Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 58
CALLING GOD A LIAR – PART 2
I John 5:8–18
Okay, it’s good to have everybody back after a coffee break and we’re ready to jump right back in where we left off. That’ll be in I John chapter 5. And for those of you joining us on television, I just have to take a minute to thank you from the depths of our heart, we just came up with our yearend report and my, the Lord has been good! We have been so blessed. And we’ve been taking on more stations and everything and it’s because of you folks who are willing to give. You know I never ask for a dime. We’re not underwritten. People can’t understand it. I just had a call a while back, “Just where do you get money to be on television?” And the answer is always the same. “From God’s people.” My, how faithful you are.
Okay, now like we said at the beginning of the last program, we are teaching these little Jewish epistles from that perspective that they were written to Jewish believers, in view of the horrors of the Tribulation just out in front of them and so these are epistles to encourage them. And the language is almost identical with that of Christ’s earthly ministry and the four gospels account and the early chapters of Acts.
Salvation for these Jewish believers was by simply believing – plus of course, all the rest of the Judaism requirement – but the Jewish believers had believed for salvation that Jesus was the Christ. Period. And as I’ve said over and over while we’ve been teaching these, you don’t see one word about salvation through faith in His death, burial and resurrection. It’s only believing who Jesus is and was. No mention of the Body of Christ. No Age of Grace language in any of this that we see in Paul’s epistles. That was an unknown term to these Jewish believers.
All right, so now we come into I John chapter 5 and verse 10 where we ended our last program, and it’s the same kind of language as John’s gospel account.
I John 5:10a
“He that believeth on the Son of God (that’s a perfect parallel with John 3:16) hath the witness in himself: (but the other side of the coin, the flipside) he that believeth not God hath made him (God) a liar; “
Now that’s the way that has to be read. “He that believeth not God makes God a liar.” Now, just stop and think a minute. If I were to tell you something that I know is as truthful as truthful can possibly be, and you turn right around and tell me, “I don’t believe it.” What could you just as well call me? A liar. You would just simply say, “Les, you’re a liar.” Well, that’s what every unbeliever is doing with the Almighty God. And God cannot lie! Consequently it is the one and only sin that will put men and women into the Lake of Fire. Unbelief! Calling God a liar.
Now there is one primary example that is used all through Scripture to drive home the point of what happens when mankind will not believe God. And it’s Kadesh-barnea. All right, when Israel had just received the Temple worship, in the form of the little tent, and they’ve now got the priesthood and they’re ready for the Promised Land. But, even before they get out of Egypt, this is what God promises them concerning the future time of going to the Promised Land.
Now you know as we’ve been studying Isaiah in one of our Oklahoma classes and you know I even get to the place myself where I just love to just hammer home some things, for my own benefit because that’s the only way we retain it. See, that’s what brain washers do. They just hammer something home so that it never can slip out again. All right, so I’m hammering home in the book of Isaiah – in fact I’ve got some of my Tahlequah people here – that all through the book you have the promises of God, but those promises all concern the future and so then we call it what? Prophecy. Promises and prophecy.
All right, here’s a good example back here in Exodus now chapter 23. They’re going to be heading for the Promised Land that was promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob some 400 years earlier. All right now look what God says to Moses, Exodus chapter 23, let’s start at verse 20.
“Behold, I send an Angel (now that’s capitalized so it’s the Angel of the LORD, which is God the Son) before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have (what?) prepared.”
God’s gotten it all ready! And you know how long He’s been working on it? Four hundred years! That’s a long time to get some real estate ready, isn’t it? Now that’s the way I like to look at Glory, my goodness, God is working in all eternity to get Heaven prepared for you and I. No wonder it’s going to be glorious!
But, all right, here’s God is telling Moses that they’re getting ready to go to the place that He has been preparing for them for the last 400 years. All right, read on, verse 21.
“Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. (That is the Angel of the Lord.) 22. But, if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thy enemies, and an adversary unto thy adversaries. 23. For mine Angel…”
Capitalized again, the Angel of the Lord. And Jacob puts another definition on it in Genesis 48 – “The Angel of the LORD who redeemed me.” How many Redeemers in Scripture? One! So it has to be the Son of God that is the Redeemer, the Angel.
“…shall go before me to bring thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.”
In other words, God’s going to move them out with hornets. Then the voice of warning,
“Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images. 25. And ye shall serve the LORD your God, (that is when they would get into the Promised Land now, don’t forget what we’re talking about) and he shall bless thy bread and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee; 26. There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: The number of thy days I will fulfil.”
Now what are all these? Promises. Right now? No. A little ways out into the future, so then it becomes a what? Prophecy. Promise and prophecy.
“I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, I will make all thy enemies turn their backs to thee.”
Now you don’t fight with your back to the enemy, or you’re running. Right? All right, so that’s where he’s got the Canaanite tribe with their back to the Israelites, they’re running. How’s he going to get them to run? The next verse. God says:
“And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite and the Hittite, from before thee. 29. I will not drive them out from before thee in one year ; lest the land become desolate,…”
In other words, He’s not going to drive them out so fast that before the Jews have time to come in and become settled and start taking over the farmland and the vineyards and the pastures and everything, He’s going to do it slow enough so that nothing falls out of production. Nothing. The land is just going to remain in production. What a promise!
“By little and little I will drive them out before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.”
What a promise! God’s been working 400 years to get this ready, well who’s been His workmen? The Canaanites! The Canaanites are building, you know, they thought for themselves. No they weren’t building it for themselves, in God’s providence they were getting it ready for the Jews. So it’s prophecy. It’s a promise. Verse 31.
“And I will set thy bounds (or your borders) from the Red Sea even to the sea of the Philistines, (which is the Mediterranean) and from the desert to the river: (that is the River Euphrates) for I will (there’s the promise) delivery thee inhabitants (there’s the prophecy) into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee. 32. Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. 33. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods it would surely be a snare unto thee”
All right, now there’s the promises and the prophecies spoken by God Himself. All right, now let’s just go ahead a little way to Numbers. Numbers chapter 13, now God is ready to bring the prophecy into fulfillment. He’s got them at the gateway to Canaan, Kadesh-barnea. Everything is ready. They’ve now got the Tabernacle. They’ve got the priesthood. Everything is ready for the Nation to go in and enjoy the Sabbath rest. It would be light work, it would be tremendous production, it would literally be almost Heaven on earth. That’s the promise and now the prophecy is ready to unfold.
Now come into chapter 13 and let’s just drop in at verse 27. And I’ve always made the point you know that sending in the spies was not God’s idea, that was Israel’s. God said, “go in and take it.” But Israel said, “oh, let’s first send spies.” Well that was their first step down in unbelief. But God permits it. You know God has a directive will, I think, and He has a permissive will. Sad to say, most of us end up in the permissive. But, the directive will was “go on in.” The permissive will was “okay, send in your spies.” So here they come.
“And they (the spies) told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.”
And you all have seen pictures of them carrying the grapes and so forth.
“Nevertheless, the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. (a giant type people.) 29. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: the Hittites, the Jebusites, the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.”
Well that didn’t surprise God! He knew where they were and He told the Jews that He’d drive them out. Now verse 30.
“And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. 31. But, the men that went up him said, we be not able to go up against the people: for they are stronger than we. 32. And they brought up an evil report of the land, which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; (what a falsehood.) and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature. 33. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which came from the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”
What are they forgetting? The promises of God! They are spurning the Word of God. Now when you spurn the Word of God, what are you guilty of ? Unbelief. Unbelief! All right, next chapter just for a little bit before we move on.
“And all the congregation (the whole Nation of Israel) lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. 2. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses, and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, “Would to God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God that we had died in the wilderness! 3. And wherefore hath the LORD brought us into this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey?”
What have they forgotten? What God said! Unbelief. And this experience of unbelief is referred to all the way up through Scripture. I think it’s probably referred to as often as any one thing that I can think of, but we’ll just come all the way up to Hebrews chapter 3 now. The horrors of unbelief. And what makes it so horrific, is that when mankind says, I don’t believe what God said, they’re calling Him a liar! The Righteous, Holy, Majesty of the Godhead, that cannot lie and mankind has the voracity to say, ‘you lied.’ No, God can’t lie.
God meant it when He said, “I’ll drive them out with hornets” They wouldn’t have lost a drop of blood. They could have had that tremendous land of production, if they would have just gone in taking God at His Word by faith. But instead – unbelief. All right, Hebrews chapter 3, this is one of the final places that this is referred to. Let’s drop in at verse 8.
“Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, (that’s at Kadesh-barnea) in the day of temptation (or testing) in the wilderness: 9. When your fathers (now remember Hebrews is written to Hebrews, so this is a reference to Israel) tempted me, and proved me, and saw my works for forty years.”
In other words, as a result of their turning away from Canaan, they went back into the wilderness you remember for forty years, until they all died like flies.
“Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. (They couldn’t believe what He said.) 11. So (God says) I sware in my wrath, (because of their unbelief) They shall not enter into my rest.”
In other words God says, “If they can’t believe me, they’re not going to enjoy the fruits of 400 years of preparation.” Verse 12.
“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of (what?) unbelief,…” The most vile sin I think that a man can commit against our Holy, Creator God – to call Him a liar. And that’s what we do when we don’t believe. All right, read on, verse 12 again.
“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. (and that’s the masses. They refuse to believe what God has said) 13. But, exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; (while you still have this opportunity) lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end; 15. While it is said, To day if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16. For some, when they had heard, did provoke; howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17. But with whom was he (that is God) grieved forty years? (while they died in result of their unbelief?) was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?
Now I have to stop a minute. What horrible thing took place in Israel’s history probably a matter of weeks before Kadesh-barnea? The Golden Calf. The Golden Calf, and it wasn’t just a golden calf, it was their behavior. What did they do? They went into gross pagan religious rites, including all the immorality that was associated with it and yes, I think God put to death something like twenty-one or twenty-two thousand of them in judgment, but nevertheless, the Nation as a whole survived all that. And they come up to Kadesh-barnea. But God isn’t talking about the Golden Calf and the horrors around it. What’s He talking about? That they couldn’t believe to go in and take Canaan. Isn’t that something?
Now I can understand where He would have controversy with the people over their laxness and their immorality and their going back in to pagan worship of a golden calf, but no, God’s put that behind them. He’s not bringing that up to them. That’s gone. But now what are they guilty of? Pure unbelief. I don’t care God if you did say it, we can’t do it.
“And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, (which was the Promised Land) but to them that (committed adultery? To them that worshipped the calf? To them that did this or that or any other thing? No. To them that what?) believed not?”
Oh it’s awful! I can’t make it strong enough that when mankind calls God a liar, he is opening the gates of hellfire. Now that’s all there is to it. And it’s so simple to believe, knowing that with God nothing is impossible. But oh, we’re all human, we’re so prone to unbelief, so then verse 19 says it all.
“So they could not enter in (that is to the Land of Promise, which is of course a picture of Heaven itself in symbolism) because of (what?) unbelief.”
And so it will ever be. You cannot attain eternal life anything short of faith and faith alone! Today that eternal life is obtained, by simply believing in your heart for salvation that Jesus died for your sins, was buried and rose again. Plus Nothing! (I Corinthians 15:1-4)
All right, now let’s come back to I John, chapter 5 again, now verse 11.
I John 5:11
“And this is the record, (set in stone) that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”
Now as I was preparing for this, the last few days, I’ve been trying to find how, for comparison’s sake, Paul refers to this whole idea that when we’re saved by Grace, we too, step into an eternal life existence. In other words, we will never, never die. Well, I can’t find the exact language as it is here in John’s little epistle but certainly we have all of the symbolic statements that tell us the same thing from Paul’s epistles.
I’m going to bring you back a moment to Romans chapter 8. Romans chapter 8 just like I told you several weeks ago, Paul never uses the term “born again.” He just does not say, “born again” in so many words, but the implication is that when we’re saved, we have a new birth, we are “born from above” as he says here in Romans 8 and we become the children of God by virtue of a new birth. But he doesn’t use the exact language. Well the same way with eternal life. I can’t find where Paul says that we step into eternal life. But all at all these references that mean the same thing.
“The Spirit (the Holy Spirit) itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are (not hope to be, but rather we are) the children (or here’s the term, the born ones) of God:”
That’s what the Greek really means, that we are the “born ones” of God, we’re born from above.
“And if children, (if we’re born from above) then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
Now verse 18, what a promise from the pen of the Apostle Paul for us Grace Age believers!
“For I reckon that the suffering of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
Now you want to remember there was far more persecution in Paul’s day than what you and I can imagine here in America. Now there are other areas of the world, of course they know what he’s talking about, but so far we’ve been blessed in America that we’ve
been avoiding persecution. The Glory that’s awaiting us! And then he goes on to give us the picture of what’s going to take place when we finally receive our new resurrected body.
All right, now let’s stay in Romans chapter 8 and come on over to verse 35. Goodness, our time’s just about gone. Now I’ve got to hurry. Now remember what I’m trying to say, that Paul is showing us without saying it just like John did that we have eternal life, yet we do. All right, verse 35.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or sword? 36. As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter, (the world thinks nothing of us. You know that.) 37. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors though him that loved us. 38. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. (Nothing! Nothing!) 39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other of creation, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
We are secure for all eternity! We’re ‘in Christ. Now if I had time I wanted to go to Colossians chapter 3 where he says, we’re what? “We’re hid in Christ in God.” Who can touch us? Nobody!