Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 74
CONNECTING THE DOTS OF SCRIPTURE – PART 10
Genesis through Revelation
Okay, good to see everybody back. Again, we’re going to go right on with our study of Christ’s earthly ministry. We’re going to do like we did in the last program. For the next several programs, I’m going to start with Romans 15 verse 8 that says what we’ve been looking at so clearly.
And while you folks are all looking that up, for those of you joining us on television, again, we want to emphasize the fact that we’re not out to push for numbers. We’re not trying to convince people how wrong they are. All we want to do is have them see what the Book really says, because tradition is a vicious thing. And that’s why the Apostle Paul is always warning against it. Beware of tradition.
It’s like what I told one young man on the phone. He said, “Well, I’m believing what Grandpa believed.” And I said, “If Grandpa is in Hell, are you going to follow him there just because of tradition? You’ve got to go back and see what the Book says, not what Grandpa thought.” That is my whole premise. We want folks to see what the Book really says.
All right, so if you’ll come back with me again, just for an opener, back to Romans chapter 15 verse 8. I don’t care if we read it often enough that you’ll know it before the afternoon is over.
“Now I say that Jesus Christ was (You remember I emphasized the past tense verb.) a minister of the circumcision (Not of the whole human race, but rather Israel.) for the truth of God, to confirm (or to bring to fruition, or to fulfill) the promises made unto the fathers:”
Now, that’s as plain as language can make it, isn’t it? That Jesus came to the Nation of Israel as the God-sent One, even though He was the Son of God Himself. He came to the Nation of Israel to fulfill all those Old Testament promises that we looked at in the last two tapings. How that Abraham was promised a nation of people, and that God would use them intrinsically and specifically to bring about His purposes. Then it wasn’t long, at least about the time of King David in 1,000 B.C., that we have the whole idea of a coming Kingdom. And David is the picture of the symbolism of this coming King and Kingdom.
David wouldn’t be the one, but it would be the One in the lineage of David. So, we had the promise then of a king, almost beginning with King David. That earthly Kingdom will last for a thousand years according to Revelation. Which is still future. Well, then all the prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and then all the Minor Prophets—that’s all they write about—this coming glorious day for the Nation of Israel.
But in the meantime, the nation of Israel would, because of their sinfulness and their unbelief, go through horrible times of correction and discipline. But through it all and through two different terrible times for Israel—the first one was the Babylonian invasion when the Temple was destroyed in 606 B.C., and the second time in A.D. 70 when the Romans destroyed everything and Israel was sent into dispersion—but always with the promise that the blessings would still come.
All right, now here we come at the beginning of Christ’s earthly ministry. When we closed in our last half hour, John the Baptist had been pleading with the Nation of Israel to repent of their national sins, because they were to be prepared for this glorious, righteous Kingdom on earth, which would be absent of any sin. It’s going to be heaven on earth. Well, you can’t take all the sins of the flesh into that kind of scenario. So, the whole message of John the Baptist was to repent and wash with the water of the Jordan River and be ready for this glorious Kingdom. All right, now let’s jump back to Matthew chapter 5.
Now then, we’ve got the timeline up here, again. While you’re looking for Matthew chapter 5, I’m going to review a little bit. Here we’ve come all the way from Adam to Abraham, which was two thousand years. In that first 2,000 years there was just one disaster after the next. You have the Flood. You have the Tower of Babel—a total rebellion. And then finally we have the appearance of Abraham in 2,000 B.C. Five hundred years later we’ve got Moses who brings the children of Israel out of Egypt, and they become a nation to be dealt with. Then 500 years after Moses, we’ve got David. Then a hundred years after David, we have the writing of the prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah and so forth.
All right, in about 600 B.C. they were taken out and exiled to Babylon. Then they come back after 70 years, reestablish the Temple, and reestablish the city and the nation. Then the Minor Prophets come in. And then, at the end of this two hundred year period, after Malachi finishes his prophecy, we have four hundred years of silence. And then we are just now beginning the three years of Christ’s earthly ministry. Now, that’s just a brief description of the Old Testament timeline. And everything is looking forward to this King and His glorious Kingdom.
All right, jump up to Matthew 5 verse 17 and this, again, is the Lord speaking. If you have a red letter edition, it’s in red. Matthew 5 verse 17, the Lord says:
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” The same word that Paul used in Romans 15. He came to fulfill. Now, the casual reader here, and probably most preachers, thinks He’s talking about the cross. No, He’s not talking about the cross. He knows of it, of course. He’s God. But that wasn’t the first priority. The first priority was to present the King and His Kingdom to Israel, putting Israel on trial.
Now you know, every once in a while I get a letter – what if? It’s a good question. I don’t mind it a bit. What if (yeah, you all are thinking the same thing) Israel would have accepted His Messiahship? What if Israel would have said, okay, we’re ready? Bring in the King and the Kingdom. What would have happened?
Well, the last one that called, I said, that’s hypothetical. That’s all it is. It is hypothetical. It could have never happened. But why? Because Christ had to die, and had they accepted the King and the Kingdom, that would have upset all that. So, why did Jesus come preaching and proclaiming? He knew they were not going to accept it. In His foreknowledge He knew that it would bring about the crucifixion. And what was the crucifixion? The preplanned plan of God to bring salvation to the whole human race. He knew how it was all going to unfold. So Israel could, in good faith, be presented with all this, because there was no danger of them accepting it. Because God knew they wouldn’t.
All right, so then I use another one as an example. When they went up to the Promised Land under Moses, what did God tell them? Go in and take it. It’s yours! You won’t lose one drop of blood. I’m going to drive the Canaanites out with hornets. Well, did He mean it? Sure, He meant it! But did Israel believe it? No. Did God know they wouldn’t? Yes. And then again, just stop and think. What if Israel would have accepted the Promised Land under Moses? That would have blown everything out of the water. That would have just upset the whole apple cart. But God knew that they would reject it, go back out into the wilderness, and then finally come in and grow as a nation over another thousand years. So, hypothetical? Yes. But you can never make it reality.
All right, but here the Lord is showing again that all these promises of the Old Testament prophets were legitimate. They’re going to happen. Oh, it didn’t happen in His first advent. But they’re still valid promises. And now we’re getting close. My goodness, anybody that can look at today’s news and not see that we’re at the end–! Now, of course with God, you know, a hundred years is nothing. That’s what tempers me all the time.
You know, it hit me when we were teaching the Book of Isaiah a year or two ago. That Isaiah was writing like all these things were going to happen when? Next week. Next month. But how long was it? A hundred years. It was over a hundred years, and then the Babylonians came. But with God, time means nothing. But on the other hand, as we see the world today, the signs of the times are all around us. Surely it can’t be much longer. But we don’t know.
All right, but here the Lord Himself says that He did not come to destroy anything of the Old Testament promises. He did not come to upset the Law and the Temple worship. He came to fulfill and to bring in the Kingdom.
All right, now as part of that process of bringing Israel into the Kingdom by virtue of their faith and believing who He was, let’s just jump up in Matthew to chapter 9. And here I have to take it slowly, because if the preachers get on my case about anything, it’s this concept of two gospels of salvation. It just bends their noses all out of shape. They get all riled up. And that makes me so angry. I have never said we are under two gospels. No. There’s only one in this Age of Grace. But during Christ’s earthly ministry and the Twelve ministering to Israel, it couldn’t be our Gospel of Grace. Rather, it was the Gospel of the Kingdom. The cross hadn’t happened yet. And this is where I get upset. How can you claim that Jesus and the Twelve preached the same message that Paul did, when the cross was unknown? But most can’t see that.
I read an article the other day by a famous one. He’s even dispensational to a point, but what did he claim? There’s never been more than one Gospel. I’ve shared this with you before. I had one guy tell me at one of my seminars out East. I said, “You mean to tell me you think Adam and Eve were saved by Paul’s Gospel?” You remember what the answer was, don’t you? “They must have.” No must have about it. We’ve got no room to put that word in there. Then I jumped up and I said “Well, are you going to say the same thing with Abraham? Abraham was saved by believing in a death, burial, and resurrection?” “He must have.” Oh! You know, that’s when my temper almost gets unleashed. How in the world can educated–but see, thank goodness. I think I’ve shared it with you on the program.
I had one Baptist preacher call here, oh, quite some time ago. Time goes fast. I think I shared it on the program. He had two earned Ph.D.’s in theology. That’s the way he put it. “Les, I’ve got two earned Ph.D.’s in theology, and after I retired I found your program. I started studying all your stuff on the internet. And I’m calling to ask one question. How in the world did I miss all of this for forty years and with all that education?” Well, that’s just one out of many now. If they will just take the time to look at what it says. How can Jesus and the Twelve preach a death, burial, and resurrection when the Twelve knew nothing of it?
In fact, the gentleman I just referred to before. About ten minutes before he finally blew his stack, which was ten minutes before we were due to close. I went back and talked to him afterwards. I had just shared Luke 18. Turn with me. Now, this is the way I teach. You know that. I’m not going to stay on an outline. Well, we’re just going to let the Spirit lead. And this is what I shared earlier. Yet, when I came back and asked him what his problem was, he tried to maintain that Adam and Eve and Abraham and all the rest of the Old Testament were saved by Paul’s Gospel – faith in the death, burial, and resurrection. How could they? And I said, “Sir, I just quoted Luke 18 ten minutes ago. Didn’t you hear it?” No, he didn’t hear it. But look what it says.
Luke 18 verse 31, now I know I get exercised. When something is so plain, how can the vast majority reject it? But they do. They don’t want anything to do with this concept of a separate gospel for Israel compared to Paul’s Gospel of Grace to the Gentile world. All right, but look at 18. Just before His crucifixion, a matter of three or four days, verse 31.
“Then he took unto him the twelve, (Peter, James, John, the rest of them, the regular twelve) and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.” Now, here’s where His Deity comes up. He knew the end from the beginning.
“For he (speaking of Himself) shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: 33. And they (of course the Romans) shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.” Plain? Well, as plain as language can make it. But, what does the next verse say?
“And they (the Twelve) understood (How much?) none of these things: (not one word) and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.” Now, I just had a lady come up and tell me how she appreciates Deuteronomy 29:29. Now, you all know what that one is? I use it all the time. Yeah, the “secret things belong to the Lord our God.”
In other words, God can keep things secret as long as He wishes to keep it secret. He’s Sovereign. And He does. And then little by little, He’ll reveal. All right, here’s another good example. It wasn’t time for the Twelve to understand.
So, then the question comes up. Why did He say it? For our benefit. Not theirs. For our benefit. Because what does this tell you? He was God. He knew exactly what was coming. And you’ve heard me say it over and over. He could have named every Roman soldier who tortured Him. He could have named the guy that was going to drive the spikes through His hands. He was God.
But in order to bring about everything up at Jerusalem, He dare not tell the Twelve or let them understand. Can you think for a minute what those twelve men would have done had they known that the Romans were going to try and arrest Him? Why, they’d have fought it tooth and toenail. And Jesus couldn’t have that. So God providentially blinded them, shut their ears, and they didn’t comprehend.
All right, read again. “They understood none of these things: and this saying (That He was going to die and be raised from the dead.) was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.” Now, if you have any doubt about that, all you have to do is just use common sense. If they’d have known that He was going to die and be raised in three days, where would they have been on Sunday morning? Out at the tomb! Were they? No, that was the last thing that they ever dreamed of. So, it was totally kept from their understanding.
Well, you see, when Peter was having his feet washed, I always say he pulled them back under the chair. And he said, Lord, you’re not going to wash my feet. Remember? And what did the Lord tell him? Well then, Peter, you have nothing to do with me. Well, then Peter stuck his other foot in his mouth, and what did he say? Well, then give me a bath! And what did the Lord say? Peter, you don’t need a bath! You have that. But what did he need? His feet washed. Well, again the Lord said the same thing. Peter, you don’t understand now, but you will. And that, of course, is the way God works.
All right, now back to Matthew. The Lord Himself says that He’s going to fulfill all of the things written in the prophets and everything like that. This is going to be the scope of His ministry: to give Israel a total opportunity to believe what this Jesus of Nazareth has to say. Now, it’s the same concept today. Why do I stress Faith Plus Nothing? What does God look for? Faith! That’s His favorite prerogative. He’s looking for our Faith.
Now, I explained to somebody. I think when we were in Georgia the other day. Why is that such an important fact? Well, just bring it into your own daily experience. What if you knew something as solid and as right as anything could be known. You tell it to someone, and he grins at you and says, but I don’t believe you? Now, if you’re a normal human and you have that normal Adamic nature to react, what would you like to do with that individual? Swat him, wouldn’t you? You mean you can’t believe something that I know is true. No, I don’t believe you.
Well, that’s the human element, of course. But look, how must God feel when He has done everything that needs to be done and has told us in this Book that if we believe it, He will claim us as His own? That’s what He wants. That’s the faith we talk about. To rest on that finished work of the cross without anything added to it. No baptism. No church membership. No tongues. No tithing. No good works. Christ did it all. It’s complete. And we have to realize that when we place our faith in that finished work, yes, as I hear it over and over and over, Les, it changed my life!!!!
I’ve got people in here today that I know, since you’ve heard this message, you’re life’s been changed. There’s one right there. Came out of Viet Nam. A church member, baptized to the whole hilt, and Jerry says, “I was as lost as lost can be.” But, when you believe this Gospel of salvation, it transforms your life. It changes your life. Then all these other good things become part of it. But for salvation, I will scream it until the day I die, don’t you add anything to what Christ has done. It’s complete in itself.
All right, but He couldn’t preach that to Israel. It hadn’t happened yet. But what could He tell Israel? I’m the promised Messiah. I am the Christ. All right, back to Matthew chapter 9 verse 35. Now, I hope I’m not upsetting the flow here, so that you hear that John the Baptist proclaimed Him as the coming promised Messiah and King, and Israel needed to repent and be baptized to be ready for this coming Kingdom. All right, then Jesus said:
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law,…(And anything that is part of Judaism with its Temple worship, the Law.)…but to fulfill.” All of that. Now to Matthew chapter 9 and verse 35.
“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, (That is of Israel. He never left the land of Israel.) teaching in their synagogues, and preaching (not the Gospel of the Grace of God. But the what?) the gospel of the kingdom,…” That’s what it says! All right, let’s, just for sake of comparison, before I run out of time. Keep your finger here. We’ll be back. Go all the way up to I Corinthians 15.
Now, I don’t have to tell most of you what that is. You already know it. But for sake of our new listeners, and my goodness, every day’s mail; I don’t know how many will say, we’ve just caught your program for the first time. I Corinthians 15:1-4. Now, this is Paul’s Gospel of salvation. When I talk about faith in the Gospel of the Grace of God, this is it. All got it? I Corinthians 15 and we’ll start at verse 1.
I Corinthians 15:1a
“Moreover brethren, (So he’s writing to fellow believers in Corinth.) I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you,…” That’s what brought them out of their paganism. This simple Gospel brought them out of paganism, mythology, and all of its immorality and its drunkenness, and it made them children of God.
I Corinthians 15:1-2a
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein you stand; 2. By which also ye are (What?) saved,…” The simple word that we still use today. If you want to escape eternal damnation, what do you need? You need to be saved. You need salvation. And this is what does it.
I Corinthians 15:2
“By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory (In other words, you don’t just blindly say, yeah, I believe. No. You’ve got to know what you believe.) what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.” Because if you don’t believe the truth in your heart for salvation, it’s for nothing. Now here’s the Gospel, verse 3.
I Corinthians 15:3a
“For I delivered unto you first of all (He was the first proclaimer of this Gospel of Grace. Peter, James, and John knew nothing of this Gospel. They only knew the Gospel of the Kingdom.) that which I also received,…” Now, I’ve got to stop. Received from where? From heaven. Now keep your hand in a third place. Go back to Galatians chapter 1. See, this all fits. Now he’s writing to the Galatians who are beginning to be fed some false teachings by the Jerusalem Jewish believers. You can read about in Acts 15:1-5. So, this was written to the Gentile believers up there in central Turkey. All got it? Galatians chapter 1 and drop in at verse 11. Now remember why I came here. In I Corinthians he says, “that which I also received.” Now I’m going to show where he received it from in verse 11.
“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me (I Corinthians 15:1-4) is not after man. 12. For I neither received it of man, (a direct reference to the Twelve, of course) neither was I taught it, (by man) but by the revelation (Or a revealing, from whom?) Jesus Christ.” And where’s Jesus Christ? In glory. All right, so where does this Gospel come from? The Ascended Lord of Glory. See, with all the authority of the Godhead. All right, back to I Corinthians 15:3 and 4 for the beautiful Gospel of Grace.
I Corinthians 15:3-4
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, (from the Ascended Lord) how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; 4. And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures;” That, beloved, is the Gospel. As simple as A-B-C. Believe it for your salvation.
But, oh, mankind puts everything but the kitchen sink with it, trying to add to what God has already done. And God won’t have it. Because even when He spoke from the cross, what were those final three words? “It is finished.” He didn’t say it’s almost finished. It’s finished! It’s complete. It’s done, and everything else detracts from it. Paul says in Galatians 1:6-9 that if you add or take away from this beautiful Gospel, you can’t go to heaven!