Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 1 * BOOK 68
BUT CHRIST – LIVETH IN ME – PART 1
I Corinthians 15:20 and Galatians 2:20
Okay, it’s good to see everybody in again this afternoon, which is a beautiful, beautiful spring day in Tulsa. It’s a beautiful day to have all these people in from out of state. We’ve got people from Iowa, Minnesota, Indiana, and Ohio. It’s a good time of the year to show off our beautiful city. I love Tulsa. I have ever since I went through it the first time when I was in service, and I thought what a pretty city this is. So, we want to welcome all of you, and, again, we just have to thank you for your prayers, your support, and your financial help. We never ask for money, because we never have to. It just keeps coming in, and all we can do is praise the Lord, and thank every one of you that are so generous and so supportive of what we’re doing.
How it thrills our hearts when we read these letters. And we’re getting letters from a lot of preachers that are getting their eyes opened. Unbelievable! And we appreciate that.
Okay, we’re going to keep right on going with our “But God” and “But Now’s.” We didn’t finish the last “But Now” in the last taping. We only got as far as the Rapture. So, we’re going to turn back to I Corinthians 15, the great resurrection chapter. I’m going to do like I did at the beginning – work our way down to the “But Now” in verse 20.
I Corinthians 15:14-15
“And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.” In other words, Paul says we are lying if God indeed did not raise up Christ. But He did! Now, verse 17:
I Corinthians 15:17
“And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; you are yet in your sins.” Now, what does that tell you? What I’ve been stressing over the years. It’s not enough to believe that Christ died for you. That’s only half a Gospel. You also have to believe with all your heart that Christ arose from the dead, victorious over sin and death and Satan and all the principalities and powers! Otherwise, we still have nothing, now verse 18.
I Corinthians 15:18
“Then they also who are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” Now, I’d better stop right here and define the term asleep in Scripture, because we know there are groups that teach a “soul sleep.” Don’t you ever believe it! I made the comment when I first started on television years ago, and I’ve repeated it, maybe not often enough, that when God created Adam and Eve, He created them in His image. Not in the likeness of a human body, but in His invisible makeup.
You remember that I’ve always pointed out that God Himself, all three persons of the Godhead, have the same attributes of personality. They all have a mind, they all have will, and they all have emotion. But they’re all invisible. You know I make a point of it. You can go into an autopsy, and I used to do quite a few of them when I was in service, and you can cut that brain every which way possible and you will not find the will. You will not find the soul. You will not find the seat of emotions. Why? They’re invisible! But does that mean they’re not real? We know they’re real!
You know you have a mind. You know you have a will. You know you have a set of emotions. You laugh. You get angry. But you can’t touch it. All right, that’s God, and He is an invisible personality. All right, now we were created, then, in that invisible mode of mind, will, and emotion; and then God merely put that invisible makeup into this earthly tabernacle.
All right, so, that being the case, if the soul was created in the image of God, can it ever fall away from activity? Never! So, the soul never sleeps or dies. A soul is always a living entity. Now, the body will die. And that’s really the King James word – sleep. The body will die, but on resurrection day, it, too, will be brought back to life. That’s our glorious hope, that someday that invisible part of us that’s still in the presence of God as a believer, is going to be reunited with a new body. And then Thessalonians says it so plain, we’ll be body, soul, and spirit once again.
So, always remember, that when you see it, especially in the King James Version, the word sleep does not mean that the soul sleeps. It does not mean that it ever loses its consciousness, because the soul cannot die. It’s an eternal thing that’s going to go on into eternity – someplace. The whole teaching of the Word of God is that you and I in the invisible are going to keep right on living through all eternity.
I’ll never forget, I heard somebody, and I don’t remember who it was, but we were listening to him preach in one of our churches or something, and he said, “Our salvation will last as long as God does.” How long is that? That’s forever! God won’t ever cease. And that’s how long our salvation is going to last – as long as God lives.
But on the other side of the coin, there is nothing in Scripture to indicate that the lost person is going to cease to exist any sooner. So, we have to maintain, as awful as it is, that the lost person is going to spend eternity in their lost estate, like we will enjoy it in our saved estate. It’s a fact of Scripture that that which God created, even though it was invisible, was created with no end, because He has no end.
Okay, I didn’t intend to do that. You got that free for nothing! All right, so now let’s go on, verse 19.
I Corinthians 15:19
“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” Well, what does he mean by that? Well, you can just about imagine what a disappointment it would be to suddenly realize that everything that you’ve been hanging on to was for nothing. It would just be utter disappointment. We all appreciate disappointments, because we have too many of them in this life. So here we have the assurance that we won’t be disappointed, because God is eternal.
You know, this series has been interesting. I’ve enjoyed getting ready for it. The other day, we had the couple who head up the mission to the Ukraine stop by the house. You’ve been reading and seeing a little more about in our newsletters. They use our tapes and our books, and they’re putting it all into Russian in the Ukraine. Well, anyway, the president of that mission and his wife stopped by the other day. We had no more than sat down to our old kitchen table and he was telling us some of the things, and he said, “But God!” And I said, “Hallelujah. You’ve been seeing the last programs!” Oh, he says, “I love them.” All right, “But now,” on this side of His resurrection.
I Corinthians 15:20
“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.” Or again, that died physically. But they didn’t die in the realm of the soul and spirit, because that goes right on into the Lord’s presence. All right, now then, over these last several programs we took from this “But Now,” and we started looking at the resurrections of the various groups of people. We pick that up in verse 23. Here’s where we really get the meat of all this.
I Corinthians 15:23a
“But every man (Now, the word man here is generic. It means men, women, boys, and girls.) in his own order:…” Or group. It’s a military term, I think, in the Greek, which signified various organizations in the chain of command in the military. Those of you that have been in, you know what I’m talking about. You’ve got the platoon and the company and the battalion and the regiment and division and the army. Well, every address to a man in service is directed to his particular military organization.
All right, now Paul is using that same analogy, by Holy Spirit inspiration, of course, that in the resurrections, not everybody is going to be resurrected at once. There’s going to be various groups, and everyone is going to be in their own designated group. Now, you remember in our last taping, one of these last four or five programs, we showed that the first ones to be resurrected were the “firstfruits,” or the sampling, of the harvest field as Israel practiced the harvest. Let’s see, we put it on the board. I guess it’s been erased since then. But remember I put it up here as a little square forty acre patch. And according to Jewish law, when they came in to harvest the field of barley or wheat, first they would come in and pick up those earliest ripening stems of grain. They’d bring them together into a sheaf and take it to the Temple and wave offer it before the priest and so forth. Well, it was called the offering of the firstfruits, the sampling of the major crop.
Okay, after they had taken the firstfruits out, and the major part of the crop is now ripe, then they would go in and they would harvest the whole field, but they had to leave gleanings, and they had to leave the corners. That was Jewish law. All right, so we covered all that.
So, after the firstfruits were taken out, we went back to Matthew 27 and showed how that was the group of Jewish believers, no doubt, that came out of the grave after His resurrection. They went into the city, and then from there they were evidently taken up into glory. All right, we’ve been waiting 1,900 and some years for the crop itself to be taken. And we feel that that’s the Rapture of the Church, the Body of Christ. That’ll be the major resurrection of the greatest number of believers of all time.
Then, we went on to show that the gleanings and the corners would be resurrected later. We didn’t get time to cover all that. So, now we’re going to cover, in this first half-hour at least, or maybe into the next one, who comprised the corners? Who comprised the gleanings? Now, I guess I should put the orders up here. First, we had the firstfruits. The firstfruits were those samplings that came out of the grave after Christ. The second is the Body of Christ, which is by far the largest number of believers of any time throughout Biblical history. Now today, we’re going to be looking at these leftovers, or the corners and the gleanings.
Okay let’s go back, first and foremost, and pick up the resurrection of those who are not in the Body of Christ. Go back with me to Daniel chapter 12. Now, I know that there are those who teach only one general resurrection. Everybody is going to be resurrected at the same time. Well, I beg to differ. And I’m used to that. I’m used to sort of being out there in the small minority. I don’t claim to be alone. Don’t ever think for a minute that I’m the only one that teaches the way I teach. There are many, many, many, but even in the whole, we’re still a small percentage.
All right, Daniel chapter 12. Now, this is probably the, what shall I call it? The parallel Old Testament portion of Scripture dealing with resurrection as I Corinthians 15 is in the New Testament. So, Daniel 12 and we’ll start at verse 1 to keep it simple.
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who standeth for the children of thy people:” Now remember, Daniel is a Jew – who are the “thy people?” Well, Israel. God’s chosen people.) and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” In other words, every believing Jew is finally going to escape the horrors of the Tribulation at the Second Coming of Christ.
Now, I guess I should show you a few of the references that refer to that. I’m debating which one to look at first. Should I look at Jeremiah 30? I think that’s the one that speaks of it. Yeah. Now again, you’ve got to realize, I do some of these things without planning to, so bear with me – Jeremiah 30. This is what Daniel is being led to write about. This last seven years of human history, the last half of which will be beyond our comprehension. Now, Jeremiah describes it.
“Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? 7. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, (Jacob here is referring to the Nation of Israel.) but he shall be saved out of it.” Now again, we have to be careful, knowing Scripture with Scripture, that Paul makes it so plain that the whole Nation won’t experience this being saved but only a small remnant.
All right, now let’s jump all the way up to Matthew 24, where Jesus is speaking of the very same identical time that Daniel is. Now, of course, the first fourteen verses all deal with the first half of these last seven years, which are going to be bad enough, but they’re nothing compared to the last half. All right, now Jesus picks it up in His own words, if you’ve got a red-letter edition, it’s in red, starting in verse 15.
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the Prophet, stand in the holy place, (That is in the Temple.) (whosoever readeth let him understand:)” In other words, when they see the anti-Christ come into the Temple, to the Holy of Holies, in Jerusalem probably, and that’s speculation, because we’re going back to a Greek Premier or a General or whatever he was back in about 300 BC.
Anyway, he went into the Temple in the time that Greece was ruling Jerusalem, and he hated the Jew. And just to cause consternation among the Nation of Israel, he offered a hog on the Temple altar, and it infuriated the Jews, of course. So consequently, it was called an abomination. Well, no doubt the anti-Christ is going to do much the same thing. All right, so Jesus is putting his stamp of approval on Daniel’s prophecy. So, “when you see the abomination of desolation” desecrating the Temple there in Jerusalem, because the Temple will be rebuilt, remember, all right, when you see that happen:
“Then let them who are in Judea (the area of Jerusalem) flee into the mountains: 17. Let him who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: 18. Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19. And woe unto them who are with child, and to those who are nursing in those days! 20. But pray that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day:” Which, of course, according to Jewish law, would limit their walk to a half mile or so. That wouldn’t even get them out of Jerusalem today.
“For then (this midpoint of the Tribulation, this time of Jacob’s trouble) shall be great tribulation, (The first half is going to be bad, but the last half is going to be great. Beloved, it’s going to be beyond human comprehension, see?) such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Now, all you have to do is just use a little common sense reflecting on human history.
Look at the horrible, horrible days that the human race has experienced in the last 6,000 years. There have been all kinds of horrible times. Hitler’s holocaust was probably the worst, of course. But, what’s coming is even going to be worse than the holocaust. And people can’t get a handle on that. It is going to be beyond human comprehension, because when you get to the end of those seven years, there’s only going to be just a sampling of human beings left alive. It’s going to take almost the whole human race in its wake.
All right, so those are all pictures concerning these final days. Now, come back with me to Daniel who uses almost the same language in verse 1. That’s what made me think about these other two portions. That there’s going to be a time such as never was since there was a nation. Now, that’s back in Daniel chapter 12 verse 1. We just read it a little bit ago.
“…and there shall be a time of trouble, (Jacob’s trouble) such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time:…” Now, even back here in Daniel’s day, way back at about 550 BC, the Holy Spirit directs Daniel to use the same time frame that Jesus did. That right up until the end of time as we know it, there’s not going to be a portion of time so horrendous as this last three and a half years. Do you see that?
“…and at that time thy people shall be delivered,…” Well, it will be the Second Coming of Christ. All right, let’s look at another one a minute. Go ahead from Daniel, go towards the front. Go to Zechariah chapter 14 and we’ve got the same kind of a picture. We’ll start at verse 1. Now, this is prophecy, and it all fits with what Jesus said in Matthew 24. It fits with what John writes in the Revelation. So, we know it’s true. This isn’t just some idea that some men have dreamed up. This is the Word of God.
“Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, (That’s the term of those final seven years leading up to His Second Coming.) and thy spoil (In other words, everything that has been left for the victorious enemy.) shall be divided in the midst of thee.” In other words, the Gentile armies are just going to come in and help themselves to everything that belonged to the Jewish people. Verse 2, but this is all part of God’s design, so He says:
“For I (This is God’s design.) will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, (In other words, they’ll just be devastated, looting like you have never seen.) and the women ravished; (That’s just another term for raped. There’s going to be more rape taking place in Jerusalem, again over time, like the world has never seen.) and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, (They’re going to be overrun by these Gentile armies.) and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” They’re going to be trapped. But now verse 3, here is the promise at the last moment possible.
“Then shall the LORD go forth, (That’s Christ, now, at His Second Coming. He’s going to leave Heaven, and He’s going to come to the planet with all of His power.) and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle.” Now verse 4, we know this is a literal, physical, visible Second Coming. What does the next verse say?
“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives,…” Now, what does that indicate? Physical. Visible. You who have been to Jerusalem, no doubt like we do, the first thing we do is go right from the airport up to the Mount of Olives. It gives everybody a view of the whole city. Well, it won’t have changed one bit by the time Christ returns. It’s still going to be there, and that’s why it lists it in that way.
“…the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave…” And so on and so forth. Then, I always like to jump on over to verse 9. This will introduce the final 1,000 years of the planet’s history, when Christ will set up His Kingdom. He’s going to set up His throne room in Jerusalem. This is just as plain as English can make it.
“And the LORD (That’s God the Son, that’s Jesus the Christ.) shall be king over all the earth: (Not just Israel, but He will reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords over the whole planet.) in that day there shall be one LORD, and His name one.”
It’s so obvious that this is the Kingdom that He talked about all the way up through the Old Testament finally coming into fruition. There is a constant prophetic reference to this glorious Kingdom over which Christ is going to rule and reign. It’s going to be heaven on earth. Satan is gone. The curse is lifted. Sin is gone. Death is gone. It’s going to be a literal heaven on earth, and that’s what we have to understand. All right, but at the same time, that time as we know it is now going to be interrupted, and Christ sets up His Kingdom. We have to have the resurrection of all the believers from day one until that time. Well, now we still haven’t gotten far enough to get there, but we’ll pick it up in the next half-hour, where the rest of these believers will be resurrected.