Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 64
BUT GOD! – PART 1
It’s so good to see everybody this afternoon, especially those of you from out of state. We have Indiana and Illinois and Texas and various other places outside of Tulsa. We just want to make you feel welcome and at home in our group, because, after all, people across the land get used to seeing these same faces all the time, and they feel like they know you as well as they do me. And of course that’s only by TV association. But, anyway, we’re glad to have you all.
For those of you joining us out there in television, we thank you for tuning in. We thank you for your loyalty, because the first thing everybody that writes to us or speaks to us at seminars says is, “I watch you every day.” So, we appreciate your loyalty, your prayers, your letters, and your financial help. On the ordinary, we appreciate short notes. That way we can keep in contact with all of you out there.
All right, this is a Bible study – for someone that might be catching us for the first time. We’re an informal Bible study, as you can tell. We simply go by what the Book says, but for the doctrine and instructions we live by during this Age of Grace, we go by what was written by the Apostle Paul, as he is the Apostle to the Gentiles, as we see in Romans 11:13. We don’t try to decipher the Greek and try to figure out how the Greek could have been mistranslated and all of this other stuff we’re hearing today. That’s the bad part of the computers now. You know the computers are throwing out so much information that now they think that they know it all. You know the old cliché as well as I do, “A little knowledge is frightening.” So, you have to take all that into consideration.
All right, now let’s go right back in a continuation of where we left off in our last program. I didn’t feel that I had sufficiently finished the Abrahamic Covenant, and we touched on Romans chapter 11, but I want to come back to it for this first half-hour and more or less complete it. All right, we’re dealing with the covenant that was made with Abraham way back in 2000 BC in Genesis chapter 12. That covenant said, in so many words, that God was going to make of that one man, Abram, a new nation, a group of people. God would bless the man himself, and the crowning act of the whole thing was that through Abram, or later on Abraham, “the whole human race would be blessed.”
That, of course, came about when the Messiah of Israel, who came as a result of the Covenant promises, went the way of the cross, purchased salvation for the whole human race. Not just for Israel, but for all. It all rested, of course, on that Abrahamic Covenant. That’s why I don’t think you can exhaust studying it.
All right, so now we come to Paul’s reference to the Abrahamic Covenant, which is of course primarily to the Nation of Israel. We’ll start with verse one, and what a statement we find in light of so much of the stuff that we’re being bombarded with today.
“I say then, Hath God cast away his people? (Has He given up on the Nation of Israel? Have they disappeared like they’re trying to tell us? Well, the Scripture answers the question.) God forbid.” A better translation there, I think, is – “Don’t even think such a thing!”
God could not cast away His people because of all the promises that we’ve been seeing coming up through the covenants in the last several programs. How could He cast away everything that He ever said? But you see, we’ve got this one huge group that is making such tremendous inroads today, and they call themselves Preterits. For years I called them Amillennialists, and they believe that in 70 AD the Nation of Israel disappeared.
The other day I received a huge, brown envelope that contained thick, typewriter-size pages. I didn’t even bother to look at who wrote it or where it came from, but I opened it. I have what some people call a bad habit. I think it’s the best one I’ve ever had, and that is everything I get, a book or an editorial or a news magazine, I go to the back page first. Can’t help it! Iris will bring a library book, and I go to the back page first. But anyway, that’s my habit. The editors know that I’m not alone. What’s usually on the back page now of your news magazine? The editorial! In the Daily Oklahoman, the editorial page isn’t in the front or the middle; it’s almost the back page.
So anyway, I open this great big manuscript, or whatever you want to call it. So, I go to the back page. What do you suppose his last paragraph says? Boy, what a time saver! “So, all this is to prove that the Jews that claim to be Jews today are not Jews at all.” Well, handily the round file was right there, and so I pitched it. So, if the guy’s listening, I hope he knows better than to spend three dollars in postage next time. Save your money, because I won’t read that garbage.
But see, this is what they’re bombarding even the Christian world with – that God did away with the Jews after the Titus invasion of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and that the Jews of today have no relationship whatsoever with the Jews of Scripture. Well, if that’s the case, then three-fourths of this Book can just as well be torn out and thrown away, because it all promises that God will never give up on the Nation of Israel. And Paul confirms it right here in chapter 11.
“God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.” Have they disappeared? Don’t even think such a thing. Because God’s Word is true. As we’ve been showing over the last several programs, especially in the covenant promises, God has promised that the sun will fall out of its position before Israel will disappear as a nation. Yet these people just totally ignore all that. Then here’s the crowning one in the New Testament.
“I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. (He can’t or His Word would become of no use. All right and Paul is living proof. He goes on now.) For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2. God hath not cast away his people, which he foreknew.” Now, we’re going to see in our following programs how that everything since the dawn of human history with Adam and Eve has been by God’s design. He’s in control of everything for 6000 years. This is what Paul is reminding us. God will never let the Nation of Israel disappear, because in His foreknowledge He has them ready for the end-time return of Christ to set up His Kingdom. They have to be here! All right, now I’m going to take a few of these verses and just sort of skim over them. He says in verse 3:
“Lord, they have killed thy prophets, (And we know the Old Testament Jews did that over and over.) and digged down thine altars; (And Elijah said,) and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.” There’s that remnant – seven thousand out of Israel’s population of usually seven to ten million. So, you math people, what’s the percentage? One tenth of one percent.
All right, now we’ll read on, and when we get to the word remnant I’m going to go back and show you what it really means. All right, so that remnant of one tenth of one percent didn’t bow their knees to Baal. They remained true to Jehovah. Now, Paul brings them up to his present day, and he says:
“Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election (now) of grace.” All right, now let’s go back to Isaiah chapter 1 to show that this is not a new phenomenon. I was reading a book last night by a British prophecy expert, and he was pointing up how close we are to the end. And of course being a Brit he was more acquainted with what’s going on in England and Europe. It’s frightening – frightening of what is really taking place in western civilization. He quoted what some of the Bishops of the Church of England had been telling young people, and it’s just unbelievable. So, he made the same point – the believing element in the world today is just a small remnant.
Well, that’s nothing new. Don’t be shocked, because here in Isaiah 1:9 we are 700 years before Christ, and among the Nation of Israel, the chosen race:
“Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us (that is the Nation of Israel) a very small remnant, we (the nation) should have been like unto Sodom and Gomorrah.” Had it not been for the little one tenth of one percent, what would God have done? Destroyed the Nation. And it’s ever been that way.
Now, we’ll probably see this in the next program. We’re going to go back to Noah, and I’ve always maintained there must have been around four or five billion people at the time of Noah’s flood. How many were saved? How many were believers? Eight! Not eight million, not eight thousand, not eight hundred. Eight. Out of four billion, five billion people, what was that? A little tiny remnant. And so it’s always been. Even today amongst Christendom. My, they like to tell us there are 50-60 million Christians in America. I wish that were true. But I’m afraid it’s a stretch, because the vast majority of even our well-churched people don’t have a clue about salvation through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and that alone in this Age of Grace. And it’s so sad.
Well, anyway, here we have this whole concept that it’s only the small percentage. All right, now come down to verse 7, still in Romans 11.
“What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election (or those who truly believed) hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” Now, we’ve got to stop. What was the Nation of Israel constantly looking and hoping for? The Messiah who would bring in the heaven-on-earth Kingdom environment. But when the Messiah came, in unbelief they rejected Him. Except for the few. That little, small flock of believers who Paul refers to here as “the remnant.” But what happened to the vast majority of Israel? Blinded! Blinded! And to this day, it’s almost impossible to speak to a Jew about Jesus Christ.
Now, I’ve been getting the little mission magazine Israel, My Glory for years and years. One of my favorite articles is, again, on the last page, written by a converted Jew, a survivor of the Holocaust. He’s always sharing his experiences of trying to testify or witness the Lord Jesus Christ to fellow Jews there in Jerusalem. You’d be amazed at how they hate him for it. But that’s the typical response of the Jew. They’re blinded – Providentially – until the day when God’s going to open their eyes. They’re suddenly going to again become the favored Nation, and they’ll recognize their Messiah when He comes the second time.
All right, but that’s not where I wanted to spend my time. I wanted to come on down now to some of the aspects that show the Abrahamic Covenant can never be abrogated. All right, let’s come all the way down then to verse 11 of Romans chapter 11. Here again, for these Preterits, what do they do with verses like this? As a rule, I don’t fault people who disagree with me, but this is becoming so obnoxious, and the material that’s coming in my mail, they’re just bombarding me with it. So, I can hardly hold my patience much longer. But see, what do they do with this verse?
“I say then, Have they (the Nation of Israel) stumbled that they should fall?” Well, of course they stumbled, but did they fall out of all of God’s dealing for the end-time? Never! Of course they stumbled, in unbelief. And of course God uprooted them and dispersed them into the nations of the world. But, did He obliterate them as a nation of people? No way!
Everything that’s happening in the world today is a fulfilling of those promises that after they’d been dispersed into every nation in the world, that God would bring them back. And He’s been doing it. And He’s still doing it. And people are blind to that. I don’t see how anybody can miss it, that those Jews are there in that bustling, beautiful city of Jerusalem – unbelievable wasn’t it, you guys? I know you were shocked when we were there just a few weeks ago. It’s shocking how huge and how busy that city of Jerusalem has become. And the Arab world thinks they’re still going to run them into the sea? You know, as we were driving through the streets with all that traffic, I almost had to laugh within myself. Who do they think they’re kidding? Who brought them in there and gave them all this? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! There isn’t enough force in this whole world to oppose the God of Abraham. So, they’re there. This is what Paul is talking about. Yes, they stumbled when they rejected the Messiah, but they didn’t fall out of God’s program for the future.
“…God forbid: but rather through their fall (Through their unbelief, rejecting the Messiah, crucifying Him, and bringing about the resurrection and all that pertains to our Gospel – it was all because of Israel’s unbelief. So…) salvation is come to the Gentiles, for to provoke them (the Nation of Israel) to jealousy.” To think, that the God of Abraham is now turning to the Gentile world. All right, now verse 12, and just keep reminding yourself of what I’m saying. How can this be true if the Jew disappeared 1900 years ago? Then we might as well throw the Book away and go home.
“Now if the fall of them (Israel’s rejecting their Messiah.) be the riches of the world, (the whole world) and the diminishing of them (Their being taken out of their homeland and dispersed among the nations.) the riches of the Gentiles;…” Which is what happened because of the Gospel of Grace. It went out to the whole human race. Rich and full and free! Whereas, they’ve been diminished and have been blinded and are out in dispersion, up until now in our lifetime. Then look at the last question. If all of this is accomplished, what we’ve seen it accomplish, then:
“…how much more their (What?) fullness?” What’s that? When they will finally, in opened eyes of belief, see the return of their Messiah, the establishing of that earthly kingdom. That’s their fullness. It’s still in their future. Okay, now verse 13, Paul reminds us that he’s merely giving us all these facts concerning the Nation of Israel.
“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles,” And oh, people don’t want to swallow that. It just rankles them. Paul? I had someone tell me again the other day that they were trying to talk to one of their pastors, and the guy says, “Paul, we don’t even look at Paul. We don’t have a thing to do with him.” Well, that’s running rampant through Christendom. But Paul is the Apostle of the Gentiles, he’s God’s spokesman for us who are not Jews.
“…I magnify mine office. (Then the reason for his apostleship) 14. If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.” All right, now here we come back to Israel again. We’ve got to move quickly.
“For if the casting away of them (Sending them out into the dispersion) be the reconciling of the world, (That is, the rest of the world. In other words, by Israel’s rejecting and bringing about the death, burial, and resurrection of the Messiah, that opened up the whole plan of salvation for the rest of the world. Well, if that act of unbelief has brought about such a response of salvation for so many Gentiles…) what shall the receiving of them be (back into the promises – What is it, but like what?) but life from the dead?” Well, isn’t that exactly what’s pictured back there in Ezekiel 37, the dry bones? The valleys are white with dry bones. Those are symbolic pictures of Jews out in the dispersion for these hundreds and hundreds of years. But what did Ezekiel see? The bones coming back to life. They hooked up together. They formed skeletons. Flesh came upon them. It was all a symbolic picture of the Jew coming back to his homeland and becoming once again a nation among the nations. And we’ve all seen it happen. And what is it? Like a miracle of resurrection itself, life from the dead. All right, now I’m going to come down to verse 17.
“And if some of the branches be broken off, (Which of course is what God did with the Jew when He sent them into dispersion.) and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them,…” Remember, he’s talking to us Gentiles being grafted in.
“…and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;” Well, what’s he talking about? This whole Book, from cover to cover, was written by what people? Jews! That’s why I maintain Luke couldn’t have been a Gentile. This Book was written by Jews. You and I are feasting on what God accomplished through the Jewish people.
On top of that, Jesus came to earth as a Jew. He went through His earthly ministry as a Jew under the Law. Anything He accomplished that had to be reported to the priest, what’d He tell them? Go show yourself to the priest, according to the Law. So, everything that you and I enjoy under this Age of Grace is because of Israel. You can’t take them out of the picture. I don’t care how hard they try. So, here we are. We’re boasting in the “root and the fatness of Abraham.”
Now then, verse 18, you and I as Gentile believers cannot get proud and puffed up and look down on the Jew and say, “Look what we’ve accomplished that you could have had and didn’t get.” No! We dare not do that.
“Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root (is bearing) thee.” Do you see what he’s saying? He’s telling you and I, as believers, don’t get proud and puffed up and act as though we’re the ones that have brought about Israel’s possibility for salvation someday. No. Israel’s still going to rest on those same roots and the tree that began with the Abrahamic Covenant. And one day it’s going to come back into full force, and the Nation of Israel will be blessed like they’ve never been blessed before. All right, now we’ll come down to verse 19. Again, Paul is talking to you and I as Gentiles. He says:
“Thou (as a Gentile) wilt say then, The branches were broken off, (That is, the Nation of Israel was taken out of the place of blessing.) that I might be graffed in.” Now, what’s the danger? That we’d get proud and puffed up and say, “See, you Jews were nothing.” There are a lot of people that try to say that. How does the average Muslim refer to a Jew? “He’s a pig. He’s less than human.” And a lot of Gentiles are just as bad. A lot in Christendom are just about as bad. But we dare not take that attitude. It’s got to be the other way around. We’ve been blessed to partake of these covenant promises, even though they’ve been set aside because of their unbelief.
“Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:” They were sent into dispersion. They were given that spirit of blindness. And God turned to the Gentile world through the Apostle Paul. All right, so now he’s reminding us. Don’t be high-minded, don’t get proud and puffed up, but you’d better have some reverential fear. In other words, we’d better understand how blessed we are because of Israel’s unbelief back there at the time of Christ’s earthly ministry.
“For if God spared not the natural branches,…” If He judged Israel because of their unbelief, do you think He’s going to shrink from judging the Gentile world because of their unbelief? Not for a minute! The world is getting closer every day.
You know, I was reminded the other day, by some company we had from a distant state, of how many multiple murders were taking place in their particular area of the country. But lo and behold the Daily Oklahoman had headline front-page news of four people murdered over here in southeast Oklahoma City. Now we’re finding out it’s almost epidemic across the country. Not single murders. Multiple! Multiple! All right, so he says here, be careful that we will not bring in His wrath and His judgment because of unbelief just like He did with Israel.
“Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity;…” Here we come back to Israel again because of their unbelief. It was severe. Their city was destroyed. Their Temple was destroyed. Almost a million Jews lost their life in that Roman invasion. The rest were scattered into the nations of the world because of God’s wrath against them and their unbelief. But hey, is the Gentile world going to miss it? Not for a minute. Their judgment is coming, and it’s coming faster and faster every day. All right, so he says, don’t be like they were. Don’t stay in unbelief, but continue in his goodness, otherwise you too will be cut off. Now verse 23:
“And they also, (that is Israel) if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in (And what’s the word?) again.” Now goodness, you know plain English. If they’ve been taken away from the root and the fatness and they’re going to be grafted in again, what does that tell you? They’re going to come back into the place of blessing. How can they if they’ve disappeared from the scene? You see what a big lie the whole thing turns out to be? But they will be grafted in again. They will enjoy their Messiah at His Second Coming.
All right, now I’m going to, for sake of time, come all the way down to verse 25. What’s going to be the indication of all this?
“For I would not, brethren, (That is to you and I.) that ye should be ignorant of this mystery (secret), lest ye should be wise in your own conceits: that blindness in part (That is, for a period of time. It’s now been 1900 and some years.) is happened to Israel, until (And they still are, but it’s going to end one day. And when will that be?) the fullness of the Gentiles be come (is brought) in.” And what’s the fullness of the Gentiles? When the Body of Christ is complete and removed in the Rapture.