Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 57
1 John 4:11 – 5:1 – Part 2
For those of you out in television, again we just want to thank you for your letters, your prayers, your support, everything. And I guess the best way I can put it is; we’re just a simple Bible study. We don’t try to build an empire or do anything like that. We’re just going to keep on teaching the Word and show people how to study on their own. This is the name of the game. Don’t go by what Les Feldick says, or anybody else says. Learn to search the Scriptures and determine what is for us today. And as I’ve said so often, the writing of the Apostle Paul and his teachings, are paramount for us today, as we feel this age of Grace we’ve been in now for almost 2,000 years, is soon coming to a close.
Okay, in our last lesson we finished chapter 4 of I John and so we’ll pick up with chapter 5. Here in verse 1, we have another repeat of what we’ve been seeing all the way through this little Jewish epistle and how that it is tied to Christ’s earthly ministry and has nothing to do with faith in the death, burial and resurrection that we must believe for our salvation in this age of Grace we’re now in. We’ll be looking at Paul’s Grace message in just a little bit. But first here is another repeat of the Kingdom message that John and the rest of the Twelve preached to the Nation of Israel. And, my, if people could only separate the Scriptures, to rightly divide the Word of God, there would be no confusion whatsoever!
Okay, now we’ve got to realize that coming out of the Old Testament, everything was looking forward, not to the cross, but to His Kingship and the Kingdom. In fact, it’s been even made more vivid to me, as we’ve been teaching in one of our classes here in Oklahoma the book of Isaiah. And of course Isaiah is a book of prophecy, and I’ve been stressing how that all through those Old Testament prophets it was “I will.” “I will.” “Thus saith the Lord, I will.” Well I’ve put it this way. Those were all promises, but the promises were all what? Prophecy.
And so over and over throughout the Old Testament was this constant promising a prophesied King and Kingdom for the Nation of Israel. An earthly Kingdom. And we’ve been looking at all the references that make it so plain that it was to be an earthly Kingdom over which Christ would rule and reign from His throneroom in Jerusalem.
And of course I realize that most of Christendom doesn’t know what I’m talking about. But it’s a Biblical concept and this is what Paul meant in Romans 15 verse 8. I use it over and over and over. I told one of my classes the other night, you know I can almost start any seminar, I can almost start any Bible class with Romans 15 verse 8 and go from there.
“Now I say that Jesus Christ (what’s the verb?) was.…” Somebody was jumping on my use of the verbs and I had to show them 15:8. It is the verb “was.”
“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the (what?) circumcision (and who’s circumcision in Scripture? Israel!) for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:” It wasn’t Paul’s idea. It was all part of the eternal purposes. Well who were the ‘fathers’ in Scripture? Israel’s forefathers. Abraham. Isaac. Jacob. And on up through Israel’s history. So why did Jesus come? “To fulfill the promises made to the Nation of Israel.” And what were those promises? That He would come and give them an earthly Kingdom over which there would be no suffering under the Roman Empire. There would be no persecution. There would be no sickness. There would be no death. It would be literally heaven on earth. And He’d be the King.
And then in Matthew what did He promise the Twelve? “That they would sit on twelve thrones ruling the twelve tribes of Israel.” That was all part and parcel of the promises made to the fathers. So everything is leading up to this coming of the King, but Israel could not believe it. They could not accept Jesus of Nazareth as that promised King of the Kings, so they fulfilled the purposes of God. They crucified Him.
All right, God raised Him from the dead. Called Him back to Glory (we’ve gone through this before, at the ascension). But Peter and the Eleven keep right on preaching the Old Testament promises that this One Whom they crucified was alive and, as soon as the horrors of the seven years of Daniel’s seventieth week, which we call the Tribulation had passed, the King would yet come and bring in the Kingdom. Now when you follow that whole concept through, Peter in the early Acts and then the little Jewish epistles of James and Peter and John and Jude and Revelation, everything is looking at the unfolding of the Tribulation, the Second Coming and the Kingdom Age.
But there’s one thing that wasn’t revealed to them. There’s nothing in here of the Church Age. Nothing of calling out a body of Gentiles, which we call the Church. But rather it was all fulfilling the promises made to the fathers. And that’s why these little Jewish epistles are on that same timeline and as I pointed out when we introduced the little book of James, all of these writers had made a gentleman’s agreement with Paul and Barnabas back there at the Jerusalem counsel in about 51 or 52 AD. And at that Jerusalem counsel, you remember, they shook hands. They gave the right hands of fellowship, James and Peter and John with Paul and Barnabas. And what was the agreement? That they would stay with Israel and Paul would go to the Gentiles.
Well, in accord with that agreement, then, these men had to write to Israel. They would have broken their agreement if they would have departed and started writing about Paul’s Gospel of Grace. They would have been totally remiss, but they weren’t and, of course, the Holy Spirit is behind it all. And so they write in perfect accord with the Jewish economy, which is the Gospel of the Kingdom, and that message was that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God, the Promised King.
Unknown to all of these Jewish men and prophets and everyone else, the Kingdom message and promises would be interrupted. Jesus knew it and I haven’t got time in just one half-hour, but Jesus makes it so plain in Luke chapter 4, where He reads from Isaiah 61 verses 1 and 2. And in verse 2, He stops right in the middle, which took Him to the end of His earthly ministry. However, the next half of the verse dealt with the coming Tribulation and the next verse dealt with the coming Kingdom. But He didn’t touch that part. He stopped in the middle and at the consternation of those Jews in the synagogue, He stood up the second time and He said, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” That which went to the end of His first Advent. The rest was pushed out into the future, but it still will happen just like the Scriptures say.
All right then, unknown to these Jewish writers, we have the salvation of that other little Jew who became the Apostle of the Gentiles. All right, but before we look at that let’s look at the verse here in I John again. I John chapter 5 verse 1, we’re going to start from that and then we’re going to kick off. This is the same as we’ve seen before. Just a repetition of everything that James has said, what Peter has said and what John has been saying in this little epistle. It’s all Jewish.
I John 5:1a
“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God:.…” Period. Now, again, what’s not in there? Not a word about the cross. Not a word about His resurrection. The whole concept is that if you believe that Jesus is the Christ, you are born of God. That won’t happen today, because that’s not the Gospel of salvation we must believe in our hearts for this Age of Grace we’re living in.
All right, now let’s go back and let’s look at the Gospel of salvation for today. Come back with me to Romans, and let’s start at chapter 2. You know it’s amazing what God uses. We got a letter the other day about almost a whole family who, if I understood their letter correctly, really had no spiritual interest. But the lady of the house happened to hear me call Iris ‘Honey.’ And she thought – if a man was good enough to call his wife Honey, he’s worth listening to for a minute or two. So she listened. And she got hooked. And because of her a whole family, husband, daughters, son’s-in-law came to a knowledge of salvation. So you see, you just never know what God uses. It’s amazing.
All right, so Romans chapter 2 verse 16. Now you realize that there are a lot of people across Christendom who won’t give Paul the time of day. They almost forbid their people to even read him. I’ve had people tell me that their Sunday School teacher or their preacher said, it should just be taken out of the Bible. Paul shouldn’t even be in here. Well, I’ve got news for them, if they’re going to depend on that which John is writing and if they’re going to depend on what Peter said, they’re doomed. They’ve had it. And here’s the reason.
“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men (that is the heart) by Jesus Christ (Who will be the Judge. What are they going to be judged by?) according to my gospel.” What has lost mankind done with Paul’s gospel. Now read it again.
“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” Why the pronoun? To set it apart from the Kingdom Gospel! See, and that’s where people stumble. Two Gospels? Well for a little while of course there were. Not now of course, but while God was still dealing with Israel, before He “dropped the gate” as I’ve been putting it lately on the Kingdom economy, and they had to go Paul’s way or be lost with the rest of the world. Now it’s one Gospel of salvation and that’s Paul’s Gospel. All right, what is Paul’s Gospel? Come over with me to Romans 16 verse 25.
“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, (not Peter’s. Not Jesus’, Not John’s, but rather, Paul’s Gospel. And what is Paul’s Gospel?) and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world (ages) began,” Now you see, this is why Peter, James and John couldn’t preach it. It had been kept secret. It wasn’t time to reveal that to Peter, James and John. It had to wait until this Apostle was brought on the scene, and now to this man is given that finished work of the cross.
All right, now just turn to I Corinthians chapter 1 and we’re going to see the vast difference in the language. There’s no more addressing the Nation of Israel. But more than that, he’s going to address the Gentiles. Although, certainly, the Jews are welcome to come into this great glorious Salvation, but primarily it’s going to be the age of the Gentiles. Here he’s writing to a Gentile congregation down there in Corinth, southern Greece. So he says:
I Corinthians 1:17-18
“For Christ sent me not to baptize (with water like he did John the Baptist did) but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross (here it comes) of Christ should be made of none effect. 18. For the preaching of the cross (that’s Paul’s Gospel) is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved, it is (the preaching of the cross) the power of God.”
All right, then he comes all the way down to verse 23.
I Corinthians 1:23
“But we preach Christ (what?) crucified, (not the King of Israel) unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;” And isn’t that the way the world looks at it today? My, I was just reading an article on Europe again last night. Do you know that Europe is almost 99.9% secular? This particular writer said the only role the churches in Europe play are tourist attractions. Nobody goes to church. Nobody has any spiritual insight. Now I’ve got to qualify that. There are always a few. But their government, you know, their new constitution that they put together? Not one mention of God. Not one mention of anything Spiritual; it is totally secular. Is it any wonder they hate our President? He makes them feel guilty just by his presence. I know he does.
But listen, this is the world tonight. They think the preaching of the cross is so much foolishness, but that’s Paul’s Gospel. All right, now let me take you to another one over in Romans chapter 3 verse 23. This is the very first step of God’s saving grace; for us to understand that we need the Gospel of salvation. Why?
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Now again, that’s the Word of God and we’re to believe it. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” But it doesn’t stop there. Next verse says:
“Being justified freely by his (what?) grace.…” That’s one of Paul’s favorite words. It’s the grace of God that has now been poured out on Christ-rejecting mankind.
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (that process of paying our sin debt) 25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,.…”
Now I’ve got to stop right there. Once in a while we’ll get a letter from someone who says, “Well you make too much of Paul. You make it sound as though he’s the one who died for us.” Never! Never! All I maintain is that Paul is the Apostle to whom this Gospel was revealed. You don’t worship Paul. You worship the Christ that Paul presents. All right, and here it is. I think Paul even told the Corinthians, “Paul didn’t die for you. Christ did.” All right, so now read on in verse 25.
“…through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance (the goodness and patience) of God;”
Now verse 26. This is Pauline.
“To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he (God) might be just, (God never cuts corners. God never compromises. But He’s just. He’s fair) and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” That’s as simple as you can get it. No repentance. No baptism. No works. No nothing. You believe it. That’s faith. YOU TAKE GOD AT HIS WORD.
“Where is boasting then? It is excluded, By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Move on to chapter 4 verse 5. This is Paul. This is the message of Grace. Nothing to do with Israel and the promises. This has to do with the eternal purposes of God. Verse 5:
“But to him that worketh not, (that means exactly what it says) but (instead of trying to work, work, and do and do. It’s to him that) believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Now come into chapter 5 verse 1.
“Therefore being justified by faith, (faith in what? Jesus Christ and that finished work of the cross; where He died for us and was buried and rose from the dead; and because we have faith in that finished work for salvation, now) we have (what?) peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”
Now you see Romans 8 makes it plain as day. The unbeliever is a what? He’s an enemy. Now as long as you’re an enemy you can’t be at peace, whether it’s in a human relationship or whether it is between yourself and God. If you’re an enemy, there’s no peace. But you see, we’re no longer an enemy. By faith, we’ve been justified and we’re no longer an enemy – we’re a child – and consequently, “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” That’s Paul.
All right, now then, let’s come on a little further. Chapter 7. Now Paul tells us how to walk in this Christian life since we don’t have the Law telling us every jot and tittle of what to do and what not to do. That’s been crucified, so far as we’re concerned, and we’ve been crucified to it. But that doesn’t leave us with license. And here we come now. Romans 7 dropping in at verses 5 and 6. Now Paul writes:
“For when we were in the flesh, (before we were saved) the motions (or the acts) of sins, which were by the law, (in other words, all the things that the Law designated – they were part and parcel of things that we, as lost people, were doing. Breaking the Law. All right, they) did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (which will pop up for the unbeliever at the Great White Throne) 6. But now (since we’ve been saved, that’s the difference) we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”
Now you remember we covered that a program or two back, how that Paul says we are now indwelt by the Spirit of God. Our body is its temple. All right, same reference. That now “we are serving in newness of spirit, (Who is indwelling us and He’s controlling us,) and we’re not in the oldness of the letter.” We’re not under the Law.
All right, back up to chapter 6 – that just reminded me of verse 14. Romans 6 verse 14, the last half of the verse.
“…for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” We’re not under the heavy hand of the Ten Commandments or any of the rest of the Law. That has all been done away with so that God can deal with us in Grace.
Come back with me again to I Corinthians chapter 15 where we were in an earlier program; but this is the Gospel, by which we have to have salvation today. And this is it – alone. Granted that this Jesus, this Christ was the Son of God. Paul refers to it over and over how that He’s the Son of God, but by believing that alone is not enough, as we’ve seen in Romans 2:16. And here is Paul’s beautiful Gospel of salvation.
I Corinthians 15:1-2
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2. By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.”
Now here’s The Gospel by which mankind is saved during this Age of Grace.
I Corinthians 15:3-4
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, (from the risen Lord, as part of the secret things revealed only to this apostle) how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; 4. And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” That’s the Gospel. And we’re told to believe it with all our heart for salvation. And when we believe it we have all the promises of God.
Transcriber’s Note: The titles for these last four lessons was “The Godhead Revealed.” That was the basic subject, especially for the first three lessons in this middle section. Les covers more on that subject in the last lesson (Lesson Three Part IV) of this book.
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