling them that He’s going to be leaving them. And again they don’t know what He’s talking about. They don’t have any comprehension of a death, burial, resurrection and ascension. But He’s preparing them. The Comforter that He promised in verse 16, will be:
“Even the Spirit (capitalized) of truth; whom the world cannot receive,….” Because the Holy Spirit is of the godly Spirit and the ungodly world has no consort with it whatsoever. All right, so the world can’t understand this working of the Holy Spirit. And so:
“…the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not neither knoweth him: but (He tells the Twelve, and I always have to come back to Eleven because we know Judas is out of all this) ye know him; for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you. 18. I will not leave you comfortless: (I’ll not leave you without Someone to guide you) I will come to you. 19. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20. At that day, ye shall know that I am in my Father, (see that?) and ye in me, and I in you.” Now here we come back to typical ‘John’ language.
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” See? Now that’s typical ‘John’ language. The love of the Father. The love of the Son. The love of these Twelve men in return. All right, so the whole promise here is that God would send the Comforter, that other Person of the Godhead.
Now come all the way back to Genesis 1 because, again, the Holy Spirit was not an invention for that particular day. The Holy Spirit is just as much eternity past as God the Father and God the Son. It’s all part of that Invisible Godhead. Elohim. The Spirit, which no man ever has seen and I don’t think ever will. I don’t think anyone will ever see that Invisible Godhead. We’ll only see the manifestation of it in God the Son.
“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the (what?) Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” And so you see, the Holy Spirit is already evident here at Creation. Even though God the Son spoke the Word, yet all three Persons of the Godhead are involved in Creation. You can’t take anything away from any of it.
All right, so now then, throughout the Old Testament there is not a lot of teaching concerning the work of the Holy Spirit, although He certainly was evident. Everything that was prompted of God was through the work of the Spirit. The prophets wrote as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Samson, for example, when he performs his feats of strength, he didn’t do it by going to a workout station. The Holy Spirit came upon him. And when the Spirit would leave, Samson was as weak as cotton thread. But when the Spirit would come upon him, he could perform the feats of strength. And so those are just typical examples of the Spirit of God even in the Old Testament economy.
Now then, when we come to John 14 and Jesus gives us the promise of the Comforter, Who would come and guide and direct all folks into the Truth. Now then, when you come into Paul – let’s look at that for a minute. I Corinthians chapter 3 verse 16. Now this is Paul’s teaching concerning this third Person of the Trinity.
I Corinthians 3:16
“Know ye not that ye (now remember, Paul always writes to believers. Paul never writes to the unsaved world) are the temple (or the dwelling place) of God, (see, there’s the ‘God’ part again) and that the Spirit of God dwelleth (where?) in you?” See that’s a part of our salvation experience. The moment we believe, for salvation, that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again, the Holy Spirit takes up residence within us! And becomes our gyroscope. It’s the Holy Spirit that keeps us on a straight line. It’s the Holy Spirit Who maintains our balance in our spiritual life. He is the indwelling Person of the Godhead.
I Corinthians 3:17a
“If any man defile (or abuse) the temple of God, him shall God destroy;.…” Now I think that that’s just a good lesson, that if we physically abuse our body and we knowingly do things that are harmful to it, God’s going to permit physical death to take it off the scene. They won’t lose their salvation, but this old body, the dwelling place, is going to lose its tabernacle life, its temporariness.
I Corinthians 3:17b
“…for the temple of God (this dwelling place, this body of the believer) is holy, which temple (Paul says) ye are.” Well that’s Paul’s take on the Holy Spirit. Now let’s go back to where we were in I John chapter 4 and verse 13 again. We know he tells these Jewish believers to whom he’s writing that the evidence of their salvation is also that they have His Holy Spirit. All right, now let’s move into verse 14.
I John 4:14
“And we have seen and do testify that the Father (now watch this, what’s the next word?) sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.”
Think about John 3:16 for just a moment. You see how that fits totally with all of John’s thinking? “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have (what?) everlasting life.” Now there’s not a word in John 3:16 about the cross. It hasn’t happened yet. John couldn’t put it in there. But here’s the same thing, he doesn’t speak of the cross, but he does let us know that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of all mankind.
Again I could give you illustration after illustration where people have gotten upset with me when I make this line of teaching that the Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus and the Twelve preached to Israel was based only on Who Jesus really was. And it’s never based on His death, burial and resurrection. That does not come to the fore until we get to the Apostle Paul. But, goodness sakes, I will never take away from the fact that when Christ came to fulfill the promises made to the fathers, the whole purpose of God was to be, yes, the Savior of the whole human race. But that’s not what was evident in His earthly ministry. He had come to the Nation of Israel, to fulfill those earthly promises. But, let me see, I guess I can take the word purpose.
Let me bring you back to II Timothy, chapter 1, and verse 9, and I think this verse says it all. If I’m on a hook, it’s taking me off it!
II Timothy 1:8b-9
“…of the gospel according to the power of God; 9. Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace,(not because of anything we deserve, but only because His grace is poured out to bring about the fulfilling of His own purposes. Now look at the rest of the verse) which was given us in Christ Jesus (when?) before the world (or the ages) began,” Now that ties right in with everything we’ve been saying all afternoon. Right from eternity past, when the Triune God in counsel decided to create the universe, to put mankind in it, knowing that he would fall into sin. Knowing that He would bring about a Plan of Redemption, and in that Plan of Redemption He would have to bring to fruition the Nation of Israel. So that out of the Nation of Israel would come their Messiah. And that their Messiah could be rejected and go to the cross. It was all preplanned before the ages ever began. Miracle of miracles, the eternal purposes of God to bring about a Savior, not just for Israel, for the whole human race – but it starts with Israel.
And that’s why you know I’ve made the illustration (at least in my classes and in my seminars), that if you take a wheel, especially the old covered wagon wheel with the wooden spokes and the steel tire around the edge and the hub. Well, you can lose a good portion of the rim and you can lose several of the spokes and the wheel will still turn. But you pull the hub out of that wheel and you’ve got nothing. Nothing!
All right, what’s my point? Israel is the hub of God’s wheel. You take Israel out of the mix and you’ve got nothing. And that’s where most of Christendom is. They have totally rejected Israel as a part of God’s eternal purposes and you cannot do it. Somebody told me the other day that their pastor had said from the pulpit “There is not one word in the Bible that says that Israel should ever come back to their homeland.” How in the world can they say something like that, as the Old Testament prophecies are full of it.