Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 1 * BOOK 65
BUT GOD! – (The Body of Christ) – PART 1
MATTHEW 6:33 and Various Other Scriptures
Okay, good to see everybody today. My goodness, we set the record, I think, on attendance. We’re certainly glad that all of you folks are here. We’ve got them from near and far, as far away as Ohio and various other places here in Oklahoma. We’re glad you’re here, and we trust that you’ll enjoy the afternoon.
For those of you joining us on television, in case you’re catching us for the first time, we’re an informal Bible study. Our whole goal is to get every individual interested in studying their Bible, being able to read it and understand it. Not go by what Les Feldick says, or anybody else says, but what does the Word of God say?
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All right, we’re going to go right back where we were in the last taping, and remember, we digressed from our “But now and But God” study. We may end up yet this afternoon getting back to them, but if not we’ll do it in the next program. In the last taping we were in Matthew 6:28-33 where Jesus spoke of how the lilies of the field don’t worry about what they wear and other things in creation don’t worry about where their next meal comes from – “but” – this is where we stopped.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” From that we digressed, because I’ve had so many questions over the years, “Well, what’s the difference between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven?” So, those of you that have been with us the last several programs, you’ll remember that we’ve been stressing a lot of time the Kingdom of God, and how it was that all inclusive area of all of God’s Sovereignty, predominately with regard to the believing element. The Holy Angels, Heaven itself, and every believer from the dawn of human history on up until the end, they all find themselves in the Kingdom of God. I had Sharon help me out by putting it in a circle form.
You know I like circles. You know, I was thinking the other day of doing it in circles, you know why? God loves circles! You never thought of that did you? The next time you see the sun go down, and it’s in such a way that you can look at that red ball, you just look at it and see how perfectly round it is. No big bang could leave it like that! The things that God does are so meticulously perfect, so I’m using circles. I’ve put it up here; the large circle is the Kingdom of God. Everything that involves God’s Sovereign control we can refer to as the Kingdom of God. Inside this large circle are two smaller circles. One represents the Kingdom of Heaven and the other the Body of Christ.
Now, I’m not going to bring in any of the unbelieving aspects of creation or anything. I’m going to just leave this for all of the holy and the righteous elements that are under God’s domain. So, in the last several programs we dealt with this smaller circle – the Kingdom of Heaven, which is IN the Kingdom of God. I hope I’m putting it in a way that will clarify so many of these questions.
Now, the other smaller circle is the other entity, and we’ll be looking at that later this afternoon. The other entity besides the Kingdom of Heaven is the Body of Christ. Two totally separate economies, or however you want to put it. Yet they’re all in the Kingdom of God. So today, as believers of the Grace Age, we are concerned about filling the Body of Christ. Now then, the Body of Christ is that out-calling of anyone – Jew, Gentile, black, white, rich, or poor – that comes into the Body of Christ by virtue of believing the Gospel of Grace as presented by the Apostle Paul. It is heavenly, even though we’re on the earth, and we’ll cover that probably in the last three lessons this afternoon.
Before doing that let’s look again at the Kingdom of Heaven, which is still future. We covered a lot of it in the last taping. The Kingdom of Heaven is promised all the way up through the Old Testament. Everything, especially since Abraham, has been talking about this coming, glorious Kingdom of Heaven on earth over which Christ will rule and reign. It is earthly, even though it is the powers of heaven in the form of Jesus Christ that will be ruling and reigning. I hope that isn’t confusing – the heavenly Kingdom on earth with Christ ruling and reigning. We’ve looked at that the last several programs. We’re going to look at it in a little more detail yet this afternoon, and then we’ll switch over to that other entity which is in the Kingdom of God. Paul refers to it as the Body of Christ.
Okay, we’re going to start with the physical attributes of this Kingdom of Heaven on earth which is still future. Remember we saw in our last four programs especially, how the Kingdom of Heaven will be coming after the horrors of the Tribulation have passed. Christ will return to earth, to the Mount of Olives, and He will set up this glorious Kingdom on earth, over which He will rule and reign for a thousand years. Then of course, it slips on into eternity, I feel, in the likeness of Revelation 21 and 22, when we have “a new heaven and a new earth.”
But now today, at least the first program, maybe a little longer, we’re going to look at the physical attributes of this glorious kingdom that’s coming. The closer we get to the Lord’s return, the closer we get to this kingdom, because it will follow the Tribulation and the Second Coming. All right, we’re going to jump in first at Micah chapter 4 and we’re going to start at verse 1.
Like I mentioned in my last taping, and I’ve already gotten reverberations from the phone, I was kind of thinking about stopping producing the programs last month, but we decided to keep going, because we’ve still got some things to do. So, for those of you that heard that on the weekly program, don’t worry. We’re not going to go off the air. We may someday stop producing programs, but we have everything set that if Iris and I are suddenly gone, the ministry will keep right on going.
We’ll be broadcasting until the Lord comes and as long as the funds are available. Cheryl is already taking Laura’s place more and more and hopefully, someday, Laura will even be able to come back. So, we get questions every once in a while, “Well, what if something happens to you and Iris?” Don’t worry. It’ll keep right on going, because we have over 800 programs and that goes a long, long ways. So, don’t ever think that just because we may someday stop producing more programs that we will go off the air. No way!
All right, Micah chapter 4 and we’ll start at verse 1. Now remember, we’re going to look at how this Kingdom on earth is going to function physically.
“But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain (The word mountain is a ‘kingdom’ in the Old Testament language.) of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, (In other words, above all other kingdoms or empires that you can think of.) and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.” Now, put your hand here in Micah and back up to Isaiah so that we can see that all of Scripture fits. This isn’t just one man’s idea, this is all Holy Spirit inspired. Isaiah chapter 2 where I think we almost started with this whole Kingdom of Heaven bit, several programs back. Now, you’ve got to remember that it is 50-60 years after Isaiah writes that Micah writes. I’m sure Micah didn’t read Isaiah and then decide to plagiarize. This is all separately Holy Spirit inspired.
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, (It’ll be above all other kingdoms.) and shall be exalted above the hills; (This is the part I wanted you to see.) and all nations (from around the planet) shall flow unto it.” Remember I made the analogy that it’s just like today. Washington DC is almost the capital of the world, so far as political and economic activity is concerned. Everything flows out from America, whether you know it or not. Well, one day it’s going to be Jerusalem, where the King of Kings will be ruling and reigning. All right, back to Micah and verse 2.
“And many nations…” See, we’re not just talking about Israel, now. Now Israel will be the key nation. Israel is going to have the greatest population of any other nation on earth during this thousand-year reign, because they’re going to start out with so many more people than any other one nation on earth. But, they’re all going to be coming along, because believers from every nation around the planet will survive the Tribulation and be able to come in and help repopulate the earth during this thousand years.
“And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain (or the Kingdom) of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, (Now remember, Zion is that little hill about a mile south of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on which David’s throne was established. That’s Zion and it’s still called that today.) for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 3. And he (Christ, the Messiah, the King) shall judge among many people, (Now remember, the word judgment in Scripture, when it speaks in this kind of form, is a benevolent control of the people. In other words, it’s not a browbeating, taxing, and military conscripting kind of a government, but rather it is going to be for the good of its citizens.) he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off;…” Now, here comes the point that you’ve heard since you were a kid.
“…and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, (In other words, military equipment will no longer be necessary and they can melt all the steel and everything else and use it for domestic purposes – in this case plowshares.) and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” It’s going to be a thousand years of peace and utter tranquility. All right now, look at this next verse very carefully.
“But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree;…” What does that mean? Personal property. Now you know that’s one of the major attributes of our democracy, isn’t it? Our property rights. We covet the fact that we can have personal property and enjoy it ourselves. Well, this is coming back into a biblical application that when Christ rules and reigns with this glorious Kingdom, every family is evidently going to have their own piece of property, and it’ll be primarily an agrarian society. Now, there are mentions of cities in the Kingdom, but it will be primarily agrarian, or agricultural. There will be no need of war equipment or armies or anything like that. It’s going to be a glorious heaven on earth experience.
“…and none shall make them afraid:…” In other words, they won’t need security. They won’t need police departments or county sheriffs. Everyone is going to live in perfect peace and tranquility. It’s beyond human comprehension! A thought just came to mind. Keep your hand in Micah, and let’s go all the way back to Galatians. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this when I was getting ready. But that’s why I sometimes think – I don’t know why I get ready for these, because I never use what I plan to use anyway. Come all the way back to Galatians chapter 5 and this will probably just about take the rest of the half-hour. We’re not going to get far today, you know that? Okay, now let’s start in verse 19, and this is a view of most of civilization today. This is the kind of a world that is on the planet as we speak.
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, (All the sexual sins that you can think of.) 20. Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred,…” Now as I read, can’t you just see your daily paper? This is it! You know, I told Iris the other day, I don’t even know why I get that Daily Oklahoman, it’s just nothing but depressing news – mayhem and murder and rape and war and nothing good anymore. Well, here it is. This is the real world. All right, reading on.
“…variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, (See? Governments are being thrown down every day.) heresies, 21. Envyings, murder, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, (Paul says) that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Where are they going to be in this circle? Out of it! They’re not going to be in this circle. They’re going to be out of it. Now read on. Now the flip side is what the thousand-year Kingdom is going to be.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23. Meekness, temperance:…” What does that tell you? That’s a beautiful society. That’s a beautiful community. That’s a beautiful village – the term they like to use lately. And that’s what the thousand years is going to be. None of this garbage that we just read first. That’s all going to be gone, but only these things that are the fruit of the Spirit. All right, enough of that. Back to Micah chapter 4 now verse 5.
“For all people will walk every one in the name of his god,…” Now, that’s the way it is today, isn’t it? All around the planet you’ve got all of these various religions and all of their various gods. Back of course, at the time that Scripture was written, it was a lot of Greek and Roman mythology, so they had gods and goddesses. All right, that’s the way it was then, but, when the Kingdom comes in:
“… we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.” In other words, they’re not going to bring their pagan gods into the Kingdom. No. All the believers that are part and parcel of this Kingdom of Heaven, this rule and reign of Christ will have the God of Scripture as their God. It’s going to be glorious!
All right, now for the few minutes we have left turn to Isaiah, a portion that we’ve used a lot already. Back to Isaiah, chapter 11 and the change of behavior in even all of nature. A lot of people try to spiritualize this and say that it’s a figure of speech – no, it isn’t. I’m a literalist. This is literally going to take place. Isaiah chapter 11 and we’re going to start again at verse 1, so that we don’t have to jump in at something that we don’t understand. This again is introducing this coming glorious Kingdom over which Christ will rule and reign.
“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, (Who was, remember, the father of David.) and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: (In other words, Christ comes in the lineage of Jesse and David. So, we’re speaking of the Messiah here.) 2. And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. 3. And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD:…” Remember, the fear of the Lord in Scripture is what? Wisdom. Wisdom is the fear of the Lord. So, He’s going to have all the wisdom of the Godhead at His disposal.
“…and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: (Because He will, as God, know everything that’s going on in His Kingdom.) 4. But with righteousness he shall judge (or rule) the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, (That is at the beginning of it, when He’s setting it up.) and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” So that there will be no ungodly people in His Kingdom.
“And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” Or his control. Now here it comes. Boy, I love these verses, because as an animal lover I think you can’t help it.
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,…” Now you’ve got to admit, in spite of their mean nature and their carnivorous appetite, wolves are beautiful animals. They’re gorgeous. And here they’re going to be domesticated. Lying down with the lamb, instead of using it for food. All right, read on.
“…and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; (baby goats) and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; (And in the midst of all these ex-wild animals are children.) and a little child shall lead them. 7. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion (the king of beasts) shall eat straw (or forage) like the ox.”
All right, now let’s go back and pick it up, all the way back to Genesis chapter 1. Has it been this way before? Of course! It’s the curse that changed everything. Before Adam fell, it was just like Isaiah sees it in the coming Kingdom.
“And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, (including the eagles and other birds of prey) and to every thing that creepeth (crocodiles, whatever you can think of that were carnivorous. All these creatures God says,) upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for food; and it was so.” Now the green herb of course just simply involved things that grew naturally. The grass. The herbs. The fruits. The nuts. The berries. Anything but killing something else for its food. They all, everything, ate which grew naturally, because you want to remember, there’s no death. And if there’s no death, you couldn’t have a lion killing something else for its food. It just wouldn’t jive. It won’t fit. But there was no death. So, there was no killing for their daily sustenance, because everything, and I can’t emphasize that enough…everything from the top of the scale to the bottom ate of things that grew naturally.
Now you might think, well my land, how could the earth produce enough food? Well, now I’m going to give you a shocking thought, and it’s only my own idea. I can’t prove it from Scripture, but I think that before the flood the earth was probably just the opposite in the ratio of water to land as what it is now. Now think about that for a minute. If all of our vast ocean areas were a land mass and our land mass was water, do you see what the difference would be? There’s a tremendous, tremendous amount of square miles of water. If you invert those numbers, then I think before the flood there was so much land mass area, the dinosaurs could have been out there and nobody would have ever seen them. Because stop and think, if the vast Pacific Ocean was all forested land mass, there’d have been things going on there that no one would have ever seen.
All right, but this is the picture as it was before the “fall,” before death entered. Everything cohabited with one another. There was no lion killing something for its food. The leopard didn’t have to kill for its food. The crocodile didn’t have to kill for its food. They all ate of things that grew naturally. Of course when the fall and the curse came, it was all changed and ecology became as we know it today. All right, so at the time of the flood, I think that God reversed the land massed area and ended up with far more of the earth covered with water than with land. So, I see no problem with reversing it again and that it will come back as it was before.
All right, now if you’ll come back to Isaiah chapter 11, we’ve got to finish this quickly. So, all of these carnivorous animals, with no danger of being eaten up by somebody else, will all co-habit. They will all feed together, and then verse 9. Now, how can anybody reject promises like this?
“They shall not hurt nor destroy (See, there’ll be no death, there’ll be no destruction going on. If anything it’ll be constant the other way.) in all my holy mountain: (or in my Kingdom) for the earth (the whole planet) shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters (now) cover the sea.” God’s knowledge will permeate everything.
Now, I’ve got one more. I think we’ve got time to look at it. Jump all the way up to another verse that we’ve used quite often over the years, Zechariah chapter 14. Here we have the Tribulation, the horrors of those final days, the Battle of Armageddon, and the total destruction of the world’s armies, and then in verse 4 the Second Coming of Christ.
“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley;…” That will cause a river rolling all the way from the Mediterranean out to the Dead Sea. All right, now then we’ll, for the sake of time, jump over a few verses to verse 8.
“And it shall be in that day, (When Christ returns and sets this planet straight and makes it productive again.) that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: (or the Dead Sea out to the east of Jerusalem) in summer and in winter shall it be.” (Now look at the promise of verse 9.) 9. And the LORD (God the Son) shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.”
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