Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 57
Water and Blood – Part 2
I John 5:1-7
Okay, we’re going to go right back into I John chapter 5, and we’ll probably pick up verses 3 and 4 somewhere in there. For those of you again joining us on television, we want to thank you. We just can’t get over how you support us, not only with your prayers but with your financial help. We appreciate your letters. We know there are a lot of folks out there that are hurting. And we appreciate your prayer requests and the knowledge that you’re praying for us as well.
For those of you who don’t know, we’re just an informal Bible study and we’re just going to keep on going verse-by-verse and I don’t teach with any denominational slant, or any heavy hand of trying to please somebody. We have been fortunate so far. We do not get a lot of flack. And if I do, why there’s not much I can do about it. Okay, I John chapter 5 verse 3.
I John 5:3
“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” Now we can certainly agree with that. God never lays something on us that is unbearable or anything like that but I’m going to give you another crutch to lean on – that this is still all part and parcel of the Jewish program; these are Jewish believers to whom James and Peter and John are writing. Come back with me to Matthew 19 verse 16. And remember what you just read, as this is the whole idea of teaching – I’ve got to keep your mind on what we’re talking about. John writes back there that “we keep His commandments.”
Now look what Jesus speaks in His earthly ministry, which is under the same Gospel of the Kingdom that John is writing from. This is still to Israel under the Law. Remember the Temple is operating, and nobody has ever been told to stop Temple worship, or to stop the sacrifices. That’s all continuing as it has been from way back in the Old Testament. Remember the Four Gospels are just an extension of the Old Testament to fulfill the prophecies concerning Christ that were foretold by the Old Testament prophets.
“And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good master, what good things shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17. And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: (that I can’t quite comprehend, why Jesus said that. I don’t have the answer for it. But this part I can) but (Jesus said) if thou wilt enter into life, (that is eternal life, what was it?) keep the commandments.”
Keep the Law. Now that’s as plain as English can get it. There’s no strings attached. It’s just, “keep the Law.” And that’s what every good Jew understood. And Jesus didn’t change any of that for the Jew. Keep the Commandments.
All right, now come back to John’s little letter again and we’re under that same set of circumstances – that we’re dealing with Jews who have been saved by believing that Jesus of Nazareth was that Promised Messiah. And that He was now getting ready to come back and set up His Kingdom. You know I read an interesting little anecdote some place (you know I read a lot. I’ve got three or four news magazines). But somebody had suggested to Time Magazine (I think) that they put Muhammad and Jesus Christ as the men of the year. And Time Magazine’s response was, “We never put dead people on the cover – although (he says) the one is coming back.” That surprised me. So anyway, sometimes things surprise you!
But here we have these Jews now believing for salvation, that Jesus was Who He said He was. They’re trusting that “Name” of Jesus as their Messiah and they’re getting ready for the coming Tribulation; but following that they’d have the Kingdom and all the glories of it. And it was going to be worth the suffering. All right, so now John, right along with James and Peter, is admonishing these Jewish believers on how to enhance their belief system. All right, now then verse 4.
I John 5:4a
“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world:.…”
Now I went back into my Strong’s concordance the other night, because I had something “ringing” up here. Paul never uses the word “overcome” like Peter, James and John do. And when you get into Revelation and the church letters, you see it over and over and over. “He that overcometh. He that overcometh.” Paul doesn’t use the word. Now he does use it once – that through our Christian experience we can overcome the temptations of the world. But he never uses it in the same light that these Jewish writers use it. And so here it is again, that if this Jew is born of God by virtue of having believed Who Jesus of Nazareth really was, he would be an overcomer. And you can just take your own concordance tonight or whenever, and just check me out, that all through these Jewish writings; it’s a rather common word. Overcome. Look at verse 4 again.
I John 5:4
“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
Now here’s where I always have to stop and repeat and repeat and repeat. You have to remember that from the very onset of the human experience, the only way to be restored into fellowship with God, or to receive His cloak of righteousness was by what? Faith. It’s always been the key. You take Hebrews chapter 11, goes all the way back to Abel, “by faith he offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.” Noah, “by faith, when he was told of the deluge to come, built the Ark.” Abraham, “by faith when he was told to leave Ur. He left!.” Israel, “by faith went through the Red Sea.”
And so it’s always been by faith. But, there have been other strings attached. It wasn’t like it for us today – Faith plus Nothing! And then let God do all the ‘doing.’ Before the Church Age, they had to enter in by faith and then ‘do’ what was required.
Now this whole concept as we saw with the rich young ruler in Matthew 19, “what must I do.” See that was typical Jewish language as well. Come all the way back with me to Exodus 19 where I can find one of them. I just want you to see how that from day one the Nation of Israel has been stuck on that premise – what do we have to do? And that was the language of the rich young ruler. “Good Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said, “Keep the Commandments.” Well that was appropriate in that dispensation or administration. All right, but now look in Exodus. They’ve just come out of Egypt, and they’re gathered around Mount Sinai.
“And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and he laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. (Now watch it.) 8. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will (what?) do. (we’ll do it! You just tell us and we’ll do it. Little did they know that that was impossible) And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.”
And of course, the Lord was merciful enough to accept that promise, knowing that they would never do it. All right, now then, let’s flip once again to I John chapter 5, now verse 5. Now here get ready for a Pauline run again. I’m going to take you back because I want you to see constantly the comparison now. Here we have John the Apostle who wrote John’s Gospel, who wrote the book of Revelation, and all of that is tied to what we saw in the last program, it was in that agreement that James and Peter and John would continue only with the Nation of Israel and so all their writings are directed to the Nation of Israel, and the Scriptures never showed they ever broke that agreement with Paul and Barnabas.
Now we can glean from it their writings. You know I love to teach Revelation. There’s a lot of interesting things. But I’ll never teach it as Church doctrine. It’s Israel’s future. All right, but now look at this verse. Verse 5.
I John 5:5a
“Who is he that overcometh the world,….” Now remember, what is the word ‘overcometh’ implying back here in I John? A salvation experience. To overcome was to gain salvation. All right, so verse 5 again.
I John 5:5
“Who is he that overcometh the world, (who gains salvation?) but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” No other strings attached. Now that’s why in the last program I started off the afternoon with Paul’s Gospel. This isn’t Paul’s Gospel, but rather the Kingdom Gospel for Israel. Now this is the very first part of it. Naturally it’s implied, when Paul writes in I Corinthians that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures. Who was Christ? The Son of God. Absolutely. That’s implied. That’s a given. But you see, where John stops Paul’s Gospel keeps on going. It’s not enough today to believe just Who Jesus was, and is. We now have to look at the finished work of the cross.
And again like I said in the last program – recently I was reading a several step process of salvation – it never once mentioned the cross. Never mentioned His resurrection. Never mentioned His shed blood. Well, like I said last program, we hope that God is merciful and will somehow be able to see that they’ve got faith enough to believe. But I’m not going to sit here and say they will. Because I think God is absolute and when He says we have to believe that Christ died and rose from the dead, I think that’s what we have to believe. And you can’t take away from it. You can’t add to it.
All right, but read it again, and you won’t see any of that I mentioned, and what is in Paul’s Gospel for the Church.
I John 5:5
“Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”
Now we did this just a couple of programs ago, but I’m going to do it again because I want you folks out there in our television audience to know how all of this fits so perfectly if you leave it where it belongs and don’t try and mix it all up and do what most of Christendom does. They put the whole Word of God into a symbolic blender, they turn it up on high. They make a total mush of it all. And then they pick out what they like. And then they wonder why people get spiritually sick to their stomach.
In fact I read a book a couple years ago, written by a fellow over here in Oklahoma City. “Why So Many Churches?” Well that was the answer, because Christendom has totally mixed up all the Scriptures. Picked here and picked there. One denomination says I can use this verse and I can use that verse. I can’t use that one. Well, the other denomination comes along and says but that’s the one I lean on. Well, you can just see how it just causes all these various interpretations – whereas if they would just simply divide it as I hope to do, there’s not a lot of room for argument. It’s as plain as you can get it – that it’s not by works. (Romans 4:5) It’s not by doing. It’s by believing that Christ has done it all.
But that’s not the way it always was. That didn’t start until Paul was revealed all the mysteries and truths by the risen Lord. In fact, as I’ve shared with you before on several occasions, when Paul tells us, “To rightly divide the Word,” Paul is telling us to separate the epistles he wrote from the rest of the Book. And when you do that and don’t mix and match with other Scriptures, then you’ve got it right – then there really can just be one True church, “The Body of Christ.”
All right, come back with me again. Like I said, we did it here a few programs back, but we’re going to do it quickly again. Matthew 16, and I’ll have to do it every time I see that Peter, James and John merely speak of believing Who Jesus was. Because that’s exactly what Peter says. Matthew 16. My, some of you should be able to do this in your sleep.
Matthew 16 starting at verse 13; the end of Christ’s earthly ministry up there in northern Israel, north of Galilee, Caesarea Philippi, way up at the headwaters of the Jordan. And at that point He says to the Disciples:
“…Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14. And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”
Now, again, can you imagine how disappointed the Lord would be (except that He was God, He knew that this is the way it would be, but) from His human standpoint, how disappointing, that after three years of miracles and signs and wonders they should have all known Who He was. They had the Scriptures; they had the Old Testament. They should have known that this was the promised Messiah. But instead of that, look at the answers. “Oh, some think you’re John the Baptist.” Well, John the Baptist had been beheaded a long time ago. “Some think you’re one of the prophets.” They, too, had been dead for a long time. “Some think you’re Jeremiah or Elijah.” Ridiculous! So then look at verse 15.
“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?” Do you guys know any better? All right, then Peter answers. Now watch how this fits perfectly with what we just read in I John – word for word.
“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Identical! Now why can’t people see that? I can’t comprehend it when it’s so plain that Peter says the very same thing in Christ’s earthly ministry that John is now repeating to these Jewish believers back there in his little epistle. But we’re finding so many don’t have a clue – the difference between the Gospel of the Kingdom they preached to the Nation of Israel, and the Gospel of Grace that Paul preached to us.
Now if it was all mixed up in different languages, then I could understand. But when it’s plain English. The same words. “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Now I trust you all know what the Christ was. That was the Messiah. The Promised One, out of the Old Testament promises. The Son of David Who would come and rule and be King over all the earth. That’s what they were looking for. All right, come on over to John’s Gospel, chapter 11, and again the setting. Lazarus has died (the brother of the two sisters) – a household where Jesus no doubt spent a lot of time. He loved Mary and Martha and Lazarus. But He had purposely left. He had purposely permitted Lazarus to die because He knew that He was going to raise him from the dead as another one of His miracles. But, Martha doesn’t know that. And so she’s rather upset. Verse 21, if you wonder where I get that idea. Can’t you just hear her?
“Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”
You see that? “Why weren’t you here? Why were you someplace else?” But he died. Well, Jesus of course says, that it was for a purpose. All right, now verse 22, but Martha says:
“But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. (she knew that Jesus had the power. She knew Who He was.) 23. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”
Well does He say anything about the cross? Of course not. Hasn’t happened yet. They had no idea He was going to be crucified. All right, but now continue on. When He says, “Do you believe this?” Now here’s her answer, and again, almost word for word with Peter and I John.
“She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.” Now a little different wording but the same words. “I believe thou art the Christ the Son of the Living God.” And again Jesus gives His stamp of approval.
All right, I can go on, but that’s probably sufficient for now, but you see that’s the whole idea of the Jews recognizing Him. Okay, I’ve got another one. Acts chapter 3. You people who want to share these things, practice on somebody. Just sit down and go through these verses so that you can show it. My, we had the sweetest letter again yesterday. And Laura’s already told us this morning, she thinks it ought to be in our newsletter. We’ll delete the personal part, but here this 38 year-old young mother – in fact a lot of you have met her – she and the family were here at taping a while back, and she’s decrying the fact, “Why didn’t anybody ever share the Gospel of salvation with her?’ But no one did. And she was pretty sure that some of her friends should have known. And what a letter of condemnation to the average Christian, who never, never even try to share their faith. But nevertheless, evidently the Lord knew I was ready and that’s when she happened to catch my program and within a matter of one or two programs that gal was saved and out of her religious background and, my, what an instrument she’s become. But, what a sad commentary that here she’d reached the age of 38 and not one of her friends whom she feels were probably believers, ever approached her about the subject. And I imagine that’s typical all across America. What a sad commentary.
Well, I’ve always blamed it on the fact that most believers are so ill-equipped; they are so basically ignorant of the Scriptures that they’re afraid to say anything. And they’re afraid they’ll get hooked with a question they can’t answer. So my whole idea is – teach and teach and teach. Repeat and repeat and repeat. So that you’ll be comfortable sharing these things.
You know I’ve always used the simple old illustration. If there’s something wrong with your car and you know there’s something wrong but you really can’t figure it out on your own, but you’ve got a good friend who is a tremendous mechanic – well, as a friend, you could go and ask that guy “What’s the matter with my car?” Would he shrink back and shut up, ashamed of the fact that he was a mechanic? No! He’s going to lay it out, everything he knows and he’s going to be proud of the fact that he can tell you what’s wrong. Now that’s the way we believers have to be. We have to be ready to show people from the Word. Not from what we ‘think.’ Doesn’t make a nickel’s worth of difference what I think or you think or anybody else thinks. What does the Book say? That’s what counts.
All right, now here it is in Acts chapter 3, and Peter has just healed the lame man – a fellow who laid at the Temple gate all during Christ’s earthly ministry and Jesus didn’t heal him. But now Peter, James and John going up to the Temple, still in Temple worship, they go at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer, and this fellow gets their attention and you know the account. They heal him. And he’s jumping and leaping for joy. All right, all the Jews now, here it is just a few weeks after Christ’s earthly ministry, are full of consternation. What did you guys do to raise this lame man? And, of course, that upset Peter – why should they be so full of consternation that they had healed the lame man. And so now he comes on and he explains; and let’s just jump in at verse 12:
“And when Peter saw it, (that is the great wondering of the Jews up there in verse 11) he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our power or holiness we had made this man to walk? 13. The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, (see how Jewish this is?) hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. 14. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; 15. And killed the Prince of life, (now remember this is Peter speaking) whom God hath raised from the dead; (not for your salvation, but to fulfill the promises that He could still be the King. All right) whereof we are witnesses.”
Now here comes the whole crux of the afternoon, on what basis was this man healed?
“And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong,.…” Not a word about the cross. Not a word about the shed blood. Not a word about the Body of Christ. Not a word about the indwelling Holy Spirit. This is all Jewish. And so you don’t bring Church language in here. You fly in the face of Scripture when you do. But all this man believed was that this Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God, the Messiah of Israel. And on that basis Peter was able to heal him. But what I wanted you to see was, what did he place his faith in? Not a death, burial and resurrection. He placed his faith in the “name of Jesus of Nazareth.”
All right, now let me bring you back to John’s Gospel chapter 3. And in the words of the Lord Jesus Himself, see if that doesn’t fit the same scenario. And, again, whenever you read these verses, always be looking – is there anything about this work of the cross that we must believe for our salvation during this age of Grace? Is there anything about the death, burial and resurrection? Is there anything concerning His shed blood for our price of redemption? No. But rather it’s just to prove it Who Jesus really was and that’s all the Nation of Israel had to believe with all their heart for salvation.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” See how it all fits?