Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 62
ISAIAH 62:1 – 64:6 – PART 2
Again, we’d like to welcome you to an informal Bible study. We just search the Scriptures and compare Scripture with Scripture and let the Scripture do its own work. We do like to thank our television audience for your response. My, our letters are just unbelievable. The hearts and lives that God is transforming from every walk of life imaginable. A gentleman called, he hoped to be here this afternoon and evidently the weather didn’t cooperate. When he first came up and told me how our program had been instrumental in changing his life, he was telling me how bad he was.
I said, “Well, now what do you mean how bad you were?” He said, “Les, I was in prison more than I was out, but now my life has just totally been transformed.” He has become a real instrument. He’s touching a lot of lives himself. So, that’s what keeps us going. That’s the best compensation a person could ever get.
Okay, we’re going to do something a little different. I’m going to start with Isaiah. I told the studio audience, if I’ve got a different Scripture up there than Isaiah, they’re going to call and ask, “Well, I thought we were in Isaiah this program?” So, we’re going to start with Isaiah, because this is where I really thought we’d be by this time, but we didn’t make it that far. So, I’m going to jump ahead and next taping we’ll back up and pick up what I’ve skipped. But I want you to look down at chapter 64 verses 5 and 6, and then I think you’ll see what word I’m heading for. The last word in the verse – “saved”
“Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; (or angry) for we have sinned: (See, that’s the problem.) in those is continuance, and we shall be (what?) saved. (All right, now read on.) 6. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” All right, now let’s jump up to the New Testament and pick up this same concept. You’ve heard me say it more than once on the program over the years, you can’t be saved until you know that you’re what? Lost.
Now, what did this verse just tell us? That Israel realized they had sinned. Their iniquities were just compounded. All their so-called self-righteousness was like what? Filthy rags. Now, that’s even filthier than what we normally think of. The filthy rags here were really the cast-off rags of a leper with all of its filth. That’s what self-righteousness is in God’s eyes.
All right, so we’re going to use this half-hour, since I’ve been talking so much about the wrath of God that’s coming upon Christ-rejecting mankind, and so that no one who hears my voice will be able to say, if they find themselves in that kind of wrath and vexation, “Well, God, you’re unfair. I never had a chance.”
Well, after this half-hour, anybody who hears my voice cannot say that. We’re going to make it as plain as I think the English language can make it. How can you escape the wrath of God? Whether it’s the Tribulation or whether it’s the eternal doom that goes beyond. Now, I’m going to have you jump up with me to Luke’s Gospel chapter 15. This, of course, is from the lips of the Lord Jesus Himself, and it is probably a parable. But it speaks volumes with regard to what I just said. You can’t get saved until you know you’re lost!
See, that’s the problem with the vast majority of Christendom. How many times have you heard people say, “Well, I’ve always been saved. I’ve always believed.” Now, wait a minute. You never came to the place that you knew you were lost? Well, they look at you with a blank stare. They don’t know what you’re talking about. You can’t be saved until you know that you’re lost.
All right, this is a perfect example from the lips of the Lord Himself. Luke 15 and we’ll start at verse 3. Oh, by the way, I was going to announce once more before the day was over, I’ve got my eldest son and his wife with us today. Of course, we work cattle together. It’s been a long time since we’ve gotten mad at each other, so I guess we’re both getting used to each other. But we’ve done a lot of cattle work together over the years, and we’ve gotten along pretty well as father and son goes. He’s also been part and parcel of answering the phone. So, a lot of you have heard him say, “This is Les’ son.” Well, there he is on the picture and his wife, Janette. She’s been more and more involved in the ministry, and they exemplify the fact that we are a family ministry. We thank the Lord for it. I guess it wouldn’t hurt for me to mention our daughter, Laura. Many of you out in television have understood that she’s had a tragic accident and is presently paralyzed. We trust that the day will come when she will be restored. But, we don’t know that as yet. But, anyway, we’re family. We just praise the Lord for that.
All right, back to Luke 15 and verse 3, and Jesus is speaking a parable to the Jew. Now, remember, Jesus never addressed the Gentile world. Everything He spoke was to Israel and under the system of the Law, but we can still draw tremendous lessons.
“And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4. What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose (There’s the key word.) one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine (Not in the fold. Where?) in the wilderness,…” Now, in Middle Eastern language, what’s the wilderness? The desert!
You know, whenever I used to think of wilderness when I was a kid, I always thought of trees and forest and no man’s land. No, in the Middle East the wilderness is the barren, open desert, with a clump of something here and a clump there and a lot of sand in between. All right, so one of these hundred is lost, and the rest are out in the wilderness. Now, remember, this is dealing with Israel. We’re merely going to draw an application. Okay, so He says:
“…and go after that which is lost, until he find it? (The one out of the hundred; He’s going to search until He finds it.) 5. And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was (Past tense – what?) lost.” Now, the one is saved by virtue of the shepherd’s love and determination to find him. Who are the other 99 indicative of? Well, the rank and file of unbelieving Israel who were lost and didn’t know it. But the one that was bleating off in a canyon someplace was lost and knew it, and so that’s the one the shepherd went to seek.
Now, again, I don’t want to leave this parable without fully describing the situation. When the ninety and nine were left out there on that barren desert, and the shepherd leaves to find the one that is lost, what happens to the ninety and nine? They become more and more lost. Sheep without a shepherd are hopeless. That was the rank and file of Israel. The more they rejected their offering of the Messiah and the King, the more lost they became. Consequently, when the time arrived, they were ready to say what? “Away with him. Crucify him. We’ll not have this man to rule over us.” The picture is that the one that was lost and knew it, the shepherd could save. All right, now let’s come all the way up and see how Paul puts it in his epistles. Romans chapter 3 and this has to be, in my understanding, the first step toward salvation. The understanding that we’re sinners, and that we’re lost and we need salvation.
“For all (That means exactly what it says. Not one human being can escape that word all) have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Isn’t that exactly what Isaiah said? We’ve sinned. We’ve got nothing going for us. They were all falling short of the glory of God. Well, it’s no different now from the pen of the Apostle Paul. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
All right, back up a page or two to Romans chapter 1, and that’s the verse I had Sharon put on the board, because I want our television audience to understand that we’re jumping from Isaiah and going up to the New Testament this half-hour to just simply make plain – how to be saved. I hope I can make it plain enough that no one can complain that I was confusing the issue, Romans chapter 1 verse 16. Now, this is from the pen of the Apostle Paul. He’s writing to a Gentile congregation in Rome, so he’s writing to you and I. He says:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it (The Gospel) is the power of God unto salvation to every one that (what?) believeth;…” Plus Nothing! That’s it.
It’s not believeth and is baptized. It isn’t and believes and repents. It isn’t believes and this or that or some other thing. The power of the Gospel falls on that lost person who realizes he’s lost and that’s he’s a sinner. He needs salvation, but he can believe the Gospel, and God immediately does everything that needs to be done.
All right, so what’s the Gospel that we’re to believe? We find that in I Corinthians chapter 15 verse 1 through 4. This is the Gospel. There is no other. Now remember, Paul, over and over makes it so plain that he is the Apostle of the Gentiles. (Romans 11:13) Consequently, it’s from his writings that we gain our doctrine for salvation, for the Christian walk, and also the hope for the end.
I Corinthians 15: 1
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel (There’s only one.) which I preached unto you, (Not Jesus. Not Peter. Not John. But Paul!) which also ye have received, (Paul is writing to believers remember?) and wherein ye stand;” Not moveable with every wind of doctrine. Now verse 2:
I Corinthians 15:2a
“By which also ye are saved,…” What’s he talking about? The Gospel – by which you are saved. See? The same word that Isaiah used.
I Corinthians 15:2b
“…by which you are saved, if you keep in memory (or if you understand. You can’t just take something like this blindly. You have to know what you believe) what I preached unto you, lest you have believed in vain.” In other words, you have to know what you believe in order to latch on to it by your faith. Now here comes the Gospel you must believe.
I Corinthians 15:3
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;” Now, when Paul speaks of receiving something, from whom and from where? Well, from the ascended Lord in glory. This is the point I’m constantly trying to make to people when they spend all of their time in what Christ said in His earthly ministry. That was before the cross. As I’ve mentioned on this program not too long ago, for us today, everything that accounts for our salvation at least, begins at the cross.
Now, naturally I love to teach the Old Testament. It’s all background. Of course it is. But that’s not where you gain salvation. Salvation begins at the cross. All right, reading on:
I Corinthians 15:3-4
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, (From the ascended Lord in glory, He’s the One that told the Apostle Paul – this is the message for the Gentile world.) 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:” You know what? I just explained that to someone on the phone the other morning. How many times do you hear an invitation for salvation or you may read it in tracts. I watch every tract now that comes across my desk to be sure. How many times do they talk about the fact that Christ died for you, but they never mention the resurrection?
Listen, they’re dropping the most powerful half of the Gospel. Of course, Christ had to die. Of course, His blood had to be shed. The Christ in the tomb couldn’t save anybody. What did it take? The power of resurrection! Again, Christendom glibly speaks of the resurrection, and I maintain that’s wrong! The resurrection was the total power of the Sovereign God to overcome death and sin and the curse and raised Him from the dead. Without that power, we’re just as lost as a goose. You can believe in His death all you want to, but until you couple it up and bring in the power of resurrection – you’re still lost. Because the Gospel is not a half a Gospel, it’s a total.
So, now, that’s why we use these whole two verses here. Let’s look at it again!
I Corinthians 15:3b-4
“…how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (Absolutely He did. But it didn’t stop there.) 4. And that He was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures: (After He was buried those three days and three nights.)“ That was God’s plan for the human race. Not only would He be lifted up and die the death of crucifixion, but He would be dead and in the tomb for three days to prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. Then, He broke out in power and victory and glory, not just for Himself, but that He might impart that eternal life to every human being who will what? Believe it!
I think I’ve shared, maybe at least with my Oklahoma classes, if not on the program, I had a lady from South Carolina who was in such doubt. She didn’t know whether she was saved or lost. She’d gone through all the right format and everything, but still no assurance. I finally said, “Lady, have you ever flown on an airliner?” Some of you have heard me give this. So forgive me. “Have you ever flown on an airliner?” She said, “Well, yeah, several times.” I said, “Well, tell me, did you go back and find your seat, buckle your seatbelt, maybe start reading a magazine. Then all of a sudden get that pang of maybe they’re not going where I’m supposed to go? And you unbuckle the seat belt. You throw aside your magazine and you run to the front of the plane, and say, “Are you sure this plane is going to where I’m going? Have you ever done that?” She said, “Well, of course not.” I said, “Then, you tell me that you have more faith in a manmade airplane, an airline, than you do in the Word of God?” She said, “I never thought of it that way before.” I said, “Well, look, the Book says that when you believe for your salvation that Christ died for you and He arose from the dead and you trust it to the point that you can just sit down and relax, then God says, “You’re saved.” It’s up to you to believe it.”
Now, that’s how simple it is. But see, they don’t like the simplicity. You know what 99 out of 100 people would rather do? They would rather work. They’d rather go to mass every week. They’d rather take communion every week. They’d rather give 20% of their income every week. Yeah, some of them think they have to give 20%. They think they have to repent and get baptized. See, they complicate it. God says, “You believe it.” There’s nothing left to do. You just believe and trust that God has done everything that needs to be done. That’s the simplicity of the Gospel. Forget the “works”. That’ll come later when you’re gaining your rewards. Works are the result of salvation, not the precursor of it.
All right, now in the few minutes we have left; let’s look at some more Scriptures. Let’s come back to Romans, once again, Chapter 3. This, if you’re talking to friends or loved ones or co-workers or neighbors, this is what you have to emphasize – it’s not by what you “do,” it’s by recognizing the need. You’re lost and you need to be saved. What will save you? Believing the work of the cross – plus nothing.
“Being justified…” Now that’s a tremendous term and when God declares us as justified there is nothing left against us. We are scot-free.
“Being justified freely by his grace (Not because of what you’ve done, but by His Grace.) through the redemption (Or, the process of buying us back out of the slave-market of Satan. He bought us with His blood.) that is in Christ Jesus:”
“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (In other words, all that was required.) through faith in his blood, (Where was the blood aspect? At the cross! That’s where His blood was shed – at the cross. Not in His earthly ministry – at the cross.) to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance (or the patience) of God; 26. To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness:… Now, you remember what the righteousness of mankind was compared to in Isaiah? Filthy rags. It’s no different in our day than it was back then. Self-righteousness is nothing but filthy rags in God’s sight. Oh, what a great disappointment that’s going to bring to multitudes of people. Well, I did this and I did that. I gave this and I gave that. It’s all like filthy rags.
“To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that (Now, that’s the point I want to make.) he might be (what?) just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” God will never cut corners for anybody. He will never be anything but totally fair. He’s going to be just and be the justifier of him that believes. Now, you know, that’s just like the legal terms of a lessee and a lessor. Here we have the justifier who has justified the “justifiee”. Got them? The justifier and the sinner, and He’s going to declare the sinner justified when he does what? Believes!
You know what that means? There are going to be a lot of people in heaven that a lot of the other people that went the other way are going to think shouldn’t have been there. Did I lose you? How many people who are working, working, working, and they’re so busy and they’re so self-righteous go to hell, and that poor, old, degraded sinner is going to go to Glory because he has simply believed. But it’s the way it’s going to be.
Now, even in Christ’s earthly ministry what did those pompous Pharisees say when the prostitute poured the oil upon the head of the Lord Jesus? “Well, that’s a sinner! What’s the matter with that foolish woman, she’s throwing good, aromatic oil away!” What was Jesus’ answer, do you remember, in so many words, “Hey, she’s going to be where you would like to be.” Why? Because in her faith she knew whom Jesus was. Well, it’s going to be the same way with the vast multitudes of humanity. All right, so we’re justified by the justifier, because we’ve believed the Gospel.
All right, let’s turn over to Romans chapter 5. I’m going to take a few of these verses until the clock says we have to stop, and it’s just about there, believe it or not, Romans chapter 5 verse 1.
“Therefore…” Because of all that we’ve seen in chapter 3 and then in chapter 4, Paul emphasizes that Abraham did nothing but believe and that’s what we have to do.
“Therefore being justified by faith, (faith + nothing) we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
Okay, now let’s come on over to Romans chapter 8 verse 1. I guess if I would be put on the spot and asked immediately one verse in Scripture, this would be it. This would be the first one I would come up with, Romans 8 verse 1, what a promise after salvation.
“There is therefore (Because of all that Paul has been laying out in these first seven chapters. Because of all that there is…) no condemnation…” Not one word will God bring against the believer – ever. Even though we may disappoint Him. We may lose rewards, but God will never point the accusing finger at the believer. We are justified. We’re forgiven. We are all these good things that anyone could ever hope to be. Consequently:
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,…” Well, how do we get “in Christ?” You know, I had a fellow in Indianapolis who said, “Les, I’m always hearing preachers talk about being in Christ, but they don’t tell you how to get there.” Well, I think maybe a lot of times that’s true. How do you get “in Christ?” By believing the Gospel. Now, I think we’ve got time if we do it real fast. I Corinthians chapter 12, this is how we get in Christ the moment we believe!
I Corinthians 12:13
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body,…” So, the moment we believe, the Holy Spirit places us into the Body of Christ!