Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 69
REDEEM, REDEEMED, REDEMPTION – PART 4
Various Scripture References
Okay, program number 4 and again I just want to thank all of you folks from near and far for coming in this afternoon. It’s just been a pleasure on my part. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. For those of you joining us on television, we’re an informal Bible study. We’ve got nobody that underwrites us. We just depend on the gifts of God’s people, and amazingly, He supplies all our needs. We never have to beg or borrow. We just give Him all the praise. Thank you, folks, for everything that you do for us. We appreciate the prayers. They’re just as important as the financial.
Okay, we’re in a Bible study. We’re looking today at the whole concept of redemption from Genesis through Revelation. I didn’t feel like I quite wound up in the last half-hour the whole idea of the redemption work of Christ and the cross. So, I’m going to come back to where we left off in the closing seconds of the program, Galatians chapter 3 verse 13 once again. Remember now that the three facets of redemption are: it takes a person; it takes blood; and it takes power.
Of course the Lord Himself fulfilled all that when He went to the work of the cross, not just to redeem Israel, not just to redeem the Gentile, but to redeem the whole human race. This is a concept, I think, that probably shakes people up every time I say it. You want to remember that the work of the cross passed forgiveness to the whole human race. From Adam to the end of time every sin has been forgiven. It was laid on Christ at the cross. Every alienated person has been reconciled to God, so far as God is concerned. Every human being now has access to this salvation, but it has to be appropriated by their personal faith.
It isn’t just a blanket statement that oh well, God’s going to bring everyone into glory sooner or later. No, the Scripture doesn’t teach that. The Scripture makes it so plain that even though God has accomplished the work for all the human race, it has to be appropriated by faith. He redeemed the whole human race. He paid the price of redemption for everybody, but it doesn’t do them any good until they appropriate it with their own personal faith.
All right, back to Galatians chapter 3 where we left off in verse 13.
“Christ has (past tense) redeemed us from the curse of the law,…” Now, do you get the impact of that? What does the Law do to the human race? It puts a curse on them. It doesn’t lead them to Heaven.
My, I can’t imagine how Satan has been so successful in twisting this whole approach to the Law by giving people the idea that if they do the best they can, if they keep the Commandments, God will let them into His Heaven. That’s not what the Law was given for. The Law was given to convict every individual of his law-breaking, his failure, his sinfulness, and that only the work of the cross can compensate for it. All right, so again, “Christ hath redeemed us.” He has bought us back. He’s paid the price.
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us:…” Now see, there again, you’ve heard me say it over and over, especially those of you here in Oklahoma. There is no way any human being can comprehend what Christ suffered at that cross.
The “Passion of the Christ” didn’t even scratch the surface, because that was merely from the physical point of view. What they could not show is how He suffered from the spiritual side. Whereupon being God Himself, being the Creator, He alone was capable of it. He suffered the sin debt of the whole human race. We can’t comprehend that. But that’s what the Scripture teaches. That He suffered being sin for us, He who knew no sin.
“…for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:” Well, what’s it directing at? Where was Christ hung? On a tree. That’s why it had to be a cross. He had to be hung on a tree to fulfill the cursedness of having been hung on a tree. Now look at verse 14.
“That the blessing of Abraham (Who also was under that redemption that happened to Israel.) might come on the Gentiles (not through the law) through Jesus Christ; that we (as Gentiles) might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Not law-keeping. Not Temple worship. Not sacrifices.
All right, now skip across, still in this same little letter to the Galatians, to chapter 4 verses 4 and 5. This is the only time that the Apostle Paul makes reference to Christ’s birth at Bethlehem. The only time. Why? Because Christ’s earthly ministry was not for the Gentiles. That was for Israel. We are concerned with His finished work of the cross. So for us, it’s from the cross on.
“But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made (Where?) under the law,” My, how many times have you heard me say it? Everything that Jesus said and did was according to the Law. He lived, He preached, and He practiced under the Law. He was in the Synagogue on the seventh day (Sabbath day). He went to the Temple. When he preformed the miracle of healing the lepers, ten of them, what did He tell them? “Go show yourself to the priest according to the law.”
Everything He preached was according to the Law. That’s why Paul now teaches–I didn’t intend to do this, but these things come up and I have to hit them. II Corinthians chapter 5 and a lot of preachers hate this. I know they do. I hear it. II Corinthians chapter 5, but as Peter says, everything that Paul wrote is Scripture. And if it’s Scripture, it’s what? The Word of God. And if it’s the Word of God, we’d better pay attention, or else you’re going to be misleading people.
All right, II Corinthians chapter 5, I almost have to start at verse 14 to pick up the flow. Paul is writing to the Gentile church at Corinth. He’s writing to us.
II Corinthians 5:14-15
“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, (or conclude) that if one died for all, then were all dead: (That is spiritually.) 15. And that he died for all, that they who live should not henceforth (That is from their salvation on.) live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again.” There’s Paul’s gospel. Now look at verse 16, and, oh, so many preachers and teachers don’t like it. It makes them mad. But I can’t help it.
II Corinthians 5:16a
“Wherefore henceforth (from this point of the resurrection forward) know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh,…” His three years of earthly ministry. Old Saul of Tarsus knew what Jesus of Nazareth was doing. I’ll bet he was on the fringes just infuriated over what he was seeing Jesus do. He was a good Pharisee. So, when he writes something like this, even though it’s inspired of the Spirit, it was still apropos from his own experience. Paul knew all about it. But now look at the rest of the verse.
II Corinthians 5:16b
“…yet now henceforth (From this time forward. Not from John the Baptist. Not from Peter, James, and John’s call up there at Galilee, but from this time of this revelation of this Gospel of Grace.) know we him no more.” That’s why Paul never refers to Bethlehem. He doesn’t refer to His earthy ministry. He doesn’t refer to His miracles, because that’s moot. That was all for Israel. What counts for us are the work of the cross and the power of His resurrection.
All right, back to Galatians chapter 4 a minute, chapter 4 verse 5. Then we’re going to move on to our next point on the board – the Redemption of the planet. That’s coming next. But now we’re dealing with the redemption of the human race, our need, spiritually, as lost people. All right, verse 5.
“To redeem (to buy back, to pay the price of redemption) them who were under the law, that we might (experience redemption and) receive the adoption (or the placement) of sons.” As a child of God, and that’s all part of redemption, He bought us back from the slave market. That again was what Paul pictured back there in Romans. It was the slave market that was such an apropos illustration for his day, because they were operating all over the Roman Empire.
Slavery was a mundane thing. These people would be captured, probably in war, and they’d be brought back to Rome or other places and were immediately placed into a slave market. They were treated like animals, the same kind of slavery that carried all through human history.
All right, now once they were in the slave market, they only had two alternatives. One was death by one way or another, whether it was the lions in the Coliseum or whatever. The other alternative was that some rich Roman would buy them out and pay the price of redemption. Hopefully, taking them to a beautiful villa and giving them light work. That was the hope of a slave in a slave market. Well, Paul draws the analogy – that’s the lost person. We’re in Satan’s slave market. Satan is only going to give us one alternative. Death! Eternal doom! That’s where Satan wants us. But God by His grace instituted redemption. By faith He bought us out of Satan’s slave market.
That’s why I’m always emphasizing, what all was involved in the power of His resurrection? Defeating all these forces of Satan that have such a hold on the human being. The resurrection power had to break that. Well, let’s just use the slave market as another step. Here we are in Satan’s slave market. Satan is jealous of his subjects. He doesn’t want anyone to take one of them away from him. But, you see, the power of resurrection was able to do it. The power of resurrection breaks the chains of Satan. It sets us free. Then this is the glory of the life of a believer: when we become a believer and we’re set free, are we confined with a whole bunch of rules and regulations? No, we’re free! We now have the Holy Spirit to guide us, to direct us. But we don’t have walls of limitation. You can’t do this. You can’t do that. It’s the liberty that we experience when we’ve been bought out of the slave market.
Okay, so much for that. We’ve got thirteen minutes. I don’t know if I can do justice. I doubt it. We’ll have to go to the text taping session next month, but let’s go back quickly to Revelation. No, I’m going to stop at Peter. I’ve got to do justice to Peter. Peter uses the term just as well as Paul does and just as well as Isaiah, so we’re going to use it. I Peter chapter 1 verse 18. Remember that Peter is writing to scattered Jews. They were driven out of Jerusalem because of Saul’s persecution. Now he writes these little letters, that we’ve been addressing in our daily programs, to the Nation of Israel who are believers that Jesus was the Christ. They’re in little synagogues scattered throughout the Roman Empire. This is where this letter is directed. All right, verse 18, we have the same concept. It doesn’t matter if you’re Jew or Gentile.
I Peter 1:18
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (manner of living) received by tradition from your fathers;” See how Jewish this is? This wouldn’t apply to us Gentiles. We’re not resting on the tradition of the Old Testament Gentile people. Heaven forbid! But for the Jew, they were resting on the tradition of the fathers, ever since Abraham. But Peter says, that’s not what redeemed you. These believing Jews were redeemed with–now verse 19.
I Peter 1:19
“But (you were redeemed, you were bought back) with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” Aren’t you glad we went back to Exodus a little while ago? That’s just exactly what they had to look for. They had to find a lamb that was perfect, with no injuries, no visible signs of anything being wrong with it. They watched it for four days to make sure it was perfect. All right, that’s what Christ did in His three years of earthly ministry. He showed His sinlessness. He showed that He was the perfect, spotless Lamb of God.
All right, now Peter makes reference to it as he writes to fellow Jews, “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb (like the Passover lamb) without blemish and without spot.” Well, hopefully that will settle the whole act of redemption, first of Adam, and then of the Nation of Israel out of Egypt, and then the human race as the work of the cross paid the price.
Now, we’re going to look at the redemption of the planet. Because as soon as Adam fell, who took over the dominion that Adam enjoyed? Well, Satan did. Satan became the god of this world. Immediately! We made reference to it in our last taping. Maybe I should go back and show it. Keep your hand in Revelation, if you’ve already found it.
Come back with me to Matthew a minute, because when I make a statement like this, I know people will say, “Well, now wait a minute, Les, where do you get this?” Come all the way back to Matthew chapter 4. Satan is tempting Christ. For sake of time, again, let’s bring it all the way down to verse 8. Now remember, this is in His earthly ministry. This is Christ in the flesh, the God-Man, totally man, totally God. Now verse 8.
“Again, the devil taketh him (Jesus) up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;” The Roman Empire as it was then existing. In the realm of the spirit, he could probably rehearse the Greek Empire, the Medes, and the Babylonians. Maybe he even had the wherewithal to look ahead a few hundred years. But the whole concept was that Satan is now showing Jesus in His earthly ministry, in the realm, I think, of the spiritual, all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them. Not the hideous part. Not the slum sections, not the ghettos. The glory of them. The good part. Now verse 9, the audacity that Satan approached the Lord Jesus Christ.
“And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” Isn’t that amazing? Now you know, I always stop right here and ask the question. You’ve heard me say it a hundred times. Were they his to give? Yes! He’s the god of this world!
Now, another verse comes to mind. Then we’ll go back to Revelation in the few minutes we’ve got left. We’re not going to have much time are we? II Corinthians chapter 4, a lot of church people don’t want to recognize that Satan is the god of this world. But he is. This planet is under his thumb. It’s under his power. It’s under his control.
II Corinthians 4:3-4
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:” A saved person doesn’t have any trouble understanding the Gospel. He knows that he is what he is because of it. But for lost people, hey, they haven’t got a clue. Even church people, I’m finding, are getting a little more ignorant all the time. My goodness, back when I was a teenager, everybody knew what you were talking about when you talked about a Damascus Road experience. Talk to your average teenager today. Do they know what it is? They don’t know what you’re talking about.
I think I passed on what one of the poll takers had found out not too many month’s ago. It was a poll taken only among Sunday School kids of supposedly evangelical churches. He asked the question whether they believed in the Biblical God, the God of Creation. And I was aghast. I stand to be corrected, but if I’m not mistaken, it was something like 80% of our teenagers in Sunday School knew nothing of the God of this Book. They were what we call deists What’s a deist? They recognize that there’s a power, that there’s a providence, but a personal God? They know nothing of that. All right, so Satan is the god of this world, back to your text, verse 4.
II Corinthians 4:4a
“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them who believe not,…” Who blinds them? Satan does. Hey, listen, he’s a smooth operator. He’s brilliant. Don’t ever picture him as a little monkey in a red suit with a pitchfork. That’s the worst. He is a brilliant shining angel. And he has power, limited only, of course, by God’s Sovereign power.
I’ve taught it for forty years, ten years before I ever started anything else, that this Satan will use all the beautiful things of this world to confuse the issue. Drive through a beautiful city park paid for by the taxes of the people. Is it a work of God or a work of Satan? I’m not tricking you. That’s a work of Satan. Oh, he loves that. He loves to put out beautiful things – beautiful libraries, beautiful this, beautiful campuses. In his so doing, who does he get people to forget? God. He puts all the emphasis on himself. Hey, I’m not kidding you. He is the god of this world. He is sharp. He knows exactly how to confuse the issues.
That’s why the Lord himself and I mentioned this in the last taping, the Lord Himself used the example “broad is the way, wide is the gate that leadeth to (What?) destruction, and many go in thereat.” What’s the next verse? “But narrow is the way, straight is the gate, and few there be that find it.” Beloved, it’s enough to scare you down to your socks that the vast majority of the human race is missing it because the god of this world is so subtle. My, look at our kids today. Sunday morning is the best time in the world to have a baseball tournament. Do you know that? Yeah! Why Sunday morning? Because Satan doesn’t want them in a Sunday School someplace. Why, when we were kids they never dreamed of doing things like that on Sunday morning. But now it’s the norm. Hey, the god of this world, he’s in control. The only thing we can hope for is that we’ll have the wherewithal to have the Holy Spirit enlighten us, convict us, and bring us out of the slave market of sin and be one of the fortunate few that are finding the narrow way which leads to life eternal.
Well, I haven’t really got time to go back to Revelation. Just to whet your appetite, we’ll go back to Revelation chapter 5. I’m going to give you just enough so that you can do like I’ve been doing for the last few months. Now, take Revelation chapter 5 and then go back to the Book of Ruth, and then you’ll have my next taping! Because this is where we’re going to pick it up. Revelation chapter 5 and we’re going to start at verse 1. Now, this is at the very beginning of the Tribulation. It hasn’t really started yet. This is the beginning of the seven years.
“And I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a book (or a scroll) written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.” Now, it’s unfortunate that it’s called a book, because a scroll gives you a better picture. What are we talking about? A mortgage! We’re talking about a mortgage. The mortgage is written on the inside that is not visible, and it’s written on the outside and then sealed with seven seals, so it won’t unroll. All right, read on.
“And I saw strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the scroll, and to loose the seals thereof? 3. And no man in heaven, nor in earth, nor under the earth, was able to open the scroll, neither to look thereupon. 4. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, (or to pay off this mortgage) neither to look thereon.
“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, (the scroll) and to loose the seven seals thereof.” Now again, where are our references taking us? Old Testament. We’re not going back to the writings of Paul for this. We’re going back to the Old Testament to pick up the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of King David, and then verse 6.
“And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 7. And he (this Lamb of God) came and took the scroll out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.” Now come down to verse 10, and it says:
“And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” Why? Because the One who took the scroll had died and shed His blood and was raised from the dead. Now, we’ll pick that up in the Book of Ruth in our next taping.