Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 3 * BOOK 58
1 JOHN 5:8–18
My goodness, how many folks are telling us for the first time they’re understanding the Bible and they’re enjoying it and simply because they suddenly understand that what is written to Israel is for Israel; what’s written for the Church is for the Church. And even though it’s all under the same God, yet it’s two totally different scenarios. And that’s why there’s so much confusion. Many think the Church is Israel, and Israel is the Church. But if the Word is rightly divided as Paul tells us to do, then just leave the Scriptures where they are. You don’t have to move them around to make them fit.
An easy way to do that is always remember the risen Lord chose Paul to be the Apostle to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13) and gave him the administration or dispensation of Grace from him to us, the Body of Christ. (Ephesians 3:2) So Paul’s epistles are our instructions in this age of Grace for our doctrine, and Christian living in general.
You know I’ve used the illustration over and over and the other day somebody sent me a little booklet where somebody used almost the same kind of an illustration, but I use the one that a fellow came up and used on me one night, years ago. He said, “all my life all they’ve ever done with the Scriptures is throw it into a blender (now this is symbolism, of course) they throw it into a blender, turn it up on high, ladle it out and then we wonder why I get sick to my stomach.”
Well of course, what he is simply saying is that all everybody does is mix everything together. They never sort out the differences, and it gives you Spiritual indigestion. You just can’t handle it. And so this is the whole secret of, I think, our teaching ministry is to show the difference between God’s dealing with Israel through Christ’s ministry and the Twelve, and then sending the other apostle, the Apostle of the Gentiles, the Apostle of Grace, the Apostle Paul to the Gentile world with this glorious Gospel of Grace.
All right, for months now we’ve been here in these little Jewish epistles here at the back of your Bible, so I always point out how Jewish this is and then compare it with what Paul says in our present day. All right, now here’s another good example. We’re in I John chapter 5 verse 11.
I John 5:11
“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”
Well, I don’t have to turn back, you all know John 3:16. That’s back in the Jewish economy remember? John is part and parcel of the four gospels. And like someone just shared with me a minute ago, they shared it with someone, “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.” Well and good. But it there anything pertaining to the cross? Is there anything pertaining to His death, burial and resurrection? No. It’s still the approach to Israel that they had to believe for their salvation who Jesus of Nazareth was. He was the Son of God.
All right, now let’s go back and pick this up in, like we’ve done before, but the Scripture repeats and repeats and repeats and so I’ll do the same thing. Over and over the Scripture will repeat things and they are the Divine author, and if they do it, then certainly I can use that as a reason for doing it as well. Come back again to Matthew 16, because I have to show you that this has been the message from the beginning of Christ’s earthly ministry. As He labors up and down the highways and byways of the little land of Israel, this was the message and His miracles and signs and wonders were proving it – that He was who He said He was.
“When Jesus came into the coast (borders) of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples (the Twelve) saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?’ 14. And they said….”
Now I always have to repeat this. Amazing! That after all the signs and wonders and miracles, all in fulfillment of the Old Testament promises and prophecies, they still didn’t get it. They just didn’t get it. And here’s what they thought.
“…”Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and other, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. 15. He (Jesus) saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16. And Simon Peter answered and said, (here it is now, watch this) Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (who will die for me and be raised from the dead? No. It doesn’t say that!)
Well, when people tell “that Peter preached the same salvation message that Paul did,” you see I have to differ with them, because Peter would have had to include “That Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again,” as we see in Paul’s Gospel of salvation in I Corinthians 15:1-4, and he doesn’t.
All Peter knows is who Jesus was. Just exactly like John says in his epistle. If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, those Jews had eternal life. But I maintain that’s not sufficient today. You don’t get saved by simply believing who Jesus was, you have to go on now to the rest of God’s eternal purposes and that’s what? He died for sins. His blood was shed. He was buried. He arose from the dead, in power and victory and glory and we believe it! And when we believe that in our heart, for our salvation, then God responds by giving us what? Eternal life.
In fact, I said in the last lesson that I couldn’t find eternal life in Paul’s epistles. That’s why I like these breaks, see what I miss these guys at break time straighten me out. And there was one, in I Timothy 6 verse 12 and we’ll look at it after a bit, where Paul does say, “hang on to eternal life.” But here we have the whole scope of the Jewish Gospel of salvation, and that was they were to believe that Jesus was the fulfillment of all the Old Testament promises and that He was that Son of God, the Messiah.
Now again, I always like to use these as much as I can. Come up with me to John’s Gospel chapter 11, and we’re at the death of Lazarus. Now we touched on all these in previous programs, I know that. But we’re merely repeating for emphasis, and let’s just jump up into verse 23 where Martha is complaining that Jesus wasn’t there to heal Lazarus when he was sick. But now in verse 23, Jesus says to Martha:
“…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 whosever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”
Well that’s right in accord with what John has been writing. He doesn’t say anything about faith in His death, burial and resurrection for salvation. Oh, He intimates that He has the power of resurrection but He’s not attaching that to Martha’s faith. But now look at her response.
“She saith unto him, yea Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.” (Period)
Not a word about his death on the cross. Not a word about the power of resurrection. And it wasn’t expected. You know, I’m always making the point and I have to use Scripture to make my point. Come up with me to Romans chapter 10, and this whole idea of faith and believing and trusting is based on what God has said, as we saw in the last program. What did God tell Israel? I’ll drive the Canaanites out. All you have to do is walk in and occupy it. He said it. What was Israel to do? Believe it! But did they? No. And so they were under the anathema of unbelief. Look at what Paul says here in Romans. This is the process.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, (or that Jesus is Lord) and shall believe in thy heart that God hath raised him from the dead, (now I know it doesn’t say that He died, but certainly in order to be raised from the dead, what’s implied? He died. Right?) thou shalt be saved.”
Any strings attached? Not a one! Now here’s why in verse 10.
“For with the heart, (not head knowledge, but rather heart knowledge) man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Now I always say it this way. If you’re saved, you can’t keep it to yourself. You’re going to tell somebody. All right, and that’s all this verse means. I do not see that this says you have to get up in front of a congregation of two-three hundred people and give your testimony. That’s not what it means. It merely means that if you’re truly saved, you’re going to be ready to tell others. Now reading on.
“For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.”
Now you’ve got to remember. Now I’ve got to backtrack a minute. When this Jewish program, of which we’re studying basically now from the little Jewish epistles, when it comes to the place where God finally drops the gate on it because God knows that in a year or two the Temple is going, and that destroys the practitioning of Judaism. The priesthood will disappear. Israel is going to be out of the land, all right, so it stands to reason that God drops the gate on that Jewish plan of salvation, which we call the Gospel of the Kingdom, and that was for their salvation they had to believe who Jesus was.
So, as soon as the gate drops on that, where does that put every Jew? In the same place that we are. There is no difference. A Jew today can be saved, but must be saved on the same basis that we are. He cannot take any shortcuts because he’s a Jew. He does not have any guarantees because he’s a Jew because now in this Age of Grace, there is no difference. And a Jew that’s saved today comes right into the Body of Christ with the rest of us, because Paul writes in Galatians “that in the Body of Christ there is no Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, and so on and so forth, we’re all one.”
“ For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
That is recognizing His death, burial and resurrection remember, and faith in that shall be saved! All right, but now the point I’m making is, what does God have to do before we can believe it? Read on.
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him in whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?(or the Greek word is proclaimer) 15. And how shall they preach (proclaim) except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach (or proclaim) the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16. But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?”
For even way back 700 years before Christ. Now verse 17, this is where I wanted to come to.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing (cometh) by the word of God.”
So my question is. Can you believe something that God has never spoken? Can you believe something that God has never said? No! Impossible. So if God hasn’t said it, He can’t require mankind to believe it. But on the other hand, as soon as God says it and declares it, now with all of his eternal righteousness, what can He demand? Believe it! And as we saw in the last program, when mankind says, I don’t believe, I won’t believe, then whether they know it or not, they’re calling God a liar. And they’re going to suffer the consequences.
You know when people will sometimes call and say well I’ve got a friend who is all upset, and they ask the question: “How can a God of love send people to such a horrible doom?” Well you see, that’s really an ignorant question. That’s ignorance personified. Because if they just understood all that Christ suffered and all that He did in the power of who He was for our salvation and then comes back and says all I’m asking you to do is believe it, is that asking too much? I don’t think so. And consequently He has every right in all of eternity to do with those unbelievers as He sees fit. So don’t ever accuse God of being unfair.
All right, but the whole crux of the matter is that when God has spoken it then we are expected to believe it. Well in the early moments of our first program this afternoon, we showed you that this Gospel of salvation that Paul proclaims was kept hidden. Now then, if it was hidden could anybody be saved by believing it? No. It hadn’t been revealed.
You know I’ve always used for a long time Deuteronomy 29:29. Man, it’s been so long since we’ve used it I don’t even know if I remember it myself. But I think if I’m right it goes like this. “For the secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us…”
And when they’re revealed then we’re to believe it, and that’s exactly the process. God kept this glorious Gospel of Grace secret. Had never been revealed through the prophets. Jesus never revealed it in His earthly ministry. Peter knew nothing of it in the book of Acts. But when the Apostle Paul was separated and sent out into the desert and received these mysteries, now it’s to be believed for salvation.
It has now been proclaimed — let’s see how Paul puts it in his own language. Come back with me to Romans chapter 3, and see what a difference from what we see in Peter, James and John. Because this is a whole new revelation of things that had been kept secret. Let’s pickup with verse 24. These are verses you don’t see routinely. These are verses most people just haven’t any idea are in their Bible. But here it is, black and white.
“Being justified freely by his grace…”
Now see in Galatians, Paul would put it, “not by works of righteousness, what we have done, but it’s by God’s Grace”
“…through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God:”
We used these verses in I think our last set of programs, that “God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His (what?) blood!” Now you don’t see any reference to that in Peter’s confession of faith. You don’t see any reference to the blood in Martha’s confession. Now John does make one reference in I John when he says that “the blood of Jesus cleanseth us from all sin.” But, not in the same vein that Paul does, see? Now verse 26.
“To declare, I say, at this time, his righteousness: that he (that is the God of verse 25) might be just, (He’s not going to cut any corners. He’s not going to compromise His holiness) and the justifier of him which believeth…”
And what do we believe? What God had revealed. And what has God revealed? When Christ finished the work of the cross, everything was done that needed to be done and now we believe it and we have eternal life! Absolutely, we have eternal life.
All right, now then, let’s come on over to I Corinthians. Haven’t used that for a few weeks. I Corinthians chapter 15, my it just thrills us when we travel through the country and we come to places and in one way or another, we see that I Corinthians 15: 1-4 just pop up. I’m thinking of a home in Indiana where they’ve got it painted on little rocks along their front walkway – I Corinthians 15: 1 through 4. Well, they haven’t got enough rocks to put the whole verse but at least the reference is there. And this is what they’re referring to. The Gospel of salvation that we must believe for eternal life.
I Corinthians 15:1-2
“Moreover, brethren, (Paul is writing to believers) I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also you received and wherein you stand; 2. By which also you are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless you believed in vain.”
Now that just simply means, you have to know what you believe. You don’t just say, well, I believe. You believe what the Lord has revealed and that is the work of the cross. Now verse 3. Here again Paul makes this kind of language because it’s a revelation of things that had been kept secret and so he and he alone can give us this kind of language.
I Corinthians 15:3
“For I (and he’s not an egotist. Don’t ever accuse the Apostle Paul of being an egotist. He is always if anything, putting himself down. But the Holy Spirit is the inspirer here and the Spirit through the Apostle Paul causes him to write,) I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, (well what did he receive? Things kept secret for thousands of years! Things that the Old Testament knew nothing of. And what is it?) how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;”
But it was in such veiled language no Old Testament patriarch could figure out what it was. You know several weeks ago I used those verses in Peter where Peter says they what? “They searched diligently.” But they couldn’t figure it out. They knew there was something associated with all this, but they couldn’t figure it out. But when the Lord revealed it to the Apostle Paul as a revelation of a mystery kept secret since the ages began, here it is.
I Corinthians 15:3b-4
“…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:”
Now that’s our Gospel of salvation! That’s it! We have eternal life for believing that! And class, that goes way beyond John 3:16. Now I love John 3:16 as much as anybody, I remember using it the very first time sitting on the steps of the old barracks after basic training and I shared John 3:16 with a fellow. But it didn’t get the job done. It was years later that he finally came to the place of believing. Forty-some years to be exact. But nevertheless, here is the fulfillment of things that had been kept secret.
All right, now then, let’s go back to I John again, and see if we can make a little headway. But on the way, I’m going to look up that Scripture in I Timothy that we referred to earlier after we had our last break. I don’t know how I missed it when I was studying, as I used my concordance and everything and I couldn’t find this, but here it is. Paul uses the word eternal life here.
I Timothy 6:12
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on (what?) eternal life, whereunto thou art also called and hath professed a good profession before many witnesses.”
Now you know I always put it this way – and how long is eternal life going to last? As long a God lives! Will He ever stop living? Un-uh. And so that’s eternal life. It’s beyond human comprehension. We can’t begin to comprehend what it’s going to be to live for all eternity. All right, back to I John, now verse 14. This is another good one, and it too is right out of the Gospel of John.
I John 5:14-15
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: 15. And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”
Now how does John put it back in the four gospels? Come back with me now. John’s Gospel, chapter 14 and oh in my younger days I wrestled with this before I learned how to separate the Scriptures. I even wrote to a good missionary friend in Japan at the time and he didn’t give me a decent answer either. Now I’ve got the answer, but I didn’t then.
Look what it says. Almost identical with what we just saw in I John 5, and oh this has thrown a curve at so many people. And this is why it gives them spiritual indigestion. All right, read it,
“And whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that I will do, (that’s what Jesus said, it’s in red if you’ve got a read letter edition. Whatsoever you ask, I’ll do it) that the Father might be glorified in the Son. (then He repeats it) 14. If you shall ask anything in my name I will do it.”
Now that’s amazing isn’t it? Does that work today? Does God do everything you ask Him to do today? No, He doesn’t because we’re under a whole difference scenario.
See, when Jesus was speaking here and when John was writing back here, I’ve been emphasizing now all the time, what was just over the horizon? The Kingdom! Heaven on earth. Now under a Heaven on earth scenario would anything, would anybody ever ask anything that was not in God’s will? No. It’ll be Heaven on earth. So then Jesus could say that in view of the Kingdom, that yes, Israel under that Heaven on earth experience, could just simply ask what they will and God would do it. Because they wouldn’t ask anything otherwise.
But see today, I dare say there’s not a soul setting in this room that can honestly tell me that God has done everything you asked Him to do. Oh, my goodness, we’re down to only nine seconds? Okay, we’ll pick that thought up in the next program.