Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 73
HOLY SPIRIT (PNEUMA HAGION) – 1
Psalms 51:11 and Luke 24:49
My, it’s good to see everybody again today. For those of you joining us on television, remember this is program one of the next series of four, and then we’ll complete book number 73. You multiply that times 12 and that’s the number of programs we’ve produced. One of these days we should be able to wrap it up and call it quits, but so far we’re going to keep going. We would like to welcome you to an informal Bible study, and you know, I’ve got to compliment you folks here in the studio. When we review these and look at these tapings, I come back to what someone said years ago. He said, “Les, do you realize that everybody that sits under your teaching has their own Bible?” And I’d never really thought of that before. So when we watched the film, sure enough, everybody’s got their own Bible. And I do, I appreciate that so much for those of you here in the studio, because we know our TV audience is doing the same thing. They grab their Bible, and they sit down and watch it with us.
Okay, now I only have one announcement. We’re still going to let folks know that our one and only book of questions and answers is still available. We send it out with no other charge except for the eleven bucks for the book itself. This little book answers all of the questions that most people have. So, if you’re interested, you just call and the girls will get it out to you. We send everything out with an invoice, and you pay for it when you get it.
All right, we’re going to continue on with our series that we started in our last four programs on the incarnate Christ, which is a coin term merely to define that Jesus of Nazareth was totally God and totally man. You know, that’s a concept that a lot of believers have a hard time recognizing—that when He prayed to the Father, He prayed from his humanity. He was totally human. He got tired. He got weary. There were times when He just simply showed His humanity.
He wept when Lazarus died. The sorrow in that household touched him like it would any
human being. But on the other hand, He was totally God, and He could raise the dead. He could forgive sin. I was thinking again last night, we hear these things and we believe them, but do you really sit back and picture it. If you’d have been there with those twelve on the Sea of Galilee—the waves are beating over that little boat, and the wind is roaring, and all He does is stand up and says, “Peace be still,” and everything’s quiet. Now we know the story, but do you really stop and think what that must have been like? No wonder the twelve say, “What kind of a man is this?” Well, He’s God, the same one who created everything!
I think if anything has thrilled me in this series of lessons on the incarnation, it is that it brings home to me once again that had God not become flesh, we never would have had salvation. Do you know that? We’d have been doomed automatically. And at the same time, they came up with another thought. Now we know that the Old Testament, especially—let’s go back and look at it. I really didn’t intend to do this. I may even have to look and see if I can find it—Deuteronomy chapter 6 verse 4. This is the premise of most of the Jews’ thinking even today. That’s why an Orthodox Jew cannot swallow the New Testament, because they call our concept of a triune God polytheism. Oh, you’re worshiping more than one God, and we don’t. All right, here’s their reasoning.
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God (Is what?) is one LORD:” They can’t get away from that. But now have you ever stopped to analyze this whole idea of a triune God? Have you ever stopped to think—could God have precipitated our great plan of salvation if there’d been only one person of the Godhead? Have you ever thought about that? What if there’d only been one person of the Godhead? Let’s just say God the Father. Could He have consummated this glorious plan of salvation? Well, He could have gone part way, but what would He have done when He was ready to die? He would have to be resurrected. Who would do it? See, it falls over.
But with the concept of a triune God, one of them could come down and become flesh and blood. He could die. He could safely go through death in the tomb, because you still had two persons of the Godhead to call Him forth, and they did. So you see, the more you analyze all this, the more miraculous it becomes, and yet the most logical of anything on earth. So keep all these things in mind and mull them over in your mind in your spare time. Just think these things over and over. What if there’d only been one person of the Godhead? What if one of them hadn’t come down and become flesh and blood? It is thought-provoking.
Okay, so here we go for another series of teachings on the incarnate Christ, the God-man. Let’s turn to Philippians chapter 2, and we’ll drop in at verse 5 where Paul writes:
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” Now, my next series, whether I’ll start this afternoon, I think I will, is going to be on the Holy Spirit. And I maintain that the Holy Spirit is a person—the same as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. Some people say He isn’t. In fact, sometimes I wonder if our translators felt that He was not a person, because how many times do you see the Spirit referred to as it and which? Don’t you often wonder, well, why not a personal pronoun? Well, some people don’t agree that He’s a person. Well, what made me think of it? What are the three parts that make up a person? Now you’ve been with me long enough, what is it? Mind, will, and emotion—that makes a personality.
All right, what made me think of it? What word have we got right here? Mind—Paul says, “Let this mind (this part of your make-up) be in you, which was also in (Whom?) Christ Jesus.” He’s a person. He’s mind, will, and emotion. He’s a personality. God the Father is mind, will, and emotion. God the Spirit—and I’m going to show that—has a mind, will, and emotion. So let this part of the very personality of Christ be also in you, and the only way that can happen is by virtue of being born from above, and we become part of all that. All right now, verse 6:
“Who, (speaking of God the Son) being in the form of God,…” He was God from eternity past. Now some of the cults teach, of course, that Christ didn’t appear until many, many, many, many ages after the fact. That He was not eternal in His existence. But this says He was. He’s always been God from eternity past.
“…thought it not robbery (or something that He could just grasp because He wanted it) to be equal with God: (Because He was, it wasn’t something He had to grab for. He had it.) 7. But He made himself of no reputation, and took upon himself the form of (Not an emperor, not a prince, not a governor, not a dictator, not a senator, not a physicist, not anything else, but a what?) a servant,…” What’s the other word for servant in the New Testament? Bond slave!
Well, on the totem pole of society, where was a bond slave? At the bottom, wasn’t he? So Christ became flesh, not like these televangelists try to tell us—that He was rich, that He had all the world’s goods. I said, hey, that’s not what my Bible says. My Bible said that He was comparing himself to foxes that had dens, and He didn’t, and birds that have what? Nests, He didn’t even have that. So, what was He? He was beneath everything. He put Himself down at the bottom rung, so that He could experience everything pertaining to the human existence.
“…and took upon himself the form of a bond slave, and was made in the likeness of (What?) men:” Now remember last time we taped, I kept emphasizing all the time, as I’ve already eluded to, that without Him becoming a man, could there have been salvation for the human race? No, because the righteousness of God, starting way back in Genesis chapter 3, demanded a sacrificial death with the shedding of blood. And could a spirit do that? Do spirits have blood? We’re going to see that again when I get into the Holy Spirit lessons. No, a spirit doesn’t have blood.
So, He had to become a human being in order for blood to be….no, I guess that just triggered another thought. I haven’t done it for a long time. We can just interrupt. That’s why I’m glad I run my own show. Nobody has to tell me what I can do and what I can’t do. Okay, we’re going to go back and we’re going to look at some absolutes. So, put all this on hold for a minute. Come back with me to Romans chapter 3 and the very absolutes that every human being has to face if they want eternal life or salvation. They have to face them. They have to deal with it, and I want you to be aware of that today like never before. This fits right in with what we were talking about, that Christ had to become human. He had to have blood, and it had to be shed. All right, Romans 3 verse 23, what I call the first of three absolutes. I used to have two, but now I’ve put this one in as a third one.
“For all (no one excluded) have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” An absolute. You can’t argue with that. You cannot detour around it. You can’t tunnel under it. You can’t fly over it. What do you have to do? You have to meet it head on. I have fallen short of the glory of God. It’s an absolute. Nobody can be saved without understanding this—nobody.
For the next one, let us go all the way back to Hebrews chapter 9. This is what made me think of this. See, I can prepare and prepare. Jerry and I can prepare, and I didn’t have any of these in my preparation. But here it is in verse 22.
“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; (But here’s the part that I’m looking for.) and without shedding of blood is (What?) no remission.” None. The other word for remission is forgiveness. So, without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness. And yet every human being is a sinner, because we’ve fallen short.
All right, when these preachers are forgetting about the atoning blood and they’re feeding their congregations everything and anything but, do they stand a snowball’s chance in being forgiven of anything? No, because you have to have the blood. It’s an absolute. And you’re not going to compromise with God and say, now wait a minute, that’s kind of a gory situation. Do I have to face something like that? Yeah, you bet you do. The cross wasn’t pretty. Oh, we make necklaces now, you know. Iris hasn’t got one on, but anyway we make necklaces. We have prettied the cross, haven’t we? But was it? No, it wasn’t pretty. It was awful. It was awful! Why? Because sin is awful.
I’ll never forget. Do remember, Iris, when we were in the mosques, the Golden Dome, way, way back? It was one of the first or second times when we took a tour to Israel. At that time, you know, the Intifada hadn’t started, and if we took off our shoes, we could actually go into the Golden Dome. Inside the dome on the bottom floor is this huge rock that comes up about 8 feet above the floor, where supposedly Abraham offered Isaac. Our Jewish guide was explaining how that the altar of Israel’s temple was quite likely in this very same spot. He was explaining the geography of the area, and how all the blood of these animals could be drained down, and it would go out through underground caverns and out to the Kidron Valley.
Anyhow, we were talking about the slaughter of all these animals and somebody in our group—we weren’t that large a group, probably around 30 of us—made a comment that that was such a gruesome religion. Well, our little Jewish guide, of course, tried to explain the fact that when these priests killed these animals, it was such an instantaneous death that the animal never suffered one iota. Anyway, the guide was trying to explain away the situation and take away the gruesomeness of it. I’ll never forget. I spoke up and said, but, Levi,… (That was his name.) don’t try to take away the horrors of the shed blood of the cross. When they offered that lamb, many times it was probably like a household pet, and to see that lamb shed its blood for their sin just tore them up. Why? Because that’s what sin does. The whole idea of this sacrificial system of worship and the shedding of all this blood was to show Israel the awfulness of their sin. But see, we’ve lost that. My goodness, today they don’t even call sin a sin anymore, do they? They’ve got all kinds of politically correct terms for it. But I’m old-fashioned enough, yet. I still say sin is sin, and it stinks, beloved. Sin stinks in the nostrils of a Holy God. But we’ve put all that aside. But we had better not, because we have to face the absolute “that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” And you can’t argue it. You can polish it up all you want, but you’re not going to get around it.
All right, now the third absolute is just the next page over, still in Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 6.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him:…” There is no way, shape, or form that you can please God without faith. But faith in what? In Paul’s gospel for our salvation—faith in the shed blood: the death, the burial, and the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
How many church congregations are hearing that anymore? Well, I just had a guy call last night from one of our cities. He said, “Les, my wife and I have been visiting churches, one right after the other, Sunday after Sunday after Sunday, since you’ve been out here.” And I was out there in April. “We can’t find a church that’s preaching this,” He says. “We don’t hear it, not at a one.” Now, I don’t know how many Sundays that would be, but whatever. I know this is true, because they don’t like it. Then Sunday school, I have people who have been under my teaching and when they bring out some of these things, yeah, I got heads nodding all over the place. What do they think? They think you’ve lost it. Well, where do you get that? Right here and they can’t see it. But anyway, those are your three absolutes.
Now, if you’ll come back to Philippians. I don’t know what in the world got me off on that, but anyway, here we have the fact that we have to believe. We have to know what God’s Word says. A lot of faith today is in everything and anything but the gospel. Faith in God, faith in the miracles, faith in this, and faith in that, but that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about faith in the gospel, the finished work of the cross. Otherwise, Christ wouldn’t have had to come and become flesh, because it is paramount that that is the very center of our salvation experience. All right, back to Philippians chapter 2, reading the last part of verse 7 where we left off.
“But made himself of no reputation, and took upon himself the form of a bond slave, and was made in the likeness of men: (He was totally human) and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself,…” Of His own volition He stood there and took all the abuse of the Romans, and all the verbal abuse of the Pharisees and the priests and so forth, without a word of opposition. Why? Because He was voluntarily becoming the Lamb of God!
And a lamb, you know, never fights back. I guess that’s why God chose that as the typical sacrificial animal. A lamb does not know how to fight back. So, as a Lamb of God, He went without a word of argument and became obedient, just like Isaac of old. He became obedient unto death, not just death by a sword, not just death by a beheading, but the worst death that the human race has ever invented, the death of the cross.
You and I do not even have an inkling of the suffering and the horrors of death by crucifixion. It just literally crushed the diaphragm so that they couldn’t breathe. That’s why they had the block of wood under their feet. Then they could push their feet up once in a while and get a little bit of relief for the diaphragm and get a breath of air. It was an excruciating death.
All right, this is what is pointed out then in this last portion of the verse. It wasn’t just death that He went through. It was the death of the cross. Again, nothing else could have consummated our salvation. He had to be lifted up. He had to shed His blood. He had to suffer, because that was all part of the payment of sin. Not because God is so awful; it’s because sin is so awful.
And, my, we’re seeing it explode all around us. I take the Daily Oklahoman, and every day it is murder, rape, drugs, alcohol, and it’s coming like a flood. So, don’t blame God. Sin is awful, and in order to pay that sin debt, Christ had to meet all of the demands of a Holy God. On that basis I’m going to take you back for a minute to Romans chapter 5. I had a phone call yesterday where I had to use this verse, and I think since I’m talking about how much the cross accomplished, Romans chapter 5. I think we’ve got time. Let’s jump all the way up to verse 17. Romans 5 verse 17, now remember what we just saw in Philippians: how that Jesus Christ took upon Himself the form of a man that He might suffer death, not just death as may usually happen, but even the death of the cross.
“For if by one man’s (Adam) offense death (Death and sin, remember, are synonymous.) reigned by one; much more they who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, (The second Adam and who is that?) Jesus Christ.” See that? Now to verse 18:
“Therefore as by the offense of one, (Adam) judgment came (the curse) upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one (Jesus Christ) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” Everyone has had an opportunity. If they don’t take it, it’s not God’s fault. They’ve all had the opportunity. Now, this is all repetition to make the point.
“For as by one man’s (Adam) disobedience many were made sinners, (In other words, the whole human race fell under the curse.) so by the obedience of one (Jesus Christ) shall many be made righteous. 20. Moreover the law entered, that the offense (In other words, that sin could be seen for what it really was. It was written in stone so there was no arguing out of it.) might abound. But where sin abounded,(The worst, the most awful that you can think of—now what’s the rest of the verse?) grace did much more abound:” What a God! That no matter how vile a man may become, or what an awful sinner he is, God’s grace is greater than his sin.