Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 58
LOVE AND TRUTH – Part 2
II & III JOHN
All right, you know by now this is an informal Bible study. We do not try to preach at you but rather we just simply want to teach the Word in such a way that the ordinary person can read it and study it and understand it. I’m always reminded of, I think it was, Tyndale who made the statement he wanted to get the Word of God in the hands of every plowboy in England. Well what does that tell you? You don’t have to be a rocket scientist. You don’t have to be a PhD or seminary graduate to understand the Word of God. That’s the work of the Holy Spirit.
Fortunately, I’m never asked well how can you do what you’re doing without the seminary degree, because I think people understand that God has chosen the weak things of this world to confound the wise. And that’s all we are, are just a weak lump of clay that God has seen fit to use, and through our teachings many are being saved, and learning how to study the Word of God.
All right, back into our study then, II John and we finished the first six verses in the last lesson.
II John 1:7a
“For many deceivers….”
What does that tell you? Look out! Look out, because from day one Satan has been promoting deception confusion and false teaching. In fact you can take it all the way back to when Israel came out of Egypt and was prepared to go into the Promised Land where the Canaanites have been living for 400 years and what was the first thing God had to warn them? Don’t get involved with their religion. Don’t fall for their gods and goddesses. And it’s been Israel’s plague all the way up through the Old Testament that they were constantly being bombarded with either unbelief and unconcern or the false religions that were all around them.
Well, then we come into Christ’s earthly ministry and it’s the same thing, this constant warning. But before I go back and start picking these up in Matthew, let’s finish verse 7 where John writes to these Jewish believers in little congregations now, I think, predominately in western Turkey where you have the same Jewish congregations addressed in the first three chapters of Revelation.
Because evidently after Saul’s persecution, that is the direction that so many of those Jewish believers from Jerusalem took. They went up into Asia Minor and on over to Greece and Rome. And so this is where I feel that these people addressed in all of these little Jewish epistles are primarily located. They’ve been scattered out of Jerusalem and even though there is archeological evidence that many of them settled up on the east side of the Galilee, yet I feel at least in my own mind whenever I read them, I’m picturing Jewish congregations in the western end of present day Turkey, be that right or wrong. But from day one, this was the warning:
II John 1:7
“For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not (or will not believe) that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh (in other words, that He’s the God-man. They will not believe it. And those who doubt it and those who try to pooh-pooh that whole idea). This is a deceiver and an anti-Christ.”
All right, now let’s just go back, I don’t have to take you back to the Old Testament on this, I’ll just start in Matthew 24, from the lips of the Lord Jesus Himself, and He too is speaking of these days just ahead of what the little epistles are looking, the Tribulation. Matthew 24 as far as I’m concerned is all Tribulation and Jesus is just foretelling it. And it’s in a perfect parallel with Revelation chapter 6, so now in Matthew 24 verse 4. In fact let’s go up to verse 3, because remember like I said in the beginning of the last program, all these little epistles are written with the idea that the Tribulation was just out in front of them and then Christ would return and set up the Kingdom. That’s what they’re looking for.
All right, now Jesus doesn’t give us anything here that’s different. It’s in that same concept that no indication that it’s going to be interrupted by 1900 years of the Church Age but everything is coming down the prophetic timeline.
“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples (the Twelve) came unto him privately saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming,(to set up the Kingdom of course) and the end of the age?”
Now you want to remember that all the Old Testament was looking forward to that earthly Kingdom over which Israel’s Messiah would rule and reign. And when it had run its course, it would just follow everything right into the eternal state.
And I’ll never forget, I guess the Lord does everything providentially – years ago I read a book by a professor I think in a Bible college down in Texas and he so graphically explained how that the Kingdom would be set up on earth and all the ramifications of it, but that it was just the introduction then to the eternal state. And I’ve pretty much rested on that in my own teaching, that the 1000 year reign of Christ, heaven on earth, is going to be interrupted when Satan is released and all those that follow him will be wiped off. But then you go into the new heavens and the new earth of eternity.
But again I think it’s going to be programmed pretty much after the millennial reign. But Jesus does not segment “the Church.” He does not give any indication that there’s going to be an interruption of this prophetic program; it’s appears to be just ahead.
All right, so now then the last part of verse 3 again.
“…what will be the signs of thy coming, and the end of the age? (that is the Age as we know it, and go on into the eternal) 4. And Jesus answered and he said unto them, (that is the Twelve) Take heed (or the word Paul will us is – beware) that no man (now again what’s the word?) deceive you. 5. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many.”
Now whenever people call and like I told someone yesterday, don’t call on Monday forenoon if you don’t have to because our phone lines just burn up with people who have heard something on Sunday and now they’ve got a question on Monday, every Monday is pretty much the same. Well the only thing I can tell these people is now look, all this deception that’s coming on the human race today is what Jesus was already warning us of, that when you see this flood of deception you’d better wake up and realize that we’re approaching the end time. And I still say that’s the reason for it.
We are getting hit with everything imaginable today because Satan knows his time is short and if he can confuse the masses with deception, hey, he’s the winner – he’s the winner, don’t ever forget that. All right, now then, I’m going to let that be from the lips of the Lord Jesus Himself should be sufficient. But now let’s come all the way up to Paul if you will, as I’m not going to hit all these warnings against false teaching by any stretch of the imagination. But let’s go to II Corinthians chapter 11. And this is what people have to wake up and realize we’re up against today. Now it was already evident in Paul’s time.
You remember a long time ago, I think when we first started the book of Hebrews, my goodness, that’s probably two years ago isn’t it? Okay, so we’ve got a lot of listeners who haven’t heard this before. You remember when I started in Hebrews 1 verse 3, where it says, “and when he had purged our sins he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High.”
You remember I took you back to Genesis and made the point that there were only two times in all of biblical history when God did something so perfect it was so complete nothing more could be added to it, so He could sit down. He could rest, the job is finished. And when were they? Genesis 1 the last verse.
“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh from all his work which he had made.”
His work of creation was done and it was perfect. There wasn’t anything more He could do so He could sit down and rest.
All right, that never happened again until He finished the work of the cross, when once again He had done something so complete, so final, so perfect, that He could what? He could sit down.
And as soon as He revealed that the finished work was now ready for man’s salvation, what does Satan do? Starts bombarding it with all kinds of additions. Adding to – this, or that, or some other thing. Satan always has someone ready to try to get the lost person to add to their faith in what Jesus accomplished with His finished work of the cross, so that it becomes adulterated.
All right, and so this is Satan’s business. He’s going to pollute; he’s going to adulterate the Gospel of Christ anyway he can and I’ve always made the point that Satan will promote a lot of good beautiful things. That’s not contrary to him at all. He will promote all of the beautiful things of this world and the glory of it, the Scripture says, for what purpose? To divert man’s attention.
Why do you suppose the pagans always built such beautiful temples for their gods and goddesses? To bamboozle the mind of the poor guy on the street. They’d look up at those temples – I’ll never forget when we were in Corinth. We were in Ancient Corinth. Some of you have probably been there and up on that high bluff are still the remains of beautiful pagan temple. Just even in its ruins it’s beautiful. Well then what must it have looked like when it was operating full speed? Why the average Corinthian would look up there and he was just amazed of the beauty of his gods’ and goddesses’ dwelling place.
Well that’s what Satan is expert at. And he’s doing the same thing today. I maintain a lot of the beautiful things of this world are satanic, not because they’re wicked. There’s nothing wrong with them except that they divert the eyes of mankind and he’s expert at it. Now you may not agree with that, but I’ll never recant. Satan will do anything to keep people from hitting the mark.
All right, now look what he does in II Corinthians chapter 11. Now this is the Apostle Paul writing and remember when he writes Corinthians he’s been out there now establishing churches for about 20 years, which isn’t long. And yet what was he already experiencing? The false teachers coming in, bombarding his little congregations with false teaching, telling them they have to add this and that to his beautiful Gospel of salvation that we see in I Corinthians 15:1-4. And it’s no different today.
All right, and how is it done? Verse 13. I use this almost every week to phone calls that are coming in.
II Corinthians 11:13a
“For such are false apostles,…”
Apostles mind you! They call themselves apostles. There is no such thing today. That faded out with the apostolic church. But oh they claim to be apostles. They claim to be anointed. Hey they’re false. And that’s what the Scripture calls them.
II Corinthians 11:13b
“…deceitful workers, (see that word deceit? And in their deceit) transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.”
God doesn’t do it. Satan doesn’t even transform them, they do that themselves. But as soon as they transform themselves into that kind of a vehicle, yes, Satan’s going to come in and use them. Absolutely he will. And so “they transform themselves into the apostles of Christ.” They say, well I’m an apostle, I’m preaching the Gospel. I’m telling you the truth, but they feed a bunch of garbage.
II Corinthians 11:14
“And no marvel (don’t be surprised. Be commonsensical about all of this) for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”
Now he has the power to do that. So he “transforms himself into an angel of light” for the precise purpose of misleading the masses. And the masses are far easier to mislead than one or two at a time. You know I’ve used this before on the program, and I’ll never forget, I had a gentleman call, oh probably a couple of years ago now and he was following one of these false teachings where the multitudes are flowing in like water. And I said, “Look, you’re being pied-pipered; wake up.” He said, “Pied-pipered? What do you mean?” I said, “Didn’t you ever go to grade school?” He said, “Yeah.” And I said, “And you never heard of the pied piper?” He said, “No.”
Well I don’t know what kind of a school he was in, but anyway, I can remember and I think almost everybody I’ve ever shared it with remembers, and if I remember right, it was a village over in Europe someplace and they were covered up with rats. You remember that? And they had tried everything to get rid of them and they couldn’t. And here comes this guy with his pipes, his instrument, and for so many dollars he said, “I’ll rid the city your rats.” And so they paid him the big bucks and what’d he do? He played the pipes and he walked toward the river and all the rats followed him into the river. And drown. Well see that’s exactly what the devil is doing today, he’s playing the pipes. He’s playing the music and the multitudes are following, just like dumb rats.
II Corinthians 11:14b-15
“…for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15. Therefore it is no great thing (it’s not something that’s beyond your understanding ) if his ministers (these false apostles) also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end (their eternal doom) shall be according to their works.”
In other words, they’re going to pay for all eternity for these thousands or maybe even millions that they’ve misled. Wouldn’t you hate to be in their shoes? Boy I would. And yet that’s exactly what the Scripture declares.
All right, now let’s go on to Colossians, chapter 2, and this again is just only one of many in Paul’s epistles warning the believers of his day as well as you and I today, “beware of these false teachers, false doctrines.”
“Let no man beguile you (well what does beguiling agree with? Deception or deceive you) of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.”
In other words these things that appeal to the flesh. Don’t be deceived by that stuff. All right, let’s move on to I Timothy chapter 4 verse 1 and listen, these are just as appropriate for us today as they were the day that Paul wrote it.
I Timothy 4:1-2a
“Now the Spirit (the Holy Spirit) speaketh expressly, (He’s making it as plain as plain can be) that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed (or following)seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (or demons. Well where do the demons come from? Satanic control) 2. Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;”
Well what’s hypocrisy? Something that looks good but isn’t. And oh, they’re masters at it. Don’t you sometimes wonder how can people fall for this? How can they not see the falsity of it? Well, their consciences are seared. The devil is powerful! All right, come on over to II Timothy chapter 3 verse 1 and we haven’t got time to read all of these but oh what a chapter of warning for us today.
I’ll never forget a couple of years ago, I was coming home from one of the classes and I happened to catch the Michael Reagan talk show. And it was about the time that the Jews had just experienced a couple of humongous suicide bombings. And he was showing the horrors of these terrorists. And then he shared this, and he says you know last night, my wife and I were having our devotions and we were reading II Timothy chapter 3 and I think he said it was his wife that suggested it, she said, “Michael you should read this on the air.” And he says, “I’m going to.” And believe it or not, on a secular talk show, he read these first six or seven verses from II Timothy chapter 3. I couldn’t believe it! Boy, I just got goosebumps. And look what it says! And then I’ll tell you what he said when he got to the end of verse 5 or 6.
II Timothy 3:1-5
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2. For men shall be lovers of there own selves, (what does that mean? Materialistic. That’s all they care about, what’s in it for me?) covetous, (they want everything that somebody else has got) boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3. Without natural affection,(ring a bell?) trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good. 4. Traitors, (my does this ring as bell) heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; 5. Having a form of godliness, (oh they go to church. They probably have a pew practically paid for) but denying the power thereof: (it doesn’t affect their lives) from such turn away.”
And if I remember right that’s where he stopped. You know what he said? “We’re there!” And I couldn’t agree more. We’re there. These are the signs of the last days, see? And the warning is, look out for it. In fact while you’re in chapter 3 just drop on down to verse 13. Here’s another warning.
II Timothy 3:13
“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being (what?) deceived.”
And isn’t that where the masses are today. Anything that comes along that sounds good, boy they jump on it and they say this is it – forgot the name of it, but anyhow, it’s this little book that just came out a while back. Huh! Talk about a mental lapse, I’ve got one! But anyway, it is depicting Jesus having married Mary Magdalene, and having children. Yeah, the Di Vinci Code.
And I had a lady who’s a librarian in one of our high schools and she says, “Les, there’s a waiting list,” and I don’t know how many books the state of Oklahoma has put in the libraries, every library has far more than one, hers had several and there was a waiting list to check that book out. Now that’s what they’re doing to our kids and these kids read that garbage and they say, that’s it. Well, that’s just one example that we are being bombarded with deceptive things and the gullible fall for it hook line and sinker.
Well let’s see, I guess that’s enough for that line of thought. That’s not the last one, remember that Peter also warned, James warned and I John. Let’s jump in at I John on our way back to II John because I don’t think I can hammer this home enough that we have to wake up, wake up our friends, our loved ones, yes your fellow church people. Wake them up that so much of what’s coming out today is satanic deception. It is not the Truth. It is not lining up with Scripture.
Here in I John, remember now we’re back in John, so he’s writing to Jewish believers. They’re looking for the Tribulation right out in front of them to be followed by the Kingdom. And we’re there again, 2000 years later. Here we are in the same scenario. I think the world is moving so fast to the coming of the Tribulation that it makes our head swim, but you know, we can’t set dates because with God a thousand years is but a day and day as a thousand years. But nevertheless, it’s like all the signs of the times are telling us that we’re getting close once again, like they thought they were back here in the (AD) 50’s.
I John 2:18a
“Little children, (he’s writing to his fellow believers) it is the last time: and you have heard that anti-Christ shall come, even now there are many anti-Christs;…”
Remember Matthew 24? What did Jesus say? Many anti-Christs have come. Well John is agreeing with that and
I John 2:18b
“…whereby the know that it is the last time.”
All right, warning, warning, warning against deception. Chapter 4 again in I John, and this is what I admonish people when they call on the phone, I say, “Look, the Bible tells us to check these things and compare them with the Word of God. If you can’t find what they’re saying in the Word of God, turn them off. Don’t listen to them.” All right, that’s what John is telling us here.
I John 4:1
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: (Why?) because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”