Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 57
Water and Blood
I John 5:1-7
As you know our television program started in Genesis about 13 years ago, and we’ve come all the way up now to these little letters of John and Jude; and we’re also going to hit part of Revelation, since it’s also mostly Jewish. After that we’ll probably go back into areas that we haven’t covered before, such as the Psalms, Proverbs, and Isaiah, but anyway, we’re going to keep going until the Lord comes, we hope! And we trust that that won’t be that much longer, as I feel God is about ready to wrap it all up. But before doing that, He will remove the true believers from the earth in what we call the Rapture of the Church, that is found so beautifully described in I Thessalonians 4:13-18.
You know people get surprised; they’ll call and they’ll say “Well how long do you really think it’ll be?” Well, of course, we can’t put any timetable on it. But I say, “You know I’ll be surprised if it’s not within five years.” And that shakes them up. Boy, they think that’s a short period of time. Well, day in and day out I think it’s going to be today! But as fast as the world is falling apart, it would almost seem as though the Lord’s coming is so close. But also remember that “with the Lord a day is a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day,”and that’s why we can’t set a time on it.
As we begin today’s lesson, we’ll begin with I John chapter 5. We’ll start right at verse 1 and what do you know? Repetition. Same song, second verse, it’s all the same here in John’s writing to the Jews. John’s message is still the Kingdom Gospel, and that salvation message was, “Believing that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God!” Where the salvation message for us today in the Body of Christ is, “Believe in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He died for our sins, was buried and rose from the dead.” I Corinthians 15:1-4. So notice those differences as we study together.
I John 5:1
“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.”
In other words, what John is saying here is that if you truly love the Lord Jesus Christ, then you’re also going to love the other person that loves the Lord Jesus Christ, which is part and parcel of John’s Gospel. But as I pointed out in our last taping session, John is not writing to the Church Age believer, he’s writing to Jews. And, oh, that may shake a few up; but on the other hand, our response from listeners, since James, has just been phenomenal; how they’re seeing exactly what we’re saying (that these little epistles were primarily written to Jewish believers). And I don’t make any apology for that. These little epistles of James and Peter and John and Jude and on into the book of Revelation are Jewish because of an agreement that they once made with Paul. And I’m again going to repeat that over and over – as the Scripture does – so I guess that gives me authority to do it. So let’s just look at it now. Come back with me to Galatians chapter 2, a verse that I’ll use over and over whenever I make the point that these Scriptures which are written by these Jewish writers have nothing really to do with the Church Age, the Gentiles. But they have everything to do with the Nation of Israel and their Kingdom economy.
Now when I say their Kingdom economy, I’m speaking of the fact that all the Old Testament from Genesis 12 is looking forward to the day when God the Son, the Messiah, the Redeemer of Israel would set up an earthly Kingdom with His capital in Jerusalem and every Jew that would go into that Kingdom would of course, be a believer. They would have the promises of the New Covenant. They wouldn’t have to learn them, they wouldn’t have to study them, it would just naturally come on them.
And then according to the Old Testament, these believing Jews were to evangelize the pagan Gentiles. They were to be a light to the Gentile world. But, by virtue of Israel’s dropping the ball, and not believing and receiving the Kingdom, and crucifying their King, now that whole scenario has changed where there will be no unbelievers in the Kingdom. So Israel won’t have the opportunity of being a light to the world because they’ve missed it. But we do know the 144,000 Jews will pick that ball up during the 7-year Tribulation period, and many will be saved.
But, nevertheless, to show that all this is written to Jewish believers, you come back to Galatians chapter 2 and this Jerusalem counsel. And like I always tell my classes in Oklahoma, I’m not getting senile. I’m not repeating because I can’t remember what I’ve said, but I do it for emphasis because the Scripture does. And you just have to keep hammering it and hammering it before the majority of people see it. Now a few will see it just that quick. Some of you here know what I’m talking about. Others it takes a little longer. Some it just almost takes forever because the longer they’ve been brainwashed in something the longer and the harder it is to come away from it.
But here we are now for the umpteenth time showing in this counsel in Jerusalem, this meeting between Paul and Barnabas, who had come up to Jerusalem now from their Gentile ministry there in Syria, and this meeting is between James and Peter and John primarily, to settle the question, “Do Paul’s converts have to become adherents of Israel’s Law?” And these believing Jewish people said “Yes they do, You have to be circumcised, you have to keep Moses’ Law.” Acts 15:1-5.
And Paul kept saying, “No they don’t! We’re not under Law, we’re under Grace.” So this argument went back and forth. And now you’ve got to remember, this has been for a period of almost 15 years already that there’s been this dilemma, “Do Paul’s converts have to keep Israel’s Law?” Well, it finally comes to a head then in about 51-52 AD and that’s the Jerusalem counsel that we look at over and over again in Acts 15 and Galatians 2. Acts is Luke’s account. Galatians is Paul’s account. And we might as well go back to verse 1. We’ve got time enough.
“Then fourteen years after (that is after Paul’s Damascus conversion experience) I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.” Now you remember Barnabas became his co-worker up there in Antioch, and they also took Titus, a Greek, with them.
“And I went up by revelation,.…” In other words, the Lord instructed Paul that now it was time to go and confront the Jerusalem church about these people who are undermining his Gentile ministry. “Paul you’ve got to go up and confront the Twelve.”
“…and communicated unto them that gospel….” (of salvation) Now emphasize the word ‘that’ because that indicates it was different than what Peter, James and John were used to. So he comes up to them and he shows them or he communicated unto them “that gospel.”
“…which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.” And then privately, I imagine in a separate anteroom, I think it was with the Twelve and Paul and Barnabas by themselves. In other words, he had to get this settled with the Twelve because they were the ones in authority. They were the ones that could put an end to it, or they were the ones that could just run roughshod over Paul and Barnabas and say, “We’re going to continue to tell your Gentiles what we’ve been telling them.” So it was paramount to meet with the Twelve. All right, now then verse 4.
“And that because of false brethren unawares (secretly) brought in, who came in privily (secretly) to spy out our liberty (contrary to law) which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:” Now you always have to remember that when Paul speaks of the Law that’s his word for it, it was bondage. They weren’t free to do as they pleased. If they picked up sticks on the Sabbath day, it was what? Death. And the same way with a lot of other mundane failures. It was death. It was bondage. All right, verse 5.
“To whom (that is to the Twelve, the leaders of the Jerusalem church) we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.” In other words they were pressing Paul to give in. “Give in Paul, you should know that these people have to be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses.” But Paul said, “No they don’t.” And he didn’t give in, “Not for an hour so that the truth of the Gospel might continue with you.”
All right, now you know how I teach. I jump around a lot. Here’s where we’re going to have to jump. Keep your hand in here; we’re going to come back. Now back up to the left a few pages to I Corinthians 15 and, again, for the hundredth time we’re going to show this as clearly as Scripture can make it. This is Paul’s Gospel of salvation. I Corinthians 15:1-4.
Now anybody that’s been under my teaching very long knows these verses by memory just because of the constant repetition of them. But this is Paul’s Gospel. And I was just reading something again yesterday on how to be saved. And you know what? Not even a mention of Paul’s Gospel. Not a mention. Why? Well, when you find out tell me! I can’t figure it out, unless people are just blinded. People just totally ignore it but here’s Paul’s Gospel, and how we are saved.
I Corinthians 15:1a
“Moreover, brethren, (so he’s writing to Gentile believers at Corinth and he’s writing to you and I in this Church Age) I declare unto you the gospel….”
Now the reason I’m doing this early this afternoon is because I’m going to refer to it probably a few more times before the afternoon is over.
I Corinthians 15:1b-2a
“…I declare unto you the gospel (singular – exclusive) which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; (by faith) 2. By which also ye are saved,….”Now plain English! It’s this Gospel that saves people and nothing but! I’ve got people in this room who know what I’m talking about. You went years thinking you were saved and you’d never heard this Gospel, but the minute you hear it, then you suddenly realize, that wasn’t what I believed. But the moment you believe in your heart THIS Gospel then God moves in and you’re a different person.
You don’t have to grovel in repentance. And you don’t have to go down an aisle. You don’t have to get baptized. You don’t have to speak in tongues. You don’t have to give ten percent of your money. YOU JUST BELIEVE THE GOSPEL. And then God will take care of all these other things.
I Corinthians 15:2-3a
“By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. (in other words, you’ve got to understand this simple Gospel. And here it comes) 3. For I delivered unto you.…”
Why does he use the pronoun ‘I’? Because it began with Paul. It was part of his revelation of the mysteries that had been kept secret since the Ages began.
I Corinthians 15:3a
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received,.…” From where? From the ascended Lord in Heaven! That’s what Paul is always referring to, the revelations that he received from the Ascended Lord. Now that’s because it was after the work of the cross had been finished. Peter and the Eleven couldn’t hear things like that because they were in front of the cross. But now on this side of the cross, it’s the revelations that God has given to this Apostle of Grace.
I Corinthians 15:3b-4
“…that which I also received, (here it comes) how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (it had been foretold) 4. And that he was buried, (He was really dead. He was in the tomb three days and three nights.) and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” The Old Testament spoke of all of this, but in such veiled language nobody knew what it was talking about. And that’s why Peter, as we saw in our program several month’s back, said the Old Testament prophets did what? “They searched diligently.”They knew there was something that they weren’t catching. But it was in such veiled language, God didn’t intend them to. But when He revealed it to this Apostle, it was as plain as the noonday sun that salvation would now be based on believing that Christ died, was buried and rose from the dead. That’s Paul’s Gospel!
All right, while we’re in Corinthians, just back up a few pages to Romans chapter 2. Now for those of you who have been listening to me for years and years, you’re going to say, “Well isn’t he going to ever get off this track?” No! Because today we’re going to have a whole bunch of new people that have never heard this before. We had the sweetest letter day before yesterday. A lady from Florida wrote, and said, “I’m 92 years old. Been in church all my life. I’ve learned more the last six-months than in the previous 91 years.”
We hear that over and over, so we have to keep repeating it for the benefit of those who are just now hearing it for the first time. For those of you who have heard it now for ten, fifteen years, just feast on it like you do plain old “meat and potatoes.” Do you ever get tired of that? No.
We’ve got a couple of ladies – a mother and daughter that are at almost every seminar wherever we are. I don’t care whether it’s Ohio, Carolina, Indiana, Minnesota – there they are. And I asked the mother of the two here I think last fall in Minnesota, I said, “Mary, don’t you get tired of hearing me say basically the same thing?” She said, “Do you get tired of meat and potatoes?” Well, she asked the wrong guy that! Never! So we’re going to keep repeating these things for the benefit of new listeners. Here Paul writes:
“In the day (judgment day) when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ (He’s going to be the judge at the Great White Throne, but what will be mankind’s plumbline?) according to my gospel.”
Do you see that? I dare say that the vast majority of the people in Christendom don’t know this verse is in the Bible. And if they do they sure won’t admit it. But read it again. “In the day (at judgment day, when the lost will come before Jesus Christ the Judge) and he will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” That’s why I went to I Corinthians 15:1-4 a few minutes ago so everybody knows without a shadow of a doubt what Paul means when he says, “My Gospel? That Christ died for you. He was buried and He arose from the dead the third day!” That’s what we must believe in our hearts to get to heaven.
I just read an interesting article in one of our major news magazines. And the guy was pointing out this very thing – how many masses of Christendom believe that Christ died. But they don’t believe that He rose from the dead. But they claim to be born again. And he says, Are they? And he made the same point that I have over the years, how many people are basing their salvation on the fact that they went forward to “take Jesus into their hearts.”
Now that’s not the Gospel. And he made the same point. That doesn’t even touch the Gospel of salvation! It’s a result of it! But that’s not the Gospel. Jerry asked me a question a few years ago. He’d been to a funeral of a dear lady that he’d known all his life. And he was quite sure that she’d never heard “this Gospel” and Jerry, as good hearted as he is, said, “Les do you suppose God will bend the rules just a little bit and let that poor lady in?” Well, knowing Jerry that was a logical question.
But will He? I don’t think so. God is absolute! He’s laid it out in His Word just as plain as day and mankind is not going to tweak His nose like a little kid does on the lap of Santa Claus. It’s not going to happen. And that’s why I feel duty bound to just keep hammering away at this very thing – you have to be saved by believing Paul’s Gospel. Nothing less. Nothing more.
Okay, now I can come back to Galatians chapter 2 and at that Jerusalem counsel in 52 AD. Now use a little arithmetic. Pentecost was 29 AD. Paul begins his ministry at about 40 AD, so here we are 10-12 years after Paul has been out there amongst the Gentile Roman Empire establishing these little Gentile churches. But the Judaisers had been undermining all these folks with the demand for legalism. Circumcision. Keeping the Commandments. And Paul is now confronting the folks in Jerusalem.
“But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (now I’m sure that that’s a side reference to the Twelve) (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepts no man’s person)” In other words, just because they were one of the Twelve, that didn’t cut any extra mustard with God. What God looks at is the heart.
“…for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:” In other words, when they started comparing their theology, and in their discourse (their arguing) when the Twelve suddenly realized that they could not add one Biblical truth to Paul’s revelation. But on the other hand, see?
“But contrariwise, when they saw (and suddenly realized) that the gospel of the uncircumcision (the Gospel of the Gentile, the Gospel of Grace) was committed unto me, (now I do this for emphasis, he’s making a comparison here…that as the gospel of the Gentile under Grace was revealed to Paul, even) as the gospel of the circumcision (which is the Gospel of the Kingdom as Jesus called it in the Gospels) was unto Peter.”
Now that’s why people are beginning to see my ministry. They’re seeing the difference between Israel and the Gentile church. They’re seeing the difference between the Kingdom economy and the Body of Christ. They’re beginning to see the difference between Peter’s Apostleship and Paul’s. And it just thrills us to see that people are finally seeing it! It’s not gobbledy-gook. I’m not twisting. I’m just leaving everything exactly as it sits. No interpretation to it whatsoever. And so as the Gospel of the Uncircumcision (Gentiles) was committed to Paul, the Gospel of the Circumcision (Israel and the Jew) was committed to Peter.
Now this is all Holy Spirit inspired. Every word that Paul wrote is just as much the Word of God as what Moses wrote in the Torah. Or what the others wrote in the Gospels. This is ALL the inspired Word of God.
“(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, (Israel. There’s no Gentiles in the ‘Circumcision.’ That’s Israel) the same (God) was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)” See that constant separating? That’s what Paul meant when he said, “rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” What’s given for Israel is Israel’s. What’s given to the Church is ours. Now granted both can learn from some of these things. We can learn from that which was written to Israel and I’m sure Jews can learn from what’s written to us, but they were still written to two totally different groups of people.
All right, now read on. Verse 9. Here’s the verse that I always use now to back up my teaching that these little Jewish epistles in the back of our New Testament are all directed to Israel, because of this agreement. And an agreement is an agreement between two gentlemen. And if one of them breaks it, then it’s no longer a ‘gentlemen’s agreement.’ And these men were men of integrity. I cannot see Peter, James and John making this kind of a deal with Paul and then turn around and even by the Holy Spirit’s leading, write to the Gentile world; it just cannot happen.
“When James, Cephas, (Peter) and John, who seemed to be pillars, (and they were at one time, of the Jerusalem Church) perceived (or understood) the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas (now here it comes, watch it. Don’t just gloss over it) the right hands of fellowship; (they shook hands) that we (Paul and Barnabas) should go unto to the heathen (the Gentiles, the uncircumcised) and they (James, Peter, and John) unto to the circumcision.” Israel. The Jew. Now can you make it any plainer? I don’t see how anybody can. It was a gentlemen’s agreement. And James and Peter and John said, “Okay Paul, you win. We are now understanding, that you are God’s delegated Apostle for the Gentile (Romans 11:13) and we are to keep our business with Israel.”
You know I’ve got all kinds of proof back in the book of Acts that those twelve men never attempted to go into the Gentile world. My favorite is in the house of Cornelius. My, under ordinary circumstances, when Peter saw that all of a sudden God was going to save Gentiles like He did those several Romans in the house of Cornelius, he shouldn’t have even bothered to go back to Jerusalem. He should have just sent a messenger boy back to Jerusalem and said, “Hey fellows, God is saving Gentiles! I’m out of here. You won’t see me for a while.”
But does he? No. He goes right back to Jerusalem. Takes a kick in the seat of the pants for having gone into the house of a bunch of Gentiles and stays in Jerusalem! Now that’s what the Book makes so plain. And yet the vast majority of Christendom refuses to see it. Well, I’ll keep banging away at it and banging away at it as our letters keep coming in saying, “I’m finally seeing it for the first time. I’m seeing it that God is sending Paul to the Gentiles with the Gospel of Grace, calling out for the Body of Christ.” Peter and the others are still maintaining the hope of Israel, which of course, that gate’s going to drop, and did in 70 AD, because Israel refuses to believe it.
Well anyway, I’ve only got a minute left. Didn’t expect to spend the whole half-hour on that but it’s so easy to do when you get into the Gospel of salvation! All right, back to I John for a moment then. I John chapter 5 and again we’ll just read those first three verses and, as I read, I want you (as well as all of you out in our television audience) to see if there’s any language in here that smacks of Paul, and his message of faith in the death, burial, and resurrection for salvation. And I’ll warn you ahead of time. You’re not going to find it. But you can look.
I John 5:1-3
“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: (Not a word about the cross. Not a word about the shed blood. Not a word about the resurrection.) and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
Anything about the cross? Do you see a word in there that He died for you and that He rose from the dead? I don’t. And you know what, you can go back to James 1:1 and go all the way through Jude and you won’t find it. Because these are Jewish writers and they are writing under the Jewish system of Law and the Kingdom Gospel and they have no understanding of Paul’s revelations of this Gospel of the Grace of God.