Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 67
BUT GOD! (Gave the Increase) – Part 4
I Corinthians 3:7 – I Corinthians 10:13
Okay, here we go. Again, we want to welcome everyone out in television for another Bible study. We are on a series of “But God’s.” I think most of you understand by now that I use the term the “flipside.” So, pretty much even on these you go up and then all of a sudden you get to the flipside. I think it’s an interesting study. I hope everybody out there does. But anyway, we trust that you’ll enjoy it. Again, I want to thank everyone out there in television for your letters, your prayer support, your phone calls, and everything! With the Lord’s help, it’s what makes our ministry what it is.
Okay, already in the studio they have found I Corinthians chapter 10 which will be our next “But God.” It’ll be in verse 13, and then we’re going to go back—oh, wait a while. We were going to put our note on the screen again. I’m doing it every program this time, because I want everybody to just about know this from memory. It’s such a help in Bible study. And remember, this goes clear back to the 1500’s. This isn’t something that Les Feldick dreamed up. This goes clear back, and it’s the whole basis of the dispensational approach to Scripture.
“It shall greatly help you to understand Scripture if you mark (or take note) not only what is spoken or written, but ask of whom and to whom, with what words, at what time, where, to what intent, with what circumstances, considering what goes before and what follows after.”
Now, that just says it all, doesn’t it, Luther? Luther’s been on this one every time I use it I can see that he says, hey, that’s it. This is where it’s all at. So, we put it on all these four programs today. We trust that you have gotten at least most of it in your mind and understand that when you read your Bible, that’s what you do. You ask yourself, now who is writing? Who’s it written to? What are the circumstances? What’s gone before? What comes after?
For example, I can take you to Christ’s earthy ministry. Everything that Jesus said in His earthly ministry was spoken to the Jew. Under what circumstances? The Law. He never said a word except that it was under the Law. And that’s the way you separate it. Then, here comes this next apostle, who always emphasizes that his apostleship is to the Gentiles. So, who’s writing? Paul. Who’s he writing to? Gentiles. What are the circumstances? Under grace, not Law. And so we go.
All right, we’re going to start right up at verse 1. I won’t have you turn to it, but in Romans chapter 15 verse 4, Paul says:
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning,…” Not for doctrine specifically but to help us understand. It’s a learning process. All right, now here he comes. He’s going to dip back into those Old Testament Scriptures to help us understand what he’s really talking about when we get to verse 13.
I Corinthians 10:1a
“Moreover, brethren, (Again, who’s he writing to? Gentile believers or he wouldn’t call them brethren.) I would not that ye should be ignorant (or untaught),…” Now, you’ve heard me define that word a hundred times over the years. To be ignorant isn’t a lack of brainpower. When I say somebody’s ignorant, it’s not putting them down. It’s not making fun of their ability. They haven’t been taught! And that’s most people with Scripture. You guys know that. They’re ignorant because nobody’s taught them. We hear it all the time.
I’ll never forget, several years ago a lady called one morning from Northern Indiana. She said, “Les, I’ve been in a parochial school. I’ve been in a parochial university. I’ve been in church all my life and I’ve never heard any of this before!” Sad, isn’t it? Well, hey, that’s legion. That’s most church people. Over and over we hear it – why haven’t we heard this? Well, I haven’t got the answer for it, but hopefully we’re filling up some of the gaps. But why don’t they teach it? Well, I think basically they don’t want to hear the truth of the matter. And consequently, as many have experienced, they get a little upset. But here we go now.
I Corinthians 10:1a
“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers (Now, Paul always keeps reminding us that he’s a Jew. So, he’s speaking of the fathers back in the Old Testament account.) were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; (The Red Sea, coming out of Egypt) 2. And were all baptized unto Moses…” Now, I could have a lot of fun with that, couldn’t I? You mean to tell me Moses stopped and had a big baptismal service? Well, how could he? The Red Sea is all parted. They’ve got nothing but dry dirt! So, what kind of a baptism was it? It was a baptism that placed Israel under God’s authority and protection, which was emphasized with the cloud, and they were placed into the sea even though it was dry. It was dry dirt. There wasn’t any water there. But they experienced a baptism. Far different than what most people think of baptism. There’s no water here. This is strictly a God thing, where He placed Israel under His authority, His control, and His protection. They were baptized. Now verse 3:
I Corinthians 10:3
“And they did all eat the same spiritual food;” Which was what? The manna! They all had manna. They learned how to fix it differently. I suppose one Jewish family was frying it and the other one was boiling it and another one was baking it, but it was all the same stuff. It was all manna. Now verse 4:
I Corinthians 10:4
“And they did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock (capitalized) that followed them:” Now, do you all remember that story? Back in the Exodus, they’re coming out on the desert, and the animals are bellowing with thirst and the Jews are thirsty, and they’re complaining. We need water!
Moses comes into God’s presence all frustrated and said, “Lord, what am I going to do? These people need water.” What did God tell him? “Strike the rock with your rod.” And he did. What happened? Out came rivers of water, enough to water all their livestock. Now remember, we’re talking about millions of people, not a few ragtag like the movie showed it. We’re dealing with millions of people and all their needs and livestock, and here comes the water – out of the Rock. But who was the Rock? Christ – the Creator of everything!
Now, that should tell people something. Back when Jesus told Peter in Matthew 16 “You’re Peter (You’re Cephas, you’re the little stone.) but upon this rock” – well, who’s He referring to? Himself! Himself! He’s always the Rock of Scripture.
Always. I can take you to Daniel. Come back with me so that you’ll get what I’m driving at. Daniel chapter 2, drop in at verse 34. All the way through Scripture, when we have a reference to a stone or a rock, it’s referring to Christ. Now, in the Psalms it speaks of the “stone that was rejected.” Well, we draw the analogy that as they were building the Temple, the quarries had sent in a rock that didn’t fit. The builders didn’t know where it went, so what did they do with it? They laid it aside because they didn’t know, and it became a stone of stumbling.
Well, what was the picture? That’s what happened when Christ came. They didn’t know how to handle Him. They didn’t know what to do with Him. So, what’d they do? They cast Him aside. They crucified Him. So, all through Scripture He’s the Rock. He’s the Stone. Now, here in Daniel we’re speaking of Him at His Second Coming. The LORD is speaking to Daniel.
“Thou sawest (That is in his vision.) until a stone was cut out without hands, (Now, wait a minute? What does that language imply? This is a God thing again. This isn’t something men have done. This is a stone that wasn’t cut with human hands, miraculously.) which smote the image (this great statue that Nebuchadnezzar had seen) upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.” He knocked it over and rolled it like a steam roller until there was nothing left but a pile of dust, and that blew away.
Well, this is all prophecy, of course, concerning Christ’s Second Coming. But the stone, here, smites the image, which was a symbol of all the great Gentile empires which will be evident in the end time scenario. We can see it already. I hope I can remember. I didn’t really intend to do this, but you’ve got Rome involved. And what was Rome? They instigated our courts of law. The whole idea of innocent until proven guilty began in the Roman Empire.
Well, the next one was the Medes and the Persians. They were mostly known for their marketing of goods and so forth. And to this day….my, when we were in Turkey, they pushed their carpets at us every chance they got. They love their handiwork. Well, the next one was Greece. What was Greece known for? Their architecture and their culture. And the last one was the Babylonians – going in reverse order. What were the Babylonians known for? Banking. Banking! That’s where interest and usury had its beginning. It was in the Babylonian Empire. Is it all in the world today? Oh, multiplied many times over.
So, all of these Gentile Empires that are now coming together for this end-time scenario are symbolic of all these things that were in those first four empires. And at His Second Coming, Christ is going to destroy them so that they disappear from view. All right, Daniel saw it prophetically in symbolism. I didn’t intend to do all that, but here we have Christ as the “Stone” who will destroy the Gentile empires at His Second Coming. Well, I could go into various other places of Scripture where He’s always referred to as the rock or the stone.
Okay, back to Corinthians chapter 10, I Corinthians chapter 10 and the rock that was smitten by Moses and brought water for all the people and their flocks was Jesus Christ. Now then verse 5.
I Corinthians 10:5
“But with many of them (of these several million Israelites coming out of Egypt, who were now being given everything that they needed – the manna for their food and the water from the rock for all their water needs) God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.” Out on the desert. All right, now we’ve got to re-think. Why are they being dealt with out in the desert, when God wanted nothing but His best? Well, they rejected the Promised Land. Remember?
They came up to Kadesh-barnea, and God told them to go in and take the land. It’s all ready for them. He’d drive the Canaanites out with hornets. You know, I’ve rehearsed this over and over. The land was in front of them with tremendous production and tremendous technology, no doubt, the Canaanites were living in beautiful homes and had orchards and farms and flocks and herds, and the Israelites could have had it free for nothing! But what did they do with it? They rejected it because of what? Unbelief!
Now, you’ve been hearing the book of Hebrews lately on the daily program, haven’t you? Unbelief! What a horrible, horrible sin. It’s the worst in all of human experience – Unbelief. All right, this is what Paul is referring to. Here these people had every opportunity of the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey. But because of their unbelief, they were overthrown in the wilderness. To what extent? That every Jew who was in the generation that rejected died out in the wilderness over a period of 38 years. All right, now verse 6, here’s where Bible study comes in.
I Corinthians 10:6
“Now these things (What things? Well, whatever Paul refers to as having happened in Israel’s past, whatever it may have been.) were our examples,…” That’s how God teaches us. What happened to them was just a living example that we can profit from. Sodom and Gomorrah. My, what an example. God utterly destroyed it in His wrath and vexation. Why? Because of their immoral lifestyle. And Scripture (II Peter 2:6) reminds us not to be like Sodom and Gomorrah.
There are various other times in Israel’s experience. Ai — just after they crossed the Jordan River after they’d defeated Jericho. Now, the next little village, or town, was evidently a fairly well-to-do community. It was Ai. And what were they to do? Destroy everything. They were to keep nothing for themselves. But who was it? Achan, he says, “God will never know if I keep some of this for myself.” So, he kept some. Buried it, if I remember right? God had to literally chastise the whole nation because of the deeds of one man, one family. All these things happened to them for us to learn by. Okay, reading on.
I Corinthians 10:6b
“…were our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.” Now, the word lust doesn’t always mean sex. It could be desire for anything, especially if it’s not good for us.
Now, I’m glad I used Ai. What did Achan do? He lusted. For the women? No, for the material things. He put himself in jeopardy by trying to secret it away and bury it and probably come back for it another day. It didn’t work. It doesn’t pay to lust after things that we are not to have. We’re to learn from it. That’s the whole idea. Now verse 7:
I Corinthians 10:7
“Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them: (Now, you have to have the rest of the verse to know exactly what we’re talking about.) as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” What are we talking about? What did they use for an idol? Come on? The Golden Calf down there at Sinai.
You know, the thing that always amazes me the most in that account is that Aaron the High Priest went along with it? That’s one thing I can never comprehend. When they came to Aaron and said, “Make us an idol,” he didn’t chastise them. He didn’t dress them down. He didn’t say, don’t think such a thing. He just said, bring me your gold and silver and we’ll get with it. And when they brought in the idolatrous worship of that thing which, of course, introduced everything that went along with it – the sexual immorality and everything, God had to come down and chastise the nation with the deaths of twenty some thousand?
But anyway, what was the purpose? To show you and I that we’d better be careful before we start lusting after evil things or make something an idol. Now, I have taught it for years. Don’t think an idol is just something of wood and stone that you can set on your mantel. An idol can be anything that is not Scriptural according to God’s plan for our life. Your home – your beautiful house – it could become your idol. Your automobile can become your idol. Your kids can become your idols. Anything that we simply put in first place in our life that is not according to God’s direction becomes an idol. And we all have to guard against it.
You know I love my cattle. You’d be surprised how many people call and say, “Les, don’t let those cows become your idols.” No, they’re not that much to me, but that’s the way it could be. Anything that is of this material world that takes first place is an idol. It’ll lead to your spiritual destruction. Okay, verse 8:
I Corinthians 10:8
“Neither let us commit fornication (sexual immorality), as some of them committed, (not just a few, quite a few) and fell in one day twenty-three thousand.” Just in one day that many got involved with the lewd and nude dancing around the golden calf. That’s what precipitated it, you know, that idol, the calf.
I Corinthians 10:9a
“Neither let us tempt Christ, (Now, I prefer to use the word test here, because I don’t think we can tempt God. You’re not going to get God to do something, but we can test His reaction. How’s He going to react to this?) as some of them also tested, and were destroyed of serpents.” Okay, now we come to yet another Old Testament account. Because of their gross sinfulness, what did God send into their midst? The fiery serpents.
My, they were dying like flies from the serpent bites. So Moses comes crying to God to do something. Save your people. What did God tell him? “Make a brazen serpent out of brass. Put it up on a high pole and anytime a Jew gets bitten, if he will look upon that serpent, he won’t be smitten with snakebite.” And that’s what they did.
Well again, symbolically, what was the picture? Well, brass in the Old Testament was a picture of judgment. The brazen altar is where sin was judged in the tabernacle or the Temple worship. The serpent, of course, was, I think, indicative of our mortal enemy. Satan is always depicted as a serpent. But in this case, it’s a brazen serpent. It’s going to be a place of judgment, which also takes us all the way to the cross where Christ was lifted up. And now, by simply looking at Him through faith in that finished work of the cross, we, too, are healed of our lost estate. So, all these things were constantly symbolized in these Old Testament accounts. All right, now in verse 10 we come to yet another shortfall of Israel.
I Corinthians 10:10
“Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.” In other words, God permitted Satan to come in and take the lives of multitudes of these Israelites because of their unbelief and their murmuring. They murmured against God, and the warning is even for us in this Age of Grace. We are to be aware of how we respond to our circumstances because of God’s mercy and grace.
I Corinthians 10:11a
“Now all these things (And Paul could have used many, many more instances.) happened unto them for examples (to be examples for us):…”
Now, I think I made the comment in my class in Muskogee the other night. Have you ever stopped to think that for the last 6,000 years everything that has happened is exactly according to God’s design? Now, that seems a little bit far-fetched, I know. But look, here we are 6,000 years after it all began, and we are right on schedule. Let’s back up 2,000 years. Galatians tells us that after 4,000 years of human history, on the exact right day, month, and year, what happened? Christ was born! Christ was born! Not a day late.
Now, we’ve come another 2,000 years and nothing is a day late. Nothing! Everything that’s happening around the planet is according to His permissive design. So, I don’t get all shook up at the Republicans or the Democrats or the United Nations or Europe or the Muslims or anything else. It’s all in God’s design and purpose. Now, that doesn’t mean we just become fatalists and say, oh well, what will be, will be. But on the other hand, we have to understand that in His Sovereignty, He is in control of everything. So, this Scripture tells me that even the bad things that happened to Israel were by His design, for our benefit. It’s amazing isn’t it? It’s amazing. But that’s our God. That’s the God of this Book!
I Corinthians 10:11b
“…for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” Now, that’s another half-hour right there. Why did Paul use that language at his time? Well, you remember when we introduced you to the Book of James, how I rehearsed the timeline coming out of the Old Testament. Remember that? How everybody in that century thought the Lord would be returning and setting up the Kingdom in their lifetime, in a matter of 10-12 years after the cross, because all the Old Testament spoke of it in that light. And even Paul.
Now, let me go to a verse, I think we’ve got time, in Hebrews. This makes it so clear that of all these writers of Scripture, not a one of them had a concept of a 2,000 year parenthetical period of time. They thought everything was going to be fulfilled in their short lifetime. All the writers of Scripture write in that view. And it is the same way here. Paul says that the ends of the world are come upon the people to whom he’s writing. All right, Hebrews chapter 1 starting at verse 1.
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in times past unto the fathers by the prophets (That’s your Old Testament.), 2. Hath in these last days (What are they referring to as the last days? Christ’s earthly ministry!) spoken unto us by his Son,…” Well, if God had not opened up the timeline, everything would have come right down the pike. But because of Israel’s rejection and their failure to believe who Jesus was, He now turns to the Gentile world for these last 1,900 and some years. But again, was it in His Divine purpose? Sure! It wasn’t a surprise to God when Israel rejected everything. It wasn’t a surprise to God when He had to open up the Gentile world through the apostle. It’s all in His Divine plan. And that’s the miracle of Scripture.
Well anyway, that’s about as far as we’re going to get on this one. Come back to verse 13 in the few seconds that we have left. All of these things were just to show us that, regardless of what our circumstances are, God is faithful!
I Corinthians 10:13
“There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer (or permit) you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” Why? Because we’ve got all the instructions from the Old Testament to bear us up.