Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 65
BUT GOD! – (The Body of Christ –The Mysteries) – PART 4
MATTHEW 6:33 and Various Other Scriptures
Okay, it’s good to see everybody back, and it doesn’t look like anybody’s left. That’s what we were so amazed about in Minnesota the other day. We started out with over 800, and I think we had just about that many at 5 o’clock in the afternoon. So, that’s encouraging when people don’t get up and leave!
Okay, for those of you out in television, again we just want to thank you for your support and prayers, your financial help and your letters! My, I can’t emphasize enough how we appreciate your letters, especially when you keep them short. Those of you who have helped us with the mail understand why, but we don’t want you to limit. In other words, if it takes a long letter to give us your testimony, that’s fine, but on the whole, if you can say what you want to say in one page it helps us so much in order to read every letter that comes in. And we still do. We still read every letter, and hopefully answer those that need to be answered.
All right, let’s continue on where we have been, on the Body of Christ, the revelation of the mysteries as they were given to the Apostle of the Gentiles, Paul. Let’s carry it one step further now and go into Colossians chapter 4, and start at verse 1. You know, I always like to make the statement that we don’t throw aside the rest of Scripture, naturally, it’s all for a purpose. It’s for learning.
But, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of the Christian life, everything we need to know is covered between Romans 1:1 and the last verse of Philemon. Everything. The everyday life. The home life. Children’s relationship. Everything is covered that we really need to know between Romans and Philemon.
All right, now here in Colossians chapter 4 he’s dealing with employers and employees.
“Masters, (those of you who own a business) give unto your servants (your employees) that which is just and equal; (In other words, be a fair-minded employer.) knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven. (Now, here it comes) 2. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; 3. Withal praying also for us, (That is, Paul and his ministry.) that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:” Now, what do you suppose he’s referring to? That God, who had been specifically revealing Himself to the Nation of Israel, has now turned to the whole Gentile world, revealing to the common, ordinary, pagan individual, His Deity, His power, His glory, and that He’s ready to save to the uttermost those who would simply believe Him. Unheard of! Gentiles?!
Now, most of us don’t have the right picture of the Gentiles of antiquity. They weren’t much better than animals when it came to morality. They were ruthless. There was no such thing as human rights. If you weren’t in the elite upper percentage, you were just so much dirt under their feet. So, to have God go to those “uncircumcised Gentiles,” as the Jews called them, was unheard of.
All right, now just for sake of a point. Come back with me to Isaiah chapter 42, so that I can sort of rehearse and charge your memory of things that we’ve said many, many times before. The whole idea of the Old Testament was to prepare Israel for a coming role of evangelizing the pagan Gentiles, and here’s the proof of it. Isaiah chapter 42 and we can start at verse 1.
“Behold (the prophet writes) my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: (Now, this is God speaking through the prophet concerning the Messiah, the Christ.) He (the Messiah) shall bring forth judgment (or righteous, benevolent rule) to (What people?) the Gentiles.” If the Gentiles were going to receive anything benevolent from God, it had to be through Israel. All right, move on down to verse 6.
“I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, (Now, we’re talking to the Nation of Israel.) and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, (For what purpose?) for a light of the Gentiles.” That’s all through, especially, the prophets.
All right, turn all the way up through Isaiah to chapter 60, and this is what I want you to see. That, until we get to Paul, if God had a mind for the Gentile, it was going to be after Israel had become the obedient Nation and they had the King and the Kingdom. That’s the Old Testament prophecy
“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, (Now, that is a prophetic reference to the coming of their Messiah in His first advent.) and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. 2. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, (a spiritual darkness) and gross darkness the people: (Israel, in spite of all their religion, their temple worship, and their sacrifices, yet they were spiritually blind.) but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. 3. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings (of the Gentile world) to the brightness of thy rising.” Now, drop down to verse 5.
“Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” But Israel rejected all that, and now God had to bring about one Jew, the Apostle Paul, and through this apostle, now, all of God’s grace and goodness to the Gentile world is brought about.
All right, let’s come back to Colossians once again, in case you kept your place, just back up now a minute to Colossians chapter 1, where we were earlier today, but we stopped at verse 25. Now we’re going to drop down to verse 26, but to pick up the flow, and point, let’s start at verse 24.
“Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh (That is, his personal day-to-day suffering.) for his body’s sake, which is the church: 25. Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill (or to complete or bring to fruition) the word of God; (That’s why, I feel, that II Timothy is the last portion of Scripture ever written.) 26. Even the mystery…” You see how often this just pops up throughout Paul’s epistles, because it is this revelation of things totally unknown. That’s what makes our teaching of Paul’s doctrines, this teaching concerning the Grace of God, so insulated from all the rest of Scripture. You can’t mix them up.
You know, while we were in Minnesota, one old fellow came up, and he’s been retired quite a few years after being 25 years as a pastor in one of the major denominations. He picked up our teaching just a few years ago, and he said, “Les, if I could have just had this while I was pastoring, what a difference it would have made in my ministry.” But he said, “The Lord gave me an opportunity. This summer our adult Sunday School Class teacher was going to be gone for the summer, and they asked me to teach the class.” So, he said, “I jumped at the chance. The first thing I did, I went up to Wal-Mart and bought an Oster Blender.” Now, you know what’s coming don’t you?
He says he’s going to give them an object lesson. He said, “I took some green paper, and I cut it in little pieces and on every piece of green paper I put a Biblical truth. All the way from Genesis all the way up through.” He said, “I got up there in front of that Sunday School Class, (Minnesota people won’t hear this for a few years, and by that time they’ll forget about it.) and said, now folks, I’m going to show you something. I’ve written on this piece of paper, something (I don’t know what it was.) concerning Adam and so forth.” So, he put it in the blender. He had it about half full of water.
He said he came all the way up. On every piece of paper he told them what he was writing. It was things that everybody knew. He threw it in the blender. He got all the way through and had all these green pieces of paper in that blender and he turned it up. He said he had a gooey mass of green stuff and he poured it in a glass, held it up, and he said, “Who wants to drink it?” Well, he said it about made them sick to their stomach. He said, “Don’t you realize that’s what they’ve been doing with the Bible all your life? Most people absolutely can not separate Paul’s writings from the rest of Scripture, and when that happens you get the blender effect.”
What a point. He said they got it! They picked up on it right away. Because that’s what most have been doing. They just mix everything up, they spend their time in the Gospel’s or in Acts or a little bit in Paul, but nobody ever sees this distinctive difference in Paul’s revelation of the mysteries. That’s what I’m trying to do in these series of programs, is to let folks know that you cannot take this Body of Truth and dilute it with any other portion of Scripture, past or future. You leave it intact. Then, it becomes easy to believe.
Okay, now in Colossians 1 again, this mystery which has been hid, that constant emphatic repetition of the fact that these things were hid in the mind of God until He revealed it to Paul. I’m going to keep repeating it. So, don’t go back to the Old Testament and try to find a verse that refers to the Body of Christ. You won’t find it. Don’t try to go into the Old Testament or the four Gospel’s or Revelation and find a reference to the Rapture. You won’t find it. Because it, alone, is associated with the mysteries revealed to Paul. I think we’ll have time to still hit the Rapture this afternoon. All right, Colossians 1.
“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to (Whom?) his saints:” The unbelieving world can’t comprehend it. They can’t comprehend that God, the Creator of everything, took on human flesh and went to that Roman cross, suffered and died, so that He could open salvation to the whole world. They can’t comprehend that. It’s all part of the mysteries. But you and I can, it becomes vivid!
“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory (Well, that’s just about like Ephesians said, the unsearchable riches.) of this mystery among the Gentiles; (See how plain all this is? But now, what’s this mystery? I mentioned it a moment ago.) which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” Now you see, there isn’t another religion on the face of the earth that can give that kind of a promise, that we have the Creator of the Universe indwelling us. That’s our hope. That’s God’s down-payment on our life! That He is literally dwelling within us. That’s why a believer cannot go into gross sin and stay there.
Now, we can fall. But every once in a while, somebody will call and tell me, “Well, our preacher was a good preacher for five years. Got a wife and three lovely kids. A month or so ago he ran off with the church’s secretary. You telling me he’s still saved?” And I said, “Well, I’m not going to say one way or the other, I can’t look on the heart. But I can give you a couple of guidelines. If in a short order God doesn’t convict him and bring him back or take him out, then, yes, I doubt if he’s ever saved.” Because the unbeliever doesn’t flinch on those things, he doesn’t flinch. But if he’s a true believer, he’s either going to be convicted and come back, or God will take him out. That much we know from Scripture.
All right, but here we have the fact that a true believer is indwelt by Christ, in the person, of course, of the Holy Spirit. There’s no other religion on the face of the earth that can give that promise. That’s why we’re different. I always like to say we’re not better, we’re better off. We’re better off. That’s what makes the difference.
All right, now in the time we have left, let’s look at the mystery concerning the Rapture. Oh my, I’m still getting letters, “I can agree with you on everything, Les, but I can’t agree on the Rapture.” Well, bless their hearts, let’s turn to I Corinthians chapter 15 verse 51, and lo and behold, what’s one of the first words you see? “Mystery” That’s why these theologians can’t understand the Rapture. It’s a mystery. It’s a secret. They haven’t comprehended. So, if they can’t see the Rapture in the Second Coming verses, then they just pooh-pooh it and say well, that’s just a false doctrine. I’ve mentioned it before on the program. I can tell in the first line of a letter that is disagreeing with me on the Rapture and just sort of skim through their letter. There’s not one verse from Paul. It is all Old Testament, the four gospels, and Revelation. to prove that there’s no such thing as a Rapture. Absolutely, there’s no Rapture in that part of the Bible. You’ve got to come to Paul, because Paul alone had revealed these things that were kept secret.
I Corinthians 15:51a
“Behold, I show you a mystery;…” You’re going to get tired of hearing the word this afternoon, aren’t you? Paul says, “I’m showing you a mystery.” God has revealed something to me that’s never been revealed before. Now, what’s this mystery?
I Corinthians 15:51b
“…We shall not all sleep (die),…” Now, I know a lot of people come back to that verse in Hebrews, “It is appointed unto man once to die and after this the judgment.” Well, that’s true in general terms, but God is God and He can make an exception, and the exception is going to be the Rapture of the Body of Christ. Now read on. This secret is that not every believer is going to go through the valley of death. Because there’s going to be a group of believers living who will not die, but they will be changed.
I Corinthians 15:51c
“…but we shall all be changed,” They’re suddenly going to go from this body to a body fit for eternity. A body like Christ’s resurrected body – instantly! You know, since this hip surgery I’ve been doing a lot of walking, and the other morning, on a beautiful morning, I had one foot in the air and the thought struck me – Les, before that foot hits the ground you could be in Glory!
Somebody, after my daughter Laura got hurt, sent this little jingle. I don’t ever get that out of my mind. “This wicked ol’ cowboy, wicked to the extreme. He got pitched from his horse and was killed. And everybody was all hemmin’, you know, well the poor man is lost. He’s in hell. But this guy says, no, now wait a minute. Maybe between the stirrup and the ground the Grace of God he found.”
But see this is how instantly God can do things. Never forget the words of the Lord Jesus in His earthly ministry. “With God nothing is impossible.” Nothing! You and I cannot get a thought so far out but that God can do it. Now, I know the Rapture gets close. How in the world will God suddenly, instantly call every believer around the planet to meet Him in the air in a second or two? Well, it sounds impossible to us, but is it to God? No! It’s going to happen because the Book says so! Here it is, we’ll not all die physically.
I Corinthians 15:51c-52a
“…but we shall all be changed. (How fast?) 52. In a moment,…” That word in the Greek is the smallest division of time. And at the time of the Scripture of course, that was probably a fraction of a second. But now it’s down to a fraction, of a fraction, of a fraction of a second. And that’s how fast it’s going to happen.
I Corinthians 15:52b
“….in the twinkling of an eye, (As fast as you can blink your eye, it’s all going to happen. And it will be–) at the last trump: (Singular. Not one of the seven trumpets of Revelation. Those are angel’s trumpets. This is God’s trumpet and it’s singular.) for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” All the believers of the Church Age. I can’t put anybody else in there in my understanding of Scripture. I cannot see the Old Testament saints coming at this same trumpet call, because Daniel 12 says, so clearly, that Daniel and his fellow believers will be called out at the end of 75 days, after the Kingdom is set up. But every member of the Body of Christ because that’s all Paul talks to, every member of the Body of Christ will be raised incorruptible. Philippians tells us that we’re going to have a body, “fashioned like to His glorious body” after the resurrection. All right, and here’s the reason.
I Corinthians 15:53
“For this corruptible (this body of corruptible flesh) must put on incorruption, (So that we will live forever.) and this mortal (Which is prone to death.) must put on immortality” For, again, the purpose of living for all eternity in God’s presence. All right, now we have to go to the companion portion. Most of you who have heard me teach know where it’s at, I Thessalonians chapter 4, and begin in verse 13.
I Thessalonians 4:13a
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren,…” Now, whenever I read that I can’t help but think of Romans 11:25 that we read earlier this afternoon, where he says, “ignorant of this mystery.” Now, I know I don’t have the authority to put that in here, but I can’t help but think of it. Paul doesn’t want us to be ignorant of yet another mystery, because that’s what it’s called in I Corinthians. It’s a secret, now unveiled only to this apostle. All right, so he doesn’t want us to be ignorant of this tremendous event.
I Thessalonians 4:13b
“…concerning them which are asleep, (Believers who have died, our loved ones.) that ye sorrow not, even as others who have no hope.” In other words, those whose loved ones are lost, or they themselves are lost, they will never be reunited in Glory. Now verse 14 and this is so thrilling! This is Paul’s Gospel of salvation!
I Thessalonians 4:14a
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again,” See how plain that is? Paul’s Gospel! And if we believe it for salvation, we’re going to be part of this! If you don’t believe it, you won’t be.
I Thessalonians 4:14b
“…even so them also who have died in Jesus will God bring with him.” Now, that takes a little explanation. At death what happens to the soul and spirit of the believer? Out to Glory! Into the Lord’s presence! They are with Him. And when this day comes, He’s going to bring them with Him. The soul and the spirit and they’ll be reunited with that resurrected body. Every single individual’s soul and spirit with that original body that’s resurrected. That again is impossible for us to imagine, but God’s going to do it, and He’s not going to miss a one!
Every passed away believer is going to be reunited with the soul and spirit that’s been in Glory, so they become a complete entity once again. Oh, if I had the time, maybe we can do it in our next program. If you go back to Romans chapter 8, what did that resurrection give us? “The new body, fit for all eternity.” All right, now reading on, verse 15.
I Thessalonians 4:15a
“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord,…” Who does that mean? Where does Paul get all this? Well, he didn’t get it from the Twelve. He didn’t get it from going back to the Old Testament prophets. The Ascended Lord revealed all this to him. I think it’s coming to him in such a way that he can clearly comprehend it. As the Holy Spirit gave him utterance, he could write these words, and it was just confirmation of everything he already knew.
I Thessalonians 4:15b-16
“…that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, (That is, at this what we call the Rapture.) shall not precede (or go ahead of) them who have died. (They’re going to come out of the graves first.) 16. For the Lord himself (The crucified, ascended Lord is going to leave heaven and–) shall descend with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump (singular) of God: (Not an angel’s trumpet like Revelation, but this is a trumpet of God.) and the dead in Christ shall rise first;” Those who are believers, the Body of Christ, and they’ve been laid wherever they are, whether they’re burned at the stake and there’s nothing left but ashes. That doesn’t make any difference to God, it’ll be resurrected, a new body reunited with their soul and spirit.
I Thessalonians 4:17a
“Then (in the next instant) we who are alive and remain…” Now remember, what I Corinthians said? Same thing, that there will be a group of believers who will not die physically. Here we pick them up again.
I Thessalonians 4:17b
“…shall be caught up (instantly translated) together with them (The resurrected of the ages of the Body of Christ.) in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: (He’s not going to come to planet earth. He only comes to the air.) and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Now, in closing, at the Second Coming it’s associated with disaster and death and destruction. At the Rapture, nothing more than perilous times shall come.