Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 74
CONNECTING THE DOTS OF SCRIPTURE -PART 11
Genesis through Revelation
Okay, good to see everybody back. We’re just going to jump right in where we left off in the last program. We’ve got a lot to cover. My, I thought I’d be way beyond this by now. But we’re going to take it slow enough that anybody, hopefully, that will read and listen will understand.
We’re going to start with that same verse in Romans 15 verse 8, because it says it so plainly. That Jesus Christ came to the Nation of Israel. Not to the whole world, yet, but to the Nation of Israel. It isn’t until after the Apostle Paul is saved on the road to Damascus, and the ascended Lord saved him and instructed him to go the Gentiles. Until that time, as you’ve been seeing, I hope, on the daily programs in the Book of Acts, it’s all Jewish. And how in the world anybody could push Gentiles into the first eight chapters of Acts, I’ll never understand. But here it is again.
“Now I say that Jesus Christ was (past tense) a minister of the circumcision (the Nation of Israel) for the truth of God, to confirm (or to fulfill) the promises made unto the fathers:”
All right, now let’s come back to Matthew 9 where we left off in our last program. Matthew 9 verse 35 again.
“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, (That is in the Nation of Israel.) teaching in their synagogues, (And you know Gentiles didn’t have much access to the synagogue.) and preaching the gospel (or the good news) of the kingdom, (and along with it) and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.”
Now, you see, this is what a lot of people are trying to push into Christendom today. This very verse: that along with salvation you should be able to experience healings and all these miracles. No, that’s not for us in the Body of Christ. This is Jesus dealing with Israel. It was part of the Kingdom Gospel.
All right, again for sake of comparison, I didn’t get time in the last program. We looked at I Corinthians 15:1-4, but now I want you to turn over to Acts 20:24 a moment. And just note the difference in language. Language. The use of words. That’s why we have language – to express and to define certain things. All right, now in Acts 20:24, Paul is at the end of his ministry. He is on his way back to Jerusalem for the last time, and he is meeting with the Ephesian elders, if you’ll remember. Luke is writing and is quoting Paul, of course, but Paul says,
“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, (Because he’s been persecuted and tortured and has been suffering for twenty some years. And so he says–) that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry,…”
Well, now that’s the same word that he uses concerning Christ’s ministry to the Nation of Israel. In other words, he was God’s sent one. He had a ministry, not specifically to Israel, but to the Gentiles. And over and over he refers to himself as the Apostle of the Gentiles. Of course he had a ministry with the Jews. But just like we are today, most of our response comes from Gentiles, a few Jews here and there. We had a couple again in the last few weeks. But it’s not very often.
All right, so now in this verse in Acts, Paul refers to his ministry as having been received, like we saw in the last half-hour in Galatians 1:11-12. He received it from the ascended Lord Jesus in Glory.
“…that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the (kingdom? No, but rather the gospel of the–) grace of God.” Two totally different messages. The good news of the Kingdom was that the King is here. He’s ready to offer the Kingdom. Believe it. But Paul’s message is that the work of salvation has been accomplished. Christ finished it. It’s God’s grace that is now being poured out. Believe it. Two totally different messages. And then preachers and teachers try to mix them. Horrors.
Well anyway, back to Matthew. Now we can just slip into chapter 10. Here we have the direction that this Gospel of the Kingdom is to go from the Lord’s own lips. Matthew chapter 10 and I know a lot of people don’t like these verses either, but I can’t help that, because that’s what the Book says. Jesus is just beginning His earthly ministry. He’s chosen the twelve disciples in verses 1 through 4. And now verse 5.
“These twelve (The same twelve that you’re all acquainted with.) Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, (Now, that’s as strong a word as you can get. He commanded them.) saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6. But go rather to the lost sheep of house of Israel.”
Why? Because He was the minister of the circumcision—the Jew. He was fulfilling the promises made by the prophets, and those promises were all directed to what people? Israel. Not Gentiles. All right, now when people call and they’ve run into a buzz saw with either a Sunday school teacher or a preacher or something, and they ridicule this idea that Jesus sent the Twelve only to Israel, I say, “Okay, now you’ve got to use Scripture.” Now, let’s turn over to Acts chapter 9. You talk about contradiction, and see, that’s what the unlearned would call it. They say, “Well, the Bible contradicts itself.” No, it’s not contradiction, but rather it’s a change of direction.
Now naturally, if you have two different sets of directions and they contradict each other, in reality it’s not a contradiction, it’s a change of directions. And that’s what we have here. Now remember, what did Jesus just say? “Go not into the way of a Gentile.” Plain? Now look at Acts chapter 9. Ananias is the believing Jew in Damascus that the Lord is going to use as a vessel between Himself and Saul of Tarsus. All right, so now verse 15.
“But the Lord said unto him, (to Ananias, the believing Jew in Damascus) Go thy way: for he (Saul of Tarsus) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before (or to, what people?) the Gentiles,…”
Now, in my understanding of language, that’s two contradictory commands. Right? The one says don’t you go to a Gentile, you go to the Jew. To the other He says, go to the Gentiles. Plain as day. Well, what is it? Two totally different programs. One was for Israel. The other is for the Gentile world, but it will also include Israel if they want to believe the message. All right, so back to Matthew once again.
“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Why does He confine it? Because of the covenant promises all the way up through the Old Testament. They were all given to the Nation of Israel, and Jesus came to fulfill them, as we saw in Romans 15:8. Well, how in the world could He, as the righteous God of Glory, muddy up the whole situation by now canceling the work of the covenants and bring in Gentiles? It wouldn’t work. He wouldn’t be God. He’d have been a liar. So, He keeps it separate. All of His ministry is to fulfill the covenant promises to Israel.
Now, lest you think I’m stretching the point, here we go again. Go back to Ephesians chapter 2 and drop in at verses 11 and 12. Now, why am I coming to this? Because of what I just said about Jesus and His loyalty to the covenant promises that were made only to Israel. No Gentiles in those covenants. Not a Gentile is mentioned in the Abrahamic Covenant, except that one day through Abraham God would go to the Gentiles.
The same way in the prophets, that one day when Israel was in the place of obedience, God would use them to reach the Gentiles. But the covenants had nothing to do with Gentiles. And here’s why. From the pen of the Apostle Paul.
“Wherefore remember (call it to mind), that ye…” Now, here’s where we’ve got to stop. Always determine who is writing? The Apostle Paul. Who is he writing to? The Ephesian Gentiles up there in Turkey. No Jews. Just Gentiles. All right, what’s the situation? Well, Paul has now been ministering to these Ephesian people. Many of them have become believers, and they have come into the Body of Christ.
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in the time past Gentiles in the flesh, (genetically) who are called Uncircumcision by (Whom?) that who is called the (Jew) Circumcision… 12. That at that time…” Well, now you’ve got to stop and qualify. What time? When God was dealing with Israel back in the Old Testament economy, and when Israel alone was under the covenant promises. Now here’s why.
“That at that time ye (as a Gentile, your Gentile great-great-great grandparents) were without Christ, (or Messiah) being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, (What does that mean? You weren’t citizens of Israel. You were outsiders.) and strangers from the (What?) covenants of promise,…”
Now, what does that mean? You had no part in the covenants between God and Israel. You were a Gentile. People have a hard time getting this through their heads. How could God abandon the Gentile world for 2,000 years and deal primarily, with a few exceptions of course, but He dealt primarily with the Nation of Israel. How could He do that? Well, because for the first 2,000 years He dealt with the whole human race. Beginning with Adam and Eve and Cain and Noah and all the way up until the call of Abraham, God was dealing with the human race. They all had an opportunity for salvation. But what did they do with it? They walked it underfoot. They had more desire to murder their fellow man than to get right with God. So He brought in the Flood and destroyed that wicked generation. Then they start over with Noah’s three sons and it didn’t improve anything.
Two hundred years later they’re all there at the Tower of Babel, falling under the wicked leadership of Nimrod; ready to embrace every dream of a pagan god that Nimrod could come up with, with Satan’s leading. But they had every opportunity, and they rejected it. So, don’t ever blame God for not giving the Gentiles a chance. They had just as much time as Israel did.
All right, now He comes to the Gentiles with His Age of Grace. Now, for 2,000 years the vast majority of Jews are left out in the cold. Not by God’s design. It’s their own fault. A Jew can be saved if they want to be. Nationally, of course, yeah, they’re set aside. But they’ve still got the opportunity, so God has never been unfair. Never. All right, but look what happened. Back to Ephesians 2.
“…ye were strangers from the covenants of promise, (Because God wasn’t dealing with Gentiles, He was dealing with Israel.) having no hope, and without God in the world:” That was the plight of the Gentiles before Christ.
Now you’ve got to remember, there weren’t billons of people on the planet at that time. There were relatively few. I think there was only one billion on the whole planet. No, half a billion, if I remember right. Five hundred million at the time of Christ. And, you see, the numbers have just been coming now in the last hundred years.
So, don’t think that you’ve got billions and billions of Gentiles out there. No. But whatever there was, they were without hope; they were without God in this world. That’s why they were steeped in their paganism. My, just go back and read some ancient history. The paganism that they worshipped, it’s unbelievable. But, now we can’t leave this without looking at verse 13.
“But now in Christ Jesus…” Because of the work of the cross, God has leveled the whole playing field. Every human being on the planet has access to that glorious salvation which was accomplished at the cross. And all they have to do is believe it. You know, years and years ago I made the statement – you don’t have to cross a raging river. You don’t have to crawl up a sheer rock cliff to get to a place where you can be saved. Where is it? Ground level. It’s right in front of every human being, every step of their life. All they have to do is turn and believe it, but they won’t. They don’t want to hear it. The favorite thing is – leave me alone, I’m comfortable.
All right, so back to Matthew. Got to make a little headway, don’t we? So now then, the Lord has turned to Israel to preach the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. All right, now at the core, at the hub of the Kingdom of Heaven and the Gospel of the Kingdom is the Nation of Israel and her Messiah. That’s where it all centers. That Israel’s Messiah was in their midst.
Now, many of you have seen the verse. I don’t know if I can find it. I’d better wait and look it up at break time. But you’re all aware of the verse that says “the kingdom of heaven is within you.” From that the theologians jump on it and say, see, it’s an invisible, spiritualized kingdom. But, you see, the problem is that the translators mistranslated a key Greek word. If you’ll look in a real study Bible, that word ‘within’ should have been translated ‘in your midst.’ The Kingdom of Heaven is in your midst in the person of the King. See what a difference that makes, just one word. The King is in your midst. He’s ready to bring in the kingdom.
All right, now that becomes the whole crux of the Kingdom Gospel, to believe that Jesus was the Promised Messiah and Christ. That was the crux of the thing. All right, go over with me now to Matthew chapter 16. Here we come to the end of His three years. After all of His signs and wonders and miracles, the Scripture only gives us a sampling. We only get a sampling. John ends his gospel with a statement that if all of His miracles were recorded, the world couldn’t contain it. So we just get a little scratching of the surface of miracles. But here we are now, at the end of three years, and they are ready to go from northern Israel up to Jerusalem for the last Passover and the crucifixion.
All right, verse 13 of Matthew 16. Now, I’m well aware that for many of you this is just review. And that’s why I’m doing it. I want another clear-cut review. I want these new listeners to see where we’re coming from. All right, verse 13.
“When Jesus came into the borders of Caesarea Philippi, (That’s up at the headwaters of the Jordan River at the base of Mount Herman.) he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” Now remember, we’re talking about Israel, Jews, not the Gentile world. Who do men in Israel say that I am? Well, you can tell by the answer that it would only be Jews that were acquainted with these names.
“And they said, Some say thou art John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” See, the Jews had them on the tip of their tongue.
“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? (Do you twelve men know better than that? And here’s Peter’s answer.) 16. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ (the Messiah, the Promised One, the Anointed One) the Son of the Living God.” Period. Now, I saw little bit of this morning’s program before I left, because I like to know what I was saying fifteen years ago, once in a while.
And I made it so plain. Does Peter add – who died for you, was buried, and rose from the dead? No, Peter doesn’t have a clue about that. But that’s what most of Christendom thinks he said. Most of Christendom thinks that Peter says, oh yeah, you’re the one who is the Son of God. You died for us and rose from the dead. No. Peter didn’t have a clue about that. But he was right on that Jesus was that Promised Messiah. See that?
All right, now let’s just chase some more of those references that prove the same thing. This is all God expected them to know. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. By what? The Word of God. Can the Word of God be available if God never spoke it? No. So you can’t believe something until God speaks it. There again, I’ll go back to Deuteronomy 29. If God has seen fit to keep it secret, nobody can believe it. But the moment He speaks it, yes, then it becomes something to believe and to place faith in.
All right, so now then, these people know nothing of a coming crucifixion. Go with me to John’s Gospel chapter 11, the story of Lazarus. John chapter 11. You know the story. Lazarus had been sick and Jesus purposely stayed away. He could have slipped into town and healed him, and we’d have missed this. He purposely stayed away so that Lazarus would die, so that He could perform the miracle of raising him from the dead. It had to happen. All right, so we pick it up down in verse 22 of John’s gospel chapter 11.
“But I know, (Martha says) that even now, (now that he’s died) whatsoever thou would ask of God, God will give it thee. 23. Jesus said unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24. And Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, (Any hint of the cross? Not a word. So, what where they to believe? Who He was. Everyone–) that believeth in me, (They know that I am the Promised Messiah.) though he were dead, yet shall he live.” That’s salvation for the Old Testament economy, bringing it on up into Christ’s earthly ministry. It’s salvation by believing who He was.
But now you want to remember, there’s not a word in any of Christ’s earthly ministry about stopping Temple worship. They still went to the Temple. They still kept the Law. That was all kept intact. But now they were to believe that Jesus was the Christ, too. All right, back to Martha in verse 27.
“She (Martha) saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe thou art the Christ, the Son of God, who should come into the world.” Now, is that so hard to comprehend? That was a simple statement of faith the same as Peter made. Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God. And Jesus was satisfied. He said, “blessed art thou Peter.” All right and the Lord here, too, He doesn’t condemn her for having it wrong. But that was her profession of faith, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
All right, now let’s move quickly into the Book of Acts chapter 8. You all know the story. How he was riding his chariot, had been to Jerusalem to worship, and was on his way back down to Ethiopia. And the Spirit encouraged Philip to catch up with him, because the guy needed some explanation. All right, verse 29.
“Then the Spirit (the Holy Spirit) said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30. And Philip ran thither to him, (caught up with him)…” Verse 32.
“The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:” Well, it was reference, of course, to Christ’s work of the cross; but nobody could put two and two together. All right, but now for sake of time, I’m going to bring you all the way down to verse 35.
“Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same Scripture, (Isaiah 53) and preached unto him Jesus.” Not a word about the death, burial, and resurrection. Just the story of Jesus.
“And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: (Philip had evidently mentioned the necessity for repentance and baptism, because the eunuch now says–) See, here is water; what doeth hinder me to be baptized? 37. And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, (Now, here’s the eunuch’s profession of faith.) I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Period. That was his profession of faith.
All right, now we’ll come back and start with our next program in this, because I don’t want to cut it too short. We’re going to find that Saul of Tarsus is saved under this same economy. He isn’t saved under the gospel that’s revealed after he comes on the scene. Paul is going to be saved by this same Kingdom Gospel, and we’ll show that at the beginning of our next program.